This, what I assume to be the climactic battle of this arc, seems pretty predictable to me all things being considered. Which isn’t always a bad thing, but I’m really of two minds with Dragon Ball Super and how by the book it wants to end up being. Toriyama was traditionally a pretty subversive storyteller. But when it comes to the climax of his more recent story arcs, the later in life he gets, the more it feels like we can see it coming.
Thanks to the revelations of the previous chapter, we now all know that the Heeters are confirmed as big bad for arc. So, for all those of you hoping they could be an ongoing part of the Dragon Ball storyline going forward are a bit out of luck. They’re probably all going to die in the next few chapters.
Immediately following this flashback the Saiyans and the Cerealian have stopped fighting one another. The Heeter’s response plan to this is to go right into “massacre”. Elec’s schemes are close enough to fruition at this point that he thinks, “sod it” let’s drop the pretence and just kill all of them while they’re broken and worn out.
I get this weirdl Jack Nicholson Joker vibes from Elec. He is all over Gas, stroking his ego and almost like he’s grooming him to continue being his perfect little attack dog. While Gas is quietly confident in his own power, he is also obviously pretty obedient to Elec. Who I’m certain doesn’t give a crap about any of the other Heeter’s and would happily throw them to the wolves at a moment’s notice to further his own ambition.
Back at the battlegrounds, Granolah is taking the news that he’s been working for his mother’s murderer for the past few decades about as well as you’d expect. He sure is an angry boy. With this explanation comes what I feel like is a vital tidbit of information:
Vegeta asks whether Bardock managed to defeat Gas. To which we learn he did, and as a followup, the Namekian tells us that Gas was actually very strong, and yet Bardock managed to beat him. Despite being a lower class warrior. The details behind this defeat ended up getting cut off by the sky darkening at the summoning of the Dragon.
Whatever this information we were denied was, I feel like it’s going to be instrumental towards defeating him again. And personally, I’m hoping in my heart of hearts that it ends up being something really goofy that ends up doing him in.
The manga wastes no time in showing us Elec collecting the second Dragon Ball and making his wish on the Cerealian Dragon mysteriously off-panel. Something else I feel like is going to be vital in the future of this story. Don’t forget; in order to gain his huge strength, Granolah needed to sacrifice all but three remaining years of his centuries-long lifespan.
We have to assume that Elec would have made some kind of bargain in order for Gas to achieve power that surpasses that of even Granolah. Here’s the thing though, we don’t know what kind of bargain Elec made. Whether is was the same one Granolah made, or an even harsher one.
Here’s the other thing; historically, when a wish has been made on a Dragon that affects another person, that person seems to have some amount of autonomy in whether that wish is allowed to happen. My example; when the gang tried to use the Dragon Balls to wish Goku back to Earth following the end of the Freeza Saga, Goku refused to come to Earth. Presumably, he was undergoing spirit control training on Yardrat at the time.
Using that logic, Gas would have had to okay the wish for it to happen to him, especially if there was a caveat. BUT, I would be willing to bet money that for the purposes of this story; Gas has no idea there is a downside to the wish Elec has targeted him with. Because since when has Dragon Ball ever been bothered about consistency before. Especially when it comes to wishes on those damned balls.
If I had to guess. I could easily see the direction this story going being Elec showing his true colours and betraying Gas in some fashion, admitting he is little more than a tool or something to that effect. Making Gas into more of a sympathetic character and not the villain we think. Because honestly, Gas doesn’t seem like that bad of a guy.
He’s very serious, sure, but other than being subservient to an actual scumbag, he only really seems to care about getting stronger. Which is usually prime real-estate in Goku’s mind. He’s a face turn just there for the picking. He seems very malleable to the influence of others. Which how we shows up above our main trio, looking much taller than he did before.
In an almost Terminator-esque like manner, he descents upon them to finish them off. One thing I’ve enjoyed about this arc, is that the manga has taken great efforts to actually mix up and diversify different character’s fighting styles. Moro started the previous arc with a very unique fighting style, one that kind of went away when he could suddenly overpower his opponents.
In this arc, we’ve seen Goku using Ultra Instinct, Vegeta using the very different Ultra Ego, Granolah focusing on long range and precision attacks and now Gas who seems to have the preferred style of manifesting physical weaponry, either through his Ki or through magic. It’s pretty cool to be honest, his unique look; his flowing hair and robes coupled with his use of weapons makes him a pretty unique seeming fighter. One that proceeds to pick the exhausted Granolah apart.
Meanwhile, off to stage right, Monaito heals Goku to the extent he is able to. And it’s Goku, of all people, who actually comes up with a plan. He tells Vegeta to go and eat the Senzu Bean he had in his discarded armour while he holds off Gas the best he can. Which doesn’t seem to be very long actually.
Vegeta, however, has plans of his own. He flies over to Granolah and all but forces the bean down his throat. I suppose, in some way, Vegeta feels a kindred spiritship with the Cerealian revenger. He knows about grudges and revenge all too well and probably understands, on some level, that Granolah needs to enact vengeance in some form, or else he’ll be chasing after it for the rest of his short life.
I imagine it won’t be satisfying to him. But I’d also imagine it’s better to understand the futility of revenge having gotten it than maybe to live under its shadow for the rest of your life.
I kind of like Granolah being pushed into centre stage for this one. He has kind of been the main character of this arc from the beginning, so having Goku or Vegeta steal the win would just be mean. Although I could probably see that happening as well.
This setup is cool. While it felt like the ending of the previous arc ended up falling into frustratingly familiar ground, there are so many pieces on the board, all of which have their own motivations and unique traits that I’m kind of interested to see where it goes. I want to see how Granolah’s arc ends. I want to see what happens with Gas and if he ends up making a good guy turn.
I want to see if fusion even gets mentioned again at this point. and I really want to see Freeza’s reaction to this whole thing after it has all happened in retrospect. I bet he’s going to love it.