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Recap / Dragon Ball Super Granolah the Survivor Arc

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"At last, fate will bring these three together."

The Granolah the Survivor Arc is the eighth major story arc in the Dragon Ball Super series.

The story arc debuted in chapter 67 of the manga, in the same chapter where the Galactic Patrol Prisoner Arc ended.

After defeating Moro, a few months of peace transpired in the galaxy. However, the remains of OG-73 were recovered by the android's original creators. They decided to clone the robot for the sake of conquering the universe with an army, but their plans were stopped by a bounty hunter named Granolah, who stole the android for the mafia family known as the Heeters. Once they obtain the android, they inform Granolah that Frieza has been revived. Deciding to kill Frieza and avenge his people, Granolah begins to train getting even stronger—all while an ominous prophecy states that the strongest warrior in the universe will soon be born...

Tropes found in the arc:

  • Actually a Doombot: Goku and Granolah square off first and Goku eventually gains the upper hand... only for Granolah to reveal he split his power and sent a clone in his place to feel out how Goku fights, citing he saving his real power for his fight with Frieza. By the time Vegeta figures out the trick, Granolah re-merges with his power and hits Goku with a pressure point strike when his guard is down.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The ending of the arc seems to imply that The Prophecy about "the universe's strongest warrior" was actually referring to Frieza, now that he's achieved his Black Form. However, when Goku and Vegeta ask Whis about this, he replies that it might have been about Frieza, or that the strongest warrior might have emerged elsewhere in the universe. Given this arc is immediately followed by the manga adaptation of Super Hero, and Gohan's new Beast Form...
  • An Aesop:
    • Be Yourself. Sick of constantly being surpassed by his rival, Vegeta finally branches away from Goku's shadow by embracing the path of a God of Destruction and obtaining Ultra Ego, an aggressive transformation more suited to his individual strengths. Similarly, Goku struggles with controlling his emotions when honing Perfected Ultra Instinct. He resolves to forge his own flavour of Ultra Instinct that allows him to freely embrace his emotions, which makes him stronger than ever.
    • On a deeper level, Monaito spells out that a people's pride is not found in dwelling on the sins of the past, but by embracing the good sides of their nature. In the Saiyans' case, their relentless desire to win at all costs is their source of power. Goku and Vegeta take this message to heart during their final battle with Gas, in which they fight together in their strongest forms right off the bat.
  • All for Nothing: For all of Granolah's desire to become strong enough to defeat the resurrected Frieza, it turns out that Frieza had been training in the interim and easily leap-frogged him into becoming the Strongest in the Universe once more.
  • Anti-Villain: As of now, Granolah is a professional bounty hunter whose only concern is revenge against Frieza for wiping out his race.
  • As You Know: Granolah and Oatmeel know each other for a long time. Yet, Oatmeel acts like he's a stranger to Granolah for the sake of asking questions in order to fill the reader in.
    • In chapter 68, Granolah wakes from a recurring nightmare of his home being destroyed. Oatmeel then asks him if he still despises the Frieza army, Granolah says yes, and Oatmeel tells him to get over it as Frieza died. Granolah then explains to Oatmeel that the Saiyans Frieza employed were responsible for it, but they died due to a meteor. Considering Oatmeel knows of this already, this comes as needless exposition, as the nightmare already shows the Saiyans, and the only relevant thing it shows is Granolah being unaware Saiyans and Frieza are alive.
    • In chapter 69, Oatmeel asks Granolah why he doesn't live with the Sugarians on Cereal. Granolah then explains to Oatmeel how the Sugarians bought the planet from Elec Heeter, something Oatmeel must have been familiar with.
