Dragonball Super 109/110 Review
Hey all, Joe here from All Funnies and Games with a review of the long-awaited Dragonball Super two-parter. Since it's a two-parter with lots of payoff to previous hints and set-ups, this'll be a little longer post than usual. Spoilers ahead.
The hype for this week's two-parter hinted at the anticipated fight between Goku and Jiren. It's been in the intro music since the beginning of the tournament arc, and the fights in this episode did not disappoint. This has been some of the best fighting so far in the tournament arc, even before the introduction of Goku's new form. Let's break things down and look at what this episode means for the future of the arc.
First, we see Goku continuing to fight Ribrianne. She's a tough competitor, but also a bit of a gag character. She's a pretty obvious send-up of Shoujo action heroines like Sailor Moon and Mew Mew Strawberry, but at the same time, we've got some evidence from episode 69 that the showrunner: Akira Toriyama considers gag comic characters to be a solid, if unsatisfying, threat to the Dragonball Super cast. I expect we'll be seeing more of her as the tournament continues.
Then, Ribrianne is knocked away and Jiren approaches. He communicates telepathically with his universe's god of destruction; which really pays off well on the fact that he's seen “meditating” often in the lead-up to the arc. This is similar to the relationship we've seen between Goku and King Kai, so there's a history of this being an established part of the universe. This also draws a mirrored comparison between Jiren and Goku, while showing Jiren as a character a league Goku.
The next part is the Spirit Bomb. We saw earlier in the episode that Ribrianne used a similar attack based in “the power of love”, and so know that drawing energy from the audience for attacks is permitted in the tournament rules. After some back and forth, Jiren deflects the Spirit Bomb toward Goku.
As Goku falls into the collapsing heart of the Spirit Bomb he created, we see flashes of color that hint at the transformation to come. After a few beats of the spectators assuming Goku vaporized in the attack, he rises, having taken on a new form. He is surrounded by a corona of cool, blue flame and a heat wave effect of purple shimmers. His eyes have gone silver, and in this form, his movements are as fast as thought. This is shown in a brilliant shot where, through his eyes, we see him look at Jiren, take a step, and suddenly be inches from his enemy and already in mid-kick. It's clear that this new form is both powerful and foreign to how Goku is used to fighting.
Whis shows the first emotion of the arc, which makes me think he's had a heart of gold for humanity all along, but didn't want to seem too attached, since he can't be sure of protecting them from Beerus, or, now, from the caprice of the Omni-Kings. This interchange in the stands is also where we hear the first hint of what this new form is: Beerus calls it “Ultra-instinct”.
Finally, Goku's energy runs out, and he rests away from the fighting, where Vegeta asks him about this new form, and Goku admits he doesn't know what it is. The tournament continues, Frieza has Goku at the business end of a (probably rejuvenating) energy blast and the final confrontation between Jiren and Goku is yet to be seen. No new eliminations in this two-parter, but a lot to think about as the tournament continues.