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Series Continuity Error / Dragon Ball

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Beerus' memory must be buggy.
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As a well-known Long Runner written by a notoriously forgetful writer who freely admits he writes by the seat of his pants, it's not surprising that the Dragon Ball franchise has its fair share of continuity errors, whether it be from a mistake or a retcon. Likewise, the writers in charge of the anime series have made mistakes from time to time in the series, either in Dragon Ball GT or the Non-Serial Movies. If the fans notice these mistakes, they are likely to either bash the anime writers for messing up, or give a Fan Wank explanation.

See also the AdaptationInducedPlotHole.Dragon Ball article for the inconsistencies added by Toei Animation, which further increased confusion to the series.

Please note this is not a page to bash any of the series or the original manga. Dragon Ball is a beloved series, but it doesn't mean it can't be flawed in its narrative.

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    Dragon Ball and filler 
  • A rather minor one. Vegeta states his new armor during the Freeza Saga (the one without shoulder pads) is an old model, but we are never shown any armor like this one during the Father of Goku or Dragon Ball Minus specials. This was fixed with Beets of Dragon Ball Super: Broly.
  • In the anime-only flashback of Vegeta abusing Guldo in episode 62, Vegeta is wearing his Namek Saga armor and missing his tail.
  • When first summoning Porunga in the manga, Krillin is shocked to learn that the Namekian dragon grants three wishes. But Dende already told him this earlier. This was in fact the whole basis of his and Gohan's decision to team up with Vegeta: that they could each get a wish if they managed to gather the balls before Freeza.
  • When Dende first displays his Healing Hands, Vegeta angrily questions Krillin if they knew Dende had that power all along, to which Krillin responds that he didn't, because if he did, he'd have asked Dende to heal Goku instead of sticking Goku into a healing tank for a prolonged period. This seems to neglect that in an earlier panel, Freeza's ship (where the healing tank is) is shown to be at max only a few miles from where they are when they learn this fact- so there's no reason Krillin wouldn't send Dende back to heal Goku now.
  • After killing Jeice, Vegeta reasons that he's becoming a Super Saiyan, and smugly states that this is what Freeza feared most, hence why he killed the Saiyans before one could manifest. Except Vegeta was surprised to learn that Freeza feared the Saiyans when a desperate Dodoria told him earlier, and Dodoria also told him that Freeza feared an army of Saiyans ganging up on him, not a singular warrior. The latter reason was also given in the Bardock special, but is abruptly never mentioned again after Vegeta states that Freeza's true fear is a Super Saiyan.
  • An infamous one that could have been easily repaired in the tankōbon edition: during the Cell Saga, Future Trunks tells Goku that he comes from the Bad Future that was destroyed by the Artificial Humans 20 and 19. When the gang defeat those villains, Trunks comes back and inform those aren't the androids, and we are later introduced to 17 and 18. This is because Toriyama originally intended 20 and 19 to be the villains of the saga, but it was changed due to Executive Meddling. The anime fixes this by having Trunks only state that "two androids" appear and doesn't mention them by name.
    • The same saga also includes Bulma during the first encounter with Trunks fully knowing that Doctor Gero is involved, and suggest killing him before the artificial humans are activated. Later, when she meets Trunks again, she states she wasn't aware Doctor Gero was even involved in the project. What? Like in the previous case, the anime fixes this; Bulma doesn't mention Dr. Gero at all when first meeting Trunks.
  • Android 17 commends Vegeta's pride and courage while fighting Android 18, commenting that it's fitting of a Saiyan prince. Android 17 has no way of knowing that Vegeta is a prince: neither he nor Nappa ever mentioned it while they were on Earth. This was first brought up on Namek by Dodoria, and Gero's scouting robots explicitly did not go to Namek.
  • When Krillin and Future Trunks arrive at Goku's house at the end of episode 138, Yamcha recognizes Future Trunks and calls him by name, even though Yamcha left the fight with Androids 19 and 20 to take Goku home before Piccolo revealed his identity.
  • When Goku and Gohan visit Korin's Tower after training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, Gohan acts like he's never met Korin before, despite meeting him in the hospital after the fight with Vegeta.
  • Android 16's death is a possible example. Since he is fully robotic, it is stated he can't be revived by the Dragon Balls, meaning he is Killed Off for Real. But, in the Majin Buu Saga, after the planet is destroyed by Majin Buu and its inhabitants are revived by Porunga, Android 8 (and possibly Arale, as she's shown safe and well in Dragon Ball Super) are revived. What happened to 16, then? It's actually a case of Exact Words: the wish that 16 was excluded from was "revive everyone killed by Cell." The wish that revived Arale and 8 (and everyone else) was more generally to restore everything that was destroyed. This would include man-made objects such as buildings, vehicles, and yes, robots.
  • Cell states his offsprings, the Cell Jr., have the same powers as him. Yet, when they are killed by Gohan, they don't regenerate at all. This was corrected nearly 30 years later in the manga of Dragon Ball Super, where they were revealed to have survived, but were tamed by Android 17 to help him with his ranger activities.
  • When Android 17 donates energy to Goku's Super Spirit Bomb to defeat Kid Buu, he says it's been a long time since he's heard Goku's voice, even though 17 had never met Goku. This is because in Toriyama's draft, it was Lunch who gave her energy in this panel.
  • At first glance, the anime adaptation of King Vegeta's unseen rebellion against Freeza appears to make sense given what we know of the manga incidents, but the way it's presented contradicts Dragon Ball Z: Bardock – The Father of Goku.
    • In the special, little Vegeta is on another planet when he is told about the destruction of Planet Vegeta. In the anime, he is on Freeza's ship, and somehow never noticed that his father and other Saiyans were killed off.
    • Freeza somehow appears to kill both King Vegeta and Bardock at the same time on two different rooms.
  • Two incidents involving Yamcha in filler that didn't exist in the original manga.
    • In the Z anime filler, the Ginyu Force end up on King Kai's planet, and it's up to Yamcha, Tien and Chiaotzu to defeat them. Somehow, the heroes managed to give them a good fight despite the Ginyu Force being much stronger (as Recoome himself was able to beat the crap out of Vegeta, but somehow is having issue with Yamcha of all people).
    • In the Z anime filler, Olibu and Pikkon were stated and shown to be as strong as Goku during the Cell Saga (and Pikkon is implied to be even stronger than Perfect Cell, as he's able to curb-stomp Cell in Hell). But Yamcha, who decided to stop training and was miles weaker than Goku at that point, managed to defeat both fighters during the Majin Buu Saga filler.
  • Due to filler in Z having introduced what happens after death before Toriyama had completely explained it, there ends up being two conflicting ideologies for what happens in the afterlife. The Toei filler version is more close to a Western view of the afterlife, with a Heaven and general Hell, while Toriyama's is more of a Buddhist view with a purgatory, reincarnation, and more personalized Hells, as well as there being a process of draining you of all your evil if you were bad in life. Both end up clashing in the Buu Saga, due to Toriyama finally explaining more of how death works in the series, but Toei kept to their version for filler scenes. This also creates a contradiction within Kai: The Final Chapters, which was part of a series created to be more close to the manga, since the kept in a few of the Hell scenes from the Buu Saga that showed the villains in Hell watching Goku fight Buu for no reason. It creates a further contradiction for Resurrection ‘F’, which shows Freeza in a personalized Hell rather than the general one from Z, which confused many fans who didn't know about this discrepancy.

