While Dragon Ball Super has its share of detractors thanks to the show’s subpar animation at times, the way fans feel about Super is nothing compared to how they feel about Dragon Ball GT.
GT came hot off the heels of the end of the Dragon Ball Z anime and would pick up where DBZ left off. It sounded like it should be promising giving how popular the previous two series were, but then we saw the results.
To be fair, not everyone dislikes GT, and it certainly has some really good ideas and moments in it. But considering it was the shortest anime in the franchise by a significant margin, it’s impressive how much fans have found to dislike about the series. It’s so much that one paragraph can’t properly encapsulate it all, so whether you’re a fan of GT or hate it with a passion, here is Dragon Ball: 15 Reasons Fans Hate Dragon Ball GT.
15. THE RAP SONG INTRO THEME
Right off the bat the intro to each episode in the series was getting on people’s nerves. While the Japanese dub had a pretty standard Dragon Ball opening, the American version was trying to keep up with the times. And this was the ’90s, so rap was a really hot genre for young people, meaning Dragon Ball had to get on that shizzle, yo. This gave us the hilariously bad “Step into the Grand Tour.”
There are plenty of fine rap songs out there, but rapping about anime characters is never going to end well. This song gave us such lyrical gems as the lines “When the sand clock dictates the consequence, will our heroes have what it takes to be our last line of defense?” Who even calls an hour glass a sand clock? DBZ’s intro song “Rock the Dragon” might have been silly too, but at least it barely had any lyrics.
14. THE BLACK STAR DRAGON BALLS WERE POINTLESS
Along with a new Dragon Ball series came a set of new Dragon Balls. We got a set of Dragon Balls that had never been mentioned before called the Black Star Dragon Balls. The black stars weren’t just decorative, though, and actually signified that these Dragon Balls were a bit unique. For one, they summoned a red dragon instead of the usual green Shenron. They also granted a wish like normal, but they had the additional side effect of causing the planet to explode if they weren’t gathered again within a year’s time. And here the characters had been using those non-planet-endangering Dragon Balls for years like a bunch of suckers!
Seriously, who would ever want to use these things? Why would someone even design them that way? The Black Star Dragon Balls are just one of the most incomprehensibly stupid things about the show. The Z Fighters not only had the normal Dragon Balls of Earth to use, but also the Dragon Balls of Namek at their disposal. Why would they want another set of Dragon Balls this dangerous? Why were they just lying around at Kami’s Lookout totally unguarded where some idiot like Emperor Pilaf could stumble across them and use them?
There’s little explanation for any of this, and it just becomes a ridiculous impetus for Goku to be forced to have an adventure again.
13. OMEGA SHENRON WAS A BLAND FINAL VILLAIN
Fans were already divided by the end of Dragon Ball Z ,when the show’s power levels had become so outlandish that we had a villain like Majin Buu who was literally appearing around the universe and destroying entire planets in a matter of seconds. That’s a far cry from the skill-based martial arts tournaments that the franchise had started around. A lot of fans felt the franchise jumped the shark then, but that shark came back for round two in GT.
Omega Shenron was the franchise’s most powerful villain at the time, but he was also one of the worst. Why? Because he had no personality other than gloating about his power. Previous villains could destroy planets, sure, but they had quirks. Imperfect Cell was predatory and creepy, the Ginyu Force were flamboyant and ridiculous, and Vegeta had enough depth to evolve into a main character. Omega was just tough and dangerous.
This was the epitome of why the franchise becoming so fixated on power levels was bad. Nobody cares about a character just because they’re strong, they care about them because they’re interesting and funny. Omega was a total blank slate who sent the franchise out on a flat note until Super came along.
12. PICCOLO GETS KILLED OFF
This might not sound like such a bad thing at first since people die so frequently in Dragon Ball. They could just wish Piccolo back, right? And everything would be fine again? That would have been the happy way to resolve the situation, but Piccolo wound up being one of the extremely rare characters who died and was finally gone for good. And seeing as how Piccolo is one of the more popular characters from the franchise, that didn’t sit well with a lot of fans.
