“Multiverse Theory’s A Bitch”
Multiple Characters, Dragon Ball Z Abridged
Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey
So last time we were covering the Goku Black arc when we started talking about multiple timelines and my head started to hurt so I had to take a break. I decided to split Goku Black’s arc into two parts because it’s one of the more in-depth arcs thus requiring a hell of a lot more words and it’s convoluted to all hell, meaning I really needed that break.
Now before you think I’m down on this arc I’d like to say that this is probably my favourite arc of Dragon Ball Super, warts and all. It is the arc that sparked off this whole “Gods are idiots” thing in the first place and if you read the last part I think it’s clear as to why.
So today we continue in our sage to explore the relationships between Gods and Mortals in Dragon Ball Super. This time we continue looking at the Goku Black arc and hopefully it won’t be anywhere near as confusing this time around. We last left our heroes fighting Goku Black and Zamasu after the revelation that Goku Black is also Zamasu, just from a different timeline.
Goku Black 2 – Electric Boogaloo
With the two Zamasu’s now working together they could enact the “Zero Mortals Plan”, a plan that is exactly what it says on the tin. They plan on wiping out every mortal in existence across all the universes, to make a world that is “made perfect by Gods for Gods”. They see this as true justice, mortals have squandered the worlds/universes they were given. They destroy their planets, go to war and ruin everything in their path and Zamasu has taken it upon himself to put an end to it. He took Goku’s body because it was Goku who showed him that mortals have no respect for Gods and the fact that mortals can rise to the strength of Gods is testament to this so he will use that God defying strength to wipe out all mortals.
But what about the Gods of Destruction and the Angels they work with? Couldn’t they have put a stop to this? Well it turns out there is a flaw in that hierarchical system the universes work by. Angels are linked to Gods of Destruction, with no one to watch over or mentor the Angels go in to an inert state and are rendered inactive. Gods of Destruction are linked to the Supreme Kais of their respective universes, so Beerus is linked to Shin in Universe 7.
So all Goku Black and Zamasu had to do was kill the 12 Supreme Kais (who aren’t that strong, Goku certainly outclasses them all) and the Gods of Destruction and Angels would die with them, leaving no-one in the way to stop the Zero Mortal Plan. Zen-oh is above all of this of course, but he is a child who doesn’t pay attention to the Universes (it took two Gods of Destruction fighting to even grab his attention in the previous arc) and he keeps his babysitter gang busy by needing constant distraction so it is unlikely he will ever even notice something is wrong. The whole hierarchy exists because Zen-oh doesn’t want to pay attention in the first place.
This is how the pair have been able to storm through the universes killing any who get in their way. Future Trunks’ Earth it seems, is the only planet with mortals left on it in the cosmos.
The evil duo proceed to beat our heroes one by one, all the while berating them that they are all sinners. Trunks says that Zamasu is just murdering millions using Goku’s body but the Zamasus remind Trunks that he is the worst sinner of them all, he has time travelled recklessly and broken one of the fundamental rules of the universe. Only select Gods are allowed to time travel and as we’ve seen earlier, the slightest bit of time travel can cause splits in the time lines that can have devastating consequences. So who knows, maybe all of this is Trunks’ fault.
Trunks starts to glow in a strange light declaring “You say my choices make me evil! Then that’s what I’ll be!”. He proceeds to power up into a never before seen form, Super Saiyan Rage.
Seeming like it’s somewhere between Super Saiyan Blue and the Legendary Super Saiyan form from the original Broly Movie. This was such a cool part of the show and the fight that follows is really well done. While not having enough power to outright beat Zamasu and Black, Trunks is able to keep them on their toes and unable to react in any meaningful way while he batters them with brutal attack after brutal attack.
Sadly though, this leads up to one of the big mistakes made by this arc (and trust me, there’s a big one still to come). Trunks seemingly gets some control back over his rage and tells Vegeta to take the injured Goku and head…. back to the past to try to think of a plan…. again.
Like I said at the top of this page I really love this arc, it tries to tackle some interesting topics and after the campy style antics of Whis and Beerus it was interesting to show the more brutal, doctrine focused world of the Gods that we know all to well in real life. The sad side to that coin though is how long some of it gets dragged out and as you’ll see later, the way some things are resolved are bafflingly stupid.
Back in the present Goku recovers from his injuries and is reminded of a technique once used to Master Roshi to defeat the Demon King Piccolo, the Evil Containment Wave. This technique is capable of trapping evil spirits in a container with a special “Demon Seal” on it. After a bit more training and practice with the new technique Goku, Vegeta and Bulma get in the time machine and once again head to the future.
They arrive in the future and are immediately confronted by the Zamasu and Black. Black decides that enough is enough and he destroys the time machine, stranding our heroes in the future and breaking the container meant to seal Zamasu. This is their last chance to defeat the evil duo, no more running away (thank god).
