The world of Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball is, to put it bluntly, off-the-walls insane. So much has happened since the adventurous days of young Goku and Bulma searching for the legendary dragon balls. Demons, aliens and gods have found their way into the Dragon Ball lore, and the insanity of the series is continuously cranked up with every new saga. The insane elements of the story are partially the reason for so many plot holes, continuity errors and unanswered questions throughout the series, mostly because Toriyama would write as he went, never planning more than a few chapters ahead.
However, this is where the fans come in. Fans have rustled up some seriously cool theories and explanations that fill in plot holes, bring back a forgotten element or answer pressing questions. It’s really a testament to how dedicated Dragon Ball fans are, using research and trivia to come up with these theories. Some of these fan theories are fantastic, giving us a well thought-out explanation for various continuity errors. Others, however, might not be as well received, giving dark explanations for questions that almost no one was asking.
16. HATE: OFF WITH THIER TAILS!
As a kid, Gohan was the only half-breed Saiyan known to have a tail, and Trunks, Goten and Bulla were never shown with them. We know that as babies, the half-Saiyans didn’t have tails, but Gohan eventually developed one. This means that Half-breeds grow tails as infants, but why were Goten and Trunks never seen with tails?
Well, Toriyama said he genuinely forgot about tails by the time the Buu Saga came around, but the in-context explanation could be that they were simply cut off. Piccolo cut off Gohan’s tail after seeing the destruction his Great Ape form caused, so the same could’ve be done for the other half-Saiyans. This is a pretty logical explanation, but fans might not like imagining the trauma of baby Saiyans getting their tails chopped off.
15. LOVE: THE TIME WITHOUT SUPER SAIYANS
The key to the Super Saiyan transformation is anger. Raised among Earthlings, Goku learned empathy and caring, and without the friendship he felt for Krillin, he would not have had the “emotional fuel” to go Super Saiyan after his murder. One fan theory states this might be the reason that Super Saiyans were not seen in over a hundred years.
Saiyans take pride in their ruthless, emotionless demeanor, but perhaps this cold approach to life is what made the Super Saiyan transformation disappear. This is a cool theory since it ties in with everything we’ve learned about Super Saiyans in the franchise and it fits with Akira Toriyama’s recent introduction of S-Cells into the Dragon Ball lore. Toriyama says that a gentle spirit can increase the production of S-Cells, which are required to go Super Saiyan, and this is the reason why Super Saiyans had not appeared in such a long time.
14. HATE: HALF-SAIYANS ARE STRONGER
If we’re to believe the above, then we can also assume that half-Saiyans are much stronger. Goku was raised on Earth and developed human emotions, which led him to be the first Super Saiyan in over a century. But, he still has the Saiyan genes, which give him planet-conquering instincts. Sure, he was able to learn to be human, but we’ve seen that he sometimes lacks empathy in certain situations.
By this logic, half-Saiyans have a much easier time going Super Saiyan, since they are both raised on Earth and have human emotions from their mothers’ genes. This also ties in with a recent interview with Akira Toriyama. In the interview, Toriyama said that Saiyans must develop a certain number of S-Cells to go Super Saiyan. We can assume that these cells were passed down to Goku and Vegeta’s kids, making the transformation easier to them.
13. LOVE: GOTEN’S ORIGIN
After Goku died in the Cell saga, he left Chi-Chi pregnant with their second child, Goten. Goten is the yougest Saiyan to ever go super, achieving the form at only seven years old. But how? Sure, we can now possibly attribute this to the introduction of S-Cells, but maybe there’s more to it than that, especially since Goten turned into a Super Saiyan a year before Trunks.
The theory to explain this is kind of silly, but makes a whole lot of sense. We mentioned that half-Saiyans are stronger because they are in touch with their emotions, but that’s just the trigger for the Super Saiyan transformation. The real reason Goten is able to go super is that he was conceived when Goku was a Super Saiyan in the days before the Cell games, perhaps causing more S-Cells to be passed down.
12. HATE: BULMA SUMMONED THE SAIYANS
Okay, so remember Bulma’s original reason for wanting to find all the dragon balls? She wanted to wish for a boyfriend. Of course, she never ended up wishing for it, but a lot of time passed between Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, and Bulma could have easily found the dragon balls again to make the wish. There’s a theory that, in wishing for a boyfriend, Bulma inadvertently summoned the Saiyans to Earth, specifically Vegeta.
