extremely unpopular opinion: I think the saiyans ruined dragonball - or at the very least are a big symptom of a bigger problem (read to the end)

DJ12_G1

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Now let me explain before you kill me and let me say that there isn't a part of this series that i dislike, really i even like GT. But there is a problem DB has now that I can't ignore and has only gotten worse and it started with dbz

The introduction of the saiyans. They caused (imo) a downward spiral that this series will never be able to recover from. I don't hate the saiyans as a concept, in fact Goku being revealed to be an alien made perfect sense since he Cleary wasn't human (he even turned into a giant monkey), But i'm going to list off my problems with saiyans and why i think they ruined dragonball (again all imo).

  1. Powerlevels (introduced by raditz) - It's no mystery that powerlevels are a problem, reducing fights to just a numbers game gets rid of all tension and strategic planning. Underdogs have no chance now because there numbers aren't high enough, Weaving a narrative into a fight is also mostly gone and so has optimization and fighting styles. Speed and strength increase relatively to powerlevels so now it's impossible for different styles to emerge, like burter and dyspo who focus on speed. If anything characters like burter and dyspo don't make any sense and are even a plot hole from how we've seen powerlevels work. There is only 1 fighting style in dragon ball now and that is to punch but even harder. Crazy techniques and skills are gone in place of rage boosts and auras and i think that's sad. This is something that dbs has been trying to fix to various effectiveness and that i can respect, but the damage to the show and the fanbase has long since been done. There's also the fact that we are told that power levels are higher than they ever were and yet characters don't seem much stronger or impressive than at the end of the original series. The problem i have with the saiyans and there transformations is that it's essentially like gear grinding in a videogame, This thing plays exactly the same but has a higher number so it can hit harder. dbz and super rely on this far too much and opt out to make there characters stronger with a multiplier and not by anything creative or by learning new techniques or training.
  2. saiyan traits and how they relate to goku- maybe a more niche one but sth that irks me anyway (though admittedly a small thing). Over the course of dbz and dbs there's a phenomenon happening where all of gokus traits such as liking to fight and eating are just becoming saiyan traits in general. It makes the species seem completely unbelievable and one note while also taking away the things that make goku -well, goku. I have no idea why modern db feels the need to explain every personality trait goku may have and chalk it up to saiyans - its probably lazyness. Surely goku being raised by a martial artist and trained by roshi is his reason to love fighting, maybe he likes to eat because hes a mountain boy who never had much, maybe he's a hands off parent because he never had one. But nah because Saiyans! Stop circling everything back to saiyans. Even vegeta is a victim of this, just becoming a more serious goku.
  3. The scrubbing away of mysticism and the shallowing of the earth - in Dragon ball the earth was not one note, it was magical and adventurous but with the introduction of saiyans came the introduction of space and other planets. fine in and of itself but it gave birth to an admittedly far too common sci-fi trope where planets usually serve one purpose. The earth became one city and mostly wastelands, a far cry from how the earth was depicted in og dragon ball (again sth else dbs is trying to fix in the latest movie). Planet namek, a whole planet is just a blue and green wasteland and arena to fight in, it's boring. It's even worse now where whole universes have one purpose and only look one way. As DB grew in scale the world around it shrunk and lost a lot of it's charm.
  4. transformations - I like to think that the saiyans have the same problem of power scaling as the uchiha in naruto. They started out balanced with good world building with their one thing that was theres. The uchiha had good ocular prowess and the saiyans had the oozaru, all of which make sense from just looking at them. eventually though because one or more main characters were in this group and as they fought stronger and stronger enemies their respective races/species were used in order to justify the main character(S) jump in power to the point where theyre not balanced in anyway and make no sense as a group. The sharingan can somewhow summon meteors and a bone mechs and saiyans have so many transformations now that's it's almost like a parody of itself. I will always stand by that new power ups and techniques have to have roots in whats obvious in a character. Goku has a monkey tail - therefore he can turn into a giant monkey - goku is a saiyan - all saiyans possess this ability. This works fine until ssj comes along and though certainly iconic, is so removed from the rest of saiyan biology that it's kind of jarring and then ssj2 and ssj3 and then god forms (imo i think sth like ssj4 should have been the first and only ssj transformation, change the design though so ssj4 does look a little goofy). For some reason, deeply ingrained in the dna of every saiyan is the ability to become a god if they perform a hand holding ritual. It's too much, and too op that it makes them unbelievable and not make any sense as a species, why can they do this!!!? What happened to them being monkeys? saiyans as a species have the potential and ability to become big monkeys, golden warriors which they can evolve, literal Gods and whatever the hell gohan beast is, its too much! Like with sharingan which gave its user the ability to copy and predict at first has become the victim of power creep so hard that it fundamentally makes itself ridiculous in the universe. I'm not even going to touch on the subject of how the other races in dragon ball have been affected by this power creep because thats another rant in and of itself.
The saiyans are the victims of and perpetrator of extreme power creep in this series. Goku and Vegeta are the two main characters in Z and Super, instead of letting them grow through hardwork the series instead hands them huge power boosts and uses the fact that their saiyans as there explanation. Overtime the saiyan race just became ridiculously overpowered and it also takes away a lot of the accomplishments that goku had. I still strongly believe that the saiyans should've only had oozaru and that the other transformation were from other sources and not because they were saiyans (like ultra instinct, a cool idea but came a little too late)