    Dragon Ball GT 
  • During Vegeta's encounter with Baby in episode 27, Vegeta senses Baby's energy and recognizes him as a Tsufurian/Tuffle. This makes absolutely no sense for the following reasons: 1) Tuffles were already extinct by the time Vegeta was even born, meaning he has no reason to be able to remember a race he never met, and 2) Vegeta wasn't even able to sense energy before the Namek saga.
    • After Trunks got home in "A Worldwide Problem", Baby Vegeta said: "It's been a long time, eh son? ... The last time was on the planet M-2." However, Baby last saw (and possessed) Trunks on the planet Pital, not M-2.
  • When Baby uses the Dragon Balls to revive Planet Vegeta, he makes all of Earth's inhabitants move there. This is despite the fact that, as stated in the Saiyan and Freeza Sagas, Planet Vegeta's atmosphere is too heavy for normal Earthlings to handle. By all accounts, the Earthlings shouldn't be able to even stand on that planet.
  • In episode 33, Baby feels the need to check Vegeta's memories to know what a Great Ape is... despite the fact Baby already knew what one is, as the Tuffles were crushed by them in his own words.
  • In the Tenkaichi Budōkai, Uub, as Papayaman, wears a helmet during the tournament, but head wear is prohibited while competing, which is why Gohan had to replace his helmet with a bandana and sunglasses to compete as the Great Saiyaman.
  • In the second season, Trunks is able to detect Android 17's ki, and is even able to compare it with that of Android 18...despite the fact that a major plot point in the background of Dr. Gero's androids when they were first introduced back in Dragon Ball Z was that they didn't emit ki at all.
    • During the Super 17 Saga, deceased villains in Hell and on Earth are shown without halos, despite being crowned with them in filler episodes of Dragon Ball Z, but they have ones while waiting in front of the Check-In Station.
  • Similar to the above example, among the revived fighters from hell is Android 19. Android 19 is a fully mechanical creation of Gero, so unless he created another 19, is impossible for him to be on hell due to lacking a soul.
  • When 17 attempts to control 18, Krillin states that 17 hates Dr. Gero. He states that the reason why is because he gave 17 human emotions. However, it was stated earlier, during Dragon Ball Z, that 17 hated Gero because the doctor kidnapped him and his sister off the streets and forcibly turned them into androids. Counts as a Dub-Induced Plot Hole as well, seeing as the original Japanese version does not go into the specifics regarding why 17 hated Gero.
  • When facing Rilldo, Son Gohan transforms into a Super Saiyan...despite the fact that the Ultimate/Mystic transformation unlocked to him by Old Kai in the Majin Buu Saga is supposed to have his fighting capacity maxed at all times. This is explained in Super as him being out of practice as a fighter, so he's not able to reach his full power anymore unless he trains again.
  • Another mistake from the Super 17 saga is the fact that, when Goku faces Freeza and Cell and kills them in Hell, they respawn. A plot point from the Majin Buu saga (filler, but GT follows the anime continuity) is that if Kid Buu killed the Z-Fighters in Heaven they would cease to exist.
  • Goku states the Dragon Balls can be used to revive Krillin, however, the Dragon Balls have previously revived him in Dragon Ball which makes it impossible to use them to revive him again. Later, Krillin is revived when the Dragon Balls are used to bring everyone back, even though they should be incapable of bringing Krillin back again.