But, you might say, what about Yamcha? Well, Yamcha and Bulma’s relationship was constantly rocky when they were together, and Bulma has been shown to be incredibly petty at times. Maybe during a fight, she decided to get revenge by wishing for a new boyfriend, summoning her future husband, Vegeta, as a result. This might be a pretty loose theory, but it kind of checks out, and it also might make fans hate Bulma as a result.
11. LOVE: FRIEZA FIGHT WAS IN SLOW-MOTION
When Goku fought against Frieza on Namek, Frieza gave him five minutes before the planet would explode, yet that portion of the fight lasted eight episodes, and the entire fight lasted 18. So what’s up with this strange time table? Well, one fan theory might explain why; the fight was in slow motion.
It’s kind of the perfect explanation, Goku’s newly aquired Super Saiyan form and Frieza’s final form were both so powerful that their speed would be too fast to register. Thus, the battle had to be slowed down so those watching wouldn’t miss any of the action. How awesome would that be if it was true?! This theory could also apply to some of the other lengthy battles in the franchise. However it doesn’t exactly account for why everyone still talk at regular speeds.
10. HATE: FRIEZA IS LAZY
Here’s a crazy one, Goku didn’t win against Frieza because he was stronger than him, at least not exactly. See, Frieza is kind of a lazy brat; he never had to train to get strong since his people have transformations/forms that increase their already naturally high power levels. In Resurrection F and Dragon Ball Super, Frieza must train for the first time in his life to be able to take on Goku and Vegeta’s increased power levels.
Think about that for a second, the only thing that stopped Frieza from being able to defeat Goku on Namek and from being all-powerful was his own laziness. If Frieza put even the slightest effort into training, he could have been an even more effective tyrant. This theory checks out, but it might anger Goku fans knowing that if Frieza trained like Goku, he’d practically be a god.
9. LOVE: HOW GOKU WILL BEAT JIREN
Jiren the Gray is a fighter from Universe 6 and perhaps the strongest mortal in the entire Dragon Ball franchise. Jiren is thought to be a legendary fighter who can surpass the power of a god of destruction. Pair this with the fact that Jiren appears to have various psychic abilities and it seems like he might be an unbeatable opponent.
But, Goku has a new trick that might be Jiren’s downfall, Ultra Instinct. Jiren’s fighting prowess is partially due to his telepathic abilities — he can read an opponent’s mind and counter before they can attack. But, Ultra Instinct is basically the perfected technique of fighting without thinking. If Goku attacks without thinking, letting his body react reflexively, Jiren has nothing to read, meaning Ultra Instinct is the key to Jiren’s defeat.
8. HATE: GOHAN HAS PTSD
Gohan was only five years old when he went to Namek to face psychotic murderous aliens and their tyrannical leader. Think about what you were doing when you were five; probably not flying and shooting energy out of your body so you don’t die at the hands of an alien who took over your dad’s body. Gohan saw some pretty messed up s*** before he was even in grade school.
As one might expect, Gohan didn’t come out of this mentally unscathed, something we can see in the nightmares he has during the Cell Saga and, interestingly enough, his Great Saiyaman persona. Some fan theories say that not only does Gohan have PTSD, but also that he uses his superhero persona to cope with it. We put this one in the “hate” category because it would be unfortunate for Gohan were it true.
7. LOVE: KRILLIN IS THE STRONGEST
The Super Saiyan transformation, being a power multiplier, is kind of a cheat, and when you take it out of the equation, Goku and Vegeta start to look a lot weaker. In fact, there’s a popular fan theory that claims Krillin is the strongest of all the Z-Fighters, or at the very least, the strongest human.
Let’s take a look at his “stats,” so to speak; Krillin created an incredibly powerful technique, the destructo disc, he’s able to fight longer than other human Z-fighter, he kept up with Goku as a kid (to an extent) and he has trained with and faced some of the strongest enemies in the series, holding his own for long periods of time. It’s not hard to see that Krillin is easily the strongest human, and when the playing field is leveled, he might be the strongest fighter of them all.
