In the wacky world of manga and anime, they sure as heck don’t do things by halves. There are huge, dramatic, The Matrix-style battles, entire planets being destroyed, theatrical close-ups, and over-excitable dialogue going off all over the darn place.
Would we have it any other way? Absolutely not. It’s escapism at its brilliant best, and that’s what we’re here for: something like a cross between an intergalactic soap opera and an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.
Of course, this isn’t the case with all anime. It’s a huge, broad medium, with offerings ranging from the most action-packed to the most sedate. It’s just that sedate isn’t a word in some anime creators’ vocabularies.
Take Akira Toriyama, for instance. The writer and illustrator of the original Dragon Ball manga developed a franchise that would become one of the most popular and thrilling out there. Goku and the cast are renowned for their fighting prowess, the myriad of ever-more-ridiculous forms they can take, the explosive nature of their abilities.
When it comes to discussions of the most powerful characters in anime, some of the stars of Dragon Ball are always going to be at the forefront. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the most formidable-sounding subset of Dragon Ball characters out there: the Gods of Destruction.
The fact is, these mighty beings are often misunderstood. Let’s try to shed a little light on them, with some curious facts that you may not have known. Have you ever destroyed a planet because you lost in a video game? Well, Beerus has.
20 They Might Not Be As Strong As They Sound
Now, firstly, there’s a huge, obvious, polka-dot-covered elephant in the room that we’ve got to address. If you’re not familiar with Dragon Ball, you might go ahead and assume that the Gods of Destruction would be the very last word in power. I mean, it’s all right there in the title, isn’t it? These aren’t the kinds of beings you want to mess with.
Well, no, they’re not, but they aren’t unstoppable either. As we’ll see later, Gods of Destruction are often mortals and many other beings in the Dragon Ball universe are considered stronger. Vegeta, for instance, defeated Toppo after he reached the God of Destruction Mode state, and Broly’s power level has been seen as exceeding that of a God of Destruction as well.
19 They Have Pitched Battles Over Pudding
As we’ll see a little later, Gods of Destruction aren’t just agents of chaos, able to use their immense powers to demolish whole planets and star systems as they wish. They have solemn duties to perform and take them super seriously. They play a crucial role in keeping the universe in balance.
At the same time, though, they aren’t above throwing tantrums when people don’t share their pudding with them. As we’ve reported before, one memorable moment from Dragon Ball Super saw Beerus interrupt Buu at a party (while he was, predictably, feasting on desserts). Not wanting to let Beerus get in on the sweet, sugary action, Buu resisted and found himself thrown into a lake by the vengeful Beerus.
Still, I happen to take enjoying desserts as a sacred duty myself, so I can totally empathize.
18 They Destroy Planets After Losing At Video Games
Now, if there’s one thing we all know about gamers, it’s that they don’t tend to appreciate losing. Why are seemingly innocuous games like Mario Kart and Mario Party such notorious friendship-enders? Because we just cannot have our victories stolen from us.
Yes, they may have been your friend since the first grade and stuck by you during the intense break-ups, but they hit you with a blue shell a gnat’s length from the finish line on the last lap. That sort of crime can only be punished by immediate termination of the friendship.
If you thought the average gamer’s ragequits were bad, just look at some of the things Beerus gets up to. When he was defeated by King Kai in a racing game, he destroyed almost the entirety of North Kai’s Planet.
17 When Is A God Not A God?
Now, here’s a curious thing. As I say, when you look at the title God of Destruction, there are two assumptions that you’d probably think it’s safe to make: they’re super powerful and destructive, and they’re gods. We’ve already seen Beerus confirm the former, with his pudding and video game-centric wrathful tantrums, but how about the latter?
Interestingly, divinity is not a prerequisite here. Gods of Destruction and potential candidates (more on how that works later) are often as mortal as we regular folks are, albeit with a few more absurd abilities and feats to their names. Like most of the rest of us, too, they’re not infallible, and they have a higher authority to answer to. Heck, while we’re here, let’s go ahead and meet one of them.
16 Zeno Has A Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card
One of the higher powers that the Gods of Destruction answer to is Zeno, the Omni-King. He’s one of those powers that just transcends everything else; the puppet master of each and every universe, parallel universe, and shonky, confusing timeline in the series.
His every whim is law, his authority limitless, his body tiny, blue and hilarious. You’d expect a being of this sort of boundless power to be huge and imposing, but Zeno is nothing of the sort (Goku actually lifted him off the ground a little when he shook his hand on their meeting).
Nevertheless, he can do whatever the heck he likes. Taking a liking to Goku, he presented the warrior with a little ‘button,’ with the promise that, when Goku pushed it, Zeno would hurry to the scene and instantly fix any dire situation with no questions asked. That’s a heck of a deus ex machina to have in your pocket, isn’t it?
15 They Can Be Immediately Destroyed Themselves
So, there it is. Fans will know that Zeno has a naïve, fun-loving, childlike spirit, but he’s also capable of switching to super serious mode in a heartbeat. Do not mistake him for one of those substitute teachers you can mess with, because Zeno’s inner authoritarian is a force to be reckoned with.
