WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers from Dragon Ball Super Chapter 74. Read ahead at your own discretion!
October 8th, 2017
The revelation of the Angel’s specialty technique broke the internet as Goku activated Migatte no Goku’i or Ultra Instinct for the first time. Episode 110 was one of the most viewed Dragon Ball Super episodes for this singular reason. 19 Episodes later, the G.O.Ds themselves stood up in awe as our favorite MC obtained the silver-haired form for the first time.
The Saiyans are famous for shattering their limits, especially when they are backed into a corner. For obvious reasons, Goku is no exception. Time and again, we see him pushing himself beyond his limits to get stronger and for the sake of his loved ones. Vegeta has adapted the latter part of this mindset relatively recently. Even so, the Prince always ends up one step behind the supposed low-class warrior.
The same was the case in the Tournament of Power. Goku goes Ultra Instinct, achieving what Whis mentioned in the Resurrection F arc. After getting pinned down pretty easily by Beerus following the Zamasu arc, Vegeta eyes for Ultra Instinct more seriously. Whis baits him by telling that, by reducing thought generation and letting his body move on its own, he can take on any enemy once he mastered it.
Of course, this is kinda exaggerated but Vegeta’s motivation increased. And when Goku reached that level before the Prince, the latter erupted in rage. But this did make him surpass his limits in his own way.
This is where things start to get interesting.
Ultra Instinct is not Vegeta’s forte
The question that fans have been asking is, will Vegeta, who is always striving to reach and surpass Goku, be able to unlock the Ultra instinct mode? This is an interesting question because there are no rules set in stone for someone to achieve the godly technique. Things take a slightly different route in the Manga where Goku achieves UI Sign as he had initially seen the basics of the techniques from none other than Master Roshi himself.
Dragon Ball Super’s episode director Megumi Ishitani had to say this about Vegeta achieving the Ultra instinct mode in a recent interview of his;
“The following is merely my own personal opinion, but I think Vegeta would never call it quits on his own strength. Being as proud as he is, I doubt he would shut up while Goku has surpassed him with Ultra Instinct.“
Vegeta screams in frustration; pushing away Toppo merely by his energy, thus transforming into Super Saiyan Blue Evolved. A form exclusive to Vegeta. That’s when he admitted that Ultra Instinct isn’t for him and wanted to take a different route. Whis agrees with his logic.
While training in Beerus’ world after the Moro arc, Vegeta mentions the same and this time, Beerus agrees.
As Whis said, it’s not his style. We saw how much he struggled to stay calm while training in Yardrat. Pybara, the Yardratians’ Elder and the one who taught Goku Instant Transmission, stated that Vegeta’s Ki or Spirit is less stable than Goku’s. In fact, it was even less than Goku’s when he was there. There exists a massive difference between the two when it comes to Ki Control and calmness of the mind, which Ultra Instinct demands.
We can slowly see Vegeta shifting gears as the series progressed.
Stepping outside Goku’s shadow
If you remember the early days of Z, Vegeta fought for two reasons – himself and his ego. He didn’t give a damn about fighting fair, protecting his comrades or saving the world. Nope. His sole purpose of getting stronger was to satisfy his giant ass ego and of course, to surpass Kakarrot and reclaim his birthright. Things started to change a little bit when he married Bulma and got his first child Trunks. But his core values remained the same.
The thing is, he’d follow the route Goku takes or would take. For example, after seeing Goku attain the Super Saiyan transformation, he knew that was the next step in his development. He had no other reference for greater power than his rival nor did he think of any alternatives. He just naturally assumed and went forward.
After getting wrecked by the Androids, he knew that the next step was to transcend the Super Saiyan. Why is that? Because “Kakarrot would do the same. I’m sure of it” said the Prince. See, it’s quite obvious you need to break your limits and go stronger as time passes but the path Vegeta chose was with reference to someone else. In this case, it’s Goku. He didn’t think outside the box and was narrow-minded.
He would think about what Goku would achieve in the future and strive for that. This is why his training was less effective than Goku’s cause’ the latter didn’t have any mental barriers. He didn’t think “Oh, this is the way to achieve this or that” from the start. No.
Goku had a flexible approach. He opens his arms to various opportunities that come his way and choose the best. For example, Vegeta thought that the next step in SSJ was the big muscular form of SSJ Grade 2. On the contrary, Goku had thought of this form but was intelligent enough to realize that it wasn’t a complete ascension.
The bulky muscles show him down and would lose stamina fast. Both the Prince and the Saiyan from Earth trained in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber for the same duration. Goku was smart and had a much better training session.
Kakarrot, Kakarrot, Kakarrot. Vegeta thinks of Kakarrot more than Bulma many a time. Now I understand where the Goku X Vegeta Hentai comes from. And I kinda get where he comes from. His childhood was filled with stories of the Legendary Super Saiyan (Probably about Yamoshi). His dream and life’s goal are to achieve that threshold. Even King Vegeta said his son would become the first in a long long time. But that dream was crushed when Goku achieved it first. Since then, he was trapped in Goku’s shadow, following his footprints.
