Loss or Win? Examining Vegeta’s Growth In Saiyans vs Cerealian


WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers from Dragon Ball Super Chapter 76. Read ahead at your own discretion!

There’s a lot of Vegeta talk going around lately. From his new Ultra Ego form to the King of Ls, the fandom (as usual) has a divided opinion on the Prince’s character progression in Dragon Ball Super.

Especially after Chapter 76 dropped, the division grew even further.

Some fans are under the impression that Vegeta’s character arc is going in a reverse direction.

“Why is he kicking and bashing Goku again? Hasn’t this got old yet? I thought he changed after the Buu arc speech.”
“Man, Vegeta is throwing the same old tantrums yet again. Always hating on Kakarrot. When will this ever change?

“Not only that, he refused to get help from Goku and later on accepted his defeat and was okay to die?

“He gave up? C’mon bro. That’s not the Vegeta I know. I think the authors don’t know how to write him. Gonna give reading Dragon Ball Super bro”

And there are others who strongly disagree. And I think I’m one of them.

Well, before some of you bash on me for thinking “what? Don’t you agree with these arguments??”

I think a lot of people missed the point of this Chapter. There were a lot of interesting things that demand attention. Check out my DBS Chapter 76 breakdown article to see what I’m talking about. For exclusive analysis on the whole Vegeta aspect, continue reading.

Look, I know many fans would point out that “Vegeta took another L. LOL!” Well… to be honest, I don’t really care. Even as a Vegeta fan, I’m saying I don’t care.

Generally speaking, if he wins, that’s great! If he loses, I wouldn’t mind if that L results in a significant character and lore development that we can analyze in interesting ways. In fact, even if he wins, I wouldn’t like it if it didn’t lead to any changes.

I mean, look at Tien. The victory against Goku in the 22nd Budokai Tenkaichi didn’t matter much. He was going to change towards the good side and train under Roshi anyways.

Victories should mean something. It should change something within the character. If not, it’s not that interesting.

Now that I’ve cleared somethings up, let me explain why Vegeta acted the way he did.

Just FYI, the basis of the analysis below are credited to people in Twitter and Reddit, specifically to two – Dragon Ball Youtuber and my good friend Jordan Lee and Twitter user GalacticMj. So shoutouts to both of em’!

Why Vegeta wanted to fight alone

In short, Vegeta wanted to prove to himself that the Saiyans weren’t destined to be destroyed.

In DBS Chapter 69, Vegeta is under the impression that the Saiyans planted the seeds of their own demise (even before Frieza or King Cold came into the picture) by racking up sin after sin.

His father, Vegeta the III, built his kingdom atop countless bodies. As a result, the Prince believes that the law of Karma struck against them in the shape of Frieza, causing the race’s extinction.

However, Beerus doesn’t agree.

In fact, he was the one who suggested Frieza to annihilate the Saiyans. So, the “hidden power” or “divine intervention” behind that incident was Beerus.

His philosophy is, each person decides their own fate by their actions and it has nothing to do with the actions of his/her ancestors.

And he’s right. What your forefathers did has nothing do to with what you want to do right now. For example, my forefathers might have been into farming. But I, as an individual, have no intention to do the same.

According to Indian philosophy (a lot of the Japanese and Chinese culture was inspired by Indian literature), sin doesn’t get passed on to the next generation. Each individual has their own share of “Karma Bank Account” (KBA), so to speak, which is accumulated over lifetimes.

If you, as an individual, did a good action, it adds up to your “KBA in the category goodness” or “Punya Karma” in Sanskrit. As a result, you’ll enjoy the fruits of that action later on in this life or the next.

If you did a bad action, it adds up to your “Pāpakarma” or sinful actions. As a result, you’ll face the consequences either in this life or the next. No one can shift their sins or the benefit of virtuous acts to another person.

The best examples are Goku and Vegeta. Both are born as Saiyans but, after they died, both of them were destined to different places in the afterlife depending on their mix of pious and sinful acts.

Goku went to the heavenly realm but Vegeta was bound for hell
DBZ Chapter 274 – Vegeta and Goku are destined for different places in the otherworld

In the pursuit of being the strongest, Goku risked his life to save the others. Being Earth’s defender, he was allowed to keep his body and go to the heavenly realm.

Vegeta, on the other hand, had led a life of sin. Just like his father, he killed too many innocent souls. So only Hell awaits him.

