In a wild change of direction and tone for Super, Goku is found dead by his friends. It’s a tense entry in a usual comical and inconsequential series. The world may not be in trouble, but our hero is.
“The Death of Goku! The Guaranteed Assassination Mission!!”
This is a completely different Dragon Ball Super. Dispensing with the usual recap segment, the prologue immediately jumps to Goku’s death! He’s been killed several times before, and yes by now it doesn’t really hit all that hard, but it sets the mood for the rest of the episode extremely well. The overall tone for this episode is outright dark right off the top, and the pacing reflects it well. Goku’s on-edge antics shine in the wake of some extremely comedic and inconsequential episodes. Even the comedy moments seen here stand out better than usual because of the obvious dissonance from the rest of the story. The animation, direction, and dialogue is all on a different level than we’ve been used to seeing. Where did this old-fashioned Dragon Ball episode come from?
Knowing that Goku will indeed die from the very beginning set up a great ‘how it happened’ episode. The best part of this being a more than one part-entry is that only the act is revealed to us here. The reason is still shrouded in mystery. Who would be so concerned about Goku, or know well of his existence enough, to want him dead? Seems a little harsh even for Champa or a possible future contestant in a fighting tournament – although I won’t rule any of that out.
Getting more of Hit is likely to be a popular addition to this series. He was by far the most compelling of the fighters from Universe 6, with Cabba a close second (who also gets a shout-out in this episode). The best way to develop his character is just to see what he does best, and that is exactly what we get. Hit effortlessly infiltrates some kind of crime-boss headquarters and removes him from existence with no mercy. The only strange moment of this episode is that there was a flashback within a flashback, with Hit at his former target’s grave. But it was a powerful image, that Hit visits the graves of his victims to pay some kind of respects. He is already more developed a character than ‘god who destroys things and loves food’. As for the confrontation with Goku, Hit was willing to let him off in exchange for Goku’s “disappearance” or something. I assume that would mean Goku not involving himself in any universe-saving events or tournaments? Unfortunately for Goku, Hit is too good at his job and Goku can never back down from a fight. How will Goku come back to life (he will), and what becomes of Hit? Christmas will feature a struggle for survival beyond eating too much turkey and talking to relatives this year.
9.2/10 (Serious Super)
Summary: Goku is dead. How did this come to be, and what kind of circumstance would lead to a hit called in against him? Prepare for a tense episode.
– Wildly inappropriate episode title music is still hilarious.
– Poor Vegeta, as usual.
– A brother’s confidence killed with one “lame”.
– And it just happens to be Bulma in the car.
– Hit finds himself in the land of rain from Naruto.
– “I have a bad feeling about this.”