So the fight begins anew with Vegeta targeting Goku Black and Goku going after Zamasu. During the fight Goku Black is confused as to how Vegeta has gotten so strong all of a sudden leading to one of my favourite clips not just from Dragon Ball but from all anime (skip to 1:40 for the bit I’m referring to).
Vegeta shouting that Zamasu will “never learn to think like that clown” just makes me happy and I can’t help but smile. It may also be one of the nicest things Vegeta has ever said… to anyone.
Unfortunately this only helps to teach Goku Black something new, Saiyans get stronger by getting angry and nothing is more righteous than the anger of a god. Black proceeds to power up again and through some more plot extension. I mean time phenomenon… Black is able to summon faux clones of himself to keep the Saiyan duo busy and Zamasu rushes off to kill Trunks and Bulma, who are desperately trying to repair the time machine as well as the container meant to seal Zamasu all whilst Trunks is attempting to learn the Evil Containment Wave from a video on Bulma’s phone.
Trunks manages to learn the technique just in time and decides to show Zamasu “the power of mortals” and uses the Evil Containment Wave on him, trapping him in the small urn brought from the past. They prematurely celebrate when they remember they need to use the Demon Seal made by Master Roshi but it is nowhere to be found… Because Goku left it in the past.
The urn begins to shake violently and without the seal to keep it shut Trunks is unable to contain Zamasu and he breaks out of his makeshift prison. Goku Black teleports to his exhausted comrade and the two decide it is finally time to enact the next part of their plan and they proceed to fuse into one being. Fused Zamasu is born.
Fused Zamasu descends and proceeds to wipe the floor with the Saiyans and with attack names like “Light of Justice” and sporting his new halo I think any doubts you had about the level of Zamasu’s God Complex should be laid to rest right about now. Once again it seems that all is lost but the three warriors fight on regardless of the impossible odds they are facing and for a moment Zamasu even seems to admire their tenacity.
During the fight Goku tries to block a world ending attack with his trademark Kamehameha, using all the strength he can muster. He has to put so much power into it in fact that he breaks both his arms doing it (never happened before in Dragon Ball) and this time it seemed to do a lot of damage to the supposedly invincible God.
It seems that Zamasu may have not thought through fusing into one being all the way through. You see he is now comprised of the immortal Zamasu and the mortal Goku Black. That mortal side of him has created a sort of paradox within his body, the mortal cells have been damaged/killed by the overwhelming attack and the immortal cells are resisting the damage/death and it is causing his body to become corrupted and seemingly his mind is following suit.
From this point on Zamasu just seems more and more insane with every attack he takes. After the attack that caused this corruption to begin, Goku falls to the ground exhausted and Zamasu proceeds to give a gift to the fandom. What follows is perhaps one of the greatest power up screams in Dragon Ball, so much so in fact that if you type “Zamasu” into YouTube one of the auto complete options is “Zamasu Screams Son Goku”. (Skip to 1:04 if the link doesn’t work properly).
With a bit of wisdom from Gowasu (he’s here btw) the heroes learn that they can exploit the internal paradox within Zamasu to try to win, but it would require an attack way more powerful than anything they’ve dished out so far. This is when Goku reminds Vegeta that Zamasu isn’t the only one who can use a fusion technique.
In the last part I talked about how the return of Trunks was one of the ways Super is packed with “Fan-Service”, well now it is time for the return of another fan favourite. Enter Vegito!
Vegito not only wipes the floor with Zamasu but proceeds to produce a million nerdgasms across the world. After landing a powerful blow Vegito explains that they now know Zamasu’s weakness (the mortal/immortal body thing from above) but to their surprise Zamasu is not only aware of this but he welcomes it.
He sees himself as a God who has taken on the sins of the world within himself (represented by Goku) and now they are a part of him forever. This is the duty of a true God and now he will cleanse the world of mortals and thus conquering sin with his divine justice.
Vegito easily has the fight in hand however and it looks like Zamasu is done for but here comes spanner in the works Number 53, the fusion has used up to much to quickly causing Vegito to split back into Goku and Vegeta.
Meanwhile somewhere nearby Trunks is feeling like he’s let everybody down as he looks down at his broken sword and he laments that he couldn’t save his world. As he begins to accept that his world may be doomed however, the remaining humans call out to him to not give up. Literally fuelling him with their hope, love and energy Trunks’ sword begins to glow and a new shimmering blade made of pure energy emerges from the handle. Trunks then takes the fight to Zamasu, ready to show him what mortals are capable of.
After a few parrying blows Trunks is finally able to cut Zamasu in half, seemingly ending this threat once and for all. But… If only it ended here. Seriously this would’ve been the perfect place to end this, it wasn’t the all powerful Saiyans who saved the day but a lone fighter armed with the embodiment of hope of the human race. But alas…
Yeh remember how Zamasu is immortal and that his body was the thing that was being corrupted? Well his spirit and his anger are eternal and now Earth is faced with a new threat, Infinite Zamasu (nope, not kidding).
