No matter how well (or not) the Dragon Ball franchise does in the coming years, there will forever be one topic of debate when it comes to discussion about how the series should've unfolded: Whether or not Gohan should have become the focus of Dragon Ball, at the end of Dragon Ball Z. While the Dragon Ball Super anime is on indefinite hiatus, the new Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot video game has allowed players to relive Dragon Ball Z's epic story arcs, with much more depth to the Goku / Gohan character arcs in that series. Thanks to Kakarot, there's been a significant resurgence in the opinion that Gohan was robbed of his rightful legacy as Dragon Ball's main focus.
In fact, one fan went so far as to identify exactly when and where Goku should've been retired as Dragon Ball Z's main character, and Gohan should've taken his place. See for yourself:
"This was perfect for Goku to end his story" --@ZehalZ
Needless to say, this memory sparked some passionate reactions from fans. If you don't recall, the scene above is from Dragon Ball Z's "Majin Buu" arc, during the pivotal shift where Goku and Vegeta were dead, and it was up to Gohan to train with the Supreme Kai to unlock his latent powers. In the scene pictured above, Gohan has completed the training to unlock his latent power, and his headed back to Earth to confront Majin Buu. Goku has to remain in the spirit realm with the Kais, since he died during the Cell Games years before. Goku gets to give his son one final farewell, before sending him to finish the fight and protect the Earth, in the same way that Goku has always done.
Here's the rub: everything about Dragon Ball Z (including the scene above) suggested that it was the story of Gohan coming of age and power and ultimately surpassing his father. However, in a final twist to DBZ's final arc, Gohan's new power can't defeat Buu, and Goku is ultimately brought back to defeat Buu, and has remained the focus of Dragon Ball ever since. Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama has openly stated that he never meant for Gohan to become the hero of Dragon Ball, but a lot fans still can't accept that answer:
I highly disagree with Toriyama when he says that Gohan wasn’t suited for the main character role. When Gohan is the main focus, the story is at it’s best in my opinion. Goku should have remained dead and Vegeta should have remained dead. They both could have had perfect endings. https://t.co/J5KNsvIVVQ— Sal The Saiyan (@SalTheSaiyan) February 5, 2020
Do you think Goku should've been left dead in Dragon Ball Z, and Gohan made the main character? Let us know in the comments!
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. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.