Dragon Ball Super is at a major crossroads right now, with the anime on hiatus, the manga finishing up a pivotal new arc, and the Dragon Ball Heroes promo anime even managing to push the possibilities of where the franchise can go next. While the series is in this state of flux fans are talking and speculating about what should happen with the next phase of Dragon Ball, and there's one topic that comes up quite often: Goku's new Ultra Instinct power-up. After a brief introduction, mastering Ultra Instinct has become the next big destination for Dragon Ball Super's story - but its a destination that Vegeta doesn't need to travel to.
Here's the reasoning behind why Dragon Ball Super should never have Vegeta achieve Ultra Instinct like Goku did.
In simplest terms: one of Dragon Ball's best achievements has been the epic and dynamic character arc of Vegeta. The Prince of Saiyans started out as the big bad on Dragon Ball Z, and the rest of that series slowly but surely moved Vegeta from archvillain to anti-hero, step by careful step. By the time Majin Vegeta was shedding tears and sacrificing himself to protect to the Earth, fans could hardly believe just how much they'd grown to love Vegeta as a central part of Dragon Ball. For all its storytelling faults (that's a separate article), Dragon Ball Super has managed to pick up the thread of Vegeta's evolving character and carry them even further along. By the time of the Tournament of Power, we got a Vegeta who genuinely cares about his family, his friends, and even the fellow Saiyans from other universes he bonded with and mentored. One the "Tournament of Power" arc's final chapters was a testament to that transition, as Vegeta's last stand against Jiren was not at all about the spectacle of battle, and all about examining how much Vegeta's character has grown.
Dragon Ball Super took things a step further in a wiser direction with Vegeta's character by giving him a unique new power-up tied to his character growth: Super Saiyan God SS Evolution. Vegeta unlocked that next level of Super Saiyan Blue during his ToP battles - in large part because he didn't wan't to continue the DBZ/DBS tradition of simply following in the footsteps of Goku's Super Saiyan transformations. The manga has gone even further in its post-ToP arc, by having Vegeta officially split from Goku, after they were beaten down and nearly killed by the series new vilain, Moro. Goku is working on mastering Ultra Instinct, but Vegeta has gone to Planet Yardrat to learn his own set of new techniques from the planet's mysterious inhabitants, vowing to never again rely on Goku's powers to save the day.
With Akira Toriyama guiding this new manga arc, the intention seems clear: It's time for Vegeta to step out onto his own. All the pieces are already in place for the Vegeta to go through his own new stages of power-up (Yardrat, SSGSSE), and Dragon Ball Super's story has opened the door for bigger possibilities like Vegeta heading to a whole other universe (U6) to lead an entire new race of heroic Saiyans. To ignore all that potential just to have Vegeta once again become a late-bloomer twin to Goku's new form, would be a real crime - and not one that fans would arguably permit Dragon Ball Super to make, at this point.
What do you think?
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.