  • Audience Surrogate: Oatmeel asks the questions in order for Granolah to tell his backstory or reasoning for his actions, for the sake of the reader. This has the awkward side effect of falling into them telling things they already know, as the story makes it clear Oatmeel has been with Granolah for a long time.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Vegeta's Ultra Ego form boosts him up to near Goku's level and could in theory surpass him, but the fact that it requires taking damage from the his opponents that happen to be the World's Strongest Man means that it's almost useless in a drawn out fight, as the fatigue and damage is simply too much for the body to take. This even costs him a potential victory in his fight with Gas, passing out right before he could land a decisive blow.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: To an egregious degree. After a long and hard fought battle, Gas still refuses to go down after Granolah and the other heroes decide to spare him, a kindness which is repaid by Gas nearly killing Monaito, only for Frieza to come down and kill the man in one hit and then similarly kill Elec effortlessly.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The oracle Fish's prediction that the strongest warrior in the universe is rising made it look like he was talking about Granolah or Gas, however, he recognizes neither. The ending, however indicates the prediction was about Frieza all along.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Very bitter. The Heeters may no longer be a threat with Elec dying, but Gas expires with no chance at redemption. Frieza is now leagues ahead of Goku and Vegeta at their strongest and can now rule the universe unchallenged. At least Granolah reforms and promises to stay in touch with Goku and Vegeta, but he's exerted himself to the point where he'll be lucky to even last another 3 years and he has no plans to use the Dragon Balls to remedy this (assuming they can).
  • Bottle Episode: In contrast to the galactic, universal and multiversal stakes of some of the previous arcs, the Granolah arc is a very tight, small-scale story with a limited cast and deeply personal conflicts at the centre. For once, not even a planet is at stake of being destroyed, which delights Vegeta as he can finally go all out against an opponent without risk of damaging his surroundings.
  • Bounty Hunter: Granolah's main profession, with the Heeters setting up jobs for hunters like him.
  • Blatant Lies: The Heeters do this to both Saiyans and Granolah:
    • For the former they claim Granolah is terrorizing their planet. While normally Goku and Vegeta wouldn't care unless it's a planet of their allies or Earth. They get enticed when they find out it's the "Strongest Being in the Universe" and wanting to put their new skills to the test. That and Chi Chi is told Goku will be paid for his trouble, so she pretty much coerces him into it.
    • For the latter, they claim the information to find Frieza got leaked and he sent assassins to kill Granolah and that the two are Saiyans under Frieza's employ.
  • Broken Pedestal: Elec becomes this to Macki, Oil, and Gas in the last chapter when they realize he is willing to sacrifice any of them to achieve his goals.
  • The Bus Came Back: Many alien characters from past arcs make cameos throughout Goku and Gas's teleportation chase across the neighbouring planets. They include Jaco, Monaka, Galactic King, several minor Galactic Patrol agents and prisoners, the referee from the Tournament of Destroyers, the squid-like aliens Goku once asked directions from, and finally Whis. The final chapter in the storyline brings back Frieza, who hadn't been seen since the events of Dragon Ball Super: Broly.
  • Cast from Lifespan: In order to fulfill the "Make me the strongest fighter in the universe" wish, the Cerealian Dragon creates the power out of a person's lifespan, with the logic being that for each year taken off their life, they gain all the potential power they could have acquired with training in that time. The final attack Granolah uses on Gas is also said to be cast from lifespan, which Granolah admits probably really doesn't leave him with much left to use both in a row.
  • Continuity Snarl: As the manga attempts to tie into events leading to Planet Vegeta's destruction as per the new Broly movie during the flashback sequences, it's shown that Bardock lost his tail against Gas, which he clearly has in the movie. Like Goku and Gohan, he may grow it back in the interim, though being able to regrow his tail as an adult raises the question of why Vegeta never regrew his own tail.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • Granolah finds out about the Dragon Balls and that the Namekian he lives with, Monaito, has one. Monaito claims the other Dragon Ball on the planet is lost... only for Granolah see on TV that one of the Cerealians found the other on that same day and it was taken to a lab for study. Granolah quickly heads off to steal it.
    • We have a contrived coincidence bonanza in Minaito's telling of how Granolah survived his planet's slaughter. Bardock just so happens to change of heart for Muezli and Granolah because they remind him of Gine and his sons, even though he had been rampaging and killing hundreds of Cerealians before the moon got destroyed, just so happened to run into the Heeters, and the Heeters just so happened to run into Bardock and kill Muezli. To top it all off, Vegeta apparently knows who Bardock is and his relation to Goku, even though in Super's canon Bardock is not a stand out for Saiyans in any way and unlikely to be mentioned to the Prince. That said, Vegeta did work closely with Raditz, Goku’s older brother, i.e, Bardock’s other son. So he might have known his name and the fact that he was a dead ringer for Goku, made him realize who Minaito is talking about.