    Battle of Gods, Resurrection ‘F’ and Dragon Ball Super 
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Same age.

  • Trunks' design is something of an issue for many viewers. Trunks, as of Battle of Gods and Super, should be around 13 to 14 years old, but he still looks like he is 8 years old like in the Majin Buu Saga. To make things more convoluted, his future counterpart looked his age in both the manga and the History of Trunks special. The same applies to Goten and Marron, whose designs haven't changed.
  • In Beerus' introduction, he claims to have wiped out the dinosaurs during his last visit to Earth. While they haven't appeared much since the early parts of Z, dinosaurs appeared in the series since the first chapter of the Dragon Ball series, and Gohan cut the tail of a dinosaur during his time with Piccolo. This has led to some Fan Wank explanations like that he meant a dinosaur era before the one in the present era, or that he actually didn't do a very good job at it, the latter at least which sounds like it could fit with how Beerus is shown to be a very lazy god.
    • During the fight between Super Saiyan God Goku and Beerus in the extended edition of Battle of Gods, we actually see a dinosaur. So that may have been the intention, or some people involved in the animation either missed that part of the script, or wanted to deliberately contradict it.
  • In the anime version of Dragon Ball Super, Captain Ginyu returns and mentions as having been on Earth as the Namekian frog. That means that he must have been on Earth when it was destroyed by Kid Buu. Apart from the fact that he couldn't have been revived by the Namekian Dragon Balls (as they explicitly wished for only whose who are not evil to be resurrected), it makes no sense he wouldn't mention being killed in his backstory or why he would be restored in the Namekian frog's body. Not present in the movie or the manga versions of the story.
  • In the Future Trunks Arc of the anime, Future Trunks' hair was recolored blue instead of purple, as it was previously. It's never stated if he dyed it or if it changed and when they reanimated a scene of Trunks discovering Future Gohan's death from the History of Trunks special, he still had it. This contradicts episode 47, where they reused footage from Z, where you can clearly tell Trunks' hair is purple, even with the filter they threw over the footage. Not only that, but Bulma asks kid Trunks if the Trunks in the time machine has blue hair even though she never met him with that color hair and it's inferred that he'd never talked to them after he made a second trip to inform them that he defeated 17 and 18 in his timeline, so that makes no sense as to why she'd say that. Plus, kid Trunks still has purple hair and makes no effort to ask why his alternate older self has different color hair.
    • In the manga, the line Bulma asks kid Trunks is if it's someone with hair the exact same color as his, which shows that Future Trunks' hair color was deliberately changed in the anime, as it was always meant to be purple just like Bulma's, which was purple in the manga but changed to blue in the anime.
  • There is a timeline inconsistency with how long Belmod has been a God of Destruction. In the manga, Belmod states he has been a God of Destruction for around 300,000 years, but in the same chapter, it states he was around for a Hide and Seek tournament between all the gods of destruction, which, according to Whis, was before Shin became a Supreme Kai. According to the timeline, Shin has been a Supreme Kai for at least 5 million years, meaning that by all means, Belmod should've be older than simply 300,000 years. This is a continuation of a plethora of problems concerning Shin's age; he says he's older than 5 million in the original manga, but Toriyama stated in 2014 that Supreme Kais only live for around 75 thousand years. So the manga was probably treating that as a retcon. Then, to make things even more convoluted, the manga went back to the original "5 million years ago" timeline in the Moro arc, via the narration of a flashback to when Buu fought the Supreme Kais.
  • During Super, it's brought up that a Supreme Kai and God of Destruction of a given universe are linked together similarly to how Piccolo and Kami used to be, so that if one is killed, the other also dies. But in the Buu Saga, there were shown to be four Supreme Kais, two of which were killed by Kid Buu, and another was absorbed by Kid Buu, which turned him into Fat Buu. Were there also four Destroyers, two of which died? What happened to the third then, considering that it was shown that being absorbed by Buu wasn't fatal, and people had been rescued after being absorbed?
