WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers from the Granolah & SUPER HERO arcs of the Dragon Ball Super Manga. Read ahead at your own discretion!
The sudden appearance of Frieza Black at the end of the Granolah arc is arguably one of the most badass character entries in the entire Dragon Ball series. It was quite surprising but yet not out of the blue.
But what was more interesting is his brand new form that not only destroyed Gas in a brutal fashion but one shotted Ultra Instinct Goku and Ultra Ego Vegeta! A textbook example of “He came, he saw, he conquered”, just like Gogeta in the film “Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn”
In this post, I describe the concept & creation behind Frieza Black and diving deep into Toyotaro’s inspiration behind the form. Without any dilly-dallying, Let’s get down to it!
Frieza Black First appearance and official color
We get the first look of Frieza Black in chapter 87 titled “the Universe’ strongest appears”. While a Zombie Gas and the Saiyans fight each other for their lives, Frieza drops from the sky out of nowhere and steals the show. He appeared in response to a call from Elec requesting the Galactic Emperor visit planet Cereal for a “business deal”.
In actuality, Frieza was summoned to occupy his own grave as Elec planned to use Gas to take out the Emperor, who was the only big obstacle in his life to achieve his dream of taking over his army and ruling over Universe 7.
It turns out that Frieza was aware of Elec’s ploy for the past 40 years since the invasion of planet Cereal, claiming that there isn’t a single thing in this Universe that he isn’t aware of, thus proving this statement of Elec’s:
Frieza Black attained this form by packing in 10 years worth of training in a Hyperbolic Time Chamber (Room of Spirit and Time) on one of the worlds he conquered. That room exists in another dimension so when Elec made the wish for Gas, he technically wasn’t in Universe 7.
He became so strong that Gas’ body had to age to a complete skeleton-like state in order to surpass him. By that time, he was already dead. He’s currently aboard his ship, conquering worlds and possibly plotting how to bring Zeno, Beerus, and the other Gods down.
Toyotaro revealed the official color of Frieza Black in chapter 88.
In an interview uploaded on the Dragon Ball official site on Jan 2, 2023, Dragon Ball Super manga author Toyotaro explains the inspiration & thought process that went in behind Frieza Black creation.
The logic behind Frieza Black’s color
DBS manga editor Victory Uchida steps into the footsteps of certain fans who say that he appeared out of nowhere and stole the entire show, denigrating the characters of Elec, Gas, and the Heeters. Toyotaro, on the other hand, adds that they planned for Frieza and his new form to emerge at the end of the arc from the start.
He reveals that he purposely left the subject of whether Frieza will come or not out in the air to keep fans guessing, creating a lot of anticipation during the story’s two-year duration.
Apart from the Saiyans and Cerealians, Toyotaro affirms that Frieza Black is the hidden major character, and his arrival at the conclusion genuinely signified the end of the arc.
The mangaka told those who read or reread the arc that they should constantly keep Frieza Black in the back of their minds because everything in the plot revolves around him.
Of course, the main surprise factor was the new form.
When discussing why black was picked, he and Uchida agreed that owing to customary views, black is the only one that could stand above gold.
Nonetheless, Toyotaro and Uchida provide two ideas for the dark tinted color.
While weighting different ideas for Frieza Black, Toyotaro and Uchida recalled how they jokingly compared it to a black credit card which is ranked higher than a gold one.
The term “black card” refers to an ultra-exclusive, high-end credit card, which is regarded as the pinnacle of social status by hip-hop artists, films, and literature.
The highest type of credit card for both Mastercard & VISA (which are available in Japan) are tinted black.
This is also true for the very valuable American Express card. Invitation-only HNWIs can apply for the American Express Black Card, the company’s most prestigious credit card. American Express’s Platinum Card is a step below the highest tier.
Comparing credit cards with Frieza makes sense conceptually as well since he’s first and foremost a businessman who sells planets to the highest bidders, as explained by Berryblue in a Dragon Ball Super bonus manga chapter.
The businessman motif comes from the fact that Frieza was modelled on real estate speculators, who Toriyama called “the worst sort of people,” and was inspired by the events of the Japanese economic bubble that occurred around the time he was writing the Saiyan Saga.
