Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

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Firebolt
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Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by Firebolt » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:07 am

After Goku and the other Saiyans achieved Super Saiyan, the power gap between Saiyans and Non-saiyans became enormous. There was just no way at all for the Non-saiyans to catch up, and so they became mere fodder. After the Saiyans achieved more transformations (SS2, SS3, etc), the Non-saiyans became increasingly useless. Was it a mistake to give Saiyans the ability to transform? Leave your thoughts please.

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Re: Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by theherodjl » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:09 am

Going by DBS's context then not at all, SSJ was actually not strong enough to make a difference against the foes after Majin Boo. It should also be noted that Krillin, Roshi, & Tenshinhan managed to partake in Super's synergetic effect of becoming much stronger and making a decent effort in the ToP, a feat that even DBZ-tier fighters would have trouble with. At this point, i actually imagine that the humans who kept up their training are on par with Base Saiyans from the Boo arc, if they continue to progress within the realm of DBS then they can go as far as they want.
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Re: Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by AloversGaming » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:37 pm

Yes. Kaio-Ken, too.

Everyone in reachable or near reachable distance to each other was one of the best parts of DB/Z, then Goku comes along with the power to be instantly two times, three times... fifty times more powerful in a blink. It destroyed one of the key parts of what made DB magical.

Krillin lasting a few moments against Piccolo was so impressive back then. Showed how far he had come in his training. If Krillin lasted any time against Jiren or Perfect Cell it'd have made the villains look weak and unimpressive. So Krillin and everyone else get shafted instead.

Kaio-Ken and SSJ forms were the biggest mistake of the franchise.

Now there's Goku's Ultra Instinct. How they'll manage that should Super return will probably be a hot mess.

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Re: Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by Lord Beerus » Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:04 pm

No. Having Freeza with a battle power of over half a million in his first form was a mistake.

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Re: Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by Grimlock » Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:19 pm

Firebolt wrote:After Goku and the other Saiyans achieved Super Saiyan, the power gap between Saiyans and Non-saiyans became enormous. There was just no way at all for the Non-saiyans to catch up, and so they became mere fodder. After the Saiyans achieved more transformations (SS2, SS3, etc), the Non-saiyans became increasingly useless. Was it a mistake to give Saiyans the ability to transform? Leave your thoughts please.
No. A mistake is not giving other characters their own power-ups. For humans, Kaio-Ken. For Piccolo, the red-eyed form and a god transformation. You don't need everyone to be at the same level, but the gap shouldn't be this drastic too.

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Re: Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by Lionel » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:37 pm

Super Saiyan was originally devised for the silliest of reasons. Although it should be noted that the power levels were already starting to get out of hand prior to its introduction. SSJ merely exacerbated things multifold with the implications it would have for the franchise down the road as more and more transformations got stacked on one after the other to accommodate the ever increasing severity of enemies that Goku comes across. I have to sit back and muse upon what Dragon Ball would have been like without hair schemes dictating the worth of characters and the course of the plot.

In respect to the original cast, I do think it ultimately provided a disservice to them because it had effectively shut them out of any plausible way to improve themselves and retain their competitive edge. Now if Toriyama had gone to the trouble of equipping the earthlings with Kaioken and having them elevate it to new heights in unison with the Saiyans as they looked to evolve their transformations then they may have been salvageable. The earthlings would initially find themselves at a disadvantage due to the zenkais that had bloated up all of the Saiyans' power levels during the Freeza arc but some extensive training with Goku like what Piccolo received could have seen them easily covering the difference and then some. We might be looking at a completely different Dragon Ball right now if the circumstances there were different and if Toriyama hadn't become so fixated on accommodating the Saiyans alone.

Having Goku moderately ahead of the other fighters is understandable, provided there's a reasonable explanation to justify it. I would even take the Saiyan arc arrangement right now because at least the earthlings could be looked at as conceivably useful pieces on the chessboard instead of immaterial fodder, no better than civilians, whom no one believes has a right to be on a battlefield. By this point in time, that sounds far more preferable to Toriyama's feverish compulsion to monopolise the franchise around a single race of privileged transforming super beings.

