“You failed to protect your planet because of your own leniency”
Lord Beerus, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F
Powering Up For Six Episodes
So in this post I carry on where I began last time. I am exploring the relationship between Gods and Mortals in the Dragon Ball universe, particularly in Dragon Ball Super. Last time we covered the “Battle of the Gods” arc and today we move on to the next installment, “Resurrection F”.
A year after the events of the previous movie we return to the world of Dragon Ball to discover that there is a plot to resurrect Freeza, the antagonist from the “Namek Saga” arc that aired 25 years before this film was released.
During pretty much every fan poll around the world, Freeza up there comes number 1 in the fans favourite villain. Quick warning, I’m going to be that guy and keep spelling it Freeza. Bite me.
It’s not that relevant but I’m gonna give you some background on Freeza anyway. Dragon Ball is often accused of being nothing but a show where super powered people punch each other around a lot while screaming and my response to that? What’s wrong with that anyway? But that is not (always) the case anyway.
When Toriyama was writing the character for Freeza, Japan was going through an interesting period. In the 80’s Japan’s real estate exploded in value, far above the rate of inflation causing a lot of investments into land, office space and real estate. Despite the governments best efforts to intervene the price continued to rise and rise until the inevitable happened, it all came crashing down.
This led to a lot of wealthy people snatching land at ludicrously cheap prices and forcing lots of people into debt, a problem that still continues to have repercussions to this day (you can read about the problem here). The fall out of this was so bad that the decade that follows is referred to as “The Lost Decade” where the economy stagnated, taking years to recover.
Witness to all of this was Akira Toriyama, he considered these “Land Sharks” as the worst kind of people. It is these “Land Sharks” that gave Toriyama the idea for Freeza. Freeza is a galactic emperor who has his armies conquer planets and sell them on to the highest bidder (sound familiar?). He has been responsible for the death of countless people and his army, “The Freeza Force”, is feared throughout the cosmos. Freeza is a “Land Shark” on a galactic scale.
Freeza is also responsible for one of the most iconic moments in Anime history. After killing Krillin (Goku’s best friend) towards the end of the “Namek Saga” Freeza snaps something in Goku’s brain, transforming him into the legendary Super Saiyan.
Goku proceeds to beat the hell out of Freeza and after Freeza rejects an offer to make amends for what he’s done and change his ways, Goku deals what appears to be the killing blow and it looks like the tyrants days are over. This however, was not the case and Freeza returned with some new cybernetic enhancements and a thirst for vengeance.
Freeza came to Earth with a view to blow it up before Goku gets back so he can make him suffer before he kills him. What Freeza didn’t count on however was another Super Saiyan being there to stop him. Vegeta’s son from the future, Trunks was waiting and he didn’t leave anything to chance like Goku did on Namek.
Trunks cuts Freeza to bits using his sword and then proceeds to blow the remaining pieces to ash. Freeza was finally vanquished and spent the next couple of decades in Earth’s hell.
The Freeza Force is left finding their numbers dwindling and their rule beginning to slip without their merciless leader’s iron fist keeping everyone in check. That’s when the new leader Sorbet (no I’m not joking) strikes upon the great idea to resurrect Freeza using the Earth’s Dragon Balls.
The problem with this plan is the residents on Earth, namely Goku and Vegeta who could wipe the whole army out with a flick of the wrist. Sorbet decides to send himself and only a couple of soldiers to find the Dragon Balls, the idea being that with the group only having small energy signatures they won’t even register on Earth’s heroes’ radar.
They succeed in their plan and Freeza is brought back to life, but there’s a catch. The problem is Earth’s Dragon can only bring people back to life in the same state they died in, Krillin took two wishes to be brought back since the Dragon needed to rebuild his body first. So Freeza was brought back to life but unfortunately it was in pieces. So they scoop him into a bucket and take him back to their ship where they have the technology to rebuild him.
They can rebuild him. They have the technology. They can make him better than he was. Better…stronger…faster… I’m getting confused.
Yes, Freeza was back and still rocking that theme song (Dragon Ball has inspired a lot of music) and now it’s time to finally get his revenge on the Saiyan that humiliated him two decades prior. Sorbet has to regrettably inform Freeza that since his death Goku and Vegeta have gotten so much stronger and have even managed to kill the embodiment of chaos, Majin Buu. Fortunately Freeza has a trick up his non existent sleeve, he may have been strong before but that was trivial. You see despite his immense power, Freeza has never trained a day in his life. To rush to Earth now would be a mistake, so Freeza is going to put himself through intense training… for six months.
In six months Freeza plans to catch up to the Saiyans who have taken 20+ years to get to the point they are at now and the strangest thing is, he pulls it off. The potential Freeza has is immense but he does have a downfall, he is far to cocky and after six months he rushes to Earth and Spoiler Alert: It doesn’t work out that great for him.
When we see Goku and Vegeta again we find that they are training on Beerus’ planet, training under Whis (Beerus’ mentor). They are training under the Angel that trains the God of Destruction for different reasons. Goku is a battle addict who wants to keep getting stronger and stronger and Vegeta… Well he just won’t let Kakarott get stronger than him, Vegeta is the prince of all Saiyans and must remain on top. Plus he really, REALLY hates Goku.
Meanwhile back on Earth, Bulma (Vegeta’s wife) has received a warning from the Galactic Patrol (Space Police) that Freeza is on his way to Earth and they are probably all doomed. Bulma tries to contact Whis but no avail it seems, so the remaining heroes on Earth gather themselves up and prepare to fight off one of their greatest foes without Goku and Vegeta.