  • Vegeta, Goku, and Bulma travel to Trunks' timeline using Cell's time machine. Cell did not come from the same timeline Trunks did, but actually a third one. If they used Cell's time machine, they would have gone to his timeline, not that of Trunks. It could possibly be argued that Bulma had modified the machine to go to Trunks' timeline as she is shown repairing it.
  • The plot of episodes 73-74 of the anime is about a movie studio making a movie about the Great Saiyaman, but no one knows who is the real identity of the hero. This contradicts the events of the Majin Buu saga where not only did Gohan classmates discovered who he was and publically yelled his name during said tournament, he himself went against Kibito without wearing his sunglasses and went Super Saiyan. It could be argued the wish to make everyone forget all the events with Majin Buu made everyone forget Gohan's identity, but this is never stated anywhere.
  • In episode 109 of the anime, during the Tournament of Power, Krillin states that the Spirit Bomb cannot be used by a Super Saiyan, as their hearts are polluted by rage and a Spirit Bomb requires a pure heart. This contradicts both the original story (where Goku fired a Spirit Bomb against Kid Buu as a Super Saiyan) and even another anime-only Super sequence (Trunks subconsciously gathering energy for his "Spirit Sword" as a Super Saiyan). It seems that Hiroshi Yamaguchi confused one of the Non-Serial Movie climaxes with an event from the main series. At the end of Super Android 13, Krillin says the same thing; this was well before the fight with Buu, so the writer of the film Takao Koyama didn't know it at the time.
  • In the same episode, Tenshinhan refers to the Spirit Bomb as the "final trump card that always saved us." Again, this seems to be a case of the writer mixing the movies with the main series: while it did kill several Non-Serial Movie villains such as Uiro, Tullece, Slug, and Android 13, it only ever worked once in the main story. Even then, just barely (against Kid Buu).
  • The Copy-Vegeta Filler Arc presents base Goku and Vegeta as being leaps and bounds stronger than anything that came before, probably because the writers assumed that Goku's very high base power level from Resurrection ‘F’ was still in-continuity. This was highly suggested not to be the case anymore by the time of the Champa arc which had already happened (it depicted Piccolo being able to potentially beat a guy who base Goku lost to and who Super Saiyan Goku couldn't immediately put down, and also had Goku stating that Fat Buu could do well in the tournament). It was outright confirmed not to be the case in the Zamasu arc, when Future Trunks, who explicitly had trouble with Dabra fairly recently, is able to match Goku in the same form (SS vs. SS, etc.) meaning that base Goku and Vegeta aren't that different from their Buu arc counterparts and their new massive power is limited to their new forms. The Tournament of Power doubled down on this by constantly showing characters without godly power-ups taking out characters that can give Goku and Vegeta's lower forms trouble, such as two of the three Trio de Dangers members losing badly to SS Gohan and Fat Buu respectively, only to later force Goku and Vegeta to use Super Saiyan forms (and lasting a while even then) in the tournament itself. As a result of there being no Copy-Vegeta arc in the manga, this isn't a problem there. The anime staff seemed to realize their mistake at the beginning of the Tournament of Power arc, as Piccolo explicitly says that "the power [Gohan] used against Buu" is still relevant in that arc and something he needs to regain, and Gohan while explicitly far weaker than that level is able to match SS2 Goku in sparring.
  • In Dragon Ball Super: Broly, we have a look at Bardock final stand against Freeza before being obliterated by his Supernova. While the image is clearly a homage to the Father of Goku special, there are two details that contradict his manga appearance: the lack of his iconic bandana and his armor having a right shoulder pad. This is because the aforementioned special gave him a different armor design than Super, and Toriyama copied the former design for his manga. Why he changed its design for Super is unknown.
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