This is not just another thread bashing the anime or the manga. Everyone has discussed the topic of what is considered “canon” in DB Super. In the past, it was easy to define as the manga was always canon since it is the original work from the mangaka (the author). DB and DBZ manga were canon while the anime included fillers. However, this has changed with DB Super anime ahead of the manga. Now, the DB community has practically been divided between anime and manga.
Because of some misinformation still in the community, I would like to reopen this topic once again and to discuss the production behind anime and manga as well as review some of the differences. To do this, I’m going to go through the interviews in which Toyotaro and Toriyama were involved in. While each of these interviews were discussed by other people when they came out, nobody has reviewed all of them at once looking back from this point after DBS has ended.
Let’s start with the first interview, conducted on April 4th, 2016:
Point 1: Here, Toriyama confirms that every chapter that Toyotaro puts together has its storyboard reviewed by Toriyama himself.
Point 2: In addition, when the interviewer states that the animators may use Toyotaro’s manga as reference, Toriyama responds, “Oh, that’s good! That should keep them on track!”. This is an interesting answer as it could imply that Toyotaro is already on track and that following him would keep the animators on track.
Point 3: Toriyama himself states here that when he supervises the anime, there’s always something that “bugs” him that he will ask to have fixed. However, when he reviews Toyotaro’s storyboards, he can take it easy. Additionally he says that Toyotaro’s art style is the closest to matching his even including the animators!
Point 4: Here, Toriyama is asked if he has any advice for Toyotaro. He responds saying that he’s perfectly fine with the way things are going. Then when pushed further, Toriyama can only think of using more diverse angles for different scenes.
Next, is the second interview, conducted on Oct. 26th, 2016:
https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interv ... ou/.107579
Point 1: Since Dragon Ball Super has ended, fans have been on withdrawal and wondering when the next series will start. We all know that the movie is coming this year in December 14th, but a new anime series has not yet been confirmed. One of the reasons postulated for the DB Super Anime ending was so that the production team could focus on animating the movie. However, what if there is also another good reason? Here, Toyotaro himself states that while his manga is behind the anime, in the future, it will be ahead. As the DB Super manga is continuing and will end the events of the Tournament of Power, the next series may follow after the manga as it always did for DB and DBZ. How will this change the anime? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? I definitely think that it is a good thing, but you decide. Fast forward to now, the manga IS ahead of the anime as it is starting a manga exclusive arc called the Galactic Prisoner arc with the help of Toriyama.
Next, is the third interview, conducted on Dec. 2nd, 2016: http://www.kanzenshuu.com/translations/ ... alk-vol-2/
Point 1: In this interview, Toyotaro explains the production process which a lot of us know by now. We see Toyotaro’s original draft that was sent to Toriyama as example – the planet on which the U6 tournament took place. Then we see that Toriyama completely redraws it so that the planet is bigger than the Super Dragon Balls. Then Toyotaro incorporates these changes into the final product.
1st Major Difference - Super Saiyan God:
Point 2: It was long thought that the manga made a mistake on this part since the SSG wasn’t supposed to appear again if Goku absorbed it. Yet, we saw Goku use SSG in the Tournament of Power against Dyspo in the anime with no explanation of why Goku never used it before against Hit or Zamasu for that matter. The transformation just appeared out of nowhere. In fact, the rationale in the anime was the same as the manga - to conserve energy and stamina. Goku later transformed into SSB in the ToP after SSG. In the manga, Vegeta used SSG against Black. From the interview above, it is now clear that Toriyama supervised this and approved Vegeta turning into SSG. In fact, in the upcoming Dragon Ball Super Movie - Broly, SSG Vegeta will make an appearance for the first time in animated form. So why didn't Vegeta use this form before?
Even in the anime, during the Tournament of Power, Whis says the same thing he stated in the manga - that using SSG before SSB conserves stamina and allows the user to use the full power of SSB in short bursts.
