Last Saturday saw fans worldwide raise their arms and transfer their energy to Goku in honor of Dragon Ball Super’s final episode. The latest installment in the Dragon Ball franchise concluded its 131-episode run in the Tournament of Power’s universe-shattering main event, pitting Goku against Universe 11’s Jiren for the fate of the Multiverse.
Spoilers ahead for “The Miraculous Conclusion! Farewell, Goku! Until We Meet Again!,” Episode 131 of Dragon Ball Super, which aired Saturday, Mar. 24, 2018.
The Tournament of Power pits the 10 best fighters from each universe in the Dragon Ball multiverse against each other in a survival-style battle royale. The stakes couldn't be higher: Grand Zeno, the Omni King and judge of the competition, will erase the losing team’s universe from existence at the end of each battle. The winning universe is not only spared from annihilation, but is permitted to make one wish – nothing off-limits – using the Super Dragon Balls. Goku and Jiren, the final fighters from Universe 7 and 11 respectively, have the weight of their universes on their shoulders.
Having mastered his Ultra Instinct form in the previous episode, Goku gained an upper hand against the seemingly unstoppable Jiren. However, the form put too much of a strain on Goku, draining him of most of his energy, leaving him vulnerable to elimination from the start. As Jiren is about to win, Frieza and Android 17 of Universe 7 save Goku and reveal they were never truly eliminated.
Though the odds are now back in Universe 7’s favor, Jiren proves to be too strong for their combined powers. In a last-ditch effort, Goku and his arch-nemesis Frieza sacrifice themselves to tackle Jiren out of the arena and force a ring-out, thus eliminating all three fighters in dramatic fashion. Android 17 is the last fighter standing in the arena and Universe 7 is declared the winner of the tournament – as Jiren and Universe 11 are erased.
As the Universe 7’s MVP, Android 17 is granted a wish with the Super Dragon Balls. After a pause, the reformed villain makes the selfless wish to revive all of the universes that lost throughout the tournament, citing Goku’s pure heart as influencing his decision. We learn that Android 17’s wish has restored Grand Zeno’s faith in all of the universes and, had 17 made a selfish wish, Zeno would have simply erased everything.
In the episode’s final scene, Goku and Vegeta, return to the wasteland where they first fought back at the beginning of Dragon Ball Z. They promise to keep pushing each other to grow stronger as they hit their classic fight stances – a satisfying end to the series.
Fans have speculated since the finale was announced that the Dragon Ball franchise would continue in some form, and the finale all but confirmed these suspicions. Throughout the finale there were numerous references to this not being goodbye forever for Goku and friends, just goodbye for now.
The previously deceased Frieza was initially brought back to life temporarily for the Tournament of Power. As a reward for his service in the final battle, the villain was fully restored to life. Frieza declares that he will never change his evil ways, only fighting in the tournament to prevent Universe 7 from destruction so he could someday rule it. He rejoins his evil galactic army, gloating, “The Emperor Of The Universe has returned!” We can expect to see Goku and the rest of the Z-Fighters rise to the occasion whenever Frieza inevitably attacks in a future Dragon Ball installment.
Jiren also seems to have unfinished business with Goku. The Pride Trooper of Universe 11 and Goku developed a mutual respect of each during their final battle, both expressing disappointment that they were unable to battle each other uninterrupted. Goku enthusiastically accepts Jiren’s challenge for a rematch. Given Jiren’s immense popularity among fans over the past year, we can expect to hear from him sometime in the near future.
In the middle of the excitement of Super’s finale, Toei Animation dropped a teaser trailer for the Dragon Ball Super movie set to be released this December. The teaser features Goku warming up to battle a mysterious, brand new opponent. From the brief glimpses we can see the new challenger is wearing a variation of Saiyan armor.
Movies in the Dragon Ball franchise tend to fall outside of the series’ canon (Sorry, Broly fans). However, series creator Akira Toriyama has announced that the film takes place after Super’s finale and will detail the origin of the Saiyan Race. It is worthwhile to note that Toriyama typically does not work on the franchise’s films, yet in this case he is responsible for the film’s character designs, original story, and screenplay.
With Toryiama taking such an active role in the production and the film dealing with something as important as the history of the Saiyan race, we can reasonably assume that the movie will be considered canon, and possibly lead into a future series as well.
Whatever the future holds, fans worldwide can rest easy knowing that Dragon Ball shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. To hold us over until then, Adult Swim is airing the English dub on Dragon Ball Super on its Toonami block every Saturday at 9:30 p.m.
Until we meet again!