phew that's a lot and this is just a few reasons, i could go on. I'm not the best at articulating my thoughts and feelings but I wanted to get my opinion on the Saiyans out there because I love this series and am super passionate about it. My first introduction to dragon ball was budokai tenkaiichi 3 for the nintendo wii which my nan bought me randomly one day and i didn't even know there was a series before z until atleast a decade later. I hope you can see that i'm not trying to be negative and to hate on the popular part of this franchise, i'm just trying to give some criticism and share with others some problems i have with the franchise. Remember You can love a series and also be aware of it's shortcomings and what it could've done better and i think the saiyans were mishandled

( ironically enough though the saiyan saga is joint first place for my fav saga)
 
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DJ12_G1

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I had posted this already on r/dragonball to a lukewarm reaction. I am not looking to start a fight, far from it. Instead i'm hoping to find people that can see where i'm coming from whether they necessarily agree or not. If i was being more generous i would say that the saiyans aren't the problem but the over reliance on saiyan transformations are. To me, though iconic the reveal of ssj is where this series lost it's charm to me. In my opinion Dragon ball is timeless and perfect all the way to the frieza arc, from the android saga onward is fell off hard.
 

Kid Goku

Kame Hame HA!
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I 100% Agree!
Things like making Goku less Special, and Saiyans being OP really Sucks!
And when it comes to Rage Boosts Gohan is probably the Worst offender because almost all of his Power stems From them which is why i dont like him nearly as much as Goku!
And Yeah Earth really just suddenly turned into our earth but with like 3 Animal People and round Houses!
 
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DJ12_G1

Saiyan Grunt
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I 100% Agree!
Things like making Goku less Special, and Saiyans being OP really Sucks!
And when it comes to Rage Boosts Gohan is probably the Worst offender because almost all of his Power stems From them which is why i dont like him nearly as much as Goku!
And Yeah Earth really just suddenly turned into our earth but with like 3 Animal People and round Houses!
thanks for commenting!

Ditto on Gohan, mainly teen and adult gohan (i love kid gohan). I will never understand his popularity, his defining moment came out of nowhere as at no point did gohan ever show that he didn't like fighting or was a pacifist, hell he never even met android 16 and his best friend is his dads best friend! Gohan has trained like what 2 years max? and now in the latest movie he's hinted at being stronger than goku like talk about privilege. The thing is i like nerd gohan, which the fanbase seems to hate because at least then he has a personality and interests.
 
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Beerus

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If you boil everything down, the problem really started when we learned that Saiyans grow in power when they get beaten half to death. This basically set the standard that no matter how tough the enemy is, they will eventually overcome them.

I think the power scaling wasn't that big of a problem with Saiyans until they started just throwing Super Saiyan around like a wet rag. It cheapened it. DBS (while I understand it has meaning in Japanese culture) further did this by reducing it to just being a tingle in the spine.

Mix this all in with rushing certain parts of the story and well, you feel like the entire story around Saiyans, specifically Goku and Vegeta, is busted.

I like the transformations, some more than others, but I think the approach should have been different. GT introduced SS4 which I think was fantastic to blend in the harnessing of the great ape's power with the ability to control it but we know Vegeta already had control of his form when he first showed up on earth so it kind of didn't make much sense by the time GT rolled around. Also, it should have been called something separate - like Saiyan Primal - as I have said before.

Goku really only has one weakness and that is his addiction to wanting to fight everything with a heartbeat that is strong. Vegeta has had massive growth in the series but his weakness still remains his ego and arrogance.

Overall, I think it has caused issues, more so in DBS than DBZ but regardless of that, I still enjoy the entirety of the series.
 

Yoshi

Elite Saiyan Warrior
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I think the Boo Saga ruined Dragon Ball, and the Saiyan hype wasn't even THAT bad before the Boo Saga as well, because Piccolo could still keep up, and Krillin, Yamcha, and Tenshinhan were still respected in power. The biggest reason that GT and DBS are as bad as they are is because they have to work with the problems the Boo Saga introduced, even if they're both still worse in quality than the Boo Saga.
 

OolongGuy

Saiyan Grunt
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Yeah, there's a reason that the Boo arc is the final saga of the original series. Toriyama had mostly run out of ideas with the Freeza arc, and creatively there wasn't much else to do. Most of the character arcs were wrapped up in the Cell arc.
 
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