Dragon Ball Revisits Ultra Instinct Goku to Some Controversy

Super Dragon Ball Heroes has been been enjoying a great run as of late. The series' current storyline, "Universal Conflict: Dawn of War" has been especially effective at propelling the promo anime to new heights of visibility within the fandom, offering an exciting new lineup of villains, a major galactic weapon as the MacGuffin, and some high-powered battles just for good measure.

Well, episode 14 of Super Dragon Ball Heroes was no slouch in any of those department, as new villain Hearts, leader of the fearsome Core Area Warriors, continued his campaign of conquest Earth and Universe 7. In facing the might of Goku and the Z-Fighters, Hearts gave his own soldiers a major power boost, resulting in Oren and Kamin's fused form, Kamioren, becoming a super-sized monster threat. That powerful new foe required an equal response from the heroes - and they got it in the form of Goku's return to Ultra Instinct!

However, while it was great seeing Goku's Ultra Instinct return, Dragon Ball fans are dishing out some serious backlash over Super Dragon Ball Heroes' latest version of the Ultra Instinct technique - and not without good reason.

If you watch Super Dragon Ball Heroes episode 14, and the climatic fight between Goku and Kamioren, you probably noticed it yourself: Dragon Ball Heroes' limited capabilities with animation basically robs Ultra Instinct of its grandeur, in the eyes of many fans.

Ultra Instinct is still a very new kind of power-up, having just debuted in Dragon Ball Super's final Tournament of Power arc. When Ultra Instinct was introduced in the anime (and later in the manga), it was introduced as a massive explosion of power each time Goku manifested it, triggered by extreme emotion, or as a reflexive response to danger in battle. While the latter trigger seems to be at play when Kamioren had Goku in its clutches, the way that Ultra Instinct manifests here seems way to nonchalant and easy, and in that sense, fans feel like the famed technique is quickly just becoming another Dragon Ball gimmick.

That would be a real shame, as many fans see Ultra Instinct as something promising that will grow in importance later on in the series. Having it become a flash in the pan everytime Goku gets in a little trouble is definitely not what most fans want, but to be fair, Super Dragon Ball Heroes has set a proper foundation for it. The series has included a (very brief) subplot about Goku training with the Grand Priest to better master Ultra Instinct, so his ability to manifest it would arguably be easier at this point.

Still, never underestimate the importance of dramatic flair...


Dragon Ball Super currently airs its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami programming block on Saturday evenings. 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 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.