Source: DBS Episode 104
When we first learned of the Super Saiyan God (SSG), we thought it was a temporary transformation that Goku could not access anymore and that he had absorbed the powers of the SSG into his body. This was even confirmed by Toriyama himself in another interview conducted on 4th October, 2013 for the Battle of the Gods movie:
Source: Episode 13, 19:30-19:50
Furthermore, in the RoF spin-off manga also by Toyotaro, there is a panel shown where Base Goku punches Whis and a SSG Goku is shown in the background, implying that this Base Goku indeed has god ki. It seems at this point, the manga was still congruent with the movie and anime. A possible rationalization could be that Goku did in fact absorb the power of SSG into his body, but he could only utilize fractions of god ki during the BoG movie as a SSJ in space vs Beerus. In addition, a base that uses a fraction of god ki could be used. This what formed the "two base theory". However, in the manga, the scene where SSJ Goku is fighting Beerus in space never happens. The fight ends when Goku comes out of the SSG in the manga.
Source: DBS RoF Manga, Chapter 2, Page 9
Therefore, we later saw SSB in the anime and didn’t see SSG again for two complete story arcs. That is, Base Goku was shown to be fighting Freeza in RoF and this was thought to be a new Base with god ki. Then during the U6 tournament, Goku did not use SSG at all. Instead, he used Kaioken on top of SSB against Hit. In the manga however, Goku used SSG against Hit, much to everyone’s surprise. Suddenly SSG resurfaced but we thought that this form was absorbed and Toriyama himself stated that we would not see it again right? The logic used in the manga of using SSG first is that it allowed Goku to conserve his stamina before using the full power of SSB. In fact, this was the pivotal point in the story where the manga and anime really diverged.
We also didn't see SSG at all during the Zamasu arc of the anime. We all know that Vegeta got slaughtered by Black in their first fight, both in the anime and manga. In the rematch, Vegeta trained in the Room of Spirit and Time. However, instead of just getting stronger like he did in the anime; in the manga, he utilized a different strategy. Here, Vegeta discovered that switching from SSG to SSB allows him to release the full power of SSB in short bursts without losing stamina. He learned this from watching Goku fight Hit when Goku used SSG. Goku himself explains this when Trunks is confused how Vegeta, using a lower form, is able to beat Black.
Source: Chapter 22, Page 25
Source: Chapter 22, Page 26
2nd Major Difference – Hit’s Time Abilities:
Furthermore, Hit putting his hands in his pockets was clarified in the manga to not just be for style and showing off, but that his hands twitch just before the Time Skip. This is the real reason how Goku was able to predict Hit’s movements and beat him! In the anime, this was not explained until the Tournament of Power when Dyspo could hear the twitches of Hit’s body before the Time Skip. Same concept but why this late? Hence, it seems that the anime is incorporating things from the manga in later episodes but then this also makes the anime seem like it’s catching up to the manga. Since, in the first fight between Goku vs Hit in the anime, none of this was ever mentioned at all. Instead, in the anime, Goku magically predicted Hit’s movements 0.1 s ahead of time. In the manga, Goku also predicted Hit’s movements 0.1 s ahead but because of those twitches, he knew when to predict.
Source: Chapter 13, Page 8
Source: Episode 104, 9:05
We also learn that Hit’s ability to store time for 0.1 s only works when the opponent is weaker than him. As the fight continued, Goku went SSG and this made Hit’s ability to freeze Goku less than 0.1 s allowing Goku to counter quicker. Whis explains this very well here:
Source: Chapter 13, Page 19
So then the logical question to ask is how come SSB Vegeta wasn’t able to overcome Hit’s time skip since SSB > SSG right? Well Beerus asks the same question from Whis and he answers it. The SSB transformation cannot be used repeatedly in succession as it drains stamina, so Vegeta was using less than 10% of SSB’s full power. It also tells us that SSG > 10% SSB. That is, if Vegeta didn’t show off to Cabba and turn SSB, he would’ve had saved the stamina and had a chance to beat Hit’s time skip.
Source: Chapter 13, Page 20
Hit's other ability was the "Time Lag" in the manga or the "Time Cage" in the anime, “Time Cage” was used against Jiren to freeze all of Jiren’s movements. To do this, Hit needed to land one puch on Jiren’s body. Hit’s plan was to essentially throw him out of the ring, but Jiren overpowered Hit. According to Vados, Jiren was so powerful that he transcends time itself.
