The Dragon Ball franchise has always always been about fighters who are strong. In the case of the franchise’s main characters, insanely strong. This has been depicted in the anime over the past few decades, from Vegeta’s famous “It’s over 9000!” line to Goku achieving the Super Saiyan Blue form in Dragon Ball Super. Over the last couple of arcs, however, power levels among the anime’s main characters have undergone a massive inflation, proven by the sheer amount of raw strength that each of the anime’s fighters has displayed onscreen.
During the anime’s Future Trunks arc, avid fans and longtime viewers of Dragon Ball were practically up in arms over the young fighter’s sudden power-ups. From being barely unable to match Black Goku at his weakest form at the beginning of the saga, Future Trunks was able to attain enough power that he was able to finish off Merged Zamasu, who was able to completely dominate both Goku and Vegeta’s Super Saiyan Blue transformations with ease, in the arc’s final battle.
"A certain someone"=Goku. He feels he owes Goku for helping him out, and that's why he's changed his mind. pic.twitter.com/bMDpjmYhtG
— Todd Blankenship (@Herms98) April 23, 2017
In the ongoing Universe Survival Arc, the power level inflations got even more prominent. Over the past few weeks, longtime fans of the iconic anime franchise were surprised that fighters such as Krillin, Android 18 and Android 17 were able to stand up to Son Goku’s SSJB form, seemingly with little effort. Considering that SSJB is supposed to involve strength that can rival that of the gods already, the fact that notably weaker characters could suddenly give the transformation a significant fight has managed to make numerous fans of the anime extremely apprehensive.
If a new report from Japanese website ManTan is any indication, however, it appears that the ongoing power level inflation being demonstrated by the anime is entirely planned by the producers of Dragon Ball Super. In a statement to the publication, DBS Producer Hiroyuki Sakurada has stated that the inflation of the anime’s power levels could be explained by the decisions of the franchise’s creator himself, Akira Toriyama.
“There are more surprises further along in Dragon Ball Super. I think that they seem to have a richness. When new arc starts, whatever happens after this – Mr. (Akira) Toriyama will break through it, even if the scale is too big this time. I do not worry about inflation. The concern (about inflation) of this time will be surpassed.”
With this in mind, it appears that the sudden power-ups of the other principal characters in the Universe Survival Arc are entirely due to the progression of the anime’s plot. Thus, the power-ups of characters in the anime are likely be implemented as a plot device in order for the anime to deliver a compelling saga.
I think Goku has finally turned Blue enough times this arc to fill out his stamp card and win a free sub. pic.twitter.com/pFTrVjMjOW
— Todd Blankenship (@Herms98) April 23, 2017
Apart from this, a FanSided Bam!Smack!Pow! report has stated that Dragon Ball Super is also explaining the increased power of the other DBS characters by showing how each of them had been training since they were last featured in the anime. This was displayed prominently by Krillin, who explained his increase in strength by the fact that he had been training intensively before Goku recruited him for Universe 7’s representative team in the Tournament of Power.
Android 17 is yet another example. The Android had been strengthening himself for years in the anime’s timeline before being featured in the last couple of DBS episodes, explaining his sudden boost in strength. Whether such a power increase should stand toe-to-toe with Goku’s SSJB form, however, is an entirely different matter for avid fans of the series.
Dragon Ball Super characters have simply gotten progressively stronger the longer the franchise maintains its iconic status. From the pre-Super Saiyan era to the current SSJB period, power levels in the iconic anime have practically been a matter of how high numbers could go. If the recent interview with Sakurada is any indication, however, it appears that Akira Toriyama has carefully planned these power level inflations as a means to make the anime’s most recent sagas significantly more compelling than their predecessors. With these in mind, it appears that more power level inflations are set to happen in the next few arcs of the iconic anime franchise.
[Featured Image by Toei Animation]