Super Dragon Ball Heroes – Universal Conflict Arc (Episodes 7 – 19) Review

Okay, last Dragon Ball review for a while, but again after sitting down to watch this I knew if I didn’t review it now I’d never get round to it. The second, far longer “story arc” in this Promotional Anime feels much like one of the old Dragon Ball Z films, just longer and somehow with even less plot. Do I expect plot out of a series that exists to promote a card-based Arcade game? No, not really, but I thought I’d mention it. Let’s take a look!

Synopsis:

A man named Hearts is in control of the “Universal Seed” and is using it to drain various universes of their power so he can attain enough of it to challenge and destroy Zeno, the ruler of all Universes. With him is a version of Zamasu and two Tsufuls, all willingly helping him and his cause…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

Goku’s fancy new gear! … Purely for “new card” reasons, obviously…

Good? Well… it was nice to see the other-Universe characters like Jiren, Hit and the Universe 6 Saiyans again, even if the latter didn’t get to do much other than struggle against Oren and Kamin, two Tsuful androids who have similar power to Baby from Dragon Ball GT (including them possessing some bodies and giving them white hair and target logo eyes). Oren and Kamin at various points fuse into one being called “Kamioren” which would you believe it, actually has a unique design! Shocking… Jiren I’ll mention does at least beat back all who challenge him, for the most part, which is in-keeping with his prior appearance.

Actually, you know what? I’ll praise the lead villain as well. Hearts has quite a unique look for a character from (or based on) Toriyama’s work, and his personality is actually interesting. He’s not a villain for villains sake, he’s gathering power to “free” all universes from being under the thumb of Zeno, the child-like being that erased a bunch of universes from existence in a tournament for a bit of a laugh (even if he did then restore them, if Android 17 hadn’t wished for the other Universes to be restored it’s implied they would have left them erased…) So it does make sense, Zeno is potentially dangerous to life in all Universes, but obviously his methods leave a lot to be desired, leaving destruction and death in his wake across multiple Universes all while having a cheery disposition. It was just nice that he wasn’t just cackling about taking over the universe or something.

Apart from that though, not much to talk about. Some of the fighting was decent, scenes with Ultra Instinct Goku are always fun, and Gogeta vs. Hearts from the final two episodes were actually… not half bad in the animation department. You know, for a free internet animation, anyway.

The Bad:

He’s a bad guy, but not that bad a guy… Apart from all the killing.

So as per usual for a series created to sell cards, there wasn’t a lot of plot. Hearts moved from one Universe to another with his “Universe Seed” and fought some people from those Universes that appeared in Dragon Ball Super, plus Goku (who at various points achieves Ultra Instinct, and even wears the Grand Priest’s uniform!), Vegeta, and Future Trunks who follow them. Hearts, Eye patch Zamasu and the Tsuful Twins fight them for a bit then vanish, each time some new transformation or costume debuts in order to create more cards to sell. The final battle takes place on Earth in the core Universe we know and features Goku, Vegeta, Future Trunks, Piccolo and Android 17, so it was… slightly different.

The Tsufuls end up being forcefully transformed into a giant thing then get destroyed, and Zamasu is repeatedly destroyed by Jiren, who followed them after they assaulted his Universe, but is eventually sealed away by Hearts after he merges with the Universe Seed for a power up / new form / new shiny card. Jiren and Hit join Piccolo, F. Trunks and Android 17 in distracting him while Vegeta and Goku form Gogeta and eventually overpower him and destroy the Universe Seed. Hearts smiles at the sight of someone so powerful, but laments that all he wanted to do was give everyone freedom.

I believe in the FUNimation dubs their race are called “Tuffles”, which just sounds like a cute kids TV race. “Tsufuls” was one of the only good bits about the Blue Water Dub of GT we got in this country…

So literally “Location-fight-move location, location-fight-move location, location-fight-final fight.” There is no down time or talking, just fighting, often with poor animation. My favourite was Oren and Kamin’s main attack being to move towards people and as a bubble of Ki energy explodes around them, something requiring zero frames of animation as they hover towards their opponents and send them flying without moving a muscle. Again, I feel bad about complaining about the animation of a free online “Promotional Anime”, but there you go. Has to be said still.

In the last review I laughed at “Golden Coola” appearing for zero reason or explanation other than “My brother did it, so I can too!” all for the sake of a new card to sell. Well, in this arc there is a brief cut-away to previous arc’s main foe Fu doing more experiments, one of which introduces Metal Coola fighting the previous arc’s secondary villain Cumber, during which he transforms into, yes you’ve guessed it, Golden Metal Coola. The scene lasts all of a few minutes before we resume the Universal Conflict arc, so it was literally like they went “we have this new card but we’re not sure how to write it into the plot, so here’s this scene for the hell of it.” It made me laugh, but I’m not sure it was supposed to…

Overall Thoughts:

It’s like the end of the latest Broly movie, only a little bit worse in the animation department… *ahem*

So the Universal Conflict Arc comes and goes over its roughly one and a half hours. There are some fights, some new characters and a few new transformations or costumes to up the buyable cards number, but that’s it. Again, it was somewhat fun to watch for this as-life-long-as-someone-in-the-UK-can-be fan of the Dragon Ball series, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s cheap, it has no real plot and it exists to advertise an Arcade game that isn’t even available in this country (or anywhere outside of Japan), so as harmless as it is, it’s not exactly must watch stuff…

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