The fight begins and the Z-Fighters but up a valiant fight against the invading army, all while Bulma tries to contact Whis to get help from Goku and Vegeta. Eventually she gets through just in time and Goku plans to use Instant Transmission (teleportation technique) to get to Earth quickly.
With the army vanquished Freeza steps into the fray himself and it’s immediately obvious that the heroes cannot stand up to Freeza. But just as all seems lost, Goku and Vegeta finally arrive on the scene. Goku and Freeza begin their fight and for a while it seems that they are evenly matched until Goku reveals his trump card, he has a new transformation.
Goku has reached the level of Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan and no I am not kidding, that was the name of this transformation. Luckily the fans stepped in and dubbed it “Super Saiyan Blue” and that was popular enough that it was eventually picked up by the Manga/Anime and it became the official name.
By combining the power of Super Saiyan God and the regular Super Saiyan transformation Goku has ascended to a new level under Whis’ tutelage. It seems this even fight has just tipped in Goku’s favour. Freeza is initially shocked by this but he to has a secret, Goku isn’t the only one with a new form.
So the fight begins anew and for a while it looks like two shiny Yu-Gi-Oh! cards being flung at each other a lot and it is brilliant! For a while it looks like Freeza has the upper hand when Vegeta shouts up that it’s his turn to fight Freeza, Goku responds with “That’s not fair, just because you’ve seen his weakness to!”.
Freeza finds this all very amusing and the fight continues until Freeza begins to power down, quickly losing ground against Goku while his power slips away. Goku then points out the aforementioned weakness. Freeza may have done some training but it was clear that the moment he achieved this new form he came running to Earth, assured of an easy victory.
But Freeza is not one to take losing lying down and gives a signal to Sorbet (who was standing by) who proceeds to shoot Goku through the chest, removing him from the fight. Vegeta then steps in and Freeza offers him a chance to be second in command of his, now drastically reduced, army. Vegeta is not in the mood for games however and calls on Krillin to remove Goku from the fight, declaring that he will finish the Tyrant off.
Freeza laughs at this and says that even in his weakened state that Vegeta doesn’t stand a chance. Goku had become a Super Saiyan and even moved beyond that, what could Vegeta do to match that? Vegeta however is no slouch and he steps up to the plate and proves to everyone that Kakarott hasn’t left him in the dust quite yet.
The preceding fight is over quickly. Freeza doesn’t stand a chance against Vegeta and he soon powers down to his base form, unable to maintain his Golden form any longer. Vegeta prepares a blast to wipe the tyrant out once and for all. However, Freeza is a sore loser and won’t take this lying down.
In one of the only scenes the Anime did better than the films, Freeza destroys the Earth. Only a handful of the Z-Fighters are left in a small protective bubble created by Whis. The gang are devastated, all of their friends and loved ones are dead and the Earth’s Dragon Balls have been destroyed so there’s no bringing them back. Worse, on top of all of this is that Freeza will have survived. His species can breath in space so he will live on and not pay for what he has done to the Earth.
Beerus and Whis proceed to lecture Goku about the stupidity of his actions, instead of finishing off Freeza when he had the chance he dropped his guard and effectively caused this process of events. Goku accepts his mistake and learns one of the hardest lessons of his life, but this is Dragon Ball and there is always a way for our heroes to win.
As I mentioned before Whis is an Angel and thus possesses ungodly (literally) powers. One of these powers is to rewind time, but only by three minutes. Just enough to stop the Earth being blown up and for Goku to rectify his mistake, a chance that Goku cannot pass up.
Whis proceeds to rewind time and with a trademark Kamehameha Goku kills Freeza, sending him back to Earth’s hell. The film ends in usual Dragon Ball comedic fashion with Vegeta scorning Goku for stealing the win. With a harsh lesson learned and the Earth saved once again, this arc comes to an end. The “Land Shark” is back where he belongs.
Okay so this arc throws a bit of a spanner in my works in regards to the “Gods are idiots” premise. Throughout this arc we are shown that Goku’s (and even Vegetas) cocky attitude can get him into trouble and without proper forethought it can put everyone he cares about in danger. Goku may be one of the most powerful mortals in Universe 7 now but he certainly isn’t one of the smartest.
One of the cool things I like about this arc is that Whis has stepped up to help train Goku and Vegeta. In the last arc Whis offers to make Goku the next God of Destruction once Beerus has retired and despite Goku refusing. Whis is clearly interested in the potential that the Saiyans have shown to change what mortals are capable of, something that continues to show up in later arcs (keep an eye out for that).
After the Gods making a bit of a bad name for themselves in the last arc, they have clawed back some respect. Beerus might be bad at his job and lazy, but he knows that you must follow through when you are trying to destroy and even more so when you’re trying to protect. Goku has let his enemies survive before, starting with Piccolo back when he was evil and carrying on through Vegeta, Freeza the first time round and then getting himself killed for not finishing Cell when he had the chance.
Maybe now under the tutelage of Gods and Angels, Goku can learn that fighting isn’t always about having fun and pushing boundaries. To rip off poor old Uncle Ben, Goku needs to learn that “With great power, comes great responsibility”.
Mortals: 1 – Gods: 1
See you all when Part 3 comes out next week when we will be tackling the “Universe 6” arc of Dragon Ball Super. Until then, take care of yourselves.
With a new Dragon Ball came a new version of “Cha-la Head Cha-la”, the song every Dragon Ball fan can’t help but sing along to (even if we don’t know the words). And yes, I’ll be using this for every part of this. Bite me.