Dragon Ball Super Episode 97, "Survive! The Curtain Finally Rises on the Tournament of Power!!" just aired, and it confirmed a number of fan speculations about the acclaimed anime. As predicted by longtime fans of the franchise, the Tournament of Power would be an insane, non-stop ride from the moment it begins. If DBS Episode 97 is any indication, it appears that the Universe Survival Arc would indeed be the Dragon Ball franchise's best offering yet.
Warning: Spoilers below
The episode in itself began with the Great Priest going over the Tournament of Power's rules one final time, with the deity stating that the pole in the middle of the arena would act as a clock. According to the Grand Priest, the tournament would end when the pillar fully sinks to the arena. The previously-mentioned rules, such as ring-outs and the no-killing rule, were reiterated as well. With these final reminders done, the Tournament of Power officially started.
Almost all 80 fighters from the participating universes immediately began fighting. Unfortunately for Gohan, his plan of using teamwork to win the tournament was immediately abandoned, as his dad, Vegeta, Frieza, and the two Androids promptly went off on their own, according to noted DBS fan-translator Herms98. Beerus, for his part, was disappointed at his representative team's lack of cooperation.One of Universe 3's fighters began spinning like a top to knock every opponent out of bounds. Unfortunately for the warrior, however, it was stopped by Hit from Universe 6 and Basil from Universe 9. Seemingly redeeming himself from his loss in the pre-tournament battle, Basil immediately eliminated a fighter from Universe 10, drawing first blood in the multiverse battle royale.
As revealed by the elimination, fighters who are taken out of the Tournament of Power would be transported to the bleachers surrounding the arena. The Omni Kings, for their part, could monitor the eliminations using their GodPad tablets, which are devices that are likely to be optimized for GodTube.
With the fighting among the participating warriors escalating, Goku ended up approaching Jiren, who was so strong that other fighters were completely avoiding him. Before Goku could trade blows with the Universe 11 warrior, however, the Saiyan was grabbed by a fighter from Universe 4, who was planning on jumping off the arena's edge with Goku in tow.
Universe 4's plan, of course, does not work. As Goku stood back in the arena, however, he found himself surrounded by multiple fighters from other universes. With that, Dragon Ball Super Episode 97 ended.Overall, Dragon Ball Super Episode 97 proved to be exactly as predicted by avid fans of the hit anime series. If anything, it managed to emphasize a number of rules that are in place in the Tournament of Power, such as eliminations and time limits. Several fighters also stood out in the episode, such as Basil, Hit, and of course, Jiren.
If anything was disappointing in DBS Episode 97, however, it would be the fact that the quality of its animation somewhat dropped, with the episode recycling sequences multiple times. Basil's finishing move, for one, was repeated three times in the episode, as noted by numerous Dragon Ball Super fans in online forums such as Reddit. Even the scenes from the DBS Episode 98 NEP were notably recycled from the opening theme.
Another thing that was noticed by numerous fans is the timeline of the Tournament of Power. By the time the episode ended, it was revealed that only one minute has passed in the tournament. Thus, for all intents and purposes, it appears that the Universe Survival Arc would be covering a lot of the anime's episodes.
Despite its recycled sequences, however, Dragon Ball Super Episode 97 was a joy to watch. After all the build-up of the past few months, it was simply refreshing to see all the participating fighters in the tournament finally battle with each other. If any, Ep 97 all but proved that there would be no dull moments in the Tournament of Power.[Featured Image by Toei Animation]