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.
And we’re back with a new episode of Dragon Ball Super to review! Remember a few weeks ago how Gohan flew off in search of Piccolo while Goku went searching for Android 17? Well, we finally catch up with the young Saiyan as his tries to both train himself and recruit his old mentor to the Universe 7 team for the upcoming Tournament of Power. So lets get on with the review to see if Gohan can achieve his two goals, shall we?
We pick up right away with Gohan and Piccolo about to train, with Piccolo actually saying that he knew of the Tournament of Power and the actual stakes behind it all. For you see, the moment Goku and Gohan arrived from the Zeno Expo episodes back, Goku paid him a visit and told him everything and also asked for Piccolo to train Gohan again. Both Goku and Piccolo agreed with the thought that while Gohan has power, he’s not as powerful as he once was way back in Dragon Ball Z when he fought against Super Buu. Piccolo, in the flashback, ask of Goku if he has any senzu beans and that he will push Gohan to his limits to unlock his hidden potential again. We come back to the present, with Gohan and Piccolo sparring.
While Gohan is able to put up a decent fight against Piccolo with his Super Saiyan 2 form, it’s still not enough and Piccolo easily gets the advantages due to both keeping up with his training and being mentally there. Piccolo states that Gohan fights for his family, but because he fights for his family it’s a weakness. His mind will always be elsewhere and never at the fight at hand, he will not be in the moment. It’s why his powers are dampened so much against other enemies compared to Goku, Vegeta and Piccolo when they fight.
We then cut to see what everyone else is up too. Krillian and Android 18 are training in their front yard while their neighbors — who are totally clueless, thinking it’s a marriage dispute — look on. Android 18 easily beats her husband and it’s revealed that she won multiple times they sparred. Elsewhere, at Bulma’s house, Goten, Trunks and Vegeta try to calm Bulla down while Bulma is on the phone with someone who wants to send gifts. Beerus and Whis though are still here and are the primary focus of the scene. They worry that they should probably tell everyone here about the true stakes of the Tournament of Power, but then think not to cause they’re worried over how Bulma will take it. They don’t want to get yelled at by her. So they remain quiet on the subject.
Then, back at Piccolo’s training session with Gohan, they begin to ramp up the fight with Piccolo getting a bit more aggressive and tells Gohan that he isn’t who he once was and that needs to change. Basically reiterating the same things he said to him moments ago. We head into a commercial break at this point.
After the break, we’re actually in space following a ship. Turns out we’re in Universe 8 as we find out that it’s the young saiyan Cabba in the space ship and he’s heading to see his old master and captain of the saiyan army he’s in. Cabba lands on a planet and knocks on the door, but his master while getting up quickly sprained his leg in the process. Cabba helps him out and tries to recruit him to the Universe 8’s team but his master refuses due to his bad leg, that was already bad before he sprained it. However tells Cabba of his sister, Calufia who may have the same kind of untapped potential that Cabba has. He tells him to seek her out. We end our time in Universe 8 with a tease of Calufia and her gang, as she’s having a feast fit for a saiyan.
We finally return to Piccolo and Gohan, with Piccolo now not holding back and going all out against Gohan! At first Gohan fights at Super Saiyan 2 but then Piccolo actually chokes him out and wins easily. In a brief interlude, Piccolo tells Gohan that his other weakness was that whenever he does get a power boost, he becomes arrogant and that leaves him open. He then persuades his student to fight for something more then just his family and yet at the same time discard his arrogance too, only then will Gohan achieve a true power. This awakens something in Gohan that hasn’t been seen since Dragon Ball Z, Gohan finally enters is Potential Unleashed state! For those that don’t know Potential Unleashed was a new transformation that Elder and Supreme Kai awakened inside Gohan to fight Super Buu, it’s sort of a power boost equal to how Super Saiyan 3 is but without the ki sapping from that — so it’s just below Super Saiyan God in a way.
Gohan in this state, takes on Piccolo again. Piccolo ups it even more and makes copies of himself who all attack Gohan. In the chaos of it all, the real Piccolo sneaks up on Gohan but his student catches it and slices off Piccolo’s hand by accident! This causes Gohan to apologize but the hand that was chopped off actually flies behind Gohan and shoots him in the back, leading Piccolo to win. This leads to Piccolo’s final lesson and that is that Gohan needs to take the chance to finish the fight when the moment presents itself. He shouldn’t wait around and hope that the person changes their ways for him when they’re losing.
We end the episode with Gohan and Piccolo at camp in the wilderness, eating a dinosaurs tail — from the same dinosaur that use to terrorize Gohan as a kid near the start of Dragon Ball Z! Here Gohan says that he’s going to head back to Goku and thanks Piccolo for unleashing his potential again, but Piccolo says that they are not done just yet and that he wants to train Gohan even more. He wants Gohan to surpass even his unleashed potential! Gohan agrees to it and decides to stay, but before we cut to narrator talking about the next episode, Gohan mentions that they should come up with some combo moves and Piccolo agrees that that’ll be a great idea.
The narrator then starts talking as the stage for the Tournament Of Power is being built, like how he’s been doing it for the past few episodes. He then wonders who else will join the team and just before the show’s credits start rolling we cut to another Z Fighter who’s waiting.
Turns out Yamcha has been hanging out at his house for I don’t know how many days waiting for Goku (or anyone really) to show up and invite him into the team for the tournament. Poor Yamcha.
Episode 88 wasn’t really an episode with very big moments in it, it was just a stop gap to fill in the blanks and move everyone else besides Goku forward in someway, with both Gohan and Cabba being the biggest ones.
I’m happy to see that Gohan finally got the spotlight and the power boost he needed after being made to look weak the entirely of Dragon Ball Super up to this point. On the other hand, it’s weird how he so easily forgot his Potential Unleashed form, when at the time he originally got it it wasn’t a form but instead his actual self that never turned off. So it’s a weird retcon of sorts of him having to get it back again through Piccolo.
It was great seeing Cabba again and flushing out Universe 8 in a way with the introduction of Calufia. I just wish there was more time spent for Cabba in the episode. They could have easily replaced the Whis/Beerus and 18/Krillian parts with more Cabba plot. This would have made the story of the episode between students and mentors much more stronger.
Next week though, we’re back following Goku around as he tries to recruit the last few members of the team. It looks like he’s getting Tien — who thankfully has been keeping up with his training. As for Yamcha being a part of the team though, no clue on that. I have a feeling either Yamcha or Buu will cause something to happen, making the rest of the team to scramble for a last minute replacement?