WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Episode 117 of Dragon Ball Super, "Showdown of Love! Androids vs. Universe 2!!" which debuted Saturday on Adult Swim.
The Tournament of Power continues to rage on after the recent elimination of Kefla in Dragon Ball Super, and as Goku and the other Z Fighters from Universe 7 are preoccupied by a new wave of powerful opponents, Androids 17 and 18 step up in a major way to turn the tide of battle. And with the number of combatants beginning to dwindle, Android 18 draws inner strength from a surprising source to stay in the martial arts competition and turn the tables on a visibly more imposing champion from a rival universe.
Ribrianne is the strongest fighter from Universe 2 and had faced many of the Z Fighters to inconclusive results, including separate bouts against Vegeta and Android 17 earlier in the tournament. As the inhabitants of Universe 2 watch Ribrianne fight for their reality's survival in the contest of champions, they continue to empower her with their love and adoration, fueling her abilities and transforming her into a more powerful state.
With Goku visibly weakened and exhausted by pushing his body beyond its natural physical limitations through prolonged use of the Ultra Instinct state to eliminate Kefla, Ribrianne decides to press the advantage against the fatigued Saiyan warrior.
However, Goku is rescued by Androids 17 and 18, who trick Ribrianne into accidentally attacking her teammate Rozie. After Android 17 follows up and eliminates Rozie from the tournament, an enraged Ribrianne ensnares 17's sister, Android 18, in an energy trap and absorbs the love from all her eliminated teammates on the sidelines to transform into a looming, giant form referred to as Super Ribrianne. Facing the growing possibility of her own elimination, Android 18 remembers that she is fighting for her husband Krillin and daughter Marron and breaks free to launch a powerful assault against the Universe 2 champion.
Ribrianne originally dismissed Android 18's love for her husband, showing enormous levels of superficiality by finding Krillin especially repulsive due to him shaving his head and visibly lacking a nose; a meta-textual nod to Krillin's design that Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama had acknowledged ever since the original manga series. Android's 18 determination is a clear reminder that physical appearance doesn't matter and true love is more than skin deep as she escapes and turns the tables on the love-fueled martial artist to eliminate her.
Now back in her base state, Ribrianne stands on the sidelines with the other eliminated fighters from Universe 2 and begins to cry at her loss and the potential erasure of Universe 2, as only three remaining fighters represent her home dimension. However, as Brianne watches Krillin and Android 18 show their love for one another, she realizes that she doesn't know nearly as much about love as she previously thought and looks forward to learning about entirely new types of love.
Ribrianne is one of the more offbeat antagonists introduced in Dragon Ball Super. Like the classic Green Lantern villain Star Sapphire, she's powered by love instead of relying entirely on raw power levels like the show's other characters.
With the love of her teammates, Ribrianne's apparent shallowness proved to be her undoing, as she underestimated Android 18's love for Krillin, which ultimately paved the way for the Universe 7 fighter to eliminate her from the tournament. As the competition to determine the fate of the Dragon Ball Multiverse continues, love may be the most powerful weapon of all.
Newly dubbed episodes of Dragon Ball Super air on Saturdays at 11 p.m. ET/PT on Adult Swim.