Coming off the weekend full of hype from watching the Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero movie I am ready to dive back into the manga. Now I have not been the biggest fan of this Granolah The Survivor arc that Akira Toriyama and Toyotarou have been working on for the past two years. There has been a lot of spinning of wheels with how far Toriyama and Toyotarou are testing Dragon Ball fans when it comes to all the power-ups Goku, Vegeta, and co get every story arc. The Heeters with Gas as the muscle has done nothing to improve things as they have been one-dimensional antagonists at best. But coming off the hype from the movie I want to see Toriyama and Toyotarou turn things around. Let’s find out if they do just that with Dragon Ball Super Chapter 87.
Writer: Akira Toriyama
After Granolah collapses from the exhaustion from using all his power in the attack he hit Gas with Monaito uses his healing abilities to bring Goku, Vegeta, and Granolah back to full strength.
When Elec attempts to retreat a shriveled up, but still alive, Gas strikes Monaito with a beam attack through his stomach.
While Granolah checks on Monaito Goku and Vegeta transform into their True Ultra Instinct and Ultra Ego forms, respectively, to combat Gas. Gas still completely overwhelms Goku and Vegeta as Elec reveals that Gas has just about burnt out his life span to achieve his current overwhelming power level.
Frieza suddenly shows up which pushes Gas to tap into more power, bulking up his frail physique in the process. Frieza punches straight through Gas while transforming into a new form for just a split second no one notices. Frieza then kills Elec for all the scheming he was doing.
Frieza then turns his attention to Goku and Vegeta. Frieza shocks Goku and Vegeta by transforming into a new form he dubs Black Frieza, which he achieved by training in a Room Of Spirit And Time that he discovered on another planet. Black Frieza knocks out Goku and Vegeta with one blow each to the gut.
Before leaving Frieza offers Oil and Macki jobs on his ship, which they happily take.
In the aftermath, Whis appears and heals Monaito. Goku offers Granolah a chance to train on Beerus planet but Granolah passes as he wants to protect his planet.
Before leaving Monaito gives Goku the scouter Bardock left behind.
While heading back to Beerus planet Whis reveals that there may be a person even stronger than Frieza who just appeared somewhere in the universe. End of chapter
If the events in Dragon Ball Super Chapter 87 happened ten chapters earlier it would possibly be one of the more exciting chapters in the series. But that is simply not the case. Because even as we get a moment that would otherwise be considered incredibly hype Black Frieza becomes a form that symbolizes everything wrong with the Granolah The Survivor arc.
Immediately seeing Gas survive the all-out attack that Granolah hit him with is no different from the previous dozen chapters of this extended fight. There just never felt an end to what was going on in Granolah The Survivor. It was just one cliffhanger surprise after another of characters surviving attacks that in any other Dragon Ball story arc would mark the end of a saga.
The only thing that does make this Gas survival work was the appearance he had. Seeing the shriveled-up body of Gas still going like an unstoppable zombie was great imagery done by Toyotarou. Gas design was fitting to how one-note the character was with the dumb look he had when Elec revealed he did not care that Gas basically burnt out his entire life span in order to eliminate Granolah, Goku, and Vegeta. It made that moment more comedic than anything because of how Akira Toriyama has paced this entire story.
Moreso than the never-ending battle what has hurt the Granolah The Survivor arc more than anything is the fact that at no point do you care about the Heeters as antagonists. The entire Heeters group has been poorly built up that you don’t even enjoy hating them because of how villainous they are. Toriyama made them obviously idiotic to the point that Frieza killing Gas and Elec was something that you felt nothing about. It didn’t give you a feeling of greater dread for Frieza being to easily kill the villains that gave Goku and Vegeta so many problems. Instead, there is a sense of relief that Frieza did the one thing Goku and Vegeta couldn’t do, that is thankfully put an end to the main narrative Elec and Gas were driving.
Then there is the new form Frieza was able to achieve in Black Frieza. This is a moment that should have hit like when we saw Golden Frieza for the first time in Resurrection Of F. But due to the Granolah The Survivor arc being all about Goku, Vegeta, Granolah, and Gas getting multiple power-ups in this one story Black Frieza ends up falling flat. The Black Frieza form is just a reminder of how Toriyama has effectively made what should be major achievements for characters with these new forms and thrown them out the window.
To Toyotarou’s credit visually the Black Frieza form looks cool. Mixing in black with what appears to be gray and purple makes the Black Frieza form much cooler than the Golden Frieza form which made the character look more like a statue. This form visually gives off the feeling that Goku and company are in major trouble moving forward. It all sets up for Frieza to possibly be the endgame boss of the Dragon Ball Super manga.
The real positives I felt about Dragon Ball Super Chapter 87 was that we finally get an end to the Granolah The Survivor arc. That along with the end teaser by Whis that someone else possibly more powerful than Goku, Vegeta, and Frieza has appeared in the universe at that moment got me hooked to find out what is next. And that is all with the hope that this means that we find out that the events of Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero are happening right after this arc. It is all there to line up with the reason Goku, Vegeta, and Broly are on Beerus planet during Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is because they are training to combat Frieza’s new Black Frieza form. Which could lead to how Gohan and Piccolo can be brought in as key players for the future of the series given the new forms they achieved in Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.
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The best thing I can say about Dragon Ball Super Chapter 87 is that I’m happy that it brought an end to the Granolah The Survivor story arc. The implications made by Whis at the end of the chapter does make me interested to see if the story with Black Frieza is tied into the recent Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero. Outside of that I really have nothing positive to say about how things went in this story arc. Granolah The Survivor will definitely go down as my least favorite Dragon Ball work done by Akira Toriyama.
Story Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10