Anime, Dragon Ball

Fixing Dragon Ball Super (Part 6): Goku Black Arc, Act 3

Okay. We’re nearing the end now. Then we can move on to the Tournament of Power. Which… also will take a long time to fix.

To recap: our heroes confronted Goku Black, who unlocked Rose by combining Super Saiyan Ki with Divine Ki, just like Vegeta does for Blue. After defeating all our heroes, he swiped Trunks’ time machine, grabbed Goku, and vanished to who knows where. Gohan pieced the puzzle together and has a lead on Black’s true identity, which he’s pursuing with the help of Beerus, Whis, and the Universe 7 Supreme Kai. Meanwhile, Trunks has gotten a motivation pep-talk from his child self and Vegeta is training. All the while, Black has appeared before Zamasu.

In the original, Black’s identity was a confusing mess. At the beginning of the arc, he acted like he had never met Goku. Yet later, it was revealed that Black not only knew who he was, but he also stole his body after meeting him! Why? Don’t ask!

Our version is going to make sense. Because Black is going to explain it all to Zamasu. Or… to himself, I guess.

It all started at the Universe 6 Tournament. When Zamasu saw how powerful the unworth mortals were, he felt an unbearable sense of disgust. Luckily, when he witnessed the Super Dragon Balls in action, he got an idea: to steal the body of Son Goku with the Super Dragon Balls and use it as a weapon against the rest of the mortals. Problem is that the Super Dragon Balls have a looooong cooldown time. Luckily, in his research of them under Gowasu, he discovers the existence of both the Earth and Namekian Dragon Balls.

Thus began his plan. He kills Gowasu, thus becoming the Supreme Kai of his universe. Using that title, he makes his way to Namek and uses their Dragon Balls to locate the Super Dragon Balls and reduce their cooldown time. While they can do the former, their ability to do the latter is limited. Instead, Zamasu uses his last wish to send himself into another timeline, where the Super Dragon Balls have never been used: Future Trunks’ timeline.

Now in the other timeline, Zamasu gathers the Super Dragon Balls and uses them to steal Goku’s body, thus becoming Black. With this, he begins his rampage across the multiverse, starting by taking out the other Supreme Kais and disabling the Gods of Destruction. It’s around this point that he realizes he can’t do this alone, even with the growing power of Goku’s stolen body. So he came up with a plan to go back to the original timeline and work with past Zamasu to do the job. Problem is: he’s already wiped out all sources of the Dragon Balls, so he’s stuck.

Luckily, someone has a time machine! Thus, we catch up to where the arc started. Black aimed to take the time machine so that he could go back and recruit his younger self and double the speed of his invasion on mortals.

Is this a perfect explanation? No. But at least it makes sense and it connects to the previous arc.

Flashback now done, Black explains the plan going forward to Zamasu. Using a set of Dragon Balls, they’ll put Zamasu in Goku’s body, thus giving them a second Black to destroy the mortals of the multiverse. In fact, his ambition has grown to the point of annihilating all life in every single timeline, using the Super Dragon Balls in each one to make themselves progressively more powerful.

Now, here’s where I make a pretty big deviation from the original. In the original version, Black and Zamasu were all buddy-buddy and worked together in perfect sync. That’s fine, but I want to spice things up a bit. I want to add a bit of variety and depth to both of these characters.

At first, Zamasu is all-down for Black’s plan, as it was his own at some point. However, seeing the unconscious Goku and seeing how Black has changed, Zamasu hesitates. He asks himself if this was what he had wanted when he first set this plan up. It’s not that he is reluctant to wipe out all life in every single timeline. Rather, it’s that he sees how the mortal body has twisted Black’s mind and personality, essentially making him a new person whether he knows it or not.

Around this point, Black goes off to gather a set of Dragon Balls in order to swap Zamasu into Goku’s body. He leaves, making Zamasu restrain Goku. It’s around this point that our hero wakes up and looks around in utter confusion, barely recognizing Zamasu from the tournament and wondering where his friends and family are and where he ended up.

In this scene, Zamasu questions Goku. He voices his doubts about the plan and asks Goku for his opinion on it, although he doesn’t expect much; he simply wants someone, anyone, to talk to about it, even if that someone is a mortal. Goku doesn’t understand, and he makes that perfectly clear. But he states that if he wanted to do something, he would do all he could on his own before asking for help. Hearing this, Zamasu comes to his decision.

Now, finally, Gohan arrives on the scene with Whis, Beerus, and the Supreme Kai. Immediately, Gohan senses out his father’s ki and rushes to rescue him. Having sensed the arrival of the gods and Gohan, Black turns around and rushes back, confident that he can save Zamasu before Beerus and Whis ruin their plans. All the while, the Supreme Kai explains it all to a confused Gowasu.

Everyone gathers for a climactic showdown. Zamasu is one step away from killing Goku, much to the annoyance and confusion of Black. Zamasu explains that he would rather remain himself than stoop so low as to become mortal. As if to punctuate his point, he goes to kill Goku. But before he can, Beerus appears, stops the blow, and delivers that iconic ‘Hakai’ scene.

What, you thought I was cutting that out? That shit is awesome!

Realizing how screwed he is, Black moves to retreat. But as he goes, he laughs in the face of our heroes. He says that the death of his past self is fine because there was still another option. One he had forgotten about in his short-sightedness: the Zamasu of Trunks’ timeline. With that, he makes a narrow escape, managing to get away from all of our heroes. Once he’s fled to a safe distance a few galaxies away, he hops in the time machine and returns to the future timeline.

With Goku now rescued, everyone returns to Earth to gather the newly invigorated F. Trunks and the freshly trained Vegeta. Everyone puts their heads together to come up with a plan to stop Black. At this point, Piccolo chimes in with a suggestion: the Mafuba (Evil Containment Wave for you dub-only watchers). If Black was too powerful to destroy, why not seal him away? He quickly teaches the technique to F. Trunks and Gohan (Goku and Vegeta refuse to learn it out of Saiyan pride), then they all head back to the future for the final battle.

Cut to future Zamasu. In this timeline, the Universe 6 tournament never happened, so he never discovered Goku or the Super Dragon Balls and never concocted his plan. In fact, this version of Zamasu is actually a pretty chill guy, as Gowasu managed to train the mortal-hating parts out of him. When Black arrives, he acts confused but friendly.

Disgusted, Black realizes he can’t work with him. But he decides instead that he can use him. Using his strength to overwhelm Zamasu, Black forces him into a Potara Fusion, thus multiplying their strengths together and becoming Merged Zamasu (although we shall continue to call him Black, as that name reflects the personality change that came with taking Goku’s body). Having achieved this new form, Black heads back to the Earth to finish his annihilation of humanity.

But who should be waiting there for him but our four heroes.

I’ll admit that this isn’t a perfect alteration of events. The timeline stuff is less confusing, but still not quite as clear as I’d like; working with time travel is tough, man! But personally, I’m happy with it. I really like this version of Black and the possibility of multiple Zamasus with different personalities.

Next time, we cover the final battle of the arc and the ending. Which… is gonna take some serious legwork to fix.

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