Was there a lack of A-Plot/B-Plot in Super?

Discussion specifically regarding the "Dragon Ball Super" TV series premiering July 2015 in Japan, including individual threads for each episode.

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Was there a lack of A-Plot/B-Plot in Super?

Post by bleed0range » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:46 am

I was thinking today of how throughout all of DBZ, there’s usually an A-Plot and B-Plot that run alongside each other and merge at the end which sort of gives us a story with a bigger scope and makes it feel like the characters have gone farther from the start. So when it all comes together at the end it feels like a big, epic adventure transpired. It’s usually some sort of training.

I noticed generally the gang is all together at the beginning of the story, get separated and converge at the end.

For example:
- Goku dies and travels Snake Way while the others deal with Napa and Vegeta.
- Krillin, Bulma and Gohan on Namek while Goku travels there and trains.
- Goku and Gohan training in the ROSAT while Vegeta and Trunks deal with Cell
- Goku and Vegeta fighting while Gohan deals with Boo
- Gohan acquiring the Z sword and training with the Kai while Gotenks deals with Boo


I feel like this could have been especially useful in the TOP arc because it felt it got a bit stale. If there was, say a B-Plot during the tournament of Goku having to go get Freeza as a replacement fighter or something because of Boo or some other “at stakes” thing it could have had better pacing.

It would have been a cool twist if during the ROF arc, Freeza had a B-Plot showing his training while the rest of the cast dealt with his forces until he arrived. Sort of a reversal on Goku trying to arrive and save his friends.

What do you guys think?

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Re: Was there a lack of A-Plot/B-Plot in Super?

Post by Xeogran » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:00 pm

Yeah, I miss the B-Plots. ToP in particular could use one, because looking at the arena got stale after a while, yet alone 30+ episodes.

Of course I mean not like Z-Filler where they got very disruptive (and wasted time for nothing), like Dabura in Heaven searching for Gohan, or the constant cuts to Chichi's House during the Cell Games.

Now this could make some people annoyed, but cutting to Goten, Trunks and Marron for an episode would be refreshing. Especially if it were to involve the Cell Jrs too.

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Re: Was there a lack of A-Plot/B-Plot in Super?

Post by BlueBasilisk » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:15 pm

I think that's a side effect of doing away with the Waiting For Goku formula starting in the U6 arc. He's directly involved in the bulk of the action now so the focus stays with him instead of having him sidelined doing something else while the B-team pushes the story along.

We do still have some B-plots but they're usually pretty short. Like in the Future Trunks arc the group occasionally split up and Goku/Trunks/Vegeta/Mai would be doing their own thing.

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Re: Was there a lack of A-Plot/B-Plot in Super?

Post by Alruneia » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:29 pm

Xeogran wrote:Now this could make some people annoyed, but cutting to Goten, Trunks and Marron for an episode would be refreshing. Especially if it were to involve the Cell Jrs too.
This one is a bit strange, because Toei fully set up this B-plot before the tournament started, even going so far as to introduce poacher enemies for the kids to battle, and then promptly never did anything with it. Did something happen internally to make them drop it? Maybe they didn't know about the whole "the show's ending for now soon" thing at the time, and when that became a thing, they had to change their approach to the arc? I don't know, but I've made posts about this cancelled B-plot before, and I know many other people have been wondering where it went as well.
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Re: Was there a lack of A-Plot/B-Plot in Super?

Post by SupremeKai25 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:40 pm

The Future Trunks arc had such writing, didn't it?

Episodes 62-64 come to mind:

Plot A: Future Trunks and Mai must buy time for Goku and his friends to return to the Future timeline and help them defeat Zamasu.
Plot B: Goku and his friends must find a way to defeat the most powerful Goku Black and the immortal Future Zamasu.
Plot A/B converge when Goku and his friends return to the Future timeline, and they all play a part in the following battle (Goku and Vegeta fight Black while Trunks and Mai seal Zamasu using the Mafuba technique).

Actually, I just noticed that you, too, referenced this. Yes, the Future Trunks arc had this kind of writing. Perhaps it was not on the levels of Z, but it was still something.
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Re: Was there a lack of A-Plot/B-Plot in Super?

Post by TheMikado » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:55 pm

SupremeKai25 wrote:The Future Trunks arc had such writing, didn't it?

Episodes 62-64 come to mind:

Plot A: Future Trunks and Mai must buy time for Goku and his friends to return to the Future timeline and help them defeat Zamasu.
Plot B: Goku and his friends must find a way to defeat the most powerful Goku Black and the immortal Future Zamasu.
Plot A/B converge when Goku and his friends return to the Future timeline, and they all play a part in the following battle (Goku and Vegeta fight Black while Trunks and Mai seal Zamasu using the Mafuba technique).