Because of what we’ve already discussed with the Black Star Dragon Balls, the Earth would always be in danger of getting blown up as long as those Dragon Balls existed. But Kami created those Dragon Balls and Piccolo was now fused with Kami, meaning if Piccolo were to die, any Dragon Balls created by Kami would turn to stone and cease to function. So Piccolo allowed himself to die as the Earth exploded, and specifically asked not to be wished back to life so the Black Star Dragon Balls would never be active again.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Piccolo initially went to Heaven in death, but had to get himself sent to Hell when Goku wound up there during the Super Android 17 saga. But Piccolo couldn’t get out once he got there, so Piccolo not only got permanently killed off, but was sentenced to spend all eternity in Hell afterward.
11. IT IGNORES RULES SET IN PRIOR SERIES
It’s inevitable that there are going to be inconsistencies in a franchise that has spanned hundreds of episodes, and even Dragon Ball Z had that problem. The near total disappearance of Launch after the original Dragon Ball is one such detail. But GT rubs people the wrong way because it disregards details about characters who are very popular, suddenly changing what we knew about them. Super has had this problem quite a bit, but it was already getting to people in GT.
One of the most immediately noticeable mistakes is that Vegeta’s hairstyle has changed significantly in GT, despite him flat out saying in DBZ that a pure-blooded Saiyan’s hair never changes.
Gohan is another character that fans frequently point to for this problem, since he continues to turn into a Super Saiyan in GT, despite DBZ establishing that he doesn’t need that form anymore after he gained his Mystic form. It just confuses fans and makes them wonder if the show is implying Gohan lost his transformation, or if the writers just forgot details like this from the previous series.
10. THE FIGHTS WEREN’T MEMORABLE
When so much of the franchise is devoted to the build-up to fights you’d think that the majority of the battles would be really fun. And in Dragon Ball Z that’s true, even if there were some duds here and there. In GT, however, the majority of the fights could be described as lackluster. There were certainly a few good ones, like Goku’s final fight with Baby, but there were many more that were disappointing.
We’ve already mentioned Omega Shenron being a letdown, but really all the Shadow Dragons were pretty dull fights that got resolved rapidly. Rage Shenron was so pathetic that he is defeated by getting wet in the rain, of all things.
The battle against Super Android 17 was the epitome of why GT‘s fights weren’t memorable. In this encounter, Super 17 easily takes out every single Z Fighter at once, leaving only Goku left. Goku uses his new Super Saiyan 4 form and keeps firing Kamehameha waves at 17, despite the fact that 17 is obviously absorbing the blasts and getting stronger. So Goku keeps stupidly using one ineffective move, and 17 repeatedly responds by blasting Goku into the ground. This is how the entire fight goes until 18 finally intervenes and gets her brother to expose his weak point. This should have been a big encounter, but it was just a dull fight with no rewatch appeal, something that can unfortunately be said about a lot of the show’s fights.
9. EVERY RETURNING CHARACTER BUT GOKU GETS PUSHED TO THE SIDE
This is definitely one of the most valid complaints to be made about Dragon Ball GT. While Dragon Ball Z did a disservice to the characters of the original Dragon Ball by pushing everyone but Saiyans aside, GT took things a step further by trivializing even the other Saiyans in favor of Goku. Sure, Goku is the main character, but when there are so many interesting side characters. Nobody wants to see Goku in all the action, especially when he makes everyone else seem weak in doing so.
The biggest issue people had with Goku getting the spotlight was that even Vegeta didn’t get to do much, and he had long been Goku’s strongest peer. But even the other side characters deserved a lot better. Gohan had yet again become the franchise’s strongest character after gaining his Mystic form in the Buu saga, but in GT he was back to being a weak bookworm. Goten and Trunks actually wound up seeming stronger as children than in GT because every villain knocked them aside so easily. If you were tired of Goku stealing the show by the end of DBZ, GT only exacerbated that problem.
