The recent screening of posters for the upcoming movie “Dragon Ball Super: Superhero” seems to suggest that the film will correct one of the biggest grievances against Goten and Thranx in the series. The poster shows a slightly different and fresh look at the violent half-Russians. However, it also fully demonstrates the exact reason why this new take on the characters might come back to bite them. The change may be a step in the right direction, or it may not matter at all.
Goten and Thranx are fan favorite characters introduced during the Android saga, and the former during the Great Sayaman Saga from Dragon Ball Z, respectively. They charmed the Dragon Ball audience with their antics during the saga of the World Tournament and were declared the defenders of the Earth of the next generation. This was further teased during Majin Buu Saga, but they were unable to make a truly meaningful contribution, despite the fact that their form of fusion, Gotenks, quickly gained popularity in the fandom. Since then, viewers have bemoaned the lack of progress of the exuberant half-Russians throughout the events of Dragon Ball Super.
One of the biggest complaints about Goten and Trunks is how little they are given to do throughout the subsequent series. They never grow at all. Even physically, being stuck looking exactly the same as when the Majin Buu Saga ended, despite the fact that years have passed since then. The result is stagnation – not only of them as fighters, but also as characters. They never had the opportunity to grow the way Goku did, and certainly not the way Gohan did right in front of them. So while the new abilities certainly haven’t lit up the world, many fans are thrilled with the fact that the two of them are at least shown to be a little older. The problem is that it may not matter.
Why DBS: Superhero’s Goten and Trunks Fix May Not Matter
In front and in the center of their poster, the Fat Gotenki from Dragon Ball are depicted — a reminder of the characters’ biggest mistake and a grim indication that, despite physical aging, they may not have grown at all. However, this would not be particularly surprising. Goten and Thranx haven’t participated in any of the major arches since God of Destruction Beerus. This absence from the main story deprives them of a real chance of growth. The chances of Gohan getting peaks while dealing with the Saiyans, the Ginyu Force, Frieza and, of course, Sell. Arbitrary growing up without being able to go through any arcs that contribute to their actual growth only reduces the impact of this decision.
It also doesn’t help that the canonicity of DBS: Superhero is in question. Dragon Ball Super: Broly shocked the audience when he was officially included in the Dragon Ball Super canon. However, there was something about this movie that helped it. The film almost immediately starts from the place where the Tournament of Strength stopped. It also happened close enough to the end of the Tournament of Strength that his decision was still fresh in people’s minds. This movie doesn’t have a TV anime companion yet, and the action takes place years later. The super manga “Dragon Pearl” has not shown the slightest hint of such a time jump at the moment, and it is currently two whole arcs behind the Tournament of Strength and therefore Broly.
Whether Dragon Ball Super: Superhero will actually aim to steer Goten and Thranx in the right direction is unknown. Anyway, the two boys have historically been given quite a lot to do in most films since their inception. It may return to this trend. Let’s hope that they will finally be allowed to move on from the brave mascot characters/gags to the next generation of defenders of the Earth, by whom they were created from the very beginning.