Dragon Ball has been around for many decades, accumulating millions of fans during its time.
Since the original Dragon Ball manga finished publication, multiple anime adaptations have been made, and one of the adaptations even jumped ahead of the Japanese comic. Dragon Ball GT came along, but it wasn't long until the fans found out that it wasn't canon to the original Dragon Ball. After only publishing spin-off manga for many years, the Dragon Ball series made a comeback in 2015 with the Dragon Ball Super anime.
Released shortly after as promotional material was the Dragon Ball Super manga. Because the original writer, Akira Toriyama, and his main co-writer, Toyotaro, both have more involvement in the manga than the anime, there are a lot of differences between the two, the biggest of which will be listed here.
15 Vegeta Also Achieves Super Saiyan God in the Manga
This one is a bit weird, as even in the anime, they describe Super Saiyan Blue as a form where you essentially "stack" Super Saiyan on top of Super Saiyan God. This means that Vegeta has also used Super Saiyan God in the anime, we just never see it.
In the manga, Vegeta tactically uses Super Saiyan God during the fight with Goku Black while switching to Super Saiyan Blue when striking. It's explained that this is because Super Saiyan God takes less stamina and is just as fast, but Super Saiyan Blue strikes harder. Interesting Vegeta never thought of this in the anime. Dragon Ball Super: Broly finally allows Vegeta to attain the traditional Super Saiyan God form.
14 Super Saiyan Blue Goku Uses Kaio-ken in the Anime
While Goku does activate Kaio-ken while using Super Saiyan in Dragon Ball Z against Pikkon during the Otherworld Tournament, it technically isn't canon due to just being filler that only appeared in the anime. The first time we see Goku use this transformation is during his first fight against Hit during the Universe 6 and 7 Tournament.
They explained in the anime that Goku does not have enough Ki control with any of his previous transformations to utilize the Kaio-ken; luckily, Super Saiyan Blue has perfect Ki control, so he's able to pull it off. Initially, he was only able to use up to Kaio-ken times 10, although he was able to use Kaio-ken times 20 during his first fight against Jiren.
13 Cell Juniors Come Back in the Manga
The last time Cell Juniors were shown was back in the Cell Arc of the original Dragon Ball manga, where Cell gave birth to several of them to fight against the Z Warriors and make Gohan angry. After most of the Z-fighters are defeated, Cell makes Gohan snap by killing Android 16. Consequently, the young Saiyan seemingly kills all of the Cell Juniors.
At least, that was presumed to be the case, until they showed back up in the Dragon Ball Super manga during a bonus chapter. Android 17 left Goten and Trunks to watch his island while he was away fighting in the Tournament of Power. He mentioned to Krillin that he tamed the Cell Juniors to guard the island, and then they were shown fighting Goten and Trunks briefly before they realized that they were there to help them.
12 Zamasu Becomes the Cosmos in the Anime
Dragon Ball Super introduced the concept of a multiverse alongside their concept of Gods of Destruction, and in one of these alternate universes was a character named Zamasu. He was a trainee in Universe 10 as a god, next in line to be their Supreme Kai whenever Gowasu left.
Zamasu resented mortals, even as an idea, so he acquired the Super Dragon Balls and made a wish to became immortal. He killed Gowasu in his timeline and attempted to take out all mortals by force, and when Trunks cut apart his body, his immortal soul merged with the universe, and he attempted to become its law and order before being erased by the Omni-King Zeno. He attained a similar state in the manga, but on a far smaller scale.
11 The Saiyans Master Super Saiyan Blue in the Manga
Back during the Dragon Ball manga's Frieza Arc, Goku spectacularly goes Super Saiyan. While powerful, it has the drawback of using a lot of stamina. During the Cell Arc, we're introduced to Saiyans actually training their usage of Super Saiyan to develop it further, and this was their plan to defeat Cell.
In the Dragon Ball Super manga, we actually see a similar development with the Super Saiyan Blue form during the Zamasu Arc. Goku achieves a form referred to as "Perfected Super Saiyan Blue" that he uses to combat Zamasu after he merges with Goku Black. Vegeta also attained this form later in the manga.
10 Vegeta Broke His Limits In His Own Way in the Anime
Late into Dragon Ball Super, we see Goku break his limits and use a technique referred to as Ultra Instinct. This form's less developed state is called Ultra Instinct "Omen" and throughout the Tournament of Power, we see Vegeta also try to achieve this state that is difficult even for a God of Destruction to attain.
In the anime, to contrast with Goku using Ultra Instinct "Omen", he develops his Super Saiyan Blue form further, calling it "Super Saiyan Blue Evolution". He used this form when fighting Jiren alongside Goku, and was shown to be around the same level as Goku when he uses Super Saiyan Blue with Kaio-ken times 20.
9 Goku Uses Hakai in the Manga
Characters in the Dragon Ball series have a good handful of different powers and abilities. These include things like Oolong and Puar being able to shape-shift, Piccolo's talent for creating clothes, and Majin Buu turning people into candy; however, none are as powerful as the ability possessed by the Gods of Destruction.
In the manga, during the Zamasu Arc, Goku uses the Hakai technique to erase Merged Zamasu. Goku only has an incomplete version of the technique, but being able to erase people partially is better than not being able to erase people at all. Weirdly enough, Goku is being trained by the Gods to be a Destroyer.
