Right now, fans are enamored about the look of Goku's Perfect Ultra Instinct, and the epic footage of Goku and Jiren battling it out at the top levels of their respective power. However, once the fight is over, and the hype around it dies down, this latest step in Goku's evolution will be the subject of much discussion, as it should. Because of this latest power-up, Goku can no longer be Dragon Ball's main character anymore.
Too God For Mortals
The first thing that is apparent after Goku tapped into the perfect form of Ultra Instinct is that he's broken a limit that even the gods and angels are awed by. In fact, Goku's transformation scene in episode 129 saw the entire audience (including the Gods of Destruction, Angels, Zenos and Grand Priest all marking the milestone of having a mere mortal access a power the divine beings themselves struggle to achieve.
If Goku has become something more powerful than the gods themselves, then the idea of having him hang out with the Z-Fighters of Earth would now be like having Yamcha or Krillin hang around as main characters and fighters in the latter seasons of Dragon Ball Z or in Dragon Ball Super: it just wouldn't make sense. Besides Vegeta's new SSGSSE transformation, Goku now outclasses the other Z-Fighters to such a degree that any future storylines using him as the central combatant would require a level of villain and battle that would make the other characters all but irrelevant. And that goes against everything that Dragon Ball is supposed to be about:
What Would Be the Point?
In case you never understood this: Dragon Ball is loved all over the world and in so many different cultures primarily because of its "empowerment fantasy" appeal. However, if the series were to suddenly start revolving around a character who has very little room left to power up, then Dragon Ball would be sacrificing the its biggest selling point as a series.
More to the point: it would be boring. Half the fun of watching Dragon Ball is going on the journey from where Goku and Co.'s power levels begin, to where they end up, having to train hard and break limits in order to best foes of increasing power. With Perfect Ultra Instinct, Goku would have a safety net for dealing with just about any threat; and if he had to further power up to win the fight, then it would be a path he pretty much walked alone.
Dragon Ball has pretty gone as far as it can with Goku's journey of training and evolving. But while he may not be fit for the central spotlight anymore, there's still a way for him to fit into the franchise:
After the events of Dragon Ball Super, Goku will be on a level that rivals the powers of the gods, which means that Super could end with Goku having to take on a new role: cosmic protector!
Goku's journey has always been about gaining more power - his connection to family and friends (like his own sons) has always been a distant second (and a running fan in-joke for years). After beating Jiren and winning the Tournament of Power, Goku could easily find himself recruited into the divine order, to be further trained by the likes of Beerus and Whis for a new role as their universal champion - or the deterrent for a major new threat on the horizon.
That change would be similar to final season of Dragon Ball Z, which saw Goku hanging out in the afterlife for a lot of the time. In this new context, the next Dragon Ball series would unfold with characters like Goten, Trunks, and Gohan as the leads; Goku would be "off planet" doing his divine protector thing, until some carefully-planned cameos brought him back to help train the younger fighters, or save them from some powerful evil threat.
In other words: seeing Goku onscreen should become something of a rare treat, rather than the norm.
How do you feel about Goku's Perfect Ultra Instinct evolution? Do you think there's still potential for him to lead the next installment of the series? Let us know in the comments!3comments
Dragon Ball Super airs on Crunchyroll Saturday evenings at 7:15 p.m. CST. Adult Swimairs the English dub during its Toonami block Saturday evenings at 9:30 p.m, and is now available to stream on FunimationNOW and Amazon Video.
Photo Credit: Goku Transformations Image by Screen Rant