Source: Chapter 20, DBS Manga
Source: Episode 111, DBS Anime
In the manga, it was stated by Hit that he trained hard after his fight with Goku and tried to fix the flaws with his Time Skip technique in that in only worked for 0.1 seconds and it required that his opponent is weaker than he is. Hit has trained his own body and doesn’t rely on Time Skip anymore. He then removes his belt to increase his speed and moves a lot faster. Then, he uses the “Time Lag”on Jiren to impede or slow down Jiren’s movements. Unlike the anime, Hit doesn’t need direct contact with Jiren’s body to initiate Time Lag. and fights Jiren while his movements are lagged. Eventually though, Jiren beat the Time Lag by increasing his speed to overcome the lag. However, this was not transcending time like Vados stated in the anime. This minor detail becomes a major difference to explain how Time Lag works.
3rd Major Difference – Hit’s Improvement Ability:
Remember that time in the anime when Hit was getting beat by SSB Goku and we all thought Goku was winning? Then Hit started doing what seemed to be powering up but actually he didn’t raise his power level. Then, Hit landed a critical blow to Goku. We found out later that Hit did something called “improvement”, an ability similar to zenkai, the hallmark trait of the saiyans, but different in that he adapted to the situation and increased his Time Skip from 0.1 s to 0.2 s without raising his power.
In the manga, however, this never happened. When Hit powered up, his power level did increase just as expected from regular logic. The idea was that if SSG Goku exceeding Hit’s power was the reason the Time Skip wasn’t working, then all Hit had to do increase his power further. Hit then said that since he hasn’t used his full power in a long time, he could only do the Time Skip once but it would freeze Goku for a full 0.1 s. That is, in the manga, Hit’s Time Skip remained at 0.1 s and did not increase.
The “improvement” ability was never mentioned or heard of again in the anime. He didn’t “improve” during the fight with Dyspo or Jiren. “Improvement” was dropped from the anime because the anime again incorporated what was in the manga.
Source: Chapter 13, Page 22
Source: Chapter 13, Page 22
Source: Episode 39, 6:10-10:05
It’s at this point in the manga that Goku switches over to SSB so that he still exceeds Hit in power even more. Therefore, Hit still can’t freeze him. In the anime, Goku instead used Kaioken on top of Blue. It was explained that 10x Kaioken was enough to make Goku move faster than Hit’s Time Skip but this actually made no sense since Hit’s ability is Time Skip not Time Lag. Therefore, moving faster cannot overcome the Time Skip. It can only be overcome by increasing one’s power above Hit. In the anime, Hit improved his Time Skip to 0.5 s which overcame even the 10x Kaioken at which point Goku forfeited since he knew his body was already suffering from the effects of the Kaioken.
4th Difference – Black's Zenkai
A Saiyan’s hallmark trait of getting stronger after each fight is called the Zenkai. This occurs when a Saiyan is healed from their injuries. The zenkai is even defined in the Daizenshuu. In Dragon Ball Super, Black however was different because he got stronger during the fight after taking damage. This is quite different from the zenkai we’ve known in Dragon Ball Z. Usually a Saiyan has to be healed after taking damage or being near the brink of death. A Saiyan doesn’t just get stronger from damage alone.
Source: Chapter 20, DBS Manga
The manga depiction of Black was different. In the manga, as Black took damage from the fight, he in fact did not get stronger. However, we find out later that Future Zamasu is using his abilities as a Kai to heal Black. This double team of Zamasu healing Black allowed Black to continually get stronger. Each time he was healed, Black made Goku’s body more his own and was able to unlock more of its power. This is consistent with Dragon Ball Z’s original logic as to how a zenkai works. In addition, when Ginyu took Goku’s body, he wasn’t able to use its full power immediately either.
5th Difference – Merged Zamasu’s Strength
Point 3: Next, the manga was criticized for making Merged Zamasu very weak compared to the anime. In the manga, Vegito Blue said he could wipe out all traces of Merged Zamasu before he could regenerate himself, implying that he could beat Merged Zamasu even if he was immortal. Vegito was effortlessly beating the crap out of Merged Zamasu but defused just before he could finish off his Final Kamehameha which was supposed to be the ending attack. In addition, we see from this interview, Toriyama said that while Merged Zamasu is strong, two SSBs was enough to take him on. It was in fact, Toyotaro’s idea to use fusion in the first place and convince Toriyama to do some fan service. In fact, the entire draft for the Zamasu arc was given an OK by Toriyama.
