Warning: This article contains spoilers.
Dragon Ball Super Episode 123 was a huge installment for Vegeta, who unlocked his most powerful transformation yet. However, fans may have overlooked an important clue about Jiren in the midst of all the fuss.
The Universe 11 warrior has to be one of the strongest fighters that the heroes ever had to face in the history of the long-running Dragon Ball franchise.
Goku and Vegeta accessed new levels of their strength in Dragon Ball Super during the Tournament of Power partly because of Jiren, who pushed them to the limit—but not for the reason fans are thinking.
It is believed that all remaining fighters including Jiren do not want their own homes destroyed so they fight to the death, but it is speculated that the redoubtable fighter does not want to win at the expense of other universes either.
What he has in mind is to take on the cosmic order with Goku and company, and it will take everything the heroes got to walk away the victors.
A Reddit user and Dragon Ball Super watcher by the name jl_theprofessor speculates that Jiren has made it his mission to act as Goku and Vegeta’s mentor to prepare them for the greater battles ahead in which they will fight alongside the Universe 11 warrior, not against him.
Dragon Ball Super has established time and again that the U11 beast is yet to tap into his full strength even when he was fighting Goku in his Ultra Instinct form, which is currently the highest level of power he is able to attain.
Even during his battle in Dragon Ball Super Episode 123 with Vegeta in his new form, which is more powerful than the Super Saiyan Blue Kaioken, Jiren still goes easy on him.
The Redditor says that Jiren, while undoubtedly the greatest hurdle in Universe 7’s victory, is doing this on purpose to compel them to unleash the superior power he knows they have within them.
The Dragon Ball Super speculator explained how he dared both Vegeta and Goku to attack him with all their might even in their respective superpowered forms. He did not feel the need to power up to prepare for their attack nor did he flinch.
The unchanged power level is hinted by the absence of the red aura around him that usually indicates the fighter is accessing a higher tier of his abilities.
The Redditor believes that Jiren never wanted to kill the heroes in the first place, but simply wants them to reach greater levels of their strength, which they did Dragon Ball Super Episode 123. The speculator explains as follows.
“Again, when they both power up, he tells them to come at him like a knowledgeable instructor who’s waiting to spar with his skilled but unrefined students.”
Even when he beats them senseless, he recognizes strength when he sees it and gives credit to where it is due. This was the case in Dragon Ball Super Episode 122, where he referred to Vegeta as a “warrior” as the Saiyan Prince hurtled down to the ground after taking a beating. Jiren’s fellow Universe 11 members understands this as his sign of respect.
As a “mentor,” Jiren, the ardent Dragon Ball Super analyst from Reddit believes, is not just challenging the limit of Goku and Vegeta’s bodies, but also their mind and spirit.
In turn, Jiren does not want Vegeta to get eliminated from the Tournament of Power. He just intends for the Saiyan Prince to soar to a new transformation, which is why he said the following to him:
“You will never be able to beat me. Your fists are arrogant. There isn’t a speck of purity in the self-righteous way you fight.”
The Reddit user says that Jiren was not taunting Vegeta, he was teaching him. If this was the case, it definitely worked because when the hero is reminded of his promise to Cabba to resurrect him and Universe 6, he pushed himself to go beyond Super Saiyan Blue in the previous Dragon Ball Super episode.
The Redditor says that Dragon Ball Super Episode 123 further reinforced his theory when Jiren mentioned that Goku and Vegeta’s strikes are “sharper,” which hinted that he has been monitoring their abilities the whole time, allowing him to discern their improvement. Jl_theprofessor expands as follows.
“And like a teacher telling his students that they’ve improved, he has no problem letting them know they’ve gotten better. Of course he’s aware, that was his whole purpose in letting them stick around in the first place. Because this crew’s going to have to battle the cosmic order at some point.”
For now, however, nothing is confirmed yet. At the moment, it seems that Jiren is enjoying himself knocking the Universe 7 warriors around. Whether he has hidden agenda or not, fans should learn in the episodes to come.
Dragon Ball Super airs every Sunday on Fuji TV.