Goku is a Well-Written “regressed” character 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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Master Xar
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Goku is a Well-Written “regressed” character in Super

Post by Master Xar » Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:11 am

I’ve come to understand and come to question the idea. “Is Goku in Dragonball Super an objectively worse character than in DBZ?”

There comes this idea that a character becoming more flawed in-universe, and regressing is some form of bad storytelling... when it isn’t.

Yes Goku has regressed a part of who he is as a character. It is a key part of something that hasn’t been developed (or has developed) before as it has already been a core part of his character. His humbleness.

His ability to see an opponent as worthy and the need to take the situation or the power he uses seriously. How that changed his character is to not say that is bad writing. Let me take you back to where this was all first implied and how the TOP changed him.

BOG when it first showed Beerus fighting both in the movie and in the anime. (I’m going to use the movie as a reference to the themes as it is less subtle than the anime as to prove my point.)

Goku in BOG is cocky, especially in his first fight with Beerus, he doesn’t take King Kai’s warnings remotely seriously he even in the movie tries to warn Beerus, and condescend to him that he could go out of SSJ3 if it’s too much for Beerus to handle, he completely underestimated Beerus due to his own ego.

And SSJG and how Goku says he is upset that he couldn’t achieve the power on his own. That he was being cocky and he isn’t aware that he has always relied on his friends to help him or give him the power that he needs whether that be through training or situational.

Goku has gotten very obviously overconfident in his own power some point after the Buu Saga. That he is finally the strongest in the universe (outside of Gohan, but he doesn’t train as that doesn’t last long) and with that comes with complacency, a sense of no urgency to be better than yourself if no one is around to challenge you then why bother?

ROF speaks this clear when it first hints the UI state and Whis lesson to Goku and Vegeta and their flaws as people being their flaws to be better as fighters. Goku’s problem? He is, simply too relaxed he has been to nonchalant or taking the situation or fight serious enough to utilize his full potential.

Goku also now has grown bored without a challenge and is searching for a sign that there are stronger fighters out there. That there is a vast universe to challenge him again? That’s why Goku was so excited when Goku learns about the universes and urges on to fight U6 and later asking Zeno for the TOP. That in the Future Trunks arc he begs Zamasu to give him a quick spar.

It is also the origin as to why Goku makes so many mistakes in The Future Trunks Arc and later sagas, and why he is so goofy and less serious. He forgets the Senzu beans. Why? Because he isn’t taking the situation serious enough to bring them? He later brings The Sealing Container (without the talisman, but this is more Roshi’s fault than anything) and brings it... but unfortunately leaves it in the ship. Why? Because while he takes the situation more seriously from then and learned from his previous mistake it wasn’t enough to completely learn his lesson and take the situation seriously enough.

And this is where the TOP comes into play. Where Goku’s flaw comes to a head and where he finally opens his eyes. It all starts from the beginning where Goku has gotten rusty since his fight with Hit. He hasn’t been training... let’s look at that in context Goku has not been training... this is unheard of. While Goku may have in-between years where he may be training less intensely than before. He never ever got flat-out rusty before. And it all came to a head in the Exhibition Match where Goku’s nonchalance and flaw comes to full display, such so that the audience (both in-universe and out) is wondering if Goku is evil or that he has become some sort of sociopath. And in this short time... he may have. He completely didn’t care or at least didn’t show caring about the other universes being threatened or saw Zeno’s actions as unfair/evil.

For this short time... Goku’s obsession for getting a good fight may have blinded him to the truth or repercussions of his actions, he still has a pure heart as to be self aware and know that his actions are evil and not caring. Such as believing Zeno is good or that people are overreacting.


And somewhere when Beerus forced him to take responsibility for his actions, he finally changed. He takes a step back to get off his high horse whether he is aware of it or not, he steps down to invest his trust and time to his friends when he has to work with a team, that he can’t beat the tournament alone. Get a look at Goku vs Krillin for reference.


He takes the TOP far more seriously as it progresses and acknowledges the strength of the warriors he finally gets a chance to see. He goes back to his old self again. He gets off his high horse. And that’s when UI finally comes into play when he has complete his arc from his personal fall and rise as far as his humbleness goes.

As the Broly trailer says it has ignited a fire once lost in Goku “The Tournament of Power opened my eyes, I’m fired up!”

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Skar
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Re: Goku is a Well-Written “regressed” character in Super

Post by Skar » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:02 am

I commend you for trying to find deeper meaning behind Goku's regression in DBS. I personally am not a fan of regression at all and would rather they end a series if they can't come up with something new for the character.

I wasn't a fan of GT but I definitely preferred Goku and Vegeta's characterization there. I like the idea that a character becomes wiser and more mature as they age and gain more life experience. I believe that requires more effort and creativity to write that regressing them in order to "redevelop" them.

My (crackpot) headcanon is that Goku and Vegeta were somewhat regressed because the writers wanted to give those characters more to work towards. Originally, their development ended at the Buu saga and then ten years of peace later Goku leaves to train Uub. Since DBS is an interquel, they decided to regress them a little and have circle back to the same development by the time the series transitions to EoZ.

