After Goku, Vegeta, and friends fought in a tournament for the Universe 6 Saga and some fun filler stories featuring a clone of Vegeta, Goku feeling vulnerable from his powers not working for him due to over extension, others that feature other dragon ball cast members like Yamacha’s baseball episode, AND a visit from Doctor Slump character, the Future Trunks arcs started. Very. Slowly. In the beginning, Vegeta and Goku are training on Beerus planet. Out of nowhere, a visitor our characters never expected to see again shows up out of nowhere completely beaten up at Capsule Corps Headquarters. Yeah, it’s Future Trunks. He immediately finds himself under the care of Bulma leaving the younger Trunks confused about what’s going on. It’s not until Goku and Vegeta come back, in which Trunks attacked Goku out of nowhere, that we get a feel for what is going on in his time line.
The arc itself has one the grimmest opening sequences that I’ve seen in all Dragon Ball. That’s saying a lot considering all the things that happen in Dragon Ball and the fact that genocide is a major part of Dragon Ball’s lore. What we see is another level of that here. Human extinction…again. Future Trunk’s world already had to face that hell, but from out of nowhere comes a threat beyond anyone’s level of fighting capability including trunks. A dark figure bent on destroying all mortal life appears and kills without any hint of playfulness or fun. There is only rage and it’s all about killing more and more humans as quickly as possible. As a result, humanity has been forced to live underground. With that comes the reveal of who is attacking them. While Trunks tried to make his escape to the past to call for help. It’s Goku Black, an evil Goku that just wants to fight. Trunks left his girlfriend Mai (she is, don’t deny it) and humanity itself against a threat no one knows how to fight with hope he can get reinforcements.
This entire saga is learning more about gods around different universes and a time travel story involving Trunks from different timelines that lived different lives. Trunks time machine is not the only place where time travel comes into play though. The villains use it too. At it’s heart is the battle between an angry god who learned to hate mortals, and the fight for humanities right to live. This is the story of Zamasu who didn’t see the value of having patience with mortals who ended up killing each other in the end. Especially when the Zamasu from our normal time line fought Goku and got pissed off by it all. (Don’t worry, that problem got solved by Beerus for us.) This lead to two Zamasu’s attacking humanity to wipe them out. One in the form of Goku who loved the Saiyan fighting instincts and Zamasu himself who wants to join for fun.
I am going to be bold (maybe?) and say that this Future Trunks saga was at it’s strongest in the beginning because of all the emotional strength behind Trunks himself. Last time he was in the present time line, he was in a war scenario where all the Z fighters were trying not to die against evil Androids (Cyborgs) and Cell. Many years later, he returns to that world to see a place of peace and you can feel that. Trunks has only known battle and fighting, so seeing peace is . It’s a world that he never could have dreamed of. Gohan, his dead mentor in his world, is now at the age when he passed away in Trunks world. Trunks seeing Gohan living his dream hit him hard which is great. Same sort of thing with the younger Trunks who has never known hardship and stress. All of that material is great too.
This are some other good things that come from this arc too. Future Trunks last saw his father as a big egotistical jerk which means there is a lot of strain in their relationship from years ago. This arc thoroughly explores Vegeta slowly taking on the role of father (again) in a different sort of way to make amends for his actions years ago. Even if how he did that was pretty harsh, it all makes sense from a Saiyan point of view. It’s harsh love that Trunks needed in order to find his own inner strength and feelings yet again. Future Trunks may be the main character of this arc, but Vegeta is the main character of Dragon Ball Super in my eyes even if the show itself tries to sell Goku as it. Vegeta just goes through all sorts of good development and I love that about him. All Goku does in this arc is present Zeno with the Zeno from another dimension. Something for the story and nothing character building at all. That’s Goku though.
Unfortunately, this arc completely loses it’s stream in the end. If it’s not the endless amount of time jumps back and forth from the good timeline to the bad timeline when our cast gets beaten up that annoys you, it will be everything else that will do it and boy do I have a lot of complaints about how time travel works in this arc because it’s just bad. I don’t mind seeing Vegito again with Super Saiyan God form, but there are so many random power ups in a short amount of time near the end of the saga that I can’t help but be pissed by. Especially Trunk’s transformation that makes sense on a mental level, but doesn’t make sense otherwise. Of course the worse thing is they don’t defeat the two Zamasu gods themselves, they call in Zeno to finishing the arc by eliminating that entire universe in the process. That’s the most BS thing that ever came out of in this series of BS and I hated it so much. What is the point of fighting if no one can grasp victory themselves? That’s what is shonen is about after all.
In the end, this “Future Trunks” saga turned out to be just ok. I commend playing around with ideas from the universe of the show itself to give it continuity and adding some original ideas about the war between gods and mortals to make a good story. I also see why the writers would go in this direction because there are a lot of interesting and powerful themes and story elements at play that could go off well if executed well. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case here. All the plot elements became incredibly muddled and almost pointless in the end. I do think that Trunk’s character story line with Vegeta in support allowed a solid emotional through line for the story itself, but the bad story telling just weighed it all down. I think this Saga was just given too much time. This Future Trunks saga needed to be edited down and stream lined to be more effective. Unfortunately we viewers got what we got; a passable mess.
Not much came out of this arc unfortunately besides some more growth from Vegeta. It was mostly just momentum for future arcs to happen. Future Trunks and Mai went back to another version of their world before that Zeno destroyed it and without any roaming Zamasus wanting to kill anyone. The only thing that sticks is that our dimensions/universes/whatevers Zeni is presented as the destroy universes Zeno as a play mate. Oh also, Goku asking for when the planned tournament that Zeno was thinking about was going to happen. Yeah, that happens next. See you next week for the Tournament of Power and the build up to it.