Who Steals Goku’s Body?

Summary

  • Dragon Ball Super brings back the Cell Juniors in a surprising twist, pitting them against Goten and Trunks in a bonus manga chapter. (96 characters)
  • Good Buu’s slimmed-down physique reveals that he can get into shape with proper training, but this plot twist isn’t fully explored. (118 characters)
  • Android 17 emerges as the unexpected winner of the Tournament of Power, showcasing his selfless act of using the Super Dragon Ball wish. (133 characters)


Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball has earned its place in the shonen hall of fame, but the franchise’s most recent expansion, Dragon Ball Super, takes the superpowered series to even greater heights. Dragon Ball Super captures the action-packed energy of Dragon Ball Z, yet still occasionally embraces the lighthearted hijinks of the original Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball GT.

Dragon Ball Super is arguably most famous for its new Super Saiyan transformations, the introduction of a whole multiverse of fresh characters, and the series’ biggest battles to date. Dragon Ball Super satisfies when it comes to its characters and battles, but it’s also responsible for some major plot twists that have surprised even Dragon Ball’s most dedicated fans. Dragon Ball Super is still going strong, but it’s a good opportunity to revisit some of the series’ most shocking twists.

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10 The Cell Juniors Return

Bonus Chapter, “Bonus Story (Sign Of Son Goku’s Awakening)”

Dragon Ball has a lot of success with its many villains, but Cell stands tall as a creative mix of old and new concepts. Cell benefits from being able to use many of the heroes’ signature attacks against them. He also takes his skills to the next level during the Cell Games when he creates seven smaller versions of himself, known as the Cell Juniors, who all have equal strength to their creator. Gohan’s new Super Saiyan 2 strength swiftly destroys these tiny terrors before he shifts his focus to Perfect Cell. Audiences reasonably assumed that the Cell Juniors were elements of Dragon Ball’s past, along with Cell. However, Dragon Ball Super delivers a major surprise in one of the manga’s bonus chapters, no less.

Goten and Trunks’ efforts to protect Monster Island during Android 17’s absence unexpectedly puts them up against a newly discovered gaggle of Cell Juniors. It’s a satisfying twist to get these creations back into the mix, let alone against Goten and Trunks, who never previously got to test their power against them. It’s a standout moment, but one that ranks lower than Dragon Ball Super’s other twists, since it’s restricted to a bonus manga chapter and they don’t stick around afterward.

9 Good Buu Slims Down & Adopts A Fit Physique

Episode 85, “The Universes Go Into Action – Each With Their Own Motives”

Fit Buu and Goku fight in Dragon Ball Super.

Goku rids the world of Kid Buu with a cataclysmic Super Spirit Bomb, but the character’s rotund and friendly counterpart, “Good Buu” sticks around as one of Hercule Satan’s best friends. Dragon Ball Super doesn’t do much with Buu, but Goku at least turns to him for help when it comes to Universe 7’s involvement in multiversal tournaments. A rather surprising development comes out of Buu’s training for the Tournament of Power when he shows up to fight with a newly slimmed down design.

Previously, Buu’s round physique was never considered to be fat and merely the nature of his odd Majin existence. These events indicate the contrary and that Good Buu can actually get into shape if he properly trains and applies himself. This revelation would be of much greater significance if Dragon Ball Super stuck with it moving forward. Instead, Fit Buu is treated more like a comedic sight gag and not the game-changing character shift that it should be.

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8 Uub Contributes To Moro’s Defeat

Chapter 66, “Moro, Consumer Of Worlds”

Grand Supreme Kai greets Uub in Dragon Ball Super manga.

Uub is one of Dragon Ball’s more polarizing and underused characters due to the difficult corner that the series has written itself into with this young fighter. Dragon Ball Z concludes with Goku leaving to train Uub – Kid Buu’s kind-hearted reincarnation – to hone his skills and become a prolific fighter. However, Dragon Ball Super’s entirety takes place within the ten-year time-skip that precedes Dragon Ball Z’s Peaceful World Saga epilogue. This means that Dragon Ball Super can’t do much with Uub since he doesn’t technically meet Goku until the 28th World Martial Arts Tournament. Nevertheless, Dragon Ball Super’s manga engages in some clever storytelling that finds an organic way to bring Uub into the mix without breaking the franchise’s existing canon.

Uub becomes the lynchpin to Planet-Eater Moro’s defeat through a healthy donation of energy that Vegeta siphons to Goku. Uub’s help pushes Goku over the edge and gives him the necessary strength to properly eliminate Moro. Dragon Ball fans were surprised to get any mention of Uub in Super, let alone as a contributor to one of the series’ biggest battles.

