‘Dragon Ball Super’ Illustrator Reveals New Take on Ultra Instinct Goku

Category: Dragon Ball Blog
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Fans of Goku’s new Ultra Instinct power-up need to prepare for the second coming, as the Dragon Ball Super manga is debuting its version of Ultra Instinct, and we now have a new image of Dragon Ball Super manga’s Ultra Instinct Goku to share!

Dragon Ball Super Ultra Instinct Goku by Toyotaro

This art by Dragon Ball Super illustrator Toyotaro has a more lean and fluid aesthetic to Ultra Instinct than the anime version did. In fact, the anime’s swole and chiselled version of Ultra Instinct Goku is almost the exact opposite of what we see here in Toyotaro’s interpretation, which raises an interesting debate.

The nature of Ultra Instinct is that it is a mental state that divine beings (and now Saiyans) can tap into, which allows them to essentially move and fight faster than the speed of conscious thought. How that power gets expressed, visually, depends a lot on how you understand the power itself. Toyotaro’s interpretation hews a lot closer to the design of Ultra Instinct Goku that we saw Akira Toriyama draw, and it invokes a lot of martial arts theory about speed and unchecked flow (i.e., fluidity) being the true powers behind martial arts. In that sense, UI Goku being drawn as lean and flowing in motion would definitely fit the bill. His hair and eye designs definitely look divine – especially with the color added to the drawing. The pose here definitely invokes that water-like fluidity, and it will be interesting to see more of how the manga depicts actual Ultra Instinct fight sequences.

Meanwhile, the Dragon Ball Super is all about showmanship and posturing, and the animated format allows for a lot more visual inference through color flourishes like bright auras, and sound effects like the heavy shockwaves when Goku moves and hits Jiren so fast it causes delayed reaction. The wider appeal of of the anime would understandably lean more towards mainstream visual cues, such as bigger muscles = bigger power, which is why we got so many great posing shows of both Goku and Jiren looking like bodybuilders on a ‘roid rage.

Seeing the differences in design, do you prefer the anime or manga version of Ultra Instinct Goku? Let us know in the comments!

If you are interested in the anime series itself, Dragon Ball Super is currently airing its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami programming block Saturday evenings at 9:30 p.m. It is also available to stream on Funimation and Amazon Video. The Japanese language release of the series is complete and available to stream on Funimation, VRV, and Crunchyroll.

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