Goku’s introduction to all things Ultra Instinct gripped the Dragon Ball fandom last month, but Vegeta stans are still side-eyeing the form. After years of training, the Saiyan still wasn’t able to use Ultra Instinct when he tried, and the misstep isn’t sitting well with fans. Right now, there are plenty of people wondering why Vegeta hasn’t unlocked the special power-up already.
However, the answer to that question isn’t as simple as you would think.
When it comes to Vegeta, there seems to be one obvious reason behind his Ultra Instinct woes. To put it simply, the fighter just hasn’t gone up against an opponent who can trigger the transformation. Goku was only able to tap into the power after he fought someone who honestly over-powered him. Jiren proved to be a step above Goku during their first battle, and the hero only went Ultra Instinct after he was brought to his limits.
Well, Goku also brushed shoulders will a massive Spirit Bomb. That also helped.
When the Saiyan reentered Ultra Instinct the second time, it was because he was pushed back to the brink by Kefla. The form is one that can only be tapped when it is needed the most and does not switch on like the Super Saiyan form. Vegeta cannot force Ultra Instinct to happen; He can only put himself into dangerous situations that might trigger it. So, Vegeta trying to unlock Ultra Instinct against Katopesla was never going to work because the Saiyan clearly outclasses the policeman.
Of course, there is another reason for Vegeta’s slower uptake on Ultra Instinct, and it has everything to do with the plot. Dragon Ball fans have known for years now that Vegeta is a shadow to Goku. The hero is one of the franchise’s most popular characters, and his reception abroad may even make him bigger than Goku - but Akira Toriyama has a specific role for Vegeta to play. The fighter acts as a whet stone to Goku that makes the latter stronger, and Vegeta will always struggle to overcome the hurdles which Goku leapt easily.
As much as Vegeta fans hate it, the fighter hasn’t gotten a taste of Ultra Instinct yet because the plot demands him be a step behind. Goku needs to get a better handle on the form before Vegeta can demonstrate his own proficiency, and there is no telling if that will happen before the Tournament of Power comes to a close. For now, fans can only hope Toriyama gives Vegeta a bone and helps the Saiyan ease his inferiority complex.
Do you think Dragon Ball Super's current saga will see Vegeta unlock Ultra Instinct? Hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to let me know and talk all things anime!