The Dragon Ball franchise has never been known for their highly intelligent stories, but there is a certain charm about the narrative of the series. Most fans tune in for the well-choreographed fight scenes, yet the story at times does often provide some good pathos and nice character development. Nonetheless, Akira Toriyama, the author of the original Dragon Ball manga, is known for essentially winging it. Meaning, he was pretty much making up the story as he went along. He didn’t have a grand plan going on, nor did he truly know what direction he would take with any particular story. He wrote by the seat of his pants, giving us something that has truly endured for over the decades.
When Toei Animation decided to continue the Dragon Ball story with Dragon Ball Super, it almost felt like they followed Toriyama’s method of writing. There’s a sense the show was making up plot points as the series continued, oftentimes foreshadowing things that never transpired. When the show suddenly announced the series was ending with episode 131, it startled fans all over. It was unexpected because it still felt like the show had a lot more stories to tell, with certain mysteries and plot holes yet to be resolved.
This is not to say that Super was a bad show. While the story is definitely more uneven and arcs certainly dragged longer than they needed to be, the show had a special kind of momentum and magic that made the show entertaining. It is just unfortunate the show ended before it could fully take advantage of its new setting and resolve some of the mysteries that the show left hanging. The show is plagued with many mistakes; however, these 20 Unresolved Mysteries and Plot Holes from Dragon Ball Super may honestly be the biggest in the show.
Jiren is the final opponent in Dragon Ball Super. He is a warrior from Universe 11, whose power succeeds that of the Gods of Destruction. As shown in his backstory, when Jiren was young his village was destroyed by a villain. He then trained with the man who saved him, and later he and his friends try to stop the villain for good. However, the villain was too strong and it annihilated most of Jiren’s friends and his teacher. From that point on, Jiren only believed in absolute strength rather than relying on others. The show never reveals who the villain was, or what the villain’s motivation was.
Universes 1, 5, 8, and 12 were spared from partaking in the Tournament of Power because their Universes had the highest mortal levels. Mortal levels are a measurement that the God Zeno uses to determine the “quality” of mortals in any universe. Because Universes 1, 5, 8, and 12 did not partake in the Tournament, fans never got to witness how powerful their fighters are. Jiren, who was the strongest warrior in the Tournament, had a power that was greater than the Gods of Destruction. If Jiren was that strong, and he didn’t come from the Universes with highest mortal levels, imagine how powerful the warriors are in Universes 1, 5, 8, and 12.
It is established at the beginning of the Tournament of Power arc that Universe 7, the home universe of Goku and the others, has the second lowest Mortal level out of all the Universes. This seems odd considering that Universe 7 has some of the strongest warriors in all of the multiverse. Apparently, the reason why Universe 7 has a low Mortal level is that they only have twenty-eight planets with advanced civilizations. This is a weird development that Universe 7 has so very few planets with intelligent species, and is never really properly explained why it is so low. It is possible that Frieza and Beerus have destroyed too many planets with civilizations, but that’s only a theory.
The ending to the Future Trunks arc is… confusing. So in the alternate future that Trunks comes from, Zeno of that timeline decides to erase everything in order to destroy Zamasu. Goku, Trunks, and the others are able to escape and bring present Zeno to future Zeno. The two Zenos bond and return to the present together. Beerus has destroyed the Zamasu in the present timeline, and Whis used his time rewind ability to fix Trunks' timeline. However, in Trunks' fixed timeline, there is already another version of Future Trunks. Trunks still returns to his fixed future, even knowing there is another version of himself in that same timeline. We never know what happens to him, unless the Dragon Ball Heroes anime is canon.
In the midway point of the Tournament of Power, Goku challenges Jiren, the most powerful warrior from Universe 11. All of Goku’s attacks prove ineffective against Jiren, who refuses to even budge. Goku then decides to throw him his Spirit Bomb, yet Jiren was still able to push it back towards Goku. Goku seemingly perishes when the Spirit Bomb hits him, however, he emerges from the crater in a new form: Ultra Instinct. It is never really explained how Goku survived the Spirit Bomb, or how being in contact with the Spirit Bomb led to him unlocking Ultra Instinct. It sort of just happens.
