The Tournament of Power is underway! With so many fighters still remaining, a vast array of new characters and abilities are rampant in nearly every episode. Master Roshi shows off his evil containment wave, demonstrating that when outmatched in power the old man is still a force to be reckoned with. Gohan and Piccolo’s teamwork strategy makes for some devastating combos. The duo are separated at one point however and it appears as though Frieza has turned on Gohan/Universe 7.
Frieza begins an onslaught against his temporary Saiyan ally, seemingly to display his new allegiance to Frost. The betrayal is quickly resolved when Frieza uses his assault against Gohan to catch Frost off guard to knock him out of the tournament. The moment almost everyone at the tournament has been waiting for finally comes to fruition when Jiren is instructed by his destroyer god to fight Goku. Goku slowly increases his power level to gage his opponent, but Jiren doesn’t even seem to react until the Saiyan turns SS blue. Even at SS blue with kaioken x20, Jiren easily defeats Goku.
With a final stitch effort, Goku returns to base form and begins collecting energy for a spirit bomb. Jiren allows Goku the time to do so in order to see his best. Jiren is able to push the spirit bomb back resulting in Goku being sucked into the massive ball of energy as it imploded. The Saiyan is nowhere to be seen after the explosion which leads many to believe he has died. Just as Zeno is about to mark Goku as eliminated, the battlefield erupts as Goku emerges from the rubble surrounded by a mysterious new energy.
Many destroyer gods, including Beerus, look on in utter shock as Goku has somehow unlocked a legendary form known as autonomous ultra instinct. This form proves near impossible for the gods to attain, let alone a mortal. Top and Dyspo begin their attack on Goku who easily avoids their advances, tossing them to the side as if they with play things. Jiren calls off his fellow Universe 11 warriors and his battle with Goku resumes. While Goku’s new form proves comparable to Jiren’s strength, the form eventually depletes and he is defeated once again.
Hit wastes no time and takes his shot at Jiren. Their battle is a spectacular display of speed and power, but Jiren once again comes out victorious after knocking Hit off of the battleground. Believing he has defeated all potential threats, Jiren begins to meditate. Meanwhile, on the other side of the arena, Vegeta saves Cabba from falling off the side of the arena and then promises the young Saiyan that he will win the tournament and wish for Cabba’s universe to be restored. After a pep talk from his mentor, Cabba resumes his battle Monna. His opponent begins to openly mock Vegeta and the Saiyan race, resulting in Cabba achieving SS2 for the first time.
Immediately after defeating Monna, Frieza steps in to knock Cabba out of the tournament. Cabba doesn’t go down easily, forcing Frieza to use his golden form. Right before being eliminated, Cabba unleashes a blast near identical to Vegeta’s galick gun further demonstrating his respect for the Saiyan prince.
Goku doesn’t have much time to recover as he begins his fight against Caulifla and Kale. The female Saiyans from Universe 6 continue to break through their glass ceilings, but Goku ultimately has the upper hand. Knowing their defeat is imminent, they don potara earrings in order to fuse into a powerful new warrior known as Kefla. The newly formed female Saiyan powerhouse clashes in epic fashion against SSB Goku, resulting in Goku’s apparent defeat. Just as it appears Goku is done for, he once again obtains ultra instinct. Their legendary battle culminates when Goku uses the energy from his charging kamehameha to ride the devastating energy blast from Kefla in order to unleash his signature move at point blank range.
The final 2 warrior maidens are defeated by Android 17 and 18. The 3 remaining warriors from Universe 2 encroach upon a depleted Goku. Will Goku have enough energy to fight back and survive? Find out in the next and FINAL box set for Dragon Ball Super!
Dragon Ball Super: Part 9 includes some of the greatest episodes in all of DBS. With so many new characters, unique abilities and strategies, there is a lot to enjoy. Watching Gohan and Piccolo team up is just good for the soul. Master Roshi has some incredible moments, especially his battle against Ganos. I feel as though DBS missed the opportunity to have Roshi die from exhaustion after his profound speech and kamehameha. It would’ve cemented the Turtle Hermit as the epitome of sacrifice, been even more impactful to the audience and serve as a great motivator for Goku. Having watched this scene in both Japanese and English, the Japanese version had much more of an impact as the English translation just seemed a bit off.
Watch Jiren and Goku finally face off was phenomenal. The animators really put in the effort to make sure every frame was perfect. The ultra instinct design and fighting style are fresh and exciting. The way Goku moves in this form is stunning to watch. While the transformation and initial fight in ultra instinct is epic, I absolutely DESPISED the vocals added to the song for the English Dub. It doesn’t fit the tone of the scene whatsoever and takes me out of the moment every time it starts playing. I would’ve preferred if they had just left the original Japanese vocals.
Cabba essentially using a galick gun against Frieza warmed my heart. The relationship between Vegeta and Cabba continues to be one of my favorite elements of DBS. Goku’s battle with Caulifla, Kale and eventually Kefla is brilliantly done. The back and forth was balanced while demonstrating so many new fighting techniques. Whenever I think about DBS, the first image that pops into my mind is Goku using this kamehameha energy ball to ride along Kefla’s energy blast and absolutely demolishing her with a point blank strike. The repetitive angles and replay done by the show runners demonstrates that they too realize the epic nature of that moment.
Overall, this is another solid installment for DBS. The narrative rests mainly on action at this point, but it’s a fighting tournament… so that’s kind of expected. I just wish there was just a little more meat to the storyline at this point. Give me some real loss and sacrifice! Such a missed opportunity with Master Roshi. In a franchise where everyone can be wished back over and over you’d think they’d be less afraid to kill off their characters.
Box Set Review
Dragon Ball Super: Part 9 features episodes 105-117 on two Blu-ray discs. Jiren is in all out attack mode for the semi-metallic cover art. The episodes can be enjoyed in both English and Japanese. Extras include textless songs and an interview where Sarah Wiedenheft (voice of Zeno) and Dawn Bennett (voice of Kale) answers questions submitted by DBS fans. You can find your copy of Dragon Ball Super: Part 8 right here!
Note: Funimation provided us a review copy in exchange for an honest review