Dragon Ball fans through the years have wondered who the show is for especially when you take into account the violence over the years, but a producer for Dragon Ball Super just made a definitive statement on the matter.
The producer was asked recently whether or not Dragon Ball Super was first made with kids and mind and transitions more towards an adult tone recently, but he put that thought to bed:
"Why was Super aimed more at kids at first, and more at adults now?"— Todd Blankenship (@Herms98) November 4, 2017
"It's not aimed at adults. We're trying to make it like Dragon Ball."
Stating "It's not aimed at adults, we're trying to make it like Dragon Ball" and taking the entire franchise into account, not just the content before Z, this view can easily be defended when talking about Dragon Ball Super as a series so far.
When comparing it to Dragon Ball Z, Super has a lot fewer brutal scenes. The series began with the "Battle of Gods" arc which featured Goku in a pretty stakeless battle against the God of Destruction Beerus. Since only the general destruction of the world was on the line, the final battle between Goku and Beerus was pretty bloodless. Though it did make up for this by taking the battle into space.
The next arc, "Revival of F," saw the Dragon Ball fighters defending the Earth from a newly revived and super powerful Freeza. The only deaths in this arc were ultimately at Freeza's hand, but were through energy blasts blinding the viewer from most of the destruction.
The following arc, "Universe 6" introduced the idea of multiple universes to the series and Universe 7, the base Dragon Ball universe, had to fight Universe 6 because Beerus's brother Champa liked the food of Earth more than anything he could find in his universe. The major thing on stake here was a wish on the Super Dragon Balls, so the arc was allowed to enjoy itself with each battle and sneaked in humor whenever it could.
The darkest arc in the series to date, "Future Trunks," featured the most death and destruction thus far, but most of those happened off-screen. Though to make up for this and still pose a threat, the eventual immortal god Zamasu underwent quite a few unsettling animations and transformations before the final battle.
The current "Universal Survival" arc may have the coolest bouts in the Dragon Ball franchise thus far, but the rules of the Tournament of Power explicitly forbid the fatally wounding opponents or using outside weapons and items.
Comparing how Dragon Ball Super has developed to the way Dragon Ball Z played out does highlight a few key differences in overall tone. And while Dragon Ball Z could have turned some away in the past, it's a far more approachable show and full of cool moments for all audiences to enjoy.
Dragon Ball Super's “Universal Survival” arc is part of the recent simulcast agreement that sites like Crunchyroll and Funimation have scored. Dragon Ball Super airs on Crunchyroll Saturday evenings at 7:15 p.m. CST. Adult Swim airs the English dub during its Toonami block Saturday evenings at 11:30 p.m.