In the anime however, Merged Zamasu seems somewhat equivalent to Vegito Blue, giving him some actual competition and hitting back. Also, unlike the manga, Vegito did complete the Final Kamehameha and damaged Merged Zamasu, but only half of him. One question is - what was Vegito Blue's purpose in the anime if Merged Zamasu was immortal? In the manga, at least it was stated that Vegito could wipe out all traces to prevent him from regenerating. Without the mafuba, there was no way to defeat an immortal, so what was the strategy? Ultimately, the fusion would have run out.
A minor difference noted was that when Goku and Vegeta fused, they ate a single senzu bean after fusion rather than two senzu beans before fusion. To me, that seemed smarter as it saved a senzu bean. It was more dramatic that they only had 1 senzu bean left.
Source: Chapter 23, Page 35
Source: Chapter 23, Page 36
Source: Chapter 23, Page 42
Source: Episode 66, 12:04
6th Major Difference - Hakai
In the Dragon Ball Super manga, the hakai technique was thought to be exclusive to the Hakaishin. It uses hakai energy which seems to be a form of negative energy to erase any being, even if they are a ghost. We found out though that anyone can become a Hakaishin and one is not born into it like the Kaioshin. In the Zamasu arc, Goku suddenly uses the hakai energy against Merged Zamasu which was seemingly working for a bit. If hakai energy is a form of energy used by the Hakaishin, we can conclude it requires god ki. Perhaps Goku learned it from watching Beerus just like he learned the Kamehameha from watching Roshi. In addition, Trunks was able to learn how to use the ability to heal others because he was training under Shin and Kibito. Thus, in the manga, these techniques may in fact, can be taught to mortals.
7th Major Difference – Mastered SSB vs SSB + Kaioken x20
Goku used a Completed SSB (CSSB) form in the manga which allowed Goku to be on par with Merged Zamasu. A lot of people just couldn’t accept this compared to the anime since that would mean CSSB Goku alone is enough to beat Merged Zamasu, so is his new form as strong as Vegito? No, Vegito was just much much greater in power but the anime nerfed him. Vegeta was also later able to learn the CSSB form and used it against a quick spar against Beerus where he lost horribly. This allowed both Goku and Vegeta to be able to catch up to each other. In contrast, in the anime, since Kaioken is being used, Vegeta had to be given another form called SSB Evolution (SSBE) since Vegeta doesn’t know Kaioken. We also now know from Chapter 35 in the manga, that Goku used CSSB against Jiren analogous to Episode 109 of the anime where he used SSB+Kaioken x20, so it can be assumed here that CSSB is indeed equivalent to the anime’s version of SSB+Kaioken x20.
In addition, the director of Episode 131, Megumi Ishitani, stated herself that the SSBE is equivalent to Goku's SSB Kaioken x20:
Source: Chapter 24, Page 32
Source: Episode 123. SSBE Vegeta and SSB Kaioken x20 Goku.
Source: Chapter 35, Page 16
Source: Episode 109, 16:45-17:15
Point 4: When asked about adding Toyotaro’s own ideas into Toriyama’s original draft, Toriyama welcomes it and even goes on to say that Toyotaro knows more than Dragon Ball.
8th Major Difference – Marty Stu Trunks and Infinite Zamasu
In pop culture, Mary Sue is a female perfect fictional character. They can usually perform better at tasks than should be possible given the amount or training or experience. Marty Stu is the male equivalent of that. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Sue
In the anime, Future Trunks learned the Mafuba, Spirit Bomb, and SS Rage all over the course of a couple of episodes. SS Rage was a new transformation that came out of nowhere without any explanation in contrast to MSSB where it was explained that it was essentially the full power of SSB without any ki leakage. Both in the anime and manga, Trunks cut Merged Zamasu in half. However, in the manga, Merged Zamasu was also affected by the 1 hour fusion time limit since neither Black or Future Zamasu are complete Kaioshins. Since they are the same person in different bodies, they had fused at the cellular level and hence was rejecting the defusion. They started separating and Trunks took advantage of that to slice them in half. Then, Merged Zamasu became similar to Buu, in that each part that was cut regenerated itself into another Merged Zamasu with the same power as the original Merged Zamasu. Eventually, he made several clones of himself – Infinite Zamasu.
