Vegeta is one of Dragon Ball's most powerful characters, but for the longest time, his abilities have paled in comparison to everyone's favorite fighting aficionado, Goku. Not being one to stay behind, the Saiyan prince has tried literally everything to fill the power gap between him and his frenemy. He's trained under extreme gravity; he entered the Hyperbolic Time Chamber to get one year's worth of training in a day; he's even allowed himself to be possessed by a dark magician.
Unfortunately, none of those efforts have paid off in a satisfying way. He got stronger, but not on Goku's level. At one point during the Majon Buu saga, the former prince gave up and admitted that Kakarot was superior to him. Sadly, things aren't much different now that the Dragon Ball franchise has experienced a renaissance with Dragon Ball Super. To give you an example, both characters have reached the level of Super Saiyan Blue, but Goku is still more powerful than him.
This is an issue that's bothered fans for a long time. Many, including myself, have wondered: What has stopped Vegeta from being as powerful as Kakarot? We finally have the answer.
Loosen Up, Vegeta
In Episode 19 of #DragonBallSuper, Whis trained Goku and Vegeta for their upcoming tournament. Unfortunately, things didn't go well, like, at all. Basically, neither Saiyan was able to land a hit on the angel (yes, Whis is an angel).
Having had enough of their embarrassing lack of fighting technique, Whis put an end to their training session and offered some feedback to the heroes. This wasn't your usual pat-on-the-back sort of pep talk, though. When addressing Vegeta, he gave him (and finally us, the fans) a thorough explanation of why he's never been able to beat Goku:
"You're clearly an extraordinary fighter in your own right. Yet despite your hard work, you're always one step behind Goku, aren't you? Do you know why you're Goku's lesser? You walk through life with a chip on your shoulder and your nerves wound too tight. This tension makes it hard for you to move and fight at your full potential. So a key lesson for you is to learn to relax and get rest when you have the opportunity... the way Goku does."
Basically #Vegeta has no chill, which, in turn doesn't allow him to free all the power he has inside. I like that explanation, because it ties the character's inability to grow with his never-ending insecurities, which we've seen develop through the series.
Will Vegeta Be Able To Achieve Goku's Level Now That He Knows What's Holding Him Back?
Now we know the reason behind the #Saiyan prince's slow power growth, but will he pay attention to Whis' advice and release that tension and anger? It may be hard to picture Vegeta loosening up at first, but we have to take into account his deep desire to best #Goku. Considering everything he's done to raise his Ki, I doubt he'd be proud enough to pass up the chance to finally beat his longtime rival.
Of course, his power evolution most likely won't happen quickly. Everything about the man is a slow process. When he gave up his life of conquering planets, for example, he still had some pretty evil tendencies for a few years afterward, and he had to learn what it meant to be a decent person over time.
I'm betting it will be the same thing with him getting stronger. Now, if that does happens, will it mean that Vegeta will change his uptight personality completely? Not necessarily. I'm just speculating here, but I doubt he'll ever stop being the grump we love him as. He just needs to be a little less... well, pissy.
We know Goku is about to experience another #SuperSaiyan transformation, but nothing has been said about Vegeta, so it looks like his chance to beat his longtime frenemy is still a little far away. While that will probably disappoint a few fans, I'm glad we finally know what's kept the Saiyan prince from taking advantage of his potential for such a long time.
What do you think about the reason behind Vegeta not being as strong as Goku? Do you think we'll ever see him surpass our gullible protagonist? Let me know in the comments!