Dragon Ball Super (Manga) – Galactic Patrol Prisoner Arc (Chapters 42 – 67) Review

Now the Dragon Ball Super anime has stopped airing it has been through the Manga that we have followed the further Toriyama-penned (though not drawn) antics of Goku and co. The latest arc has come to a close, focusing on a powerful magic-user from 10 million years ago returning named Moro, so I thought I’d have a look at it! I would review manga volumes, but this arc awkwardly starts halfway through Volume 10 and I’m NOT reviewing the Universe Survival arc for a third time any time soon, so I thought it would be easier to just count the Chapters instead, especially as I’m following the monthly chapters anyway… So let’s take a look!

Synopsis:

Goku and Vegeta are “kidnapped” by the Galactic Patrol after they arrive on Earth to capture Majin Buu. Turns out they need the help of the Grand Kai that Buu once absorbed as he was the only person with enough magic power to stop Moro, a dangerous man who has broken out of prison after 10 million years behind bars…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

I can’t help but feel there is something familiar about this scene… (Also it’s the only digitally coloured one in this review, I prefer the original look…)

Good is a relative term here, as his story arc really did feel like Toriyama on autopilot, and while I’ll get to the whys in the “Bad” section, there were some good bits. So as mentioned in the synopsis, the weakened but still powerful Moro escapes from prison and soon seeks out the Dragon Balls of New Namek, with Goku and Vegeta arriving there to stop him. This actually leads to Vegeta of all characters getting a little bit of character development, as he becomes determined to help the Namekians in part due to his slaughtering of an entire village back in the day, and how those Namekians were never resurrected. When he and Goku inevitably fail (otherwise it would be the shortest arc in history) Vegeta actually travels to Yardratt, the planet where Goku learned the Instantaneous Movement, or “Instant Transmission” in order to learn new techniques, something the old Vegeta would never do (hell it was a miracle he became Whis’s student). All the better, the move he learns isn’t actually a directly offensive one, instead it’s a move that drains his opponent of any energy they had previously fused with (translated as “Forced Spirit Fission”). Vegeta uses it to steal away the power Moro had stolen from absorbing other planets, so it was a good moment. Sadly, of course, it doesn’t get the job done, but hey-ho…

Beyond that though, the arc goes about how you’d imagine it would. Goku gets defeated by Moro and explains to Galactic Patrol agent Merus that he once used a form called Ultra Instinct but he can’t any more, which then proceeded to a good old training session in a place extremely similar to the Room of Spirit and Time (otherwise known as the “Hyperbolic Time Chamber”) where Goku soon gets the hang of a half-way form known under the awkward title of “Ultra Instinct -Sign-” and proceeds to tackle Moro again when the villain arrives on Earth. Merus, as it turns out, is an Angel like Whis and is therefore forbidden to directly interfere in the matters of mortals, so has to sit the actual fight out.

It’s not exactly the avengers assembling, is it?

The final showdown on Earth features the classic trope of some of the minor characters like Gohan, Piccolo, Krillin, Tenshinhan and even Yamcha this time, all come together to fend off Moro’s army of escaped convicts. It’s of course always fun to see these characters do something for a few chapters, even if it doesn’t go anywhere beyond a few grunts getting defeated. One of the convict crew is an android named Seven-Three who has the ability to copy someone’s powers and store up to three “sets”, though once he starts using someone’s power it only has a limited time use. It’s not that interesting, and he looks like Cell on top of having a similar hook, but I need to mention him because Moro fuses with Seven-Three in order to recover from the beating Vegeta game him, as mentioned in the first paragraph, revealing he has stored a bunch of his power within the android “just in case”.

Everyone is near death and so Merus appears to fight Moro off as Dende heals everyone, and the Angel manages to break the Seven-Three jewel in Moro’s head and therefore rob him of his copying abilities before being erased for interfering in human affairs. In a fit of anger Goku achieves the perfected Ultra Instinct form again and beats the hell out of Moro before… *sigh*, giving him a senzu bean in hopes he’ll reform while spending another few million years in prison, but shock of shocks Moro tries to kill Goku again, and then gains crazy powers from tapping into Merus’ copied power, only for it to nearly consume him. He then fuses with the planet Earth itself, meaning Goku can’t defeat him without destroying the planet. While all hope seems lost a large ball of God Ki arrives and powers up Goku just enough that he can break the copying jewel on Moro’s head again and this time he crumbles to dust… then explodes for good measure. Everyone then has a good old fashioned party epilogue to close out the arc, during which we see that Merus was erased but instead made mortal, and he has since joined back up with the Galactic Patrol.

Also the final few pages of Chapter 67 shows us the beginning of the Granola the Survivor Arc, which seems to revolve around Seven-Three’s race and … well, a survivor of some sort named Granola. Stay tuned! (in 2022/23 if that arc is of the same length as this… stupid monthly chapters!)

The Bad:

A sign of interesting things to come?! … Sadly not.

Wondering where that ball of God Ki came from mentioned in the climax of the arc? Well, it came from the Grand Kai, having taken over Buu’s body, using the combined power of himself and the power stored deep in Uub, making an early appearance timeline-wise. Why is this in the bad? Because it reminded me of how interesting the Buu / Grand Kai story was at the start of the arc, which included a fight between the Kai of all Kais and Moro, and then it was completely dropped for the entire story until the very last moment. A waste of something potentially interesting…

The only other complaint is what I said at the start, this really was Toriyama on autopilot. Namek invasion and destruction AGAIN, main villain uses the Dragon Balls to restore his power and youth AGAIN, everyone on Earth fights a bunch of low-level guys before being backed into a corner only to end up being saved by a returning-from-training Goku AGAIN, Vegeta gets a power-up then loses AGAIN, Goku gains new power but stupidly tries to let the villain live AGAIN, then manages to save the day before everyone has a feast AGAIN. I liked Moro’s character design, but every other design was pretty played out, especially Seven-Three, who just looked like Cell / Hit, and even had powers similar to the former. I’m sure one day it will be fun to see it animated, and at least it wasn’t another tournament arc, but I can’t give the story high marks even limiting it to just other Dragon Ball stories…

Overall Thoughts:

A satisfying panel indeed…

Overall the Galactic Patrol Prisoner Arc plays out like a Dragon Ball “greatest hits” album, and while that’s not the end of the world, I still would’ve liked something a bit more interesting, especially as the few new strings that were plucked at a couple of points in the story were actually interesting. Ah well, I doubt I’ll read it again, but I’m sure I’ll end up watching it down the line…

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