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The story of Goku has been entertaining Dragon Ball fans for over three decades. Since his TV debut back in 1986, with the original anime Dragon Ball, his childish antics and his bottomless pit of energy continues to leave us wondering just what he is capable of in every battle he commits himself too.
The most recent iteration of Goku’s adventures—Dragon Ball Super 2019—has reignited the show's fanbase, leaving them eager to see the Saiyans reach new power levels and beat even stronger opponents. Much to the dismay of fans everywhere though, Dragon Ball Super went on hiatus in early 2018. Toei Animation released Dragon Ball Super: Broly while on this break—which was a complete box office success. Even creator Akira Toriyama was impressed by the love it received. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be enough to satisfy the eager anticipation of the new series expected to wow fans in almost every way.
The Dragon Ball Super anime has generally followed the manga's footsteps. Granted, there are some differences between their storylines, and any anime episodes which have never occurred in the manga are dusted off as "filler episodes," but the major arcs are usually inspired by the manga.
The new episodes of Dragon Ball are expected to go down the same route. In the manga, the Galactic Patrol Prisoner Saga follows the Tournament of Power, so it's not unreasonable to believe the anime, as well as future anime films in the DBZ series, will run with that as an underlying basis.
Friends and Foes, New and Old
Every time we think the universe has reached its peak—every time it seems that there's nothing that can challenge players like Goku and Vegeta—a new, stronger enemy is thrown into the mix.
The Galactic Prisoner Patrol saga features a new villain: Moro, AKA "Planet-Eater," whose claim to fame is his ability to absorb (read: "steal") energy. For those of you watching at home, you already know that our heroes have plenty of that.
Moro's full potential is yet to be explored, so we'll have to wait and see just how strong he can get. I'm hoping for a lot of colorful, dramatic animation sequences with him physically swallowing planets—and then transforming into an even larger and more impressive old goat.
Broly, The Legendary Super Saiyan
The Dragon Ball Super: Broly movie saw Goku and Vegeta facing (and defeating) the Legendary Super Saiyan, Broly. However, they never killed him. In typical Goku fashion, Goku didn't feel threatened by Broly's power so much as excited at the idea of having such a strong challenge. The DBS Broly movie left off with Goku leaving Broly and his friends in peace to recover on the planet Vampa.
It was clear that Broly's companion Cheelai still considered Goku an enemy; Broly himself, however, is a wild card. He's supposed to learn to control his powers while he's on Planet Vampa. Once he does, whether he's with or against Goku, his comeback will be incredible; and fans of Dragon Ball Super are surely anticipating what he'll do next (I know I am!).
Another character who is almost guaranteed to return to Dragon Ball Super is Frieza, who was also left alive at the end of the Broly movie. He was, once again, trying to take over the universe, and considering his track record, it's unlikely he'll stop.
To keep villains interesting though, they have to pose a real threat to the heroes of the story. Now that we know there's an easy solution to the Frieza problem—Gogeta Blue—he's not exactly the terrifying, unbeatable enemy he was in Dragon Ball Z. Maybe he can muster up another transformation; but in that case, Goku and Vegeta will just fuse again, transform into Super Saiyan Blue, and, likely, pummel him senseless. Perhaps he could muster up another huge army, but we've already seen what Vegeta can do to his guards in his base form, so that threat shouldn't be a massive one.
It will be interesting to see what plan Frieza conjures up to deal with our two main heroes, and even more interesting to see how they will ultimately defeat him.
Of course, it's not only villains who will return to new episodes of Dragon Ball Super. We can expect to see the rest of the ensemble back for more, too.
Beerus is expected to have a showdown with Moro at some point, and with him comes Whis, everyone's favorite angelic attendant. In fact, a villain of Moro's potential is bound to get the attention of several deities, like King Kai and Supreme Kai. And Goku is besties with the most powerful being in the universe, Grand Zeno, so maybe he'll be able to help them out.
Since the Galactic Prisoner Patrol Saga takes place on New Namek, it goes without saying that the Namekian Piccolo will show up at some point. Though he's made planet Earth his home, he would undoubtedly want to help protect his own people. They have, after all, been attacked enough in the past. Remember that one time Vegeta murdered an entire village of Namekians who definitely didn't deserve it?
Speaking of Vegeta, he and Bulma had a daughter who has yet to grow up. Though she's an infant and can't be expected to jump into any major fight scenes, she's also the child of a Saiyan. Like other half-Saiyans—her older brother, Trunks, and Goku and Chi-Chi's children, Gohan and Goten—she should have pretty high battle power, which will only grow as she learns to control it.
What's interesting about all the half-Saiyan children is the same as what makes real-life children interesting: They can go anywhere. Goku and Vegeta's fates are set in stone at this point—they're never going to stop fighting.
Gohan did, though. His growth as a fighter took up much of Dragon Ball Z's screen time. He became brave, transformed into a Super Saiyan, and fought some of Dragon Ball's strongest villains—only to get married, settle down, and become a scholar.
Trunks and Goten don't seem like they want to go down that route at the moment. They jumped at the chance to fuse into Gotenks and attack Lord Beerus in the "God of Destruction" saga, and pretended to be adults just to compete in Dragon Ball Z's "Majin Buu" saga. For Trunks, there's even further evidence that he'll be a fighting man like his father—Future Trunks literally walks around with a sword on his back—but anything can happen. In Dragon Ball Super 2019, the children's potential will hopefully be explored.
Dragon Ball Super was all about reaching new levels of power, and Dragon Ball Super's future fusions should be just as exciting as former ones. The likes of Beerus, Frieza (again), Broly, and Jiren constantly pushed the heroes to new heights. Ultra Instinct, mastered by Goku, topped it all off. Besides being the most beautiful state of being, with its tranquil, silver-blue flames, Ultra Instinct is a technique that was thought to only be attainable by deities. Using it, Goku's mind stopped slowing him down and his body reacted to his surroundings—namely, his opponent—on its own. It was easily the most powerful he'd ever been in his entire life; yet unlike Super Saiyan Red, he was unable to hold onto the ability for very long.
With Moro's arrival—and upward trajectory necessary to keep audiences interested—Goku needs to build off of the past season's achievements. Being able to enter that state at will is the first challenge. Who knows what comes once he does? At that point, he may as well be a deity.
Of course, fan favorite (and more importantly, my favorite) Vegeta has yet to achieve Ultra Instinct. Since the old days of Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta has been a cognizant fighter, especially when comparing Goku and Vegeta against each other.
"He's a genius when it comes to fighting... Mentally, he's impossible to beat. He thinks of every conceivable advantage."—Piccolo, "The Secret of Dr. Gero"
This is far from a bad thing. Vegeta's presence of mind served him well against the androids back in the day, as he tricked an android into running away. In more recent episodes of Dragon Ball Super, against Planet Eater Moro, he even got the creepy old goat to admit why he was after the Dragon Balls. It becomes a disadvantage when trying to achieve anything needing a clear head and not having it, and Ultra Instinct epitomizes "clear-headed." Maybe, like Goku, he won't achieve it until beaten within an inch of his life and he couldn't think if he tried. Maybe, like during his first Super Saiyan transformation, he'll achieve it all alone in the middle of a meteor shower. Maybe he'll never achieve it. Only time will tell.
The Season's Premiere
As of now, there's no official premiere date set for the Dragon Ball Super 2019 season, but it's expected to return this July. Otherwise, episodes of Dragon Ball Super are available in the United States on channels such as Adult Swim and Funimation.