Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

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Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by UI Peter » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:12 pm

Keep in mind, this doesn't necessarily mean things you think are bad or even mediocre, just things that you think could have been WAY better than what we got, even if its good as it is.

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Re: Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by MasenkoHA » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:37 pm

On paper the evil dragons arc from GT is a great way to end the story; relying on the titular dragon balls as a get out of consequences free card ....had consequences. But it was basically just a Monster of the Week formula.

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Re: Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by Goten_jr » Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:21 pm

MasenkoHA wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:37 pm
On paper the evil dragons arc from GT is a great way to end the story; relying on the titular dragon balls as a get out of consequences free card ....had consequences. But it was basically just a Monster of the Week formula.
Yes especially the Fights were so disappointing Goku&Vegeta vs Omega was horrendous

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Re: Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by GreatSaiyaJeff » Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:04 am

As much as I love the cell arc and Cell as a villain, I wish Toriyama kept the mystery up a tad bit longer instead of him monologuing his plan to Piccolo.
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Re: Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by Skar » Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:53 am

This wouldn't necessarily be wasted potential but I've always wondered what Toriyama originally would've done with the Cell saga. We all know the story of his editor complaining about the "geezer and fatso" then complaining about the twins before Toriyama came up with Cell. If there weren't any complaints about #19 and #20, how would the saga continue from there? Would Toriyama give them a transformation or have them fuse, would the Saiyans still train in the RoSaT to surpass SSJ, would Gohan still become a SSJ2, would Piccolo still fuse with Kami, etc. I know Toriyama probably didn't plan that far apart but I wish someone would've asked him what his plans might've been at the time.

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Re: Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by TheGreatness25 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:04 am

Definitely the Goku's evil brother story. We finally had a link to Goku's mysterious past, and he's wasted in a few episodes. I can understand Toriyama's trying to stay away from the cliché, but it feels like more could've been done there.

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Re: Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by LoganForkHands73 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:19 am

Skar wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:53 am
This wouldn't necessarily be wasted potential but I've always wondered what Toriyama originally would've done with the Cell saga. We all know the story of his editor complaining about the "geezer and fatso" then complaining about the twins before Toriyama came up with Cell. If there weren't any complaints about #19 and #20, how would the saga continue from there? Would Toriyama give them a transformation or have them fuse, would the Saiyans still train in the RoSaT to surpass SSJ, would Gohan still become a SSJ2, would Piccolo still fuse with Kami, etc. I know Toriyama probably didn't plan that far apart but I wish someone would've asked him what his plans might've been at the time.
I often think about that because in many ways, I preferred the arc when it focused on the intrigue surrounding the original Androids. The main point of interest is that the arc had so many visible redirections that by the end, it's barely Toriyama's story anymore -- he's just doing everything his editors tell him with no real direction. Although Cell's introduction is amazing, it's just a creepier retake of #19 and #20's introduction when you look at it, and personally I think Cell's character only spirals downhill after that point. I agree with Jeff that the mystery surrounding him could have been stretched longer. However, I came to the conclusion that the Android arc would have involved new villains replacing Dr. Gero eventually, but probably nowhere near as abruptly as it happened. Same deal with the bratty Androids and the first two forms of Cell, it would have been interesting to see Toriyama at least give them all larger roles.

As for other "wasted plotentials", I've said in other places that Future Trunks should have definitely stayed behind at the end of the Zamasu arc to set him up for inclusion in the Universe Survival arc. Trunks would have an actual motivation in the tournament to restore his erased timeline with the Super Dragon Balls.

The Shadow Dragons go without saying, they're an ingenious concept with lacklustre execution and they simply have to be redone at some point. Meanwhile, the Super 17 arc is one of the most pointless storylines I've ever seen. It juggles a load of totally incongruous ideas that could have been standalone storylines themselves -- the bowels of Hell opening up, #17 fusing with himself (?), Myuu and Gero teaming up with a weird Robotnikian plan to convert humanity into machines, Freeza and Cell coming back -- but does justice to none of them. The only good scene is the tried-and-true formula of Krillin dying again.

