5 Point Discussions: Dragon Ball 129

by Sage Ashford

Goku has reached Ultra Instinct!  But will he learn how to use it properly this time, or will Jiren easily eliminate him? 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. There’s not much to say about this episode, so I wanna start this off with a quick detour: the anime community has been tearing into Black Clover for weeks now because every episode starts out with a recap. Meanwhile DBS only starts things off after four minutes of recap, previewing the episode you’re already about to watch, and the opening song, then ends a minute and a half early for the end credits plus Next Episode Preview. With so much time taken up, and given we’re down to the last three episodes you would really think they’d have upped the animation budget and given us something special.

…By now I’d hope all of you would know better. This episode is filled with so many still shots of the remaining warriors and gods sitting around and repeated battle scenes, you’d think this was the adaptation of a manga instead of a show mostly told to do its own thing. There’s some cool ideas in this episode, and they even had an extra week of time to animate them, but nope.   Things are so standard it feels like they were planning on doing an arc after this, but were told at the last minute it was canceled.

2. Of course, I’m not sure what would come after this in the first place.  Ultra Instinct appears to be so absurdly powerful it can boost Goku up to near Jiren levels even without him knowing how to use it right in the first place.  I can’t help wondering what this power even is–it’s described as the ability to dodge attacks without thinking, but I’m not sure why this is a power up.

Whis talks about it at length, and at one point he’s basically composing a fucking poem while Goku and Jiren go at it, but most of what he’s saying is masturbatory fluff.  It’s defined as a step into the state of the gods, but what does that even mean?  Which gods?  It’s not the destruction energy Toppo used to use Android 17 and Frieza like pinballs.   And this power is certainly locked off to any Supreme Kai.   Yet Beerus is aware of it, and it’s difficult to shake the nagging feeling this isn’t just a new base form for Goku.

3. Still, there was a lot of urgency to the fight this week.  It doesn’t feel like it thanks to the repeating animation, but Jiren does his best to eliminate Goku.  Goku starts out still unable to do any proper damage, even after using Ultra Instinct Kamehameha wave that eliminated Kefla.   Universe 11 starts to feel comfortable, believing Goku won’t ever be able to beat Jiren and victory’s assured.  But then Vegeta points out how the Saiyans in the tournament have done the impossible and surpassed their limits again and again.   Believing Goku can’t do so one more time and knock Jiren out is foolish, and exactly the kind of idiot behavior that creates the plot holes people argue about for years.

So Jiren rains down his punches that somehow become ki blasts until he’s obliterated most of the arena, leaving only a tiny bit of land for Goku to stand on as he tries to resist and figure out the key to fully mastering Ultra Instinct.  Still, it almost seems like all hope is lost, until…

4. As Jiren starts to crack the last bit of land Goku’s standing on, people in the audience recognize some sparks happening right above Goku’s protection aura.  As the sparks light up the sky, they realize Goku is finally managing to counter attack instead of just dodging or blocking.  Though Jiren tries his best to eliminate Goku and win the match, it seems time has run out.   Goku generates what seems like a literal galaxy worth of energy before leaping up to the part of the arena Jiren’s on.  His aura’s changed, and the heat he’s giving off is enough to be felt even by the audience in the stands, as his hair finally changes to a white color.

Jiren tries to attack him multiple times, but each attempt is countered with surprisingly painful looking blows that leave him looking more damaged each time.  And Goku’s finally done it.  He’s mastered Ultra Instinct.

As excited as I wanted to be for this episode, the majority of it feels like filler.  Like, I didn’t need Whis showing off his writing abilities by composing a ballad about how awesome fighting is.  I didn’t need the commentary from the peanut gallery of the twin Zen-Ohs.  There’s maybe five minutes of this episode that belong, and all of it feels like it could’ve been in episode 130.  Speaking of…

5. Next Episode: With Goku finally having mastered his newest power, he finally forces Jiren to truly get serious!  After 129 episodes, it all comes down to the final fight between these two titanic forces.  Who will be the final survivor to the Tournament of Power?!

Frieza made it another episode without being shown eliminated or mentioned.  So at this point, expect the answer to be Frieza.  Goku overcoming Jiren when he hasn’t beaten a single opponent this entire series without help feels like the most Roman Reigns thing ever. But Goku’s the original Roman Reigns, so it’s possible.  Still, I have more faith in Dragon Ball Super’s writers than WWE’s so it remains to be seen if that’s how things will shake out or not.

Still, they do make Freiza the last man standing, then this series is going to get stupid.  We’re either going for a cliffhanger ending while the show goes on hold for a year or more, or Frieza’s wish gets nullified.

Dragon Ball Super is available on Crunchyroll.