Dragon Ball is slipping right now, but that doesn't mean it can't make a big comeback. Dragon Ball Super brought the franchise to new heights of popularity, only to squander that momentum by putting its anime on hiatus, going on two years now. Dragon Ball Super: Broly was the franchise's most successful feature-film release, but that momentum has also slowed considerably, a Toei has not announced any Dragon Ball Super sequel film plans. So how can Dragon Ball change and evolve in order to survive in the modern anime/manga markets? We have a few suggestions.
Scroll below for 7 things that Dragon Ball needs to do to make a successful comeback!
Finish Dragon Ball Super
First things first: let's finish Dragon Ball Super properly. The anime series just stopped right when fans were most invested in a new level of Saiyan power (Ultra Insitinct), as well as an entire multiverse of new characters (the Tournament of Power fighters). Dragon Ball Super's movie and manga have continued on past the point of the anime's ending, though many fans feel like the current "Galactic Patrol Prisoner" arc could be its last. The quickest way to get things to a collective endpoint would be adapting "Galactic Patrol Prisoner" as a new Dragon Ball Super feature, and letting that be the end of the series. But however it's done, the current fractured nature DBS' continuity needs to be repaired.prevnext
True Fresh Start
After getting Dragon Ball Super to a proper ending, the next thing the franchise needs to do is give itself a fresh start. That means a clear end to the current series and era, and the start of a new series, in a new era of the franchise. Keep reading to see how the new Dragon Ball series can take shape.prevnext
Dragon Ball Super may have had the sort of big milestone events that made the franchise world-famous, but it was (ironically) also a stylistic low for the series. Fans got a major morale boost when Dragon Ball Super: Broly was released, as the film seemed to signal the ushering in of a new stylistic era of the series, as envisioned by Naohiro Shintani. Whatever comes next in Dragon Ball, it needs to bring some fresh stylistic flavor.prevnext
Dragon Ball Super's biggest accomplishment was expanding the focus of the series in an exponential way. DBS had played with alternate universes for much of its run, but the Tournament of Power brought so many new fan-fave fighters to the forefront. Jiren, Hit, and the Universe 6 Saiyans are all characters fan want to see more of - but now that the door is open to an entire Dragon Ball multiverse, it's time to explore more of it - or at least give some other characters in the main universe (Gohan, Broly, Goten, and Trunks) some bigger focus. Spinoff series has been the most popular idea for how to do that, and indeed Dragon Ball has felt too constrained for years now...prevnext
Proper Power Distribution
Going hand-in-hand with Dragon Ball's need to spread its focus is the need to draw some clearer lanes on that wider playing field. Dragon Ball Super has done a regrettable job of balancing the power levels of its various characters; Goku and Vegeta have gotten godly levels of new power, while other fighters like Gohan, Piccolo, Goten or Trunks have been left behind and/or overlooked completely. Even Dragon Ball Super's latest manga storyline questions how the Z-Fighters are still relevant against the sort of foes that Goku and Vegeta now face. Going forward, Dragon Ball needs to separate its characters into clearly different lanes of power, which could soon mean keeping Goku in his own god-level story, while the rest of the Z-Fighters continue living and fighting on the mortal plane.prevnext
Different Kinds of Story
While we're reinventing Dragon Ball's visual aesthetic, let's make sure to also update the franchise's circular narrative tropes. In spreading out the focus of Dragon Ball, it should be easy to give other characters the opportunity to step into the limelight and be the ones to carry the story on their backs. Goku can't be the only one to always manifest new powers and save the day: many of Dragon Ball Z best moments were when other characters stepped up to fill Goku's shoes - let's get back to that.prevnext
Big Event Battles
The fringe benefit of spreading out the focus into other characters or series is that it gives Dragon Ball the opportunity to steal a page from the 'Book of Marvel' and create a larger shared universe that can offer big crossover events and battles, where characters that have been separated for a length of time can come back together and give fans an event worth tuning into. Even without crossovers, Dragon Ball needs to get back to making "Event Battles" its focus, rather than long, drawn-out boss battles. Dragon Ball Super'sTournament of Power was a clear case of why event battles are Dragon Ball's biggest draw, and the current Dragon Ball Heroes promo anime has pretty much been built on that concept. Why shouldn't the main series benefit in the same way?prev