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Re: Goku is a Well-Written “regressed” character in Super

Post by PFM18 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:26 pm

I don't see any regression to be honest. He seems the same to me. Goku's character boils down to being a complete moron that loves to fight. That is what he was in DBZ and that is what he is now.

Zen Yabuki
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Re: Goku is a Well-Written “regressed” character in Super

Post by Zen Yabuki » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:45 pm

I feel he gets flanderized at times but some fans exaggerate how much and how often it happens.

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supersaiyanZero
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Re: Goku is a Well-Written “regressed” character in Super

Post by supersaiyanZero » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:32 pm

Master Xar wrote:I’ve come to understand and come to question the idea. “Is Goku in Dragonball Super an objectively worse character than in DBZ?”

There comes this idea that a character becoming more flawed in-universe, and regressing is some form of bad storytelling... when it isn’t.

Yes Goku has regressed a part of who he is as a character. It is a key part of something that hasn’t been developed (or has developed) before as it has already been a core part of his character. His humbleness.

His ability to see an opponent as worthy and the need to take the situation or the power he uses seriously. How that changed his character is to not say that is bad writing. Let me take you back to where this was all first implied and how the TOP changed him.

BOG when it first showed Beerus fighting both in the movie and in the anime. (I’m going to use the movie as a reference to the themes as it is less subtle than the anime as to prove my point.)

Goku in BOG is cocky, especially in his first fight with Beerus, he doesn’t take King Kai’s warnings remotely seriously he even in the movie tries to warn Beerus, and condescend to him that he could go out of SSJ3 if it’s too much for Beerus to handle, he completely underestimated Beerus due to his own ego.

And SSJG and how Goku says he is upset that he couldn’t achieve the power on his own. That he was being cocky and he isn’t aware that he has always relied on his friends to help him or give him the power that he needs whether that be through training or situational.

Goku has gotten very obviously overconfident in his own power some point after the Buu Saga. That he is finally the strongest in the universe (outside of Gohan, but he doesn’t train as that doesn’t last long) and with that comes with complacency, a sense of no urgency to be better than yourself if no one is around to challenge you then why bother?

ROF speaks this clear when it first hints the UI state and Whis lesson to Goku and Vegeta and their flaws as people being their flaws to be better as fighters. Goku’s problem? He is, simply too relaxed he has been to nonchalant or taking the situation or fight serious enough to utilize his full potential.

Goku also now has grown bored without a challenge and is searching for a sign that there are stronger fighters out there. That there is a vast universe to challenge him again? That’s why Goku was so excited when Goku learns about the universes and urges on to fight U6 and later asking Zeno for the TOP. That in the Future Trunks arc he begs Zamasu to give him a quick spar.

It is also the origin as to why Goku makes so many mistakes in The Future Trunks Arc and later sagas, and why he is so goofy and less serious. He forgets the Senzu beans. Why? Because he isn’t taking the situation serious enough to bring them? He later brings The Sealing Container (without the talisman, but this is more Roshi’s fault than anything) and brings it... but unfortunately leaves it in the ship. Why? Because while he takes the situation more seriously from then and learned from his previous mistake it wasn’t enough to completely learn his lesson and take the situation seriously enough.

And this is where the TOP comes into play. Where Goku’s flaw comes to a head and where he finally opens his eyes. It all starts from the beginning where Goku has gotten rusty since his fight with Hit. He hasn’t been training... let’s look at that in context Goku has not been training... this is unheard of. While Goku may have in-between years where he may be training less intensely than before. He never ever got flat-out rusty before. And it all came to a head in the Exhibition Match where Goku’s nonchalance and flaw comes to full display, such so that the audience (both in-universe and out) is wondering if Goku is evil or that he has become some sort of sociopath. And in this short time... he may have. He completely didn’t care or at least didn’t show caring about the other universes being threatened or saw Zeno’s actions as unfair/evil.

For this short time... Goku’s obsession for getting a good fight may have blinded him to the truth or repercussions of his actions, he still has a pure heart as to be self aware and know that his actions are evil and not caring. Such as believing Zeno is good or that people are overreacting.


And somewhere when Beerus forced him to take responsibility for his actions, he finally changed. He takes a step back to get off his high horse whether he is aware of it or not, he steps down to invest his trust and time to his friends when he has to work with a team, that he can’t beat the tournament alone. Get a look at Goku vs Krillin for reference.


He takes the TOP far more seriously as it progresses and acknowledges the strength of the warriors he finally gets a chance to see. He goes back to his old self again. He gets off his high horse. And that’s when UI finally comes into play when he has complete his arc from his personal fall and rise as far as his humbleness goes.

As the Broly trailer says it has ignited a fire once lost in Goku “The Tournament of Power opened my eyes, I’m fired up!”
This is the biggest case of Barnum Effect that I've ever seen.

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