Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball has kept audiences entertained for nearly 40 years and it’s also helped inspire countless modern shonen series that have followed in its wake. Dragon Ball hasn’t strayed too far from its original mission statement even though its characters have gone on to acquire godly levels of power.
Dragon Ball’s New enemies and transformations are enough to keep fans coming back for more. That being said, Dragon Ball is hardly a perfect series that’s not without its faults. Dragon Ball It is a foundational anime, but it’s still made decisions that have split the fans or even outright left them mad.
10 Goku Gets Turned Into A Kid Again
Any series that runs for as long as Dragon Ball is going to inevitably repeat itself at some point, but it still needs to look forward and break fresh territory. Dragon Ball GT is a controversial addition to the franchise for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest grievances against this sequel series is how it begins with an errant Dragon Ball wish that Goku turns back into a child.
This shift is meant to bring GT back to the playful roots of the original Dragon Ball, but it’s an awkward decision that never fully meshes with the series.
9 Humans Grow Increasingly Irrelevant
Dragon Ball is so popular with audiences because it showcases a truly eclectic range of powerful fighters. This is perhaps most true during the apex of the original Dragon Ball, where each fighter has a distinct style and the prevalence of Saiyans hasn’t yet swallowed up the series.
Dragon Ball slowly turns Saiyans into its most powerful characters, which is understandable, but it doesn’t have to come at the expense of everyone else’s usefulness. Naturally, Krillin or Yamcha aren’t as powerful as Vegeta, but Dragon Ball makes humans irrelevant and it’s hard for anyone who’s not a Saiyan to stand out.
8 Gohan Isn’t The One To Defeat Buu
Dragon Ball begins as Goku’s story, but right from Dragon Ball Z’s first episode, there are hints at Gohan’s latent strength and that he’s destined to surpass his father’s power. Dragon Ball Z continues to embrace this trajectory and the Cell Saga concludes with Gohan’s ascension and Goku’s demise.
Gohan’s Ultimate upgrade and training with Old Kai further indicate that he’ll be the one to defeat Buu. sorry, Dragon Ball returns to its old ways and it’s once again Goku who gets the victory. Gohan has never fully recovered from this pivot and his importance has become more fleeting.
7 Goku Leaves His Family & Friends To Train Uub
The events and spectacles that fill up Dragon Ball are loved by the fans, but it’s the endings of the various Dragon Ball series that rub the audience the wrong way. It’s not easy to end a story, especially when the creator clearly has more to say and an eventual return to this world is inevitable.
The conclusion of Dragon Ball Z turns the clock forward and Goku’s eyes are opened by Uub’s tremendous power, Buu’s pure-hearted reincarnation. Without much notice, Goku pledges to turn Uub into the Earth’s strongesteven if this means he leaves his family and friends behind.
6 Goku Gives Moro A Second Chance & A Senzu Bean
Goku’s instincts as a fighter are second to none, but he possesses a healthy amount of naivety that effectively clouds his judgment. Goku is such a popular anime hero because he’s not just a violent and aggressive warrior and it’s his endless empathy that helps him stand out among other stereotypes.
However, Goku is arguably too trusting of his enemies and it’s gotten him into trouble. Goku’s Senzu Bean gift to Cell is a moment that infuriates many fans, but his healing help to Planet-Eater Moro is even more of a disappointment. Moro is beyond redemption and Goku still gives him another chance.
5 Dragon Ball Super Starts Off With A Retelling Of Two Movies
There’s always been a complicated relationship between Dragon Ball’s core anime series and the supplemental feature films that have come out of it in terms of where they stand with the franchise’s overall canon. Battle of Gods and Resurrection ‘F’ are introduced as tight Dragon Ball Z movies, only to be followed up by Dragon Ball Super.
Super’s first 27 episodes are a more laborious retelling of the events of these two movies. It’s appreciated on some level to properly work these events into the canon, but it could be done in a much more efficient fashion.
4 The Evil Containment Wave Never Gets To Save The Day
Dragon Ball has its share of trademark energy techniques like the Kamehameha, Big Bang Attack, and Spirit Bomb, but there are also more elusive maneuvers that serve specific purposes in battle. Demon King Piccolo is such an threat in the original Dragon Ball that the Evil Containment Wave is introduced as a valuable strategy.
The same thing is done during Fused Zamasu’s reign of terror in Dragon Ball Super. Goku, Future Trunks, and others master this ability, but it never actually functions as the saving grace, which is somewhat narratively frustrating.
3 Videl Shifts Into A Background Character
The characters in Dragon Ball are all so powerful that it’s not easy for any newcomers to break into the scene, especially those with limited martial arts abilities. Some of the most endearing material from early on in the Buu Saga involves the courtship between teenage Gohan and Videl.
Videl is a human, but she exhibits such potential that Gohan is quickly able to teach her how to manipulate ki energy and take flight. The audience is left to consider a powerful crimefighting duo that’s made up of Gohan and Videl, but this is quickly dismissed after Videl becomes a mother.
2 Goku Recruits Frieza For The Tournament Of Power
Dragon Ball repeatedly speaking to the fact that even some of the vilest villains are capable of redemption. Fallen foes occasionally find ways to return in Dragon Ball, but none are more tenacious than Frieza. Frieza has an important history with not just Dragon Ball’s characters, but he’s responsible for the extinction of the Saiyan race.
Frieza has been given more than enough chances, which makes it a disappointment when Goku trusts Frieza to be Buu’s substitute in the Tournament of Power. Frieza does work out, but Goku’s recruitment of Cell or any other villain would come across as more original.
1 Vegeta Doesn’t Get To Celebrate Any Victories
There are so many powerful characters in Dragon Ball that it’s seriously limiting to only let Goku take out the major enemies. There are numerous occasions where Vegeta’s dominance over a villain is pulled away from him at the last minute in favor of Goku. The most egregious example of this is in the fight against Golden Frieza.
Super Saiyan Blue Vegeta has his target completely overwhelmed, but his hubris gets in the way and Frieza’s able to trigger the Earth’s destruction. After Whis rewinds time it’s Goku who takes Frieza out. Audiences have become increasingly conditioned to Vegeta’s irrelevance to a villain’s defeat.
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