Fans of the original Dragon Ball Z series are undoubtedly excited by the introduction of the new “Dragon Ball Super” series, which supposedly takes place in between Dragon Ball Z and the long-forgotten “Dragon Ball GT” series set on future events. But as one of the avid fans of the original DBZ, it seems to me that the new DB Super series, though intriguing in its own rights, lacks the overall excitement that was present in the original series, and could even be considered a disappointment based on the lofty standards that is expected of a follow-up series to the highly successful DBZ original. Below are the five main reasons why I believe, through the first 99 episodes, that DBZ Super was far inferior to DBZ:
1. Way too much down time
Through a large part of “Super”, we see Goku and his friends relaxing and enjoying family time, with nary a thing to do. Compared to the original series, where there’s always something at stake (saving Gohan from Raditz, saving the planet from Vegeta and Nappa, saving Namek from Freeza, saving the planet again from the Andriods and Cell, and saving the planet again from Majin Boo), the new “Super” series, through the initial part, is like watching a reality show of super-powered friends trying hard not to become completely useless in a peaceful society. Featuring episodes of shopping, eating, Goku working a farm job, family trips, playing sports, and Bulma giving birth. Things got so dull that Akira Toriyama was forced to introduce the “God of Destruction” Beerus, who apparently existed all along and had just been “hibernating” until the Super series. Goku fights Beerus to prevent his world from destruction, thus finally moving the story along…
2. All the plot holes
By conveniently introducing Beerus and Whis to move along the plot, Toriyama may have raised more questions than answers. Mainly, where were these guys when the planet was on the verge of destruction at the hands Cell and Majin Boo? And if the answer is that they were hibernating or the fate of one measly planet Earth was not their concern or whatever BS answer, a more analytical fan could point out that at the time of the Majin Boo Saga, the Supreme Kai himself was thoroughly concerned with fate of the planet that harbors all of the world’s strongest heroes. Not too mention that Beerus was not referenced once in all of the original DBZ series. Now, this might just be me nitpicking, but you would think that someone with the power to destroy entire planets with a snap of a finger would at least be implied to exist. And why now, of all times, would he decide to grace Goku and company with his omnipotent self? Just for the sake of exotic delicacies? Because they didn’t have them in DBZ? It just doesn’t make sense. Toriyama got away with it in the original DBZ series when he didn’t introduce the Supreme Kai until the Boo Saga. But I’m not letting him off the hook with this one, especially not with the half-assed reason of why there is absolutely no sign of this supposedly almighty character in the original DBZ. It’s great how Toriyama wants to introduce a set of new, unique characters, but don’t expect true DBZ fans to passively accept the implication that these guys have been around all along.
3. Power comes at almost no expense.
Remember the first time Goku became a Super Saiyan due to the rage of seeing Krillin’s death? Or Gohan’s transformation into Super Saiyan 2 to avenge the kind-hearted Android 16? Or Future Trunk’s grief at the death of his mentor Future Gohan that led to his own Super Saiyan transformation? How about when Vegeta used his full power and sacrificed himself to save the planet from Majin Boo? Who can forget all the goosebumps and feels and manly (or womanly) tears that came with these iconic moments? Gone are such moments and the feels that came with them in the “Super” series, thanks largely to Goku and Vegeta’s attainment of the god-like Super Saiyan Blue form. Their paths to these forms in themselves can be considered a snooze fest compared to all the labor, sacrifice, and sense of urgency that comes with reaching new heights in the original DBZ. Instead of seizing new powers over near death experiences and the corpses of friends and foes to protect the world from impending doom. Goku and Vegeta was practically granted their new god-like powers under the training of Whis, in the comfort of Beerus’s own realm rather than in a nail-biting, life or death situation on the battlefield. To put it simply, the stakes are much lower but somehow the power attained are much greater.