8 Vegeta Gets Copied By Commeson in the Anime
In Dragon Ball GT, we see a character of the Tuffle race, a scientist that creates artificial life named Doctor Myu. He created a bio-android named Baby from Tuffle DNA, and the two had the collective goal of taking revenge on the Saiyans. Baby has the ability to insert himself into the bloodstream of his foe and then taking over their mind and body. He used this on Goten and Gohan, but the most notable form he took on was Baby Vegeta.
In the Dragon Ball Super anime, there is a character with a similar ability called Commeson, and he does not appear at all in the Dragon Ball Super manga. His ability is to encompass the opponent with his colloidesque body and then copy their shape, statistics, and abilities. His look is very reminiscent of Baby Vegeta.
7 Toppo Acts Differently As A God in the Manga
Throughout Dragon Ball, we see many different types of gods. Gods of Destruction, Supreme Kais, and other types; the position is treated as a job that anyone can get with enough training. We see examples of this in Dragon Ball Super, like how Toppo trained under Belmod, the God of Destruction in Universe 11.
In the anime, Toppo achieves a God of Destruction-like form where he has an aura that passively erases everything that fell within it, so he willed it to. In the manga, Toppo has a different Aura of the Gods state that he uses more often. It makes him more powerful but lacks the destructive capabilities that he has in the anime.
6 Gohan Fights A Narcissistic Movie Star in the Anime
During the softer parts of the Zamasu Arc, there were quite a few filler episodes in the anime showcasing events that didn't occur in the manga. One of these was an episode where there was an alien parasite named Watagash that was being tracked by the Galactic Patrol, and it happened to land on Earth around this time.
Watagash feeds on hatred and evil to become more powerful, so he ended up taking on the actor Barry Kahn as a vessel due to his envy of Gohan getting all the attention as his stunt double. Barry became powerful enough to actually fight against Gohan but was eventually defeated. Funnily enough, the fight between the two made it into the Great Saiyaman movie starring the two.
5 Jiren Is More Developed in the Manga
Jiren the Grey was brought into Dragon Ball Super to be the main antagonist during the Tournament of Power. At the time of his fights, he was the greatest foe the Z-Warriors had ever faced. Unlike Hit, Jiren does not have many abilities; he simply is powerful, and excessively at that.
While Jiren was given flashbacks and implications of his history in the anime, they barely gave any explanation for either. In the manga, Jiren's past was more thoroughly explored. This iteration of Universe 11's Pride Trooper wants to bring back his master who died trying to protect Jiren and his planet.
4 There Is A Baseball Competition in the Anime
This was another one of the filler episodes that followed the Universe 6 and 7 Tournament, this time refocusing on the rivalry between the two universes and their Gods of Destruction. This time, instead of pitting the two universes against each other in battle, they held a baseball match against each other.
While a lot of it still focused on power, such as the pitchers imbuing their Ki within the baseball to make it harder for the batter to hit it back, skill seemed to be a more notable factor. In this competition, Yamcha was actually brought along as a valuable asset to the team because of his past as a professional baseball player. Considering Dragon Ball Super mostly depicts Yamcha as being virtually useless, this filler episode marks a high point for the character.
3 Roshi Uses Ultra Instinct in the Manga
In the anime, whenever Goku attained Ultra Instinct "Omen" state, it was achieved as a reaction to basically being erased by the Universe 7 Spirit Bomb that was deflected back on him by Jiren. While there is little sense in that at all, the manga went about it differently.
The manga took advantage of Master Roshi and his history as the most skilled martial artist on Earth, having him demonstrate a state that Whis said was similar to Ultra Instinct during Roshi's fight against Jiren. After putting up a bit of a fight, Roshi was eventually defeated, but not in vain, for Goku used Roshi's performance as a basis to unlock Ultra Instinct "Omen".
2 The Broly Arc Is Shown in the Anime
After multiple decades of Broly existing only as a non-canon movie character, popular demand caused Broly to come back many more times in non-canon movies until he was eventually worked into a canon Broly Arc with his own movie. This was quite a surprise to fans, seeing as Dragon Ball Super introduces Kale, a female Saiyan who is very reminiscent of Broly.
Broly has parts of his character and backstory reworked, although most of the qualities fans enjoyed are kept. This time around, however, Broly is portrayed as a good-hearted character who just cannot control himself. He is ultimately subdued by Gogeta after over an hour of him fighting Goku, Vegeta, and even Frieza. This Arc is only referenced in the manga.
1 The Moro Arc Is Shown in the Manga
The Dragon Ball Super manga has actually continued on with another arc after the Dragon Ball Super anime, one set after the events of the Broly movie. The arc is shown to take place after Broly was defeated, and it begins with an ancient enemy of the gods breaking out of the hold of the Galactic Patrol.
The enemy was named Moro, an ox-like villain with the ability to drain the spiritual energy of not only plants but also people and entire planets. He was defeated eons ago by the Lord of Lords, who was the original Supreme Kai, who gave up all of his power to seal away Moro. Moro defeats Goku and Vegeta, before narrowly escaping defeat at the hands of Majin Buu with the restored memories of the Lord of Lords. Moro uses Namek's Dragon Balls to restore his magical power, and from there, the arc is currently ongoing.