WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 1 of Edens Zero, now streaming on Netflix.
One of shonen anime's most tried and true plot devices is the tournament arc. Pitting characters against each other, these contests often provide expanded development for central and side casts alike. While the tournament arc has been a staple since the days of Dragon Ball, more recent series like My Hero Academia and Food Wars have shaken things up by giving first place in these competitions to unexpected victors. Edens Zero, the latest shonen series from Fairy Tail creator Hiro Mashima, has thus far shown itself to be a fantastic universe-spanning odyssey. Packed with more action than one can shake a robot cat's tail at, could the show's events be pointing at a future tournament across the galaxies?
During the crew's search for Valkyrie, the last of the Four Shining Stars, Shiki Granbell and company sought out the omniscient Time Oracle Xiaomei. Finding her on Mildian, a planet frozen in time, Xiaomei requests payment in exchange for the information. Rather than monetary compensation, the celestial informant requests that they fulfill her greatest passion by pitting the group against a series of her champions.
Xiaomei's love of battle comes from the fact that her limitless knowledge has deprived her of any excitement or surprise. Her one reprieve from utter boredom is watching fights unfold, which serve as the only self-imposed blind spots in her clairvoyance. At her behest, Shiki and his friends Rebecca Bluegarden, Weiss Steiner and Homura Kogetsu, with the help of robotic companions Pino and Happy, each duke it out with one of her warriors to claim victory in her colosseum. Although this particular incident more closely resembles a series of trials, there is little doubt that Xiaomei would be ecstatic over the prospect of an entire seeded tournament.
Since much of the enjoyment in tournament arcs comes from anticipating and theorizing who the ultimate victor will be, Xiaomei is the perfect candidate to host such a gathering, as she would share the viewpoint of the audience. Because of her role as the series' narrator and her ability to break the fourth wall, she would also be able to address viewers directly to hype them up. Her infinite knowledge would help raise the stakes of triumph, since she would know exactly what consequences any given defeat would have. This could result in some nail-biting bits of foreshadowing, as she may reveal them to the real-world audience before anyone in the show's universe is even aware of them.
Of course, there can no tournament if there are no competitors. Should such a development occur, Shiki and the rest of the Edens Zero's main crew are obvious choices to participate. Although Witch, Sister and Hermit of the Four Shining Stars typically serve as ship support, there is the potential that they could show off some hidden fighting prowess, since even Weiss participated in Xiaomei's test of strength despite his lack of martial abilities.
Homura, who has stepped up to take Valkyrie's place as the Sword of Edens, would likely be one of the fiercest contenders, while Rebecca could show off her newly developing Ether Gear. Captain Connor's arrival onboard also revealed that there is at least one other Edens numbered ship in the Aoi Cosmos. Xiaomei may have given up knowledge of Mother's location, but her inexhaustible knowledge of all other facts throughout time and space could easily attract contestants from other Cosmos' and other yet unknown Edens series ships.
Additionally, Edens Zero has already introduced some particularly formidable recurring characters who could hold their own in a grand tournament. Space pirate Elsie Crimson and crime lord Drakken Joe have been looming in the periphery for quite some time. An arc like this might provide the perfect platform for Shiki and the gang to officially meet them in person. Cyborg mercenary Jinn last encountered the Edens Zero posse on the lawless planet Guilst, where Shiki promised to fight him again someday. Assuming he made it off the planet before the arrival of the Chronophage, Jinn would be a perfect black horse opponent, as Xiaomei could offer him knowledge about saving his sister Kleene.
With the tragic passing of series director Yuushi Suzuki around the end of Season 1, the status of the show's official return is unclear. The anime's official Twitter account announced on October 2 that there would be a continuation at some point in the future, but gave no details regarding when. Still, tournament or no, the galactic adventure of Edens Zero is likely to have just as much thrilling action as ever when it finally resurfaces.