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Re: Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by SupremeKai25 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:24 am

I would say the Universal Conflict arc from Dragon Ball Heroes. Such a great concept for an arc (Villainous organization led by Hearts, Zamasu's return, multiverse-spanning conflict to dethrone Zeno) shouldn't have been relegated to a promotional videogame anime with 10 minutes long episodes.
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Re: Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by ABED » Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:28 am

LoganForkHands73 wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:19 am
The main point of interest is that the arc had so many visible redirections that by the end, it's barely Toriyama's story anymore -- he's just doing everything his editors tell him with no real direction.
First, that's not obvious that it wasn't Toriyama's original intention, and second, it's still his story. He doesn't have to take his editor's suggestions.

Anyway, I think Gohan's "arc" in the Cell arc is squandered. He's given an internal dilemma that feels false, and his character doesn't progress by the end. He needs his hand held all the way through. Gohan needed to grow up and be able to stand on his own two feet by the end.
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Re: Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by LoganForkHands73 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:53 am

ABED wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:28 am
LoganForkHands73 wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:19 am
The main point of interest is that the arc had so many visible redirections that by the end, it's barely Toriyama's story anymore -- he's just doing everything his editors tell him with no real direction.
First, that's not obvious that it wasn't Toriyama's original intention, and second, it's still his story. He doesn't have to take his editor's suggestions.

Anyway, I think Gohan's "arc" in the Cell arc is squandered. He's given an internal dilemma that feels false, and his character doesn't progress by the end. He needs his hand held all the way through. Gohan needed to grow up and be able to stand on his own two feet by the end.
Even without the interviews telling us that Toriyama took a lot of constructive criticism from his past and current editors that led to him rapidly cycling through three sets of villains (then two more transformations for the final one), it's fairly clear to me just by reading the manga that production of the Android arc was... troubled. He didn't have to take editors' suggestions, but he did -- without their input, Androids #16, #17 and #18 plus all the forms of Cell might not have existed. You can't deny the influence editors have on the story.

I agree about Gohan's arc, though. It's one of the reasons I'm not huge on the Perfect Cell portion because it almost feels like the climax to a totally different storyline that we never saw.

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Re: Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by MasenkoHA » Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:10 am

And thank God he listened to his editors without them we never would have gotten Android 17 and 18 and Cell. 19 and 20 were boring. Cell is at least aesthetically interesting (his imperfect and perfect forms anyways) and with 18 we got one of the best female character in the franchise.

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Re: Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by Skar » Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:08 am

LoganForkHands73 wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:53 am
Even without the interviews telling us that Toriyama took a lot of constructive criticism from his past and current editors that led to him rapidly cycling through three sets of villains (then two more transformations for the final one), it's fairly clear to me just by reading the manga that production of the Android arc was... troubled. He didn't have to take editors' suggestions, but he did -- without their input, Androids #16, #17 and #18 plus all the forms of Cell might not have existed. You can't deny the influence editors have on the story.
I agree and Toriyama did admit that he was getting burned out after the Freeza saga. There were times when he went against his editors in earlier storylines so he didn't need to accept what they said for the Cell saga. Toriyama might've taken them as suggestions because he wasn't sure how he wanted to move forward with the story and thought these would help. Since the suggestions were only to replace the villains but not who to replace them with, maybe Toriyama had some of them already in mind but wanted to introduce them differently?

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Re: Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by Matches Malone » Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:10 am

The original manga:

I think Roshi should've gotten a real fight with King Piccolo instead of just using the Mafuba and dying.

For all the build up Tien got before fighting King Piccolo, it amounted to nothing. Obviously I wasn't expecting him to kill Piccolo, but he should've at least done more than he did.

Although Piccolo was treated better overall, I still think more could've been done with him, especially in the Buu arc.

I would've loved to see more of Grandpa Gohan, especially when Goku was dead and when Gohan was training with the Kais.

