Dragon Ball Super: Vegeta’s Ultra Ego Makes for One of the Best Fights in Ages

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the Dragon Ball Super manga, by Akira Toriyama, Toyotarou, Caleb Cook, and Brandon Bovia, available now in English through Viz Media.

Dragon Ball Super has made a habit of making its battles fairly one-sided, with our heroes getting pummeled until they power up or are otherwise bailed out at the last second. Vegeta has suffered the most from this trend as his battles typically feature the Saiyan Prince being thoroughly trounced by his opponent. This pattern is finally broken in Chapters #74 and #75 of the DBS manga, where Vegeta takes on Granolah in his most compelling battle since he fought Goku as Majin Vegeta in Dragon Ball Z.

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Majin Vegeta vs. Goku is one of the most iconic battles in all of Dragon Ball and Vegeta vs. Granolah is similarly exciting with its emphasis on brutal, physical combat. After Goku was one-punched into unconsciousness in the manga -- despite using the mastered Ultra Instinct state -- there appeared to be little hope for the Saiyan Prince. However, Vegeta, using Super Saiyan Blue, manages to withstand the same attack that sent Goku halfway to Otherworld. Rather than launching massive ki blasts at each other, Vegeta and Granolah opt to throw hands in a bloody, vicious fight.

Vegeta vs Granolah in the Dragon Ball Super manga

What's more, Granolah is fighting Vegeta using his full power, after having defeated Goku using only a portion of his true strength. Even Granolah is taken aback by Vegeta's resiliency, as the proud Saiyan keeps getting up after several devastating blows. Vegeta gets to show off his tactical brilliance when he correctly guesses that Granolah has only recently acquired his power. Using Granolah's inexperience against him, Vegeta then hangs in the fight by dodging blows, finally delivering one of his own that causes Granolah visible pain.

One of the most interesting things about this fight is that there's very little at stake, which is unusual for Dragon Ball. Normally, there's a planet/galaxy/universe on the line, but because this battle is the result of a misunderstanding, it's nearly a pointless conflict. A meaningless battle would ordinarily be a storytelling issue, but it works for Vegeta's character in that he gets to display his full Saiyan pride. Vegeta refers to this fight as his "happy place" because it's simply a fight for the sake of fighting.

The more graphic nature of the violence of this DBS battle is not mere gratuity, either: it’s a direct result of Ultra Ego and how Vegeta now fights. While using this new power he achieved by training with Lord Beerus, the more damage Vegeta takes, the more powerful he grows. This further separates him from Goku, whose signature technique avoids taking damage. Vegeta now thrives when receiving a beating, and he allows himself to take hit after hit to increase his strength as the battle with Granolah continues to escalate.

Unfortunately, Granolah reveals that the longer he fights, the more powerful he grows also. As the battle continues, a newly conscious Goku can tell that Vegeta is losing ground. Ultra Ego, while shockingly powerful, still has room to improve, as this fight establishes that there is indeed a threshold at which Vegeta loses stamina from damage rather than gain power. New forms in Dragon Ball Super usually debut at the end of a conflict and thus require a nerfing for the next story, so it's been interesting to see Ultra Ego's debut so early in this arc.

Vegeta has grown a lot during Dragon Ball Super and is a much more level-headed and compassionate person than he used to be.  It's not really surprising that Vegeta lost, even though he reached a new level of power and didn't even do the thumb gesture. But this low-stakes encounter with Granolah allowed Vegeta to return to his Saiyan roots without undoing his character development, and it's a battle that has the potential to become one of the most iconic in Dragon Ball Super. Even Vegeta should have a hard time being upset about the outcome.

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