Image source: 「ドラゴンボール超」公式 on Twitter

Four Universes are excluded from the Tournament of Power in Dragon Ball Super. The initial reasons are because they’re the strongest Universes. But, narratively, there is an even deeper reason.

Currently, in Dragon Ball Super, our hero Goku has finally gathered the ten members of team Universe 7 for the upcoming Tournament of Power. Now all that’s left is surviving the 48-minute long battle royale.

Before the Tournament of Power began, it was announced that four Universes would be exempt from entering: Universes 1, 5, 8, and 12. The reason given is those are the Universe’s with the strongest beings. But, if we take some time to understand why this was done, we can paint a very interesting picture of Dragon Ball Super and the Dragon Ball franchise as a whole.

There’s actually a specific narrative reason why Universe 1, 5, 8, and 12 aren’t appearing in the Tournament: We need those four Universes to stay out because it’ll force Goku to become stronger even after the tournament is over. It’s seems counterintuitive at first, but this is what Dragon Ball has done since the early days of the franchise.

Who Our Heroes Are Up Against in Dragon Ball Super’s “Tournament of Power”

When Goku participated in the World Martial Arts Tournament for the first time way back in Dragon Ball, he lost to the character Jacki Chun. But, from that loss, Goku learned there are better fighters them him. So, from the early stages of Dragon Ball, we see the idea pushed that there are always stronger opponents for Goku. In other words, Goku realized there are always bigger fish to fry.

If all the strongest fighters from every universe were defeated in the Tournament of Power, what would drive Goku to get stronger afterwards? He’d be facing the cream of the crop, and when all is said and done, who’d be left for him to fight.

Image source: 「ドラゴンボール超」公式 on Twitter

One way Dragon Ball Super takes the same principle and applies it to the Tournament of Power is by billing the character Jiren from Universe 11 as Goku’s biggest rival. It’s a great show of misdirection because we forget all about the four Universes that aren’t participating. What’s more, through some clever and all too familiar facial expressions, we see Goku and Vegeta realize Jiren is on a far different level then them. Therefore, as viewers we’re completely focused on where the fight between Goku and Jiren will go.

Moreover, we we may see the two reach their physical limit, but not necessarily see who is definitively stronger. Remember, one of the rules for the Tournament is a combatant has to be pushed out of the ring to be eliminated. This is just like the second World Martial Arts Tournament Goku participated in when he and the character Tein and were both were ring outed. But, up until that point, the two characters were fighting toe-to-toe and surpassing their physical limits. The same is true between Goku and Jiren in that we want to see them reach their physical potential and surpass it, especially since their battle has been built up since episode 82.

How Goku Is Learning that Raw Power Isn’t Everything

In the end, the Dragon Ball franchise isn’t a matter of Goku proving he’s the best. It’s his journey to accept the challenge to become the best. So, keep Universe 1, 5, 8, and 12 out of the Tournament of Power and we get to see Goku become a contender again later in the series.

Dragon Ball Super is streaming on Daisuki, FUNimation, and Crunchyroll and is airing on Cartoon Network’s Toonami with an English dub.

Comments (5)
  1. I don’t believe for one second that the universes that are erased during the tournament will remain erased after. I bet that Goku will resurrect them, either with the super dragon ball or by asking his pal Zeno to do it for him.

  2. Nobody ever said that those 4 universes are stronger than the rest. They have the highest Mortal Level and that means that they are well maintained and have rich civilisations. Mortal Level =/= Avarege Power Level of Mortals in that universe, why don’t people understand that!??!!?

  3. I want to see Goku New Game Plus the entire Dragon Ball series.

  4. I’ve been saying that since I saw Boogie Backs first graphic 😉

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