Source: Chapter 29, Page 37
In the anime though, after Merged Zamasu was cut in half, he went into the sky and essentially became intangible without a physical body. Here, infinite Zamasu was defined very differently. In the manga, it is implied that if an attack wiped out all traces of Merged Zamasu, similar to Cell or Buu, then he wouldn’t regenerate even if he had immortality. Though different from Cell or Buu, each clone of Merged Zamasu was as strong as the original, which is scary!
I mean imagine Naruto doing Kage Bushin with each of his clones strong as the without their power divided. Tenshinhan was the first person in Dragon Ball to clone himself at the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai into four clones. Goku easily defeated all four since their power was 1/4th.
Source: Chapter 25, Page 29
Source: Chapter 26, Page 8
8th Major Difference – Kale
In the anime, Kale is shown to be a shy, introverted girl. She is reluctant to fight. She loves Caulifla like a sister and would do anything to receive praise from her. She showcases her true power as a Berserk Super Saiyan before the Tournament of Power. In the anime, she literally becomes a human punching bag from her opponents. After she turned into a Berserk Super Saiyan, she easily overpowered Super Saiyan Blue Goku and walked through his Kamehameha.
Source: Chapter 37, DBS Manga
Source: Chapter 38, DBS Manga
However, in the manga, Kale was an orphan found on the streets by Caulifla and hence, she hid her abilities from Caulifla as a way of respect. She did not transform into a Berserk Super Saiyan until the Tournament of Power, surprising both Cabba and Caulifla. As a Base Saiyan, she was already stronger and faster than Super Saiyan Caulifla. Golden Freeza confirmed this when he said that Kale’s strikes hurt more than Caulifla’s. After she turned Berserk, she easily overpowers Golden Freeza and breaks the guard of Super Saiyan Blue Goku. She beats Anilaza with one kick whereas in the anime, it took 5 main characters using their final attacks and it still wasn’t enough to defeat him.
Unlike the anime, Kale’s Berserk form wasn’t invincible. Vegeta goes on to say that brute power isn’t everything and that Kale’s moves are predictable. It took five Pride Troopers to defeat Berserk Kale, using teamwork. We even learn that Kale might be the legendary Saiyan of Universe 6 that appears every 1000 years.
10th Major Difference – Kefla
In the manga, Caulifla fused with Kale due to an emergency in order to control Kale and prevent her from destroying herself. As in the anime, they fused as Super Saiyans. However, unlike the anime, the resulting fusion was a Super Saiyan Kefla not a Base Kefla. In fact, it was the Elder Kaioshin who told Goku since the DBZ manga, to not fuse as Super Saiyans, because it overstresses the body and shortens the life span. This is because the fused entity cannot power down. This is also why when Black and Zamasu fused into Merged Zamasu, Black was already in Super Saiyan Rose so Merged Zamasu was permanently in a transformed state. The anime however contradicts what the Elder Kaioshin stated long ago.
Source: Chapter 503 of DBZ manga
11th Major Difference – Roshi vs Jiren
In chapter 39 of the manga, Roshi uses what seems to be Ultra Instinct. However, it is found that Roshi is NOT using Migatte No Gokui but using something that has similarities to it. Whis said that what Roshi is using has similar principles but is a "far cry" from Ultra Instinct. Roshi is hundreds of years old and has studied martial arts from Mutaito. The concept of reacting, moving instinctively, and anticipating or predicting your opponent's movements is not new in martial arts. It's called Mushin. It's a state of mind that is achieved after years of practice by the top grandmasters. Roshi had zero chance against Jiren. Roshi isn't moving faster than Jiren to dodge those punches. He anticipated and predicted the punch, moving out of the way before the punch was thrown. At the same time, Jiren is fighting a fly. He can be disqualified for killing a fly such as Roshi. Thus, he is barely using an ounce of his power. Ki suppression has been prevalent since early DB. If one suppresses their ki to 1, they can even be harmed by a bullet. Whis has also been shown to hold the wings of a bee to show how he can control his strength. Goku isn't Superman. He doesn't have superstrength permanently. Rather, he can increase or decrease his ki at will, which is how he can eat with chopsticks without breaking them or hug his wife. In the end, Jiren karate chops Roshi to knock him out. The entire purpose of Roshi demonstrating what he did, much to the shock of Beerus, Whis, and Goku, was what a person can do against someone more powerful without gaining more power. Goku learned to minimize unnecessary movements from trying to catch Korin and also from Mr. Popo when moving without making a noise with a bell attached to his clothes. This is part of being "quiet as the sky" but "faster than lightning". The manga goes out of its way to remind the fans all the direct quotes from Goku's teachers. These fundamentals however, were lost as Goku surpassed his limits through power alone. In DBZ, Goku needed to close the power gap between him and his foes because without power, he can't do any damage regardless of martial arts. This is why DBZ was mostly about Super Saiyan transformations. Goku learns from this and tapped into UI Omen. It was the perfect segue into Goku achieving Ultra Instinct.