    • Both Granolah and Gas at different points make a wish to become the strongest in the universe, and both wishes just happened to be made when Freeza either wasn't the strongest in the universe yet, or was in a dimension similar to the Room of Spirit and Time, technically not being in the universe, just so Freeza isn't included on Gas' wish so can be weaker than Freezanote .
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: If Monaito had just simply told Granolah about everything Bardock had done for them and that the Heeters were actually responsible for Muezli's death while he was still a young kid, the current crisis could've probably been averted entirely. While he had been threatened by the Heeters if the truth came out, there were surely ways of letting him know the truth without making it explicit.
  • Critical Status Buff: Vegeta's Ultra Ego functions like this. It gets more and more powerful as the user takes damage, but it is also deconstructed as the user could potentially break down in their effort of abusing it too much. Vegeta nearly loses track of the damage his body is taking and is forced to end the battle quickly with Granolah, and later passes out when he suffered too much damage in the process of coming close to beating Gas.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Frieza shows up in the finale, easily murders Gas and Elec then reveals his brand new form, "Black Frieza" to easily one-shot UI Goku and UE Vegeta.
  • Darker and Edgier: This is easily the darkest arc since the Future Trunks arc. What it lacks in high stakes, it makes up for with an intense personal conflict between Granolah, the Saiyans and the Heeters, coupled with bloody violence and more mature themes than the series usually delves into.
  • Death Seeker: Vegeta and Granolah end their tumultuous battle in such a distraught state that they're both willing to die fighting each other, despite having missions and responsibilities of their own. Vegeta can't stand carrying his guilt for the Saiyans' past atrocities (including his own) and he believes he has once again failed to become the ruthless destroyer he once was. For Granolah, the revelation that he has become just as bad as the Saiyans hits him hard and he no longer cares about killing Frieza so long as he can put Vegeta down.
  • Demoted to Extra: Despite lending his name to the title of the arc and being the focal character for much of it, Granolah spends a number of chapters towards the climax unconscious in Monaito's hut, since he was brutalised and left for dead by Elec and Gas. Gas supplants him as the main physical threat for Goku and Vegeta to defeat.
  • Deus ex Machina: Just when it seems like Monaito will die, Whis comes out of nowhere and resurrects him.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Frieza shows up stronger than ever and wipes out both Gas and Elec.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Once again, Goku leaps into the fray to help Vegeta against Granolah when the latter is in a tight spot. Vegeta really doesn't take this well and physically attacks Goku. The two have had petty spats like this before, but it's played very seriously this time as Vegeta desperately wants to prove that he can defeat an opponent alone, without his rival's help.
  • Dramatic Irony: In a flashback scene, Gine wishes her little Kakarot grows up big and strong, though she has no reason to believe the offspring of a low-class warrior and a failed soldier will amount to anything. She will never know Kakarot is fated to be the legendary Super Saiyan, as well as one of the most powerful mortals in the Multiverse.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Vegeta claims Goku's good heart came from Bardock. Anyone who knows Goku understands that this is not true, and he got it from his kindly adoptive human father, Grandpa Gohan.
  • Exact Words: When Frieza manages to easily overpower Gas despite the fact that he should be the strongest in the universe due to the wish, he simply points out that he wasn't in the universe when the wish was granted.
  • Flashback Within a Flashback: Most of chapter 77 has Monaito recount the Saiyan invasion. During that flashback, another flashback occurs when Bardock recalls meeting and naming his baby son.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • At the start of chapter 68, Goku has to catch the Oracle Fish for Whis to give him some medicine to help his insomnia. He mentions to Goku and Vegeta that usually when that happens, it's a bad omen... though it likewise could be nothing.
    • As much of a Diabolus ex Machina Frieza's entry marks, there are hints that something is off when Granolah and Elec cannot find him, it's then revealed he found a planet he could train on that was the same like the planet Merus showed Goku in the previous arc.
  • From a Single Cell: It turns out enough of OG-73 has survived Moro's defeat that it has been slowly reconstructing its body.
  • The Ghost: Frieza is constantly invoked as the main source of ire for Granolah, while the Heeters also seek to overthrow him, but he has yet to physically appear. He was last seen in a bonus chapter of the Moro arc. He finally shows up in the final chapter.
