Dragon Ball Super: Is Freiza's New Form Good or Bad For the Series?

Dragon Ball Super has once again gotten the world buzzing with its latest game-changing transformation – this time found in the pages of the Dragon Ball Super's manga. As the long-running Granolah Arc came to an end, we got a shocking (though leaked) return by Frieza, who came to Planet Cereal to settle a little business with would-be usurpers, The Heeters.  Frieza revealed he has a new form, Black Frieza, which now outclasses both Goku and Vegeta's newly-honed Ultra Instinct and Ultra Ego powers (respectively). 

So, is Black Frieza a good or bad new turn for Dragon Ball Super's story? Let's break it down... 

Black Frieza is Classic Dragon Ball

(Photo: Shueisha)

Aside from all the Black Frieza memes that are already taking over the Internet, there is also a pretty clear consensus: 'Dragon Ball is gonna Dragon Ball.' 

By this point, anyone who has been a Dragon Ball fan since the Dragon Ball Z era already knows that color-coordinated transformations and power hierarchies have become some of the biggest staples of the franchise. Ever since Dragon Ball Super swapped out colors for numbering, we've seen Goku and Vegeta's hairstyling go from red to blue, to silver (Ultra Instinct) and purple (Ultra Ego). 

Frieza has been kept in step with his Saiyan nemeses: when they went Super Saiyan Blue, Frieza went gold – but it became clear that form tapped out around the time of the Tournament of Power, when both Boku and Vegeta jumped to new levels to defend their universe. The ToP saw Frieza rewarded for his brief heroism by being fully resurrected, and swore to get up to his evil ways. Black Frieza is definitely a promise fulfilled, in that respect.

Classic Dragon Ball Is Getting Old


When Dragon Ball Super first started venturing into the power of Ultra Instinct during the ToP, a lot of fans got hopeful that the series was actually evolving in its understanding and use of power-ups. Ultra Instinct had hints of zen philosophy behind its power, which could connect back to who Goku and/or Vegeta are as people, instead of their Saiyan DNA being the ultimate power cheat code. The same held true as Vegeta took his own route away from Ultra Instinct and into powers like Super Saiyan Blue Evolved, Spirit Control, and (the latest) Ultra Ego, which all tailored power to Vegeta's own Saiyan pride and edgelord character. 

While the Dragon Ball formula will always work, a lot of longtime fans are definitely interested in seeing some different variations on power also get some attention. In that sense, Black Frieza is a step backward: the form is clearly an echo of Goku Black (aka Zamasu), the "Evil Goku" from the DBS Future Trunks story arc. Guess evil power-ups just get hit with the "black" title, which raises its own problems... 

Will Dragon Ball's New Powers Have Better Meaning?

(Photo: Shueisha)

So far, Black Frieza is just more of the same Dragon Ball we know and love(?) – but maybe Frieza's new form will get a deeper backstory that's tailored to his character. 

It is a good start that Dragon Ball at least pulled together some obvious narrative inconsistencies to at least explain how Black Frieza was created: namely, the evil overlord finally using the same cheat code that Goku and Vegeta long have: the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. If we can get more about what exactly Frieza went through, mentally, to reach his black form during those ten years of time inside the chamber, it could put it on the level of what the series is doing for Goku and Vegeta. Ultra Instinct and Ultra Ego are the first two power forms that can maybe open up some deeper story – hopefully, they aren't squandered to simply bring the two Saiyan heroes to a level where they can take on Black Frieza. 

Dragon Ball Super's new manga chapters are free online. Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is now in theaters.