'Dragon Ball Super' Makes Subtle 'Saiyan' Arc Throwback

Dragon Ball Super is ready to bring one of its most famous arcs to an end. The manga just released a brand-new chapter bringing the 'Universal Survival' story to a close, and fans were quick to pick out a super subtle easter egg from the finale.

Thanks to Viz Media, a new chapter of Dragon Ball Super has gone live. The update sees Goku and Vegeta take on Jiren as the Tournament of Power nears an end, but it is the former who helps end things. After Vegeta gets ringed out, Goku is left to fight Jiren, and Freeza shows up to lend a hand. However, the strategy the pair play out was one fans have seen before.

Chapter 42 follows Goku as he briefly spars one-on-one with Jiren. The Universe 11 fighter is too much for the Saiyan to handle, and Freeza steps in to deliver a final blow to Jiren. To do so, Goku puts Jiren in a Full Nelson to keep him from moving, and Freeza aims a massive energy blast at the pair. Jiren ends up blowing the attack away, leaving him and Goku unharmed. But, if fans think back a bit, they will remember a time this strategy played out and worked a little too well.

Creator Akira Toriyama used this plan back during the 'Saiyan' saga. Dragon Ball Z adapted the story in 1989, and it was there Goku used a Full Nelson on his older brother. When Raditz came to Earth looking for Goku, the pair fought first thing, and it forced the latter to team up with Piccolo to save Gohan. The trio began their rematch a few episodes into Dragon Ball Z, but Raditz was stronger than either Goku or Piccolo believed. To take the man down, Goku held Raditz in place while Piccolo launched a Special Beam Cannon at the pair to beat Raditz. Goku's hold on the man meant he would be hit too, and the attack did kill the Saiyan.

Luckily, this scenario did not play out fully in Dragon Ball Super, but the homage is definitely there. Goku's hold on Jiren would have put him in the way of any attack Freeza sent, and there's no guarantee the Saiyan would have survived such a blow. So, it's a good thing Jiren decided to back the attack away before either fighter could take damage from Freeza's blast.

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Dragon Ball Super currently airs its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami programming block Saturday evenings at 9:30 p.m. 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 FunimationNOW, VRV, and Crunchyroll. The manga has chapters that can currently be read for free thanks to Viz Media.