He, too, is responsible for maintaining the balance of the universe, and if a God of Destruction (or anybody else) neglects their duties or threatens that balance, he will not hesitate to Erase them on the spot.
Originally, there were eighteen universes, each served by their own God of Destruction. When we first meet the gods in Dragon Ball Super, there are only twelve. Why’s that? Because Zeno Erased them, that’s why.
14 They Even Scare Frieza
In the Dragon Ball world, many would tell you, the most iconic villain would have to be Frieza. While countless other Big Bads™ have come along since, he’s just such an icon. That first time we saw him achieve Golden Frieza form? That was a heck of a sight to behold, right there. The over-enthusiastic fan in all of us just couldn’t handle it.
For all his malevolence and power, however, Frieza recognizes and grudgingly respects a superior authority, as we saw when he worked for Beerus for a time. This sort of arrangement would naturally benefit both parties (and satisfy their destructive desires).
Interestingly, Beerus had his own part in the legendary destruction of Planet Vegeta, leading Frieza to do it to a certain extent. That one’s still debated, though.
13 Their Lives Are Linked To Supreme Kais
Oh, yes indeed, friends. You thought that the God of Destruction would be untouchable, with all their heightened powers and influence? Nope, that definitely isn’t how it works.
In the interest of maintaining the balance, there’s a separate group called the Supreme Kais, or God of Creation. Their job is, essentially, to buy a new IKEA vase when the Gods of Destruction knock one over, only on an intergalactic scale.
Being equal and opposite forces, both groups are bound to each other. Should a Supreme Kai perish, the Gods of Destruction are in danger too. In terms of influence, the two groups are largely equal (that’s the whole deal, after all) but the Destroyers are the more able fighters. They tend to be very protective of the Kais, for obvious reasons.
12 They Can Be Replaced By Worthy Candidates
While the two are intrinsically linked, there are fundamental differences between the Gods of Destruction and Creation. Most notably, the Supreme Kai are all members of the same species, while the God of Destruction have a much more open policy. None of them share a species, in fact, other than the twins Champa and Beerus.
How did this come to be? Well, the ranks of the Gods of Destruction are filled by the worthy. The constant need to keep spots filled means that candidates are invited to join when the time is right, whoever (or whatever) they are.
You’ve got to appreciate that all-inclusive policy, don’t you? Heck, anthropomorphic cat-people have the right to become Gods just like anybody else. Excellent work there.
11 Goku And Vegeta Could’ve Been Gods of Destruction Too
So, yes. There’s no particular species requirement here, just a certain power level requirement that candidates must meet. As such, it’s no surprise that Saiyans (a mighty warrior race whose only real purpose in life is to train their body and Ki to its absolute limit) would be considered as a welcome addition.
Over the course of the series, Goku and Vegeta were both considered as prospective Gods of Destruction and were invited to become potential candidates. It’s also not surprising, with Goku and Vegeta being Goku and Vegeta, that they both declined.
Who wants arbitrary restrictions on their power and how they should use it? Not these guys, that’s for darn sure. It’s an interesting thing to consider, though, and something for an odd alternate timeline somewhere.
10 They Can Also Go Full Hulk With Rage Mode
Oh, dear. You won’t like Beerus when he’s angry.
Now, the simple status of God of Destruction is probably more than enough to be getting on with. Isn’t that intimidating enough? Isn’t it the sort of thing that prospective employers just love to see on a resume (“Dang, four hundred years as a God of Destruction? You’re hired, friend. Welcome to Pizza Hut”)?
As is the case with just about everybody in Dragon Ball, though, there are further heights to their powers. Rage Mode is a phenomenon we’ve seen several characters in the series achieve, including Golden Frieza, Broly, and Vegeta. It comes about as a result of… well, anger or other intense emotions, hence the name.
Interestingly, Beerus can also achieve Rage Mode (as he does when Buu refuses to share his pudding), but we haven’t seen the other Gods of Destruction do so.
9 They Have To Attend Work Meetings
As we’ve seen, then, these guys do get to have a lot of destruction-ing fun, but it’s a tough gig nonetheless. All that power, longevity, and such is neat, and there are some major perks of the job (they’ve probably got quite a good dental plan), but they’re not exempt from that most dreaded of professional events: the work meeting.
That’s right. Whether your job revolves around inputting data in an office or blowing planets to smithereens, you just can’t get away from meetings.
The Gods of Destruction and Supreme Kais schedule regular get-togethers to discuss how things are going.
Fortunately for them, when I say regular, I actually mean once every thousand years. That doesn’t sound like a bad schedule at all, as far as I’m concerned.
8 They Can Make Friends And Influence/Disintegrate People
Needless to say, the title of God of Destruction comes with a fair amount of prestige. We don’t know whether there’s a company car or expenses account included, but it’s probably safe to assume that there is. Heck, who’s going to argue with anything they ask for, really?
One thing we do know is that it’s not all about the duties. The Destructors wield a considerable amount of influence, too. In one instance, Frost appealed to Champa to have his various misdemeanors stricken from the record, obviously implying that Champa has the authority to do so. Beyond this, the manga suggests that the Gods of Destruction can Erase those they deem deserving of it, without any long-winded process or tedious paperwork to fill in afterward.
