To celebrate the publication of Dragon Ball Super Volume 17, Toyotarou answered some of fan’s frequently asked questions. While they were questions of the usual kind – what is your favorite _______? The interview was incredibly helpful in describing Ultra Instinct and Ultra Ego’s inner workings.
The Dragon Ball Super Mangaka expands on the two divine techniques, and I must say, things are slowly becoming clearer. Toyotarou has put a lot of thought while coming up with Ultra Ego in relation to Vegeta’s character. And I think both go hand in hand really well. It’s a move that is in sync with the Prince’s psyche, at least compared to his previous forms.
But enough of me chit-chatting; let’s get into what Toyotarou had to say about Ultra Instinct and Ultra Ego and analyze how they affect Goku and Vegeta’s fighting capabilities and as characters in Dragon Ball Super.
Toyotarou says Goku’s Ultra Instinct is his favorite form
From Goku’s collection of forms, Toyotarou picks Ultra Instinct (the one with the silver hair) to be his favorite. And he explains how normally the strongest form tends to be the coolest.
I personally feel Ultra Instinct is great not only of its strength but the concept behind it. Rooted from Chinese and Indian philosophy and martial arts, the signature technique of the Angels is one of the most interesting and well-thought-out moves in Dragon Ball.
In fact, the principles or the concept of Ultra Instinct was explored right from early Dragon Ball.
As I said, the roots of UI are from Eastern Philosophy and martial arts. Uchida says “I guess it almost feels sacred” and the references all adds up.
According to the Buddhist scripture, Nikayas, mental tranquility and serenity imply the ability to keep attention, be clear-headed in the face of stimulus, and be emotionally balanced.
This condition is supposed to emerge as a result of a combination of attention, non-conceptual observation, and discernment, all of which can be learned through mental training. And it’s not the kind that any tom, dick, or harry can do.
Nirvana is the final degree of enlightenment in Buddhism, where the individual has perfect control over his thoughts and emotions. All extraneous ideas have been fully eliminated, almost to the point of being stone-like.
He enters a condition of eternal joy after leaving the body, never to be born again.
To achieve that state, however, one needs to train both the mind and the body for decades. It could possibly take a lifetime or more. According to its beliefs, the soul continues to reincarnate until it achieves that level of total stillness.
Toyotarou hints at the weakness of Ultra Instinct
Toyotarou explains how Goku needs to be calm and steady in a battle. So ideally speaking, his expressions and emotions should be in check. Or else, the heart meter will begin to fluctuate drastically, resulting in changing of expressions.
And that’s what Toyotarou cannot, or rather, shouldn’t draw, if Goku has perfected Ultra Instinct like the Angels have.
In other words, I think Toyotarou is indirectly saying a perfect user of Ultra Instinct should have a stoic expression no matter the scenario in a battle. And this is the clue in figuring out how much UI users are accurate in using the technique.
For example, people argue that MUI Goku’s accuracy dropping in the Granolah arc isn’t stated anywhere before. Using Toyotarou’s logic, we can pinpoint the moments where it dropped during the battle with Moro.
His emotions began to stir up after seeing Merus vanish; just like when Goku raged and became a Super Saiyan for the first time after Krillin died.
However, he kept his emotions in check, remembering Merus’ lessons about Ultra Instinct being the antithesis of Super Saiyan transformation.
After transforming into the silver-haired UI form, the once fierce storm in the background quieted down and the whole surrounding became peaceful and serene. Quite the contrast to when he transformed into a Super Saiyan back on Namek.
During the entire fight, Goku’s expression was constantly stoic. Hardly any change.
This stoic expression remained until Moro merged with the Earth and Goku’s reaction began changing in a dramatic way.
When he finds out that letting Moro go was a mistake and his actions endangered the entire Galaxy, Goku’s expressions dramatically changed from surprise to shock.
Henceforth, if you notice closely, he slowly begins to wear down and struggle. He gets flustered and irritated at the situation. Thoughts began to pour-in. His stoic expression has vanished. And he struggles to woosh through and strike at Moro’s crystal on his forehead.