This changed when Yemma/Enma returned Vegeta’s soul his body and memories & offered him another chance to fight Majin Buu (to redeem himself) and save the Earth. This provided Vegeta with an opportunity to change his Karma.

And he was successful in his mission. He fought Majin Buu to the best of his abilities along with Kakarrot and used the Dragon Balls to revive the Earth and its people.

Dende wished for everyone who died after the wizard Babidi appeared on Earth. Except for the very evil ones. This wish brought Vegeta back to life. So, in the eyes of Porunga and Moori, the Saiyan Prince is not a bad person anymore.

This means that he cleaned away a significant portion of his sins away just by doing what Yemma told him to do – Save the Earth and its population.

Suppose if one asks “didn’t Shenron resurrect him when he died on Namek?” Mr. Popo asked Shenron to wish back EVERYONE Frieza and his men killed. And that includes both the good and evil.

Vegeta was getting what was due to him (Karmic reactions) via brutal beatings by Kid Buu. However, he earned the trust of Goku, Porunga and Moori by saving the Earth, requesting the people to be brought back to life and played a pivotal role in killing Kid Buu.

If Goku wants to arrange for something, King Yemma/Enma will consider facilitating it (unless it’s something too crazy).

The heroic Saiyan asked for Kid Buu’s soul to be cleansed and reincarnated as a good human being with innate potential.

Because Goku (a pure being who saved the world countless times) asked for it, Yemma accepted it. In the eyes of Goku, Vegeta has changed and is now a good natured Saiyan.

His credibility is now backed up by higher authorities. This means that if he dies again, Hell isn’t his destination. He changed his destiny.

Plus, with all the pious acts he performed in Super (defending the Earth against Frieza, helping Future Trunks to save his timeline, helped saving Universe 7 in the T.O.P, saving the Namekians and Earth in the Moro arc), I think he’ll be qualified into the Heavenly realm.

Remember that this happened regardless of the background of his forefathers. If the others judged him solely of his Saiyan heritage, they wouldn’t deem him as a good guy.

Goku overlooked Fat Buu’s past sins for helping them save the Universe. That’s why he asked Dende to heal him instead of killing him. Babidi, however, never changed. And that’s why he remained in Hell.

Anyway, Beerus’ argument is the following:

Beerus' important instruction to Vegeta
DBS Chapter 69

He basically means Vegeta’s actions right now and the decisions he’ll take in the future don’t have anything to do with his ancestors.

Which means the Prince can change from his earlier avatar. Note this line as it’ll be important later on.

From Vegeta’s P.O.V, Granolah stands against that. The Cerealian thinks the Saiyans (all of them) are destined to be wiped out and he is their Grim Reaper.

image 24
spittin’ facts or trippin’?

Of course, Vegeta didn’t think about proving this wrong before he met Granolah. He was busy training with Beerus to wield Hakai.

After he observed Granolah, he saw this to be the perfect opportunity to test whether destiny was on his side or not.

But why did he want to throw away Goku from the equation?

Why did Vegeta treat Goku so harshly?

  • To wield the God of Destruction’s power, he first reverted to his previous heartless, unfeeling personality. Kinda similar to Majin Vegeta where he used Babidi’s magic to revert to old self to awaken the evil within his heart. On both occasions, he failed to do so to the fullest extent.
  • Second, he wanted to fight alone to prove that the Saiyans weren’t destined to be wiped out.
Vegeta wants Goku to step aside to prove that the Saiyans are not destined to die
Vegeta’s objective in fighting Granolah is to prove this
  • Now Goku is a Saiyan yes. But he hasn’t committed the sins that Vegeta did. Goku was raised on Earth so Vegeta didn’t want him to get tangled with the Saiyans’ brutal history. Although this could change in a different context now that Bardock is brought up.
  • His old self lingered on for some time in his base form. Since the old Vegeta hated Goku, he treated him roughly. But that mindset slowly subsided. Hence he asked him nicely later on by saying “please”.
  • Third, Vegeta had a feeling that he might die. And he didn’t want Goku to join him.
    The looks on Vegeta’s face in this chapter implied that he knew that death awaits him.
Vegeta was prepared to die in case he failed in his objective
Vegeta prepared to take a trip to the check-in-station?
  • The way he walked past Goku and Goku looking at him back. This gives me strong Majin Vegeta sacrifice vibes. In the below image, it seems he was ready to die a man’s death.
Vegeta accepting his fate that the Saiyans are destined to die. But are they?
Vegeta accepts his fate
  • Fourth, he wanted to continue breaking Granolah emotionally and mentally. His strategy was, if he cannot beat him, break him.
  • Fifth, Vegeta said he only teamed up with Kakarrot when they had something to protect.
    • The first time they teamed up/fought together side by side is when they fused, turning into Vegito against Buuhan.
    • Next is during the Kid Buu arc where Vegeta stalled for time for Goku to heal up.
    • Then it was during the Goku Black arc, they fought together to save Trunks’ timeline and again fused.
    • Next was in the T.O.P where Goku and Vegeta teamed up against Jiren.
    • Finally, the duo fought side by side against Broly and fused, turning into Gogeta. They also worked together to take down Moro.
  • In all of these scenarios, Vegeta had someone to protect. Bulma, Trunks, Bulla/Bra, the Earth, Universe 7. This time, he says “There’s no planet to protect. No people to save… My happy place”.
  • Goku asks “What about protecting yourself?” Vegeta was prepared to die. He had his own goal. If he achieves it, well and good. If not, he accepts it as fate.
  • Also, Vegeta was bluffing when he said “Hard to say. Think of it as stubborn Saiyan pride if you want” to Goku. He had a goal in mind and it was up to him alone to achieve it… or not.

