The Dragon Ball franchise is sort of infamous for how many inconsistencies and errors there are throughout the story. Over the course of the three series that make up the Dragon Ball franchise, there have been plenty of dropped storylines, forgotten characters and broken rules that, when pointed out, make the sweeping narrative of Goku and his friends seem roughly slapped together. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since Akira Toriyama wrote the series one chapter at a time without planning ahead, which is part of why it’s so beloved.
As the story of Goku unfolded, a few mysteries arose as the story moved past forgotten elements and characters, leaving us scratching our heads at times. Toriyama’s writing style and approach to his hit franchise have resulted in the characters breaking the rules of the universe or forgetting them altogether, causing some of Dragon Ball‘s most infamous plot holes and inconsistencies. Some of these plot holes are larger than others, and we’re left to wonder what exactly happened to various characters, elements and storylines. Here are 15 unresolved mysteries in the Dragon Ball franchise.
15. IS THE EPILOGUE CANON?
With the introduction of Dragon Ball Super, we know that Dragon Ball GT has been booted from canon. Fans definitely rejoiced at this decision, but it does raise another question of the franchise’s canon, is the epilogue of DBZ still part of the story? Otherwise known as the peaceful world saga, the epilogue to the series showed the Z-fighters and their friends and family a few years down the line as they reunite and prepare to enter the World Martial Arts Tournament.
However, the events of Dragon Ball Super make us wonder if this epilogue is still canon. Nothing in particular points that it isn’t, but at the same time, the events of Super leading into the peaceful world saga still seems off. If this saga is still canon, they’d have to retell part of it with the addition of new characters and transformations for it to seem more fitting.
In the original Dragon Ball series, one character was featured heavily before disappearing into obscurity, Launch. This beauty with two personalities has a few mysteries surrounding her, the first being her aforementioned disappearance from the franchise. Did Goku and his friends just boot her from their social circle? Maybe she went to jail for all her crimes. Either way, we only saw her briefly in Dragon Ball Z and in Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return.
Another mystery surrounding Launch is her infamous dual personalities, which are never quite explained. Sure, the world of Dragon Ball is full of weird people and supernatural occurrences. However, these things are often given some form of explanation, which is why the fact that Launch changes personalities whenever she sneezes seems so mysterious amongst other magical elements.
13. SHARING TECHNIQUES
We’re all for signature moves and special techniques, and Dragon Ball is known for some of the coolest around, but with all of these powers and abilities, one question arises, why don’t the Z-fighters teach each other their techniques? They can still have their go-to attacks, but how much easier would things be if Piccolo, Vegeta and all the other protectors of Earth knew how to use instant transmission?
Saiyans pick up techniques incredibly fast, so Vegeta and the half-Saiyans could easily learn each other’s moves, and we’re sure the other Z-fighters would be more than willing to learn techniques like the solar flare or that mind-reading technique that Goku only used once. Goku has taken the moves of others and added them to his arsenal, like the Kamehameha and the desdtructo disk, so why haven’t the others done the same as well?
12. THE MOON
The moon plays a big role in the world of Dragon Ball, at least when it comes to Goku and the other Saiyans on Earth. When Goku still had his tail, he turned into a Great Ape whenever he looked at the moon. To prevent Goku from destroying everyone at the World Martial Arts Tournament, Master Roshi destroyed the moon so he would revert to his normal self. However, let’s not forget that Monster Carrot was banished to the moon by Goku, which means that Master Roshi murdered the villain and his goons.
The moon was eventually restored by Kami after Goku’s tail was cut off for good, but it would later be destroyed once more. Piccolo also destroyed the moon for a similar reason, to revert Gohan back to his normal form. Howevver, it was never revealed how, or if the moon was restored again later.