4. Overpowered heroes
In the original DBZ series, fans are treated to a series of transformations that help the heroes overcome adversity. Gohan had to become Super Saiyan 2 to defeat Cell, Goku had to become Super Saiyan 3 to fight Majin Boo, and Goku had to fuse with Vegeta to defeat Kid Boo. Introducing new powers is a double-edged sword: On the one hand, it gives viewers the sense that there is still more to be seen. On the other hand, it makes previous accomplishments seem obsolete. Thanks to Super Saiyan Blue, everything from Super Saiyan 2 Gohan to Super Saiyan 3 Goku and Gotenks to Gogeta became trash in an instant. By completing the Blue form, Goku and Vegeta now has the power to beat…well, everyone, with exception, of course, to the gods. Gone is the suspense of having a greater evil threatening their existence and the heroes having to reach a new level to protect their world. Just, go, Super Saiyan, Blue. Such was the case when Freeza came back as Golden Freeza and was still defeated by Super Saiyan Blue Goku and Vegeta quite soundly. There was an exception when Goku and Vegeta had to pull out all their cards to help Future Trunks defeat Goku Black and Zamasu. Those are the sorts of challenges that are expected when your hero reach a new level, and the type of challenges fans should expect to see in the Tournament of Power that features all the strongest fighters from all universes. Thus far, through episode 99, Goku and Vegeta had been seen holding back and only using their Blue form for a brief moment to eliminate Universe 9 in a heartbeat. Of course, it is expected that as the tournament progress and weaker opponents are weeded out, they will need to use more of their powers to defeat the warriors from stronger universes. But so far, Goku and Vegeta has reached such a ridiculous level, that participating in a tournament full of the strongest characters from other universes is akin to the USA men’s basketball team “competing” in the Olympics against all the best basketball players from around the world. There’s simply not been enough competition to make “Super” an exciting series.
5. Goku unwittingly screwing over everyone rather than saving everyone.
In the original DBZ series, it’s easy to root for the success of Goku and his friends. After all, they were fighting against evil forces that threatens the existence of the universe. In Dragon Ball Super, Goku becomes that evil force that threatens the existence of the universe(s), and I’m not referring to Goku Black. Now, all DBZ fans know that Goku’s idiotic and naive way of thinking has traditionally led to a variety of questionable decisions (case in point, placing the fate of the world in the hand of his barely adolescent son during the Cell games). However, the one thing that remained consistent and kept the crowd behind Goku is his sense of justice and his firm belief that good should always triumph over evil. That morality seem to go out the window when Goku advocated for the Tournament of Power. Even after the revelation that the losing universes would be erased, rather than using his buddy-buddy relationship with Zen-Oh to advocate for a less severe consequence, Goku embraced the challenge and announced that he would be the last one standing. Translation: I’m the strongest so I’ll survive and everyone else can go to hell. Which sounds like something Cell or Freeza would say. Goku’s growing lust for the opportunity to test his power is quickly putting him in the same conversation with villains who he once protected the world from, except to a greater degree because his actions put not just his world, but other worlds at risk as well. And it wasn’t like Goku didn’t understand the magnitude of the situation. He knew it well enough to lie to all his friends and kept them in the dark about it. He even went as far as recruiting Freeza to help him destroy other worlds, something that even well-known cold-blooded killer Vegeta couldn’t accept. Of course, it’s entirely possible that after all is said and done and everyone else in the tournament is mercilessly erased thanks to Goku’s idiotic suggestion, he will amend himself by asking Zen-Oh to undo everything. Thus redeeming himself and making the whole tournament nothing more than a big “F#$% You” to everyone outside of Universe 7. But until that happens, Goku is the ultimate villain that has everyone wondering “what is he thinking?”
Just as a concluding note, this whole post is the opinion and observation of one DBZ fan who is, thus far, quite unimpressed with the plot of DB Super. There will be plenty of people who disagrees with my assessments. And if you are one of them, feel free to let me have it in the comment section.