  • Handwave: How did Frieza jump ahead league above where he was in such a short amount of time? He conquered a planet that had the same properties as the Hyperbolic Time Chamber and trained there for a decade. This is also how Frieza ends up stronger than two people who wished to be the strongest fighter in the universe, as Freiza counted as not being a part of the universe for the purposes of the wishes.
  • Idiot Ball: Vegeta just letting Granolah hit him in Ultra Ego with attacks he could have otherwise dodged is an extremely stupid move on his part and ultimately costs him the win, despite being much more intuitive up until that very fight. Justified, as Ultra Ego affects the mind and Vegeta hasn't fully mastered it yet.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Beerus reveals to Vegeta that he suggested the destruction of Planet Vegeta, something that was established in Battle of Gods but not followed upon until this arc.
    • Goku finally learns about his father Bardock.
  • Ironic Echo: Vegeta claims that the one key mistake in wishing to become the Strongest in the Universe is that it only accounts for the present moment; someone who is the strongest now may later be surpassed, rendering the wish pointless. He demonstrates his point when he begins to overpower Granolah with his newly evolved transformation, Ultra Ego, which gets more powerful the more Vegeta is pushed to his limits. Unfortunately for Vegeta, he is not the only one who can break his limits and Granolah counters with a new evolution of his own. Later, Gas surpasses Granolah simply because his wish to become the strongest came after Granolah's, further illustrating Vegeta's point.
  • It's Personal: At its heart, the arc is an intimate martial arts feud between characters who just happen to be the strongest in the universe at the centre. For once, there are no cosmic-scale stakes; the characters are fighting purely for themselves.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: When Goku gets excited at the prospect of a new powerful enemy appearing in Universe 7, Beerus is quick to try and shut him down by telling him outright that his obsession with always wanting to fight the strongest warriors he can find usually backfires on him and ends up causing trouble for others (namely Beerus). Considering how many of Goku's actions thus far have either kickstarted the problem of the week or just made the situation worse, Beerus has a right to be pissed here.
    • While Granolah may be extreme in his hatred of all Saiyans (including ones who played no part in the invasion of Cereal), it's hard to label his prejudice against them as unjustified when they remorselessly slaughtered his entire species for profit. It doesn't help that Vegeta purposefully goads him throughout their fight.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Invoked by the Heeters. Granolah has gained an absurd amount of power and coerced the Heeters into bringing him to Frieza. The Heeters, however, see Frieza more useful alive than dead, so they plot to set Granolah up against Goku and Vegeta in order to get him killed.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Granolah believes the Saiyans were wiped out by a meteor, and ignores Frieza was revived until Elec tells him about it. Once he learns about it, he gets motivated to take the emperor down in order to avenge his people.
    • Likewise once he starts fighting Goku, he still believes that the two can turn to Oozaru. Goku informs they don't do that anymore.
  • Mama Bear: Muezli did not hesitate to shoot a finger beam at the Saiyan threatening her son Granolah.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands:
    • The wish to become the strongest in the universe gives Granolah and Gas new powers and it's never explained how. In particular they both learn destruction techniques, and Granolah learns to sense ki.
    • Monaito suddenly can use hypnotism to put Maki and Oil to sleep, this is done so they don't interrupt Granolah's charge, but it doesn't explain why he didn't use it when the saiyans attacked years before, or on Elec's crew.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Granolah shouting when he saw Bardock drew the Heeters' attention and led to Elec murdering his mother.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: When Vegeta manages to resume the fight, the battle ends up going into one of the Cerealian cities. Granolah sees a mother and child cowering in fear of him, which has him recall something similar that happened to him. Vegeta quips that what he's doing trying to get his revenge isn't any different from what the Sayians did in destroying his home.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Frieza deciding not to kill Vegeta and Goku even though he could with ease is extremely against his previous characterization, who usually just kills people at a moment's notice and has been explicitly wanting to kill the two Saiyans for decades. Though his attitude towards them has softened somewhat since the Tournament of Power.
  • Past Experience Nightmare: Granolah has one while going to deliver OG-73, showing Frieza's army attacking his planet with a few Saiyans' Oozaru forms stomping around. Bodies of his people littered everywhere. He ducks into a destroyed building only for an Oozaru to find him, causing him to wake up. Apparently it's been a recurring dream of his.