11. THE AFFAIRS OF MORTALS
Gods in Dragon Ball are a unique take on the concepts of deities. Each planet has a guardian, each quadrant of the universe has a kai, those kais report to the grand kai, who in turn reports to the supreme kais and the supreme kai all serve under Zeno. Some of these gods speak of the dangers of meddling with the affairs of mortals, something that Gowasu, the supreme kai of Universe 10, made evidently clear in Dragon Ball Super.
Yet, it seems most of the Universe 7 deities didn’t get this memo, as they stick their noses in mortals’ business far too often. Seriously, is there some kind of penalty for how often King Kai trains dead warriors from Earth before sending them back? Or how about the fact that the Old Kai gave up his life for Goku? Is it okay that Goku is friends with literal gods?
10. ANDROID 16’S REVIVAL
We might be able to chalk this one up to miscommunication and the changes that occur from adapting a manga into anime, but we think its still worth mentioning. After Cell’s defeat, Gohan wanted to use the dragon balls to wish the gentle-hearted Android 16 back to life. However, Shenron stated he was unable to do so because he could not resurrected the lives of artificial beings. This logic sort of checks out — Shenron is magic, and magic doesn’t always mix with technology.
However, there is one small problem: Android 8. This android was killed along with the rest of the Earth during the Buu saga, yet we saw that he had been revived when he offered Goku his energy for the spirit bomb. A possible explanation could be that this scene wasn’t in the original manga and was added as filler, which is why it broke the rules.
9. GINYU’S ORIGINAL FORM
The thing that made Captain Ginyu such a dangerous opponent was his ability to switch bodies with people to gain their abilities and power. Ginyu used this power on Goku and after being trapped in the body of an alien frog, he eventually returned in the body of Frieza’s training partner, Tagoma. With a power like this, we can’t help but wonder, was the horned, purple body we saw Captain Ginyu in his original form?
Think about it: Ginyu’s greatest strength was being able to jump into the body of the strongest warriors he could find, so we doubt he would actually do a whole lot of training if he could just get more powerful on the fly. This leads us to believe that the body he first appeared in wasn’t his original form, especially since we’re never told if it is or isn’t.
8. BEERUS AND THE DINOSAURS
There was a major plot hole in both Battle of Gods and the Beerus saga of Dragon Ball Super, one that had all fans tilting their heads. When Whis was telling Beerus about Earth, he recalled it as the planet with the dinosaurs. Since the giant creatures were so rude to him, Beerus killed them all… and yet dinosaurs are ever-present on Dragon Ball‘s Earth.
Perhaps Beerus simply misremembered, but it could also be that he only fought one generation of dinosaurs. This is to say that maybe a few smaller dinosaurs survived Beerus’ extinction event and eventually evolved into the modern-day dinosaurs that we see in Dragon Ball. Who knows what the reason is for this inconsistency, but it’s definitely one of the franchise’s biggest mysteries.
7. PAST WORLD MARTIAL ARTS TOURNAMENTS
In the Cell saga, we were introduced to Mr. Satan, a reasonably skilled, non-superhuman martial artist who was the world’s current fighting champion. The reason that Mr. Satan had risen to the top was because the Z-fighters and other superhuman martial artists had stopped entering tournaments. However, why is it that the world forgot about all the competitors who could fly, were super strong and could shoot beams from their hands?
Everyone, including Mr. Satan, didn’t believe any of the things they saw in the 25th world martial arts tournament, which is a bit of a mystery. Aren’t there pictures and recordings of past fights? Did people forget about the time Piccolo grew into a giant? Some just thought it was all tricks and special effects, but it wasn’t that long ago that people could have forgotten about Piccolo and Goku’s fight or any other tournament where superhumans fought, right?
6. WHY SO SECRET?
While we’re on the subject of the world’s knowledge of the Z-fighters, why do they continue to keep their presence and powers a secret? It doesn’t make sense why the world forgot about superhumans to begin with, so why perpetuate it? Toriyama stated before that his reason for this was that the Z-fighters would constantly be pestered by people asking about their powers if they went public with them.
