The Dragon Ball Super anime made one big change to the Super Saiyan Blue transformation, compared to the manga. In the anime, the biggest drawback of this powerful technique, its huge energy consumption, is almost completely removed. In the manga, instead, Goku and Vegeta have to find creative ways to circumvent this weakness while fighting using Super Saiyan Blue.
Dragon Ball Super introduced many new power-ups for Goku and his friends, bringing fans’ excitement to new levels with original transformations and techniques. Before the debut of the “divine techniques” Ultra Instinct and Ultra Ego, Goku and Vegeta relied mostly on Super Saiyan Blue, which applies the principle of Super Saiyan to the powerful Super Saiyan God transformation. Super Saiyan God is the first step for Goku and Vegeta’s evolution in Dragon Ball Super, which allows them to access godly ki. Later, they apply the power-boosting principle of Super Saiyan to that form, achieving Super Saiyan Blue. However, the latter has a major weakness that the anime mostly ignored.
Goku and Vegeta make extensive use of their Super Saiyan Blue forms in the anime, especially during the “Future” Trunks Saga to fight against Goku Black and Zamasu, dominating their two godly adversaries for most of the battle. In the manga, however, this epic clash goes quite differently. To overcome Super Saiyan Blue’s huge energy consumption, which makes the transformation last only for a brief time, Vegeta and Goku decide to use Super Saiyan God as their base form instead, which is faster, more balanced, and drains less stamina. As seen in chapter #22 of the Dragon Ball Super manga, they transform in and out of Blue for an instant only when attacking or defending, making full use of this form’s increased power output, conserving its strength and performing the switch with such speed that opponents are unable to realize what’s going on.
The Secret Behind Super Saiyan Blue: Explosive Power
This particular technique is called “Explosive Power“, and in the anime is used only during the Tournament of Power, in episode #104, when Goku has to defeat a particularly fast opponent. The issue, however, is that the anime also makes Super Saiyan Blue more one-dimensional, by removing its biggest drawback. One of the main improvements that Dragon Ball Super brought to the franchise is increased attention to how the various power-ups and transformations (the most recognizable element of the series) work, making them function as part of a coherent system where each has its own advantages and weaknesses. Super Saiyan Blue pushes its user’s power to a new level, focusing on strength with an all-out approach in battle, but its major drawback makes it not necessarily the best suited for every situation. For this reason, Goku and Vegeta have to keep evolving and develop new techniques, such as Ultra Instinct and Ultra Ego.
The whole “Future” Trunks Saga was really well adapted in the anime, and this change from the manga does not make it less entertaining. However, by removing Super Saiyan Blue‘s main weakness, the Dragon Ball Super anime proved that to fully understand and enjoy the franchise, fans should absolutely not miss out on reading the manga too.