  • Playing Both Sides: The Heeters lie to both Goku and Vegeta and Granolah to get them to fight, claiming the other is an enemy (A enemy terrorizing the planet to Goku and Vegeta and Frieza's assassins to Granolah). The idea being either the Saiyans take out Granolah for them or, at the least with the Dragon Radar they stole from Bulma's house, they can find the Dragon Balls on Cereala's planet and use them against Granolah should the Saiyans fail.
  • Plot Armor: Frieza has become stronger than Goku, Granolah and Vegeta and can defeat them with ease... but spares them because "they weren't his target for today" getting the Saiyans out of a situation they had no way out of otherwise.
  • Power at a Price: The Cerealian Dragon offers to power up Granolah to surpass Frieza... if he agrees to take a majority of his lifespan, which would leave Granolah with only three years left to live. Despite this warning, Granolah takes it.
  • Power Copying: After getting wished to be the strongest, both Granolah and Gas demonstrate the instantly ability to mimic other warriors' abilities without any training, even ones they haven't personally seen before. However, their jerry-rigged techniques are not as potent as those used by the original wielders.
    • Granolah uses Beerus's Hakai, Moro's "Fire and Flames" lava eruption move and Goku's Instant Transmission, which took Goku several months to perfect. Gas also uses it when he gets wished to be the strongest. Goku demonstrates his superior experience with the move when he leads Gas on a cat-and-mouse chase across the universe with Instant Transmission, with Gas teleporting after him, before rapidly leap-frogging off the many ki signatures he used to get out there to get back to Cereal while leaving Gas stranded on a distant planet.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: When Granolah makes his wish to become the strongest in the universe, his hair grows absurdly long, similar to a Super Saiyan 3. He trims it down to its original length in the next scene.
  • Power Up Let Down: Vegeta taps into the Destroyer God's power to fight Granolah. While Vegeta initially has Granolah on the ropes, Granolah manages to break through his own limits and proceeds to turn the tables on Vegeta.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Upon the realisation that Bardock fought with everything he had against Gas to save Granolah and Monaito, Goku and Vegeta conclude that they need to get back to their roots and embrace old-fashioned Saiyan Pride. Monaito also encourages them to forget their species' sins and even gives them matching sets of Saiyan armour based on Bardock's design. This would be all well and good, but the Saiyans were still genocidal space pirates, as we are clearly shown in flashbacks throughout this very arc. The fact that Monaito, one of the last two survivors of the Saiyan invasion of Cereal, is the one gushing about the pride of the Saiyans is doubly strange. Some have compared this tone-deaf plot beat to the rhetoric espoused by real nationalist groups that campaign to erase the less savoury details of their nations' history from school textbooks (which is especially relevant in Japanese politics at the time of writing), but that's a whole other kettle of fish.
  • Rapid Aging: Gas starts aging towards the end of the fight, just as he learns that Elec had to use so much of his lifespan to grant his strongest in the universe wish that he only had a few hours left to live.
  • Red Herring: Granolah's flashback reveals Bardock in his Great Ape form standing over him and his mother, making it seem like Bardock was the killer of Granolah's mother. When Monaito reveals the truth to Granolah, the flashback reveals that while Bardock did indeed take part in the Saiyan's invasion of Cereal, he had a change of heart after seeing Muezli and Granolah, which reminded him of his own family and led him to spare them. The flashback reveals that it was actually Elec who killed Muezli, then exploited Granolah's desire for revenge to turn him into a pawn.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Subverted. Vegeta's Ultra Ego form uses damage inflicted to the body to make him much stronger than his other forms, but his durability seems to remain on the same level as before with the biggest difference being that he can ignore the pain and push through it much easier than before. As such, Vegeta may have a potential new form with the potential of Gathering Steam, the lack of any sort of protection leaves much to be desired.
  • Retcon: This arc retcons some information related to Ultra Instinct.
    • Back in the Tournament of Power arc, Beerus tries to use Ultra Instinct on the exhibition match against the other Gods of Destruction in chapter 28, and when Goku uses it during the tournament in chapter 39, he's distressed because Goku got it before he did. This arc in chapter 68 establishes Ultra Instinct is the Angels' specialty and no God of Destruction is going to fight with calm hearts. This is done to establish Ultra Ego.
