Warning! Spoilers below.
Dragon Ball Super Episode 102 ultimately proved that DBS is not afraid to satirize the anime industry. In an episode filled with practically all the notorious tropes of the magical girl and shonen genre, Android 17 of Universe 7 stood as the warrior with the most common sense, and it made for a delightful, albeit polarizing episode.
DBS Episode 102 in itself started with the anime clearly channeling the conventions of the magical girl genre, with Universe 2’s Kamikaze Fireballs calling everyone’s attention so that they could transform into their more powerful forms. Being the practical fighter that he was, however, Android 17 blew them up in the middle of their transformation sequence, simply because they were wide open for attack, as stated by noted DBS fan-translator Herms98.
The scene with Android 17 attacking the U2 fighters in the middle of their transformation set the tone for the entire episode. Immediately after that, No. 17 got called out by the U2 fighters, Goku, and U11’s Toppo for not letting the girls transform. Considering that long, elaborate transformation sequences are a trope of the shonen and magical girl genres in general, it was quite humorous to see how everyone in the Tournament of Power responded to No. 17’s pragmatic, realistic reaction to the Kamikaze Fireballs’ actions.
Dragon Ball Super‘s satire on the shonen and magical girl genre did not stop there, however. After getting No. 17’s word that they would not get disrupted in their transformation anymore, the Universe 2 fighters decided to power up one more time, by initiating the exact same sequence all over again. This particular aspect of the episode has managed to aggravate some users in online forums such as Reddit, with many users stating that Dragon Ball Super wasted a lot of time on Universe 2’s magical girl sequences.
While the fan reaction is understandable, it is quite important to note that everything in Dragon Ball Super Episode 102 was seemingly meant to poke fun at the magical girl and shonen genres. The reused animation, the drawn-out transformation sequences, and the silly dialogue are pretty much the trademarks of classic anime, including Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, and the original Dragon Ball series. Thus, in a lot of ways, Dragon Ball Super Episode 102 accomplished what it set out to do — it parodied classic anime series, and many viewers did not even notice it.
If any, Dragon Ball Super Episode 102 showcased Android 17’s abilities and power. During the entire duration of the episode, No. 17 became the voice of reason, the pervading common sense in the tournament. His skirmishes and eliminations of the Universe 2 fighters, for one, were incredibly enjoyable to watch.
Dragon Ball Super Episode 102 ended with Universe 2’s Ribrianne singling out Android 17 for eliminating two of her comrades. Thus, next week might very well feature the Android’s most intense battle yet in the Tournament of Power.
Meanwhile, the NEP for Dragon Ball Super Episode 103 featured Gohan finally stepping up and taking charge in the fight. In the brief teaser for next week’s episode, Gohan was featured in his Ultimate form battling the remaining fighters of Universe 10. From what could be seen in the sequences featured in the NEP, it appears that Gohan’s actions next week would affect him significantly.
The final frame of the NEP, which featured Gohan pensively standing on the edge of the arena with Piccolo looking at him, had been noted by many DBS fans. Considering the tone of the brief sequence, many fans are speculating that Gohan might very well end up wiping out the Universe 10 fighters, resulting in their destruction. Such a thing, of course, would no doubt weigh heavily on Gohan’s mind.
Dragon Ball Super airs every Sunday morning in Japan. The anime series is available in the West through streaming services such as Crunchyroll and FunimationNow. For now, enjoy the NEP for Dragon Ball Super Episode 103 in the video below.
[Featured Image by Toei Animation]