A rollercoaster of emotions.
Warning: The following review contains spoilers for the episode.
Episode 127 opens on Jiren powering up and promptly laying into our heroes with vicious attacks and near-death inducing ki blasts. For all the great action though, Episode 127, unfortunately, mishandles what could have been intense emotional moments and delivers unsatisfying backstories.
Responding to Jiren’s force, the remaining Universe 7 fighters team up for some great action. At no point did the animation feel lacking. Even with so many characters and explosions happening at once, the brawl was easy to follow. Super has wisely made sure that each person’s ki-related abilities have a signature color, a far cry from the days of nothing but the yellow glow of Super Saiyan’s everywhere.
Frieza, ever determined to be the victor, again was a highlight of the episode. Frieza’s descent into madness over his inability to take out Jiren has made for a great side story. Now, after multiple failures, he’s throwing the rules out the dimensional window when he tries to flat out kill Jiren. Of course, Frieza fails, and he will surely wake up from his latest knockout even angrier than ever. Frieza will always be a villain, but the Tournament of Power arc has done an impressive job making this evil character worth rooting for.
Android 17 was the true hero of the episode. He was an integral part of the fight against Jiren, managing to even injure Jiren with a surprise attack. His clever emotional manipulation was something I would completely expect from this once villain turned hero as well. However, for all the great things 17 has done in the Tournament of Power, his exit was poorly executed. After discovering his own inner humanity, Android 17 sacrifices himself in order to save Goku and Vegeta. The idea that saving Goku and Vegeta so they can rest for 20 more seconds seems like a stretch to begin with, but it was how quickly they moved on from the death that was truly upsetting. Android 17 was reluctant to join the tournament in the first place, and only did so after considerable convincing from Goku. Now he’s killed himself just to protect Goku and Vegeta, and other than Android 18, it seemed like there was little concern over the loss of him. Due to his massive impact on the tournament, and the fact he is now dead (not simply knocked out of the tournament), more time should’ve been given to appreciate the severity of the moment.
Jiren’s backstory was finally revealed but in the most unenjoyable way possible. Having a side character spend several minutes recounting his past is not a good way to deliver information. It was painfully dull and involved little interaction with Jiren himself. Even worse, though, is that Jiren’s backstory simply wasn’t good. This almighty warrior, who seems to battle on a level above the gods, is this strong because his parents were murdered? It’s an incredibly weak excuse for such a powerful character and did virtually nothing to make him more interesting.