The first match between the two universes has begun. Goku has a bit of difficulty against Botamo, the giant, golden teddy. His incredible mass makes him immune to Goku’s blows. Fortunately, he can’t fly, so Goku just throws him out of the ring. The next match is against Frost, Universe 6’s version of Freiza. At first glance, this guy is super cool. He’s polite, used his army to put down evil and end war, and he takes care of orphans. But, when even his final form can’t beat a Super Saiyan (Level One) Goku, he resorts to some sort of trick. Goku gets woozy after some strange hit, and gets knocked out of the ring himself!
Today’s episode, like you, would expect from a tournament, was all about action. Botamo was a nice warm up, not only for Goku, but for the tourney. It’s always fun to lead off with the more wacky fighters before you proceed to the serious guys. He’s an interesting character, bouncing all over the ring on a minute, then being immovable the next. Seriously, though, he’s kind of a pushover for someone in this caliber of the tournament. If he was in the Tenkaichi Budoukai in an earlier series, he might have been an issue for… one of the kids… maybe. But here, he’s just an opening act.
I wasn’t expecting to get to Frost this early, honestly. I was expecting us to see the robot dude, Magetta, join in at this point in the fight. Hit and Cabba are obvious shoo-ins to be later fighters, with Frost either in between or just before them. I find Frost a bit more compelling than Freiza. Not because he’s supposedly a good guy, but because he seems more complicated a character. In the Japanese, he states that he sealed away his final form because he needlessly killed a villain, due to how uncontrollable his power is. This scene also reveals the sheer difference in powers these fighters have from our Universe 7 guys. Frost looks to be about the same power level as was Freiza on Namek. We also learn that the tailless Saiyans from Universe 6 hasn’t even heard of a Super Saiyan form. This suggests that unless Hit is their version of Pikon, everyone here is suuuuuper weak. I guess since U6 Saiyans are good guys, there’s too many of them fighting the bad guys, so they don’t trigger their “Saiyan Power”. The other possibility is that U6 Saiyans are SO strong, they don’t even grow tails. It has been shown in the series that Saiyans that lose their tails will only grow them back if they are under a certain power level, or if the growth is induced. It makes me wonder how Cabba is going to fair against our buddies.
I was really surprised by the amount of difference the dub made from the original. While there were some bits of information that were lost in the translation, the English dub drew out more of the characters’ personalities. In the original, we hear Beerus encouraging Goku. The same line in the English was “You better not embarrass me.” This seems true to his personality. On the other hand, Jaco’s line about Botamo channeling attack damage into another dimension is immediately canceled out by him being unsure in the English, where the Japanese merely makes it seem like he’s making an educated guess. I feel that the English is still the superior audio here, but I’m glad I watched both versions for the whole story.
Animation was rather hit-or-miss. In some sequences, the animation was impactful and quick. In others, it was clumsy and lazy. I felt like the ripple effect with Botamo’s belly was a bit of a let down. It looked really flat and CG-ish (primarily because it was CG). I know it’s the new millennium and we don’t have to always hand-animate these effects, but doing so makes them feel the same as the rest of what we’re seeing. It just looked off. Further, nearly every scene had some error in the facial shapes. Nobody’s face looked the same in each shot they were in. I enjoyed the Goku/Frost fight though. Even though it used a good amount of cycled animation, it was directed well enough to be entertaining. It could have been better, but we are still early in the tourney.
Fun little fact, though, Frost here is voiced by Greg Ayers. He’s a veteran of the show, having played Guldo a long time ago. He’s also the brother of Christopher Ayers, who voiced Freiza. This was a great choice because the two characters sound mostly the same, but subtly different. Frost is a slight bit higher pitched and softer. This makes him a convincing good guy. This is totally different than how Greg sounds with his other character that is currently running: Son Goku on Saiyuki Reload Blast. However, I did not buy anything he said when he was talking about the orphans and inspiring them. It didn’t sound like he was connected to them at all. It makes me suspect he might not be a good guy at all… Otherwise, the voice acting was pretty all right from the other actors. I didn’t feel like any of their lines were forced or halting, and all of them have gotten to know their characters pretty well.
In summation: Fun action and a quirky starting act, but inconsistant animation. It does make me interested as to the rest of the tournament. I want to know so much more about the U6 Saiyans, and the other differences between the universes. I also want to know more about that attack Frost used at the end! I give this episode seven golden gummy bears out of ten.