5 Point Discussions – Dragon Ball Super Episode 111

by Sage Ashford

The battle between Jiren and Goku is over, but the battle between Jiren and Hit has just begun!  But can even the time-stopping assassin stand a chance against a warrior whose strength surpasses the gods?! Remember, if you enjoy 5 Point Discussions, be sure to share this on Facebook and Twitter, and if you have any questions or comments hit me up @SageShinigami!

1. As expected, that eerie scene from the end of 109 turned out not to be Frieza deciding to say screw it and killing off Goku. Instead, we have a bit of a callback to the Namek Saga, where Goku imbued Frieza with a bit of energy in order to help him escape Namek. Super’s been fairly decent about balancing the nostalgia with legitimately new moments–we opened things up with an adaptation of the “Battle of the Gods” storyline, but then the next arc was bringing Frieza back to relevance again. And this tournament in particular has been a mix of both, bringing back some characters who honestly haven’t been relevant since Dragon Ball and letting them play integral roles in the development of this fight–Krillin, Roshi, and Tien alike haven’t mattered this much since they were fighting Goku in the Tenkaichi Budokai.

At any rate, it’s weird that Frieza’s been so “helpful” this tournament. Thus far he’s three-for-three helping Goku and his son–taking out the Yardrat alien that was giving Gohan a proper beatdown, offering Goku energy for the spirit bomb, and now partially healing Goku. I typically enjoy redemption arcs, but this is gross–Frieza is Space Hitler–you can’t redeem someone who blew up Vegeta’s homeworld, and I really hope that’s not where this is headed. They try to write it off by saying Frieza basically healed him because Goku has the best chance at figuring out how to beat Jiren, but that’s still a little too close to team-work for my liking.

2. Though they’ve referenced the Nameks of Universe 6 before, this episode is the first time we’ve actually seen them do anything to my knowledge. While Goku watched Jiren and Hit’s battle from the sidelines, he nearly found himself getting eliminated once again as the Nameks snuck behind him and attacked, only for Piccolo and Gohan to block for him. That fight will play out next episode, where we’ll hopefully start to see the differences between the Nameks of Universe 6 and those of Universe 7. I want Piccolo to give them both a quick thrashing, but that would just mean the Nameks still suck overall, since Piccolo hasn’t been counted as a heavyweight in Dragon Ball stories since he fought Android 17. I’m also wondering why Gohan keeps flipping back and forth between his normal self and “Mystic”, because that was never a thing which should’ve been a power-up, but don’t mind me–I’m just looking for internal consistency in Dragon Ball. Which is probably about as difficult as finding the actual Dragon Balls.

3. This episode’s main event was Hit vs. Jiren. I’ve had a problem with Hit since his first appearance, when he got stronger and started beating Goku because “he’d never thought about getting stronger before”. That kind of fanfiction logic never sat well with me, so I was hoping he’d get stomped this episode. And that’s exactly what happened, but they still did some cool things with Hit, showing that he’s changed since his battle during the first tournament, developing different ways to use his time-stop abilities. He can store his “skipped time” and hide himself in a pocket dimension. He can stop localized time around other people. These were some really cool techniques that helped underscore why Hit was literally the strongest person on the field, but none of it was enough. After freezing Jiren in place with the plan of holding him for the remaining 24 minutes of the tournament, Hit ultimately couldn’t win out in a battle of wills or pure energy, and was knocked out of the ring with a combo punch and ki blast.

And just like that, Universe 11’s cemented itself as the team to beat, with Jiren deciding that the remaining people in the tournament are so weak they aren’t even worth his strength, leaving them to Dyspo and Toppo.

4. With Goku out of action, this episode actually left a lot of the focus to the characters in other universes. Piccolo and Gohan stopped the Nameks from attacking Goku, and Vegeta battled Ribrianne, but for the most part we got to see things from the perspeective from everyone else, and it did the show wonders. With all of 7’s weaker fighters already eliminated, the majority of the rest of the team is given to taking things lightly. Goku and Vegeta are battle maniacs who will do anything for a “tense battle”, even risk being tossed out of the arena. Android 17 and 18 are cocky bastards no matter how developed they are. And while Gohan seems like he’s taking things seriously, his “Mystic power-up” isn’t supposed to use additional energy so he’s fighting with a limiter on seemingly for no reason other than it’s fun?

Meanwhile, every other fighter on the field is doing everything they can. Ribrianne nearly loses hope in the face of Jiren’s massive power, and has to be inspired to believe in love again by her best friend. The Saiyans of Universe 6 ponder fighting alongside Hit to help him beat Jiren. There are even several random sneak attacks in the episode, as people try to eliminate as many people as possible as the numbers gradually dwindle. It’s the exact tension this kind of tournament–one not just for your life, but for the life of everyone you’ve ever known or could hope to know, should have.

5. Next Episode: Universe 6’s Cabba goes up against Universe 4’s Monna! Meanwhile, Gohan and Piccolo face off against the Namekians of Universe 6! Cabba seems like he’s in trouble, but Vegeta comes to his rescue! Will it be enough? Find out on the next episode of Dragon Ball Super!

It’s a bit weird that Vegeta’s helping Cabba out, but not especially? As a Prince who saw his planet destroyed decades ago, he probably misses the kinship that comes from having another race. Even if he can’t be Prince, being able to help the people of his race probably provides a sense of belonging and satisfaction that’s been missing in his life for years. Also, judging by the way things are going in the preview, there’s a good chance that by the end of episode 112 we’ll be in the 20s for remaining fighters. With Jiren now considering everyone else in the tournament beneath him, the rest of this tournament just might play out normally! I was still thinking he would just eliminate most of the remainder with a power-up or something, but it’s seeming like that might not be the case.

Dragon Ball Super is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.