7 Black Frieza Emerges & Eliminates Gas

Chapter 87, “The Universe’s Strongest Appears”

Black Frieza Defeats Gas In Dragon Ball Super manga

Dragon Ball has introduced plenty of villains who are stronger than Frieza, but none have been as persistent or gotten as many chances as this Saiyan-hating galactic tyrant. Frieza first returns, stronger than ever, as Golden Frieza in Dragon Ball Super’s second story arc. Later, Frieza gets recruited to fight for Universe 7 in the Tournament of Power, which is a cooperative act that earns the villain back his mortality. Frieza returns once again as the surprise victor in Goku, Vegeta, and Granolah’s strenuous fight against Gas and the Heeter Force. Ultra Ego and Ultra Instinct strength both prove to not be enough to defeat this abnormally powerful villain.

Frieza, out of nowhere, shows up with a new transformation and destroys Gas in a single blow. Frieza reveals that his superior Black Frieza form is the result of ten years of training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. This means that Black Frieza isn’t just a little stronger than Goku and Vegeta, but that he’s a whole decade ahead of them. No one was expecting Frieza to return during the fight against Gas, especially as the one who finally defeats him. Black Frieza cryptically disappears after his victory and he continues to loom over Dragon Ball Super’s future. A showdown is inevitable.

6 Vegeta Develops His Own Ultra Instinct Alternative, Ultra Ego

Chapter 74, “Vegeta Vs. Granolah”

Ultra Ego Vegeta gloats about his new power in Dragon Ball Super manga.

Vegeta is a remarkable fighter in his own right, but so much of his Dragon Ball journey involves him matching Goku’s Saiyan milestones. Dragon Ball Super breaks this pattern when Vegeta decides that Goku’s Ultra Instinct isn’t right for him and is actually antithetical to his fighting style. Vegeta, rather than continue to follow in Goku’s martial art footsteps, perfects his own next-level transformation, Ultra Ego. Ultra Ego takes advantage of Vegeta’s stubborn nature, zest for punishment, and overall aggressive demeanor. Ultra Ego is a transformation that actively feeds on the punishment that Vegeta takes, only to channel it into greater strength.

Vegeta’s Ultra Ego debut remains one of the Dragon Ball Super manga’s greatest moments. Fans were worried that Vegeta’s Yardrat training and his newly acquired Forced Spirit Fission would be the extent of his growth. Ultra Ego Vegeta instead dominates the battlefield and turns into a genuine breakthrough during the Saiyans’ battle against Granolah. Ultra Ego becomes an even greater plot twist than Ultra Instinct’s reveal because it’s a rare instance where Vegeta shines, plus it signals a bright, original future for the Saiyan Prince.

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5 Piccolo & Gohan Ascend To Orange & Beast Status

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero

Giant Orange Piccolo flicks away Gohan in Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.

Dragon Ball Super has a whole cast of competent characters and yet it’s frequently only Goku and Vegeta who get to share the spotlight when it comes to major battles. Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is an exciting change of pace that intentionally breaks from this habit in an original story that puts Goku and Vegeta on the sidelines in favor of a story that celebrates Gohan, Piccolo, and even Pan. Super Hero brings back one of Dragon Ball’s earliest threats, the Red Ribbon Army, who attack with state-of-the-art Androids and a new version of Cell, Cell Max.

Cell Max overwhelms the heroes and it’s not until Orange Piccolo and Gohan Beast strike that the tide properly turns. One surprise transformation would be enough, but it’s a huge twist that Super Hero gives both Gohan and Piccolo game-changing new forms. Orange Piccolo is thanks to Shenron going above and beyond with a Dragon Ball wish, while Gohan Beast pulls from pure instinct and emotion as Gohan’s Ultimate upgrade reaches new heights. Gohan Beast and Orange Piccolo will hopefully be major players in wherever Dragon Ball Super goes next.

4 Golden Frieza Blows Up The Earth

Episode 27, “The Earth Explodes?! A Decisive Kamehameha!”

Frieza blows up the Earth in Dragon Ball Super.

One of Dragon Ball Super’s first big surprises is that Frieza escapes from the afterlife and mounts a proper revenge against Goku and company with his new Golden Frieza form. Golden Frieza becomes a nostalgic experience that reminds the audience of why he’s such a phenomenal threat. That being said, Golden Frieza proves to be no match for Goku and Vegeta’s new-found Super Saiyan Blue strength. Vegeta cathartically gets ready to take out Frieza, but his tendency to gloat and run his mouth gives Frieza just enough time to launch a surprise attack that’s designed to eliminate everyone else with him. Golden Frieza overloads the planet with energy to the point that he successfully blows up the Earth.

