Granolah went and Gon’d himself. I was pretty confident that the miniature Cerealian Dragon wasn’t going to be able grant Granolah’s wish to become the strongest fighter in the universe without come kind of wrinkle. I mean, it just seemed too easy. I am kind of surprised that this wasn’t a slightly more prolonged process though as we’re already finding a route to a collision between the newly empowered sniper and our Saiyan heroes.
The solution to Granolah’s problem is something we haven’t seen in Dragon Ball before. While this dragon can’t grant his wish to take him beyond his own latent potential, he offers a trade instead. It’s an interesting concept and leans more in the Monkey’s Paw or Deal with the Devil type direction, in that you will get what you want but not without a price.
And as the the first line in this post would imply, the price for Granolah to overcome Freeza comes at a very steep price indeed. To become the most powerful being in the universe, he must give up all but three of the remaining years of his 200 year lifespan. Which is a significant price to pay for power, but way more than enough time for this entire arc to play out. Plus, Meerus came back after being literally erased from existence, so you’ll have to forgive me if this “steep cost” doesn’t feel as lofty as, say, Kurapika’s self imposed nen rules in HxH.
I’m just going to keep brining up Hunter Hunter, because like when Gon gives up his nen for all the power he’ll ever have, Granolah get’s a wicked new hairstyle to go along with his new power. It’s like a glamorous version of Super Saiyan 3, it’s just too bad he cuts it almost right away.
In a curious parallel, Vegeta is learning the basics of manipulating destruction energy from Beerus, being able to totally erase something from existence, the resulting release of energy causing a massive explosion afterwards. At this early stage, it seems Vegeta is only able to destory a tiny pebble. Something he is quite proud of. In the very next scene though, where Granolah’s luscious locks are first revealed, he lifts a huge boulder into the air and blows it up using a similar looking technique to Beerus’s destruction.
The dragon made a point to mention that Granolah wouldn’t as strong as the God’s in the universe, and yet it does seem to me that he is using destruction energy at a pretty high level here. And it seems to have gone to his head slightly, as he boasts to Monaito that nobody can oppose him now. Although the elder Namekian echos a line very similar to what Whis says to Goku and Vegeta: that you never know when someone stronger might show up to challenge you.
It makes me wonder how strong Granolah actually is now. Is he stronger than both Goku and Vegeta as they are right now, or are the Saiyans technically outside of the universe proper seeing as they are both on Beerus’s world as this happens. Although even if that were the case, Broly is still in the universe. And he’s proven himself to be no slouch.
Although if this arc goes the way I seem to think it’s going to go, then Granolah is indeed stronger than Goku and Vegeta at this very moment and his misguided quest for revenge is going to cause him to kick their asses on his way towards Freeza. And it’s already about to happen considering both Whis seems aware of what has happening on planet Cereal and the Heeter gang end the chapter by planning on putting Granolah on a direct interaction course with Goku and Vegeta to take care of him.
Which is the bulk of the rest of the chapter. Granolah crashes back into Elec’s base and demands to know where Freeza is, getting into a fight with his boys in the process. Even once again using what appears to be a destruction technique, although this time one similar to the one Goku tried to use on Zamazu, turning a boulder into a pile of sand. Which is enough for Elec to agree to find Freeza, although it will take time.
Once Granolah is gone, the Heeters discuss whether they’re actually going to help Granolah or not. Elec says no because Granolah will just take over from Freeza once he kills him. The thing that doesn’t make any sense to me about that is that Granolah himself revealed he only has three years to live. If the Heeters do want to take control of Freeza’s army, surely just waiting three years to fill the power vacuum is a better plan that whatever they were scheming on their own.
Either way, the chapter ends with the stage being set with a conflict between the Saiyans and Granolah. Because as Granolah’s dreams have shown us, when he has nightmares of the destruction of his home, it’s not Freeza’s face he sees, it’\s that of a Saiyan great ape.
There’s a lot of insetting character setup going on here. In the previous chapter, Beerus talked about Vegeta letting go of his regrets and guilt over his own past actions and the past actions of his people if he wants to master destruction energy, maybe it’s because Granolah’s mind is filled with thoughts of nothing but destruction that he seems to also wield the power so expertly. Now Vegeta will come face to face with a victim of the very thing he is trying to atone for. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes if the writer’s don’t fluff the character work like they normally do.
Additionally, Granolah himself is an interesting character. While he is being setup as the antagonist, he is not a bad guy (yet). If anything he wants justice for the death of his people, even if he is getting a whole lot of vengeance mixed into his justice in the process. It’ll also be interesting to see if Freeza even factors into this arc and how he will react to Granolah and his power.
Super has constantly done this thing where it seems like it wants to focus on Vegeta, give him some growth and time in the spotlight, but when push comes to shove, he seems to fall over at the finish line in order for Goku to finish things off… eventually. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes and how Beerus will react to someone else from his universe using destruction energy at such a scale.