It has been criticized that deaths in Dragon Ball have no severe consequences. This is due to the existence of the wish-granting Dragon Balls, Temporal do-overs, and so on. Therefore, all the damage caused by the antagonist pretty much seems insignificant in the end.
To quote a line from Dragon Ball Z Abridged Kai (A parody on Dragon Ball Z by Team Four Star):
KRILLIN: Gohan beat Cell!!!
PICCOLO: But at what cost?
(Shenron is summoned)
PICCOLO: Oh right, no cost. Hooray!Dragon Ball Z Kai Abridged Episode 3.5 (Cell Shaded) – Team Four Star
Well, something similar happened in the case of our favourite angel Merus.
Merus was the Android 16 of Moro arc. He chose to sacrifice himself to protect the living and also to push Goku beyond Ultra Instinct Sign. This was similar to what Android 16 did during the Cell Games Saga with Gohan. Fans of Dragon Ball Super felt their hearts being shattered when both these characters vanished from existence. However, this feeling was short-lived in the case of Merus.
Merus is not really dead?
Dragon Ball Super chapter 67 inscribed mixed feelings among fans as Merus was brought back into existence. It was not as an Angel, but as a mortal being. This was made possible thanks to the Supreme Kai’s request to the Grand Priest to resurrect Merus. Beerus was mad at Kai for putting both of their lives on the line for this. But it did end in a favorable position for all of them.
Some fans feel that Merus shouldn’t have been resurrected. The reason being the angel’s touching speech and his apparent demise left a huge impact on Goku and the fans. Others feel Merus’s come back is a thing to be celebrated for. Merus was a cherished character and also a teacher for Goku, so bringing him back means he could train our Saiyan hero to new levels. Even though his Angel powers are gone, his knowledge and memories of his time spent as an Angel stay intact.
Both of these arguments do hold well, but, what if I told you that there’s a possibility that Merus’s Resurrection was pre-planned all along? Hold on to your horses as I explain my thoughts.
Was Merus’s temporary eradication planned all along?
To answer the question directly, yes. There’s a good chance that Whis and the Grand Priest had pre-planned Merus’ ressurection together. Read on to find out how:
In Chapter 55 of Dragon Ball Super, the Grand Priest confirmed to Whis that Merus has gained a bias towards the Mortals and has developed a sense of Justice. If he pushed the limit further, the Grand Priest has to end Merus’s tenure in the Mortal Realm. Whis then requests his father whether he can take charge of Merus and deal with him on his own. The Grand Priest agreed to the request and said that whether Merus was a trouble maker or not, the former does not wish to lose an Angel. This statement is proof that he has a sense of attachment to his sons and it’d discomfort him if he had to eradicate any of them.
Later on, Whis met up with Merus in a faraway planet, where the latter trained Goku in a room similar to the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. Whis sniffed out Merus’s plan to fight Moro in a serious combat. Since he’s very close to violating the Angel Code, his tenure in the Mortal Realm is over.
This can be interpreted as Merus not being allowed to enter the mortal realm ever again. Also, it is risky to leave him by himself, incase Whis decides to take him there in the future. The time he spent as a Galactic Patrol officer changed his way of thinking a lot and the whole speech he gave to Goku before he vanished showed that he was deeply infused with feelings of justice, compassion and a sense of protecting the weak.
However, in Chapter 63, we see that Whis did take Merus along with him to Earth. While both Whis and Beerus came to Earth so that they could gorge on some of Earth’s Gourmet, the trio stopped by at the battlefield where the Z warriors and Jaco are in combat with Moro. Whis helped Dende by opening Moro’s barrier, which helped the Namekian enter and take Goku, Vegeta and the others to safety to heal them.
Whis clearly would have sensed Merus’s resolve to fight Moro (Whis said no secret could be kept between Angels) and seen Merus enter the battlefield with that resolve. Later on, when Beerus asked him the location of Merus, Whis didn’t give it much thought and said there’s no harm in leaving him behind. Whis clearly knew Merus was in the red zone and yet, he let go of Merus on his own.
This action contradicts the instruction the Grand Priest gave Whis about “keeping a close eye on Merus”. Whis doesn’t seem the kind of person who acts clumsily in serious situations. From the look in Whis’s eyes in the image above, it’s as if Whis acted disinterested while answering Beerus’s question and wanted to avoid further talk regarding it.
This raises my suspicions that he left Merus behind on purpose. When Merus vanished, Whis’s apparent lack of concern on the matter was sensed by Beerus for which he replied “Right” sarcastically.
In chapter 67, Merus was brought back as a Mortal, without his Angel powers, at the request of the Supreme Kai (which put Beerus’s life in jeopardy. Poor Beerus. All he wants in life are gorging on tasty dishes, sleep and a rival to spar with.)
Whis is seen smiling at his father and probably, the latter was smiling back at him. This probable exchange of smiles gave an impression that they did plan this whole Merus matter from the beginning. Both have a certain sense of attachment to the revived Angel.
Whis could have asked the Supreme Kai to request the Grand Priest to spare Merus of the punishment that was due for him and why not? This was the first appearance of the Kai in this arc and I don’t seem to recall anyone telling him about Merus. Supreme Kai is a novice when it comes to his duties so I doubt whether he’d figured out about Merus on his own.
If this was indeed all planned out by Whis and his father, we could presume that Merus has a big role to play in the future arcs to come. Of course, the Grand Priest had to give some punishment for all three of them, which bring us to Horsey Supreme Kai and Horsey Beerus.
Beerus in the beginning of Super: I’m a badass God of Destruction whose very name, when uttered, sent shivers down the spine of beings throughout the Universe.
Beerus in recent times: Look at me! I’m a cute Horsey who was also made to babysit a child (Bra/Bulla) and the remembrance of the child’s mother scares the crap out of me.
Some people did not like how the chapter concluded the Moro arc, but as for me, I think it was perfect. A typical Toriyama way of ending an arc with a hilarious gag. Khu Khu Khu.
Is an Angel a permanent position or not?
The act of the Grand Priest temporarily eradicating Merus and resurrecting him as a Mortal sheds new light to the concept of Angels and their origin. My suspicious are the following:
- An Angel is not a permanent position or feature of a person who has the body of an Angel. It is plausible to say that a soul, chosen by the Grand Priest, is injected into a body of an Angel. By seeing their actions, the soul either continues to remain an Angel or is erased (either permanently or temporarily), if they violated the Angel Code.
- If the Angel is temporarily erased and resurrected in a Mortal body, the being’s lifespan is limited and the Angel powers are stripped of him/her. However, the knowledge and the memories of the time spent by the soul while in the Angel’s body remains.
- An Angel can be said as a post or a position which a chosen qualified soul is said to occupy. This makes the concept of an angel similar to that of the Kaios and Kaio-Shins and how they are born.
What do you think of Merus’s re-entry into the Dragon Ball Universe and its impact on Goku and the gang? Let us know in the comments below!