Things are beginning to change as Vegeta finally achieved a form that is quite different but similar to Goku’s Ultra Instinct. A form existing on the other side of the same coin. Let’s see how the transition took place.
Seeking a road not taken
It all started in the T.O.P where Vegeta pulled a Gohan (Anime Version) by choosing to go down a different path. A path that would match his fighting style while retaining his character.
This thought process continues in the Moro arc, as he realizes that he needs more than just physical might to defeat Moro. He finally takes the bold step and announces his temporary departure.
The Saiyan Prince ditches Goku and the others and travels to Planet Yardrat with the help of a Galactic Patrol member. He could have stayed behind and trained with Goku and Merus. In fact, he was intrigued by the Angel Trainee. He was well aware that he was not ordinary. But he did not choose to learn from him.
We can clearly see him intentionally parting ways from Goku in order to think for himself. Even though he knew about the Yardratians from his own rival but, nobody thought about them during this dire situation. So it’s a start.
Vegeta then proceeds to learn how to control his Ki and learning different techniques, including the Instant Transmission & Forced Spirit Fission. However, he decides to not use the teleportation technique as he respects Goku’s signature move and doesn’t want to take his uniqueness away, nor did he want to just copy Goku. This is another indicator that he deeply wishes to tread unchartered territories (from their POV).
Even the training arc with the Yardratians wasn’t enough to surpass Goku’s Mastered or Perfected Ultra Instinct. Vegeta seeks a road that would match his “signature style”. A path that would suit him when looking from all angles. This is where Beerus comes in and shows him the way, saying there’s exists a power different from Ultra Instinct. Once he masters this mysterious technique, the Prince can finally surpass his lifelong rival. Beerus is confident of that possibility becoming true.
The above image beautifully depicts the distinct combat styles and mindsets of each of the Saiyan warriors. One is taking the calm, Angelic route which relies on complete thought generation reduction whereas the other takes a similar but a destructive path. Each has its own distinct characteristics.
The divergence of paths is sealed when Beerus hands over an earring, which is worn by those who wields Hakai, to Vegeta; and Whis signing Goku’s GI. Aside from the friendly rivalry between the two masters over “whose student is better”, the students themselves have changed over time. Early on in Dragon Ball Super, both Goku and Vegeta were training under Whis and chose the same means to achieve their goal. Whis signed both their GIs to indicate this. Now, it’s different. Two Saiyans… on two different paths…. one goal.
Chapter 74 marked the hallmark for all Vegeta fans as the Prince of all Saiyans unleashes a brand new form. Goku mentioning “it’s not just any old God Ki” proves more so than ever that their paths are pretty distinct. However, there are some common traits between the two.
Similarities between Ultra Instinct and Vegeta’s new form
One thing really struck me while reading Chapter 74 is Vegeta’s last line. He said and I quote “A God of Destruction taught me that, power derived solely from instinct is unbounded”. This is very similar to Ultra Instinct when you think about it.
- Both these techniques require God Ki and reduction of thought generation. The only difference is, UI users attempt to remove all thoughts to let their bodies act on their own while Hakaishins or Hakai users remove all thoughts except destruction and channeling destructive energy.
- Both necessitate high levels of Ki control. Goku and Vegeta both have trained in Yardrat and under Whis to control their life energy to become godlike. The expertise on this ability is what enabled them to achieve their respective feats.
As I said before, the two techniques are on two sides of the same coin. They both require similar things for activation but the outcome is different. For more info on Vegeta’s new form and whether he’ll become a God of Destruction, Click here!
To sum up everything we’ve discussed so far, Vegeta is moving on to a new direction. Ultra Instinct, though the crowning jewel of the Gods, is not his cup of tea. But that doesn’t mean he can’t surpass his lifelong rival. By being a more sincere student of his teacher, he could very well achieve that. Ultra Instinct >< Hakai depending on the user. As Beerus said, the Prince can step over the clown, but that’s up to him.
But just to satisfy the curiosity of the fans, I’ll take the liberty of answering the following question:
Can Vegeta theoretically unlock Ultra Instinct in the future?
In theory, any fighter, be it a human or an alien, can activate Ultra Instinct just like anyone can potentially tap into God Ki. Master Roshi was able to imitate some of its properties. But because he lacks God Ki and the required training under an Ultra Instinct user, he wasn’t able to use it properly.
Vegeta, on the other hand, meets both the pre-requisites. He can actually use Ultra Instinct but for a limited time. It might be similar to Beerus’ way of wielding the divine technique. Similar but not as good as the Destroyer God. The act of limiting your thoughts to just destruction and channeling energy of destruction means you’ve let your body act on its own (aka instinct) to some extent. We saw how Beerus was dodging Vegeta’s moves in Chapter 69. So, the proud Saiyan Prince can brandish a part of that power. He can evade attacks on instinct and use his mind while attacking and channeling Hakai energy.
Even if he can, I doubt he’ll use Ultra Instinct for long. At least not in the way Goku employs it. He refused to use Instant Transmission because it was Goku’s signature move. Ultra Instinct is also placed in the same bracket. To respect Goku’s main technique, he’d refrain from using it too often.
So what do you think of this explanation? Will we see Vegeta using Ultra Instinct someday? Let me know in the comments below!