Dragon Ball Super needs to kill off some major characters. The roster has gotten too bloated over the years, with a lot of supporting characters who haven't been given anything to do, and can't even keep up in the power rankings. Meanwhile, the first chapter of Dragon Ball Super's new "Granola The Survivor" Arc has paved the road for Goku and Vegeta to chase new power-ups for years into the series' future. It looks like Goku will master the Angelic Ultra Instinct, while Vegeta is learning the battle techniques of the Destroyer Gods. That framework keeps the series going - but it also keeps the same problems with the series going, as well. In some ways Dragon Ball Super has been spinning its wheels for years in terms of real plot and character development - but it may be time for the drastic change that only death can bring.
As stated, Dragon Ball Super has set Goku and Vegeta to eventually evolve into godly figures of an Angel and Destroyer, respectively. As also stated, that's a perfectly fine way to keep the hamster wheel that is Dragon Ball Super spinning for years to come - but it's not exactly the jolt of excitement that fans are looking for. Dragon Ball Super has basically substituted godly power evolution for Dragon Ball Z's Super Saiyan evolution, but the big difference between the two series is that DBZ's big power-up moments were almost always earned through actual life-and-death stakes.
Goku died to achieve victory in Dragon Ball Z's first arc (Saiyan Saga); Piccolo, Yamcha, Tien, and Chiaotzu (the Z-Fighters) all got dropped during the Vegeta Saga; and it took Vegeta and Krillin both being tortured/murdered by Freeza for Goku to unlock Super Saiyan. After that, The Cell and Majin Buu Sagas had such high body counts they basically came down to one or two last warriors to win the fight. Sure, a lot of those "deaths" were ultimately reversed - but that pretty much comes with the territory of a series about magic balls that can grant wishes.
Dragon Ball Super has been undeniably soft when compared to Dragon Ball Z. Victories over evildoers have been achieved without half the blood or body counts DBZ's battle required; in all its big-power flash, DBS has lacked the grit and brutality of its predecessor. For some brief moments, it seemed that the Super's previous Moro Arc was taking things back to the hardline of Z. Moro was a brutal villain who slaughtered New Namek, and beat both Goku and Vegeta to the point of near-death, no less than three times. Unfortunately, Moro got lazy and arrogant and kind of ridiculous by the end of the arc, when he fused with the Earth itself. But fans certainly seemed to appreciate the darker and bloodier bits of the Moro Arc the best.
Now Dragon Ball B super has to bring the pain and horror closer to home. There are a whole lot of old DBZ holdovers (Piccolo, Yamcha, Tien, Krillin) who have really floundered in the DBS era - but would have a serious impact as martyrs. There are old mentors (Roshi) that could fill the same purpose on a deathbed - or we could get the drastic step of Goku or Vegeta actually dying.
Unlike Dragon Ball Z with its safety net of wish-based resurrections, Dragon Ball Super has opened the door for Goku and/or Vegeta to actually die, in the most real sense. After all, it's totally within the scope of the mythos for the Saiyan to finally go beyond the mortal coil, to truly become the Angel and/or God of Destruction they were maybe always meant to be.
Either way, it's time for Dragon Ball Super to kill off some major characters, and truly shake things up.
Dragon Ball Super's manga releases new chapters online every month. It's not looking hopeful that the anime is returning anytime soon.
Image Credit: Cheko Aguilar 92 on Instagram