Actually, I just noticed that you, too, referenced this. Yes, the Future Trunks arc had this kind of writing. Perhaps it was not on the levels of Z, but it was still something.
Super is just a much simpler story and plot than original Z. Id argue it’s more watered down Pokemon levels of plot complexity.

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Re: Was there a lack of A-Plot/B-Plot in Super?

Post by Xeogran » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:05 pm

SupremeKai25 wrote:The Future Trunks arc had such writing, didn't it?
Indeed, that's true. One of best examples is the focus changing to Zamasu's teachings, showing us his gradual change. Especially when Gowasu took him 1000 years to the future and these cavemen beings still fought each other like in the past.
That part was honestly hilarious yet realistic.

It's also what for me developed him as a character, as I could understand his feelings better.
TheMikado wrote: Super is just a much simpler story and plot than original Z. Id argue it’s more watered down Pokemon levels of plot complexity.
Multiple universes, convoluted timelines and the inclusion of Time Rings made it even more complex than Z. Up until now I don't get how Beerus Hakai'ing Zamasu made a new Timeline and that was possibly why Black exists (?)

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Re: Was there a lack of A-Plot/B-Plot in Super?

Post by 1345521 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:46 pm

SupremeKai25 wrote:The Future Trunks arc had such writing, didn't it?

Episodes 62-64 come to mind:

Plot A: Future Trunks and Mai must buy time for Goku and his friends to return to the Future timeline and help them defeat Zamasu.
Plot B: Goku and his friends must find a way to defeat the most powerful Goku Black and the immortal Future Zamasu.
Plot A/B converge when Goku and his friends return to the Future timeline, and they all play a part in the following battle (Goku and Vegeta fight Black while Trunks and Mai seal Zamasu using the Mafuba technique).

Actually, I just noticed that you, too, referenced this. Yes, the Future Trunks arc had this kind of writing. Perhaps it was not on the levels of Z, but it was still something.
:evil: Not really. That's all under the same plot, just requires a split up of the main cast. If you want to use the trunks arc, the manga did this way better. Plot A goku and vegeta go to defeat black while in plot B - berrus and the Kai go to defeat present zamsu. Those are what you call differnt plots. And plus, even if we did include your example. Goku and vegeta escape while trunks covers for them, then they head to past and discuss while trunks is getting punished by black rose. As a matter of fact it diverges into 3 plots because 1 plot is where supreme Kai saves trunks and they go the supreme Kai world, the next plot is seeing what black and zamsu do when alone on earth, and the last plot is goku and vegeta training to stop black and zamsu. And then the first two plots combine with black stabbing gowasu and then it furthers combines with the 3rd plot as vegeta and goku return to the battle scene.

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Re: Was there a lack of A-Plot/B-Plot in Super?

Post by 1345521 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:52 pm

Xeogran wrote:
SupremeKai25 wrote:The Future Trunks arc had such writing, didn't it?
Indeed, that's true. One of best examples is the focus changing to Zamasu's teachings, showing us his gradual change. Especially when Gowasu took him 1000 years to the future and these cavemen beings still fought each other like in the past.
That part was honestly hilarious yet realistic.

It's also what for me developed him as a character, as I could understand his feelings better.
TheMikado wrote: Super is just a much simpler story and plot than original Z. Id argue it’s more watered down Pokemon levels of plot complexity.
Multiple universes, convoluted timelines and the inclusion of Time Rings made it even more complex than Z. Up until now I don't get how Beerus Hakai'ing Zamasu made a new Timeline and that was possibly why Black exists (?)
Super is not near the comeplextiy of Z. The andorid arc alone is more complex then all of supers anime combined. Black comes from a differnt timeline altogether, a timeline where future trunks never came back and so zamsu ended up taking gokus body and killing him. Leaving that timeline. This present timeline would have mirrored that but berrus killing present zamsu altered that time stream thus creating a new one.

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Re: Was there a lack of A-Plot/B-Plot in Super?

Post by Alruneia » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:24 pm

Xeogran wrote:Up until now I don't get how Beerus Hakai'ing Zamasu made a new Timeline and that was possibly why Black exists (?)
I figure it's something along the lines of this.
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Re: Was there a lack of A-Plot/B-Plot in Super?

Post by Baggie_Saiyan » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:34 pm

Complex doesn't = good. Android arc easily the worst thing DB has ever produced. I tried re-watching it a while ago (via Kai)... Couldn't finish it. /:

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Re: Was there a lack of A-Plot/B-Plot in Super?