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Re: Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by TheZFighter » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:41 pm

It essentially finished the "original cast" and I love them, so yeah for me it was a mistake.
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Re: Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by KBABZ » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:15 pm

Super Saiyan itself isn't a problem but is instead a symptom of the general "Goku is the strongest and the main focus" direction of the story. This is less plainly shown in the earlier Dragon Ball arcs; he's way stronger than Yamcha, he gives a multi-centurian master of martial arts a run for his money after six months of training, and he single-handedly wipes out the Red Ribbon Army.

But the first "Z-like" depiction of this power disparity is the King Piccolo rematch. Despite all his training Tien just cannot get past Drum, let alone Piccolo, then along comes Goku with a recently acquired powerup, one-shots Drum and takes down Piccolo, with Tien basically unable to help at this point. If that sounds familiar, that's because that's pretty much what happens in the Frieza fight. Super Saiyan is just another power-up in a long list of other power-ups that include high-gravity training, Kaio, Ultra-Divine Water, training in the afterlife, isolated training between Tournaments, the Room of Spirit and Time, getting the Sacred Water from Korin, and Ultra-Instinct.

The whole angle of focusing on Saiyans ultimately stems from focusing on Goku and his growth as a fighter, to the point of being the only one capable when push comes to shove (even to the detriment of other Saiyans). Vegeta is a Saiyan, sure, but as the main rival who is focused on surpassing Goku that makes him a prime candidate because he can get the exact same powerups as Goku can, unlike Piccolo. And as a Saiyan he's obsessed with fighting (which is not correlated to his battle power; Goku was this before he was written to have originated from a race of warrior aliens), which makes him a prime candidate in a manga predominantly about fighting.

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Re: Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by Olympian » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:26 pm

I think you`re overselling early Goku a bit. He wasn`t much stronger than Yamcha and the tooth kick hurt more his vanity than anything else. Yamcha does admit that a fight with Goku for the Dragon Balls would take too long for the goal he wanted but that isn`t admittance that Goku was "way stronger" even fully fed.

Likewise Roshi, before he meets the new kids and decides to come back from retirement had been how long off the Martial Arts circuit?

What I would laid out is that Goku (and to a much lesser extent the rest of the main figthing cast) always had a huge potential pool to drink and grow and that was evident from the beginning.
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Yamcha + Roshi = Yamoshi

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Re: Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by KBABZ » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:42 pm

Olympian wrote:I think you`re overselling early Goku a bit. He wasn`t much stronger than Yamcha and the tooth kick hurt more his vanity than anything else. Yamcha does admit that a fight with Goku for the Dragon Balls would take too long for the goal he wanted but that isn`t admittance that Goku was "way stronger" even fully fed.

Likewise Roshi, before he meets the new kids and decides to come back from retirement had been how long off the Martial Arts circuit?

What I would laid out is that Goku (and to a much lesser extent the rest of the main figthing cast) always had a huge potential pool to drink and grow and that was evident from the beginning.
I guess my point was that Goku's always been a prodigy at fighting at every stage of the story. That much is made clear as early as the Pterodactyl encounter, or if you want to go even earlier defeating the fish and splitting the log of wood.

I never really felt that Roshi would be off his game given the six month warning, and his age doesn't seem to be a limiting factor in his fighting ability (a pretty common Wuxia trope to my understanding).

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Re: Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by Olympian » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:13 pm

The thing about Roshi is that Goku wasn`t the only one that made him step up his game. Kuririn to a lesser extent did as well when they both started out together.
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Yamcha + Roshi = Yamoshi

Coincidence? I think not

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Re: Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by KBABZ » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:18 pm

Olympian wrote:The thing about Roshi is that Goku wasn`t the only one that made him step up his game. Kuririn to a lesser extent did as well when they both started out together.
Correct but Goku is clearly a step above Krillin even back then.

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Re: Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by Olympian » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:30 pm

He`s the main character after all, his potential outclasses everyone else. Just pointing out how humans are part of the issue of Roshi wanting to step up and not just a monkey kid who happened to be an OP alien. Think about it, for all purposes a young Yamcha who thought himself Martial Arts should not be able to give even kid Goku a run for his money or be able to survive long enough to stop Oozaru by any means. At least that`s what we get from Raditz`s dissertion. That he should have been able to conquer everything.

