It’s been months since fans saw the conclusion of Dragon Ball Super’s Granolah the Survivor arc, and now we are only days away from the manga finally returning from its break. With every passing day, we learn more about the upcoming arc, including the fact that it’s going to be focused on the half-Saiyan boys Goten and Trunks and possibly lead the story of the manga into the story of the recent film Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.
But a recent draft image for the upcoming manga chapter revealed even more information about what to expect from the characters.
[Warning: Possible Spoilers from the upcoming Dragon Ball Super arc are below! Read at your own risk!]
Return of the Saiyaman in Dragon Ball Super? Saiya-men?
The draft image, as seen in the tweet below, shows what looks like the opening page of the chapter detailing what’s going on with Goku and Vegeta in the aftermath of Black Frieza, bridging the gap between them and the story that we’re actually following for the new arc.
Along with delivering the draft image, Twitter user DbsHype also brought a small text preview to go along with it: “This story will depict Trunks & Goten leading double lives as students who can transform into Superheroes.”
Small text preview: “This story will depict Trunks & Goten leading double lives as students who can transform into Superheroes!”
— Hype (@DbsHype) December 12, 2022
While it’s exciting to see this first page from the next chapter in the manga, if you think this story sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Fans immediately pointed out the similarity between that concept and the concepts from the beginning of the Buu saga. In Dragon Ball Z, we saw Gohan attending school, meeting Videl, and fighting criminals as the superhero “Saiyaman.”
Harkening back to an era that was met with quite a bit of pushback might be considered brave. But coming off the back of the Super Hero film and story, it might feel more tonally consistent than Saiyaman did back in the day coming off the back of Goku’s sacrifice in the Cell Games.
The Return of Dr. Hedo?
Recent draft images also revealed a splash page showing the aged-up heroes in their new costumes, along with some character silhouettes. There was one that looked a bit like a teenage Mai, which is interesting given her and Trunks’ past (and occasional possible future). Even more interestingly, there was what looked like Dr. Hedo sitting on the left side of the page.
Dr. Hedo made his debut earlier this year in the film Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero as the secondary antagonist of the story and the scientific genius behind Magenta, the Red Ribbon Army, and his prized superheroic androids. How Hedo seems to be tied into this prequel story has yet to be revealed. Given how Goten and Trunks’ costumes reflect that of Hedo’s Gamma 1 and Gamma 2 creations, it’s possible that the movie is retconned and we could see the two boys inspire Hedo to create the androids the way we see them.
End of Z coming soon?
Along with rumors that the upcoming arc will go up to and through the story of Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, fans are on the lookout for the series to finally catch up to the coveted “End of Z.” For the uninitiated, the “End of Z” is the furthest canonical point in the Dragon Ball timeline to date that saw Goku flying away with the reincarnation of Buu – Uub – to train him to become the strongest in the universe.
I think it’s possible that at the end of this saga we might see Goku and Vegeta return to Earth to participate in the 28th World’s Martial Arts Tournament, and then Goku latch onto Uub to train him. But now maybe there will be an added level of drama. That could include a possible revelation that Goku is taking Uub because he knows that the threat of Black Frieza would be too much just for them to take on. Maybe then the next arc could see all of the fighters go to Beerus’ world in order for them to train and hone their powers to go up against Black Frieza.
Playing with inevitability
The events at “End of Z” have been the best and worst thing to ever happen to Dragon Ball. While it’s annoying to wait for something you know will happen, that place in between knowing and arriving is exactly where Toriyama and now Toyotaro seem to thrive.
In every story that passes, expectations are set, and I cannot wait to see what they bring. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait long to see the return of these great heroes and the next chapter in their adventures! Dragon Ball Super returns with Chapter 88 on December 21 in Japan, and you can find it on Viz.com or the Viz app.
Are you excited about the next chapter? What do you think we’ll see in the upcoming Dragon Ball Super arc? Do you think it’s possible we’ll see the return of Saiyaman? Let us know on Twitter or on social media! And if you haven’t already, check out our review for Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero!