Dragon Ball Super: Goku Finally Masters Ultra Instinct

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 129 of Dragon Ball Super, "Limits Super Surpassed! Ultra Instinct Mastered!!" which debuted Saturday on Adult Swim.

For the entire Tournament of Power, the final storyline in Dragon Ball Super, Universe 11's Jiren has dominated the martial arts competition, easily shrugging off attacks from the champions of various realities across the Dragon Ball Multiverse. He's also revealed himself to have combat strength on par with the gods. While the anime series' protagonists from Universe 7 have put up a valiant fight and given Jiren the most trouble, forcing him to unleash his full potential for the first time, the Pride Trooper has still very much had the battle under control.

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Picking up from the cliffhanger ending of the previous episode, Goku has once again trigger Ultra Instinct, a transformation that allows its users to achieve divine combat sense, reflexively and effortlessly dodging blows and moving at blinding fast speeds as it pushes the user's body beyond its normal physical capabilities. Goku first unlocked the form in his earlier bout against Jiren. When the stoic warrior redirected Goku's Super Spirit Bomb back at him, Goku briefly achieved the form to barely survive his own attack before eventually reverting to his base state from the sheer exertion.

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Ultra-Insinct Goku vs Jiren

In another close fight against Jiren, Goku holds his own much better against the final opponent remaining across the Dragon Ball Multiverse. However, when the fight is rejoined, Belmond, the God of Destruction from Jiren's home universe, observes that Goku still has not completely mastered the transformation into Ultra Instinct. Goku and Vegeta's trainer Whis had first made note of this while Goku demonstrated the form against the fused Saiyan warrior Kefla, unable to take full advantage of the offensive boost of Ultra Instinct and forced to rely on quick thinking to defeat his opponent before the short-lived transformation wore off.

While Belmod is initially confident Jiren can overcome the latest display of Ultra Instinct, Vegeta points out that Saiyans have always been able to push themselves above their normal limits under pressure which has been seen all throughout the Tournament.

While this bold claim is certainly fueled by Vegeta's signature pride, it's certainly not without precedent in the long-running franchise. Goku had pushed his Kaio-Ken technique to reckless levels in separate fights against Vegeta, Frieza and Hit, and it was only when the Z Fighters had completely lost hope against Frieza that Goku went Super Saiyan for the first time. In the non-canonical Dragon Ball GT, Goku had achieved Super Saiyan 4 -- a transformation which may no longer exist in Dragon Ball canon at all -- during his final fight against a Baby possessed-Vegeta. And the Saiyan Prince's prediction comes true as Jiren makes his final, desperate offensive against Goku.

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As Jiren fires a massive blast against Goku, the attack is suddenly and decisively cancelled out, and Jiren is floored by a flurry of punches from Goku. The Saiyan warrior has now triggered a new form of Ultra Instinct marked by a visible change in physical appearance. Goku's hair and irises have transformed into a shimmering platinum with a similar energy aura around him to match. Additionally, Goku's voice appears to have noticeably changed as well, more ethereal than normal reflecting Goku finally unlocking the divine potential within himself. As Goku stands on the cleared battlefield, Whis observes that his student has finally mastered Ultra Instinct.

Ever since it's tease, nearly 20 episodes ago, Ultra Instinct has allowed Goku to briefly tap into abilities beyond his normal limits and fight evenly against far more powerful foes. However, as he was surprised himself by the new combat state, Goku had been unable to take full advantage of the additional abilities and power levels it granted him. True to form, with only minutes to spare in the tournament for the fate of the entire Dragon Ball Multiverse, Goku has hit a new level of power that may be just enough to eliminate Jiren. That said, given the Pride Trooper's resolve the entire competition, he will not be going down quickly or quietly.

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

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