A) Giving the Fans exactly what They want
One of the major reasons that cause the decline of any franchise, is when the creators are listening to their audience much more than they should. They stop making what they want to make, and instead try to pander the fans by fulfilling all their desires.
From a financial perspective, pleasing the audience is the smart thing to do, since they are the ones who are giving you money for as long as they are pleased and regequit when they no longer like what you offer. From a quality perspective, it’s also the smart thing to do, since they offer you feedback on what can be calibrated.
But, there is a point where it stops being smart or helpful. Every consumer has a completely different view of what needs to be done or what would personally please him. You cannot please everyone since their demands are often contradicting each other.
There is also the simple fact of consumers not being experts. They do not have the knowledge or experience of what it takes to be a creator, so they often want things that are damaging instead of helpful, or plain impossible based on the limitations of money, budget, deadlines, or technology.
Let’s also not overlook the fact of consumers being mostly horny plebs who spend more time in waifu wars and erotic fan fiction, instead of analyzing themes and characters. If you listen to them too much, they fuck up everything with deviance. Lots of franchises got ruined by becoming more about shipping than what the creators want to create. Character development and world building go down the drain for done to death fan service.
Dragon Ball Super in specific took this concept to the next level. The two Zeno are essentially speaking the thoughts of the audience. “Woah, he is so strong, this is so fun, show me more.” Furthermore, they are not mere spectators, they are constantly bending the rules for the sake of entertainment. Meaning, they are actively demanding for the show to be broken, the tournament to be unfair, and nothing to make sense.
Translation: The audience became the gods of the series. They dictate everything and sacrifice any form of consistency for the sake of cheering like a bunch of babies.
B) It’s Better than Nothing
When Dragon Ball Super began and people were complaining about the low quality animation, many defended it by saying “Instead of complaining, we should be glad we are finally getting more Dragon Ball after so many years.” The same excuse is being used every time something comes out which is much inferior to what everybody was expecting.
It definitely has to do with expectations, since if you are expecting too much, it’s much easier to be disappointed, compared to when you are not expecting anything. It’s also completely logical to assume something is more than nothing. We shouldn’t be greedy and never satisfied but rather enjoy what we are offered.
This is where the term “face value” comes into play. If through any means of advertisement you are presented with a product, you expect to get that product for a certain amount of money. If you think the cost of a product does not mirror the quality of the product, as a consumer you have the right to complain since people are not getting what they are paying for.
The industry often tries to defend its inability to fulfill the needs of its consumers by stating how its purpose as a enterprise is to make money and not to be honest. If lying achieves that goal then it cannot be blamed for doing what it’s supposed to do. If anyone is at fault here, it’s the consumers who didn’t do a better research before buying the product in question.
Which is also a lie, since profits are maximized when the consumers do not know what they are getting and the companies do their best to prevent reviews or footage to leak out too soon, since it damages the sales by revealing the truth. By the way, this has nothing to do with piracy, since the point is not to share around free copies of a something but rather your impressions of it and evidence of its quality.
So the next time someone claims it’s better than nothing, just reply by saying “git gud” and go buy something else to spite him.
C) Returning to Former Glory
The recent episodes of Dragon Ball Super were all about making neglected characters relevant again, as they were in the good old retro days. Although it sounded great on paper, it came at the expense of giving everyone cheap power ups, with any training done out of screen or not lasting more than a few days.
It’s possible to make a neglected character important again, as long as it makes sense in the continuity. In Dragon Ball Super, it doesn’t because the only way to make a character relevant is to make him super strong, even if that means undoing everything he did over the years.
Despite not being important in battles anymore, everyone was still having a life which gave them a new perspective. It was flavoring their personality without having something to do with fighting. By not doing something creative with that, and turning everyone back into strong fighters, it is essentially a reset of everything they were doing all this time. They didn’t move further, they went back into what they were before.
And the way they went back is plain bad writing, with hardly any motivation, or excuse for becoming a million times stronger all of a sudden. It’s fan service of the worst kind, coming from a fandom that refuses to let the characters grow as personalities and simply wants them to be doing the exact same shit no matter how old they become.
D) Worse Handling of the Same Gag (Muten Roshi in Super)
Dragon Ball Super is complete garbage and incapable to do the slightest thing right. Instead of going over all the plot holes in the recent episode, I will focus on how it destroyed something as simple as the characterization of one of its earliest characters, Muten Roshi. Many were dissatisfied with the way he became rapey, with many others defending it by saying “But guys, he was always a pervert, so why are you complaining? It’s a running gag that exists since the very beginning.” Yes, the gag is the same but its handing is not, because Dragon Ball Super is complete garbage even when it tries to rehash something as simple as a comic relief gag. And let me tell you why so you can learn a few things about proper characterization, you stinking plebs.
First and foremost, a good series grows up with its audience. Dragon Ball Super didn’t do that because it’s only rehashing the same ideas from 20 years ago instead of making a natural progression of them. It is still using the same tired ecchi jokes at a time when they don’t mean anything anymore. Nowadays we are getting the sleaziest fan service imaginable every season, so what used to be bold back then is another tired joke today.
Unless you are still a kid at the age of 21, most of what you found funny as a child is no longer funny when you are over 30. Mental aging has this effect. Most who were watching Dragon Ball Z are now in their 30s, while the characters in-series are still stuck at acting like 10 year olds. Of course and you won’t like Roshi going after panties. It's now vulgar, offensive, and childish, like many other cartoons of the 80s that feel cringy when you view them with an adult mind.
The very world has changed since the beginning of the series in the 80s. Molesting women is a much more sensitive matter today than it was back at a time when we didn’t have social justice warriors. Women are more liberal, and demand more respect, so what do you think will happen when you show that shit to the oversensitive millennials of today?
And it’s not just us growing up while the show didn’t, it’s also about playing it safer before switching it around for no good reason. Super is limited by the censorship of modern times, so what used to be normal in an 80s series, now it’s not allowed. They censor most nudity and violence while also simplifying the designs, so for someone who watched it as a kid, it looks way more childish. When you throw in molest jokes, it’s out of place in this family oriented fighting series.
And what most don’t seem to understand is that the same gag is not even presented in the same way. Roshi wasn't chasing girls for purposes of molesting them, they weren't running away scared and screaming begging him to stop while he kept going. He was mostly a sneaky peeping tom who was severely punished when he was found out. The girls weren’t scared of him, they were violent and relentless. So essentially, the same gag in Super is used in a much more rapey way.
And if you think at least that is different from the older show by being more extreme, you are a fucking idiot because that was not the purpose it had at first. Roshi used to be a wise sage in the early DB arcs, with the pervy jokes acting as a funny counter to his serious side. When he stopped being useful at the beginning of Z, these jokes lost their purpose since they weren’t serving as a contrast. Roshi degraded into a one dimensional pervert who wasn’t doing anything useful anymore. The pervy jokes are now only making him look bad, and since they are closer to molestation, they turned him into a light novel villain, who only thinks of rape.
And the final nail in the coffin of this atrocity has to do with molestation becoming part of the plot. Before that, whatever Roshi was doing was just comic relief, or fan service. It wasn’t part of the narrative, it was filler, it could be removed without affecting anything. Not anymore, now it’s part of the story, it became a driving force. Although I am in favor of anything that serves the narrative, in this case it does nothing but making the once wise sage of the series to now be no more than a plot relevant rapist.
Fuck you Super, fuck you and anyone who writes this abomination. You took one of the most iconic anime of all times and turned it into rape jokes.