I feel like this chapter is a perfect exemplifier of both what has been great about the storytelling in Dragon Ball Super, and also why it’s been so bad at times. There a sense of a status quo about Super that was definitely not there during Dragon Ball’s original run. I am enjoying it in the moment to moment of reading it, but I feel like this kind of thing is harmful to the story in the long run. If it wants to have a long run.
The chapter begins with one of the most badass stare-downs I’ve seen in this series, as Goku and Moro struggle to pace towards one another through the pressure of their own auras. It’s badass as hell, and unfortunately, something that already doesn’t sit right for me after taking one step back from it.
Already, it seems like Toyotaro and Toriyama have done away with the calm and tranquil aspects of the Ultra Instinct that made it so cool and hype in the first place. All of that as gone well out of the window as Goku looks pissed as all hell. I really didn’t want Ultra Instinct to come back into the story so soon after it was introduced, because I knew that this exact thing would happen.
The fight is cool though. As predicted though, it looks like Goku is still no match for Moro, who has consumed who knows how many planet’s worth of energy at this point. While Meerus watches on, giving off major shades of Shin right here, having totally miscalculated the scale of what was going on in this battle. And Whis points out that Goku is most likely going all out and hoping for the best, as that is often the time when he and Vegeta manage to pull something new out of the bag.
Speaking of Vegeta, it seems like he has finally mastered whatever new technique he was learning on Yardrat, and asks them to teleport him to Earth so he can join the fight. Hilariously, they cannot. Due to the not before mentioned rule that they don’t want to use Instant Transmission to leave their own planet. Which seems like it puts a damper on one of the coolest things about the power. And besides, they don’t have a power signature to lock onto anyway, with Goku’s Ki being unreadable to ungodly beings as he’s currently in Ultra Instinct.
Thus we find ourselves in a situation where Vegeta is trapped on Yardrat, thus demands he be taught Instant Transmission fast so he can join the fight. I only wish it was something he’d actually hang onto.
Meanwhile, Goku is getting his ass kicked. And it’s at this point that I truly I lament the loss of Ultra Instinct as this cool and unique power. It just seems have been relegated to another level of transformation at this point, all of the dodging and calmness gone as Goku seems to be bulkier as the fight goes on, and I don’t think he dodged a single blow. And it seems like whatever boost Goku got from UI is wearing off fast and his power is dropping by the second.
Something Meerus is in agony about. And Whis calmly reminds him that, as angels, they cannot take sides nor meddle in mortal affairs. That is the job of the Supreme Kai and the God of Destruction. Speaking of which, Beerus seems to not care in the slightest about what’s going on within his universe. It’s weird, Beerus was first introduced as this unpredictable, fickle character who seems to act on a whim, since then he’s shown to have some amount of humanity and care for his universe, specifically those who live on Earth.
But not during this story. While I’m not upset to see Beerus return to the force of unknown that he was when we first met him, for him to return to this state here for the sake of this plot seems a pretty sharp turnaround.
Back on Earth, the fight is about up for Goku, and now it just becomes a matter of buying time, although those on Earth don’t know they’re waiting for Vegeta to arrive. Thus the Androids show up to battle Moro, immune to his trademark absorption technique, but at this point they pale in comparison to him in terms of raw power.
Meanwhile, Vegeta does manage to get down Instant Transmission in a matter of minutes. Because of course he does, but then goes and says something about only having to do it once, and being fine if he can never do it again. And if that’s the case, then boo. I don’t want Dragon Ball to stick to status quo, let Vegeta retain this move, give us some forward progress, making it so things return to how they were before was never what Dragon Ball was about before Super, I worry that that’s all Super is at times.
The chapter ends with Vegeta showing up and throwing all kinds of smack in everyone’s direction before transforming into Blue Evolved and going at Moro. I’m looking forward to seeing what the hell the next chapter has in store, although I’m very doubtful this is going to be as one sided as Vegeta fans might want. I still think Meerus is going to pop up again at some point and this is going to be a team effort.
I am happy Vegeta is getting some much deserved hype after all these years, but I’m kind of sad it had to come at the expense of Ultra Instinct. I know that Sign is an incomplete form, but it kind of feels like only a matter of time before White haired Goku just becomes the new Super Saiyan 8. It’s almost becoming a series of self parody at this point.
As this story goes on, I find myself more and more deflated that, even with all these new factors introduced into this story; Ultra Instinct, Moro’s Magic, Meerus’s unique style of fighting, it all just boils down to a brawl in the end. The longer Super goes on, the less it feels like it wants to stretch the envelope and doe something truly new and different. And at that point, I start to wonder if continuing the story is even worth it if it’s just going to be for the sake of nostalgia.