Wow, I’ve done some complaining about struggling to find time to do my normal uploads and my top ten stuff this month. This chapter… it feels like an early Christmas present. Because there’s really not a whole lot for me to talk about: It’s just one big fight.
Which isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s too bad I spend half this post going off on a Mini Essay on some Themes of Dragon Ball Super.
The chapter opens with Elec sipping wine on the deck of his ship, playing every part of master manipulator that he is. One of his minions asks him if he has ever seen an active battlefield, to which Elec responds; ” I don’t want debris falling into my wine.” Which says to me he’s either a coward or a cold pragmatist.
Honestly, I’m more leaning in the direction of the later. Elec comes across as a man who likes to play the odds, and getting closer to the fight will serve no purpose other than to endanger himself and/or distract Gas from his task.
Also, given the unknown cost Gas will have had to paid to become as strong as he is, it might be a topic that Elec himself would rather not share with his empowered minion if he doesn’t have to.
Back at the battle, Goku is playing the role of punching bag while Vegeta all but forces the last Senzu Bean down Granolah’s throat. Upon being healed, Granolah quickly jumps in to save his Namekian friend from Maki and Oil and getting reunited with Oatmeel. Taking to his fight with Gas with a renewed purpose and a much clearer head than he had fighting the Saiyans.
From here, we get into a chapter that is mostly fighting. And it looks great. Once again, it begins with the two combatants using their unique power sets and fighting styles. Granolah using his precise, sniper Ki blasts and Gas manifesting shields and bladed weapons using his Ki/magic.
With the support of Oatmeel giving him advice and warnings, Granolah seems to be more than a match for Gas in the early stages. Avoiding his tricks, traps and Dio style knife showers. As the fight goes on, Vegeta and Goku posset that Granolah has the edge because Gas only just gained his power and isn’t used to it yet.
It’s sound reasoning, although logic that ends up proving to be false. As it turns out, Gas is more of a proud fighter than we could have guessed. Not wanting to use the power granted to him by the Dragon Balls, he’d rather just use the techniques he’d honed himself through his own training. It’s with some visible frustration at his own shortcomings that he starts using the power granted to him by the Dragon.
Which is when the fight starts to turn, with both Granolah and Gas maing full use of powers like Instant Transmission and a power akin to Destruction Energy (something we saw Granolah use shortly after gaining his own power) to continue their fight.
It’s during the fight that Goku makes a comment that broaches a subject that I actually wanted to spend some time talking about. Seeing as how Granolah and Gas are just beating away at other in the background.
Mini Essay on some Themes of Dragon Ball Super
Goku says that the pair are using Instant Transmission while fighting like it’s nothing, despite how hard he worked to learn the technique himself. And it makes me, once again think about how Super has changed the story of Dragon Ball when it comes to power and what it takes to obtain it.
At its core and at the core of Goku’s character, this whole series is one about working hard and achieving self betterment through hard work and perseverance. Both Goku and Vegeta have become as powerful as they have because they’ve worked their asses off throughout their entire lives. Goku’s achieving Ultra Instinct during the Tournament of Power feeling like a huge payoff to his hard work.
But throughout Super, he’s been surrounded by characters who have attained astounding power without really having to work for it anywhere near as hard as he did: Freeza, the Universe 6 Saiyans, Moro and now Granolah and Gas.
I think the one big difference between those last two named and characters like Kelfa and Moro is that both Granolah and Gas did work hard to get stronger throughout their lives. And while they’re the two strongest mortals in the the entire Universe now, I don’t think either of them are all too pleased with what it took to get there.
The story of Dragon Ball Super started off Goku using a ritual to attain Super Saiyan God and commenting to Beerus about how he felt frustrated that it was a power he felt he attained through a cheat. Ignoring the fact that this was far from the first time Goku had been gifted a cheat of a power boost. But in a way, I feel like that’s the core of one of the stories Dragon Ball Super is trying to tell.
Granolah attained his power as a means to an end. He wasn’t interested in being the strongest because he wanted to be the best, it was just a tool he needed to extract his revenge on those that caused the death of his people. Gas, on the other hand, is a character I feel is much closer to the Saiyans based on what little we’ve seen of him.
While he is the stoic lapdog to a villain like Elec, I feel like he is still an honourable individual who does value strength gained through perseverance and hard work. Given how he, like Goku when he attained Super Saiyan God for the first time, is frustrated by the easy path to power and why he tried to combat Granolah using his own power for the first half of the fight.
At a point, I found myself frustrated by how Goku and Vegeta kept coming up against foes that were jumping past them by cheating… but that’s the thing, I realise that since Super has started, that has been one of the core drives of the show. Every antagonist they’ve faced has undergone a different path to power. Some of them have earned it, like Jiren, while most others have not. At least by the values we’ve come to believe throughout the course of the entire Dragon Ball story.
Which leads me to surmise, once again, that Gas isn’t a bad person. Simply, he’s found himself surrounded by bad people that have taken advantage of him. And while both he and Granolah have become supremely powerful now, I feel like both of them are going to realise that it came at a cost too great at some point in this fight, slowly turning it around and putting the focus back on Elec.
This chapter ends with Granolah still having the edge on Gas, but their fight far from over.
I’m surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed this arc and how it has really been a story that focuses on an entirely new character as its protagonist. I’ve really come to like Granolah and really hope this story can come to its climax without any real intervention by Goku and Vegeta.