“Dragon Ball Super” Manga Issue 77 Review: Bardock, Father of Goku

Bardock father of goku Dragon Ball Super manga issue 77 review
A disguised Bardock trying to distract the Heeters in ‘Bardock, Father of Goku’ (Screengrab: Dragon Ball Super Manga Issue 77)

Dragon Ball Super manga chapter 77, titled ‘Bardock, Father of Goku’, gave us a lot of backstory detailing the connection shared between Granolah, Bardock, and the Heeters. Granolah’s going to have to have a lot of thinking to do very soon.

I liked how Dragon Ball Super manga chapter 77 didn’t drag things out. The previous chapter told us about Bardock saving a baby Granolah all those decades ago. And ‘Bardock, Father of Goku’, while a conversation-heavy installment, gave us all the emotional details. The chapter opened with a flashback to what happened 40 years ago on Planet Cereal on the night Frieza’s forces attacked.

In my opinion, beginning the chapter with such a flashback sequence worked well. It helped set the tone for how peaceful Planet Cereal was, with the Cerealians living in harmony with the Namekians, before everything got destroyed.

The manga chapter didn’t shy away from showcasing the brutality that took place. All of the residents (including children) were killed by Frieza‘s army, except for baby Granolah, his mother Muezli, and Monaito, the last Namekian of Planet Cereal. I liked how the Cerealians tried to fight back, with one of them even destroying the moon to force the Saiyans out of their Great Ape forms, but they still lost.  

As for Bardock deciding to protect Muezli and baby Granolah, the narrative showed him growing soft because he remembered the conversation he had with his wife Gine about being more open about his feelings. Seeing Muezli protecting baby Granolah made Bardock remember his son, a newborn he recently named Kakarrot. 

Bardock betraying Frieza is a huge part of his character. Fans of the Dragon Ball franchise have seen him do that a bunch of times via flashbacks in various Dragon Ball stories and games. Having said that, I have been enjoying the creative team finding ways to flesh out Bardock more as a character by diving into his past (with Bardock saving baby Granolah being the latest example). In a sense, there’s still a lot that can be told about Bardock’s past before he made his last stand against Frieza’s forces.

Having said that, do you think Bardock saving baby Granolah, Muezli, and Monaito was enough to make up for the countless other lives he took while working for Frieza? Hmmm. I guess the answer to that question will vary across the fandom.

Another big reveal in ‘Bardock, Father of Goku’ was the role of the Heeters in Muezli’s death. According to Bardock, the Heeters was a group (consisting of four members) who sold off planets conquered by Frieza. They conducted their business under Frieza’s nose and aimed to one day overthrow him. 

After becoming aware of Bardock, baby Granolah, Monaito, and Muezli’s whereabouts, Elec, the leader of the Heeters, simply shot Muezli dead. The moment took me by surprise. While Bardock was able to run away with baby Granolah and Monaito, the three weren’t out of danger yet. I think we’re going to see Gas fight Bardock in an upcoming issue because the Heeters, understandably, didn’t want anyone to know about their plans to betray Frieza.

In the present, the narrative was divided between two groups. Listening to Monaito’s story about Bardock did a number on an adult Granolah. Vegeta ended up being the one to share how Bardock was actually Goku’s father. Granolah will need time to fully process the fact that a Saiyan saved his life and that he recently fought the son of his savior. Goku, on the other hand, was quite calm after hearing such a story about his father. That’s Goku for you.

I smiled at Vegeta’s little jab about how going soft must be a family thing for Goku because Vegeta could be blamed for acting the same way around certain people. Vegeta’s also grown a lot softer compared to how he was when the world got introduced to him decades ago. And that’s a good thing. Being soft-hearted shows character growth as far as the Dragon Ball franchise is concerned.

As for the Heeters, the present had Gas remember his battle with Bardock and how he’s ready for a rematch with a Saiyan. The Heeters only have to find one more Dragon Ball on Planet Cereal to complete the pair. And I think they will be able to do so. In my opinion, Granolah will need to team up with Vegeta and Goku to defeat the Heeters. And with Elec being the one to kill Granolah’s mother, I’m looking forward to Granolah bringing that up when he meets him again.

What did you think of Dragon Ball Super manga issue 77 ‘Bardock, Father of Goku’?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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