Vegeta targeted Granolah’s psyche

The Saiyan Prince emotionally attacked the Cerealian by making him doubt his resolve and look at what he’s become.

Vegeta already initiated the battle of minds in Chapter 74. Granolah was beating him up, but the Saiyan was in control of the fight.

He continued that strategy, but in a different way, in Dragon Ball Super Chapter 76.

First, he casted doubt in Granolah’s mind on whether revenge was the only reason to live. Then he purposefully led Granolah to fight within the city of the Sugarians, even though Granolah told him not to take the battle there.

“Oh? And here I thought you didn’t care about anything!” Ultra Ego Vegeta’s tactic here is to make Granolah think that not caring about anything is actually a good quality. Then Granolah proceeded to attack him with rapid-fire Ki blasts at point-blank range.

The enraged Cerealian recognized himself and his mother in the terrified Sugarian mother and child. Granolah then feels guilty. (see Chapter 76 review article for details on Granolah’s mental breakdown).

The worn out Vegeta planted more doubt in Granolah’s mind by saying that the latter is becoming the thing he hated the most. The Cerealians were never a savage tribe but Granolah is becoming like one.

That was the final straw for Granolah to initiate operation suicide.

Vegeta could actually relate with Granolah cause’ he sees himself within the Cerealian when he was young.

Just like him, Vegeta gave up everything to get immortal and rule the Universe. Granolah left everything to get his revenge against the Saiyans and Frieza.

Vegeta failed to fully recreate himself from scratch

After trying so hard, Vegetables couldn’t defeat the Granola bar. As a result, he (wrongly) concludes that it is indeed the fate of the Saiyans to be wiped out and accepts his incoming demise.

Vegeta couldn't defeat Granolah and hence accepts his fate
Vegeta is prepared to die

However, He succeeded in breaking Granolah’s mind with all sorts of doubts. Even if the suicidal Cerealian blew both of em’ up, the Saiyan Prince managed to save Goku and prevent Granolah from going to Earth and kill his family.

“Trunks, Bulma, I do this for you. And yes, even for you Kakarrot” Similar vibes.

Vegeta may have lost the battle but he won the war. The Cerealian tribe would have gone extinct and the Saiyans will continue to thrive. Just like he planned from the start…

Vegeta succeeded with his main plan in Chapter 76
If Granolah succeeded with his suicide plan,
Cerealians – 0
Saiyans – 1

Note that this is NOT a regression to his past self but accepting what he is – a father and a husband to his loving wife and kids.

And, he explains why he failed in his mission.

Vegeta apologizes to Beerus for messing up in his mission - to fully utilize the Destroyer God's power and prove that the Saiyans weren't destined to be wiped out
Reminds me of “Gohan… I’m sorry” in the Cell Games saga

It’s interesting to note that Gohan sought forgiveness from Goku for failing to kill off Cell when he had the chance and Goku apologized to his grandpa for killing him and not being able to beat Vegeta and save the Earth.

I guess all brave warriors apologize for their past mistakes before expecting their demise.

Vegeta, for the sake of activating his God of Destruction power, temporarily reverted to his old self (Saiyan Saga Vegeta I presume).

He tried to be merciless, ruthless and unconcerned about everything else other than the fight, just like the old days… but with some differences.

However, it appears that he was unable to entirely transform into the person he previously was.

