Dragon Ball’s Vegeta is known as a naturally talented fighting genius, but he makes the same mistake against 2 separate villains.
After making a fatal error against one villain in Dragon Ball Super, Vegeta did the same thing not too long after. Ever since his introduction as the first major villain in Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta has been presented as a naturally talented fighting genius, entirely the opposite to Goku, who relies on determination, hard work, and spirit. Vegeta is also portrayed as the more intelligent of the two Saiyans – a more tactical fighter than the instinctive and permanently relaxed Goku. Even as Vegeta chills out and becomes a protagonist in Dragon Ball Super, Whis points out that his biggest weakness is being too uptight, whereas Goku is the overconfident one prone to letting his guard down.
Nevertheless, Vegeta has been guilty of overconfidence himself in the new era of Dragon Ball, with the most obvious example coming in the Resurrection F movie. In the film’s climax, Goku and Vegeta take turns to battle Frieza, pitting Super Saiyan Blue against the villain’s new Golden form. In a tense battle, Vegeta comes out on top, beating Frieza into submission until the contest is virtually over. Vegeta has Frieza at his mercy, holding out a hand ready to deliver the finishing blow. However, in a rookie error, Vegeta delays finishing his opponent off, and Frieza unleashes a last-minute gambit that destroys the Earth. Only thanks to Whis rewinding time was the apocalypse prevented, leaving the Z-Warriors to explain to a livid Vegeta why Goku was forced to intervene.
As a fighting genius with far more intelligence than his Saiyan rival, Dragon Ball fans might’ve expected Vegeta to learn from this foolish mistake ahead of future battles. They certainly wouldn’t expect him to do the same thing only a few arcs later, and yet that’s exactly what happens when Vegeta takes on Moro. After training on Yardrat and learning the Forced Spirit Fission technique, Vegeta strips Moro of his stolen power and has the evil wizard soundly beaten. Once again, Vegeta puts his opponent to the ground and holds out a single hand, ready to hit the final ki blast. Just like the Frieza battle, he tarries, allowing Moro time to regroup and re-energize stronger than ever before.
Overconfidence has always been an issue for Vegeta. The most infamous example of his hubris in battle came while fighting Imperfect Cell in Dragon Ball Z. After honing his Super Saiyan form, Vegeta had the measure of Cell but foolishly allowed the villain to power up further, blinded by the belief that his own abilities could never be matched. Because of this, Perfect Cell was able to reign death and destruction over the Earth. In Dragon Ball Super, Vegeta is a changed man. If Cell were to make the same proposition now, Vegeta wouldn’t risk the safety of his family, and would probably mock Cell for needing the power of the Androids instead of relying on his own strength.
Vegeta has evolved greatly as a character and Piccolo even makes this point in the very same chapter as the Moro incident. As such, it’s a little strange that Vegeta, after his overconfidence nearly destroyed the Earth in Resurrection F, would make the same error again. Not only does this contradict Vegeta’s status as the more intellectual of the remaining Saiyans, but it also goes against the character development Vegeta has made in the Dragon Ball Super era. Moments of cockiness will always be part of Vegeta’s personality, but to repeat an old slip-up in a chapter explicitly designed to highlight Vegeta’s growth feels counterproductive. The repeated gaffe is perhaps also connected to Akira Toriyama’s continued reluctance to give the Saiyan prince that big, defining victory his character deserves.