In Dragon Ball Super, Vegeta decides that goes against everything he is, embracing Goku’s favorite tactic to defeat a powerful enemy.
In Dragon Ball Super chapter 45, Vegeta undergoes a rather sudden and unexpected form of character development when confronting the villain Moro, adopting a tactic that has traditionally been Goku’s trademark style. Unfortunately, while the moment signifies growth for Vegeta, it doesn’t work out in his favor.
Upon their arrival on New Namek, Vegeta volunteers to fight the magic-using villain before Goku, as per usual. Still, he oddly chooses not to fight Moro at his full power. Instead, he quickly pretends to be overwhelmed by his opponent and admits defeat. All Vegeta asks in return for his surrender is to know why Moro is there. Since Vegeta is cooperating, Moro tells him that he’s there to use the Dragon Balls. Vegeta then queries what he will wish for and learns that Moro wants to regain his true powers stolen from him by age. It’s at that moment that Vegeta unleashes his full capacity, to the surprise of Moro and the amusement of Goko, who is impressed his friend chose to find out more about their enemy rather than go in all guns blazing.
This is the first time Vegeta has held back his power in battle, and his willingness to do so for a tactical advantage is pivotal for him as a character. Sadly, he couldn’t have done so at a worse time. This is because the longer Moro fights, the more power he can absorb from the planet and those around him. Vegeta and Goku find this out in the worst possible way when Vegeta reverts to his usual self. Goku is also affected by this troublesome ability even before he starts fighting, making it impossible for him to win as things currently stand.
Vegeta has always been obsessed with power and ensuring that his opponents on the battlefield are aware that he is more vital than them. He achieves this by never holding back even for a moment and unleashing his full potential immediately. Vegeta’s mindset only became more ingrained the moment he realized that Goku was more potent than him. It is motivating him to catch up and become more powerful. There’s usually no reason for him to withhold his true strength, as his only goal is to prove that he is the strongest, especially to Goku, so he doesn’t want to waste any more time living in a world where everyone thinks he’s second to Goku when he could have a chance at surpassing him. Failing to do so could result in the worst-case scenario where he could be defeated before showing his true potential, leading others to assume that he is no more vital than he revealed himself to be on the battlefield. To Vegeta – at least until now – it has never made sense to risk this egregious and dishonorable fate.
Goku couldn’t be any more different than Vegeta in this way. Although he relishes the idea of facing an opponent stronger than him, he often holds back his actual ability to elongate the fight and create a sense of urgency, all of which only increases his enjoyment. That’s why it’s so shocking to learn that Vegeta is adopting a strategy that involves him not utilizing his whole strength and power. And yet, that’s what makes this moment so ironic. The one time he reaches beyond his most basic instinct is the one time he shouldn’t have. Hopefully, this unfortunate confrontation with Moro doesn’t prevent him from growing and trying other things in the future. While fans love Vegeta for his bullheaded drive to be the best, he should continue to evolve as a character, becoming an even more fitting rival for Goku – especially as Dragon Ball Super and the franchise as a whole are notorious for sticking with an increasingly stale status quo.