The Dragon Ball franchise is arguably the most popular it has been in a very long time. Riding high on nostalgia, an epic fighting game, the latest (and utterly spectacular) film, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, and a recently-wrapped series filled with fan service (necessary or otherwise) has forced the mystical Dragon Balls into the minds of fans new and old. While most would agree that Dragon Ball Super: Broly exceeded expectations and FighterZ is one heck of an excellent fighting game, you’ll find some contention regarding the quality of the flagship series, Dragon Ball Super.
From weird animation issues, rampant retconning (or forgetfulness,) and uneven-at-best pacing, the series isn’t exactly a favorite among fans, despite all the stuff it actually does get right. The series isn’t the only version of the Dragon Ball Super story, though. In fact, there’s a manga that runs concurrently with the anime, and the differences between the two are often staggering, to say the least. In fact, you might actually be surprised by what the anime’s version of the plot chooses to include (or exclude) when compared with the manga.
In our list of 25 Amazing Things Deleted From Dragon Ball Super (That Would Have Changed Everything,) we’re going to be addressing the cut content from both the Dragon Ball Super anime and manga, along with other concepts that were seemingly left on the cutting room floor. By the end, you’ll likely come to the same conclusion as us: there’s a version of Dragon Ball Super that’s practically flawless somewhere, but you’d need to do a lot of mixing and matching to find it.
25 Master Roshi’s Role In Ultra Instinct
Like many longtime Dragon Ball characters, Master Roshi had been relegated to the sidelines as a member of the one-note supporting cast, despite him being one of the most important figures in Goku’s life. The Tournament of Power changes this by putting him back into battle, but the anime leaves out the Turtle Hermit’s role in Goku’s Ultra Instinct transformations.
In the manga, not only does Roshi go toe-to-toe with Jiren, using nothing but instinct, he attempts to inspire Goku to stop relying on raw power and instead go for pure instinct, as well.
24 Jiren’s Personality
Jiren’s absolutely absurd level of power stretches the suspension of disbelief the furthest it’s ever been, even for Dragon Ball Super, which asks us to believe that figures as powerful as gods are in jeopardy of being defeated by mortals.
Jiren is also ridiculously boring with a cookie cutter backstory that’s so cliché, he would have been better off without one. Jiren’s blank-slate personality is only an issue in the anime, however, as the manga gives a far more interesting (and prideful) demeanor, making him a much more intriguing fellow.
23 Dabra’s Big Moment
Dabra always seemed like he should have been a greater threat, considering that he was more-or-less the devil himself, at least in some capacity (since Dragon Ball’s afterlife in the anime is a convoluted mess.) But nah, he ends up being a minor footnote in the Buu arc, and even in his cameo during the Goku Black arc in Dragon Ball Super’s anime.
The manga handled the character differently, though, giving Dabra at least one big moment to shine. Instead of being swiftly dealt with, he actually manages to defeat and terminate the Kaioshin, which is a pretty serious deal.
22 Gohan’s Relevance
This is a point of contention for even the most hardcore fans of Dragon Ball Super. After the huge set-up during the Cell Games, where Gohan seemed poise to take on the role of Earth’s protector after Goku’s demise, the series would slowly roll that decision back, making Gohan less and less relevant.
This all comes to a head in Super, where Gohan is one of the weakest and wimpiest characters in the entire cast. The Tournament of Power, featuring a re-trained Gohan, gave fans hope that he’d be back in the limelight, but alas, it was only a mere moment of brilliance on stage before being cast aside.
“Out, out, brief candle.”
21 Goku Using “Hakai”
A God of Destruction’s most devastating move is to utter the word “hakai” and lay their hand on their target, which utterly and purely eradicates them from existence. They don’t call them “Gods of Destruction” for nothing, after all.
While we only see this occur a few times in the series, it’s always by a God of Destruction and yet, in the manga, we actually see Goku use this insane technique. This is crazy for a lot of reasons, and we’re glad it wasn’t in the anime, but we can’t help but be fascinated by the implications of a mortal having the ability to use a God of Destruction’s most iconic technique.
20 Confirmation Of Vegetto’s Power
Fans of the Potara-based fusion between Goku and Vegeta, Vegetto, went absolutely berserk to know that their beloved fused fighter was going to return in Super to duke it out with the tyrannical Zamasu. Not only would he be back, he’d also be going Super Saiyan Blue, which made his already tremendous power exponentially greater.
In the battle itself, it was quite clear just how overwhelming strong the merged warrior was, but what the anime didn’t confirm was exactly how strong he was. According to the manga, Super Saiyan Blue Vegetto might surpass even Beerus.
19 Vegeta Going Super Saiyan God For The First Time
One of the major hype-builders in regard to Dragon Ball Super: Broly’s release was the confirmation that the previously-unseen Super Saiyan God Vegeta would be making his debut. This sequence was stellar in the film, and it delivered on everything fans wanted from the transformation… but it wasn’t actually his first time using this form, at least not in the manga. There, Vegeta used the red-haired, orange-aura form against Goku Black, and would only transition to Blue before attacking in order to maximize efficiency.