One of the most unrealized plot points of Dragon Ball Super is the further exploration of the Planet Sadala. Sadala is the home planet of the Saiyans from Universe 6. Saiyan character Cabba, Caulifla, and Kale originate from Sadala. Viewers were able to see the planet in a few episodes leading into the Tournament of Power, though nothing was elaborated other than Caulifla being in charge of punk Saiyans and having an older brother. Vegeta has expressed wanting to visit the planet, implying that the show was going to explore Sadala in greater detail. Sadly that never came to be, at least not yet.
With everything that was leading into the Tournament of Power, Frieza’s role in the tournament was the biggest question mark. He was essentially the wild card in Team Universe 7. He was clearly still bad but chose to play nicely with the other warriors of Universe 7. He formed a pact with Frost from Universe 6, only to betray him and eliminate him from the tournament. He was a deciding competent in defeating Jiren at the end of the Tournament, helping Goku push Jiren out of the arena. Frieza got his wish at the end and was fully revived by Whis for his efforts. He then quickly reforms his intergalactic army and begins his conquest anew. What he plans next is unknown.
Android 17’s role in the original Dragon Ball Z was relatively minor. He was overall a secondary antagonist, with a fairly small role. His most major contribution to the show was his excellent fight scene with Piccolo. After that, he more or less disappeared. Super brought him back for the Tournament of Power, in which he had a huge role. Before the Tournament began, it was revealed that 17 got married and has children. We never see the kids, which is honestly kind of odd. Even when 17 shows Goku a picture of his family, the picture is faced away from the camera so we never see it. Why would they want to make 17’s family a mystery?
Goku spars with 17 to see if he is strong enough to join the Tournament of Power with Team Universe 7. During the spar, Goku surmises that 17 has grown more powerful than Majin Buu. Majin Buu was the final villain of Dragon Ball Z and is considered to be one of the most powerful beings in the Universe. So how did 17 become that powerful, when last time he couldn’t even defeat Piccolo? To be fair, it has been years since 17 disappeared from the show. It’s very likely that 17 has been training all this time to become more powerful. But if that was the case, then where was he when Majin Buu was attacking the Earth?
Master Roshi was the master of many important characters in the franchise, though specifically, he was Goku’s original master. While Roshi was able best Goku in the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament, he failed to keep up with Tien in the 22nd Tournament, and gracefully forfeited. He recognizes that he can’t keep up with the current generations of fighters, and leaves it up to his students to pick up his mantle…
That is, until Goku chose him to be part of the Tournament of Power and he ends up doing much better than some of the other major characters like Krillin and Tien. He even briefly fought against Jiren in the manga adaption of Super. How does that make sense?
Dr. Rota is a fighter from Universe 6 who took part in the Tournament of Power. He was only prominently showcased in one episode of the Tournament of Power arc, where he was easily eliminated by Vegeta. Throughout the episode, Dr. Rota keeps warning his opponents about his moniker as a doctor, threatening by showing off the reason why he’s called the doctor. However before he could show his ability, he is always interrupted by something. He never truly reveals why he’s called the doctor before being eliminated by Vegeta. In the manga, it is suggested that his power are sorcery based, but even in the manga, it is never shown what his powers are.
Super sometimes foreshadowed things that simply never transpired. Some of the Angels in the Tournament of Power came across more malicious than Whis or Vados were, hinting that something more insidious was being foreshadowed. One of the prime examples of the Angels’ ulterior motives seems to have been suggesting when the Angel Mojito smiled when his Universe was erased. His sinister smirk makes it seem like something grander is on foot, but it is never brought up ever again. None of the Angels are shown to have secret agendas for the Tournament, and in the end doesn’t really matter since all the Universes return anyways.
It is established in Dragon Ball Super that each universe has a twin universe. For instance, Universe 6 and 7 are twin universes since they add up to 13. That explains why they share similar races, like Saiyans and Namekians. The Tournament of Power proves that different species can exist throughout the universe. Jimeze from Universe 2 is a Yardrat, the same species of aliens that taught Goku the Instant Transmission technique. Zarbuto from the same Universe is a Tuffle, an alien race that the Saiyans annihilated. Baby from Dragon Ball GT is the most infamous Tuffle in the franchise. Zarbuto being Tuffle is really more of an Easter egg, as it isn’t really elaborated within the story.
