Dragon Ball Super chapter 53 is now out, and the manga is continuing to rapidly move the pieces of its new story arc, "Galactic Patrol Prisoner", into the setup for endgame. After the previous issue saw Goku and Vegeta pursue new avenues of training to defeat evil sorcerer Moro, this new issue takes a look at the peril the rest of Earth's Z-Fighters face, now that Moro's forces have set their sights on Goku and Vegeta's homeworld. However, the final part of Dragon Ball Super chapter 53 checks in with our two Saiyan heroes in their new training regiments - and for Goku, that new training has life or death consequences!
Warning: Dragon Ball Super Chapter 53 SPOILERS follow!
Last we saw, Goku was undergoing training with the Galactic Patrol's elite agent Merus, who has hinted that he may have divine powers well beyond what we initially expected. Merus specifically hints that he knows the path to truly mastering Ultra Instinct - but it's not training he can give Goku in the mortal plane, so the pair entered a Hyperbolic Time Chamber, where Merus can unleash the power he needs to push Goku back to Ultra Instinct.
However, things aren't possessing quite as hoped.
As Dragon Ball Super chapter 53 clearly (and concisely) demonstrates, Goku can't access Ultra Instinct again, no matter how hard Merus thrashes him. That frustration leads Goku to wonder if his manifesting Ultra Instinct wasn't anything but a fluke, which leads Merus to investigate how he managed to do it in the first place. Merus asks Goku if he was facing a life or death circumstance when he first achieved Ultra Instinct, and indeed that was the case, as Goku's battle in the Tournament of Power was literally a matter of Universal Survival (as the arc was named).
So, the conclusion that Merus reaches is pretty straightforward and simple: "Then the quickest way to achieve it again is to replicate those conditions." When Goku wonders if the Galactic Patrolman is actually suggesting that, "I gotta be prepared to die during this training?" Merus answers that's exactly what needs to happen. Goku being Goku he's not at all sacred, just excited ("Then you'd better come at me to kill."). We're eager to see just what kind of deadly power Merus unleashes on Goku - and then, what kind of empowering effect that deadly force will have on Goku!
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.