Just when we thought that Akira Toriyama has exhausted all possibilities with Goku and the gang, we get the 2015 Dragon Ball Super anime. For the non-Saiyan fans out there, the series picks up on the events after the Majin Buu saga, which includes a series remake of the Battle of Gods and Resurrection F movies. With smooth, upgraded GC and a slicker fight animation sequence, DBS is the series we didn’t know we wanted. Bridging the generation gap between old and young anime fans, the show has tons of new characters (We’ve got female Saiyans) and Super Saiyan modes with hipster hair colors (Super Saiyan Rose is basically the Millennial Pink that’s invaded your girlfriend’s Instagram feed).
The combat mechanics in the Dragon Ball universe are the epitome of the term “extra AF” with fighters doing the most. So, it was quite the task to sort through all the martial arts moves, yells, energy beams, and “Atatatata” to bring you the best brawls in the series.
Gohan vs Goku (Episode 90)
Gohan requests a one-on-one match against his dad because he wants to be taken seriously as a fighter. The first half of the fight has father and son on equal footing before Gohan demands that Goku use his full power against him. Goku goes Super Saiyan Blue and gives him a beatdown. It’s a short but memorable fight, hell, Goku was so impressed that he appoints Gohan as the leader of the Universe 7 team.
Super Saiyan God Goku vs Beerus (Episode 10-13)
The culmination of the first arc is one of the longer battles in the series and showcases the full extent of modern animation. The first season already deals with high stakes as the God of Destruction will destroy the Earth if he wins the fight. We also get to see a redheaded Goku show off his newly acquired SSG abilities and has a major ki blast tug-of-war with Beerus.
Vegeta vs Cabba (Episode 37)
Bulma (R.I.P. to her voice actress Hiromi Tsuru, who passed away recently) constantly reminds Vegeta to calm his tits, but to no avail. In this episode though, anger plays an important role as he teaches the Saiyan noob Cabba how to go Super Saiyan—in the middle of the freaking battle. Throughout the match, Vegeta acts like a dick and taunts Cabba into raging in order to unleash his untapped potential. It was half-battle, half a study session, and a very inspiring moment for DBS fans.
Goku vs Goku Black (Episode 50)
Because two Gokus beating each other, uh, up is better than one! The evil counterpart is actually Zamasu, who possessed his body in an alternate timeline. Regardless of how he got there, we’re thrilled to see Goku’s literal equal.
Goku vs Kefla
Most dudes don’t stand a fighting chance against normcore Goku and kickass ladies Kale and Caulifla wore him out (wait, that came out wrong). Goku was so determined to keep on fighting that his Ultra Instinct (where he’s got an elevated sense of awareness not to be confused with his Super Saiyan transformations) kicked into gear. And before that we even see Berserker Kale (with green hair) fuck up Goku.
Vegeta vs Goku Black
“Only a true numbskull like him can use the Saiyan cells within it to their fullest,” shouts Vegeta as he brawls with the impostor. The rage is palpable as he rages at Zamasu for body-snatching Goku in order to gain strength. This battle shows the bromance between Goku and Vegeta. Only a true bro would have your back while insulting you at the same time.
Goku vs Jiren (Episodes 109-110)
Goku finally meets an opponent that he can’t Super Saiyan his way out of. He runs through all of his power moves from Kaio-ken (x20) to create a spirit bomb but Jiren overpowers him. The Ultra Instinct state debuts in this fight and it’s our first time seeing the main protagonist utterly defeated.
Vegito vs Fused/Fusion/Merged Zamasu (Episode 66)
Both fighters ditch the dance and use Potaran earrings to fuse for an epic battle. When used, the merge only last for an hour but can be permanent if you’re a Supreme Kai. Vegito gets their ass handed to them for the most part but then Future Trunks barges in to save the day and slice through the enemy.
Super Saiyan Blue Vegeta vs Golden Frieza
By now, you should realize that Vegeta is devoid of chill and always looks like he’s about to pop a vessel. In this case though, he’s got more than enough reason to rage against Frieza. The dude killed his father after all. After Vegeta transforms, he walks slowly toward Frieza as the latter spams him with every attack in the book. And Vegeta just keeps on trucking with zero fucks given before dealing a devastating blow to the poor sap. Now, that’s badass!
Super Saiyan Blue Goku vs Hit (Episodes 38-40)
We believe the best fights in the series are the ones where fighters give it their all. Hit advises Goku to concede but instead, our hero transforms into his Super Saiyan Blue mode and boosts his power using kaio-ken (x10). But Hit, who’s got the OP time-skip ability (that makes him evade attacks easily), was able to hold his own until Goku KO’ed him with a kamehameha.
Goku and Future Trunks vs Zamasu and Goku Black
What’s better than your usual Dragon Ball fight? A tag-team wrasslin’ tournament, of course! With the amount of trash talk in between fighting, we were expecting some chair-throwing to happen. The animation for this episode was fluid and the graphics were so crisp and clear, it’s like our eyeballs were gonna burn from the high-def colored intensity of it all. There’s so much going on in this battle that it’s hard to keep up! You’ve got Future Trunks and Goku Black sword fighting (not that kind) on one side while Goku and Zamasu do hand-to-hand combat. It’s refreshing to see a fight sequence with more variety than your usual punches and ki blasts.
Well played, DBS!