A lot of fans had mixed feelings about the first season of Dragon Ball Super in the past. This is because Dragon Ball super had the opportunity to excel.
So what do I mean by excel? Well, the anime could excell in a variety of ways that even the prior entries into the franchise were entirely capable of reaching.
However, unfortunately super continue to drop the ball on characters Concepts and much of the series as a whole.
However, there is one positive thing that Dragon Ball super left us with that I would like to discuss in this post.
This positive thing would be Goku’s rivals. So, one of the Dynamic recurring themes of the Dragon Ball franchise is that.
A long history and the Journey of Goku encountering fighters who will become his Rivals.
Goku Rival Vegeta
Now, we saw this with Krillin as well as Tien and Piccolo, but most notably we also saw this with Vegeta.
The Saiyan prince who would go on to become Goku’s most iconic rival. However, as Goku continues along his journey.
These Rivals ten to be left behind as Goku achieved new power-ups, Transformations, and techniques.
People who were once Goku’s rivals, become less and less relevant until eventually Dragon Ball Super.
It seems only Vegeta can really keep up with Goku. This is really a shame because I like all these characters.
Goku’s rival Krillin, Tien, and Piccolo
I enjoyed Goku’s rivalry in Dragon Ball with Krillin, Tien, and Piccolo. But just threw the nature of the story is super.
They extremely placed Focus upon the Saiyans in the story the most. Dragon Ball Super non-Saiyans characters became a casualty of the shifted narrative.
However, come the end of Dragon Ball Super we find ourselves in quite a different situation.
Dragon Ball Super Strongest Rival Characters
Now, during Dragon Ball Super, we were introduced to a number of powerful new characters. Some of them have also taken on this rival role.
The most notable example would have to be the legendary assassin Hit who Goku first faced off within the universe 6 tournaments.
However, as their fight ended inconclusively. The two of them still had an unsettling score and this continues to be a theme for the rest of super.
As we saw them once again clashed during the filler arc in which Goku hired hit-to-kill Goku himself.
Hit actually succeeded temporarily and then in the tournament of power we actually saw the two of them team up temporarily. Although a fight between the two would not happen again because Hit would go on to be eliminated.
Goku vs Jiren
because Hit was eliminated by the main antagonist of the tournament of power Jiren.
Also, as we saw throughout the Omni virtual tournament, despite Jiren’s massive overwhelming power. Goku was able to overcome and defeats Jiren during the tournament fight.
Now, both Hit and Jiren would be erased during the tournament. However, since Dragon Ball super came to a conclusion. Both Fighters were wished back along with their continued rivalry with Goku.
We saw that Jiren and Hit want to fight Goku again. Nonetheless, Hit is certainly going to want to continue to fight Goku as well in the future.
Unfortunately, even though Hit is one of the prior antagonists in Dragon Ball Super. When the Dragon Ball franchise had made other characters irrelevant in the past arcs.
Goku still isn’t at such a level to wear Hit becomes Irrelevant.
Dragon Ball Super Rivals
This is because of the fact that Goku cannot tap into Ultra Instinct anytime he wants to.
So, this gives us two new rivals from Dragon Ball Super. But there’s also the fact that one of Goku’s arch-nemesis. Frieza who came back to life during the tournament of power and is currently still alive. You can even say, perhaps that Kale and Caulifla could serve as rivals to Goku as much Frieza.
They’re capable of reaching great levels of power in a short period of time. Although their own boost in power perhaps makes even less sense than Frieza’s.
Android 17 vs Goku
Then there’s also Android 17, who showed that through his own training was able to surpass Goku as a Super Saiyan blue.
So, what essentially super ending left open for the possibility of all these characters remaining.
They are all rivals to Goku and this arguably makes the current rival dynamics in Dragon Ball even more varied than it’s ever been before.
Nonetheless, any of these characters could realistically be built up in a way to where they could challenge Goku.
All of the other fighters in the series. So, rather than Goku simply standing head and shoulders above everyone once again, come at the end of the series.
There are far more interesting dynamics and far more possibilities, far back and forth that’ll make sense for Dragon Ball or Dragon Ball Z and obviously Dragon Ball GT.
That’s one of the biggest reasons why I think that the ending of Dragon Ball Super has taken the franchise in a positive direction.
Reasoning, because it leaves open a lot of new possibilities. However, just like everything else in Dragon Ball and in other franchises.
This all comes down to the execution and follow-through because much like Star Wars The Force Awakens.
The end of Dragon Ball super set us up with a lot of fascinating possibilities to be explored in the future.
After all, they did bring back all the erased universes and there is even a possibility that includes the ones that Zeno erased before the tournament.
So, there’s definitely a lot there to explore. However, if the next series or movies let us down on those possibilities and don’t properly explore them like Saiyans movie akin to The Last Jedi.
Then all we’re left with will be the disappointment and the questions of what could have been.
Which is what many members of the audience were feeling during the entire Dragon Ball Super Series.
I hope that the new Dragon Ball Super Movie and future Dragon Ball Stories won’t just render all these new characters. Who each have a lot of potential as completely irrelevant.
Maybe Hit, Jiren and universe 6 Saiyans are anywhere near as interesting or iconic if somebody likes a Frieza.
But there’s still a lot there to explore. So, I think that if this new more varied rival dynamics where to be flushed out for us.
We really learn more about these new characters and their motivations and see their conflicts against Goku as well as Goku’s struggles against them.
This could make for some very interesting storytelling. And I’m sure will make for a lot of fun fights too, but of course, this all just waits to be seen.
So what do you guys think about this topic? Do you think there’s more potential for the rival dynamic now than there has been the past where do you find pass rivalries to be more interesting?
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