As the fight continues, Goku and Hit find themselves in a unique stalemate. True, Goku can anticipate what Hit will do with the fraction of a second he gains with his time-freezing technique (thanks in part to watching how he moved during the fight with Vegeta), but as Hit and Piccolo note, Goku tipping his hand could give Hit an edge in the fight again.
Oddly enough, it doesn’t, though Hit still puts up a good fight against Goku in his peak form. In an interesting twist, Hit is able to regain the upper hand through another technique. The episode is a little unclear, but by mimicking the saiyan style of powering up mid-fight (complete with yelling, which Goku amusingly notes,) Hit is able to “improve” i.e. he can hit harder, move faster, and (more importantly) he can extend the length of his time-leap technique.
I noted before that Vegeta really put strategic thinking to use last episode, but it looks like Goku is trying to improve in that area as well. He surmises that he can take a few hits as a way to figure out Hit’s movements to eventually compensate for the wider gap in time.
For his part, Hit catches on and shows why this is a horrible idea. Not only are Hits blows rather devastating, but it turns out that his time leap limit can be extended more than once, meaning that Goku is low on options.
You’d think with is cold, assassin like demeanor, that Hit would bring the fight to an abrupt end. He doesn’t. On the contrary, he notes that this fight is making him a better fighter and actually encourages Goku to get up and keep the fight going. It was rather unexpected to see the emotionless fighter show a more sporting side. He even cracks a smile, indicating that he’s enjoying it. It’s a small thing in the grand scheme of things, but it was a nice bit of characterization.
True to form, Goku finds the will to keep going and ascend to new heights. At first it looks like he’s going to reach yet another new form (Super Saiyan Blue 2?) but instead, he brings out the kaio-ken technique to up his abilities and gain the upper hand. It’s been awhile, but it was nice to see that the technique wasn’t completely forgotten. The episode also gives a credible explanation as to why he stopped using it after he hit the first Super Saiyan form, which I also appreciated.
Goku notes that even now, it was a gamble as the toll on his body could have been fatal, but it manages to pay off and it looks like Goku has Hit on the ropes.
It was kind of disappointing to see the episode end the way it did, with the fight appearing to remain unresolved. It isn’t much of a cliffhanger as it looks like Goku has the win. Really, they could have wrapped it up quicker and moved on, but I guess the next episode would have acted as an epilogue either way. Still, the fight was very enjoyable. The tide turned on more than one occasion and while Goku’s win was inevitable, it was still executed in a fun and exciting way. It was enough to make for a solid episode overall.