Dragon Ball Super: Five Characters That Are Way Better In The Manga

When there are multiple adaptions of the same story, there is bound to be some differences from medium to medium. The Same is the case with the Dragon Ball Super Manga and its animated counterpart. The two different adaptions naturally result in two different interpretations of the cast involved in the plot. Where some characters shine in the manga, others are given more to do in the anime. Where some characters might get emotionally high in the anime, the manga’s cast remain grounded in how Toriyama originally wrote the series. Here is a list of five Dragon Ball characters that were way better in the Manga.

Goku

The Dragon Ball Super anime does not handle Goku well whatsoever. It isn’t just a cultural difference, Goku is far dumber in Super’s anime adaptation than he was in the original Japanese. Goku is uneducated, but he isn’t an outright idiot by the end of the original manga. He’s wise, mature, and while selfish, not a complete egomaniac.  Manga Goku is a character with sensible actions and a personality that reads appropriately.

Beerus

The Dragon Ball Super anime really out boasts Beerus’ character for no reason whatsoever. He goes from being one of the most menacing and layered antagonists Toriyama’s written to being a cheap, surface-level pseudo-villain who really would have destroyed the Earth for no reason at all.

The anime does manage to correct things sooner later on as the series progresses, but the manga doesn’t have this problem. The Manga’s adaptation of Battle of Gods isn’t perfect, but Beerus’ characterization remains in-line with how he was written in Toriyama’s Battle of Gods, making him a more consistent and tolerable character overall.

Grand Priest

The anime obviously has no idea what they want to do with the Grand Priest. For almost all of the Universe Survival arc, there were visual cues and directional choices that hinted at the Grand Priest being evil. As it turns out, he’s not; there’s not much to him at all. He just chose to ominously smile at Goku sometimes.

The manga keeps things a bit more consistent with the Grand Priest clearly being a threatening presence, but the story never really allowed an opportunity to showcase that. Where the anime forces those moments, the manga leaves it alone, leaving the Grand Priest an interesting background character—exactly what he should be.

Gohan

Gohan in the anime is an absolute mess. It’s so clear that Toei has no clue which direction to take his character in. Sometimes he’s training, other times he’s content to never train again. In general, the manga handles Gohan much better.

In the manga, he doesn’t appear with near as much frequency, but a bonus chapter at least confirms that Gohan has been training since at least the Goku Black arc. The Universe Survival arc also drops some breadcrumbs of a character arc for Gohan, embracing his Earthling upbringing over his Saiyan heritage. It’s better than anything the anime has done even if it’s surface-level character writing at best.

Jiren

Probably one of the most undertoned character of the series. It’s a serious shock just how much better Jiren is in the manga. The anime waited far too long to reveal his backstory and did a terrible job revealing it, allowing Jiren to be boiled down into a cheap cliché. The manga tries to keep things a bit more unique. Jiren’s master was still killed, but it isn’t framed so intensely.

Instead, Jiren’s almost framed as pathetic. He wants to win to bring his master back to life and get his approval, but Jiren’s been living his entire life antithetically to what Master Gitchen wanted to teach him. It’s surprisingly thoughtful writing for a character who’s as shallow as a board in the anime.

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