7 Goku Can Beat Them (Because Of Course He Can)
As we all know, in most manga and anime, the protagonist tends to prevail in the end. Yes, all manner of grim hardship befalls Goku over the course of Dragon Ball, but he makes it through. Plot armor is a wonderful thing.
When there’s an opponent that our hero cannot defeat, he’ll pull an incredible new form out of nowhere to get the job done. We’ve seen this time and again, but how would he fare against a God of Destruction?
Well, naturally, that’ll depend on his condition at the time. One thing we do know for sure is that Beerus was intimidated by Goku’s mastery of Ultra Instinct. According to the God himself, this ability may be enough for Goku to surpass his own strength.
6 They Can Travel In Time (But They’re Not Usually Allowed To)
As I say, the Gods of Destruction aren’t usually given free rein to flex their formidable powers. Can you imagine the mess they’d make if they were?
The great authority that they answer to ensures that they’re always working towards their goal of maintaining balance in the universe, and that means another golden rule: no time travel.
As with so many otherwise-strict rules, though, this one does tend to be forgotten in times of crisis. The Xenoverse series, for instance, sees many instances of warping around the Time Nest, though this may be a special case (the Time Nest is presumably exempt from this rule). Their connection with the Supreme Kais (especially the Supreme Kai of Time) may also govern when and how these journeys are permitted.
5 Frieza Is (Technically Not) A God Of Destruction
You see, this is what you get. This is exactly what happens when you give a group a title like God of Destruction. They’re not villains, as such, but the title’s so intimidating that it makes you think that they’re going to be. For this reason, bona fide Big Bads have also been referred to as such, as a sort of honorific.
While Frieza never took on the job himself, he’s been dubbed a ‘God of Destruction.’ When Ro (the Supreme Kai of Universe 9) witnessed the villain’s remorseless savagery and incredible power for himself, he claimed that Frieza was more of a God of Destruction than the actual god of his universe, Sidra.
If it wasn’t for the fact that he’d actually have to co-operate with others, Frieza would probably jump at the chance to be a genuine Destructor.
4 They Can’t Beat Jiren
Now, it’s really darn difficult to accurately determine who’s more powerful than who in the Dragon Ball world. As new characters appear and existing ones show off new abilities and forms, the goalposts are constantly changing. Still, that’s what makes all those debates among the community so much fun.
As of right now, Jiren is clearly the powerhouse to beat. A member of the Pride Troopers and resident of Universe 11, Jiren is known and feared as the first (technically the first) mortal that Destroyers have proven unable to defeat.
He was defeated by Frieza and Goku at the Tournament of Power, but this largely came about from his unwillingness to win in an underhanded way (Goku was exhausted from overusing his Ultra Instinct). In the end, though, Jiren also rejected the chance to become a God of Destruction, so fellow Pride Trooper Top was chosen in his stead.
3 They Also Answer To Angels
As we’ve seen so far, we have Zeno, the Gods of Creation and the Gods of Destruction, all working towards the ultimate goal of attempting to maintain order in the universe (a darn tall order in a universe like Dragon Ball’s, where something absurd is constantly kicking off). The other party you may not be aware of are the Angels, who also have a huge part to play.
As with the Supreme Kais, the Angels are all of the same species (they’re all siblings, in fact), and they have a crucial role.
They’re advisors and attendants for the Gods of Destruction, also helping them to develop and best use their burgeoning abilities for the good of the universe.
While not strictly fighters, Angels have magical abilities beyond those of the gods they serve; resurrection, time-space manipulation and such. Despite that, they exist to serve them, and will cease to function while they have no Destructor to attend to.
2 The Rest Of The Destructors Look Down On Beerus
Well, maybe that’s not quite the way to put it. Beerus certainly isn’t subservient to Gods of Destruction of other universes, but in the manga, he is not popular with the others.
Why’s this? Well, as we’ve seen, Beerus displays a lot of childlike behavior, with his video game tantrums and pudding-battles. He also has a tendency to fall asleep as and when he chooses (heck, he is a cat, after all), which is… well, not ideal when you hold such a responsible position.
In the manga, as the Wiki explains, Beerus took an untimely nap during Zeno’s All-Universe Hide And Seek Tournament, which infuriated the deity. Knowing the power he wields over them, the other Destructors had to act incredibly fast to placate Zeno.
1 They Like To Delegate
Now, personally, I’ve never been a God of Destruction, so I can’t really say for sure, but I’m betting there’s a lot of responsibility involved. What’s the pay like? Where do they go after a long day’s destruction-ing? We don’t know the answers to any of these questions. All we know is that it’s not as cushy as those once-every-Millennium work meetings might make it sound.
You can forgive the Destructors for wanting to delegate a little, then. There are a few instances of the Gods appointing Agents of Destruction, which is a fancy way of saying sidekicks. Frieza took this role with Beerus for a time, as did the Universe 9 Assassins for Sidra during the Tournament of Power.
It’s tough at the top, isn’t it?