10 Throwbacks from Dragon Ball Super’s Moro arc

Dragon Ball Super’s Moro arc has been going on for two years now since its debut in 2018. Over time, we have seen several ups and downs in the storyline. Some of the ideas used are fresh, while others are just a retelling of the old Dragon Ball lore differently. Here are 10 things from the Moro arc that we have already seen in the previous storylines of the Dragon Ball franchise. 

1. Dragon Balls being used to restore the power of a villain

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In Chapter 48 of the Dragon Ball Super manga, we see Moro getting pummeled by Majin Buu. The latter’s dominance over Moro was a real sight to fans. As this was the first time since Dragon Ball Z’s Buu Saga, where Majin Buu was fighting an opponent seriously. Just when Buu is about to execute a technique that could seal Moro again, Cranberry, a deserter of the Frieza army uses the Dragon Balls to awaken Porunga. Moro contacts Cranberry telepathically and threatens him to wish for Moro to regain his full magic power. After being granted his wish, Moro becomes a bigger threat to the Z fighters. 

In a very similar manner, in Dragon Ball episode 112, King Piccolo uses the earth dragon balls to become younger and regain the strength he had during his peak. In both these scenarios, we see a villain using the dragon balls to regain their power. 

2. Killing the Namekians for the Dragon Balls

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In Dragon Ball Z, Frieza and his henchmen decimate the Namekian people in their search for the dragon balls. The recurring villain of the series wanted to use his wish to gain immortality, which never came true. The demise of the Namekian people also led to the death of Grand Elder Guru, who died of a broken heart. 

In the early part of the Galatic Patrol Prisoner Saga, Moro slaughters the people of Namek in an almost identical manner. While Frieza had his army and henchmen to help him locate the dragon balls, Moro conducts most of the execution himself. 

3. Both Frieza and Moro have an army

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Frieza, also known as the Emperor of the Universe had a vast army under him in the Namek Saga. His highest ranking henchmen Dodoria and Zarbon helped him in his search for the dragon balls. He also had a group of elite mercenaries known as the Ginyu Force at his dispersal. 

In Dragon Ball Super manga Chapter 50 ‘Great Escape’ Moro reveals what was the third wish that was granted by Porunga. Moro wished that every prisoner in the galactic prison should be set free. The prisoners would go on to be Moro’s army for the rest of the saga. The powerful wizard also shared his power with his army, which greatly increased their power levels. 

4. Android Absorption

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When Dr Gero created Cell, he had a specific plan laid out for him. Absorbing Android 17 and 18 would allow Cell to reach his perfect form. Cell achieved his semi-perfect form by sneaking up on Android 17. However, Vegeta desired to fight Perfect Cell, which is why the prideful Saiyan allowed Cell to absorb Android 18. This move would backfire on Vegeta as Perfect Cell battered the Saiyan prince without breaking a sweat. 

In Dragon Ball Super Manga Chapter 61 ‘Vegeta Reborn’, we see Vegeta easily dominating Moro by using the ‘Forced Spirit Fission’ technique. After sensing imminent defeat, Moro uses his magic to distract Vegeta and quickly heads to his spaceship. Once there, he kills Shimorekka and proceeds to swallow android Seven -Three. 

Moro receives a considerable increase in power from the absorption and his appearance also changes. The wizard now has access to Seven-Three’s copy abilities as well as his power, since he had a backup stored within the android. 

5. The infamous Senzu Bean

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In Dragon Ball Z episode 181 ‘Faith in a Boy’, Goku gives up against Cell and states that Gohan, his son will fight in place of him. In a more shocking event, Goku gives Cell, a Senzu Bean to restore his health. This even surprises the Z fighters and this moment has always been a talk among the dragon ball fandom. 

In Dragon Ball Super Manga Chapter 65, we see Goku doing the same thing. Only this time the stakes are much higher. After mastering Ultra Instinct, which I don’t think is good for the story, Goku thrashes Moro around with ease. The Saiyan then gives Moro a Senzu Bean and orders him to go back to prison. The latter eats it and of course, his first course of action is to attack Goku again. Even though Goku is still stronger than him, Moro has now fused with the earth to become Planet Moro. 

6. Warriors Assemble

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In Chapter 56 of the DBS Manga, the Z fighters and the Galatic Patrol have a face-off against Moro’s army. The wizard’s army is comprised of the prisoners who escaped from the galactic patrol. This is comparable to the fight between the Z fighters and Frieza’s army. This happened in the movie Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ and in Dragon Ball Super’s anime adaptation of the movie.

7. Characters’ death leads to a transformation

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This isn’t something we have seen just in Super. This is a recurring trope in the Dragon Ball franchise. Freiza killing Krillin led Goku to become a Super Saiyan. Android 16’s death at the hands of Cell led to Gohan unlocking Super Saiyan 2. And this time. It was Merus, a trainee angel who sacrificed his life trying to fight Moro. Since Merus used his angelic powers against Moro to seal off his copy abilities, he violated the laws of an angel. The death of his friend Merus led Goku to achieve perfected ultra instinct and beat Moro with ease. The Saiyan can now access the form at will.

8. A villain that fought the Kais

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The Grand Supreme Kai (Dai Kaiōshin) and the Southern Supreme Kai fought Moro about 10 million years ago. During the battle, the Grand Supreme Kai used his godly power to seal off Moro’s magic and handed him over to the Galatic Patrol to be imprisoned. 

In Dragon Ball Z, we have Majin Buu who also fought the Kais and even absorbed the Grand Supreme Kai. After the absorption, we got Fat Buu, who resembles the appearance of the Kai. During the fight with Moro, the Grand Supreme Kai manifests himself through Buu and states that he will be switching places with Buu till Moro is defeated. 

9. Self Destruction

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This one is a maybe because we haven’t seen Moro self-destruct. However, Whis stated that the planet now shares the same fate as Moro. Killing him would not only destroy the earth but also the galaxy, which is similar to what Cell wanted to do. 

In Dragon Ball Z episode 188, Cell realises that he cannot defeat Gohan and attempts to use self-destruction as a drastic measure. It will be interesting to see how Goku or Vegeta defeat Planet Moro while simultaneously saving the earth from destruction.

10. The Power Pole

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Goku’s Power Pole is a magical, length changing staff that was used by the character for almost the entirety of Dragon Ball. The pole was a crucial part of Goku’s arsenal during his fights. Though we are later shown that the true purpose of the pole was to travel from the Korin Tower to the Lookout. 

In Dragon Ball Super Manga Chapter 63, we see Merus use a staff that functions similar to the power pole. Even though the staff used by the trainee angel isn’t the same one used by Goku, it does seem to have the same properties. The length of the staff can be extended and it can be used to fight opponents, which is similar to how Goku used his power pole. 

While I understand the nostalgia card that Toyotaro is trying to play with the fans, I feel that the series needs to dig out some fresh ideas. While Moro was an interesting character initially, the similarity between him and the past villains of the series is a letdown. With a new arc announced for the manga, I hope that we are provided with a better villain and a more progressive storyline.