Dragon Ball fans are expressing their disappointment after seeing one of their favorite characters lose a match against a new villain - again.
SPOILERS FOR DRAGON BALL SUPER FOLLOW:
"Vegeta" trended on Twitter worldwide after the latest chapter of Dragon Ball Super was published, which features the Prince of Saiyans once again losing a fight after debuting a new, supposedly more powerful form. Fans expressed their disappointment in the development and posted memes of Vegeta's history of coming back, supposedly stronger than ever, only to lose the ensuing fight to whatever new villain happens to be threatening the universe at that time. Readers drew parallels between the current story arc and the original battle against Cell, which saw Vegeta debuting his Super Saiyan form in a fight against Android 19, only to get beaten up by the more powerful Cell shortly afterwards.
Vegeta fans right now #dbspoilers pic.twitter.com/posXEBACFT— Super Dragon Forces 61 (@forces_61) August 17, 2021
Toyotaro: "Vegeta gets a new form!"— Zensui | Jérôme (read Invincible!) (@RealZensui) August 17, 2021
Everyone: "So he is gonna win right?"
The current Dragon Ball Super arc features the debut of the antagonist Granolah, whose race was killed by the Saiyans long ago. Now he's seeking revenge on the last surviving members of the species, namely Goku, Vegeta, and their families. Thanks to a wish granted by the Dragon Balls, Granolah now possesses immense physical strength, and was powerful enough to force Vegeta to debut his newest, more powerful form, which apparently still wasn't enough to keep up with the vengeful alien.
Dragon Ball has long utilized the trope of jobbing out previously competitive supporting characters to illustrate how powerful a new foe is -- Goku's longtime friend Yamcha famously got taken out effortlessly, and Goku's former rival Piccolo took a loss in order to show how strong Nappa and Vegeta were when they were first introduced. It seems like Vegeta has been slotted into that role now, despite his fans pleading with publisher Shuiesha and manga artist Toyotaro to give the arrogant Prince a long-deserved win.
Dragon Ball Super was first serialized in Shueisha's V Jump magazine in 2015 and features a story that is a direct continuation of the original Dragon Ball manga. The series is written by creator Akira Toriyama, with art by Toyotarou. The manga was adapted into an anime series that ran from 2015 - 2018. A new Dragon Ball Super movie, which will feature a brand new style of animation, was revealed at Comic-Con 2021.