Dragon Ball fans are kind of split on Dragon Ball Super — some love it while others hate it. Even those who love it take issue with certain elements, sometimes with how the characters are portrayed. That is to say, one of the biggest issues fans have with Dragon Ball Super is that the characters are portrayed differently from how they were in the much-more-beloved Dragon Ball Z. That said, let’s not forget one of the best things about Dragon Ball characters, they are very dynamic.
Nearly every single character has gone through some serious changes throughout the course of the franchise, especially the villains. Just look at Vegeta, who went from a murderous psychopath to a loving father and husband. Even Goku, who is perhaps the least dynamic character in the series, has gone through some changes. While Dragon Ball Super might be portraying the characters “wrong” in relation to how they were in DBZ, it’s not crazy to think that they have developed into different people by this point in time. With that, here 15 Things Dragon Ball Super Gets Completely Wrong About DBZ Characters!
15. ACT YOUR AGE
Let’s start with one that actually goes against the dynamic nature of Dragon Ball‘s characters: the younger ones. Specifically, we’re talking about characters like Goten, Trunks and Marron, all of whom do not act, nor look their ages. At the beginning of Dragon Ball Super, Goten is 11 while Trunks is 12. Yet, the two’s appearances and personalities have not changed since the Buu saga.
Another big offender of this is Krillin and Android 18’s daughter, Marron, who is 7 at the beginning of Super. And yet, like Goten and Trunks, she has not grown one bit in the four years since the end of Dragon Ball. The weirdest part is that she still acts like a toddler and her parents treat her as such, feeding her like she is incapable of doing it herself. We got to see Gohan grow up, so what’s stopping these three?
14. GOKU’S INTELLIGENCE
Let’s get one thing straight: Goku isn’t dumb. He might be naive to the ways of modern society — growing up in the woods and living in the countryside do that to a person — and he might lack formal schooling, but he’s not dumb. Goku won’t be going to college any time soon, but he has shown the ability to solve complex problems and has an aptitude for various forms of intelligence besides academics.
Dragon Ball Super didn’t seem to get this memo. Dragon Ball Z‘s Goku was a naive, but caring and good-hearted goofball who fought to protect others. Dragon Ball Super‘s Goku, on the other hand, is portrayed as being incredibly dumb, to the point of it being annoying and ridiculous. Not only is Goku incredibly stupid, he is also so ignorant of other people’s feelings that he comes off as a jerk in Super.
13. WHO’S PILAF?
While it was nice to see the very first villains of the Dragon Ball franchise come back for Super, the way in which the Pilaf gang is portrayed is questionable and strange at times. To start, when they come across Goku and Bulma, nobody seems to recognize each other. Really? Bulma doesn’t recognize the people who attacked her as a teenager to get her dragon balls? And Pilaf doesn’t recognize the kid (and his nearly identical son) that foiled his plans so many years ago?
As if that wasn’t bad enough, since the characters used a dragon ball wish to be young again, they are now middle-aged adults in the bodies of children. And yet, there is no consistency to how they act; sometimes they act like adults and other times like children. And don’t even get us started on Mai and Trunks’ relationship.
12. NERFED VIDEL
When Videl was first introduced into the series, she was a rough, tough, feisty girl who didn’t take any s*** from anyone, especially not her egotistical father. In fact, Videl was so tough that she helped the police take care of criminals while she was still in high school. Oh, and lets not forget she intimidated Gohan into teaching her to fly just so she could prove to her dad that she was stronger.
And yet, in Dragon Ball Super, Videl has been reduced to a shadow of her former self. There’s nothing wrong with the fact that she has started a family and settled down, but what happened to her feistiness? Bulma and Chi Chi got to keep their fiery personalities, so why did Videl get nerfed?
