As Dragon Ball Super readies to come to an end, fans are looking forward to seeing how it all comes together. Mysteries are solved, more questions are raised, and the final battles will come to fruition and hopefully impress as past battles have.
The arguably biggest presence in the Universal Survival arc's Tournament of Power is Universe 11's Jiren. Not only touted as the strongest warrior amongst the eight competing universes, he was also the most mysterious.
Barely speaking, and even meditating during the tournament, Jiren was painted as a calm and collected, but powerful warrior. But now that his origin story has been revealed, fans aren't exactly happy with the outcome.
It just doesn't fit a foe like Jiren, and here are a few reasons why.
Jiren is a member of Universe 11's team in the Tournament of Power. Touted as the strongest character in Universe 11, strongest fighter in the Tournament of Power, and strongest character in the Dragon Ball series so far.
With a seemingly endless well of power and strength to draw from, this foe has easily kept Dragon Ball's strongest characters at bay. With a power noted as rivaling the Gods of Destruction, Jiren has been a member of Universe 11's Pride Troopers. They're a group going across Universe 11 and putting a stop to evil crimes while touting their justice.
This is what made Jiren such a compelling foe, since he at first seeming to be fighting for his universe just as Goku is. But that quickly changes.
When Jiren was young, his parents were killed by an "evil-doer." He was rescued, and his rescuer eventually taught him how to fight. His increased strength attracted more fighters and allies to his side, enough to the point where Jiren felt confident in facing down the evil-doer again. But his friends, and his teacher, were killed in the fight.
Devastated, Jiren vows to grow stronger and challenge the evil-doer again but the friends who survived the first attack refused to fight at his side. Feeling betrayed, he cast away notions like trust and friendship and believing the only real strength lies in justice (much how Toppo cast aside justice to become God) he grew to who he is today.
Believing that strength would get him everything he needed, including the likes of new allies, Jiren went forward with this way of thinking.
One of the reasons fans feel let down is because the entire origin just feels so generic when compared to other big foes in pop culture. In a way, it's Dragon Ball Super's very first superhero origin story and while it may feel newer through the Dragon Ball filter but to many it resembles much of the origins in pop culture.
There are even memes of the character with Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto's hair, and one that likes Jiren to Batman, because the origin story seems underserving and mirrors many origin stories that have come elsewhere.
The generic origin story would not seem as bad if it weren't for the strange origins of every other character and foe in the series so far. Take just Super, for instance, and compare Jiren's origin to Beerus, a slumbering God of Destruction who comes to destroy the Earth in search of a new God, or Freeza, a fallen tyrant revived to get revenge on the good guys, or even Hit, a mysterious assassin who is fighting for riches and the ability to travel across universes.
And the story feels even blander when you compare it to the foes of Dragon Ball Z such as Vegeta, a prince of a fallen planet in search of a missing warrior, the Androids, killer machines built by a former foe, and even Majin Buu, a mysterious magical entity with insane power.
Jiren's just seems lacking in that trademarked Dragon Ball weirdness,
While Jiren's origin story doesn't compare to the origins of other Dragon Ball foes in their weirdness, there is an unflattering comparison to one other: Vegeta. Vegeta basically has the same origin story in that his parent was killed by an evil-doer (Freeza) and every attempt to thwart him was met with pain and anguish.
But while Jiren resides into himself and broods himself strong, Vegeta brews in his hatred for years while ceaselessly training in order to become strong. While Jiren uses others for strength and never punished for it, Vegeta is harmed when he tries to act selfishly and ends up having a more interesting character path overall.
Jiren's story highlights how great Vegeta's is, but further digs itself into a hole.
While the origin story does fall flat based on its content, it's not exactly helped by its delivery or place in the series overall. Dragon Ball Super is ending its series run soon, and some fans feel its a case of too little, and too late with an origin story for Jiren with so few episodes to do anything with it.
Along with being late in the series, it's also delivered in a clunky fashion. Jiren doesn't open up on his own, and instead Android 17 manages to coax it out of Universe 11's God of Destruction Belmod. There's a bit of character development when Jiren tells Belmod to shut up about it, but that's a development from character interaction rather than something brought about by the story.
Revealing Jiren's origin story so late in the series also created a whole host of new problems. In fact, his origin story only further raises questions that the series is running out of enough time to answer properly. Fans have been wondering about the extent of Jiren's power ever since he was introduced and assumed that he had gained the power to rival a god through fancy means.
But when Jiren's origin story just said that he trained all of his life to gain his power, many fans felt this poorly explained why he has ascended to his level of strength. It's not that Jiren is part of an extremely strong race like the Saiyans, but just some warrior fueled enough by his revenge to become strong.
One of the major changes fans have noticed with Jiren is his changing attitude as he became the lone fighter of Universe 11. When Jiren is eliminated from the tournament, Jiren responds with a simple, "How pathetic. I expected more from you." this obviously comes as a shock to Universe 11, and even Goku who asks Jiren how he could say such a thing about his teammates.
Jiren doesn't budge on this and continues to congratulate them for both gaining as much power as they have without casting anything aside as well as eliminating Toppo from the Tournament. Even going as far as to tease Goku and Vegeta by telling them to feat their eyes on his powering up.
But his origin story paints him in a less cocky fashion, as someone with no emotions or driver other than for strength and justice, and it defies this new character quirk.
Unfortunately, as with any major foe in fiction, once you reveal their origin, you lose the mystique of the character themselves. While Jiren's Super Dragon Ball wish is still a mystery, and there are a few questions left unanswered that could be great for character development, now Jiren is stuck with this origin story holding him down.
His actions are now all motivated by his bland origin story, and this means that his interactions with Goku will no longer have a mysterious deeper meaning. All is not lost, however, as although the mystique is gone there is a chance Goku and Jiren's final battle will be interesting for other reasons. Perhaps there lies a final character development or motivation that will make Jiren more compelling as a final foe.
Unfortunately for Jiren, there's a lot of pressure on the character to succeed because he's the last foe in the series. Not only is he the final foe of Dragon Ball Super, but he's the final foe of everything Dragon Ball for who knows how long after Super ends its run in March.
Fans have just come to expect more from a franchise that has provided fantastic finales, with compelling or interesting foes and Jiren's origin story just simply can't live up to expectations now that he's been built up as a god tier fighter.0comments
The pressure of the finale is so high, that even if Jiren's origin story would have been more involving, it would not have been good enough to serve the final foe of the series. No origin story could have been good enough for a character like Jiren.