After stopping Moro, someone who gave the old Grand Kai’s trouble thousands of years ago, there is no resting for Goku and Vegeta as they look to find the next level in their respective journeys to get stronger. For Goku that has been training to perfect his Ultra Instinct form with the help of Whis. For Vegeta he came to realize that the path to Ultra Instinct wasn’t for him. Instead he has decided to follow the path of a God of Destruction by learning to use and control Hakai under Beerus tutelage. While Goku and Vegeta are busy training a new person has risen up that could prove to be the greatest warrior in the universe in the form of Granolah, the sole survivor of the Cerealian race that was wiped out by the Saiyans and Frieza’s army 50 years ago. In order to gain the power he needed to be the strongest in the universe Granolah gave up a large part of his lifespan to the wish granting dragon known as Toronbo. Now with all of this established what is next in the newest story arc of Dragon Ball Super? Let’s find out with chapter 71 of Dragon Ball Super.
Writer: Akira Toriyama
Story Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: On Beerus’ Planet Whis asks Goku what the difference between them is. Goku thinks its that Whis has a Halo. Whis’ staff suddenly comes flying in and Whis dodges it effortlessly while Goku gets hit by it before he can react.
Whis reveals that the difference between them is that he is always in Ultra Instinct mode while Goku needs to transform, therefore limiting his time in the form. Goku says he understands that he needs to perfect being in Ultra Instinct mode in his normal form. Whis says that they’ll focus on that while leaving the transformation as more of a last resort when a battle demands Goku surpass his limits.
Whis then calls Vegeta over to tell him and Goku that while they should think of the previous day version of themselves as their true rivals while training. Whise then reveals that he suddenly felt something odd happen in the universe but isn’t sure if he can call it an enemy.
Over on Planet Cereal, Granolah lands and decides to watch over Monaito from a distance, as he is not ready to reunite until he defeats Frieza’s army.
Over at Heeter’s Base, Elec (leader of the Heeter Force) sees Macki and Oil off on their mission to find the Saiyans and reminds them what he wants to ask Zuno when they meet him.
After Macki and Oil leave Gas asks Elec if all this is necessary to deal with Granolah. Elec says with Granolah possibly the greatest warrior in the universe now they can’t risk doing anything unnecessary even if Gas’ power surpasses Frieza’s.
A few week’s later on Lord Zuno’s Planet, Macki is pissed that she has to kiss Zuno to get the answers she and Oil are looking for. After reluctantly kissing Zuno on the cheek Macki starts asking her questions.
Back on Beerus’ Planet, Goku is able to use Ultra Instinct to the point of effortlessly dodging Whis’ staff with his eyes closed. Goku eventually stops Whis’ staff and stands on it on the tip of his toes.
On another part of the planet Vegeta is continuing his training to master Hakai. Berrus throws large parts of trees at Vegeta as part of the training. Vegeta is able to use Hakai to completely destroy the trees. Vegeta ends up losing control and destroys a large part of a cliffside with Hakai much to Beerus anger.
As time continues to pass Macki and Oil make it to Earth and land near Goku’s home. They meet with Chi-Chi and reveal they have a job that is perfect for Goku so they would like her to summon him.
Back on Beerus’ Planet, Bulma contacts Whis and tells him that a pair of aliens (Macki and Oil) are requesting Goku and Vegeta to defeat a villain that is supposedly the strongest in the universe for them. Chi-Chi says that this job pays so Goku better do it.
Goku wonders if this villain could be the person the Oracle Fish talked about before. Whis isn’t sure. Goku still gets excited and agrees to go back to Earth with Vegeta.
As they get ready to go back to Earth Beerus gives Vegeta an earing to wear that symbolizes that he can use the power of Destruction and to prove its stronger than Ultra Instinct. Hearing this Whis places his symbol back on Goku’s gi to create a rivalry between him and Beerus. After some banter Whis reveals that this new threat just appeared so he doesn’t know how bad things could get.
Whis then teleports Goku and Vegeta back to Earth. As that happens Oracle Fish watches and says it doesn’t care.
Back on Earth, at Capsule Corp, Macki finds the Dragon Radar where Zuno told her it would be and plans on using it to find the Dragon Balls to summon Toronbo since those Dragon Balls don’t turn to stone.
Chi-Chi finds Macki and Oil to remind them that the pay better be something that can be used as a form of money on Earth. Macki says the payment will be made in Sky-Gold which Chi-Chi is happy with.
Thirty minutes later Whis drops Goku and Vegeta off at Capsule Corps and then returns alone to Beerus’ Planet.
Macki wastes no time in saying that Granolah is on Planet Cereal and it will take time to get there. Chi-Chi and Bulma tell Goku and Vegeta to be careful before they leave with Macki and Oil.
On Macki and Oil’s ship Goku and Vegeta are shown all of its amenities. Vegeta asks how long it will take to get to Planet Cereal. Oil says 18 days. Macki says during that time Goku and Vegeta can use all the facilities they created for them on the ship to train and eat.
While Goku and Vegeta enjoy all the amenities of the ship Macki goes to the communication room. There she contacts Granolah to inform him that two of Frieza’s assassins (lying that the assassins are Goku and Vegeta working for Frieza) are coming for him. Granolah looks forward to striking against Frieza’s forces directly.
Macki smiles happy to hear this and adds that the two assassins are members of the extinct Saiyan race. This surprises Granolah to hear. Granolah quickly gets himself focused on the opportunity he has been presented with to get the revenge he has been waiting for 50 years. End of chapter.