11. WIMPY GOHAN
Speaking of nerfed characters, Videl’s husband isn’t much better off in Super. It was pretty clear that Gohan was on the path to becoming a great scholar, and there’s nothing wrong with that fact. Nor is there anything wrong with leaving his fighting days behind for a more prestigious career. But let’s be honest, Gohan let himself get way too weak in Dragon Ball Super.
Though Gohan eventually gets his fighting groove back to compete in the Tournament of Power, a lot of fans hated how weak he had become at the beginning of Super. Sure, he doesn’t have to be a warrior all the time, but he could have at least stayed in shape enough not to nearly die by Frieza’s hand in a matter of minutes. Heck, Vegeta “gave up fighting” at the end of the Cell saga, but he still kept up his training.
10. RECRUITING FRIEZA
Goku is known for giving his opponents second chances, something that is actually quite admirable and has resulted in characters like Piccolo and Vegeta becoming friends and allies. That said, we think it’s safe to assume that there is a limit to Goku’s kindness, and even he’s not naive enough to spare an enemy twice, right? Wrong.
In Dragon Ball Super, Goku recruits Frieza from hell to help fight for Universe 7 in the Tournament of Power. While this might be a somewhat logical decision, since Frieza is a good replacement for Majin Buu, the fact that Goku made the active decision to recruit the person who not only killed his best friend, but almost killed his son twice, is beyond logical. The Goku of Dragon Ball Z would have normally considered the feelings of others before making a decision like this, but not in Super.
9. ROLE REVERSAL
In the Cell and Buu sagas, Vegeta was a distant and rather cold father and husband. Goku might not have been the best father in DBZ, but he spent time with his sons, trained them and showed general care and affection for them. Fast forward to Dragon Ball Super and these roles have been somewhat reversed, Vegeta appears to be a better father while Goku takes every chance he can get to weasel out of taking care of his family.
We don’t have as much of a problem with Vegeta’s change of heart, since it lines up with his character development and is actually kind of adorable at times, but with Goku, it just adds to how much more stupid and inconsiderate he has become in Super. It’s like Super completely ignores all the times Goku showed how much he loved and cared for his family.
8. INCONSISTENT POWER LEVELS
Perhaps one of the most frustrating things about Dragon Ball Super is that it seems to forget just how powerful our heroes are. Goku almost shattered the Earth just by turning Super Saiyan 3, yet Super Saiyan 3 is hardly used in Super. Of course, this is mostly because more powerful forms have been introduced, yet the Super Saiyan God and Super Saiyan Blue forms introduce their own set of weird power scaling.
Think about it, Goku and Vegeta attained the power of a god, and yet they struggle to face weaklings from other universes? Why can’t Goku and Vegeta completely dominate any opponent they come across when they are fighting as literal dieties? Maybe there’s something we’re missing here, but it feels like Super has truly forgotten how powerful the Z-fighters were back in DBZ.
7. ROSHI’S STRENGTH
Speaking of weird power scaling, why is Master Roshi suddenly considered to be on the same level as the Z-figthers? He was sidelined a long time ago when his students and the other Z-fighters surpassed him. Yet, in Dragon Ball Super, Master Roshi was chosen to be part of Universe 7’s team in the Tournament of Power, and before that he decided to help Frieza.
Master Roshi is a strong and wise warrior in his own right, but he is nowhere near the same level as Krillin, Tien, Piccolo or the Androids, let alone Saiyans with god-like powers. So, why was Roshi suddenly relevant again in Super? It’s nice that he gets to return to action and all, but it seems like there was a better option for his place on Team Universe 7.
6. YAMCHA IS A JOKE
While we’re on the subject of Universe 7’s team members in the Tournament of Power, why wasn’t Yamcha asked to join? Listen, we get it, Yamcha is seen as a joke by fans, serving as the butt of a number of Dragon Ball memes. But why exactly? Because he lost to a Saibaman? That seems to be about the only reason, and when you think about it, Yamcha is still pretty dang strong.