Speaking of Gohan, he should've been built up better in the Cell arc before his fight with Cell. For someone set to take down a main villain, he didn't do much in the arc up to that point.

Another missed opportunity with Gohan was with Spopovich, I really wanted to see him wipe the floor with him after what he did to Videl.

In some cases, less is more, and I think this applies to Freeza's forms. He should've only had his second and final forms, as his 3rd one was pretty much pointless. Another example is Goten and Trunks' ability to use Ssj, something I think should've been limited to their fusion.

Dabura has such a great design, and being the king of the underworld just adds to that, yet he had such a small role. With a character like that, you could write an entire arc around him.

Raditz being underused is a popular one, and rightfully so. I understand not wanting to keep him around, but surely being Goku's brother would've justified doing more with him.

This is one GT tried to fix, and that's the lack of space travel. Going to Namek opened up so many doors, so I would've liked to see more planets by Toriyama. We got the Kais world, so I guess it's better than nothing.

I'm more or less indifferent to the ending, but the transition from the end of Buu into it felt off to me, like there was something missing in between. BOG fixed this issue for me, but speaking strictly about the manga, having nothing within those 10 years was a missed opportunity.

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Re: Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by 90sDBZ » Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:33 pm

Even though I was happy with the part he played in the ToP, it could have been even better if Gohan had been shown to be training consistently for a long time beforehand. We get subtle hints that he might be training a bit, but nothing definitive until he gets recruited.

Part of me wanted him to get involved in the Black arc. Him seeing first hand the horrific consequences of Trunks being too weak would have been perfect motivation for him to start training seriously, and they could have explored his relationship with Trunks more.

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Re: Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by ArmenianPepsi » Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:55 pm

I think Videl was a big waste of potential. She could've been made into a nice recurring character/fighter, not exactly doing the Great Saiyaman shtick, but in a cool trio with Gohan and Piccolo.

Once she got beaten to hell in the 25th Budoukai, she did very little for the rest of the Buu arc, never expanding upon her desire to become a martial artist or her student-master dynamic with Gohan. The final nail in the coffin being in Super, as she's reduced to being a plain wife/mother character, only existing as the "Carrot on a stick" for Gohan.
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Re: Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by ABED » Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:00 pm

LoganForkHands73 wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:53 am
ABED wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:28 am
LoganForkHands73 wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:19 am
The main point of interest is that the arc had so many visible redirections that by the end, it's barely Toriyama's story anymore -- he's just doing everything his editors tell him with no real direction.
First, that's not obvious that it wasn't Toriyama's original intention, and second, it's still his story. He doesn't have to take his editor's suggestions.

Anyway, I think Gohan's "arc" in the Cell arc is squandered. He's given an internal dilemma that feels false, and his character doesn't progress by the end. He needs his hand held all the way through. Gohan needed to grow up and be able to stand on his own two feet by the end.
Even without the interviews telling us that Toriyama took a lot of constructive criticism from his past and current editors that led to him rapidly cycling through three sets of villains (then two more transformations for the final one), it's fairly clear to me just by reading the manga that production of the Android arc was... troubled. He didn't have to take editors' suggestions, but he did -- without their input, Androids #16, #17 and #18 plus all the forms of Cell might not have existed. You can't deny the influence editors have on the story.

I agree about Gohan's arc, though. It's one of the reasons I'm not huge on the Perfect Cell portion because it almost feels like the climax to a totally different storyline that we never saw.
I can see where I was unclear. Yes, Toriyama did listen to his editors, but what I'm saying is that if all you do is read the story, it all flows very organically from 19 and 20 to 17 and 18 and 16 to Cell. Who legit thought Goku and Co. would face the big bads right off the bat?
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Re: Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by Planetnamek » Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:38 pm

I would have to say Lunch as she barely does anything in Z and I honestly can't blame Funimation for cutting out her appearances as they have pretty much zero impact on the overall plot and just come off as Big-Lipped-Alligator-Moments.

