With Dragon Ball Super Ep 77 and 78, the highly anticipated Universe Survival Arc has officially gotten underway. As the fighters from all 12 remaining DB universes are gathered in next week’s episode, it seems pertinent to discuss something that has been brought up by numerous fans of the anime since Goku became obsessed with the premise of a multiverse tournament. From what has been seen so far, is Goku slowly turning dark, and in the midst of it all, will his friend and rival Vegeta emerge as Universe 7’s champion by the end of the Tournament of Power?
The rules of the Tournament of Power are fairly simple. All 12 universes would select 10 fighters to represent them, and each team that loses gets their specific universe annihilated, according to noted Dragon Ball Super translator Todd Blankenship. While the rule might seem quite harsh, it should be noted that the Omni-King already did something very similar in the past, when he decimated a whole universe as a result of Zamasu’s threat in the recently-concluded Future Trunks arc. This means that for all intents and purposes, the stakes of the Tournament of Power are really that high.
At the middle of all the chaos and the genocide that would most likely ensue during the Universe Survival Arc is the franchise’s protagonist, Son Goku, whose desire to get stronger is quickly becoming more of a liability than an asset. During Dragon Ball Super Ep 77, Beerus and Whis both advise Goku not to remind the Omni-King about a multiverse tournament, but Goku’s stubbornness and childish perception of the upcoming battle ultimate won the Saiyan over. A particular scene where Beerus threatened to destroy Goku due to the danger that he and the Omni-King’s tournament poses is indicative of just how much is being put at stake by the Saiyan’s actions.
The new Dragonball Super opening of the new Arc "The survival of the universe" has been revealed! pic.twitter.com/JbHz2U9HVi
— Weekly (@weeklysaiyan) February 4, 2017
Son Goku has always been characterized as a character who values fighting above all else, to the point where he actually puts others in danger due to his pride and his desire to have a strong opponent. Sparing Frieza in Planet Namek eventually gave the evil alien the chance to come back stronger than before and his attitude towards Cell and Buu ultimately caused a lot of destruction and death for his family and friends. With the Tournament of Power, however, it appears that Goku might have gone a bit too far.
Numerous fans in online forums such as Reddit have noted that Goku’s pure, unadulterated lust for strength seems to be a factor that would play a significant role in the fate of the 12 remaining universes in Dragon Ball Super. With this idea in mind, and with the new opening theme seemingly teasing the emergence of a dark Goku at some point in the tournament, it appears that everyone’s favorite Saiyan might very well surprise longtime fans of the series by the time the Tournament of Power ends.
Goku’s new form that was teased in the opening theme appears to be a far stronger version of the Super Saiyan God transformation. What was particularly unique was that when the character emerged from the intense red aura, he wore an interestingly sinister expression, almost a complete mirror image of Black Goku’s iconic sneer. Thus, from the clues that have been left in the anime’s previous episodes and with what has been shown so far, it appears that Dragon Ball Super is about to get a lot darker than the recently-concluded Future Trunks arc, which could already be considered as the franchise’s darkest saga to date.
As Goku appears to be set for a significantly darker development, another fighter is steadily being built up as a vital character in the Tournament of Power. Over the course of the last few weeks, Dragon Ball Super has made it a point to depict Vegeta in a way that was distinctly human and empathetic. With the Saiyan Prince about to have his second child, his humanity has been brought to sharp focus, leading numerous fans to speculate that Vegeta would play a very pertinent role in the upcoming multiverse tournament.
If fan speculations prove right and Goku does end up developing into a character that is a dark as Black Goku, there might be no character that would be a better foil for the Saiyan’s as Vegeta. After all, while Goku is almost always the strongest Z fighter in the franchise, Vegeta always comes in at a close second. With having more of his family to protect, it seems sure that the Saiyan Prince would be extremely motivated to keep Universe 7 safe. Thus, if Goku does go out of line, it would not be surprising at all if the two Saiyans’ rivalry would reach a powerful conclusion within the Tournament of Power.
The Universe Survival Arc is Dragon Ball Super‘s most intense arc to date, and from what has been teased so far, it appears that the Tournament of Power might be the franchise’s grandest, most epic saga yet. While the specifics of the arc’s plot have not been revealed to date, the clues that appear to be left by the anime’s new opening sequence and the ongoing character development of both Goku and Vegeta seem to indicate that Dragon Ball Super has not even reached its peak. The next few months would most likely tell the best Dragon Ball story in decades.
[Featured Image by Toei Animation]