    • In Moro's arc, chapter 59, Whis claims Ultra Instinct Sign is just a gateway to the completed Ultra Instinct, because of that it's not stable, it's a bigger stamina waster. In this arc it's reversed, with the completed Ultra Instinct being the bigger stamina waster with Goku even saying he can't use it for long when fighting Granolah, something that isn't even implied to be the case during his fight with Moro.
  • The Reveal: Chapter 69 reveals some major secrets about the Dragon Ball universe.
    • The Namekians didn't originate from Planet Namek. They originally were from another universe entirely, then settled on Namek and other planets, such as Cereal. Also counts as a Retcon.
    • Each of the Dragon Ball sets vary in number and size depending on their creators. One such set exists on Cereal, and only contains two Dragon Balls.
  • Revenge: Granolah's main motive: he wants revenge against Frieza for killing his people, he at first figured it out of his reach since he thought Frieza was dead. But once the Heeters mention that he was resurrected, Granolah tries to instantly search for him. He's initially talked down due to not having the strength to match the Heaters, only to find out about the Dragon Balls on Cereala and uses them to wish for strength at the cost of his lifespan.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Granolah already demonstrates this by taking up his dragon's offer to gain a massive power up in exchange for the majority of his lifespan. But even more so when, during his fight with Goku, he lets slip that he thinks Goku is working for Frieza. Goku is naturally confused at this claim and tries to get him to clarify since he was told Granolah was the villain. But Granolah lets his revenge lust get the better of him and continues the fight rather then realize something wasn't right. Even when Goku tries to talk him down after Vegeta and he find out they were duped, Granolah insists on fighting to the death, too entrenched in his revenge to care anymore. Likewise Vegeta does attempt some civility by mentioning he likewise had nothing to do with his planet's destruction, being a child at the time and that Frieza had pretty much wiped out all Saiyans. While Granolah's A.I, Oatmeal, does realize he could be speaking the truth, Granolah, again, doesn't care and just presumes he's lying. By this point, Vegeta just shrugs and realizes he won't listen to reason, so fighting is the only recourse. Indeed, when Oatmeal tries to make Granolah hear Vegeta out, Granolah casts the computer aside stating he doesn't need him anymore.
  • Revision: The arc clears up a common source of confusion regarding Ultra Instinct's status as either a technique or transformation. Whis confirms that it is essentially both; the silver-haired form Goku uses is a transformation that he needs to help him wield the enormous strain of the technique. Full mastery of the technique means making Ultra Instinct as natural as breathing, which is achieved by unconsciously synchronizing the mind and body at all times.
  • Sequel Hook: Frieza returns stronger than ever, and when Goku asks Whis if Freiza is the prophesized Universe's Strongest, Whis expresses doubt and suggests the possibility that the true Universe's Strongest may not have revealed themselves yet.
  • Settling the Frontier: The Sugarians who survived their planet's destruction settled in Cereal after buying the planet from the Heeters. They feel pretty guilty after meeting the last Cerealian still living in the planet and finding out his race was also nearly wiped out by Frieza's forces.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The Heeters ultimately don't leave any long-term impact, being little more than a common enemy for the Saiyans and Granolah to team up against. Once Granolah abandons his grudge, the Heeters are promptly kicked out of the picture within the space of a single chapter.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Granolah doesn't care that Goku and Vegeta weren't involved in the Cerealian extermination, he considers them guilty simply for being Saiyans. Ironically, he is initially unaware that he is attempting to kill the son of the Saiyan that saved his and Monaito's lives.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: Gas's speciality, which he has somehow been able to do even before he was wished to become the strongest. He can create seemingly anything he wants, including swords, shields, knives, spears, axes, hammers, spikes, rope-darts, wrecking balls, and more. His versatility with this move provides some unique combat choreography for the arc, since very few major Dragon Ball villains use weaponry.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Gas involuntarily losing his limiter and sanity, turning into a rampaging monster who attacks enemy and family alike, only to regain his sanity and turn into a form that is a mix of his humanoid and monstrous forms, is exactly what happens to Goku in GT when he began the process of turning into a Super Saiyan 4.