18 Hit’s Nerves
The assassin, Hit, has become one of the more popular side characters, even when he’s uttering moronic lines about making donuts in the English dub. His cool, calm, collected, and unshakable personality make him a very cool and stoic fighter, but that seems to be only in the anime version of the tale.
In the manga, Hit maintains the majority of those traits in all of his appearances, but he’s seen sweating after Goku goes Super Saiyan Blue against him. It doesn’t seem like that big a deal at first, but this is a guy who has been DIRECTLY threatened by Gods of Destruction and didn’t do so much as blink.
17 Zamasu’s Original Trigger
Zamasu is arguably one of the best villains in the entire franchise. He has a unique personality, a goal that isn’t run-of-the-mill, an exceptional arsenal of insane techniques and plots, plus a great backstory. While Zamasu already had something of an obsession with justice and the role of that the gods should play, Goku’s immense power and battle prowess pushed him over the edge in concocting and carrying out the “Zero Mortal Plan.”
This was a perfect trigger for Zamasu’s insane ambitions, but the manga’s version of events was much different (and far less poetic.) In short, Zamasu gets mad after watching Goku battle Hit on GodTube. Wow, how exciting.
16 The Real Reason The Other Gods Hate Beerus
The Gods of Destruction are a unique bunch of characters. From Egyptian queens to elephants, clowns and everyone’s favorite hairless cat, their appearances are as distinct as their personalities. Even though they aren’t strangers to butting heads, most can agree on one thing: their distaste for Beerus.
The manga’s reason behind their strong dislike is that Beerus’ napping nearly cost the entirety of the multi-verse, after he fell asleep for fifty years during multiversal hide-and-seek. This not only angered his fellow gods, but Zen-Oh, too, which put everyone into serious jeopardy.
15 Gowasu’s Coolest Moment
Gowasu has been one of Super’s most interesting new characters. Not only does his existence help in the world-building department by letting us understand more about the multiple universes and how Supreme Kais work, he was also just a cool old dude that seemed pretty fun to hang out with.
The above makes his fate so much sadder than it could’ve been, but Gowasu actually got a special moment in the manga that didn’t transpire in the anime. With Future Trunks near the brink of defeat against Goku Black, Gowasu actually saves him through teleportation, which is pretty cool for a guy who doesn’t like to get involved.
14 The Manga’s Abandonment Of Kaioken
In something of a role reversal, we’re now going to mention something in the anime that was nowhere to be seen in the manga. In this case, it was the return and new implementation of the iconic Kaioken technique.
Seeing it combined with the divine powers of Super Saiyan Blue was a fantastic treat in the series, but no such thing transpired within the pages of the manga, which we consider to be a pretty major let down and even kind of surprising considering DBS’s obsession with fan service.
13 Trunks’ Superior Strength
Trunks and his wrecked future are fan favorites, and have been ever since the sword-wielding teen sliced Frieza in half. His return in Dragon Ball Super was also the first few steps in righting the ship for what had been a lackluster series so far.
A fantastic moment in the anime was when Trunks and Goku sparred in order to test each other’s strength, and it was quite impressive to see how much Trunks had grown. Even more impressive is how powerful Trunks was in the manga, where he was equal to Super Saiyan 3 and Goku actually needed to go into Super Saiyan God form to defeat him.
12 No Super Saiyan Blue Evolution
Vegeta’s biggest moment in the entirety of Dragon Ball Super was when he finally got a unique transformation that Goku didn’t have by achieving the brand new form known as Super Saiyan Blue Evolution. Despite Goku going into Ultra Instinct later on, Super Saiyan Blue Evolution’s existence ensures Vegeta still has his own unique form… at least at the moment.
Unfortunately in the manga, Vegeta has no such transformation, and instead only reaches a higher level of Super Saiyan Blue. While the two forms are similar, SSB Evolution has been stated to be a brand new transformation, while the manga state is closer to Goku perfecting Blue against Jiren.
11 Trunks’ Taiyoken Mastery
One of Dragon Ball’s most famous techniques is the Taiyoken. An invaluable move that blinds an opponent with an enormous flash of light, it’s been used by heroes and villains countless times to great effect. Heck, it’s been relevant throughout the entire franchise, to the point of it receiving an upgraded form developed by Krillin in preparation for the Tournament of Power.
One thing the anime left out, however, was Trunks using it against Goku Black in the manga. It was great to see that Trunks had learned the classic move, and that it was effective even against gods.
10 Confirmation Of The Grand Priest’s Might
We’re going to talk in greater detail about the Grand Priest a little later on, but one thing that the manga was clear on, and the anime was vague about, is that the Grand Priest is essentially the most powerful being in existence.
Whether or not this takes Zen-Oh into consideration is another matter altogether, but it does confirm a long-held suspicion that as the father of all the enormously powerful angels, that the Grand Priest himself would be superior to even them.