Yamcha is just as much of a superhuman martial artist as Krillin, and though he might not be quite as strong, Yamcha easily outclasses Master Roshi. Yet, he was left behind during the Universal Surival saga. This portrayal of Yamcha sort of started in the Buu saga, but Super has brought back a lot of characters and given them some kind of comeback, so why hasn’t Yamcha gotten his redemption arc?
5. UNCLE PICCOLO
This is another one that we can’t say we hate all that much, but it still diverges from Dragon Ball Z. In Super, Piccolo is FAR from the person he was at the end of Dragon Ball and in early Dragon Ball Z. Where a tough warrior once stood is now a loving, caring, nurturing babysitter. That’s right, in Dragon Ball Super, Piccolo spends most of his time looking after Pan for Videl and Gohan.
This isn’t too much of a divergence from Piccolo’s character in Dragon Ball Z, since he was always like a surrogate father to Gohan, so it makes sense that he’s become “Uncle Piccolo” to Pan. In fact, it’s downright cute how experienced and attentive Piccolo is as a babysitter, but Super needs to pump the breaks a bit on “Uncle Piccolo.”
4. BUU WHO?
A lot of Dragon Ball characters have been sidelined over the course of the franchise. The usual reason for this is the fact that their power just can’t keep up with the ever-raising stakes of the series. Characters like Master Roshi and Tien might have been strong in Dragon Ball and parts of Dragon Ball Z, but are now in a lower tier. This kind of sidelining makes sense for these weaker characters, but what about Majin Buu?
In nearly every instance in which Majin Buu’s power — which, let’s not forget, is strong enough to destroy cities — could be used to help the Z-fighters, he’s excluded from the fight. In the Universal 6 saga, Buu failed the intelligence test, and in a few other instances, Buu went into one of his long sleeps when he could have been helping. Seriously, why doesn’t Super take advantage of the power that Buu has?
3. VEGETA’S DIMINISHING PRIDE
This is another fun one that plays into Vegeta’s character development, but we thought we’d include it anyway. Vegeta is a prideful person, there’s no denying this; he constantly talks about his Saiyan pride, after all. Vegeta is quick to turn down anything that makes him look like a fool, like when he initially turned down fusing with Goku to fight Super Buu.
Yet, in Dragon Ball Super, Vegeta is seen doing a number of embarrassing things, most of which are as a result of being a better father by this point. In Super, we see Vegeta dance and sing, attempt to cook, go on vacation with his family, suck on a pacifier and even humble himself before a god. Like we said, these kind of fit into Vegeta’s character development, but it still feels like a jarring change from DBZ.
2. KRILLIN THE KOP
For the longest time, it seemed like Krillin and Android 18 didn’t have jobs, they just bummed off of Master Roshi’s hospitality and extorted Mr. Satan for money. However, around the time of Dragon Ball Super, Krillin and his family have moved to Satan City where Krillin has gotten a job as a cop, specifically a bike cop. Though this line of work is admirable for someone as superhuman as Krillin, it just feels… off.
It’s kind of hard to put our finger on it, but something feels wrong about Krillin being a cop, and some fans would agree that it seems out of character for Krillin to be an officer of the law. It’s nice that Krillin wants to contribute to society and all, but being a police officer seems kind of unfair, since he can fly and shoot ki blasts.
1. MUNDANE LIFE
Finally we come to perhaps one of the most frustrating things about Dragon Ball Super: the mundanity. Don’t get us wrong, when we check in on the daily personal lives of Goku and friends, it actually makes for some great character moments. We get to see how Goku works for his family and how Vegeta takes care of his newborn daughter and all of it makes for some interesting storytelling. However, as much as we like these character moments, there’s just too many of them.
If there’s one thing that Dragon Ball Super gets completely wrong about Dragon Ball Z characters, it’s that it assumes we want to see these moments of peaceful living. Sure, they make for some great character development, but DBZ fans would be much happier if there were more episodes focusing on action and world-threatening villains that the Z-fighters have to stop.
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