Dragon Ball GT gets a lot of bad rap and, for the most part, rightfully so. Since the original Dragon Ball Z was such a phenomenon when it first came out in Japan, it was decided by Toei Animation to continue the Dragon Ball story. The continuation wasn’t based on any works of Akira Toriyama, the author of the original Dragon Ball manga. That is how GT was born, and it was met with very lukewarm reaction from fans. Though there are some fans who are more forgiving towards GT than most, the critical reception of the show among fans is mostly very negative.
The bad response towards GT mostly stems from the badly written storylines and the fact that the show wasn’t based on anything that Toriyama has written. Many fans see GT more like an extended bad filler arc that happened after the end of Dragon Ball Z. Personally, I never hated GT. While I didn’t like a lot of the weird plot points, there were enough cool aspects of the show that I genuinely do like. With that said, I completely understand fans' frustration with the show, and I do think it is the weakest of the four main Dragon Ball TV series.
Despite all that, there are a lot of parts of GT that I think were honestly good. In fact, I think there are parts of GT that are better than anything in Z and Super. Some of the good parts I think of range from the obvious (i.e. Super Saiyan 4), to some of the most underappreciated aspects of the show that fans seem to forget (i.e. the antagonists). That is why I will be listing out the 20 awesome things fans forget about Dragon Ball GT.
20 Super Saiyan 4
Let me get the obvious answer out of the way: Super Saiyan 4 is probably Dragon Ball GT’s crowning achievement. Introduced as the next level of Super Saiyan beyond Super Saiyan 3, Super Saiyan 4 was very different from the previous forms of Super Saiyan. Rather than spiky blond hair, Super Saiyan 4 has the Saiyan grow hot pink fur on his torso and magically grow yellow pants. Super Saiyan 4 also looks more ape-like, which makes more sense with the Saiyan race. Even Dragon Ball GT’s biggest critics can’t deny the impact that Super Saiyan 4 has had on the franchise, and it is still a fan favorite form. I personally love Super Saiyan 4; I like it more than the God forms they introduce in Super.
19 Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta
The whole concept of fusion has always been a weird idea, even when it was first introduced in Dragon Ball Z. Fusion allows two warriors of equal strength to fuse together to become an even more powerful being. Fusion was used heavily during the ending of Z and the movie Fusion Reborn.
Despite how strange of a concept fusion is, fused characters have always been popular. Gogeta, a fusion between Goku and Vegeta, has become one of the more popular fusion characters. Gogeta was first introduced in the Fusion Reborn movie and was brought back at the end of GT. Dragon Ball GT introduced Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta, who is as overpowered and magnificent as you can imagine.
18 Fun Cameos
One of the problems that I find in Dragon Ball shows is that the sequels to Z have a hard time moving past Goku and Vegeta. Both GT and Super had issues with just focusing on those two characters, more so the latter than the former. Super eventually began focusing more on the side characters in the latter half of the series, while GT decided to bring back every major villain back for an arc. The actual storyline is really weak, but it allowed GT to bring in a lot of fun cameos. All these cameos are simple fan service, yet it is still cool to see non-canon villains hanging with forgotten villains.
17 Finality Actually Mattered
The namesakes of the series, the infamous Dragon Balls, are also one of the biggest issues within the series. Thanks to the Dragon Balls, the main characters can make any wish they want. The characters generally use the mythical balls to wish back any of their fallen comrades, which happens increasingly more common as the franchise went on. It made passing meaningless.
The same issue applies to GT, though to a much lesser extent. Dragon Balls are used sporadically throughout the show to wish people back to life, yet Piccolo’s noble sacrifice in midst of the show was never undone. He remained in the afterlife even at the end of the series, making his passing actually matter.
16 Few Noteworthy Fight Scenes
My biggest issue with Dragon Ball GT is the fact that the fights in GT are pretty forgettable. This is a contrast to the highly memorable fight scenes found in the other Dragon Ball shows. The franchise’s best fight scenes are usually high energy and fast-paced, while GT’s were mostly slow.
Despite this, there are some noteworthy fight scenes that deserve to be part of the greater pantheons of Dragon Ball fights. Super Saiyan 4 Goku versus Oozaru Baby was pretty fun, and some of the last fights with the Shadow Dragons were pretty interesting to watch. Even though none of GT’s fights will match Gohan versus Cell in Z, they offer a glimpse of GT’s secret brilliance.