Zamasu has become ethereal and proceeds to rain down judgement on the Earth killing everyone left alive, except for our heroes. They are now on a barren, grey desert world that was once the Earth. Humanity is extinct, all is lost and it seems there is nothing any of our heroes can do to stop/avenge this tragedy. Enter a good old fashioned Deus Ex Machina! Surprisingly almost literally, Goku has a machine and it’ll bring a God.
Remember Zeno? The little kid God that is the highest authority in all the cosmos? Well at the beginning of this Arc he gave Goku a button that could bring Goku to him or bring him to Goku. And even though it is a different timeline, it wouldn’t hurt to try right?
Goku presses the button to bring Zeno to him and it works despite the timeline difference! The problem is this Zeno doesn’t know who Goku is at all and after looking around at the ruined timeline Zeno decides that since it’s all broken then he should just wipe it out entirely. The surviving gang, now terrified of being wiped from existence, jump into the time machine and escape to the past. Zamasu is wiped from existence and that is kind of a victory right? Sure Trunks’ timeline is gone but the threat is also gone… Yay?!
Luckily, Whis (the angel) explains that he can transport Trunks and Mai (his partner) to another, alternate timeline where the Earth is still peaceful. There will be two of each of them, but they can make it work right?
Right, I hate to go off one one here but I must. I hate the way this arc ends, not only does the villain just get poofed out of existence after a long struggle but they even messed up the fan service. I’ve mentioned that Trunks was brought back almost certainly as a way to please fans of the original show, then why did they just send him to another timeline where he already exists? Why not just keep him in the present as part of the regular cast? I do love this show very dearly, but sometimes I just don’t get some of the decisions.
Anyway. Before Trunks is set off to have a confusing conversation with himself Goku has one final idea. He promised the Zeno from his timeline that he would find him a great friend to play with and there’s the perfect one sitting in a dead timeline.
Yes that’s right, Goku goes back to the future and brings back the Zeno from that timeline to come and play with the one we’ve got in the current one. So now we have two childlike beings capable of wiping out all of existence, great. But that’s ok though, it’s not like they have a chance coming up to wipe out universes on a whim right?
It turns out that the future Zeno hasn’t seen any fighting but our Zeno remembers something. There was gonna be a tournament between all the universes wasn’t there? That’s the perfect chance to see some fighting! And as a bonus, they can erase the losing teams universes 😀 .
I think this one is pretty clear cut but we’ll dive a little deeper anyway.
This arc is a fantastic example of why the balance of power is so important in the universe in Dragon Ball. We’ve already seen that Gods of Destruction like Beerus and Champa are willing to use the lives of mortals as plaything just to settle a sibling rivalry but Zamasu really takes prize for “What happens when someone is all powerful and they can’t be reasoned with?”.
Zamasu is just a walking God Complex, he thinks that everyone below him is scum and even those on his own level are all morons because they don’t agree with him. He is given the example of the Barbarian race not progressing much in 1000 years (quite a short time in the grand scheme of things) and decides to paint all mortals with the same brush. All mortals are scum, they don’t deserve the universe they’ve been given and should be eradicated. And all this is before he meets Goku.
In Dragon Ball Super Goku has gained access to Divine Ki and is thus now competing on the same field as the Gods. Zamasu cannot stand this. How can a mortal, someone of lower birth, even think he is allowed to be on the same plain as the Gods? How can a universe exist that would allow someone such as Goku to reach these heights. But mainly, how can Goku even begin to think that he is allowed to do so and not face the consequences?
I have mentioned in a previous entry that Goku is a good representation of the everyday person. He does what he thinks is right, he likes to have a good time and he is constantly working to overcome his limitations and break through the boundaries of what he is capable of.
Zamasu on the other hand was born in a world of power far above Son Goku and the idea that someone born that far beneath him could rise up to his level and even go beyond it. Zamasu uses the tricks and powers bestowed upon him by his birth to sabotage Goku and all those like him.
Zamasu even turns the entire human race, and all of Earth with them, into nothing but ash and dust. Perversely fulfilling the promise you find in the bible.
“for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Genesis, 3:19
Unlimited power in any hands is a dangerous thing, but place that power in the hands of someone who will not listen or learn that differences is what makes life unique and beautiful. That just because one bad example is terrible doesn’t mean that everyone at that level should be punished or eradicated. It is a good thing, that at least in Dragon Ball, there are people who can work together to achieve that kind of power and work together to put an end to and stop people like Zamasu. If only our world could have that luxury more often.
Another easy win for us mortals here.
Mortals: 3 – Gods: 1
There is a lot more to this that I will cover in the final part of this adventure, this arc has dragged on long enough I think and we could all use a break.
But I would just like to reiterate that despite all it’s flaws and some of the narrative issues I have with this arc, I still love it very very much. It might even be my favourite arc in all of Dragon, I think Zamasu is an incredibly complex villain unlike a lot in the past that just want to kill Goku and then rule the world or blow it up. I highly recommend watching it if you are a fan of Shonen style Anime, you won’t be disappointed.
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time for the Tournament of Power arc. Until then take care yourselves, peace.
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).