Plenty of fans expect Dragon Ball Super to wrap the same as Dragon Ball Z did. But can Super actually push forward into new territory?
Twenty years after the original manga’s end, a new Dragon Ball project was created in the form of Dragon Ball Super. For fans who had been missing the series since its completion, Dragon Ball Super gave them an opportunity to experience new stories in the Dragon Ball universe, with the series taking place within the ten-year timeskip between Buu’s defeat and the epilogue to Dragon Ball Z. While Dragon Ball Super isn’t as acclaimed as the original series, it has still been very popular with Dragon Ball fans, who have been eagerly waiting the series’ eventual return.
Dragon Ball Super has added a lot to the franchise’s worldbuilding and canon, introducing Gods of Destruction, parallel universes, the Super Dragon Balls, and more. All these additions have been great for the franchise as it expands the type of stories they can tell, but it also makes it quite difficult for the series to curve back into the End of Z, which is looming in the horizon. With Dragon Ball Super’s enduring popularity, it’s entirely possible that the series could go past Z’s ending point and carve out a new future for the franchise.
Dragon Ball Super’s Place In The Timeline
In the original Dragon Ball manga, there was a ten-year timeskip after the defeat of Buu, during which supposedly nothing of note really happened. That made it a great place to fit in new content for the series, and so the movie Battle of Gods, which ultimately formed the first arc of the Dragon Ball Super anime, was placed smack dab in the middle of this ten-year period, five years after the defeat of Buu. It was a decision that allowed some characters to take on new designs and appearances while allowing other characters (like Goten and Trunks) to retain their classic appearances.
As Dragon Ball Super’s story continued, time also continued to pass, with the birth of Pan and Bulla occurring over the course of the series. As of Super Hero, the newest movie in the Dragon Ball Super canon, Pan is close to the age that she was during the End of Z. Dragon Ball Super’s story is getting closer and closer to the End of Z, and it’s only a matter of time before the series reaches that particular tipping point.
Will Dragon Ball Super End At The End Of Z?
The End of Z is the term for the very short epilogue that takes place at the end of the original Dragon Ball manga. The cast, now all ten years older, head off to participate in that year’s World Tournament. There, Goku meets Uub, the reincarnation of Buu, and takes an interest in his potential. Deciding to take Uub in as a disciple and train him to be humanity’s next protector, Goku flies off to train Uub, ending the original manga on a whimsical note.
Currently, Dragon Ball Super is at most a couple of years away from the End of Z. Should Toei want to keep Dragon Ball Super within the confines of the ten-year period between the Buu Saga and the End of Z, then the end of Dragon Ball Super could be coming very soon. There’s still room to tell plenty of stories, but the closer the series gets to the End of Z, the more likely that retcons and changes to canon are likely to happen. It’s also entirely possible that Dragon Ball Super ends before the End of Z in order to keep from bumping into established canon. Regardless of how it’s done, it is more than possible for the End of Z to be Dragon Ball Super’s ending point.
The Potential Of Going Past The End Of Z
While Dragon Ball Super could end by the time End of Z takes place, it is also possible that it goes further in order to create more original stories for the franchise. Dragon Ball Super, after all, has already made massive changes to the series’ canon as it is, so End of Z in its original form is probably out of place when considering all the changes that Dragon Ball Super has made. In addition, the franchise’s popularity is more than enough motivation for Toei to keep making as much Dragon Ball content as possible.
If Dragon Ball Super does go past the End of Z, it could start creating a new canon future where we see characters even older than they’ve been so far. Dragon Ball GT was initially the go-to series for those who wanted to see stories past Dragon Ball Z, but now that that series is non-canon, Dragon Ball Super could provide new opportunities for fans to experience new stories about an older Pan, Trunks, Goten, and more. The potential of what can be told in a Dragon Ball story is more limitless than it ever has been before, and Dragon Ball Super could be the vehicle for that kind of exploration.