Well, I guess my grand predictions about how this arc was going to play out has hit a little bit of a speed bump right from the get go. But hey, at least things aren’t playing out in a totally predicable manner. For now through, the core of my prediction remains intact. So let’s dig into chapter 58.
Goku has shown up, not last, and saves Krillin from the triple fused prisoner. He seems pretty confident in his ability to defeat Moro now, despite not really knowing just how more powerful the Goat Mage has become in the months since they last fought. He’s even excited about it, which doesn’t seem like the time nor the place, but that’s just Goku for you in a nut shell.
He goes off to mop up the other minions before going to Moro directly.
Elsewhere, Gohan and the gang are still struggling against the empowered Saganbo. While I’m a continued fan of Toyotaro’s treatment of Gohan and Piccolo as this amazing tag team, I’m still kind of bummed neither of them, with the assistance of the androids can deal with this minion, even if he’s getting a power boost from the major villain.
However, this is alleviated slightly by the fact that even when Goku does show up, he has to put fair bit of effort into putting Saganbo down. Especially considering training with Meerus has significantly powered Goku up, even Gohan and Piccolo not able to keep up with his new levels of speed. From here though, we get a reminder of just why Moro is such a uniquely dangerous opponent, as he continues to power up his minion. It reminds me of Spopovich during the Buu saga; a magically empowered minion who keeps getting up despite being knocked down over and over.
Only this time Goku just beats him down over and over. In the end Saganbo’s body can’t take the strain and his body gives out in a rather gruesome way. Leaving nothing standing in the way of the battle between Goku and Moro. I continue to be fascinated by Moro and his array of abilities that make him a truly unpredictable opponent that cannot be defeated by brute force alone. It’s just a shame he has no real personality to speak of, nowhere near the level of charm and/or character that the major villains in original Dragon Ball had.
Before the two come to blows, Moro hints that there is something more to Goku’s power, to which Goku obliges by willingly activating the black haired Ultra Instinct form, now calling it Ultra Instinct Sign, giving it an official distinction in the story itself.
I’m surprised, I didn’t think Ultra Instinct was going to be something Goku to reach again this soon. Although, it’s still just the imperfected form of it. While the anime had solid distinction between the two forms, with the sign being a perfect defensive form, but with bit of a penalty to attacking, the manga never really focused on differentiating the two all that much before Goku actually fought with the mastered version. I wonder if the manga is going to take the same approach with it.
Even if it does though, as perfect as Ultra Instinct’s defence is, Moro’s ability to drain the energy of anything standing on the same planet that he is something Goku still needs to deal with. And ultimately, I don’t think this form of Ultra Instinct is going to be enough to best Moro. I really didn’t think Ultra Instinct was going to be a real factor in this arc. And I continue to worry that the more it does become a factor, the more the writers will find themselves in a corner when it comes to continuing to write a high stakes story.
But we’re not there yet and Goku is ultimately going to lose this fight, I’d bet my lunch on it. Especially considering this is yet another chapter in which Vegeta is totally absent. So you know he’s going to show up again in dramatic fashion. As much as I’d be hyped for the return of Ultra Instinct, as dull as its reveal here actually was, I’m far more excited to see what new powers Vegeta is going to display when he eventually takes the stage.