Dragon Ball Super Needs a Jiren Origin Story Arc

Dragon Ball Super opened the doors to a much bigger Dragon Ball universe during its anime run, and no character has stood taller on that expanded stage than Jiren the Grey. Universe 11's enigmatic fighter was *the* guy to beat in the Tournament of Power, and the Dragon Ball Super English Dub series on Toonami just reached a pivotal point in Jiren's story.

Episode 127 of Dragon Ball Super ("The Approaching Wall! The Final Barrier of Hope!") focuses a lot on Android 17's attempt to take down Jiren in a one-on-one showdown, but it also happens to feature a crucial reveal about Jiren's origin.

What the episode reveals is that Jiren was once a happy boy, whose world was shattered by the tragic event of an evildoer slaughtering his village and parents. Jiren was spared and ended up under the tutelage of a powerful warrior, who taught the boy the strength he needed to get justice. Unfortunately, Jiren's master and brothers-in-arms were eventually slaughtered by the same evildoer that killed Jiren's family. That second trauma left Jiren truly shattered, and the young warrior decided there could only be one path in his life: gaining more and more strength, so that he could defeat any evildoer who ever crossed his path, again.

That brief backstory delivered by Universe 11's Destroyer Belmod is sufficient enough to fill in the blanks of Jiren's immeasurable might in the Tournament of Power, but it's insufficient foundation to properly build-up a character whose gaining as much popularity and prominence as Jiren is. The Universe 11 champion was an intimidating mystery when he first appeared in the Tournament of Power, but fans have come to appreciate him so much more as a character - and have no end of theories and hopes for how JIren can be integrated deeper into the Dragon Ball mythos.

One good way to explore Jiren while simultaneously moving Dragon Ball Super forward would be to give the character a full arc or mini arc in the manga or next anime. That story would catch us up with Jiren after the Tournament of Power, but would also open the door to much more backstory as present day events unfold, filling in details like how Jiren trained himself to be so strong; what his first real battle was all about; or how and why he eventually decided to join the Pride Troopers.

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The most obvious choice would be to feature the story of how Jiren finally catching up to the evildoer who ruined his childhood, and finally getting the justice that he's desired for so long. It's one of the biggest lingering mysteries of Dragon Ball Super, so it would be a great 2-for-1 story to have play out. Even as an OVA, the story of Jiren would be a worthy event in Dragon Ball lore that fans would flock to. Let's make it happen!

Dragon Ball Super currently airs its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami programming block on Saturday evenings, and is also available to stream on Funimation and Amazon Video. The Japanese-language release of the series is complete, and available to stream on FunimationNOW and Crunchyroll. The manga has chapters that can currently be read for free thanks to Viz Media, and Dragon Ball Super's big movie, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.