These humans thought, are expections as well, like Gohan was or Mutaito. Even if they lack the fortitude to evenly fight such threats they were supposed to create techniques able to do the work for them. Which is a concept that could still work today if not easily dropped out.
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Yamcha + Roshi = Yamoshi

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Re: Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by Lightdasher » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:02 pm

I'm with Kbabz in that I don't believe Super Saiyan on its own is the problem at all. At its core, Super Saiyan is just a base-power multiplying transformation, similar enough to transformations proceeding and following it that characters who are not Goku have triumphed over (Vegeta's Oozaru, Freeza's 2nd form, etc). The problem is just having all of the other characters fall to the wayside. I think Super executed this lazily, but at least it did attempt to bring old characters back who were probably thought to be way too outclassed to even think about joining god-level battles like those in the ToP.

The reason I think it's lazily done there is because Super treats character relevance as power levels, essentially. It's understandable if someone believes Piccolo is stronger than SSJ3 Gotenks at this point, maybe I'm wrong for thinking otherwise? Regardless, I rest on believing Super Saiyan itself was never a mistake and that it's just Toriyama's style at this point to leave non-main characters at the wayside, which made it seem as though non-Super Saiyans were much too weak during the Cell Games and Boo arc since they didn't get much focus during those times (except Piccolo).

If I do have a gripe relating to Super Saiyan, it's just how many transformations there are, especially now. I think even having made the God forms not be Super Saiyan-exclusive transformations would've helped a lot. But it always bugs me how saiyans' base forms are so weak now that Super Saiyan is mandatory for serious fights, and they can't not be at the highest level because then that takes the tension away. If anything, I think the introduction to and reliance on so many transformations was a mistake.
AloversGaming wrote:Everyone in reachable or near reachable distance to each other was one of the best parts of DB/Z, then Goku comes along with the power to be instantly two times, three times... fifty times more powerful in a blink. It destroyed one of the key parts of what made DB magical.

Now there's Goku's Ultra Instinct. How they'll manage that should Super return will probably be a hot mess.
I always gave Kaio-Ken a much greater pass because of the cost it came with, taking such a toll on Goku's body and thusly being a very temporary technique. Actually, that's one of my favorite details to it. I at least don't find it as extreme as the Super Saiyans; which go beyond Goku's highest-used KK multiplier, lasts the entirety of battles, and now seem easily mastered by just about every saiyan.

Done right, I think Super Kaio-Ken was a cool instance of this (even if it is non-canon), where it was used to make a small but painful and surprising counterattack during just one attack. Done wrong, I believe we take the current Kaio-Ken Blue approach, where now Goku spams it and doesn't seem to suffer consequences anymore. I won't spoil, of course, but considering what happened in the latest Super episode, I'm guessing Ultra Instinct will take an approach similar to old Kaio-Ken, in the case you presented. Then, knowing Dragon Ball, he'll master and spam it before something better comes along..
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Re: Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by KBABZ » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:14 am

Olympian wrote:At least that`s what we get from Raditz`s dissertion. That he should have been able to conquer everything.
I always figured that Raditz was referring to Goku as an Oozaru there.
Lightdasher wrote:At its core, Super Saiyan is just a base-power multiplying transformation, similar enough to transformations proceeding and following it that characters who are not Goku have triumphed over (Vegeta's Oozaru, Freeza's 2nd form, etc).
As much as I totally agree with the rest of this post, I think it is worth noting that, with the exception of bulked-up Master Roshi, nearly every single transformation done in the story up until that point were done by villains such as Zarbon and Tien (more an antagonist, but multiple arms is treated as being a freak-show). Goku is the first significant protagonist example of a transformation powerup, but what kills it in the long-run is that the lore behind it links it inexorably to Saiyans. Since Goku, Gohan, Vegeta and Trunks are also among the most popular characters, it was only natural that they'd be the main focus; aside from Piccolo, nearly every other fighter all but retires, with the exception of Tien, barely.