Actually, he misunderstood what Beerus meant by “recreating himself from scratch”. By connecting the history of the Saiyans to Hakai, he only referred to the “Destructive” aspect of the Saiyans.

That’s why Beerus asked him the question “How many planets have you Saiyans destroyed?” It was Vegeta who brought the whole “sin” and “destiny” elements into the conversation.

“My mind’s always on destruction and nothing else” this is the goal Beerus has set for Vegeta. To think like a G.O.D. But reverting back to his old ruthless self (regression) wasn’t the answer.

Cause’ it included elements from his past, which Beerus told him to strip off. That feeling of familiarity must go & he has to build himself up (mentally) from scratch.

So now, he has to look for a way to program himself differently, without looking at his old self. A brand new Vegeta, capable of wielding the power of Hakai to its fullest potential.

The mention of Bardock might be the key in changing Vegeta

Monaito talking about how Bardock saved Granolah and the Namekian might be the trigger Vegeta needed to prove his and Beerus’ point and strip himself of the guilt.

The act of Goku’s father saving 3 lives shows that not all Saiyans are completely evil/ruthless. Vegeta felt that it was because of this ruthlessness that the Saiyans were destined to die. But Bardock broke that theory apart.

He’s proof that you can show compassion and still end up dying. That means, the Saiyans being evil isn’t the reason for their downfall. Each person is responsible for his or her own actions, and one’s fate might alter depending on the choices made.

This will motivate Vegeta to not feel guilty anymore and master Ultra Ego.

What Vegeta needs to do to master Ultra Ego

The only way to escape from this guilt of his is to rise above dualities.

Good and evil, justice and injustice. Toppo was fascinated with this throughout his Pride Trooper days, and later tossed it off in his mind, leaving only “being and absence of being.” “To live or to die”. And that is exactly what Vegeta must do.

Pious vs sinful activity, good vs evil, right vs wrong. The Gods who hold the highest ranks in Indian tradition, such as Shiva and Vishnu, are said to be above these dualities. In Dragon Ball Super, the G.O.Ds and Angels are also beyond such dualisms.

The Destroyer Gods annihilate planets and races because that’s the job given to them by Zeno and the Grand Priest.

In order to provide a balance to the constantly increasing number of planets, the God of Destruction destroys [them].

Akira Toriyama, interview on the Chonzenshuu guides (2013)

Hence, they won’t receive any repercussions.

Unless they doing something that is against the Grand Zeno’s wishes. (Recall Beerus’ punishment for letting Merus die).

Vegeta will get the hang of a Destroyer’s power when he recreates from himself by not getting caught up in these dualities. He must forget about the past, rise above and go beyond.

Only then when he will embrace the mentality of a Destroyer God. Does that mean he’ll become a God of Destruction one day?

I’ve got the feeling that, by the end of this arc, Vegeta might achieve this mindset and fully utilize the power of a G.O.D and get stronger than ever.

Final Verdict

To directly answer the question raised in the title – Vegeta took an L in a one-on-one with Granolah in terms of physical might.

But (and it’s a big but), Vegeta’s character development achieved a W. Also, he won against the Cerealian in the battle of minds. He managed to emotionally hit him to drive the Cerealian into thinking that he too is bound for hell and committing suicide is the solution.

The Prince of all Saiyans realized that reverting to his past self wasn’t the answer to master Ultra Ego. He has to find out another way.

One thing which is common amongst the G.O.Ds is, there is something which drives them to use destruction on instinct. Beerus taps into his instinctual nature to get that “oomph” to destroy. The other G.O.Ds have their own nature.

Similarly, Vegeta has to dig deep and find his “oomph” to “always think about destruction and nothing else”. That is, if he wants to do thing the way Beerus taught him to do. And it is connected to his Saiyan roots.

But that doesn’t mean he has to go back to adopting his “Saiyan mindset” and “vengeance”. He only has to imbibe the destructive portion of their mentality. And, as I mentioned above, rising above the dualities could be what the Prince is looking for.

Bardock’s actions could act as the catalyst in driving Vegeta to that mindset.

In my opinion, character growth > W or L. I think that the Ws which will boost Vegeta’s growth is defeating Frieza and Beerus. Both characters are related to his past and for Vegeta to move on, he must be stronger than both.

That’ll symbolize his victory over the incorrect idea that the Saiyans are destined to die.

What do you think of Vegeta’s decisions and actions in Dragon Ball Super Chapter 76? Do you find the analysis acceptable? Let us know in the comments below!

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