Fans often have a love-hate relationship with Dragon Ball Super. Many feel like it will never live up to Dragon Ball Z, while others love the series for finally giving us female Super Saiyans, alternate universes, and another Vegito appearance, along with new techniques, some better than others.
It also gave fans a constant string of heartbreaks when the animation failed to live up to expectation. Despite the fact that the series was now being produced in a climate that pressured animators more than ever to meet unrealistic deadlines, fans complained about the use of reused frames and off-kilter character models. For the most part, the animation was superb during scenes where it mattered, but there were some points where fans just couldn't remain silent when the animation was off. Here are 10 of the most infamous animation blunders that they did not hesitate to point out.
10 Krillin Shrinks
Krillin has always been a short guy since the end of Dragon Ball. Fans have already come to terms with this fact. What frustrated many, however, was the notable difference in Krillin's height from Dragon Ball Z to Dragon Ball Super.
In Dragon Ball Z, Krillin was shown to stand almost up to Android 18's shoulder, while in Super, he barely made it above her waist. Such a dramatic height change was immediately noticeable to fans, but since Krillin wasn't as central to a lot of the action in Super as he was in Z, fans let this animation inconsistency slide after a few weeks.
9 Pouncing Jiren
Who could forget that iconic day when fans first saw Ultra Instinct in action? It was a day so legendary that fans basically broke Crunchyroll's servers. Towards Super's "Tournament of Power Arc", the animation became a lot more polished and consistent, and Goku's first experience with Ultra Instinct relied on some inventive animation techniques to illustrate just how fast Goku and Jiren were moving.
All in all, this scene looked great, but there was one moment in particular where the proportions were drawn awkwardly. Goku and Jiren clash fists before Goku retreats, with Jiren right on his tail. In the moment where Jiren hovers in the air, reeling back a fist, the Universe 11 fighter looks like a two-year-old scribbled him onto the screen.
8 Reused Frames During the Tournament of Power
The Tournament of Power was the climax of Dragon Ball Super. Everything seen in the series led up to this moment, from being exposed to Gods of Destruction, the Omni-King, and most importantly, alternate universes. For the most part, the moments of the Tournament that mattered the most looked amazing, but there was a ton of reused animation sequences throughout the arc.
Action sequences from the opening were inserted into actual episodes for several fights, including Goku's fight against Bergamo, Vegeta's battle against Ribrianne, and even Goku's duel against Jiren. Frames were reused across multiple episodes as well. An animation of Goku blocking ki blast barrages was used three times. The first was when Goku fought a fit Majin Buu over Hercule's lawn. The second was during Goku's brief fight against Universe 4's Ganos, and the third was during his encounter with Universe 2's Rozie. While the animation did look cool, fans were quick to point out how many times it had been reused.
7 Dog of Destruction Beerus
Fans weren't exactly disappointed by this animation error. In fact, it was almost comical. During the latter half of Episode 82, it became pretty obvious that Beerus, a character whose design and traits were largely inspired by cats, was beginning to resemble a dog. Specifically, fans drew correlations to Beerus's appearance resembling that of one of animation's most famous canines, Scooby Doo.
Now sure, there's been lots of instances where characters were drawn off-model in this series, but this one was surprising for obvious reasons. It's a good thing this error was corrected in later episodes, or else fans would've created "God of Destruction Scooby" wallpapers to complement their Ultra Instinct Shaggy memes.
6 Skinny Characters
One thing that fans were quick to point out, especially in forums, was the fact that many characters were looking like they'd lost a bit of weight: specifically characters like Tien, Krillin, Gohan, Goku, and Vegeta. Pictures of Tien's shoulders back in Dragon Ball Z compared to his shoulders in the "Golden Frieza Arc" began to populate the internet. This change in character design lines up with the fact that Akira Toriyama wanted Goku's new transformations to be more subtle than before.
When we got muscular powerhouses like Jiren or God of Destruction Toppo, it became harder to take their physiques for granted. Sure, a part of Dragon Ball Z's appeal was these larger than life characters with muscles on muscles, but Dragon Ball Super just decided to go a different route with how it decided to portray characters that we hadn't seen in action for over a decade.
5 Hit Versus Goku: A Fight to Remember?
The animation during the rematch between Goku and Hit often portrayed both characters as ovular, round shapes, and many fans were frustrated with how rushed the animation looked in what should have been a really significant moment.
Overall, it was a good episode that added to the rivalry between Goku and Hit, but it was clear that Toei Animation was diverting the majority of their manpower to the next arc. Still, knowing now that this fight was the last between Goku and Hit that fans would get for several months afterward is enough to make fans wish that Toei had pulled out all the stops for this one.
4 A Botamo Blunder
Botamo was the very first warrior from Universe 6 that fans got to see in action in Dragon Ball Super. Though one glance was more than enough to tell that he was a gag character, fans at least expected his fight against Goku to have decent animation.
There was a good amount of improvement in the quality of animation in comparison to Goku's fight with Frieza, but still, the animation here was stiff and lackluster. Much of Goku's barrage of punches against Botamo had been recycled, and despite Goku's punches having no effect on Botamo, it didn't look like he was placing any real merit behind his attacks in the first place.
3 Frieza Versus Goku: Better the First Time
When Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' was released, fans were impressed by the quality of animation. They were excited to see Dragon Ball Super's take on the events of the film, and to everyone's disappointment, the animation was horrible during Frieza and Goku's rematch.
There are way too many animation sins to summarize in this entry, but overall, the animation looked clunky and concrete, which only made the poor fight choreography stand out. The animation improved a bit during the epic beatdown that Vegeta gave to his former master, but overall, it made Frieza's second-coming feel pretty insignificant.
Towards the end of Dragon Ball Super's infamous Episode 5, after Goku's first loss against Beerus, King Kai telepathically communicates with Vegeta, warning him of Beerus's impending arrival. Vegeta sits up, and his face looks really... odd.
Gone in an instant are the dynamic nuances in his facial expressions. We're left with a creepy version of Vegeta that almost makes us wish that Goku hadn't convinced Krillin to let him live all those years ago.
1 Goku and Beerus, A Sight for Sore Eyes
Perhaps if the animation for Dragon Ball Super's fifth episode had been cleaned up, fans wouldn't have been so eager to dissect every frame of Goku and Beerus's first encounter. There were continuous moments where Goku was drawn horribly, his features distorted sometimes beyond recognition. The outrage around this episode was so great, that Toei Animation corrected many of the errors in the Blu-ray release of this episode, but the damage had been done.
Fans remained critical of every episode since then. Norihiro Hayashida, producer of Dragon Ball Kai and Resurrection 'F', claimed that new animators were responsible for these mediocre animations, but the ever-increasing time crunch for animators is also to blame.