Dragon Ball Super has been on hiatus for almost two years now. While the fandom waits to see what Akira Toriyama and Toei Animation have in store next for Dragon Ball anime, there's been no shortage of explanation about what should happen. For a lot of fans, Dragon Ball Super is in need of getting back to the roots of Dragon Ball Z, with more meaningful storylines and battles, as well as better use of the ensemble cast of characters. There's also discussion about the characters and gimmicks that have worn out their welcome in the series, including Goku's nemesis, Freeza.
So, is it time for Dragon Ball to leave Freeza behind? Let's discuss.
Freeza wasn't the first big bad that Dragon Ball Z gave us (that dishonor goes to Vegeta), he quickly became the most iconic villain in the series. While Cell and Majin Buu were very popular, Freeza was the only villain who went on to become so iconic in the series that he's had multiple appearances in Dragon Ball Z (Freeza Saga, Future Trunks Arc), as well as getting his own movie showcase (Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F') and a major role in a later series (Dragon Ball Super). And whereas bad guys like Vegeta and Buu have managed to stick around by changing sides and becoming heroic allies of Goku, Freeza has never changed. The Evil Emperor has remained rotten all along - even when he had to team-up with Goku and the Z-Fighters to fight for the universe's survival in the Tournament of Power. As the ending of the Dragon Ball Super anime made clear: the newly-resurrected Freeza is going to be worse than ever in his second life. The events of Dragon Ball Super: Broly showed just how much trouble Freeza can cause Goku and Vegeta, even when his operating as an instigator from the sidelines. Indeed, the classic evil Freeza is back to form - and that's exactly the problem.
Right now, the Dragon Ball Super manga is getting back to the Dragon Ball Z formula, introducing a fearsome and compelling new villain (Moro) and acting as a direct continuation of some key Dragon Ball Z storylines (Namek Saga, Buu Saga, etc.). With new villains bringing in some exciting new battles and backstory along with time, Dragon Ball Super has already proven the benefit of moving forward, rather than looking back. No one is begging for another Goku vs Freeza fight with more gimmicky colorful power-ups; all that seems left for a one-note villain like Freeza is a battle with a new villain who finally shows the Evil Emperor he's not the worst creature lurking out there in the universe. Killing Freeza would be one hell of an introduction - and a massive "event" that would definitely make fans sit up and start paying attention again.
The Japanese-language and English dub releases of Dragon Ball Super are now complete and available to stream with FunimationNOW and Crunchyroll. Viz Media is releasing new chapters of the manga at a monthly rate that can be read entirely for free through the Shonen Jump digital library, and Dragon Ball Super's big movie, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. Fans in Japan are also able to enjoy fresh non-canon adventures from the franchise with new episodes of Super Dragon Ball Heroes' promotional anime series.