6. HATE: CELL’S REPRODUCTION
We’re not gonna lie, this one is pretty gross, which is probably why most people won’t like it. During the Cell games, Cell released a bunch of smaller clones of himself, known as the Cell Juniors. These Cell Juniors look like tiny, blue versions of Cell and manage to distract the Z-Fighters during Gohan’s fight with the bio-android. But, how exactly did Cell asexually reproduced to create the Juniors? The answer is kind of disturbing.
Prior to the Cell games, Cell absorbed Androids 17 and 18 into his body to become Perfect Cell. One theory implies that they played a role in the creation of the Cell Juniors. Try not to imagine it, but the theory says that the reproductive organs of 17 and 18, who are brother and sister, were used to make the tiny clones. Pardon us while we go throw up.
5. LOVE: THE FIRST SUPER SAIYAN GOD
In both Battle of Gods and Super, Shenron tells the story of the first Super Saiyan God. When the evil Saiyans began rising up on Planet Vegeta, six good-hearted Saiyans banded together and combined their energy into one to create a Super Saiyan God. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to win the fight and the Super Saiyan God was defeated and lost to time… or was he?
The Super Saiyan God form is WAY stronger than the regular Super Saiyan form, and there’s no logical way the Super Saiyan God could have lost, but one fan theory explains what happened to him; the Super Saiyan God became the guardian of Planet Vegeta in the same way that Kami was the guardian of Earth. Perhaps he didn’t stay in God form forever, as it has a time limit, but he continued to look over his people, his story fading away into legend.
4. HATE: BULMA’S MOTHER IS AN ANDROID
Bulma is the daughter of Dr. Briefs, the founder of Capsule Corp., and his wife Panchy Briefs. For those paying close attention, Panchy has not aged a single day since her first appearance in Dragon Ball. Does she have fantastic genes? Has she gotten extensive plastic surgery? What is it exactly that makes her look like she’s still in her late ’20s? Simple: she’s an android.
No, not a fully robot android like Android 16, more of a cyborg like Androids 17 and 18. This theory might actually check out since Dr. Briefs is a brilliant scientist. The only problem is that it’s kind of disturbing because it means Dr. Briefs found a 20-something woman and put her through extensive cybernetic surgery just to keep her young and beautiful forever.
3. LOVE: EVIL ANGELS
Toriyama loves a good twist, and Dragon Ball Super is no different. In the current story arc, the Universal Survival Saga, the Tournament of Power is taking place. The tournament is a battle between eight different universes to see which are erased and which one comes out alive. When a universe is erased, their supreme kai and gods of destruction disappear with them.
However, the angels that act as attendants and teachers to the gods of destruction do not get destroyed, as they are not from these universes. That alone should be enough to make them suspicious, and fans are theorizing that they are up to something. One particularly convincing element is the fact that some of the angels appear to be happy whenever a universe is erased in the tournament. What could they be planning, and is the Grand Priest the true bad guy of this saga?
2. HATE: AMERICAN BUU
This one might not be fun to hear, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Dragon Ball Z was a HUGE hit in American, gaining a massive following of dedicated fans. In fact, you might even say it’s just as big here as it is in Japan! However, as much as America loves DBZ, Akira Toriyama might not think too highly of the States, as seen in the character of Majin Buu.
The first form of Buu is a fat, obnoxious, bratty child-like alien that turns others into candy to steal their strength. It’s possible he’s based on Japan’s view of America and it’s not hard to see the stereotypical parallels. If this one is true, it’s definitely a bummer for American Dragon Ball fans. Then again, DBZ didn’t start airing in America until after the series had finished in Japan, so Toriyama had no idea it would be a hit.
1. LOVE: EVOLUTIONARY ANCESTORS
Let’s end on a more positive, or at least more interesting, note. Some fans have theorized that Saiyans and humans share a biological ancestor. This one’s not too hard to believe since the evidence is all there. Humans and Saiyans look remarkably similar, the only difference being the tail, and even humans evolved from primates that had tails at some point in history. Furthermore, Saiyans and humans can procreate and, more importantly, produce fertile offspring.
So how was the connection made? How did aliens end up contributing to the gene pool of Earthlings? Well, it’s not too crazy to assume that a group of Saiyan ancestors somehow ended up on earth millions of years ago and started reproducing. Perhaps they even procreated with some of the primates on Earth, their offspring eventually leading to the apes that would evolve into humans.
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