Android 17 became a park ranger after the Android Saga, and he was in charge of taking care of the wildlife on a small island. When he left to participate in the Tournament of Power, he left his island under the protection of Trunks and Goten. His niece Marron also stayed to protect the island. As 17 leaves, a pair of binoculars is seen coming from the water. It is revealed that poachers are in a submarine, spying through the binoculars. They decide that with 17 gone, it is perfect opportunity to strike the island. Many fans assume there would be an intermission in the middle of the Tournament to show off what happens with Trunks and Goten, yet nothing like that ever happens.
Universe 3 is occupied mostly by cybernetically enhanced beings, which explains why nearly all of Universe 3 warriors are robots. Even Universe 3’s God of Destruction, whose name is Mosco, appeared to be a robot. That is, until an eleventh-hour twist. When Universe 3 was eliminated from the Tournament of Power and was being erased from existence, a small creature from within Mosco pops out of a door on the robot’s stomach. It turns out that the small creature is the true God of Destruction, and was simply piloting the robot. It was a great last minute twist and made fans more interested in a character who up at that point hadn’t done anything interesting.
Dragon Ball Super has this strange habit of introducing new forms for characters without really explaining what they are. Super Saiyan God is explained in detail in the Battle of Gods movie, yet there is hardly any explanation of Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan. Even more perplexing is the Super Saiyan form that Trunks unlocks towards the end of the Future Trunks arc. Trunks’ form has been labeled as Super Saiyan Rage, and looks like a mixture of a normal Super Saiyan and SSGSS. He has a blue aura like an SSGSS, but still has the blond hair of a Super Saiyan 2. It is never said what this form is, and makes you wonder why the show didn’t allow him to turn into an SSGSS.
Apparently, before there were the twelve main Universes as revealed in Dragon Ball Super, there were six more Universes before the start of the Dragon Ball franchise. Evidently, Zeno erased six Universes. It is never really elaborated why Zeno erased those six Universes. It is assumed that since Zeno is a child-like God, he often does things out of impulse. It could be presumed that Zeno did it because he simply wanted to. He was also planning to erase the remaining Universes until Goku gave him the great idea of the Tournament of Power, though even then he later allows Android 17 to wish all the eliminated Universes back anyways. Was there something within those six erased Universes that Zeno needed to erase?
The Super Dragon Balls are planet-sized Dragon Balls that are spread out across Universes 6 and 7. The Super Dragon Balls summon Super Shenron once all of them are gathered, and he grants a wish. Unlike normal Shenron’s wishes, Super Shenron’s wishes have no limitation; any wish can be granted. It is briefly brought up in the show that the Super Dragon Balls were created by the Dragon God named Zalama. Other than being credited with the creation of the Super Dragon Balls, Zalama has not been given any backstory. There is nothing about his past, his reasons for creating the mythical orbs, or how he was able to scatter them between two universes.
There’s an actual emotional moment towards the end of the Universe of Power arc that is completely undone mere episodes later. With the remaining Universe 7 warriors facing Jiren alone, they proved to be ineffective towards him. In order to protect Goku and Vegeta from Jiren’s attack, Android 17 seemingly sacrifices himself to make sure they don’t get eliminated. It was a little heartbreaking…
Until it is later revealed he survived the attack and helps Goku and Frieza in their final push against Jiren. He ends up being the last warrior standing, winning the tournament. It’s never explained how he survived Jiren’s attack.
One of the big moments of Tournament of Power is Goku unlocking Ultra Instinct, a new form that allows him to keep up with Jiren. Arguably, Ultra Instinct already doesn’t make much sense, but at least there is some explanation of what it is. However, Vegeta’s upgraded Super Saiyan Blue form that he gains in the last few episodes makes even less sense. During a fight with Jiren, Vegeta unlocks an upgraded form of Super Saiyan Blue. This form gives him a power boost and even has a different shade of blue. Other than that, there isn’t enough detail of what it really was. At least there is some sort of explanation of what Ultra Instinct is.
Probably one of the weirdest reveals in the final episode of Dragon Ball Super, Goku says he has forgotten how to turn into his Ultra Instinct form. At that point the Tournament of Power is over; however, it is still odd how Goku has forgotten Ultra Instinct. How he turns into Ultra Instinct is already somewhat vague, but he was able to turn into Ultra Instinct several times in the Tournament. It doesn’t make sense for him to suddenly not remember it when he was doing it more than once throughout the whole tournament. He obviously knew how to do it in the tournament, yet somehow forgets it once everything is done?