Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero was undeniably a fantastic movie, but like any production, it had its flaws. One area of criticism lies in the unearned power-ups of Piccolo and Gohan. While Piccolo's new form had some groundwork laid for it, Gohan's transformation into Gohan Beast seemed to come out of nowhere. The movie failed to provide any setup or explanation for this significant development.
Fortunately, this is where the Dragon Ball Super manga has an opportunity to step in and address these concerns. With its longer format, the manga can delve into the reasoning behind Gohan Beast that the movie simply didn't have sufficient time for. How the extended storytelling is handled in the manga will be crucial in providing the necessary context and justification for Gohan's newfound power.
How Could Gohan Beast's Debut Be Improved Upon By the Manga
The origin of Gohan Beast remains a mystery to many Dragon Ball fans. According to Akira Toriyama, the form was meant to be a continuation of the various awakenings Gohan experienced in Dragon Ball Z. Some speculate that it could be an evolved version of his Potential Unleashed state. Others believe it may be connected to his statement in Dragon Ball Super Episode 90 about seeking an ultimate form never witnessed before. Another possibility arises from his conversation with Kefla in the manga, where he discusses personal evolution. However, regardless of the reasoning, Gohan Beast's explanation was absent from the movie.
Piccolo's prominent role in the initial drafts of the movie may have contributed to the lack of explanation for Gohan Beast. Gohan was added as a co-star later in the production process, which is reflected in the significant screen time dedicated to Piccolo. Had Gohan been involved in the story from the beginning, his role could have been more fully developed.
The manga presents an opportunity to delve deeper into Gohan's story and provide the necessary context for his struggles in obtaining this new power. If executed well, fans could finally appreciate Gohan Beast for the remarkable power-up it represents.
However, time is running out for the manga to provide the development Gohan deserves. As of Chapter 94, "Get Your Head in the Game, Son Gohan!," everything unfolds just as it did in the movie, leaving no new information on how his new form came to be.
At this point, an explanation for Gohan Beast could be incorporated into the manga in various ways, such as through flashbacks, dialogue boxes, or lines from Gohan's allies. Exploring Gohan's thought process during his pivotal moment could shed some light on the transformation.
Regardless of how Gohan Beast is introduced in the Dragon Ball Super manga, it should surpass what was presented in the movie. This new medium provides a clean slate for the Super Hero Saga and should be treated as such. It offers the opportunity to enhance the story in ways that were not possible in the film adaptation.