Goten’s Role in Dragon Ball Super Has Been Minimal – and That’s a Good Thing

Many characters have, sadly, lost their significance in Dragon Ball, primarily caused by the series falling victim to power creep: As long as powerful opponents keep showing up that only Goku and Vegeta can handle, the rest of their fighter friends and family won’t be able to keep up. Dragon Ball Super tries to remedy that issue by giving the other fighters lower-stakes matches to demonstrate what they’re made of. However, there are still some characters who languish on the sidelines. Goten, in particular, appears to suffer the worst from that negligence.

As one of Goku’s children, Goten logically should have more chances to show off his potential as a fighter. However, it may be for the best that he doesn't. After all, Goten is still only a child in Dragon Ball Super, so it makes sense for him to stay out of the intense, life-or-death matches for the fate of the world. As cool as it would be for Goten to help carry on Goku’s legacy, it’s important to think about his current role in Dragon Ball, how it compares to the others' roles and whether it really needs to be changed for the sake of becoming yet another hardened warrior.

At first, it seemingly makes sense to have Goten start fighting, despite his age. By age 7, he was already stronger than either Goku or Gohan were when they began their adventures. Through fusion with Trunks, he was able to reach their levels of power, and even surpass them. With so much going for him, Goten seems like he would fit perfectly among the Z Fighters.

Despite his potential, however, Goten should not be held to the same standards as Goku or Gohan. Goku is content with going on grand adventures and fighting powerful opponents because it’s all he’s ever know -- plus, he’s a full-blooded Saiyan. Gohan was forced into fighting out of necessity; he’s not a fighter by nature, nor does he get the same enjoyment out of fighting as Goku. Neither of these two had the opportunity for a normal childhood, but Goten does.

Gohan defeated by Recoome on Namek in Dragon Ball Z

In reality, nobody should be expected to have the same childhood as Goku or Gohan. For all of their adventures, they've also been exposed to a lot of intense training, harsh battles, and even deaths. Gohan's even had his neck broken. Goten should consider himself blessed that he never has to go through the same hardships as these two.

Even if Goten is meant to someday become one of Earth’s primary defenders, there’s no rush. He's still just a kid, so he should focus on having the normal childhood nobody else in his family got to have. As it stands, there are plenty of older and more experienced warriors who can take up the fight for the sake of the Earth. This is one of the few ways Dragon Ball becoming what fans call the "Goku and Vegeta Show" is actually a good thing. If Goten is really meant to become a fighter, he can do so when he's good and ready.

Boruto, Sarada and kaito in the Boruto anime
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