Which is truly worthy of the Dragon Ball name?
They say hindsight is 20/20, but that clearly doesn’t apply to the entertainment industry. We’ve repeatedly seen remakes and reboots utterly fail to live up to their predecessors. Dragon Ball is no stranger to this.
Even when a redo is praised, it inevitably has certain elements that either fall short or fail to surpass what came before. One such scenario occurred in the long-running fighting franchise.
Based on the manga by Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball is a martial arts adventure series where an energetic boy named Goku travels the globe, fights all manner of tough opponents, and occasionally saves the world along the way.
The tale continued into Dragon Ball Z, a series revolving around a grown-up Goku. Now a father, Goku works with his friends and family to tackle ever-increasing threats to not only the planet but the whole universe.
We have to keep the Dragon Ball rolling
After this, however, Toei Animation created a follow-up called Dragon Ball GT. Not based on Toriyama’s work, this show magically turns Goku back into a kid using the sinister Black Star Dragon Balls.
To save Earth from the imminent destruction these orbs cause, our hero must journey across the galaxy to reclaim them, dealing with all manner of new foes along the way. Fans hated this show, lambasting it for its darker tone and uninvolving storytelling, which sidelines many of the characters they’d grown to love.
Years later, Toriyama helped develop a new series called Dragon Ball Super. This work essentially erases GT from canon, picking up shortly after Dragon Ball Z and chronicling Goku and friends’ continuing adventures as they encounter gods and contend with cosmic power beyond their understanding.
Viewers generally like this series better. While not perfect, it utilizes the fan-favorite characters more effectively and brings back the sense of mischievous fun of previous shows, even culminating in a theatrical success in 2019.
Which one is the true sequel?
Despite its strengths, Dragon Ball Super boasts some notable flaws. What’s more is that these weaknesses exist in areas where GT excelled. With this in mind, is it really fair to discount the old show entirely?
Dragon Ball GT is not devoid of merit. Why don’t we revisit some aspects that (in my opinion) actually outclass its successor?