Dragon Ball needs to make some kind of change, and soon. Even though the Dragon Ball Super series managed to catapult the franchise to new heights of worldwide fame, it's also begun to stall in terms of offering fans anything truly new or novel. But while the Dragon Ball Super anime has been on indefinite hiatus for years now, the manga's latest "Galactic Patrol Prisoner" story arc has actually been moving the pieces around to give the series a chance to jump into an entirely new era. Among the many changes that Dragon Ball could make to its formula, there's one we're particularly interested in.
This is why Dragon Ball should disband the Z-Fighters:
Too Far Gone
The problem with Dragon Ball's Z-Fighters has been obvious to pretty much every fan, for quite some time: the series pretty much left them behind ever since the moment that Dragon Ball Super started. Goku and Vegeta were taken on a massive power jump from Super Saiyan, to Super Saiyan God, and then merged God and Super Saiyan into Super Saiyan Blue. As the anime came to its end, Vegeta broke his limits to achieve the strange new height of Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Evolved, while Goku has tapped into Ultra Instinct, a power that even the gods themselves struggle to achieve.
Meanwhile, Gohan has come nowhere near the level of power that his father has achieved; Piccolo hasn't had any major new jump in power since Dragon Ball Z. While reformed villain characters like Android 17 and 18, or Majin Buu, are definitely powerful, even they have started to fall behind the Saiyans that once bested them. Dragon Ball original series characters like Yamcha or Tien aren't even in the discussion anymore.
It seems that even Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama knows that time is up on the Z-Fighters' relevance: Piccolo says in a recent monologue from the manga that Goku and Vegeta are now on such a higher level than the rest of them, that the Z-Fighters don't matter at all when it comes to defending Earth. In fact, after Goku's upcoming final showdown with new villain Moro, it doesn't seem like there will be much point in even keeping the Z-Fighters together.
Return of the Z-Fighters
However, the end of the Z-Fighters and the team disbanding shouldn't be seen as just a loss or a negative, because it's also a major opportunity. No matter where the Dragon Ball franchise goes next - into a new installment, or a series of spinoffs - there's one big story that could be visited in the future: The Return of the Z-Fighters.
Like with One Piece, a future Dragon Ball storyline that sees characters like Gohan, Piccolo, No. 17 & 18, Goten, and Trunks all coming together to stop some new threat, would be a major draw for fans. It would be a great premise from which to launch a new Dragon Ball main series, while still freeing the franchise up to let Goku and Vegeta take their godly battles into new directions and/or dimensions.
Would you like to see Dragon Ball move on from its Z-Fighters era? Let us know in the comments!