I have been watching Dragon Ball for as long as I can remember and it is anime that I can never forget. I have watched almost everything related to the series whether it be movies, live-action(even though they sucked), manga, etc. However, lately, I feel the series is being messed up repeatedly and it’s not like I will stop watching it. Just when I start feeling that it is heading in a good direction I am blown away every single time. These things have not made me stop watching it as I still like watching and reading its every update whether it be anime or manga. In fact, the most recent DBS movie was really good, especially for those who were pretty nostalgic for the characters and the setting of that anime.
The manga was also going pretty well in the Moro arc and as the next arc started I felt that this is going to be a turning point and will only get better from here. And…, to be honest, there were many moments in this arc that felt like “Damn! Now, this is what Dragon Ball should be like”, but at the same time there were many disappointing moments as well. This might just be a personal opinion but they have completely shifted the scenario of the series (yet again). There are a few things that I want to discuss so let’s start!
NOTE: The coming section will contain spoilers and the theories and opinions are based on my own understanding of the series.
Things I didn’t like in the DBS Manga (So far)
- Relevance of Dragon Balls
Dragon Balls used to be the ultimate objective and they held great power within them. That is why their usage was supposed to be a rare occurrence, however, not to anyone’s surprise this new arc has used them like they were some toy that also grants wishes. This is not the first time that we have seen dragon balls used this way. On top of that, to fit the plot, the number of dragon balls to be used was also reduced just because they were from another universe.
This has been an issue in the Dragon Ball Super series, the time when Dragon Balls used to be godly feels like they have gone. They have become so irrelevant that even Frieza doesn’t want them (LOL!).
- Huge Ups followed by even huge Downs
This arc, which can be called “The Strongest Warrior” arc was not entirely a bad one and I have a few things that I liked as well but in the later sections. So, as I said this arc was not completely bad. The worst thing for me was that they built up elements of the story which were really good and deserving of the suspense, however, they were followed by laid-back progressions which were not really on par with the build-ups.
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Let’s start with the oracle fish’s prediction about the strongest warrior in the universe. It was a good and intense start to the arc which made us believe that there is a big mystery that is about to be revealed and it might still come true. But, the follow-up with the wishes to create not just one but two strongest warriors in succession was a bad move, from my perspective. Even though it was picked up later by the story there was another letdown in the form of Frieza coming out and turning into the strongest character leaving everyone in the dust. It was a real letdown, not that I didn’t like the transformation but the timing felt off. Let’s talk about Frieza in the next point.
At this point in Dragon Ball Super, Frieza just feels like a character who exists solely to break the power scaling in the series as it has done before. If Frieza really had the potential to be this strong by training then how come he never did it and why was he and his race scared of Super Saiyan, let alone Beerus when all they needed to overcome that fear was training to become the ultimate beings in the universe. It took only 3 months to catch up to Super Saiyan Blue, which is manifold stronger than a regular super Saiyan transformation, for which they trained very hard with Whis. And now, Frieza is back again with 10 years of training which surpasses probably even the Ultra Instinct and may even be comparable to Beerus.
But, the question still remains…why?! and it might never be answered since Dragon Ball is a big franchise. What are your thoughts on the matter?
- Too many transformations
Dragon Ball has always been about transformations and power-ups, however, before they made much more sense and were gradual unlike now, which is just transformations on top of existing transformations and every turning point in the story feels like new transformations. There are now so many new forms than we can even count. I am not against new forms, on the contrary, I am a huge fan of new transformations, but I’d prefer that they slow down a little, which I don’t see happening since Dragon Ball was never about the good plot and the power scaling might have also reached the point where it can’t be fixed anymore. The story will progress even with this broken power scaling as it is not really a decisive factor anymore.
- Vegeta being second fiddle (again)
Even though Goku and Vegeta have been training together and in fact, Vegeta has spent more time with Whis as he started out first and even has a technical advantage against Goku and yet there has not been a single moment where Vegeta got to take the glory, not even once. Dragon Ball Super feels like it’s all about Goku and the rest is just a plot device for his progress which is quite redundant if I am being honest. Anyways, I don’t think that there will ever come a time when Vegeta beats Goku or gets to beat the final villain solely due to the popularity of Goku in Japan. It could be a major reason for the development of DBS to become a Goku show.
It’s been too many bad points on the manga overall and the new arc but there were some good points as well and I’d like to point out a few of them as well since I am still a fan of Dragon Ball Super.
Things I enjoyed in the manga
- Story Development
In terms of story, I’d like to point out that the Moro arc was amazing and even this “Strongest Warrior” arc was also quite intense, for the most part. Since the major part of the discussion has been on the latest arc so I will stick to that.
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As soon as the Oracle Fish made foresaw a potential strongest warrior, that moment was portrayed quite intensely, and even though it was just manga I could feel the tension and the hype of those scenes. Although, I wonder just who exactly is going to end up being the strongest warrior in the universe who would be capable of shifting the balance of power. What do you think?
Then we also got to look more into the past of the Saiyans and a race that was extinguished by them on the order of Frieza, there was only a single survivor and that was also due to the OG, the coolest Saiyan, Bardock.
Yes, you heard it right, we got to see more about Bardock and Goku finally got to know who his biological father is. We also got to see more of Bardock and it was absolutely shocking. I want to be clear that I think that Bardock is the coolest Saiyan and I really love him. So, moving forward we got to see some more backstory of Bardock and I couldn’t ask for anything more. The good thing about his backstory was that it was relevant to the current plot and to Goku’s progress as a Saiyan.
- New Techniques
Instead of diving more into transformations, I’d prefer having our Saiyan boys to learn more new techniques that can give them an edge and make them better fighters even without getting stronger. We got to see that with Vegeta in the Moro arc where he learned new techniques that helped weaken Moro and give him some shine in the story. Vegeta is also able to use the energy of destruction which is the same technique taught to him by Beerus.
If you were to choose between more transformation or more techniques, then which would you choose?! Let me know in the comments.
This is it for my review of the latest arc in Dragon Ball Super manga and the thoughts I shared were based on my personal opinion and understanding so I don’t mind if you disagree with them. It is not like I hate any character, my point was to share the things I felt could have been better. I am also guessing that if you are here then you must have been a Dragon Ball lover or still is. If there is anything that you’d like to shed light on or want to point out then feel free to, in the comment section and you can also follow me on Instagram via my profile @theanimeguy24 if you want to have a direct conversation or want to see more engaging anime content! This is it for today, see you later.