Dragon Ball Super Manga – Chapter 74: Vegeta vs. Granolah

You just gotta love when a major upcoming moment in a story just gets leaked all over the internet. The potential for clicks and clout is just too enticing not to fill social media with a ton of pictures of spoilers, so much so that avoiding it was utterly unavoidable. I got spoiled on this one before I even knew what I was looking at.

Maybe that’s part of the reason I’m not too enthusiastic about the design of this new form on display during the ending of this chapter.

I’ve been fairly positive about this story arc thus far. I’ve enjoyed Granolah as a character. He’s not a bad guy, he’s just misguided and being manipulated. Deep down he wants to help, but he’s just been twisted by bitterness and revenge.

Since his battle with the Saiyans started though, I’ve started to become a little frustrated with him. It’s something that’s been bugging me about him since he made his wish on the Dragon Balls. Something I’ve really tried to push out of my mind and ignore, but I just don’t think the cost he paid was enough for the amount of power he’s been given.

Granted, the only reason he became this strong was because Goku and Vegeta exist and are as strong as they are. But a wish of a pretty weak set of Dragon Balls allowed Granolah to make a fool out of Goku, who is currently working to increase his control of Ultra Instinct. It seems a bit of a stretch, but at this point, finding anyone who can stand up to the Saiyans is going to be a stretch.

Putting that salt aside for a moment, for the most part I did think this chapter was filled with some good stuff. Once again we find ourself in a situation where Goku has failed and it’s up top Vegeta to swoop in and save the day. Whether he’ll fare better against Granolah than he did against Moro remains to be seen.

As this arc has developed, I’ve found myself curious as to how the story was going to deal with Vegeta’s newly conflicting personal drives. During the Moro arc, he was filled with remorse for not only his own actions against the Namekians, but the history of his people. Then Beerus had told him those feelings would only get in the way of him mastering Destruction energy.

Throwing Vegeta right at the feet of a vengeful survivor, a direct outcome of his own people’s historical actions seemed to be an interesting moral dilemma for the Prince. One Vegeta seems to have grown past off panel… I guess I forget what kind of manga I’m reading here.

Before they start fighting, Vegeta gives Granolah a clear and concise opportunity to see sense. Explaining that neither himself nor Goku work for Freeza, and neither of them were old enough to have anything to do with the destruction of Granolah’s civilisation. Vegeta seems almost pleased to receive the Sniper’s pigheaded reply.

Without splitting his power like he did against Goku, Granolah immediately seems to have the upper hand against Vegeta. He seems pretty smug about it too. I guess he had been dreaming about some sort of catharsis during his revenge, and Goku was never going to be the guy who made you feel justified in taking revenge.

The smugness starts to wipe away though when he encounters a bit of that classic Saiyan charm. While he might have the upper hand in the fight, Vegeta is enjoying himself. Going as far as to tell his opponent that being stronger or faster is no guarantee of victory in a fight.

Vegeta is putting voice to something I constantly find myself getting frustrated about when I’m lurking online and reading people arguing about the outcomes of fights in fiction. Just being stronger isn’t an automatic victory. There are so many other factors at play when it comes to a battle that people always seem to fail to take into account. When it comes to Vegeta himself, he might be on the back foot right now, but he has a bunch of things still going for him.

His actual battle experience vastly out-weights Granolah’s. Also, no matter how much of a survivor the Cerealian is, there’s no way he’s as tenacious as Vegeta. There’s nobody better in the franchise at getting their ass kicked and just refusing to go down. Plus, Vegeta is playing mind games with his opponent, making him angry and thus sloppy. For the first time in a long time, Vegeta is in his element and loving it.

With no people to protect, no planet to defend Vegeta can fight unbound. He even says it himself, it’s his happy place. It really shows the difference between the two. For Granolah, this power was only ever a means to an end. He made his wish to be the strongest and then naively believed that he would remain the strongest while he sat in his ship and waited for the fight to come to him.

All while whatever lead the dragon had given him was slowly chipped away at by Goku, Vegeta and whoever else is out in the galaxy building up their powers. Broly, Freeza, Gas Heeter? Whose to say. It’s like I’ve been saying since he made the wish, Granolah’s title was always going to be something he would eventually lose. As it the nature of Dragon Ball.

Even after taking one of those critical blows that knocked Goku on his ass, Vegeta just laughs it off and feels his Saiyan blood boiling. It’s bubbling over so much so that it actually causes Veegta to Trasnform.

I don’t like it.

It’s those eye brows. I’ve never liked that design element, even when it was present in Super Saiyan 3. And I think it continues to look bad when it’s reused in the Destruction energy equivalent of Ultra Instinct. They haven’t given this form a name yet, but it looms very similar to Ultra Instinct Sign at a glance. Vegeta’s hair remains dark (although we don’t know what colour is is as of yet) and his eyes gain light irises. The only thing that does differentiate it from Sign in black and white are the neanderthal brow.

To be clear, I don’t have any real issue with Vegeta getting his own unique branching form separate from Goku. If anything, I’m pleased about it. I just can’t help but feel those familiar old niggling concerns. I worry that this form will just become too similar to Ultra Instinct, just with a different colour scheme.

I really hope Toyotarou manages to show this form off in action and really keep it distinct from Ultra Instinct. Up until now, I feel like he’s done a pretty good job of making Goku and Vegeta’s fighting styles distinct from one another in the manga. I just hope he continues down that road when this fight continues. I feel like Vegeta should fight more savagely, more animalistic.

I know Beerus fights with that same cool demeanour that Whis does, but if Vegeta continues down the path of cool efficiency in battle, he’s just going to end up looking like he’s using Ultra Instinct. I guess I just need to wait and see where this fight ends up going.

And honestly, I don’t know where this battle is going to go. With the Heeter’s on the board playing with Dragon Ball and all this talk of Freeza, I feel like Granolah is going to be an ally before this arc is over. So I could very easily see Vegeta winning this one. But I could also see Granolah winning and the Saiyans beating a hasty retreat.

With the final few panels of this chapter spoiled for me online, I kind of didn’t feel all too invested in the events of this chapter. I am really excited to see how this fight plays out though and what Vegeta’s new destruction form can actually do.

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