If there's one thing that can spark a debate amongst Dragon Ball fans, it is the series' canon. The franchise has been around for more than twenty years, giving it plenty of time to accrue stories and characters. For many, Dragon Ball's canon only extends to those projects approved by creator Akira Toriyama, but there are those who push back against the idea.
So, when the new chapter of Dragon Ball Super dropped, fans renewed their war over Super Saiyan 4 and its canonical state.
Recently, Dragon Ball Super saw its 29th chapter debut, and Viz Media has the update on its site to read for free at the moment. In the chapter, fans can watch as Goku meets the multiverse's Gods of Destruction for the first time along with a few fighters. After the gods all battle, Zeno asks for Goku to show off his power by fighting Toppo of Universe 11, and the Saiyan agrees.
In order to fight Toppo, Goku decides to show off his full range of powers. The Saiyan goes through each of his Super Saiyan forms through SSJ3, but Toppo still gives Goku a rough time.
"Dammit, I guess it can't be helped. I'm going to the next level," Goku tells Toppo while still in SSJ3. "From this point on, I'll be at an entirely different level. Don't regret it!"
When Goku does transform, the fighter is seen going straight in Super Saiyan God. "This is the fourth transformation... Super Saiyan God," Goku explains.
The statement is a correct one, but it does have some fans feeling a bit uncomfortable. When you look at Dragon Ball Super's timeline, there is no way for Goku to have even learnt Super Saiyan 4; The hero unlocked that transformation in Dragon Ball GT, and that show is set after Dragon Ball Super. Many fans ignore the former series since it is not based on Toriyama's work or notes, but there are some who grew fond of its Super Saiyan 4 transformation.
However, Dragon Ball Super's new chapter may have thrown a wrench in the fourth form's canonical dreams. If Goku refers to SSG as his fourth form, then fans are not sure why the hero would name SSJ4 as such. If anything, the apish transformation would have been labelled SSJ6 to make up for Super Saiyan Blue's creation. The flubbed counting has added fire to the on-going argument that SSJ4 was not (and will not) be considered part of Dragon Ball's canon, and parts of the fandom just aren't sure how to react to the debate's resurgence.
Dragon Ball Super's "Universal Survival" saga is part of the recent simulcast agreement that sites like Crunchyroll and Funimation have scored. Dragon Ball Super airs on Crunchyroll Saturdays at 7:15 p.m. CST. Toonami airs the English dub on Adult Swim Saturdays at 11:30 p.m.