5 Point Discussions: Dragon Ball Super 123

by Sage Ashford

The battle between Universe 7 and Universe 11 rages on! Which of the two universes will come out on top?! Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.

1. Ugh. These little guys would be so cute if they weren’t wiping out trillions of people in mere minutes. I’m still thinking they wish every universe back, but in the meantime these kids are joking around about how cool all the fights look and it irks me. But maybe they’re just commentary on the viewer? Like, these characters are literally putting their lives on the line and all we can do is quote the lines we find cool and point out how awesome the pretty colored lights are.

2. Say what you want about Dragon Ball Super or this arc in general, but it’s certainly forced everyone involved to really turn it up a notch in terms of their techniques. We’re a long way away from the days where the most impressive thing to happen in a battle was a Kamehameha wave timed at the right moment. (That’s still going to be the thing that finishes it off though, no doubts there.) Goku, as the Ultimate Move Thief, has taken a page from a former Pride Trooper and littered the field with energy mines–taking advantage of his Instant Transmission to stay just outside of the range of Jiren, to cover the field with them so he can use the off chance he finds Jiren off guard as an opening.

Granted, it doesn’t work, and I’m not sure why he thought it might: Jiren is a part of the exact same team of the dude who first thought that technique up. Surely he would have run into it by now already?

Still, he doesn’t stop there. I’m not the biggest Goku fan, but you have to give him this: he can recognize when a technique is useful and worth using. During his showdown with Jiren, he copies Krillin’s Destructo Disc Hexa Drive technique, distracting Jiren with multiple razor-sharp ki blasts at once, while making a single one dice up the pillar they’re fighting on. A well-timed kick punts Jiren off the field, which gives an idea of just how dangerous Goku realizes Jiren is. Rather than try to simply beat him in a one-on-one, he tries to eliminate him instead because it’s the best way to be the last one standing.

3. Hot Take: I don’t think they should beat Jiren.

That sounds absurd, I know–the main characters are always supposed to win right? But everything they’ve set up about him says he’s supposed to be this impossible wall that neither Goku or Vegeta should surpass, and certainly not in this tournament. He defeated Hit, someone Goku couldn’t even match up to the first time he faced him, with absolutely zero effort. Here he is catching Destructo Discs with his bare hands and crushing them like it’s nothing.

Most importantly? When was the last time Goku discovered a new power DURING battle and proceeded to be defeated? Ultra Instinct’s first appearance was months ago and Jiren tanked that and smacked Goku down without even trying. No one’s EVER done that before, and frankly that should be the flag that this isn’t the guy that should just go down because we’re used to the protagonists always winning with relative ease. Plus Jiren’s said to be more powerful than a God of Destruction, a level that the creators have said they have no intention of Goku and Vegeta surpassing any time soon. So did that just go out the window? C’mon.

Jiren seems to be just as obsessed with justice and heroism as any other member of his team, so if that’s the case then just let them both lose. Universe 11 can be the winners, and after they’re all blinked out of existence they come back in what seems like seconds later, after Jiren wishes all the universes to return–including the six that were erased before, so suddenly there’s seventeen other universes available to explore. Granted, I know better than this–we’re only a few short episodes away from Goku eliminating Jiren, but…it’s nice to dream, right?

4. Last week I said Vegeta was clearly the main character at this point, and here we are. To surpass his limits, Vegeta has a flashback to a promise made to his friend and student, Cabba. He’s actually fighting for something more than just his pride for the first time in his life, and doing so immediately unlocks a new level of Super Saiyan Blue. Now this is some anime nonsense, but at least it allows him to fight at the same level as Goku for now. Still, hopefully when this is over Vegeta realizes the power of wanting to protect and save people and just gives in to the idea of it all. I mean, characters in this world have reached incredible heights for years because their desire to help those they cared about took them there–Vegeta has to see that this is easier than constantly destroying his body, right?

Sidenote: Super would be so much better if everyone attained unique power-ups of their own, a la Yu Yu Hakusho. Gohan has Mystic, Vegeta should master Super Saiyan Blue, and Goku can have Ultra Instinct. Individuality is a large part of why I personally prefer other shonen series…instead of everyone with Saiyan blood goes SSJ while the rest are left in the dust; let them gain their own powers.

5. Next Episode: Vegeta and Goku both have let their powers rise to never-before-seen heights! But…Jiren is only now taking the battle seriously?! Uh-oh! Meanwhile, Gohan and Frieza team up to take on the speedster of Justice, Dyspo? But will it be enough? Seven minutes remain in the Tournament of Power…

There’s apparently only seven episodes left in this arc, which will bring us to episode 130 in the beginning of March. Episode summaries exist up to episode 126 though, and it looks like things are going to go at a stalemate for quite sometime. I get the sense that the finale of this is going to end pretty quickly with the eliminations. Still, if they can keep the level of intensity up they had here this will easily finish as Super’s best arc yet.

Dragon Ball Super is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.

Sage Ashford

A writer with way too many hobbies, Sage can often be found catching up on the latest anime, or reading a stack of comics between Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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