Despite some strong moments, Goku’s fight against Moro in Dragon Ball Super is reusing the franchise’s worst tropes from previous arcs.
Dragon Ball Super’s fight between Goku and Moro has taken a strange turn, recycling some of the most frustrating moments from past sagas. The Dragon Ball Super story entered an anime hiatus following the wildly successful Dragon Ball Super: Broly movie, but the manga has continued uninterrupted with a brand new arc. Goku and the Z Fighters are currently throwing down with Moro, an ancient wizard who was incarcerated for eons by the Galactic Patrol. Now Moro is free and more powerful than ever, he plans to rage around the universe consuming worlds until nothing remains. For Moro, populated planets are just dinners waiting to be eaten.
Dragon Ball Super’s Moro arc is now in its final phase, having already delivered some impressive standout moments. Vegeta traveled to Yardrat and learned how to excise stolen power from an opponent – he even pulled off Goku’s signature Instant Transmission technique. Meanwhile, Goku mastered Ultra Instinct with the help of Merus, who sacrificed himself to trigger the Saiyan’s silver-haired form. With magic as his main weapon, Moro has been a refreshing departure from the standard Dragon Ball villain mold, and his introduction has led to major reveals about angels, Ultra Instinct, and the people of Yardrat.
However, Dragon Ball Super chapter 65 takes the final fight between Goku and Moro into strange territory, and fan opinion is divided on the manga’s latest developments. Goku begins by handing his opponent a Senzu Bean, allowing Moro to heal back to full strength and regain his footing in the battle, to the intense frustration of everyone nearby. Moro then takes advantage of his newfound energy by reattaching the hand severed by Merus, gaining the angel’s abilities, Ultra Instinct included. Moro briefly fights on an even keel with Goku, but Merus’ divine power proves too much for Moro’s mortal, untrained body, and his form begins to distort and expand. The chapter ends with Moro somehow becoming one with the planet – a giant, ki-blasting head poking from the ground.
This goings-on will feel very familiar to Dragon Ball fans. Goku has always afforded enemies the benefit of the doubt, and at his ripe old age, that habit is unlikely to change. In the original Dragon Ball series, Goku threw Cell a Senzu Bean before the villain faced Gohan. But there was logic in allowing Cell the opportunity to heal – Gohan might not have hit Super Saiyan 2 if he wasn’t pushed to his absolute limit by a full-power Cell. But there’s no plausible explanation for Goku healing Moro. The villain had “agreed” to return to jail, where he would’ve healed naturally anyway. Moro wasn’t on death’s door and didn’t need a Senzu Bean just for the trip home. Giving Moro the means to recover was far more contrived compared to when Goku did the same for Cell.
Moro’s ascension to Ultra Instinct leads to an impressive fight scene, but the power-up also diminishes Merus’ death’s impact. Although the angel succeeded in triggering Goku’s final form, he’d be rolling in his angelic grave knowing that Moro achieved the same power-up shortly after. This trope is reminiscent of when Ultimate Gohan faced off against Buu, only to get absorbed by a stray blob of pink goop. The final connection to the past is Moro’s sudden growth and fusion with the planet, which borrows heavily from Dragon Ball Super’s own Zamasu arc. When Zamasu grew too powerful, the villain began to transform monstrously, and eventually became one with the universe, forcing Zen-Oh to destroy that timeline entirely.
Dragon Ball Super’s Moro arc had already frustrated some fans by selling Vegeta short (again) and morphing Moro into a Perfect Cell tribute act. Reusing old tropes from previous sagas risks wasting the early promise of the Moro arc. Fortunately, Dragon Ball Super still has plenty of time to turn the current saga around, depending on how Moro is ultimately defeated.