15 History Of The Tuffles
Tuffles were a species of aliens that had advanced technology. The barbaric Saiyans would eventually wipe them out, take their technology, and take control of their planet. The history of Tuffles helps further elaborate the Saiyans' history, and adds more lore to the franchise. It explains how the Saiyans were able to have advanced technology like scouters, even though they were a mostly barbaric race. It villainizes the Saiyans, while also giving the character Baby a strong motivation to want to destroy the remaining Saiyans. Baby is the last of the Tuffles, and his backstory makes him one of the more interesting villains in the franchise, which is something I’ll elaborate later on in the list.
14 Return Of Oozarus
Oozarus are giant apes that Saiyans can transform into after seeing a full moon. They were first introduced in the original Dragon Ball series when young Goku turned into one during a full moon. Oozarus were quickly abandoned after the Saiyan Saga in Dragon Ball Z when all the remaining Saiyans lost their tails. Fortunately, Dragon Ball GT went back to that again, reintroducing Oozarus when Goku needed to transform into one in order to unlock Super Saiyan 4. Baby, a parasite that has taken control of Vegeta, decides to transform himself into an Oozaru to combat SS 4 Goku. Baby’s Oozaru form had golden hair, which I thought looked really cool. It was nice to see GT bring this up.
13 Cool Techniques
I love the Kamehameha. We all love the Kamehameha; however, it is a very overused move in the Dragon Ball franchise. There are only so many ways for the series to use the Kamehameha in new and interesting ways. Dragon Ball GT is also guilty of overusing the Kamehameha, but the show at least had the foresight to showcase other cool techniques. Goku’s infamous Dragon Fist from the Wrath of the Dragon movie makes a return in GT, and it is as glorious in GT as was in the movie. Even the other main characters, Trunks and Pan, were allowed to use movies outside of Kamehameha.
12 The Series Isn’t Too Long
Most of the Dragon Ball TV shows are imposingly long. The original Dragon Ball show is 153 episodes long. Dragon Ball Z is 291 episodes long, and Dragon Ball Super is 131 episodes. Even Dragon Ball Z Kai, which is meant to be a more condensed version of Dragon Ball Z, is a whopping 167 episodes long. In comparison, Dragon Ball GT’s 64 episode count makes the show appear more approachable. There are certain elements of GT’s story that do feel too long, like the Black Star Dragon Balls Arc. However, in comparison to the ridiculous lengths of filler in Z, GT is not much of a commitment.
11 Dr. Gero And Dr. Myuu Teaming Up
Villains teaming up were a rarity among classic Dragon Ball shows. That is why Dr. Myuu teaming up with Dr. Gero in the afterlife was such a big deal at the time. Due to the episodic nature of Dragon Ball Z, villains would rarely reappear after a major saga. If villains did reappear, it usually means they were redeemed and are good guys now. Dr. Myuu, the scientist who created Baby in GT, was sentenced to Hell after he perished. There, he meets up with Dr. Gero. The two scientists teaming up was a perfect combination of the villains of the past teaming up with the villains of the present. This sort of team up was rare.
10 Improved English Dub
Let’s be honest with ourselves; the original Dragon Ball Z English dub wasn’t the greatest. There was a rushed quality to the original Z dub, and a lot of the voice actors were still very much amateurs when they started. There are definite highlights in the original dub; nonetheless, GT’s dub is in many ways the superior dub. By the time GT began airing, the voice actors were more confident in their roles and they delivered their most competent performance yet. The voice actors of Dragon Ball would continuously improve via the video games, and would eventually deliver the definite English dub of Dragon Ball Z with Dragon Ball Z Kai.
9 Majin Uub
The original ending of Dragon Ball Z is, well, kind of lame. After defeating Majin Buu, Goku decides to train Buu’s reincarnation, Uub, to become the next protector of Earth. It was super anticlimactic, yet at least it sets up Uub as the next major character. Unfortunately, Uub’s potential has never been revealed in any other Dragon Ball series. The most Uub ever did was fuse with the good Majin Buu, and become Majin Uub in Dragon Ball GT. It was one of the more crowd-pleasing moments…
Which is why it was upsetting to watch Uub easily lose to the Baby-controlled Vegeta. A lot of times when GT takes one step forward, it takes two steps back.
8 Return To Basics
Despite the entire franchise being named after them, the Dragon Balls have stopped being relevant in the series. They became nothing more than a plot device to revive everyone that perishes. Dragon Ball GT changed that with its first and last arcs. The Black Star Dragon Ball arc introduces a new type of Dragon Balls, and forced the main characters to travel the galaxy to find them.
