The Dragon Ball franchise has undergone several different iterations, but its most recent, Dragon Ball Super, is undeniably one of its most successful. The series is a direct sequel to the events of Dragon Ball Z, continuing Goku and the Z Fighters’ story shortly after the events of the Buu Saga.
While Goku has always functioned as the protagonist of Dragon Ball, the franchise contains plenty of other characters deserving of their own starring role. As evidenced by Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero and its focus on Gohan and Piccolo, replacing Goku as the main character may have even been to Dragon Ball Super‘s benefit.
At multiple points in the history of Dragon Ball, the franchise has flirted with the idea of Gohan becoming its main character. He briefly assumes the role at the end of the Cell Saga, and as seen in Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, Goku’s son is more than capable of serving as Earth’s protector.
Unfortunately, Dragon Ball Super effectively does the opposite of making Gohan its main character — it presents him as a family-first, hard-working scholar that has rarely trained since the defeat of Majin Buu. While he may not have been best suited as the series’ protagonist, it would have been a much more welcome role than what he actually received.
Much of Dragon Ball Super‘s narrative revolves around the existence of the Gods of Destruction. These deific beings are among the most powerful individuals in the entire multiverse, and in particular, the God of Destruction assigned to the Z Fighters’ universe, Beerus, is extremely dangerous.
However, despite Beerus’ destructive occupation, he quickly proves to be one of the Z Fighters’ most important allies. Having him assume the role of Dragon Ball Super‘s main character would have undoubtedly taken the franchise in a fresh direction, as dark as it may have been.
Although characters such Tien Shinhan and Yamcha introduced the enemy-to-friend trope to Dragon Ball, Piccolo’s character perfected the dynamic in the franchise. The Namekian plays a major role in Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball Super, making him one of the longest-standing members of the Z Fighters.
Given Dragon Ball Super‘s interest in exploring the daily lives of the Z Fighters, it could have easily made Piccolo’s fatherly relationship with Gohan the primary focus of its narrative. The appearance of the Orange Piccolo transformation in Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero only further confirms the idea that Piccolo could hang with the franchise’s strongest characters.
While the Beerus and the Gods of Destruction are often characterized as the strongest beings in their respective universes, there is actually another group of characters that outrank even them — the Angels. Whis, the Guide Angel Attendant of the Z Fighters’ universe, is stronger than Goku, Vegeta, and even Beerus.
With his quirky personality, unique charm, and unfathomable strength, Whis encapsulates everything that separates Dragon Ball Super from its predecessors. Were he to stand in as the series’ main character, then he would fit right in among the Z Fighters.
The introduction of other universes completely changed the dynamic of the Dragon Ball franchise, opening up a nearly unlimited amount of options for the series moving forward. One character that emerged from this decision is Hit, the time-skipping assassin from Universe 6.
Hit’s dark past is not out-of-place in Dragon Ball Super, but it is fairly unique among characters who fight along the Z Fighters. His adventures in Universe 6 would be a welcome addition to the franchise, even if the assassin wasn’t able to be the main character of the sequence.
No matter how many times the Z Fighters defeat Frieza, the malevolent tyrant continues to be a thorn in their sides. After being defeated twice in Dragon Ball Z, Frieza reappears once again in Dragon Ball Super‘s Golden Frieza Arc, almost destroying Earth in the process.
Villains rarely serve as the main character in shone anime series, but in Frieza’s case, he’s one of the few antagonists with enough charisma to do so. Seeing him take on heroes other than the Z Fighters (or even other villains) would be a fantastic addition to the Dragon Ball franchise.
4 Jaco The Galactic Patrolman
Dragon Ball Z introduces space travel during the Frieza Saga, and in Dragon Ball Super, the franchise goes a step further by introducing other universes. Unfortunately, the Z Fighters spend very little time exploring other planets and even less visiting other universes; as a result, characters like Jaco the Galactic Patrolman are a vital source of exposition.
Technically, Jaco is already the protagonist of his own manga series, Jaco the Galactic Patrolman. However, considering that the manga is only 13 chapters long and has yet to receive a television adaptation, he’s still a prime candidate to serve as the main character of his own anime.
Dragon Ball‘s villains are usually fairly formulaic, but in the case of Jiren, the antagonist resembled Goku and the Z Fighters much more than truly evil characters like Frieza, Cell, and Kid Buu. The Pride Trooper fights for the sake of justice, having lost his way after refusing to accept the help of his closest allies.
As with all the characters from the Universe Survival Saga, Jiren’s backstory is largely left to the viewers’ imagination. This, coupled with the fact that he is the only mortal character thus far to defeat a God of Destruction, makes Jiren one of the few individuals in Dragon Ball Super that has the potential to be the protagonist of his own series.
For multiple decades, the legendary Super Saiyan Broly remained a non-canon addition to the Dragon Ball franchise. Thankfully, the series’ author, Akira Toriyama, eventually saw the character’s potential and decided to include him in the film Dragon Ball Super: Broly.
Broly’s backstory is vague at best, so exploring it in a long-form fashion might help Dragon Ball Super finally move in a new direction. Even though a Broly-centric series will likely never happen, seeing the iconic Saiyan appear on-screen with any regularity would be a welcome change of pace.
Technically, the protagonist of Dragon Ball Super is (and likely always will be) Son Goku. However, for large sections of the series’ narrative, Vegeta functions as the main character. His relationships with Bulma and Trunks are legitimately more well-explored than those of Goku and his family, and as evidenced by the events of the Tournament of Power, he’s equally capable as a fighter.
The Prince of Saiyans resents nothing more than playing second fiddle to Goku, but since debuting in the Dragon Ball franchise, that’s exactly what he’s done. Were Vegeta to serve as the main character of Dragon Ball Super, perhaps he could finally overcome his need for superiority.