Dragon Ball Super has recently kicked off the Universe Survival Arc we’ve been looking forward to. Rather than going straight to the tournament proper, they’re doing a three-round exhibition match between Universe 7 (Goku and friends) and Universe 9, and the most recent episode gave us some interesting information after the second round concluded. Which is a weird place to put it. Especially since the Grand Priest presents this in an announcement to everyone gathered—you would think it’d be done either before or after the match, not smack dab in the middle, but…anyway!
A lot has been clarified. For starters, four of the twelve universes (1, 5, 8, and 12) will not be entering the tournament, the reason being that they’ve been deemed way too strong. Zeno has evaluated the “average mortal power level” of all twelve universes, and has already been thinking of erasing the eight that he thinks are too weak. When Goku suggested the tournament, he revised this to allowing the universe that wins the tournament to survive. This takes some of the heat off of Goku (and gives a better explanation for why the survival aspect is there), but still, the guy’s being shown in a less than positive light lately and that’s actually interesting to see. I feel like this is a good compromise: now, even if the stakes are maintained and they really do erase all losing universes, there will still be four whole other universes to explore, and they’re all immensely powerful. So I think that’s a plus.
It’ll still be sad to see the others go, though. I mean obviously Universe 7 is going to win (even if they’re currently ranked second-weakest, beating out only Universe 9), so that’s bad news for the Universe 6 characters we’ve gotten to know…and Gowasu from Universe 10. But I guess if they capitalize on this, it could work out. Plus these characters will still all be around in video games!
It’s also clarified that yes, all deities in the losing universes will be erased as well, with the notable exception of the angels. Whis’s reaction to this and a few other moments in the episode is…slightly unnerving. But the question is: if the universe an angel serves is destroyed but they get to live on, what do they do? …No, actually, the real question is: since we’ve been told there used to be eighteen universes and six were erased, their angels must still be around, so where are they?! There are some interesting possibilities here and I look forward to seeing how they turn out. I’ve been hoping we might get a villain who escaped the destruction of their universe and has come back for revenge against Zeno (or Goku) and this makes that look a lot more possible.
I’m looking forward to this arc more now that I know there’s going to be more potential available afterwards than it initially seemed. Plus the fight in this episode had a little more variety in technique and showed that Gohan can still fight pretty well. That means there’s hope that all the B and C List characters showing up for this arc might actually get their time to shine!