As mentioned before, Toyotaro was half-joking about the whole credit card analogy and shouldn’t be taken so seriously. However, there’s another inspiration that was taken seriously but hardly talked about in the fandom.
A black hole is a region in space where the force of gravity is so strong that not even light can escape. Because stuff has been compressed into a compact space, the gravity is extremely intense. This can occur during the demise of a big star. The fundamental purpose of a black hole is to consume anything that crosses its path and undergo “spaghettification.”.
Astronomers describe them as monstrous entities lurking in space, looking for a prey to consume. They’re riveted for their destructive power and deemed as one of the most frightening objects in the universe.
Victory Uchida mentions that like black holes, Frieza gives that ominous feeling to those around him and to me, it captures the emperor’s character better than a credit card.
Take for instance a super massive black hole Sagittarius A-Star that is in the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Being at least 5 million times the mass of the sun, everything in our 13.6 billion-year-old galaxy orbits Sagittarius A-Star, including our solar system , which is located 26,000 light-years away.
Frieza, like a black hole, serves as a entity that leaves behind destruction and annihilates everything that crosses his path. Much like any black hole that desires to be a Sagittarius A-Star, Frieza desired to be the ruler of the galaxy.
He annihilates anyone that crosses his path (as we witnessed in the Namek Saga) and King Kai warned Goku to stay away from his as far as he can, much like how Astronomers educate us to not go near black holes (in case we chance upon them).
He wants to suck the light (happiness) out of everything he sees. Just like how the matter around a black hole (a result of an exploding star) becomes dense, bright and hot (which we can see many light years away), an exploding Krillin caused Goku to glow yellow, dense & hot (angry).
Just like any black hole wants to become the biggest there is, Frieza aims to become the biggest threat in the Multiverse, surpassing the likes of the Grand Priest and Zeno. Basically, He desires to become the center of gravity for all things in the Universe and beyond.
Actually, there’s a direct evidence that proves black holes are connected to Frieza than just conceptual parallels.
A bigger and powerful version of Frieza’s Death Ball is literally called “Supernova”. We’ve seen him use it against Bardock (in both anime & manga), Future Trunks & Toppo (anime only).
For those who don’t know, a Supernova is a term used to describe the explosion of massive stars. According to NASA, It is the largest explosion that takes place in space. Some Supernovas results in a Neutron Star but if the remnant has a mass greater than 5 times the mass of the sun, it collapses further to become a black hole.
The Supernova attack Frieza hurdled towards Future Trunks is concentrated with 10 times the energy he used to destroy Planet Namek. And Frieza Black is hell of a lot stronger than Mecha Frieza. So I think he can whip up a Supernova strong enough to create a mini black hole, if compressed that Ki ball enough to explode on its own.
Apart from these two, the color black is symbolized to have ominous meaning in various cultures.
Meaning of black in world culture
Distinguished, menacing, and imposing.
In a number of civilizations, black implies refinement and formality, as well as death, evil, mourning, magic, ferocity, illness, misfortune, and mystery. In the Middle East, the color black can both signify rebirth and sadness. In Africa, it represents age, masculinity, and maturity.
In Japan, black is associated with mystery, the night, the unknown, the supernatural, the invisible and death. Black can also symbolize experience, as opposed to white, which symbolizes naiveté. The black belt in martial arts symbolizes experience, while a white belt is worn by novices, which actually indicates Frieza’s expertise in martial arts.
Before God created light, the universe was black, according to Christian theology. In numerous religious traditions, including those of Mesoamerica, Oceania, India, and Japan, the universe was born from a primordial void. The light of faith and Christianity is frequently contrasted with the darkness of ignorance and paganism in the Bible.
The devil is frequently referred to in Christianity as the “prince of darkness.” , which can act a suitable title for Frieza.
In China, black represents immortality, stability, and power, qualities which Frieza longed for since the Namek Saga.
The more I analyze the color black and its features, the more it describes Frieza’s bio, making it the most suitable color for his form.
Frieza Black will definitely appear again in a defining showdown with the Saiyans. Fans can’t wait for that…