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Dragon Ball Super's Ending, Explained

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 131 of Dragon Ball Super, "A Miraculous Conclusion! Farewell, Goku! Until We Meet Again!" which debuted Saturday on Adult Swim.

The latest anime series in Akira Toriyama's popular Dragon Ball franchise, Dragon Ball Super has come to an end, leaving longtime protagonist Goku and his friends and family in an interesting place. And, as its climactic martial-arts competition, the Tournament of Power, has similarly concluded, with a surprise champion emerging from the greatest fighters of the Dragon Ball Multiverse.

The winner, Universe 7's Android 17, uses his wish from the Super Dragon Balls to restore the Multiverse, which had been steadily erased with the elimination of each universe's team from the competition. The omnipotent Grand Zeno and his alternate-future timeline counterpart reveal they predicted a selfless competitor would prevail and restore the realities they annihilated. Had the champion used the Super Dragon Balls selfishly -- as Frieza and Jiren planned, should either emerge victorious -- the Omni-King would have deemed all of existence unworthy, and erased it.

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With all of the fighters returned to their respective, restored realities, the possibility of epic rematches looms. Earlier in the series, Goku and Vegeta met Saiyan warriors from Universe 6, with whom they formed a sort of kinship through their shared race. Vegeta took on the young Saiyan Cabba as an impromptu protege, while the female warriors Kale and Caulifa were impressed by Goku's combat prowess and strength after fighting him separately and in their fused persona Kefla. The Saiyans vow to grow even stronger for an inevitable rematch, a sentiment shared by Universe 11's Jiren.

The Pride Trooper quickly established himself as the most powerful warrior in the Tournament of Power after eschewing friendships as he grew up to focus entirely on self-improvement and combat mastery. Constantly surprised by Goku and Vegeta's persistence, in the face of his overwhelming strength, Jiren was shocked when his teammates didn't blame him for their obliteration following his defeat by the combined efforts of Goku, Frieza and Android 17. They instead extended a renewed offer of friendship. Realizing Goku and Vegeta were fueled by their love of family and friends, Jiren accepts this time, and vows to face off against Goku once again, this time a friendly rematch after he returns to his home planet.

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Back in Universe 7, Frieza is restored to life by Whis for his vital role in securing the team's victory across the tournament, despite secretly scheming to use the Super Dragon Balls to conquer the universe, should he gain access to them. Although Goku promises to put down the despot, should he ever cause trouble, Frieza is seen taking control of his interstellar empire once more, plotting to extend his rule from the far reaches of space, likely making his truce with Goku and the Z Fighters only temporary. While the gathered Z Fighters celebrate their momentous victory, Gohan and Pan's toddler Pan already shows signs of her mixed Saiyan heritage by accidentally flying into Vegeta, giving the Saiyan Prince and Goku the opportunity to face off for a quick sparring match where they first fought as mortal enemies years earlier.

Assuming the same fighting stances as they did in their initial confrontation, Goku reveals he has been unable to regain Autonomous Ultra Instinct since his fight against Jiren, while Vegeta vows to surpass his old rival once again and achieve even greater levels of power.

While there are plenty of places for the long-running franchise to potentially explore next, the sight of the two frenemies squaring off is a nod to anime property's extensive history, with a tease for new adventures featuring Goku and the Z Fighters.

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