Dragon Ball Super Deserves an Old-Fashioned Training Arc

Dragon Ball Super has become a worldwide phenomenon, thanks to its story of Saiyan heroes Goku and Vegeta reaching truly godly new levels of power. In the tradition of Dragon Ball Z, Goku and Vegeta's big transformations have occurred while battling supremely powerful beings across the multiverse. It's the tried and true formula for Dragon Ball - however, Super has lagged in one area where DBZ shined: training arcs. Pretty much every one of the big new forms that Dragon Ball Super has introduced has come out of moments of desperation or emotion - like Goku's original Super Saiyan transformation. But as we've recently been reminded, training can be some of the most fun you can have in the Dragon Ball series!

Dragon Ball Z has so many memorable mini-arcs about characters having to train to unlock the new abilities or transformations that were needed to defeat big villains. Whether it was Goku training in the Kaio-ken in the netherworld, or Gohan unlocking his latent powers to battle Majin Buu, or Goten and Trunks trying to learn that first Fusion Dance - or just all those scenes spent inside the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. Dragon Ball Z made fans understand the price of unlocking power.


It seems that Dragon Ball Super is beginning to remember that storytelling trope again. The manga's latest arc, "Galactic Patrol Prisoner," has seen Goku and Vegeta have a falling out, which has sent them both seeking out new forms of training to defeat new series villain, Planet-Eater Moro. Goku returned to a Hyperbolic Time Chamber to train with an angel, Merus, in mastering Ultra Instinct; Vegeta has gone back to DBZ's Planet Yardrat, to learn the true technique that makes Instant Transmission (and so many other techniques) possible. It's actually been some of the better and more interesting Dragon Ball Super storytelling, that we've seen - but it's also been cut short, due to the ticking clock of the villains arriving on Earth in a month.

Therein lies the needed correction: Dragon Ball Super needs to spend more time with its study of how these massive power-ups work. Ultra Instinct is a perfect example: Goku's latest transformation is one of divine power, that requires divine beings (like Merus, or Whis) to help him master it. The story of that training is definitely one that fans have wanted to see. The Dragon Ball Super anime could definitely stand to spend more time exploring the manga's latest training storyline. It could also stand to give another look at all those side characters (Gohan, Piccolo, Goten, Trunks,) that could be trained in at least of few of the new DBS techniques Goku and Vegeta have stacked up.