It’s been a few chapters since I talked about the Dragon Ball Super Manga. I’d been pretty busy, but in the meantime Dragon Ball forged forward and now I’ve got three whole chapters I need to talk about. And my traditional nit picking aside, this is some of the best new Dragon Ball content since the series started again in 2015.
In age old Dragon Ball tradition, as we lead up to the final confrontation with this arc’s major villain: Moro. Goku and Vegeta are nowhere to be seen, leaving our supporting characters a chance to get in on the action. But for a change, they’re not getting as outmatched as they usually are.
In these episodes we’re introduced to one of Moro’s more dangerous criminal henchmen; Seven-Three. An alien android who looks like a combination of Hit and Freeza. Unique in that he can copy the power and ability of anyone he grabs by the neck. It makes for a tense standoff on Earth between him and Piccolo, who gets jobbed out once again.
The one reason this doesn’t bother me that much is because it’s a major contribution to the great “Salvaging Gohan Foundation”. Gohan shows up to save Piccolo and actually does work, for the first time since the Super Buu saga. Only for him to get tricked by Seven-Three’s surprise reveal that he has attained a copy of Moro’s energy draining power.
While it’s another case of Gohan getting done over, I can kind of forgive it here due to it being the very same power that managed to defeat both Goku and Vegeta twice. It’s interesting to me that the main villain here continues to get the better of our heroes not through power creep, but simply because he has a unique ability they cannot deal with.
Speaking of which, we get to visit both Goku and Vegeta in their training. On Goku’s end, we follow him trying to rediscover the ability to access Ultra Instinct. Which at this point still feels like the absolute plateau when it comes to power in the Dragon Ball world. To get there, Goku has the perfect training partner, as we learn the true nature of Meerus, which shoot down pretty much all complaints I have had regarding the character.
He’s an angel in training. Training for what exactly, it’s difficult to say considering every universe already has its own angel assigned to it. But Meerus might never get that far considering he is coming dangerously close to breaking the biggest law of angel-kind: interring with mortal affairs.
Thanks to Whis’s intervention, Meerus never actually breaks these rules and is merely reprimanded by Whis rather than getting outright erased, which is the punishment for Angels breaking these laws. Thus he is whisked away before Goku can finish his training with the demi angel. His actual progress left off panel for us to discover at a later date. While I don’t really want to see Goku really get Ultra Instinct again this soon after the Tournament of Power, it would be cool if there was some half step form he can use very sparingly in the coming battle.
Surprisingly, it’s Vegeta who seems to be getting the more traditional power boost from “realigning his spirit” with the Yardratians. This gets shown off as the planet is invaded by more of Moro’s minions, including a member of Zarbon’s race, who is made short work of by Vegeta, who has become surprisingly soft in this arc, allowing the minions the chance to escape before they eventually destroy themselves.
I’m interested to see Vegeta get a new and unique power all his own from this training. While it would be very useful for him to learn instant transmission, it’s kind of uninteresting from a storytelling perspective. Vegeta has always seemed pretty utilitarian in terms of his powers and techniques, so him getting something very different from his traditional arsenal would be very cool.
My thoughts going forward is that I hope the battle with Moro is more tactical and cautious in its approach. While Goku and Vegeta might not have the straight power advantage anymore, his ability to drain power from people near to him makes him a very dangerous opponent, and I hope that gets taken into account for the final battle which seems to be fast approaching.
If it turns into just another brawl I will be pretty disappointed with the conclusion to this arc, unless of course the execution is outstanding. Dragon Ball has more and more become a straight clashing of raw powers, especially since Super. So for the series to take a step back down the tactics and martial arts route that it started with would be a very welcome change for me.
I guess we’ll see what happens next when the next chapter drops later today.