TORIYAMA STRIKES AGAIN
Dragonball Super Episode 109/110 had me reeling as if Goku himself punched me through the screen. I specifically remember Toriyama saying that he never had plans to make Goku or Vegeta surpass or even reach the level of Beerus. To our surprise….
Well, yet again Toriyama laughs at our gullible and childlike bewilderment. It does have to be mentioned that Toriyama had become unpredictably predictable, but even with this in mind he still managed to fool the shit out of us or at least me.
To start, Goku crosses path with Jiren the Grey. In consequence, Goku charges in and whoops on Jiren’s imposing figure to no avail. This eventually leads to Goku wash, rinse, and repeating until he reaches the level of SSJB Kaioken x20. This is where things get interesting as he reverts to his base form and raises his hands to procure the Spirit Bomb. Goku tosses it and we undergo the famous power struggle over the great blue ball of life energy. Up until this point in the special I was bored out of my mind because this was shaping up to be just a typical Goku fight……
Well that changed when Goku actually started to lose. For the first time in my entire Dragon Ball experience I had to suffer the travesty of watching Goku get wrecked with his ace in the hole. It was so bad that he did not even get to hit Jiren with his Spirit Bomb. Jiren just starred at it and literally willed it through Goku’s overwhelming strength with out even a sign of struggle of distain in his face. All Siren had to do was focus and Goku had no chance at subduing him with the spirit bomb. It was more crushing than watching Goku get the hands from Beerus. This specific element was so crucial to the episode’s success because it gave us fans a sense of despair that we never felt in the Dragonball Franchise since its inception. I mean, we have seen Goku die but it was of his own volition. It was never because somebody was so much stronger than him that he did not even have a chance.
Additionally, the creators did a marvelous job of showing the gap in power between Goku and Jiren. Goku was set up in a way that even though incredibly stupid he looked like he could not be beaten. His strength could not be challenged. But….. what they did to showcase Jiren’s strength was unbelievable. Goku was beating on him with his strongest form mercilessly but Jiren’s facial expression, posture, and place did not change at all. This moment reminded me of when Baki Hannma fought his father Yujirro. Baki beat on his father and Yujiro just stood there with a smile on his face as his son could not even make him itch. Goku vs Jiren looked very similar in respect to how the power gap was showcased. I would say that the way they displayed the power gap added to the intensity of disbelief and discern of Goku’s defeat but set up for Goku’s transformation beautifully.
THE CREATIVE USE OF THE SPIRIT BOMB
Instead of having Goku absorb the Spirit Bomb like he did against super android 13…. the damn thing collapsed on itself as if it were a neutron star and sucked Goku inside of it. In fact it was a good way to show just how powerful Goku and Jiren were that their forces were able to condense the spirit bomb into a black hole. What was most interesting about this new use of the spirit bomb was how it gave Goku his power. Instead of absorbing the power. Goku was forced into a new transformation by resisting the force of the spirit bomb. He spent so much energy resisting it that he broke into his true potential. With that in mind he did take up the remainder of the spirit bomb which allowed him to function but the it only served as a catalyst for his transformation.
THE TRANSFORMATION ITSELF
HOLY SHIT!!!! I was captivated and mystified. I really thought I was going to be bated with some bullshit transformation just like SSG and SSJB and I was just plain caught off guard… Where do I start? To me things got very interesting when Beerus started to show slight fear and sadness at the loss of Goku. With this in mind, he shifted his focus and uttered the words ” He’s coming” as the ground began to shake. Then Frieza sneers and says something to the affect that he is not surprised at all. All of a sudden a powerful looking funnel of blue light shoots from the ground and Goku’s new form is revealed.
This transformation itself is not that impressive in terms of aesthetics. In fact it is very plain but what makes this transformation so beautiful is the demeanor in which Goku took. He became silent and moved with graceful lethality. One minute he was getting eyed to death by Jiren and the next he was fighting on his level. The transformation gave Goku a razor sharp focus and paralyzing seriousness that we have never seen from him. He forced Jiren to actually start fighting him and brushed Topo and Dyspo aside just like Gohan did to the Cell Jr’s The form is special because it was a different type of transformation. All of the other transformations are just substantial increases in power. Super Saiyan was important because it did show the Ozaru’s rage and power in a condensed form. It was almost if the beast was mastered but every transformation was still entrenched in this idea. This transformation is unique because it gave Goku a sense of focus and fluidity that he never had. The way he was able to move through Jiren’s attacks as if he were dancing was incredible. This kind of transformation was more similar to Goku reaching the top or Korin’s tower and going back down again. There was not much of an aesthetic change but he was able to wreck General Tao. He essentially became a god but without a power increase,,,, just a readjustment of focus. Whis has mentioned this is the past that Goku could only ascend if he actually learned to move without thinking and this is exactly what he did. The gravity of the transformation was further exacerbated when all of the Hakaioshins were impressed. Beerus looked as if Goku actually reached his level. The frustration in his face was palpable and at this point it was obvious that Goku is encroaching on his level. The takeaway is that Goku became a god of destruction or at least obtained the level of power required to be one. BTW, it is implied in the anime that Jiren is the mortal stronger than gods of destruction during these episodes so it is easy to conclude that Goku has at least reached the level of Sidra and other lower gods.
The episode was Dragon Ball Super’s finest to date. The special was built up for years now that I looked back on it and our patience was rewarded. There is not much else to say about this special other than that Toriyama really out on a show. It felt like classic Dragonball Z but had elements of Dragonball mixed in with new ideas that made Dragonball feel new again. When watching this I felt like I was a little boy again just rooting for Goku to win. The experience was magical. They nailed it.