Toyotarou mentions the symptoms of Goku in Ultra Instinct:
Of course, this pertains to the silver-haired Ultra Instinct form, but the drop in accuracy is clearly hinted at in the Tournament of Power where Goku’s body loses focus, thereby losing his stoic expression. The sound effect of “wearing down” is quite evident.
The dramatic expressions says it all. Apart from the stamina issue, this is the main reason for Ultra Instinct to drop accuracy during battle.
Ideally speaking, the number of thoughts generated should be close to 0 at all times.
Goku with the stoic expression was having a decent amount of control of his thoughts and emotions. But, as soon as Whis announced the fate of the Galaxy is at jeopardy during the Moro battle, Goku began to think about what would happen to him and his friends? He began to feel guilty for leaving Moro and not finishing off when the others told him to do so.
In other words, thoughts flooded in and he couldn’t keep his emotions in check like before. Stoic Goku became irritated and sweating Goku.
The accuracy of UI dropped during the Moro arc and in the Granolah arc as well. Goku lost that stoic expression when Granolah shockingly revealed that it wasn’t he who was fighting Goku all this time but rather his clone.
To conclude, the whole dropping of accuracy isn’t nerfing down Ultra Instinct. It was there even in the Moro arc and will continue to exist until Goku learns how to still his mind and heart, control his thoughts and emotions at all times or at least during battle.
A couple of other fans on the Twitterverse too share the same opinion.
In fact, this information would help to understand the gap between Merus, Whis and the Grand Priest. Merus had a lot of thoughts clouding his mind regarding justice, protecting the galaxy, etc. thoughts which Whis never bothered with. Plus he gets flustered easily, at least compared to fully-fledged Angels. Hence Whis > Merus.
However, Whis too drops his accuracy here and there by a teeny amount. One example is when he stepped on shit and the other is while eating.
He lost the consistent stoic look during these times, and so he is below the Grand Priest, who has had a stoic and neutral countenance so far. He doesn’t get moved by something so easily.
Even when Merus violated the laws of the Angels, the Grand Priest remained unflustered. In other words, he never showed a dramatic expression before. So he’s the best user of Ultra Instinct.
Now that we’ve cleared that misconception, let’s talk about Vegeta’s Ultra Ego in comparison with Ultra Instinct.
Toyotarou explains the origins of Ultra Ego
The Dragon Ball Super Mangaka confirms that he was the one who came up with the name and design of Ultra Ego.
He said that he likes to draw Vegeta the most, especially in this arc, as he likes to see the character growing and evolving from the guilt of his past and the history of his race. The Prince of all Saiyans is slowly training to come out of it through Beerus.
Goku has always been a good guy, but Vegeta was initially evil until Goku, Bulma, and Trunks changed him. With Ultra Ego, he temporarily reverted to his old vile nature to try to apply what Beerus taught him.
Vegeta will get the hang of a Destroyer’s power when he recreates himself by not getting caught up in the dualities of right and wrong. He must forget about the past, rise above and go beyond.
Toppo in the Tournament of Power rose above justice and injustice and concluded that being and absence of being are what is necessary. Vegeta needs a similar change in order to master Ultra Ego.
Understanding Ultra Ego through Freud’s personality theory
Explaining human psychology and Freudian philosophy through Vegeta is one of the greatest things Toyotarou achieved in depicting Vegeta’s character growth.
According to Freud, The id, also known as the identity, is the primitive and instinctual part of the mind that contains aggressive drives and hidden memories. The Super-Ego functions as a moral conscience, and the Ego serves as a bridge between the desires of the id and the desires of the Super Ego. Check this link out for examples!
Previously, the Super-Ego dominated Vegeta’s mind along with the Ego backing it up (hence the guilty feelings). Beerus instructed him to destroy his earlier persona and recreate himself from scratch.
Meaning, to destroy the Super-Ego or at least suppress it and make the id take the charge. This explains the Prince’s lack of mercy on Granolah or the guilt which he had earlier on. You can sort of say he created an alter ego. One that is like Majin Vegeta and at the same time, not.
