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Recap / Dragon Ball Super Krillin Arc

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Story Arcs: 1: Battle of Gods Arc | 2: Resurrection F Arc | 3: Champa Arc | 4: Potaufeu Arc | 5: Future Trunks Arc | 6: Hit Arc | 7: Great Saiyanman Arc | 8: Krillin Arc | 9: Universal Survival Arc

The Krillin Arc is the 8th story arc in the Dragon Ball Super series. Set between the Great Saiyaman Arc and the Universe Survival Arc.

Short Summary

Goku is looking to spar with someone in preparation for the Multiverse Tournament. Since sparring with Gohan proves to be a little too destructive, Goku seeks out Krillin. The two of them decide to return to Kame House to train under Master Roshi.

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Tropes:

  • Ascended Fanon: For years before this arc aired, it was assumed by most of the fandom that Krillin must have some form of PTSD after he’s had so many near-death experiences (as well as three actual death experiences) during his many battles over the years. With Krillin’s petrified reaction to seeing the likes of Frieza, Super Buu and Tambourine again, the long-standing theory is basically solidified in canon now.
  • The Bus Came Back: Roshi's sister Fortuneteller Baba and the Flying Nimbus return. As well as cameos of Tambourine, King Piccolo, Raditz, Nappa, Saiyan Saga Vegeta, the Ginyu Force, Frieza, Cell, Dabura, and Super Buu.
  • Continuity Nod: Like in Dragon Ball, Krillin bribes Roshi to train him and Goku again by giving him a porno magazine.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Krillin this time.
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  • Eldritch Location: The Forest of Terror, where the arc takes place. It's a bizarre looking place where the memories of a person's heart take form, in this case creating dangerous, infinitely respawning clones of previous villains that feed off their own energy and fear if they're not controlling it. The only way to escape seems to be getting the Paradise Grass, which only seems to grow when the memories it summoned are defeated. According to Baba, it's located between the mortal world and Other World as well.
  • Face Your Fears: The training that Roshi puts Goku and Krillin through involves their fears being manifested by the forest. Given Krillin has plenty more of those, they're mostly his. This was the main point of the entire thing: to help Krillin finally break his psychological block and be able to progress again.
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  • He's Back: Krillin has his head shaved to reveal his spots once more, and declares he's gonna practice martial arts again for his and his daughter's sake. So folks, Goku's best pal is back in the fray! A good thing too, considering the next arc...
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Even when out of practice on martial arts, Krillin is still one of the strongest people on the planet and explicitly the strongest human. It's just that most of the people he associates with are infinitely stronger than he is, and he's well-aware of that. The arc highlights his chronic self-doubt and how he needs to move past that.
  • Immortality Inducer: Roshi's words imply that the paradise herb he sent Goku and Krillin out to get will help him live to be 1000.
  • Innocently Insensitive: True to Goku's naivety, he calls Krillin out after he tries to run, not realizing his insecurities and the mere fact that fighting is not as fun to him as it is to Goku.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After Goku calls Flying Nimbus, he remarks that that brings back some memories, before singing a few bars of "Cha-La Head Cha-La", the Japanese theme song for Dragon Ball Z.
  • No Antagonist: There isn’t really an antagonist in this arc, just Krillin and Goku trying to go through Training from Hell.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Among his other insecurities, Krillin reflects on how he Can't Catch Up to the best friend he used to train alongside. He even notes during a training session how Goku could effortlessly kill him with a single attack.
  • Took a Third Option: Goku needs to get to Krillin, but he can't fly. His solution? Fly without technically flying by summoning the Flying Nimbus.
  • Training from Hell: Goku and Krillin ask for help training from Roshi. Roshi sends them into a forest that infinitely respawns copies of all of their past enemies, including the ones Krillin is deathly afraid of. This is all therapy to finally get Krillin to overcome his fears and be able to grow as a person.
  • Undesirable Prize: Sending them to get the herb, Roshi makes it a race and says the winner gets his treasured magazine collection. Neither Goku nor Krillin are interested in that, much to Roshi's surprise and annoyance. The chance to learn a special technique is a far more desirable prize to them, of course.
    Roshi: I can't believe young fellas like yourselves have no use for my magazines!
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: Krillin gets one when he realizes just what's actually going on and finally overcomes his fears and mental blocks to regain his lost resolve and strength.
    Krillin: I understand, Master Roshi. Unless I surpass myself who fears the past, I'll just continue to run away. *Begins powering up.* Control my energy and mind. If I can do that, they won't move! This is the new me! *Obliterates the illusion Nappas in one punch.*

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