Post by 1345521 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:03 pm

Baggie_Saiyan wrote:Complex doesn't = good. Android arc easily the worst thing DB has ever produced. I tried re-watching it a while ago (via Kai)... Couldn't finish it. /:
WHAAAAT? (First of all, Kai is trash so why you watching in through there?) the andorid arc was ONE LF THE BEST ARCS IN THE SERIES. My personal 2nd favorite arc. Plus I agree complexity dosent equal good but the andorid arc was GOOD. Starting from mecha Freeza to when trunks kills cell in the future. That was "garbage"? I mean, I get this is just your taste instead of you claiming to be objective but c'mon. How was the android arc had? It was SOOOO GOOD. Honestly, YOU could argue it's the BEST ARC in db history. Only things that compete with it are buu arc, Namek arc and MAYBE demon king piccolo arc. But that's about it.

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Re: Was there a lack of A-Plot/B-Plot in Super?

Post by Marlowe89 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:34 pm

Here's the thing: I don't think the series was ever trying to have a multifaceted scope, and that's completely fine. batistabus put it best, but Super is clearly the "B-side" of the original Dragon Ball story, clearly designed to tell the antics of Goku and his friends during a lost decade. I'm sure people expected all sorts of wacky subplots and journeys to unknown universes, and I can't blame them for that, but I've never felt like those were required for the premise that Toriyama was trying to get across.

That's not to scoff at the possibility of it happening, though. I'd more than welcome an arc like that if it can be executed well, regardless of the ideas behind it.

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Re: Was there a lack of A-Plot/B-Plot in Super?

Post by JazzMazz » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:01 pm

I would say the only arc that would have benefitted heavily from having more genuine subplots that lead somewhere would be the TOP, but then again, the TOP would have benefitted from having a genuine plot line beyond a series of fights. Different characters having different objectives beyond just eliminating other people or fighting I believe would have made the TOP far more interesting in both versions.

For example, in the anime, they could have had a subplot about protecting Goku who had been rendered unconscious after fighting Jiren with UI Omen, and was being targeted from other universes. They could have used the size of the arena in the anime to their advantage by having the different members of universe 7 having to quickly palm off Goku to other members while keeping the horde of opponents chasing after them distracted, while at the same time, you could have Jiren's fight with Hit going on at the same time, and actually have it mean something. This is a battle royale, every encounter a person engages in, especially with those of strong opponents should wear them down somewhat.
Have the other universes also have plans of attack. They don't necessarily need to all be extensively fleshed out, but group coordination between team members to set up ambushes and great memorable battles with our protagonists on different area's of the field is an interesting idea.

I think you get where my rambling is going. The TOP, in both versions, are just extremely under baked, or at best average tournaments. They either handle their core concept poorly, or don't handle it at all and instead opt for more conventional plot lines.
Either way, I believe genuine side objectives, something that should have been a given considering how many fighters their were, would have lead to a more interesting TOP as those different subplots bounced off each other.

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Re: Was there a lack of A-Plot/B-Plot in Super?

Post by JulieYBM » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:28 pm

Yeah, I feel like the Tournament of Power is where the handling of the plot wasn't strong enough. The Future Trunks arc basically had a B-plot with Present Zamasu being trained by Present Gowasu in the ways of the Kaiou-shin. The first three arcs are a bit linear, sure, but they're also shorter and really only work as short arcs, not full-length arcs. The Tournament of Power should've done better to establish what the goals for the characters should have been and then built towards them. What did Kuririn, Tenshinhan, Gohan, Piccolo, the Muten Roushi, Vegeta, Gokuu, Freeza and #17 want? I feel like the latter two had clearer goals, at least. Structuring the arc properly should've been a priority, too. Fifty-eight episodes is just too fucking much, especially for a linear story. The Tournament should've been peppered with flashbacks to the recruitment and important moments in the characters' lives to give each character-focused episode more weight to them while preventing exhausting their audience with fighting.

Then again, I'd have ideally had the Tournament of Power arc only be 22-23 episodes long.
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Re: Was there a lack of A-Plot/B-Plot in Super?

Post by Waluigiman » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:10 pm

I agree about the Tournament of Power lacking a B-plot(hehe Bee-movie memories) but maybe this happened because Hiromi Tsuru tragically passed away and because the anime needed to be rushed for some reason. I am thinking they were planning to make a story about what was happening on earth. I am thinking that there was going to be a story involving Bulma, Yamcha, Maron, Goten, and Trunks saving something like the rest of the world from some aliens or protecting the animals from the poachers. When I was doing a now lost fan comic about me "finishing" the story, I was going to write about having Goku face universe 4 and Quitela was going to tease Universe 7 about sending some invaders to Earth in order to unease or distract Goku from fighting rationally.

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Re: Was there a lack of A-Plot/B-Plot in Super?

Post by Green_Goblin » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:49 am

I think that the closest we had got to that was the fight of the Dragon-Team **missing Yamcha and Chiaotzu** and Jaco vs. Frieza's 1000 soldiers army and elites while Goku and Vegeta were training over Beerus' Planet.

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