Goku vs. Jiren in Dragon Ball Super explained

Dragon Ball Super, the successor to the critically acclaimed Dragon Ball Z, introduced a plethora of new characters, universes, and storylines. 

Among the most intense and memorable battles of this series is the epic clash between Goku, the beloved Saiyan protagonist, and Jiren, the stoic powerhouse from Universe 11. This battle serves as a pinnacle moment in the Tournament of Power arc, and here’s a breakdown of its significance and dynamics.


The Tournament of Power was a multi-universe martial arts competition set up by the Zenos, the god-like figures who govern the Dragon Ball multiverse. 

Each participating universe assembled a team of ten fighters, with the stakes being exceptionally high: universes defeated in this battle royale would be erased from existence.

Jiren, representing Universe 11, was not just another fighter. He was introduced as an individual whose strength surpassed that of a God of Destruction. 

Jiren’s overwhelming power, combined with his calm demeanor, set him apart as the most formidable opponent in the tournament. Goku, as the primary protagonist and a constant seeker of powerful opponents, naturally saw Jiren as the ultimate challenge.

The Power Struggle

The initial exchanges between Goku and Jiren established Jiren’s overwhelming superiority. 

Goku, always eager to gauge the strength of his opponents, progressed through his various transformations: from his base form to Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, Super Saiyan God, and Super Saiyan Blue. Yet, each form was easily handled by Jiren, who barely seemed to exert any effort.

Goku’s ace in the hole was the Super Saiyan Blue combined with Kaio-ken, a technique that amplifies his power for a short period at significant risk to his own body. 

However, even this was not enough. Jiren effortlessly repelled Goku’s most potent attacks, making it clear that the Saiyan would need to surpass his limits to stand a chance.

Ultra Instinct

The turning point in the battle came when Goku, in a desperate move, unleashed a powerful Spirit Bomb against Jiren. However, Jiren was able to push the energy back towards Goku, causing a massive explosion. 

While it seemed like Goku was defeated, the ordeal triggered a transformation that even the Gods of Destruction recognized with awe: Ultra Instinct.

The Ultra Instinct is not just another transformation; it’s a state of being where the user’s body reacts without conscious thought. 

It’s a technique that even Gods find challenging to master. With silver eyes and an aura reminiscent of raging fire, Goku in his Ultra Instinct form was able to match Jiren’s movements and land blows, turning the tables of the battle.

Goku Ultra Instinct
Image Source: Toei Animation

The Ideological Clash

Beyond the physical altercation, the battle also showcased a clash of ideals. Goku fought to protect his loved ones and quenched his desire to fight stronger opponents to test his limits. 

He believed in the power of teamwork, friendship, and trust. On the other hand, Jiren believed in raw strength. 

His tragic past, where he lost his family and friends to an evil force, made him believe that strength is absolute and that trusting in others was a weakness.

The Conclusion 

At the climax of Goku and Jiren’s intense battle in Dragon Ball Super’s Tournament of Power, neither fighter truly achieved a clear-cut victory over the other. 

Just when Goku seemed poised to defeat Jiren, the immense toll of Ultra Instinct caused his body to fail him. In this vulnerable moment, Frieza and Android 17 stepped in, working alongside Goku to challenge Jiren. 

Ultimately, it was Android 17 who remained standing as the last fighter in the arena, making him the technical winner of the tournament. However, the combined efforts of Universe 7’s warriors were instrumental in ensuring their universe’s survival.

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