The Dragon Ball franchise has been around for over 35 years and has spawn countless pieces of media from Anime to Manga and even numerous videogames. With such a huge catalog of material, it is not surprising that there have been plenty of inconsistencies discovered throughout the years.
The reasoning behind these inconsistencies could be said to be a case of simple oversight by creator Akira Toriyama and his team or they were created as a side effect of Toriyama’s efforts to retcon certain aspects of the story in order to fit his current narrative. Either way, these inconsistencies have caused some serious confusion within the Dragon Ball fandom.
Whilst referencing all the inconsistencies just within the Dragon Ball Anime let alone all of the franchise would be too long, what this article will do is break down inconsistencies found within Dragon Ball Super. Even though Super is the newest series in the franchise it too has plenty of continuity mistakes that have spawned plenty of conversations about what is canon and what is not.
And so, lets breakdown the Top 15 of the biggest inconsistencies in Dragon Ball Super.
15. Time Travel
Toriyama’s concept of time travel is quite unique when compared to a more traditional approach and has led to many continuity mistakes. And so, when a new time travel method was introduced in Dragon Ball Super even more continuity mistakes were created.
Before the introduction of the Zamasu aka Goku Black and the time ring the only time, travel device was Capsule Corps time machine. The time machine whilst a bit confusing was still simple enough for the audience to understand how it was used but the time ring is a whole other story.
Alongside the introduction of the time ring came the diverging timelines which complicated the way time travel worked. The true limits of the time ring were never clearly explained and thus left fans wondering what it can be used for and how it can be defeated since the wearer is not impacted changes to their past making them somewhat invincible.
The new time travel concepts essentially led to confusion into why the time rings have not been used before by the Supreme Kai to solve issues in the past.
14. The Afterlife in Dragon Ball
It is easy to forget that in the first few sagas of Dragon Ball Z, Goku was defeated on earth and spent a lot of time in the afterlife.
The afterlife, also called “the Other World” was shown in such a unique way that the viewer forgot that Goku was technically dead since they saw him interact characters in the same way he had always been plus he was still training even in the other world.
Throughout the series, the other world is explored occasionally, with minor changes to the concept each time. But in Dragon Ball Super some major changes are made that make it seem like it is a whole new place. These changes include several specific versions of Hell, alternative recording stations (instead of King Enma), and many subtle changes to important concepts.
13. Trunks’ Hair
To an outsider with no knowledge, the idea of hairstyle/color being an important concept within Dragon Ball might sound weird. But veteran fans know that these two things are crucial parts of a Saiyans design.
And there is one character’s hair that has garnered the most attention from fans that being Trunks. The mystery of his true hair color is one that has been going on for decades.
Within his first appearance in the manga, it is said that his hair color is the same as his mother’s a light purple, yet in the anime, Bulma was given a blue hair color. Then when Trunks was introduced in the anime, he was seen dawning a purple hair color like he was always intended too.
But then when Future Trunks made his reappearance within Dragon Ball Super his hair color was a bright blue matching his mother’s hair. This change to his design was odd and brought up some questions considering the fact that kid Trunks within Super has purple hair like his original design.
These inconsistencies made people question if this version of Future Trunks was even the same one who made his debut in Dragon Ball Z.
12. Bardock’s Origin
The latest film in the Dragon Ball Super franchise centered around the character of Broly. And makes major changes to the backstory and character design of plenty of other characters, not just Broly. Bardock Goku’s father is one of the characters who is impacted by these changes.
The original version of Bardock is portrayed as a terrible person of sorts who decides to resist tyranny to defend his race and, in the last moments of his life, takes selfish pleasure in his son’s eventual revenge.
This new version of Bardock paints him as a completely different person. His character was modified to be that of a much gentler and kinder character who strives to save Goku because he loves him.
Rather than him being the cold-blooded warrior who saved his son in an effort to ensure that his plan for revenge was fulfilled. These changes made Bardock a less interesting character by having his image be that of just a loving father rather than this complex warrior.