12th Major Difference – Ultimate Gohan vs Kefla
Gohan is a hybrid Saiyan. It was stated since the start of DBZ in the Saiyan saga and as well as in the official Daizenshuu 7, that the Humans and Saiyans have excellent compatibility. Gohan can increase his strength as a human and a Saiyan, tapping into new heights. It is also explained that when the Elder Kai unlocked his potential, he unlocked his latent potential as a human which is why he didn't need to turn into a Super Saiyan. Since he doesn't turn into a SSJ, he doesn't waste stamina. He was shown to be as strong as BSSJ Kefla who is stronger than BSSJ Kale. This makes Gohan stronger than SSB Goku. In the manga, it is shown that Gohan, with just a little serious training can be even stronger than Goku. In the anime, we see Gohan fight SSB Goku with Kaioken.
13th Major Difference - Android 17's bomb
In the anime and manga, Android 17 seemingly "self-destructed". However, in the manga it was outright explained that Android 17 couldn't have self-destructed even if he wanted to since Krillin already made a wish to remove the bombs from the Androids. At the same time, characters can been shown to self-destruct without a bomb by just using their ki alone like Vegeta. However, as herms98 pointed out, the attack that Vegeta uses to sacrifice himself using his ki, stated in both the anime and manga is called 捨て身/sutemi, literally to throw away one’s body/self. This is opposed to the word used in the anime and manga for Android 17's self-destruction which is 自爆/jibaku.
Hence, in Japanese, these two seemingly similar moves are distinct. Therefore, it was all a tactic to fool others and hide Android 17 until the end since Android 17 does not emit a ki signature that can be detected. Rather, his energy is artificial than biological since he is an Android, designed by Dr. Gero, Infinite Energy model. This does not contradict anything in the prior manga material. It also explains why the Grand Priest, who announced that Android 17 is gone, both in the anime and manga, was unaware that he is still present. In the anime, Android 17 survives his own self-destruction out of sheer luck with no explanation given that it was a plan devised by him and Freeza.
14th Major Difference - No Kaioken or Evolution Blue in DBS Broly movie
The most recent DBS Broly movie has more involvement by Toriyama than any other movie in history. We know this from Tatsuya Nagamine's interview, who is the director of the movie:
Source: http://www.kanzenshuu.com/translations/ ... interview/
In this movie, Goku and Vegeta do not use Kaioken or Evolution Blue, which were anime-exclusive forms. Rather, the aura shown for SSB seemed to match the aura shown by Vegeta in the ToP in the manga, which was the manga's equivalent of Evolution Blue. This is perhaps the greatest evidence in favor of the manga being more consistent with Toriyama's script. Before, both the anime and manga were told to be adaptations of Toriyama's draft but since we did not have access to his draft, there was no way to know which one was more consistent. In this case, the movie is clearly following his script and it is more consistent with the manga than the anime.
In conclusion, the manga and anime each have their own unique story elements that we either love or hate but based on the evidence, the manga has less inconsistencies than the anime. Toriyama works very closely with Toyotaro, reviewing each chapter. I hope that this clears up any misinformation regarding how the manga is produced and that it is not some spin-off or fan-manga. If you disagree with anything I said, please feel free to comment below stating why or why not. What do you think is “canon” or do you even care? Do you like anime more or the manga? Why? Or do you use both to make your own head canon, taking information from each? Do you think in the future the anime will be more based off the manga? Post below.