Fans are still waiting to learn how the future of Dragon Ball anime will play out, ever since Dragon Ball Super went on hiatus after its Tournament of Power arc. There have been some rumors rumbling around the Internet about what's coming next, but nothing confirmed; meanwhile, the Dragon Ball Super manga and Dragon Ball Heroes promo anime have both pushed into some bold new franchise-expanding storylines.
It's pretty much a no-brainer that the Dragon Ball Super anime will be continuing at some point - and also that a lot of what we're seeing in the manga, could also play out in the anime. However, with the Dragon Ball franchise expanding so rapidly, it's quickly looking like one series may be too small for how big the franchise is getting. We may soon come to a point where Dragon Ball (like so many other big comic book franchises) needs to branch out into several different canonized series, which each cover a different corner of the franchise.
As you will see below, there are some great ways to split Dragon Ball into different series, based around three of its principal characters: Goku, Vegeta, and Gohan.
Dragon Ball Gods
Let's start right at the beginning with the main face of Dragon Ball, Goku! Eventually Dragon Ball Super will be coming to an end - and by the time it does, it wouldn't be surprising if Goku has truly climbed to the level of a god, in regards to his power levels.
Dragon Ball Gods would be a natural successor to Dragon Ball Super, in both name and concept. Fans have been speculating for awhile now that divine characters like Grand Priest and Grand Zeno have bigger parts to play in future arcs - and also that someone like Goku would be a definite candidate for some kind of divine appointment; be it a Destroyer, or some other, more benevolent, cosmic protector. Dragon Ball Gods would allow the power-surges of DBS to be evened out on a playing field where god-level power is just the beginning. The Dragon Ball Super manga and Dragon Ball Heroes promo anime are both currently introducing villains strong enough to destroy the gods - forcing Goku to master techniques like Ultra Instinct to keep pace. With that level of threat rising in the universe, something like Goku ascending to a Dragon Ball Gods role almost seems inevitable.
Dragon Ball Saiyans
So if Goku is promoted to protecting the cosmos as some kind of divine warrior, where would that leave Vegeta? The two Saiyans have been glued to one another ever since the Namek/Freeza arcs in Dragon Ball Z, but that partnership has started to wear a bit thin, as the characters grow, develop and change (respectively). Whereas Goku is forever obsessed with getting stronger and facing stronger foes, Vegeta has started to base his vaunted "Saiyan Pride" on the concept of protecting those important to him - like his family, friends, or even the other Saiyans from Universe 6 like his protege, Cabba.
Dragon Ball Super and the Dragon Ball Super: Broly film have set the stage for Vegeta to return to his royal roots in something like Dragon Ball Saiyans. The concept of the series would be simple: After seeing the possibilities in Universe 6, as well as discovering there are more "lost Saiyans" like Broly out in the universe, Vegeta would undergo a mission to establish a new Saiyan homeworld in Universe 7, and act as a beacon to re-gather his people and re-establish them as a universal power to be reckoned with!
This series would allow for more new Saiyan characters to be introduced, while giving current fan-favs like Kale, Cabba, and Caulifla a relevant (and regular) place to fit into the franchise. Best yet, it would let Vegeta finally take center stage in his own series - and the beloved, arrogant, 'Prince Vegeta' version of him, at that!
Dragon Ball Z-Fighters
Finally, we come to the matter that Dragon Ball fans have been harping on for a decade now: how the series (and Akira Toriyama) has left Gohan behind. We've already written extensively about why Gohan deserves to be a major focus of Dragon Ball again - and not just him. Goten, Trunks, Piccolo, the Androids 17 and 18, Krillin (even Yamcha!); all of these characters have been outpaced by Dragon Ball Super's insane power-ups, but that's exactly why they'd be perfect for Dragon Ball Z-Fighters!
This series would work as a perfect companion to Dragon Ball Gods and Dragon Ball Saiyans. In short: if Goku becomes a god, and Vegeta sets off on a mission to find all the scattered Saiyans of Universe 7, then Earth and its Dragon Balls would still need defending against all of the inevitable threats that come to the planet (or are spawned on Earth) that pose threat to the powerful artifacts.
The beauty of this series is that it would return things back to status quo of Dragon Ball Z, in which defending Earth and defeating new powerful foes was a thrilling journey that didn't have clear-cut victory for the heroes. Dragon Ball Z-Fighters would bring back those stakes, while giving key side characters some long overdue development. Piccolo could power-up; Gohan could start a journey to becoming that powerful leader seen in Future Trunks' timeline; and hey, maybe Goten and Trunks could finally age a bit more! Goku and Vegeta may be the headliners, but Dragon Ball Z-Fighters would definitely make the franchise's set of bench players way more valuable than they are now.
Would you like to see Dragon Ball branch out into more series? Let us know in the comments!
Dragon Ball Super currently airs its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami block Saturday evenings. It is also available to stream on Funimation and Amazon Video. The Japanese language release is available to stream on FunimationNOW, VRV, and Crunchyroll.
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