The Good: Chapter 71 of Dragon Ball Super continues to set the stage for the big showdown that has been teased since the Granolah The Survivor Saga began. Now after this chapter it is looking like after five chapters in the latest Dragon Ball Super saga we are going to be getting that showdown of Goku and Vegeta vs Granolah sooner rather than later. But while this major battle is just over the horizon we once again are shown some of the overall problems the Granolah the Survivor Saga has had since it started.
While I do have my fair share of problems with chapter 71 of Dragon Ball Super there is a lot that Akira Toriyama and Toyotarou do well in this chapter. The biggest standout is how things are going with Goku and Vegeta’s training. What I continue to enjoy about this part of the Granolah the Survivor Saga is how Toriyama in particular is calling out how much the Dragon Ball had gotten obsessed with power-ups and transformations. It’s become a joke not only with the Dragon Ball community but with those outside of it. It is clear Toriyama is aware of all this and is using this latest story arc to address the possible future of the franchise when it comes to characters growing stronger.
Using Whis to address this critique was a wise choice. Since becoming Goku and Vegeta’s master we have see Whis continuously call out the Saiyans rely on power-ups and fighting prowess to grow stronger. Chapter 71 of Dragon Ball Super presents us with more of a reasoning why Whis has been saying this as he reveals to Goku that he is always using Ultra Instinct and does not need transform to use its powers.
Making this reveal work even better was how it uses what Master Roshi and King Kai have told Goku about how he trains. Both of them have said similar things that Whis talks about in this chapter about how Goku has become power obsessed. It’s clear that Goku is finally taking all of this in as Whis words hit with him. Which is where Toyotarou artwork really shines because we see in Goku’s expressions that its not only Whis words that he is taking in but also that of what Master Roshi and King Kai have said. This all made how Goku was able to use Ultra Instinct in his base form after training for several weeks more gratifying as he is finally taking the words of his masters to heart.
Similarly, it has been great to see Vegeta finally realizing that even though he and Goku have the same end goal they don’t need to reach it the same way. Afterall, Vegeta is a completely different person and Ultra Instinct isn’t what fits him best. Which is why seeing Vegeta continue to train under Beerus to use Hakai so gratifying. We are finally getting to see Vegeta follow his own path to growing stronger rather than just following Goku as he has since the Super Saiyan form first debuted. Actually seeing Vegeta excel in his use of Hakai to the point that Beerus recognizes that he can use the power of Destruction was a nice payoff to the character arc Vegeta has been on in Dragon Ball Super.
The Bad: Though the continuation of Goku and Vegeta’s training is being handled well Toriyama and Toyotarou have yet to prove the Heeters to be a believable threat. So far we keep being told that Elec, Gas, Macki, and Oil are supposed to be this big bad group known as Heeters that should believe are on the level of Frieza. But the fact is that you still don’t believe it even though we are now five full chapters into the Granolah The Survivor Saga.
One of the things that made Moro such a frightening villain out of the gate was that Toriyama and Toyotarou used the history of the Grand Kais established during the Buu Saga. That is something the entire Heeters group is missing as the reliance on putting them over as a threat has just been a bunch of talk.
That includes how it is continuously said that Gas is supposed to be above Frieza’s level. It’s one thing to say this but its another to show it. And for new characters that are supposed to be believed to be on the level of our main heroes we should’ve seen an example of Gas power that Elec continues to gloat about. Without that all of the Heeters come across as nothing more than grunts who are here to just be an annoyance than be a credible threat.
Because of all this it has left a lot of the antagonist role for this story arc to fall on Granolah. Which all goes against how Toriyama and Toyotarou have established Granolah in more of an anti-hero light. This leads to Granolah’s own development to be pulled down because of how bad of a job these first five chapters have done to put over the Heeters as a villainous group.
This leads you to question what the point of Granolah wishing himself into becoming the strongest in the universe with the Dragon Balls, shortening his lifespan in the process, only to sit around and wait for Frieza and his forces to come to him. There is not much sense to this move by Granolah as it is just wasting the power he got. It would’ve been better if in between all the training Goku and Vegeta were doing we saw Granolah taking down the forces Frieza had stationed on other planets as part of his revenge tour. Instead all we see is Granolah waiting around for a whole month on Planet Cereal waiting for Friza, Goku, Vegeta or someone from Frieza’s army to find out he exists even though he now only has three years to live.
Chapter 71 also continues to be disappointing that after all the progress made to show that the Z Warriors are all powerful fighters during the latter half of the Moro Saga that we are back to just focusing on Goku and Vegeta. Though their training has given us some of the best development for Goku and Vegeta in the franchise’s history it still feels like Toriyama and Toyotarou are limiting how much character work they are capable of. Bringing in Gohan, Piccolo, Krillin, or other Z Warriors to be other leads in the story would help freshen up the Granolah The Survivor Saga. But as of now this story arc is just on the same road every saga in Dragon Ball Super has gone down on, making certain plot beats boring and predictable.
Overall: Akira Toriyama has clearly taken the fair criticism for the direction the Dragon Ball franchise to heart in order to strengthen Goku and Vegeta’s respective character arcs in the Dragon Ball Super manga. But as enjoyable Goku and Vegeta’s arcs are it is everything else about the Granolah The Survivor Saga does not quite hit the mark. The presentation of the villains continues to be the biggest problem with this story. They just do not come close to matching the threat of Moro or previous antagonists in Dragon Ball Super. Chapter 71 of Dragon Ball Super spotlights all the problems with the antagonist, leading to a chapter that doesn’t quite connect in the way you wish it would.
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