Which of course is why folks see so much potential in Ultra Instinct, the fact that (so far at least, cross your fingers) it hasn't been explicitly tied to just Saiyans/Goku. It means that characters like Krillin and Yamcha have a fair shot at putting up a decent fight again rather than standing aside in a yellow suit. To a lesser extent this was also why the Kienzan was seen as such a useful move; it had the unique property of ignoring battle powers and just cut through anything... until Cell at least, then Krillin's back in the dumpster.

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Re: Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by Lionel » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:49 am

I believe Goku was the prime beneficiary of every teacher, technique and apparatus under the sun. What gave him such an edge can be boiled down to happenstance and receptive gift givers. His progression has only been rooted in meritorious aptitude twice. Almost all of the fights he's been in have seen an advantage or fortuitous circumstance that gave him what he needed to succeed. Gohan supposedly has the most potential and yet Krillin was able to more or less equal him on Namek immediately after they had gotten their potentials unlocked. I fail to see why that couldn't have been translated into long term investment if Toriyama had the ability and willingness to not toss them aside like garbage after a certain point.

If Toriyama had been consistent with his opportunities for all of the characters along with being mindful of their respective capabilities then Goku probably wouldn't be on the gaudy pedestal that he's been elevated to for so long now. It would have been a trial for him just to keep what competitive edge he does have.

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Re: Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by Captain Strawberry » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:22 pm

I think making "Super Saiyan" a bloodline power to the Saiyajins was a mistake since they already had an established form, the Oozaru. I think it should have been kept a specific thing for Goku only.

In some ways, I also feel like personally it ruins Goku's character since what I liked about him is that he grew stronger with his gifted abilities and hard work and not because of a transformation or two.
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Re: Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by sintzu » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:48 pm

The mistake wasn't the form itself but all the ones that came after 3.

The first Ssj is one of the most iconic and badass elements in the original manga up till the end of the Cell arc. In that arc we saw the original form modified and mixed with the mucsle increas form that Roshi and Cell used and at the end with Gohan, the full potential of the form. Up to that point there was just 1 Ssj form, everything else were just power ups combined with it.

Then the Buu arc rolled and not only were we told the form Gohan used was actually a 2nd form, were were introduced to a 3rd one as well but there was a catch, it was unusable. This made things extremely hard for the Saiyans as they had to go up against a villain of that level but they couldn't use the form that's equal to him.

When you look at the original DB as a whole, the late Namek and Cell arcs were the only parts that revolved around Ssj. The very next arc went out of its way to show how unreliable new forms are as Goku defeating Buu, Gohan's mystic powers & Vegeta's majin power up had nothing to do with Ssj3, Ssj3 was just a part in a very larger picture. The problem is that when Ssj3 was introduced, it opened the doors for the franchise to revolve around them which was most likey not Toriyama's intention when he introduced them, they were a small part in a bigger picture, not the picture itself like what's been going on since the manga ended.

Had Ssj3 not been introduced and had Toriyama stuck to the idea of Ssj2 originally being just the true power of Ssj and the user, we never would've gotten anything beyond it. GT and Super would've entirely revolved around techniques and other creative ways of storytelling.
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Re: Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by Kodoshin » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:15 pm

I think in terms of a continuing narrative it was a mistake. Given that it was believed the story was ending around that time I can see value in the idea of ending the story with a bang with the transformation and such, but since they continued the story onward after that and continued in a linear direction with power scaling it made a large portion of the cast obsolete. So yes a mistake in that sense.

A mistake in narrative terms? Yes, but I think in terms of making a shitload of money it was a rousing success. The form and continued variations on it afterward have directly led to a ton of merchandise sales. That cannot be understated. Part of the reason Saint Seiya didn't finish it's original anime run was because figure sales had dropped off. The SSJ designs are far more exciting than the minor changes to Saint cloths over the years.

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Re: Was Super Saiyan a mistake?

Post by KBABZ » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:31 pm

Kodoshin wrote:Given that it was believed the story was ending around that time
Nope!

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