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With the introduction of the King of Everything, aka Omni-sama, aka Zeno, aka that short blue thing that looks like a Katamari Damacy character, Dragon Ball Super may have done something the franchise has never done before, introduced a power cap. To understand the importance of this, first, we have to look at the structure of Super‘s deformed twin brother, GT.

In Dragon Ball GT, Goku is made into a child again by a wish made on the Black Star Dragon Balls. This wasn’t just another story arc the writers came up with at random. It was something GT had to do to work around the corner they were written into. While the original Dragon Ball focused primarily on the adventures of Goku and friends, with Goku’s growth as a fighter being secondary, Dragon Ball Z made growth and scale a focal point. Goku was constantly being pushed to the edge, pitted up against foes who could have stomped out his previous strongest foe. Within the first arc, he surpasses anything that would have been thought possible in Dragon Ball. In the second, he fulfills an ancient alien prophesy and becomes a renowned warrior on a galactic level. And by the end of the Cell Saga, his son, Gohan, is the strongest in the universe (or so we thought for many years). Goku himself then makes that kind of power pale in comparison to his own with Super Saiyan 3, and seems to even push that to its limit.

By this point, we no longer have any solid sense for how strong these characters are. All we know if that everyone’s stronger than we can comprehend, and they’re only getting better (except Gohan, who disappoints us all). They’ve ascended so high, we can no longer see the ground.

The creators of GT realized this, and knew they had to do something to scale the powers back to a level where they could actually be at least somewhat understood, and where not every enemy had to be final boss tier to be a contender. Their first thought was probably to make the series about someone other than Goku. Gohan was the obvious answer, but thanks to his falling out of fan favour with the Buu Saga, it couldn’t work. Goten may have also been considered, but was ultimately rejected. Trunks, a fan favourite, was an obvious choice, which probably impacted his eventually being a main character. Then the writers considered introducing new character to take Goku’s place. This would be where Uub and Pan came from. But ultimately, all of Dragon Ball has been the story of Goku. It tried to be the story of Gohan for a while, but Buu Saga. Vegeta’s final speech, admitting that Goku is the strongest warrior, cinched that.

So, somehow, they had to make Goku weaker. But nobody wants to see a weak Goku, so they had to make him younger. And that was how Dragon Ball GT came to be.

Super has not avoided this problem. In fact, to some degree, Super was just as forward about facing it. By introducing Beerus. In the film that started the franchise’s recent revival, Battle of Gods, Beerus outright tells us Goku is now one of the strongest in the universe. The full universe, not the limited universe we knew about during the Cell arc. While we then learned about the 12 universes, that seems to be it. And with the King of Everything, we had the introduction of the strongest entity to exist in the Dragon Ball Multiverse.

Up until now, we’ve always been told the villain of the current arc is the strong Goku has ever fought. Well, Omni-Sama is strongest opponent Goku could ever fight.

While GT brough the characters closer to the ground, Super gets it’s sense of scale by adding a ceiling. Bit by bit (hey, GT reference) Goku will approach that ceiling. Beerus is the current step. Then Whis. Maybe a few others after that. But power levels can’t keep going up infinitely.

And that is how Dragon Ball is finally meeting its end.

Or, you know, Toriyama could just make a multi-multiverse with people stronger than Omni-Sama. That’d kinda ruin the whole thing, (A part of me believes Toriyama would seriously do this.)

Don’t Lose Your Way

 

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