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Dragon Ball Super: What's Next for the Hit Anime Series?

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 131 of Dragon Ball Super, "A Miraculous Conclusion! Farewell, Goku! Until We Meet Again!" which debuted Saturday on Adult Swim.

Dragon Ball Super, the long-running sequel to Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball Z, aired the final episode of its English-language dub run over the weekend, closing out Goku's latest adventure. However, while the series concluded with that 131st episode, the story continues in other media, providing the anime franchise with plenty of additional source material.

The most notable extension of the property is the recent anime film Dragon Ball Super: Broly, set several years after the events of the main series. The feature centers on the in-canon debut of the fan favorite Broly, a long-lost Saiyan warrior who can transform into a Legendary Super Saiyan. The film also includes the in-canon introduction of the fused warrior Gogeta, formed by Goku and Vegeta performing the Fusion Dance, to put down their immensely powerful new opponent. Frieza also makes his return for intergalactic dominance following his resurrection at the end of the Super.

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Just as the anime series' first two major arcs adapted and expanded the events of the last two Dragon Ball Z films, Super could similarly adapt and expand the events of Broly into new storyline while sowing the seeds for original stories within the franchise. But even before the events of a Broly, a side story set between the events of the Super's conclusion and the anime film was recounted as an extension of the popular Japanese arcade game series Dragon Ball Heroes.

Aptly titled Super Dragon Ball Heroes, the online net video had Goku and Vegeta resume their training under Whis and Beerus sometime after the Tournament of Power, only to be recruited by Mai from the alternate future timeline to rescue that reality's Trunks from a brutal prison planet. The promotional anime series incorporated elements of Dragon Ball GT, most notably the return of Super Saiyan 4 as the Z Fighters battled alternate versions of the popular villains Cooler and Zamasu, as well as the new antagonist Cumber. However, given that none of the Dragon Ball Heroes original content has been regarded as canon, and the discrepancy of Goku achieving Ultra Instinct despite revealing he had been unable to unlock the form since in the Tournament of Power during Broly, makes this series' integration into the main continuity of the franchise highly unlikely.

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Another option is the medium that introduced Dragon Ball to audiences in the first place: manga. While the anime series concluded with the Tournament of Power, the manga series has since continued beyond that, to tell a new story set years after the event, and introduce a new villain. As Goku and Vegeta continue their godly training, they learn Moro has been cutting a path of destruction across the universe, drawing power from the planets he visits to grow stronger and emerge as a worthy opponent for the two Saiyans.

Given the franchise's enduring popularity, the adventures of Goku and his friends are sure to continue beyond the conclusion of the Dragon Ball Super anime. With Broly becoming the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful installment of the franchise to date, the filmmakers have already confirmed a follow-up film is in early development. As for the return for the franchise to television, Toriyama's fan-favorite characters have always found a way to continue in the medium, so additional serialized series will likely appear again before too long. Farewell, Goku. Until we meet again.

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