It was a return to basics for the series. It involved Goku going on adventures, looking for the Dragon Balls, yet on a grander scale. The Shadow Dragons arc would later turn the Earth’s Dragon Balls into malicious dragons that threaten the universe.
7 More Female Representation (Even Though It Was Mostly Pan)
The original Dragon Ball series and Dragon Ball Z was very much a boys’ only club. While a female character like Bulma is important to the overall narrative, she was never a fighter like her male counterparts. Android 18 and Videl were the only female fighters from Z, and even then they are heavily overshadowed by the other characters. It wouldn’t be until Super that Android 18 proved to be a true powerhouse.
In a lot of ways, having Pan as one of the lead roles in Dragon Ball GT allowed the series to truly showcase more diversity. While Pan was mostly a damsel-in-distress and kind of annoying, she at least showed that females are capable of keeping up with men in the show.
6 The Shadow Dragons
It is revealed in the last arc of Dragon Ball GT that the Dragon Balls were meant to make a wish every hundred years. During those hundred years, they are supposed to expel negative energy that the balls absorb once granting the wish. But because of Bulma’s Dragon Radar, the heroes have been using the Balls continuously for years. Since the Balls were not able to expel the negative energy, the energy instead built up and eventually led to the creation of the Shadow Dragons. I just love how the Shadow Dragons are karma for the heroes overusing the Dragon Balls. I never like how devalued the Balls became in later portions of Z, and it was cool for GT call out the heroes.
5 Omega Shenron Is Still An Iconic Villain In The Franchise
I really like Omega Shenron, the final main villain of Dragon Ball GT. But let’s be honest with ourselves; he was a pretty bland villain. In comparison to other big bads in the franchise, Omega falls short when it comes to personality. He simply doesn’t stack up against the arrogant and condescending nature that is exhibited within Frieza and Cell. Despite that, Omega Shenron is still an iconic villain from the franchise, and his final fights with Goku and Vegeta are some of the more entertaining in all of GT. Before Super came onto our screens and blessed us with even better villains like Beerus and Goku Black, Omega Shenron was consider to be the end-all and be-all big bad.
4 Nuova Shenron Is An Interesting Character
Whereas Omega Shenron was a pretty bland main bad guy, Nuova Shenron was actually pretty interesting. One of the Shadow Dragons along with Omega, Nuova was the four-star dragon and was the master of fire. Juxtaposed with the other dragons, including his twin brother Eis Shenron, Nuova is the most honorable and likable. He chose to spare Pan and even gained Goku’s respect. He nobly sacrifices his life, saving Goku from Syn Shenron, though was soon revived. Nuova tries to send Omega to the sun and evaporate him; however, Omega was able to possess Nuova’s body. Nuova then perishes again, and Omega lives. Nuova has one of the best character arcs in GT.
3 Baby Was A Cool Villain
Dragon Ball has pretty amazing villains. GT, in retrospect, falls short when compared to the franchise’s usually high standards of villains. While I like the Shadow Dragons, Super 17 was lame and there were a lot of weak one-off foes in the show. Baby, the parasite Tuffle, is the exception to the rule.
Baby was able to infect people’s bodies and created a hive mind on Earth. He proved to be a unique villain, as he was a foe that Goku couldn’t simply dispose of. Goku needed to face off against a whole planet of people. Baby may have a weak design and an annoying voice, but I think he may secretly be one of the best villains in the series.
2 The Animation
Dragon Ball Super was heavily criticized early on in its run for its unappealing animation. Eventually, Super was able to come back from that, and offer some of the best animation in the entire franchise. Dragon Ball GT didn’t really have that problem. GT had a pretty consistent and solid animation. Many fans have complained that several faces of the characters look the same. Despite that, the show was clearly had a good budget, with solid coloring and fluid motion among the characters (for the most part). Though there were a lot of questionable aesthetic choices within the show, there was actually a lot of detail among certain backgrounds and character models. I would argue that GT had a more consistent animation than Z.
1 The Ending Was Amazing
The final episode GT is really amazing. In fact, I think it is the best ending that the franchise has ever received. Shenron decides to leave Earth in order to prevent humans from overusing the Dragon Balls. He decides to take Goku with him and the final few scenes focus on Goku saying goodbye to his friends. The episode culminates in a flash-forward, where Goku witnesses his descendant taking part in the world martial arts tournament a hundred years in the future.
It’s a very emotional finale. Dragon Ball GT will never be considered to be one of the best that the franchise has to offer. However, I think the final episode deserves to be recognized as something truly special.