11. Goku’s Origin
While we are on the subject of the changes made by the Broly movie it is important to note the impact it had on Goku’s origin, which has undergone some noticeable changes that impact his overall character. For a more complete understanding of his past, you can refer to our article on the Origins of Son Goku, which summarizes his complete backstory.
The traditional origin for Goku has us believe that his grandfather Gohan was out in the woods one day and just happen to come across baby Goku this strange child with a tail.
In some retellings, he is found within his space capsule in others he is not. Gohan’s initial interactions with Goku are split as well since sometimes he is portrayed as being violent at first whilst other times it is said that he was always a gentle child.
But the biggest change that the Broly movie made was the fact that it changed Goku’s age and portrayed as a child, not a baby when he gets to earth this changes his origins quite a bit as it erased most of his traditional origin story.
10. Bulma’s Age
Bulma is one of the oldest characters in Dragon Ball. Whilst she was an interesting character during the original series, her character really began to shine once she got older and displayed her extraordinary genius.
Yet despite the fact she is one of the more established Dragon Ball fans one fact that keeps changing about her is her true age. Whilst her age was never something that has been a key factor within the series the fact that it keeps on changing is odd.
In the Dragon Ball Super films, she claims to be 38 years old, but this contradicts her official birthdate which reveals that she is 45. Whilst this could be a simple mistake on the part of the author the reality is that it may hold some deeper meaning that we will never know.
9. The Gods Of Destruction
Whilst Dragon Ball GT is officially not canon based on Toriyama’s comments the fact is that since the series is set in the somewhat distant future there is still hope that some aspects will make it to the main continuity.
Even though Super Saiyan God and its related forms, Beerus, the Angels, the Multiverse itself, and many other things, are never mentioned once in DBGT. The fact is that these concepts do not entirely break GT’s continuity and thus could be easily introduced within some sort of reboot.
8. Turn Into Super Saiyan
The concept of a Super Saiyan is one that has made it to mainstream media and is well known even to non-Dragon Ball fans. This transformation is one of Dragon Ball’s best concepts due to its power and the journey the user must take before mastering the form.
It was already established that to enter the super Saiyan form the user not only has to be strong physically but emotionally as well. In the case of the first Super Saiyan transformation, Goku was almost out of energy, and through the power of rage broke his limits and went Super Saiyan. Similarly, Vegeta’s burning desire to surpass Goku at all costs led him to his own transformation into Super Saiyan. For Gohan it was internalized hatred that helped him achieve his transformation into Super Saiyan 2.
These impressive transformations were linked to intense emotions and turmoil. It was only by mastering them that our heroes were able to evolve. But the Super saga decides to throw it all out the window by stating that going Super Saiyan was as simple as finding a tingling sensation in your back and using that to transform yourself. This comment essentially retconned the struggle that characters went through just to achieve the form.
7. Krillin’s Height
Krillin has been a staple character within the Dragon Ball franchise since the original series. Despite not being the strongest of fighter he still gave it his all and proved to be a great character.
The most memorable thing about Krillin would probably be his unique design including his trademark bald head, his face without a nose, his Shaolin marks, and his height or rather his lack of height
But within Dragon Ball Super there were some changes made to Krillin’s design and sadly for him he started to shrink. In Dragon Ball Z, Krillin’s height was on par to that of his wife’s shoulder height, but in Super, he is only as tall as her waist.
This, not the only evidence of his shrinking since compared his height next to Piccolo and he seems to have shrunk by at least ⅓ of his original height.
6. Mai’s Eyes
Mai first made her appearance back in the original Dragon Ball series and was a villain around the age of 30 fast forward to Super and she is now in the body of a 12-year-old and instead of being a villain she is the primary love interest of Trunks
Yet the new changes to her character were not all correct as there is one crucial difference in his appearance that creates a canonical error: that being her eyes. During Dragon Ball, Mai’s eyes were blue, but they strangely turned black during her latest appearances, without any real reason as to why.
