Shang-Chi Gives Dragon Ball a Sneaky Shout Out

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings actually gave Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball franchise a sneaky shout out during the events of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's newest film! Spoilers for the new release to follow! Out of all the manga and anime franchises that have managed to make their way to the mainstream world, Dragon Ball remains one of the most ubiquitous as its various fighting styles, transformations, and techniques have become some of the most parodied and referenced in general pop culture today. Now the franchise has made its way to the Marvel films as well.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has its own fair share of intense bouts and mystical techniques, but one of the techniques that Shang-Chi ends up using towards the end of the film looks a lot like Goku's Kamehameha Wave from Dragon Ball. It looks so much like it in fact, that one of the characters even references it as looking like a "Kamehameha Fireball" when recounting the events of that intense fight.

Shang-Chi Marvel Dragon Ball Easter Egg Goku Kamehameha
(Photo: Shueisha / Marvel)

Towards the end of the film as Shang-Chi does battle with his father, Xu, the hero ends up gaining control of the titular ten rings and begins to swirl them around faster and faster. Taking on the famous fireball pose from the Kamehameha Wave, these rings start to gather energy in a fast moving sphere before Shang-Chi ends up not using it. He then uses it officially a few moments later during the real climactic fight of the film, and Awkwafina's Katy then hilariously recalls the moment much later.

As Shang-Chi and Katy break down the events of that fight in the final few moments of the film, Katy then hilariously references the fact that Shang-Chi used a "Kamehameha Fireball" against the final opponent. It's a small reference to the world of Dragon Ball, but it's also a fun implication that this franchise exists within the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and multiverse at all. That means that even though so many fantastical things are already happening in their world, there's always room for a little Dragon Ball action.

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