9 Trunks’ Unique Transformation Is MIA
Dragon Ball Super has its ups and downs, but it also has moments that are somewhere in between for a variety of reasons. One of these is Trunks’ new form, colloquially known as “Super Saiyan Rage.”
It isn’t explained in the slightest, but it seems like some kind of mixture between the titular rage, a Genki Dama, and a divine transformation. Regardless of what it is or what its potential is, it’s sadly nowhere to be seen in the manga, which sort of takes the climax out of the arc.
8 Fused Zamasu’s Weakness
For years, fans of Vegetto claimed Gogeta was weaker due to his 30 minute time limit (or even less when he’s SSJ4), while Vegetto was fused as long as he had the earrings. Super changed this by having Vegetto’s fusion also be temporary due to the power involved, but then reconfirming that deities who fuse with Potara earrings are permanently merged.
This permanence made the immortal Fused Zamasu an insanely lethal threat, but the manga forgoes it all together, having his fusion be temporary, too.… yeah, no one seems to have any idea what’s true about fusions anymore.
7 Trunks’ New Teacher
As seen in the depressing History of Trunks, a grown-up Gohan, the last surviving Z Fighter, took the purple-haired youth under his wing and helped him hone his powers against the Androids. Unfortunately, he would be tragically lost in battle, leaving Trunks masterless until he returned to the past, where he got to train with those who were no longer around in his timeline.
Years later, after reclaiming the future from the Androids, the manga shows us that Trunks would begin to train under the Supreme Kai, which is a really interesting bit of lore. Unfortunately, that detail was cut from the anime, and it’s a terrible shame.
6 Loads Of Character Development In The Tournament Of Power
The Universal Survival arc, and its centerpiece, the Tournament of Power, had a lot going on, with huge teams of fighters from all the many universes. It only makes sense that some characters would need to have less focus or development than others, especially in a case like this one, which involves so many moving parts.
Unfortunately, this meant that the only characters who had any real development and focus were Android 17, Goku, Vegeta, and Frieza. Sure, others like Piccolo and Roshi had their moments, but that was it. The manga, on the other hand, gives a lot of focus to not just the Universe 7 crew, but the others as well, which was great.
5 The Grand Priest’s Villainy
If we’re being honest, this is crossing into fan theory territory, but there’s just so much evidence at this point that the Grand Priest and/or his Angels have villainous intentions that it might as well have been abandoned at the last minute.
From the incredibly shifty demeanor and behavior of the Grand Priest himself, to the flippant smirks of Angels from erased Universes or even Whis’ sinister smile during the climax of Dragon Ball Super: Broly, something is going on… or at least was.
Maybe this concept will be revisited later on, but so many signs just for no pay off suggests an abrupt course change.
4 The Battle Of The Gods Of Destruction
The Tournament of Power, which pit all the strongest fighters of every universe against each other in a climactic duel for survival was as epic as it sounds, but in the manga, something similar had been done before, but was limited to only the Gods of Destruction.
This “tournament” was held to show Zen-Oh what the Tournament of Power would be like, and in yet another piece of evidence suggesting the Grand Priest has ulterior motives, he straight up threatens the Gods of Destruction to use their full power or face deletion.
3 Trunks’ Healing Powers
Training under the Kaioshin has its perks. While he certainly isn’t the strongest fighter around, he’s still a deity, and one that has vast knowledge and a great many techniques under his belt, including the power to heal.
Absent from the anime, but on full display in the manga, Trunks learned the ability to heal from his master before his untimely fate, and put it to good use during the war with Goku Black and Zamasu. With no Dende around, it was nice to see at least someone possess inexplicably potent healing powers.
2 Goku’s Entire Character Arc
One of Super’s greatest crimes is how it just entirely abandons Goku’s growth as a character. This is someone who we’ve followed from boyhood, to young adulthood, to becoming a father, and even a grandfather, all while going through personal growth and a subtle, but believable character arc.
Then Super came along and decided to revert the character we knew and loved back into a totally selfish dunce, ignoring the literal decades of development he went through. While there were a few minor instances of his old self shining through, the majority of the series made us suffer through the antics of an unlikable idiot.
1 Good Animation, Cinematography, And Action
Perhaps the most amazing thing deleted from Dragon Ball Super, and its greatest crime without a doubt, is the total abandonment of its high-quality pedigree in regards to animation, cinematography and, most critically, the action.
To be fair, these issues don’t last the ENTIRE series… only about 85% of it, leaving the actual Tournament of Power untouched.
It’s also true that Dragon Ball Z had its fair share of animation foibles and off-model drawings, but here’s the thing: they were a rarity in Z, but common place in Super.
Consistently terrible shots, stunningly awful animation, and, most egregiously, fight “choreography” that looked like it was directed by someone who had no idea what they were doing plagued the majority of Super, and even the Tournament of Power doesn’t fully let us forgive the series.