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Dragon Ball Super: Two Universes Pay the Ultimate Price

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Episode 118 of Dragon Ball Super, "Accelerating Tragedy - Vanishing Universes," which debuted Saturday on Adult Swim.

The final storyline in the popular anime series Dragon Ball Super has revolved around the Tournament of Power, a martial-arts competition between the various realities of the Dragon Ball Multiverse. Organized by the omnipotent Grand Zeno and his alternate-future counterpart, the 12 universes each sends its 10 strongest warriors to compete in the battle royale with the promise that the winner will receive access to the Super Dragon Balls, mystical orbs that grant the user their greatest wish. However, the penalty for losing is the complete erasure of the eliminated team's reality and, in the latest episode, two more universes pay the ultimate price.

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With the loss of the powerful, fused Saiyan champion Kefla, Universe 6 was down to its final two representatives in the Namekians Saonel and Pilina. Meanwhile, after the elimination of Ribrianne by Android 18 in the previous episode, Universe 2 was down to its last three fighters Zirloin, Zarbuto and Rabanra. Both universes knew they were in a precarious position and made their last stands accordingly, pulling out all the stops. Ultimately, it proved too little, too late, as both teams were eliminated, and their universes erased by Zeno.

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Fighting Gohan and Piccolo, Saonel and Pilina revealed that, before joining the tournament, they fused with many Namekians in their home universe to significantly augment their strength. The technique was first seen relatively early in Dragon Ball Z, with Piccolo fusing with the mortally wounded Namekian hero Nail to keep the warrior alive within him while boosting his own power levels before his fight against Frieza. Later, Piccolo used the technique again to assimilate his other, good half, Kami, to gain enough strength to battle the villainous Cell roughly halfway through the previous anime series. Now tapping into the collective power within themselves, Saonel and Pilina prove to be more of a challenge to Universe 7's fighters.

Similarly, it's revealed the Universe 2 team had been broadcasting the tournament to the inhabitants of their dimension. It's a stark contrast to most realities, which kept the contest of champions a secret in order to avoid widespread panic over the stakes involved. This is all part of a grand strategy as Universe 2's warriors are powered by love itself as previously seen by its champion Ribrianne. Harnessing the power of love like a Star Sapphire from the Green Lantern mythos, Ribrianne was able to transform into a more powerful state before her eventual elimination in the face of a greater love from Android 18. However, Zirloin, Zarbuto and Rabanra each share the same power source and similarly transform as they fight Goku and Androids 17 and 18 to survive.

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The power boosts by the Universe 6 and 2 teams only give them a brief moment of surprise, unfortunately. Working together, Gohan and Piccolo knock Saonel and Pilina out of the arena, eliminating them both. And while the Universe 2 team is poised to eliminate their opponents by creating a singularity, Goku regains enough of his strength to transform into a Super Saiyan Blue and blast out the Universe 2 team while destroying the singularity with a Kamehameha Wave.

Facing obliteration by Zeno, Cabba, the Saiyan warrior from Universe 6 who had found a kindred spirit in Vegeta, bids his alternate-universe mentor farewell before being erased. Similarly, Champa, the God of Destruction for Universe 6 and Beerus' brother, taunts his sibling before his own death, while Universe 7's God of Destruction remains unmoved by the loss. The latest episode of Dragon Ball Super was a harsh reminder of the Tournament of Power's stakes, however, with so many realities still in the contest, Goku and the rest of Universe 7 are far from emerging victorious and ensuring their own survival.

Newly dubbed episodes of Dragon Ball Super air on Saturdays at 11 p.m. ET/PT on Adult Swim.

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