Goku’s ascension to legitimate godhood is confirmed when Gohan notes that he can’t sense his father’s energy anymore. Whis elaborates saying that mortals can’t sense the energy of gods. Not only does this show the difference between a bona fide god and a powerful being, but it also makes it much more difficult for them to track the progress of the fight once it begins in earnest.
Said fight doesn’t seem to go too well for Goku. He does fare much better than he did in his super saiyan 3 form, but he is still unable to land a hit. At the very least, he is able to withstand hits much better in this new form in that he can actually get back up after getting hit.
This alone seems to please Beerus as he appears to be having quite a bit of fun now that he has the challenger he’s been looking for. It gives the fight a much different tone than the ones seen in Z. Yes, the fate of the world hangs in the balance, but both Beerus and Goku are enjoying themselves so much that it almost seems like an afterthought. Both are far more concerned with the sport of it all than the epic stakes.
Why Goku makes a wager out of it is unclear. They did deliver on their promise to give him a super saiyan god, that alone should have been enough for Beerus to spare the planet. More than that, sparing the Earth would allow Goku to become a regular sparring partner for future battles. Instead of scouring the universe for a worthy adversary, Beerus could have one standing by.
As the fight goes on, Goku does get better as he adjusts to the new form. Not only is he able to better evade Beerus’ attacks, but he starts returning the favor. He even goes so far as to flick Beerus’ head and chop the god’s shoulder, mirroring how Beerus bested him in their last fight. The results aren’t the same, but it amused Goku.
While those on Earth are excited and optimistic about Goku’s new form, the kais are freaking out. They fear that a fight between gods would be incredibly destructive. Oddly enough, both fighters do a good job containing the damage. Even Goku’s amped up kamehameha wave and Beerus’ huge yellow fireball aren’t as catastrophic as you’d think they would be.
Then again, it is made clear that Goku is still holding back and the episode ends with Beerus declaring that the real fight between gods is about to begin.
In true ‘Dragon Ball’ fashion, the episode is largely one big fight scene. It was a pretty good fight, especially as the odds are a bit more even this time around. The rapport between the two was also a major highlight.
On the downside, all of the other characters are sidelined. The only other character moments come from the kais and from Whis, who invites Pilaf and his gang to join him for a meal. It was a nice moment that showcased Whis’ affability, but it isn’t exactly a huge advance in terms of plot or character.
One also has to wonder why Pilaf thought the dragon balls were still on the ship. He saw Shenron being summoned and everyone knows that they scatter after use. It’s an odd continuity gaffe, but it’s a nitpick in the grand scheme of things.
Overall, it was a solid entry. It was action heavy, but it keeps you engaged the whole time. It was good to see someone finally give Beerus a real challenge and seeing the two fighters enjoying it makes it easy for the viewer to do the same.