While this is a valid argument, it once again raises the question of why they didn’t keep things a secret in earlier sagas of the franchise. Furthermore, they might have to keep their powers and alien origins a secret, but that’s no reason to give Mr. Satan all the glory and credit. Sure, they could keep the fact that they saved the world a secret, but Mr. Satan could at least let them win martial arts tournaments!
5. OTHER SAIYAN HYBRIDS
The Saiyan race might have been dwindled down to just Vegeta and Goku, but their kind lives on in their kids, the half- Saiyans. However, the human/Saiyan hybrids might not be the only half-Saiyans in existence. When Nappa and Vegeta were discussing the idea of a half-Saiyan hybrid, Vegeta said it could be dangerous to mix their DNA, as the offspring could be too strong for its own good.
How Vegeta knew this is a bit of a mystery. Sure, it could have just been speculation based on what he knows of his own kind, but could it also mean that there were Saiyan-hybrids in the past? If so, are they still around? Are Gohan and the other half-Saiyans not alone in the universe? Or maybe King Vegeta had them killed, fearing their power would surpass his own.
4. SUPER SAIYANS OF THE PAST
Speaking of the Saiyan race, there is a big mystery that lies within their past. Goku was the first Super Saiyan in over 100 years, but he wasn’t the first in existence. Vegeta tells the tale of the first Super Saiyan, and while his image of the legend might not have been accurate, we know that Super Saiyans existed in the past. This makes us wonder if the Super Saiyans of the past were able to push through to the other Super Saiyan transformations.
We know the story of the original Super Saiyan God, but did the Super Saiyans of the past know about Super Saiyan 2 and 3? Was there a point in Saiyan history in which these forms were first achieved/discovered? Or did Goku create these forms? If that is the case, then how did he do so?
3. THE MECHANICS OF BUU’S ABSORPTION
Two of Buu’s most dangerous and powerful traits were his ability to turn people into food and his power to absorb others and gain their strength. However, as useful and powerful as these abilities are, there is a bit of mystery surrounding them. For one thing, why is it that some of the times that Buu turned someone into candy, they were absorbed into his body, while other times they died and went to Otherworld?
Furthermore, when Buu split into two forms and his evil half absorbed himself, how exactly did this work? And why did it make him more powerful if he absorbed the same amount of power that he split from himself? And another thing, when he absorbed Gotenks, their fusion timed out after 30 minutes, but when he absorbed Vegito, they unfused immediately. What exactly is going on in that pink alien’s body?!
2. IS TARBLE CANON?
Among the various entries in the Dragon Ball franchise, most have been translated and dubbed in America. However, one has yet to get an English dub, the TV special, Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!! This special featured Vegeta’s long lost brother, Tarble, and was said by Akira Toriyama to be canon. And yet, we haven’t seen Tarble in any subsequent Dragon Ball media.
Tarble was mentioned in Resurrection F, but this reference was removed in the Super adaptation of the story. This leaves us with the mystery of wether or not Vegeta’s younger brother is canon. If he is, then why hasn’t he settled down on Earth? Furthermore, why didn’t Vegeta mention he had a brother earlier?! We’re not sure about you, but we’d love to see Tarble make an appearance at the end of Dragon Ball Super.
1. GOKU’S DISSAPPEARANCE
One of the more recent mysteries in the world of Dragon Ball came in the universal survival saga of Dragon Ball Super. In the early stages of the Tournament of Power, Goku attempted to take on the ridiculously overpowered Jiren by throwing a massive spirit bomb at him. However, Jiren was able to deflect the attack and send it right back at Goku. Everyone thought Goku had died, as he completely disappeared from the arena.
Goku eventually reappeared, with a fancy new technique/form, but where he went was a complete mystery. We didn’t see his body in the crater made by the attack, and he reappeared with a huge flash of light. Did he cross over into some sort of alternate energy dimension before freeing himself? What happened between his “death” and return?
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