With his primitive or innermost desires surfacing, i.e., to enjoy a fight and experience his “happy place”. Since Ego drives this form, Vegeta taking damage head-on instead of dodging boosts his self-esteem is what Ego is all about. Of course, he doesn’t go complete berserk as the Super-Ego within him prevents that from happening.
But will all of this make him the God of Destruction of Universe 7 one day? I don’t think so. But one cannot help but think of the possibilities if it turns out to be true.
Comparing Ultra Ego with Ultra Instinct
Now coming back to Ultra Ego, Toyotarou said that it has a similar meaning to Ultra Instinct (in terms of being selfish and the requirement of God Ki) but the techniques’ undertones are different.
He explains further by mentioning that, if you break down the Kanji of Migatte no Goku’i & Wagamama no Goku’i, the words are fundamentally different, even though in Japanese, they have similar meanings.
For Ultra Instinct or 身勝手みがっての極意ごくい (Migatte no Goku’i), if you look at the kanji words one by one the characters of Migatte (身勝手), 身(body) and 勝手(own convenience/selfishness) gives the idea of “instinct” where your “body moves its own”.
In the case of Ultra Ego or 我儘わがままの極意ごくい (Wagamama no Goku’i), if zooming into Wagamama (我儘) , the characters are 我 (oneself) 儘 (as it is). Which means to move freely with stable consciousness or “doing as you please”.
Both 身勝手(Migatte) and 我儘 (Wagamama) mean the same in Japanese (selfish) but with a difference according to context.
Toyotarou beautifully summarizes the difference in one sentence: “it’s the difference between your body moving freely (Ultra Instinct) and moving your body freely (Ultra Ego)”
Basically, it means that Ultra Instinct refers to letting your body do act on its own accord and Ultra Ego refers to you acting on your own accord to move your body without hindrance. Ultra Instinct is the polar opposite of Ultra Ego.
Like Ultra Instinct, Ultra Ego is a technique used by the Gods of Destruction to unveil their destructive powers. Just like how the Angels are always on the UI state, Destroyer Gods like Beerus are always on the UE state (except when it’s chow time)
Like Ultra Instinct, Ultra Ego seems to be primarily a technique but because Vegeta isn’t accustomed to using it in his base form, he’s using the technique’s form version or a conscious transformation.
Similar to Goku’s training, the next step in his training is to think about destruction and nothing else in all of his forms no matter what the situation is during battle. The accuracy drop factor could affect UE as well.
Both require God Ki to activate it, however, Ultra Ego uses a type of God Ki that isn’t the same as Goku uses.
Mortals can generate this type of God Ki when following these conditions:
- Tremendous physical stamina to withstand attacks of the G.O.Ds (God of Destruction)
- High level of thought & emotional control
- All this under the supervised training of a Divine being like an Angel or a G.O.D.
Now, for Ultra Instinct, Goku tries to think of nothing, to become completely thoughtless and let the body move on its own. When he imbibes that mindset, the Ki transforms into the type of God Ki suitable for that technique.
On the other hand, for Ultra Ego, the user thinks of nothing except destruction. The process of reducing thoughts converts Ki to God Ki however, when thoughts of destruction remain, the God Ki transforms into energy of destruction, which Beerus uses to make his Ki blasts.
Beerus has harnessed and perfected this thought process, so he doesn’t need to consciously transform in order to wield the energy of destruction. But the person who could be one step ahead in this department is Zeno, who has a type of destructive ability which leaves no remains of the object destroyed.
Toyotarou adds that the design for Vegeta’s Ultra Ego is based on Beerus (the no eyebrow thing and probably the purple aura) while he speculated that Goku’s silver hair in his Ultra Instinct form might have been based on Whis’ hair.
We’ll get Ultra Ego’s official colored version in the upcoming Jump Festa.
Well, that’s everything revealed so far. Toyotarou’s interviews are fascinating to understand the inner workings of the story and its components. What do you think of our analysis? Let us know in the comments below!
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