5. What is up with Saiyans’ facial hair?
Dragon Ball Super has made plenty of subtle changes to the way we perceive our favorite characters. These changes have ranged from simple ones ignored by fans to more controversial ones. And so, it was not surprising that the questions and inconsistencies have been brought up when it comes to a Saiyan’s facial hair.
It was established decades ago that a pure-blooded Saiyan saw no change to their hair meaning that once it gets to a certain point it does not grow out more.
Yet this concept of a Saiyan’s hair being kept at a certain level is not seen within Dragon Ball Super as both Goku and Vegeta are seen growing out their beards. Whilst the idea that their hair does not grow beyond a certain level may only apply to their hair on their heads and not facial hair, it does not make much sense. Since why would one part of their face have this specific trait and not all the hair on their face.
4. How Fusion with Potara work
Fans were absolutely thrilled to see Vegito making a comeback in Dragon Ball Super. This beloved fusion of Vegeta and Goku was last seen against the villain Majin Boo all the way back in Dragon Ball Z. Unfortunately, his appearance was cut short by the fact that fusion via the Potara only lasts 60 minutes.
This concept was not really explained completely in the original introduction of the Potara and so it was surprising to see it in Super. An inconsistency that was created alongside the introduction of the Potara is the fact that fusion will only last indefinitely if it is between two supreme Kai.
This creates some questions in terms of how Zamasu was able to fuse with two versions of himself when one of them was not technically a Supreme Kai.
3. The Origins of Scouters
Dragon Ball Super’s Broly film retconned a lot of established backstories including that of Bardock, Freiza, and even the entire Saiyan race. Yet amongst those big changes were tons of smaller ones that you might not have noticed.
One such change is related to the iconic Scouter’s used to measure a person’s power level amongst other uses. The film shows, Freiza and his father, King Cold, gave the scouting technology to the Saiyans.
Yet in Dragon Ball Z it was shown that when the Saiyans and the Tuffles were at war with each other on the planet Vegeta, the Tuffles were the ones using the scouters, not the Saiyans.
Thus, we can assume that when the Saiyans won the war they just simply took their scouter technology and claimed it as their own. These conflicting origins make for a confusing origin for the socuters.
2. The Confusing History of Saiyans
The true history of the Saiyans is probably something that will never stop changing. Over the years Toriyama makes small tweaks to their origins in order to make whatever story is writing fit better with the rest of his work. Yet even to this day, there are still a ton of questions fans still have about the origin of the Saiyan race. Questions ranging from Did they come from a completely different place before they landed on the planet, Vegeta? Were they actually from the planet Vegeta but did they evolve separately from the Tuffles? These are just a few of the dozens or probably hundreds of questions fans are still asking.
Dragon Ball Super went on to create even more questions given the changes the Broly movie made to the destruction of Planet Vegeta and how the world was run. It seems that despite the more content about the Saiyans’ origins fans get from Toriyama the more confused they become.
1. Who sealed old Kai in the Sword Z?
The introduction of the God of Destruction Beerus came with a resoundingly positive welcome from fans. Given the fact that he gained a huge fanbase so quickly, Toriyama decided it was ok to introduce Beerus into the lore that he was not originally a part of.
One thing that Toriyama included Beerus in was the mystery of the Z sword and who locked the old Kai within the sword in the first place.
It was established in Dragon Ball Z, old Kaio claims that the person who locked him up in the sacred sword was much weaker than Majin Buu. In Super, he claims that Beerus was the one who did it.
This is where the inconsistencies start to appear since Beerus is not weaker than Majin Buu it makes the explanation given in Dragon Ball Z non-canon.
These were just some of the most top inconsistencies in Dragon Ball Super, whilst they are the more interesting inconsistencies, they certainly are not the only ones.
And despite the fact that some material is no longer canon fans will agree that losing out on a few past events is worth Toriyama continuing to expand the Dragon Ball Universe.