8. THE POWER INCREASES ARE RIDICULOUS
Dragon Ball Z’s power levels were already ridiculous by the end of the show, but GT really did nothing to curb that problem. After someone like Majin Buu, how much stronger could the enemies possibly get? We got several answers to that, but none were especially satisfying.
There were random warriors like Ledgic, who Goku casually remarked was stronger than Buu, which raises the question why he wasn’t brought in to fight Buu years ago when the universe was being destroyed. There were the evil dragons, who had almost no personality. And then there was even the absurd return of Android 17, who suddenly became stronger than all the Z Fighters and even a Super Saiyan 4 Goku just by fusing with another version of himself to become Super Android 17.
Of course it was Goku who got the most ridiculous power boosts of all. Even in the body of a child, and without transforming at all, Goku was now able to defeat Perfect Cell and Frieza at the same time and with little effort. And despite previously being unable to defeat Omega Shenron as a Super Saiyan 4, in his base form, Goku was randomly able to ignore all of Omega’s attacks long enough to charge up a Spirit Bomb and kill Omega with it. Power boosts in this series weren’t earned; they just appeared like when children play at fighting and one of them suddenly declares “No, your attack didn’t hurt me because I turned invincible!”
7. THE ANIMATION WAS GETTING LAZY
Dragon Ball Super has had major problems with animation. with many fans posting plenty of screenshots displaying some of the shockingly bad drawings that have made it into episodes. It’s particularly frustrating because when Super is animated well, it looks great. But the inconsistency continues to take many fans out of the story.
GT had nowhere near the animation problems Super does, and actually was drawn pretty consistently for the entire series. The issue with GT was more that the designs of the characters were starting to blend together, particularly among the characters who are related. Goten and Gohan look almost indistinguishable in the show when Gohan isn’t wearing his glasses. Yeah, families have similar features, but they can still have different eye and hair colors, or totally different hairstyles. When Goku, Gohan, and Goten all have nearly identical faces in the show, it stands out in a bizarre way. Trunks is the son of Vegeta and Bulma, but has previously always had a totally distinct look from both his parents. It just started to seem like the animators were losing their creativity by allowing the characters to blend together.
6. SUPER SAIYAN 4S HAVE PINK FUR
Fans are pretty split on their feelings for Super Saiyan 4. Some think it’s the best thing the series introduced, while others disliked it for breaking the trend of the Saiyan transformations having golden hair. The logic behind the new form was solid, showing what would happen if a Super Saiyan became a great ape at the same time. Goku certainly accomplished a lot more with the new form than anyone ever did with Super Saiyan 3, but the new look was a surprise.
Vegeta’s version of the form showed there were some slight differences between the users, but that the common traits were long tails, red eyeliner, loss of a shirt (despite gaining new pants), and copious amounts of pink fur. Some people liked that the new form was distinct, though even people who praise the transformation have got to admit that all the pink was a bit of an unusual choice.
5. THE FIRST STORY ARC WAS A RETREAD OF ORIGINAL DRAGON BALL
The original Dragon Ball still holds up fine to this day and can be a fun series to return to. It was a great introduction to the franchise by having us learn about the legend of the Dragon Balls at the same time as Goku, and watch his gradual progression in power through each new threat. It was fun and light-hearted to start out, but eventually evolved into more serious, world-altering conflicts. The trouble is, once the franchise developed a more serious tone, you can’t just go back to things being silly and low-stakes. And yet that’s what GT tried to do initially.
In what was undoubtedly the worst story arc of the series, GT begins with a mini nostalgia trip where the characters scour for the Black Star Dragon Balls. Goku is a child once again, Pan serves as the new Bulma, and Trunks becomes the new Yamcha. They travel from planet to planet, having encounters with various monsters and villagers which lack any real sense of danger, but are supposed to be fun.
Fans had already been conditioned into expecting big battles, so few people responded well to this watered-down version of the old show. After this early saga, GT did improve a bit, but a lot of fans had already tuned out due to the bad start.