I second Videl as I remember watching some of the latter episodes as a kid and being dissapointed by how she more or less became just another Chi-Chi.
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Re: Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by ABED » Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:47 pm

What is there for Videl to do?

I'm glad Toriyama subverted expectations and made Raditz a one off.

I wish Tenshinhan drops off after the Saiyan arc.
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Re: Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by LoganForkHands73 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:47 pm

ABED wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:00 pm
I can see where I was unclear. Yes, Toriyama did listen to his editors, but what I'm saying is that if all you do is read the story, it all flows very organically from 19 and 20 to 17 and 18 and 16 to Cell. Who legit thought Goku and Co. would face the big bads right off the bat?
Eh. While I said I do think that Toriyama would have replaced #19 and #20 eventually, since it's general rule of thumb for Dragon Ball bad guys not to show up immediately, the way they get so casually disposed by the next independent villains, only for them to get disposed of by the next independent villain... For me, it always felt a tad unnatural. Knowing the real life context of what happened behind the scenes does perhaps colour one's perception of it all slightly, but it explains why some parts of the arc feel messy, repetitive and aimless. For Japanese sprogs who read the manga first, it must've been more confusing for Trunks to say that he fought Androids #19 and #20 in the future only for him to come back to the present and say he doesn't recognise them. The anime fixed it by having him not give their numbers at first.

I liked the urban mystery-thriller flavour the arc had with the numbered Androids and Imperfect Cell going around fucking up random cities, never knowing what they were gonna do next, it was some of the most compelling storytelling in all of Dragon Ball in my opinion. By my interpretation, that was the angle Toriyama clearly wanted to go for with the whole arc, but for whatever reason he streamlined the climax into a generic tournament set-up with Cell sitting in the middle of a square for two weeks doing nothing but waiting for Goku to come and fight him. It felt like he'd written himself into a corner and couldn't see the story going anywhere else after Cell achieved perfection but lost all prior motivation.

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Re: Which character and/or plotline in the franchise is the biggest waste of potential?

Post by ABED » Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:51 pm

LoganForkHands73 wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:47 pm
ABED wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:00 pm
I can see where I was unclear. Yes, Toriyama did listen to his editors, but what I'm saying is that if all you do is read the story, it all flows very organically from 19 and 20 to 17 and 18 and 16 to Cell. Who legit thought Goku and Co. would face the big bads right off the bat?
Eh. While I said I do think that Toriyama would have replaced #19 and #20 eventually, since it's general rule of thumb for Dragon Ball bad guys not to show up immediately, the way they get so casually disposed by the next independent villains, only for them to get disposed of by the next independent villain... For me, it always felt a tad unnatural. Knowing the real life context of what happened behind the scenes does perhaps colour one's perception of it all slightly, but it explains why some parts of the arc feel messy, repetitive and aimless. For Japanese sprogs who read the manga first, it must've been more confusing for Trunks to say that he fought Androids #19 and #20 in the future only for him to come back to the present and say he doesn't recognise them. The anime fixed it by having him not give their numbers at first.

I liked the urban mystery-thriller flavour the arc had with the numbered Androids and Imperfect Cell going around fucking up random cities, never knowing what they were gonna do next, it was some of the most compelling storytelling in all of Dragon Ball in my opinion. By my interpretation, that was the angle Toriyama clearly wanted to go for with the whole arc, but for whatever reason he streamlined the climax into a generic tournament set-up with Cell sitting in the middle of a square for two weeks doing nothing but waiting for Goku to come and fight him. It felt like he'd written himself into a corner and couldn't see the story going anywhere else after Cell achieved perfection but lost all prior motivation.
How were they independent? It's a mystery so we don't know where it's all heading and why things are different from Trunks' timeline. Why would anyone be confused. Time travel causing changes to the timeline is to be expected. It would be so odd if things played out like Trunks said. It would be too linear.

I don't agree with your take at all. It's not a generic tournament. Does the Cell Games qualify as a tournament? It's more of a gauntlet match.
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