Goku, Vegeta, and Android 17 battle Jiren to determine the final survivor of the universe! But when one member of the team falls defending the others, how will they go on? 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. With the final only a few weeks away, the show has to begin the process of nerfing Jiren to make it actually feasible to beat him. He’s still looking unstoppable at the moment, but the cracks are finally beginning to appear in the armor. We start this episode with the three remaining fighters that are actually capable of moving: Goku, Vegeta (somehow), and Android 17, going head to head with Jiren in a three-on-one battle. Jiren easily brushes the lot of them aside over and over, until finally Vegeta gets shockingly old-school and rushes in with an attack that isn’t well thought out at all. 17 defends him, giving him a bit more room to attack alongside Goku, who surprises Jiren with an Instant Transmission Kamehameha wave…that Jiren just freaking uppercuts out of his way.
If nothing else, Jiren has provided us with the ultimate OP Gary Stu character for Dragon Ball’s multi-verse. In any case, after Vegeta and Goku distract Jiren long enough, Android 17 rushes in with a surprise attack that hits Jiren hard enough that it actually leaves some damage on him. Now whatever training 17 did clearly raised him to a level above anything the other Z Warriors besides Goku and Vegeta have to offer…but unlike those two, he doesn’t have any techniques or an inexplicable ability to manifest power-ups whenever necessary. Whatever strength he came to the Tournament with is what he has now, and alone that’s been unable to do any damage to even Toppo, nevermind Jiren. They’re never able to replicate that damage, but even being able to scratch him is a sign of where the story’s headed from here on.
2. For whatever reason, Frieza makes an attempt to jump into a fight between a bunch of real ones. He threatens to kill Jiren, but the idea he could even scratch Jiren is comedy, and so he gets dismissed in seconds. I’m sincerely hoping he doesn’t win the tournament for everyone, since he’s yet to be eliminated and just briefly pops up only to get smacked somewhere else and forgotten about.
3. Delivered in the most hamfisted way possible, Universe 11’s God of Destruction Belmod tells us Jiren’s origin story this episode. It’s very much a broad strokes sort of deal, but essentially some evil jerk killed Jiren’s parents so he trained with a guy who saves him, tried to fight the villain with help and the villain killed his sensei and most of the sensei’s students. We never learn what happens to said evil jerk, but it warps Jiren’s view on reality. Instead of seeing strength as a means to protect, he sees strength as the only way to get what you want out of life. People will like you because you’re strong. You can shape the universe with your strength.
He’s not evil, but with this they’ve relayed the full uselessness of the Pride Troopers belief of justice. Every single one of the Pride Troopers that truly believed in what they were doing was eliminated with relative ease aside from Dyspo. Toppo tosses his belief in justice aside to become a god of destruction in the hopes of defeating Vegeta. Jiren never believed in justice that wasn’t his fists to begin with. Yikes. We don’t get to find out what Jiren’s wish is though. It’s assumed he’d like to bring back his family and friends, but honestly that can be done with the regular Dragon Balls so that feels like wasting a wish. Hopefully he reveals a more grand ambition. Speaking of wasted wishes…
4. I was all set to drag 17’s name through the mud for wanting to win the Dragon Balls just to wish for a freaking ship that Bulma could build for him, but then he did this. Pissed off at spending so much time fighting weaklings, Jiren decides he’ll eliminate everyone in a single attack–he powers up and sends out massive waves of energy that’s meant to obliterate the land the team of Universe 7 is standing on and leave him as the last person, but Android 17 decides to bet it all on his teammates.
At the last second, he not only blocks for Goku and Vegeta, but uses his own energy to destroy himself, dissipating Jiren’s energy wave. Since it’s a sacrifice, Jiren stays in the tournament, and Android 17 becomes the only member of Universe 7 to die. It came pretty unexpectedly, but 17’s been the MVP of Universe 7 for some time now–going all the way back to his battles with Universe 2, he’s given nothing more than a hundred percent to this tournament, even though he didn’t even want to participate at first.
His last words are especially telling: he mentions that sacrificing his life for his friends is an especially human thing to do, and it makes you realize that despite Krillin wishing he and his sister would have their bodies mostly reverted to their old s…he still saw himself as less than human. He spent his life as a forest ranger protecting endangered species and looking after his wife and kids, and spent the last forty episodes or so giving his all alongside his sister and his teammates, and he still felt like he couldn’t overcome the experiments Dr. Gero forced on him and Android 18. It’s hard to get sad when you know characters can be wished back, but this still left me a little misty-eyed.
5. Next Episode: Man, they’re not even trying to be coy with the title for next episode–“Vegeta Falls” is in the title and everything. The preview doesn’t look much better either–Vegeta is literally beaten to a pulp trying to give Goku more time to get ready to fight Jiren. Well, there’s only four episodes left; even unabashed Vegeta fans have to accept the character was done justice this arc. There’s nothing left at this point than to have him eliminate himself letting Kakarot recover as much as possible, so he has a chance of finishing it all with Ultra Instinct.
And yet, I’m still wondering where the curveball is, because right now it seems like it’s going to end in the way we all expected. Well, guess we’ll know in a month.
Dragon Ball Super is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.