Typically, Dragon Ball would find some way to prevent such a disaster at the last minute, but Super actually follows through with this shocking turn of fate. The only reason that the heroes prevail and Earth’s destruction gets reversed is because Whis enacts a Temporal Do-Over that literally rewinds time. It’s a tactic that’s only used in the rarest of circumstances and Dragon Ball Super earns the right to trigger Whis’ Angel powers here after the Earth goes up in smoke.

3 Android 17 Wins The Tournament Of Power

Episode 131, “A Miraculous Conclusion! Farewell Goku! Until We Meet Again!”

Android 17 wins the Tournament of Power in Dragon Ball Super.

Martial arts tournaments are common occurrences in Dragon Ball, but Super’s Tournament of Power is a competition on an unprecedented scale that assembles the strongest fighters from across the multiverse where the cost of failure is complete erasure. The Tournament of Power takes up nearly a quarter of Dragon Ball Super and becomes the series’ longest story arc. The proceedings generate suspense and tension over who will emerge as the winner even if it’s fairly obvious that Universe 7 will triumph in the end.

Goku, Jiren, and Frieza stand out as some of the Tournament of Power’s strongest fighters, but it’s none of these competitors who ultimately win. Android 17, who almost doesn’t even participate in the competition, becomes the surprise victor and hero. Android 17’s selfless decision to use the Super Dragon Ball wish to revive the erased universes proves to Omni-King Zeno that he’s truly the right winner and deserving of such an honor. Dragon Ball Super gets such tunnel vision over Goku and Vegeta saving the day that it’s a true plot twist when former foe, Android 17, gets to stand tall as the multiverse’s savior.

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2 Bardock Saves Granolah In The Past & Wishes For His Sons’ Success

Chapter 76, “The Fate Of The Saiyans”

Bardock saves Granolah from Heeter Force in Dragon Ball Super Manga

Bardock, Goku’s father, is an instrumental Dragon Ball character who secures his son’s freedom and safety by sending him to Earth before Planet Vegeta’s destruction. Bardock’s tragic fate means that the character has only been able to appear in brief flashbacks, such as the Bardock – The Father of Goku TV special or Dragon Ball Super: Broly’s prologue. Goku, Vegeta, and Granolah’s extended fight against Gas comes with the shocking revelation that Bardock actually saved Granolah and Monaito in the past and that he and Goku share more in common than originally thought.

Goku’s kindhearted nature is initially treated like a Saiyan aberration, so it’s a huge surprise that Bardock shares the same sentimentality. Bardock’s past experience against Gas proves to be crucial to the heroes’ victory. However, Dragon Ball Super also reveals that Bardock made a wish on Planet Cereal’s Eternal Dragon, Toronbo, to see his children thrive. The exact nature of this Dragon Ball wish remains open to interpretation, but many believe that Goku’s continued success and luck in life is the result of Bardock’s wish. All of this paints Goku and Dragon Ball in a very different light.

1 Future Zamasu Steals Goku’s Body & Becomes A Murderous Villain

Episode 47, “SOS From The Future: A Dark New Enemy”

Dragon Ball Super successfully surprises its fandom when the beloved character, Future Trunks, returns to pay a visit to the series’ primary timeline. Future Trunks’ return is a twist in itself, but the circumstances behind his return lead to one of Dragon Ball Super’s greatest mysteries. Future Trunks reveals that his timeline is being decimated by an evil version of Goku who goes by the title, Goku Black. The prospect of an evil Goku doppelgänger is a lot for Dragon Ball Super’s characters and audience to accept. Beerus and Whis attempt to get to the bottom of this mess and it’s eventually revealed that Universe 10’s Supreme Kai apprentice, Zamasu, is working together with his future counterpart to wipe out all mortals.

Future Zamasu uses the Super Dragon Balls to steal Goku’s body from his timeline. One of Dragon Ball Super’s most chilling sequences is when this transfer of souls takes place and Zamasu proceeds to kill Goku’s family, in Goku’s body, all while they exhibit frightful confusion. Dragon Ball Super’s use of an evil Goku as a central villain is the series’ most ambitious twist, especially when the calculated conditions around this spectacle get explained.

Dragon Ball Super Poster

Dragon Ball Super

With Majin Buu defeated half-a-year prior, peace returns to Earth, where Son Goku (now a radish farmer) and his friends now live peaceful lives.

Release Date
January 7, 2017

Cast
Masako Nozawa , Takeshi Kusao , Ryô Horikawa , Hiromi Tsuru

Genres
Anime , Action , Adventure

Rating
TV-PG

Seasons
5

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