Slight spoilers may be talked about below, so please be sure to watch the latest episode before reading on! This review is based off of the dub version of Super that currently airs on Toonami.
At first glance Episode 71 feels like it’ll be another filler episode but in actuality, it’s probably the most important episode in the series foreshadowing both of Goku’s and Vegeta’s power level increases that come to them near the end of the series. Episode 71 is also a significantly darker episode, on par with the Goku Black future scenes of the Future Trunk’s Saga, since it revolves around Goku suspecting that someone is trying to kill him, and that someone is none other then the returning Hit!
Episode 71 first starts off in probably the most gutsy way in Dragon Ball history with Goku dying as Gohan, Goten and Piccolo arrive too late to save him! Then after the opening title card, we flashback to a good ten or so hours earlier in the day as we catch Goku in a deep meditation trying to sense Hit’s arrival, but he can’t. He’s so on edge that he doesn’t scarf down his food like usual and instead is in this heavy tranced like state, eating one grain of rice at a time and moving at lightning fast speeds without any thought when the mail man knocks on the door. Eventually Goten guesses something is up and seeks his older brother, Gohan’s advice.
Elsewhere on Beerus’ planet, Vegeta is sparring with Whis when Beerus walks in and asks where Goku is. Whis says he doesn’t know, which causes Beerus to flip out since Zeno can supposedly start the grand tournament that’s been hinted too since the end of the Future Trunk’s saga. Beerus eventually then walks off flustered knowing that his best fighter is doing gods knows what at the moment, but Whis then begins to act coy when Vegeta confronts him. Vegeta, never wanting to be second, is certain that Goku is off training another way and want’s in, but Whis says Goku isn’t yet at the same time having that playful look on his face, like he know’s something is up. This frustrates Vegeta a bit and he increases his sparring with Whis.
Back on Earth, Goku is out doing errands but then senses something is off and starts trying to sense Hit again. So he closes his eyes and begins to walk around the city trying to find Hit off of just pure sensing, but not knowing to him both of his sons are being sneaky and trying to figure out what’s up. Goku hasn’t told anyone yet what’s going on, he’s just lost in his own world at this point. His sensing leads him to various places like in a packed theater during a movie, getting hit by Bulma’s car while not looking where he’s walking on the crosswalk and even into a women’s department store, where he finally opens his eyes and is disappointed in what he finds is not Hit but instead a mannequin with a bra on. Gohan eventually asks his parents over for family bbq, using it as an alibi to figure out what his father’s up too.
At Gohan’s bbq, Goku is finally back to his usual self and eats a ton of food super fast and tries to even get Piccolo to eat some too — the famed Namekian was the cook. After finally eating a huge meal, Goku sits on Pan’s swing set and looks up to the sky wondering where Hit could be. This then leads to the boys (and Piccolo) finally confronting their father about what’s up and Goku spills the beans, saying that someone wants to kill him and that person’s Hit. Much to their shock.
After the commercial break, we follow Hit’s story and what he was up too during Episode 70’s Universe 6 and 7 baseball game. Turns out that on a remote city-colony settled on a bunch of astroids, Hit was there carrying out an assassination on an alien mob boss. Hit basically Time Skips past the front gate and all the guards in the way and pulls the alien mob boss into his Time Skip. Here Hit explains that he is going to kill him and that manages to do that in a single punch to the heart. Afterwards, the Time Skip ends with the alien mob boss dying in his office and Hit no where to be seen. Hit then gets his next contract and that’s to kill Goku!
We don’t pick up with the Hit and Goku fight just yet, but instead go back to Whis and Vegeta who are still sparring with Vegeta asking Whis how much longer they have to spar up to one hundred and Whis saying he lost count. Vegeta then lies and says there’s only three more to do, but Whis, who was actually keeping count and lying to Vegeta himself, says there’s actually thirteen more spars to go. Vegeta gets ticked off, but he doesn’t argue with the divine being and continues sparring.
Back on Earth, Goku finally picks up on Hit’s power level and flies over to him. After a few moments Gohan, Piccolo and Goten all panic in Goku’s reluctance to go alone and then fly after him. Goku finally meets Hit, and tells the assassin that he’s gotten stronger since their fight in the Tournament Of Power saga. Goku then goes Super Saiyan Blue to face Hit, however Hit can’t kill Goku since he has to be facing him directly to land the heart punch he did earlier to the alien mob boss. Also with Goku going Super Saiyan Blue it causes his Ki to go god mode, which causes Piccolo and the others to not be able to sense him anywhere.
Goku and Hit begin to fight, but it’s not at all like their actual fight from episodes back. Goku is trying to land punches on Hit but all of them either get dodged or Hit manages to phase right into them. Hit then says that this is not Time Skip but instead something else, causing Goku to take a step back and try to use Ki blasts instead. As he charges up the first Ki blast, Hit lands his death blow on Goku from about seven to ten feet away, this causes Goku to go limp and as he’s falling he fires his Ki blast into the air. Goku begins to go lifeless as Hit vanishes away. The episode ends with Goku dying as Goten, Gohan and Piccolo arrive too late to save him.
Episode 71 was the first time in a long time that an episode of Super actually ended on a dark note. Normally, there would always be a sense of optimism right at the very end of something around the corner that Goku and the others can use as a trump card in their pocket. But this time, there wasn’t any, episode 71 ended exactly the way it began with Goku dying with his sons too late. I actually had no issues with this episode at all, and really preferred this darker ending. It just strangely felt right and almost gave a vibe of how things use to be in Dragon Ball Z when something dramatic or bad would happen. I honestly suspect that this is Whis’ doing in order to push not just Goku but also Vegeta to new heights of power in the episodes to come.
The reason why I say this, is if you followed Super’s original Japanese run then you know of already the power boots that both Saiyan’s receive by the end of the series. Goku’s final form attained there is almost similar to how Goku was acting in this episode with him sensing and acting on pure thought when it came to trying to find Hit. Vegeta on the other hand was a nice foreshadowing of the power he gets which is attained by the tried and tested way of combat that he was doing with Whis. So when you sit back and think about it, Episode 71 had a lot of foreshadowing of things to come and was not at all a filler episode.
A couple of things I liked about this, besides the important plot beats that Beerus gave and the subtle winks of the new powers the Saiyans will get is the fact that Goku kinda, sorta acted in a serious way throughout the episode. It was almost a callback to his Dragon Ball Z incarnation when he fought against Frieza, Cell or Majin Buu. It was actually refreshing to see him like this and not a totally idiot like Super tends to make him out to be. Other then that, it was also nice to see Hit again and get more of what he’s been up too as of late. Now the only thing I didn’t really get is the flower girl that Hit totally ignored on that city colony. Maybe she’ll have a part to play later on in Episode 72 or something, but right now she felt so out of place in the grand scheme of things; she just didn’t feel needed. But hey, I have to admit, it feels great to finally get back to the main story of Super again!