  • Third-Person Flashback: Monaito's flashback includes Bardock meeting Granolah and his mother Muezli, an event which was not witnessed by the Namekian elder.
  • Underestimating Badassery: During the Frieza/Saiyan invasion, Flayk destroys the Cerealian moon to try and weaken the Saiyans. He believes he has managed to turn the tide of battle when he sees the Saiyans turning back into humanoids, but his elation turns into horror when he realizes their enemies are still massively strong.
    Flayk: W-we got'em now!
    Taro: Yeah? I wouldn't be too sure.
    Flayk: Ack...
    Taro: Sorry, pal! But we're plenty strong even without our Great Ape forms. Strong enough, anyway!
  • Villain Ball: Even after Frieza overpowers Goku and Vegeta effortlessly, he lets them live on the basis of "they weren't the targets he was there for". Needless to say, this will eventually end up biting him in the ass later down the road.
  • Villain Has a Point: Elec tells Granolah that while he understands his motive for revenge against Frieza, in his state he'd barely last a minute against him especially since Frieza has gotten stronger. This gets proven when Gas blindsides him and subdues Granolah with ease. Granolah doesn't listen at first, but after an encounter with some rival bounty hunters that he manages to subdue, he concedes he's not up to full strength at the moment. He resolves to change his situation by making a wish upon the Cerealian Dragon Balls.
  • Voodoo Shark: After Bardock saves Monaito and Granolah from the Heeters, Monaito asks what he would use the Dragon Balls for, and Bardock he'd use it to ensure that his sons "thrive". Monaito presumably complies with Bardock's request. The thing is, that this would mean that Goku and Raditz were guaranteed to grow up and survive what was thrown at them until adulthood. It also means as that would mean Bardock didn't need to go out of his way to save Goku because the Dragon Balls would have ensured his survival. In a bit of Lost in Translation for the wish Bardock made in the original Japanese is the following: オレの息子たちがすくすくとそだちますように…とでも願っといてくれ / I'd wish that my sons grow up healthy and strong." (Lit. "Wish for my sons to grow up healthy and strong," as a request to Monaito.) which would only affect Raditz and Goku until adulthood (meaning it would only effect them up to Z) where they both die to each other.
  • Wham Line:
    • In Chapter 68, Beerus asks Vegeta if he wants to learn Ultra Instinct too. Vegeta declines, leading to this exchange.
      Vegeta: I'll surpass Kakarot my own way.
      Beerus: Oh yeah? It might be possible, but it's up to you. Cause Ultra Instinct ain't the only technique of the Gods.
    • Also from the same chapter the Oracle Fish mutters these final lines of the issue in his sleep.
      Oracle Fish: Universe 7... Balance shifting... Strongest warrior in the universe... will soon rise up...
    • Chapter 76: Oatmeel goes to retrieve Monaito who halt the fight. Telling both parties some shocking news in the process in regards what happened in the past.
      Monaito: Forty years back, the one who actually saved us was a Sayian named Bardock.
    • Monaito presents Goku with Bardock's old scouter, which contains a recording of Bardock's voice. As soon as Goku hears his father say "stay alive", something in him awakens as a long-buried memory of his parents suddenly leaps into the forefront of Goku's mind.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 87, which serves as the arc's finale. Frieza arrives on Cereal, having been summoned by Elec with the intent of getting him killed. However, not only does Frieza kill both Gas and Elec, but he also reveals a transformation that far surpasses Golden Frieza: Black Frieza. This form makes quick work of True Ultra Instinct Goku and Ultra Ego Vegeta, although it is not yet confirmed if Frieza with this new form is the most powerful warrior in the universe.
  • Wham Shot: In the earliest flashback to the Saiyan invasion, an Oozaru rips off the roof of the building Granolah is in... revealing a familiar scar on its cheek.
  • World's Strongest Man: More like "Universe's Strongest Man", but this arc teases the arrival of the strongest warrior in the universe. Granolah wishes to be this, granting him both amazing strength and an impressive array of new techniques (including some mimicked from other warriors like Beerus, Moro and Goku). Elec later wishes for the same power, not for himself, but for his little brother Gas. Ultimately, the title goes to Frieza, although Whis suggests the potential that the true Universe's Strongest could still be someone who has yet to reveal themselves.