For a franchise that got its start in 1984 with a small manga publication in Japan, the #animation is surprisingly still alive and well, with the Dragon Ball Super anime leading the way for a new era in 2016.
As one of the more popular Japanese anime ever released, #DragonBall has once again achieved a level of success no one thought possible, following a production break spanning more than 10 years. In its heyday, Dragon Ball was all the rage, but an extended hiatus resulted in the property earning a slight drop off in fan appeal. Until now.
Dragon Ball Super Gives Us Reason To Continue Watching Anime
From 1997–2015, no new Dragon Ball anime was produced. Dragon Ball GT was the last Dragon Ball anime to air before the franchise went on hiatus. GT was a moderately successful anime, but not enough to warrant a follow-up, leading to the extended break. However, the creators of Dragon Ball decided to breathe new life into the franchise with the creation of an entirely fresh series, Dragon Ball Super.
To explain the timeline, Dragon Ball Super takes place before the events of Dragon Ball GT, but the events of Super have officially retconned the GT anime, resulting in the DB-GT anime not being considered canon within the Dragon Ball universe.
Before Super anime debuted, there was some skepticism about whether the fandom still existed for the series. But there's now no question as to that concern. With the new Dragon Ball Super anime already progressing beyond three separate stories and with another story arc on the way, it's obvious Dragon Ball hasn't lost its touch with the anime loving community. Along with the fact that fans are clamoring for more episodes every time a season premieres, it appears as though Super will be sticking around for quite some time.
Future Trunks Story Arc Is About To Conclude
In the recent episodes of Dragon Ball Super, an entire plot thread was devoted to the return of Future Trunks. The older Trunks was last seen returning to his respective future time during the Cell Saga of Dragon Ball Z. It was presumed that when Trunks returned to the future in Dragon Ball Z, he would be able to protect the world from any coming threats, seeing as how he had a strength greater than the androids holding dominion over Earth. However, Trunks wasn't prepared for #GokuBlack to show up and wreck everything, which is where the Future Trunks Arc of Dragon Ball Super picks up.
We now know how the Future Trunks Arc will conclude, based on the conclusion of last week's episode, but fans are now asking where Dragon Ball Super will go next, now that the Future Trunks Arc is almost resolved. And we may already have an answer to that question, after viewing the promo for next week's Episode 67, "Hope."
There's not a lot of content in the promo for Episode 67, but one thing is certain: The Omni-King Zeno is going into the future to meet Trunks, #Goku and Vegeta.
The Omni-King Zeno Arrives In The Future
The details on why #Zeno has ventured into the future are unknown, but it probably has to do with Zamasu and Trunks' reckless manipulation of time. Zeno is the king of all the universes, so anyone altering time would gain his attention. But that conjures an even more important question: Why didn't Zeno show up earlier?
Zeno might not have known of what was going on or he could have remained outside of the conflict for a specific purpose and is only showing up now that the conflict has revolved itself. Regardless of what happens to Future Trunks' era, Zeno's appearance in next week's episode seems to be pivotal to the next story arc to take place on Super.
If you recall the events of the Universe 6 and 7 martial arts tournament held by Beerus and Champa, following the tournament the Omni-King Zeno approached the two to berate them for waylaying their duties as "Gods of Destruction" to conduct a competition. Zeno's disapproval worried the bystanders and participants of the tournament, since the aspect of Zeno being an omnipotent being in the Dragon Ball universe was made evident by Beerus's priceless reaction to Zeno; funny to see a God like Beerus worried:
"If the Omni-King wished it, he could erase all 12 universes from existence with a blink of an eye."
Judging by that reaction, I would say that the Omni-King Zeno is indeed omnipotent and certainly has the power to instill fear. No matter, Zeno was impressed by Goku's performance in the end and suggested that a universal martial arts tournament take place in the near future. Which brings me to my next point.
Does The Omni-King Zeno Have Another Purpose For Appearing In The Future?
Accounting for Zeno's next appearance in Episode 67 likely having to do with alternate timelines being created, it will call for Zeno to act accordingly, but Zeno might have another reason for appearing in the future.
With Zeno being in the presence of an even stronger Goku, he may see the newly strengthened Saiyan as a capable competitor for his Universal Martial Arts Tournament. At that point, Goku and Vegeta would be off to join Zeno. But will they be willing to comply with Zeno's request, upon hearing of his intent to erase Future Trunks' timeline from existence?
What Will Happen To Future Trunks' Time?
Zeno's presence in the future will be determined by what is done to Future Trunks' alternate timeline. The Omni-King will either decide to erase Future Trunks' era from existence, or revert the Earth back to its peaceful state before Zamasu arrived, or Zeno may decide to do nothing at all. Either way, he's probably in the future to recruit Goku and Vegeta for his tournament.
Goku and Vegeta will probably agree to fight in the tournament in exchange for Future Trunks' world being left untouched. If that is how the episode plays out, it would be up to the discretion of the Omni-King Zeno to decide the fate of Trunks and his future.
Considering that Zeno is omnipotent and holds dominion over the universe, either conclusion won't mean much to him at that point. Although, the most probable scenario will depict Zeno winding back time to the exact point before Goku Black and Zamasu showed up in the future, to retcon anything that happened due to their manipulation of time.
Keeping Zeno's appearance next week in mind, Episode 67 of Dragon Ball Super will either conclude with a grim turn on Future Trunks or the world will be restored to a peaceful state. Hopefully the latter scenario will play out. After that, we'll have to wait and see if Zeno intends to conduct a Universal Martial Arts Tournament. If so, who else would Zeno recruit? Dead characters of the Dragon Ball universe, like Frieza and Cell? Or even characters like Broly and Tapion who've only made appearances in Dragon Ball feature films?
What do you think will happen during Episode 67 of Dragon Ball Super? Why has Zeno ventured into the future? And what will he do after learning that Zamasu and Trunks created alternate timelines? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Dragon Ball Super can now be viewed on Funimation. Episode 67 "Hope" will air on Saturday, November 19.