No one really watches Dragon Ball Super for realism; anime fans don’t watch the series for its depth and mature themes, either. It is a true-born shounen series, headlined by buff, transforming warriors who get stronger the angrier they get. Unfortunately, however, DBS is starting to lag on one particular area that shounen anime usually excels in — character development. While Dragon Ball Super has been able to develop its main cast of characters pretty well, some of its side characters, which are supposed to be key players in the current arc, are getting the short end of the stick.
Take the Tournament of Power, for example. When the lineup for Universe 7 was released, many fans felt that it was nonsensical for Goku to recruit members such as Krillin and Tienshinhan, considering that the two humans (Tien’s technically a triclops, but he’s still close to a human) are far too weak in comparison to the other members of the U7 representative team. Despite this, however, fans, as noted by members of the Kazenshuu forums, were largely hopeful that when the Tournament of Power gets underway, side characters such as Krillin and Tien would be given a chance to shine.
So far, Krillin and Tien have been eliminated from the Tournament of Power. While this was not surprising at all considering their respective power levels, the way that the two veteran fighters were eliminated from the multiverse battle royale was simply unfair.
— 「ドラゴンボール超」公式 (@DB_super2015) September 2, 2017
Krillin, for one, was built up really well, showing some great tag-team techniques with his wife and even eliminating a fighter on his own. After this brief moment of glory, however, the stocky Dragon Ball veteran was unceremoniously thrown off the arena by Frost, who was not even that involved in the fighting at all.
Tien’s elimination this week was even worse. The triclops had already been given a pretty rough treatment during the Tournament of Power’s recruitment arc, losing to Master Roshi and Gohan during practice matches. In the actual tournament, however, Tien barely did anything of value before he himself was eliminated from the competition.
During Dragon Ball Super Episode 106, Tien ended up sacrificing himself in order to defeat a particularly nasty sniper that had been taking potshots from afar. Despite his brief moment of heroism, however, the final moments of his fight against the long-range fighter were downright underwhelming. Tien even made the mistake of lowering his guard, allowing his opponent to catch him unprepared. This, of course, was very uncharacteristic of the veteran fighter, as noted by numerous members of the DBS subreddit.
— 「ドラゴンボール超」公式 (@DB_super2015) September 1, 2017
The development of the human characters in Dragon Ball Super has been pretty subpar in the Tournament of Power. Save for Master Roshi, who delivered a satisfying performance during last week’s episode, characters such as Krillin and Tien have practically done nothing but disappoint. It is quite a shame, really, considering that these side characters could easily make the Tournament of Power much more interesting.
[Featured Image by Toei Animation]