4. VEGETA’S STUPID MUSTACHE
It might sound trivial, but this is seriously one of the most immediately off-putting things about Dragon Ball GT. The show took many people’s favorite character– someone obsessed with his pride and being taken seriously– and gave him an appearance to begged to be laughed at. It’s understandable that the writers wanted to find some way to indicate the Saiyan characters had aged since they stay young for so long, but this wasn’t the solution.
Fans who actually stuck around past Vegeta’s early episodes got to see him eventually get rid of this abomination. But Vegeta only ditched the mustache after his own daughter screams at him that he looks like a dork with it, so Vegeta becomes so hurt and mortified that he immediately shaves it. This was even worse because now Vegeta was suddenly so vain that a teenage girl making fun of him deeply hurt his feelings. If you’re a Vegeta fan, you knew right from the mustache that this show was not going to treat him well.
3. GOKU POINTLESSLY GETTING TURNED INTO A KID
Of everything GT introduced, Goku getting transformed into a child again was one of the most jarring and arbitrary concepts. Emperor Pilaf wished for Goku to be a kid again because he thought it would make Goku weaker…but then it really didn’t since Goku could still dispatch most of his opponents without even becoming a Super Saiyan. This wound up just being another aspect of GT’s attempts to rekindle the fun of the original Dragon Ball. Except this was one rehashed element that didn’t go away after the first saga; instead lasting for the entire series.
Kid Goku was fine back when Goku actually was a child, but here it just desperate and weird. It was especially odd since Super Saiyan 4 Goku became a grown man again for no apparent reason. If the writers behind GT wanted a kid to star in the show, they had plenty of younger characters who could have done the job, like Pan, Goten, or Trunks. No one asked for this change, and it raised some really bizarre questions. How were Goku and Chi-Chi supposed to exist as a married couple when he was now young enough to be her grandson?
2. PAN AND GIRU WERE ANNOYING
By the end of Dragon Ball Z, Gohan and Videl had become parents to the incredibly strong Pan. This girl looked like she was going to become the next Goku, constantly surpassing her power and becoming one of the Earth’s strongest heroes. Unfortunately the artists were too creatively stunted to figure out how to draw female Super Saiyans, so Pan was capped in her power early on, basically being able to do a decent Kamehameha and little else. Goku got the main character slot, and Pan played the goofy sidekick as well as an occasional damsel in distress. It wasn’t what anyone wanted out of the character, but since the writers were trying to redo the original Dragon Ball, they had to shoehorn a new Bulma in the show.
The annoying nature of Pan was further exacerbated by the introduction of Giru, a tiny floating robot who Goku, Trunks, and Pan took with them in their search for the Black Star Dragon Balls. Giru’s contributions to the show were slim, often just repeating his own name or warning of danger like the robot from Lost in Space. When fans just wanted to see more of the characters they already liked, having yet another useless character taking up screen time wasn’t a good way to win people over.
1. IT’S NON-CANON TO THE MANGA
This is definitely the most frequently given reason for why fans don’t like Dragon Ball GT. Any time you ask what the problem with Dragon Ball GT is, someone will inevitably bring up that it’s non-canon. Unlike the rest of the franchise, Akira Toriyama never did a manga where he created the stories in GT, meaning the anime was totally original. And people don’t really like stories that deviate from the original written work. Think of it like the book version of The Hobbit compared to Peter Jackson’s bloated film trilogy based on the book.
Because GT isn’t based on a manga, most fans chalk up the anime as nothing more than a giant “what if” scenario featuring the characters, and don’t factor in the show as a serious continuation of the story. Consider that Dragon Ball Super now exists, it seems Akira Toriyama is also now content to forget GT ever happened. Whether Super winds up pleasing fans more than GT won’t be determined until Super comes to a close, but fans certainly seem far more enthusiastic about the new series than they ever were for GT.
Did we cover what you thought the biggest problems with Dragon Ball GT were? Let us know, and if you’re a fan of the show, tell us what you thought its best aspects were!