Dragon Ball Super is going to be ending for the foreseeable future after the "Universal Survival" story arc wraps up, and that news has caused a lot of fan concern, if not outright anger. It's understandable that fans would be having some impassioned responses to this development - after all, Dragon Ball Super is at the height of its popularity right now.
However, while it may seem like Toei is letting a major opportunity pass by taking Dragon Ball Super off the air this spring, it may ultimately turn out to be a shrewd move. Here's why Dragon Ball Super may be stopping at the perfect time:
It Makes Sense, Storywise
The "Universal Survival" arc has brought Dragon Ball Super around full circle to the events that started the series, and carried it through its early years: namely, the threat of Universe 7 and/or Earth's destruction.
The Beerus Saga started that threat, which was then revisited in season 3's Tournament of Destruction, and finally season 5's Tournament of Power. Given the format of how that three-part saga has played out, even if Dragon Ball Super was continuing on, the next saga would be a departure from the main arc, as season 2's Golden Freeza saga and season 4's Future Trunks saga both were.
...And then what? The series' main focus is the threat of universal destruction, and securing the means of avoiding it (the Super Dragon Balls and/or tournament victories). That concept doesn't get bigger than what the Grand Zenos arranged in the Tournament of Power, so for the series to continue on as is after this point, really would be stretching the concept past its natural expiration date.
Gone But Not Forgotten
Behind the scenes, this is also a perfect time to put Dragon Ball Super on hold, as the franchise is primed big visibility in 2018, with or without the main DBS series being on air.
Right now, fans are big-time hyped for the release of Dragon Ball FighterZ, a game that will translate the Dragon Ball Super and Dragon Ball Z fight mechanics and anime style into an exciting tag-team fight game. It will also expand the franchise lore with a new (non-canon) epilogue to Dragon Ball Z's Cell Saga.
In addition to gaming, the Dragon Ball franchise is getting a new 2018 movie. That film is being spearheaded by series creator Akira Toriyama, and will explore the backstory of the original Saiyan homeworld, Sadala, and the story of the first Super Saiyan God. The attention and care being invested into making this movie great will no doubt help keep it in fans' minds and chat threads throughout the year.
Finally, the Dragon Ball Super dub series on Toonami is just getting into the Future Trunks Saga, and introducing the highly-anticipated Goku Black Dub version. With the intricate depth of the Future Trunks Saga to carry things, and the "Universal Survival Saga" coming thereafter, Dragon Ball Super Dub is poised to pull new fans in, and give any fans missing the Sub series a nice opportunity for re-watching some of the best storylines in the series.
In other words: the stars have perfectly aligned for Dragon Ball fans to enjoy a lot of top-notch content this year, once the hiatus starts. No need to fret.
So What Next?
Instead of lamenting things coming to an end, let's talk about the exciting question in front of us: what's coming next?
We have no idea if Toei is coing to pick up Dragon Ball Super with a new saga, or relaunch the series under a new series title; as stated, the latter case might be the best one. Dragon Ball Super has fulfilled its premise, and the "Universal Survival" arc will potentially end with a new multiverse of possibilities and characters in front of us. A new series focused on that expanded mythology would be great, as the Tournament of Power gave fans a lot of new fave characters they want to see again.
Dragon Ball Super's “Universal Survival” arc is part of the recent simulcast agreement that sites like Crunchyroll and Funimation have scored. DragonBall 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 9:30 p.m, and is now available to stream on FunimationNOW and Amazon Video.