'Dragon Ball Super' Reveals Why Goku Can't Beat Jiren

Dragon Ball Super finished its anime series with the big Tournament of Power battle between Goku and Jiren, and in an unexpected turn, Goku actually lost the fight, and needed the teamwork of old foes (Freeza and Android 17) in order to finally beat Jiren, and bring home the win for Universe 7.

Well, the Tournament of Power arc in the Dragon Ball Super manga is now coming to a close, and in this version of the story, the battle royal once again comes down to Goku and Jiren - and once again, Goku ends up getting his butt whipped, despite the game-changing debut of his Ultra Instinct power.

Where the Dragon Ball Super manga differs is in the level of detail that is given concerning Goku and how his Ultra Instinct powers work, ultimately revealing why the Saiyan warrior cannot possibly hope to defeat Jiren - and never could!

During the bout with Jiren, Goku goes makes the massive transition from the incomplete form of Ultra Instinct (known as "Ultra Instinct Omen") to the full-fledged perfected version of Ultra Instinct. With that power-up, Goku is able to lay a serious beatdown on Jiren (in the classic style of Dragon Ball tournament bouts, no less) and for a moment, it looks like Universe 7 will walk away with a decisive victory in the Tournament of Power.

However, despite Ultra Instinct Goku nearly blowing Jiren clear out of the bottom of the ring, the Pride Trooper from Universe 11 won't concede defeat. In fact, Goku's speedy surprise attack tactics only make Jiren that much more furious, as he declares that, "Attacks that exploit openings are not true strength!"

Jiren's anger and determination to beat Goku exponentially increase his power level, and Ultra Instinct Goku quickly finds himself on the defensive. As Whis explains, it's actually quite hard for Gok to maintain Ultra Instinct as a defensive technique, as it requires a delicate balance of power and tranquility that is faster than thought - and it requires practice to maintain the technique:

"When Goku's body just reacts, it takes quite a toll on his," Whis says, revealing the form's energy toll.

"He may have achieved Ultra Instinct, but Goku hasn't trained enough to wield it properly."

As the battle raged on, Whis and Beerus quickly realize the odds are not in their favor:

"This is now a Battle of attrition," Whis says.

Beerus responds: "Will Jiren run outta stamina first? Or will Goku's Ultra Instinct wear off?

Jiren pretty much makes it clear which way the battle is going to go, voicing his pure strength of will when he says, "You people could never match my drive in pursuit of strength. Which is why I cannot lose to you."

Sure enough, the battle continues at such high power levels that the rest of the Universe 7 team can't even see Goku and Jiren's movements anymore - but as Goku's power drains, Jiren's just grows, and ultimately Goku is hit so hard he nearly flies out of the ring, only being saved at the last second by Vegeta.


As it stands, Ultra Instinct was still too new and untested to be the big win that Goku needed - and that's not altogether a bad thing. The technique really was a gimmick, and deciding the entire Tournament of Power through its use would've been a cheap and empty climax. Like the anime, this issue of the manga ends with Goku realizing and utilizing the one advantage he actually has over Jiren: teamwork. It's a much richer sort of conclusion - one that expands the scope of Dragon Ball beyond just Goku.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly will hit Japanese theaters in December, and is expected to arrive in the U.S. on January 16, 2019. Dragon Ball Super is currently airing its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami programming block Saturday evenings at 9:30 p.m. ET. It is also available to stream on Funimation and Amazon Video. The Japanese language release of the series is complete and available to stream on Funimation, VRV and Crunchyroll.