Chapter 59 of the official “Dragon Ball” sequel just dropped, and it seems to act as a sort of mile marker for the current story arc.
By that I mean the way the battle between Goku and Moro has played out tells me that Goku is going to lose, and this is merely going to be another tease before we get a final fight with a Goku and Vegeta team up.
But that’s for the future chapters. The real question is: how was the fight that this chapter presented? Because this chapter was almost entirely dominated by the fight choreography between Goku and Moro, that’s where the bulk of my analysis is going to come from.
For starters, the opening of the fight was nothing spectacular, consisting of basic attacks. It was like Goku was dipping his toes in the water to check the temperature. That’s pretty standard fair for “Dragon Ball,” but considering the capabilities of the fighters at hand it certainly wasn’t anything to write home about.
However, magic also plays a role in this battle. As far as I recall, there hasn’t been a major antagonist who has really employed magical techniques in combat. Babidi is the only one who comes to mind, but of course he wasn’t a fighter. I like the unique aspect that gives to Moro when compared to the other classic “Dragon Ball” enemies, however he didn’t utilize the magic to its fullest extent in this chapter, and it didn’t really affect anything.
If his dialogue about those being only simple powers is to be trusted though, perhaps we’ll see something truly incredible in later chapters.
As the chapter went on though, the fight choreography didn’t drastically change. Sure, there was a bit more power behind the strikes — maybe — but there still was nothing that would make the reader think, “Wow! This arc of "Dragon Ball Super" rocks.” If you combine that with Gohan acting out of character, things start to feel a bit odd.
Yet if you look at the chapter from another angle, Goku’s movements as he fights Moro appear to be very precise, predetermined attacks, focusing on a lot of fast and clean strikes rather than a brute force approach.
This tactic is coming from two angles that I found to be pretty interesting. One half of it is that Goku is utilizing Ultra Instinct Sign, so while it isn’t perfected, he is still in a divine mental state that allows him to focus every sense in his body onto the battle, ignoring all other stimuli. The second part of that is seemingly a level of intelligence you don’t often see from Goku.
Throughout the chapter, he often seems to be analyzing Moro’s movements, almost playing with him at times. The only thing that makes the fight tricky is Moro’s unique abilities like energy absorption and magic. In fact, a lot of Moro’s physical attacks appear wild and unrefined. There is a clear distinction between the skill and practice behind Goku’s techniques compared to Moro’s fighting style.
While I found those aspects to be interesting, I couldn’t help but want more from the fight. By the end of the chapter, both of them are even admitting that they weren’t really trying. That’s pretty normal in this genre, but I think that trope is sort of played out.
Yet, the end of the chapter actually attempts to turn almost everything that I’ve just said on its head. Goku claims that the way he’d been fighting just isn’t his style, even if it was the logical strategy he should employ, and through dialogue promises to the reader from here on out he’d fight the way he always has. That sort of reveal at the end that he’d been using a particular strategy (that I won’t go into detail on) at least excuses the lackluster combat, and it also ties in the training Goku had been doing as well as the difficulties of mastering the new form he’s in.
Otherwise, what did the chapter bring to the table but pages on pages of combat that at the end of the day didn’t contribute to the progression of the story? The real feeling it gave me was that everything I had just read throughout the chapter was meaningless.