Is Dragon Ball Super better without Goku and Vegeta as its main characters? It's a question that now stands before us, as the Dragon Ball franchise reaches an interesting and pivotal juncture. Within the pages of the Dragon Ball Super manga series, Goku and Vegeta have (finally) been put on the sidelines, as the titular new character of the "Granolah The Survivor" arc (Granolah) has taken center stage for the big boss battle; meanwhile, the next Dragon Ball Super movie, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is choosing to make Gohan and Piccolo the main focus of its story.
It's a pretty radical change in storytelling strategy for Dragon Ball Super (and Dragon Ball as a whole), but is it a good change?
On the one hand, there's been a rising trend in Dragon Ball fandom for years now wherein fans have been pointing out (if not outright criticizing) the fact that Dragon Ball Super has been so squarely focused on Goku and Vegeta. After all, many fans made the jump into Dragon Ball Super from the launchpad of Dragon Ball Z – a series that kept the entire ensemble of Dragon Ball Z-Fighter characters in the spotlight (Gohan, Piccolo, Goten, Trunks, etc.). Yet, Dragon Ball Super has all but ignored the rest of the Z-Fighters and their respective development – except in the cases of big fighting tournament story arcs, which gave the other Z-Fighter characters (small) chances to shine.
The fans who believe Dragon Ball Super has been too singular in focus tend to also have another opinion about the franchise: it's ready to branch out. As stated, Dragon Ball Z gave fans a variety of characters to love and stan – characters that have long seemed ready to get their own spinoff series, story arcs, or films. That process seems to be moving forward with Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, which will finally bring things back to Gohan and his unique power, as well as his father/son relationship with Piccolo.
There also seems to be a strong amount of support for the Dragon Ball Super manga's Granloah Arc, and the fact that it has brought us some brand new elements including a potential new anti-hero protagonist (Granolah); a pivotal new villain group (The Heeters); and a whole lot of retconned lore about the history of the Saiyans, Freeza, and even Goku's father Bardock. It's been strong enough that the latest chapters "Gas vs. Granolah" have been titled for the big boss battle taking place while Goku and Vegeta watch from the sidelines. Dragon Ball Super has clearly succeeded enough that even new additions can carry the load.
That all said, Dragon Ball has achieved worldwide fame and popularity largely on the faces of Goku and Vegeta (and all their different colored hair). There will always be a percentage of fans who believe the two Saiyan warriors are the heart and soul of the entire story, and there basically isn't a series without them.
Where do you stand: are you enjoying Dragon Ball Super without Goku and Vegeta as the main focus? Let us know in the comments!