A lot of anime leave a permanent mark on society, but few resonate as strongly as Akira Toriyama’s signature shonen series, Dragon Ball Z. Dragon Ball Z has helped inform a generation of action anime through its compelling storytelling and superpowered characters. Dragon Ball Z progressively tackles more intimidating evils, but its core principles remain the same and are easily defined.
At 291 episodes, Dragon Ball Z is hardly a short anime, and there’s plenty of room for improvement, even though a more efficient remake, Dragon Ball Z Kai, was tackled in 2009. Dragon Ball Z Kai has been over for more than a decade, and Dragon Ball’s story continues to grow, which makes a strong case for why another Dragon Ball Z remake could be beneficial.
10 There Can Be Foreshadowing That Acknowledges Dragon Ball Super
Dragon Ball Z has run its course, but the adventure continues in Dragon Ball Super. This sequel series is oddly set within the events of Dragon Ball Z, which limits the progression of the story in certain regards. Dragon Ball Z Kai had the luxury of hindsight so that it could foreshadow later events from Dragon Ball Z, like Bardock and Frieza.
However, a new Dragon Ball Z remake could tease concepts and characters like Gods of Destruction, Angels, the multiverse, and Super Saiyan Gods. It could form a more cohesive overall narrative.
9 Movie Characters Can Be Worked Into The Series
The Dragon Ball Z feature films have proven to be very popular even though they exist outside of the series’ proper canon. Dragon Ball video games have jumped on the opportunity to further develop these figures, and Dragon Ball Super’s movies have started to canonically incorporate antagonists like Broly.
It’s impractical to do a new version of every old movie, but a Dragon Ball Z remake could integrate some of these villains, like Turles, Lord Slug, Cooler, and Janemba, into the series and redeem them in the process.
8 The Pacing Can Be Improved
The previous Dragon Ball Z remake shortens the original series by close to a third of its length through the removal of filler and anime-only material. Dragon Ball Z Kai is a much more digestible version of Toriyama’s story, but its structure is still subject to certain pacing problems.
Admittedly, prolonged battles like Goku’s fight against Frieza are made dramatically shorter, but a new remake could take further liberties in this department. Some supporting threats that the heroes need to bide their time with are a result of Toriyama figuring out the story while he’s still writing it, whereas now, some events and figures can be viewed as unnecessary.
7 Forgotten Characters Can Stick Around
It’s not easy to keep track of a sprawling cast where there are dozens of characters, and sometimes mistakes get made, despite Akira Toriyama’s best efforts. Some important individuals are around at the end of Dragon Ball who quickly vanish from the story once Dragon Ball Z gets going.
Not much is lost through the absence of characters like Launch or Android 17, but a remake could keep these characters involved and give them new purposes in the process. Not only is this satisfying character work, but it helps maintain continuity throughout Toriyama’s story.
6 It Can Tastefully Incorporate Certain Elements From Dragon Ball GT
There’s still a healthy amount of criticism that’s reserved for Dragon Ball GT, the anime-only sequel series that follows up Dragon Ball Z’s adventures quite differently than Dragon Ball Super. Most people consider Dragon Ball Super to be the superior successor, but certain characters, transformations, and fusions from the anime continue to show up in video games and other promotional materials.
A Dragon Ball Z remake could carefully pick specific elements from GTthat would fit into its story, canonizing them in the process, but without needing to revisit the entire series. Machine Mutants and Black Star Dragon Balls wouldn’t feel out of place in Z.
5 Ultimate Gohan Can Be Made To Be More Important
Right from the start of Dragon Ball Z, there’s heavy foreshadowing of Gohan’s potential and the likelihood that he’ll surpass his father. This technically comes to pass during the fight against Cell, but Gohan’’s training and ascension to Ultimate Gohan becomes a false flag against Super Buu.
Goku ultimately seals the win, and the dedicated focus on Gohan’s growth comes across as a missed opportunity. A Dragon Ball Z remake doesn’t need to completely change this story arc, but it could still find a way for Ultimate Gohan to be more involved with the final victory.
4 Minor Villains Can Have Fates Beyond Death
Death is a common occurrence in most action anime, but it’s an act that’s decidedly less final in Dragon Ball due to the restorative powers of the titular wish-granting orbs. Characters find many ways to return to life, even without the help of the Dragon Balls.
However, there are still several enemies from early on in the show’s run who get erased in fairly reckless ways. Some would argue that short-lived characters like Raditz and Nappa have served their purpose, but similar fates that don’t lead to their destruction means that they could potentially return in the future.
3 It Can Showcase A Different Animation Style
For better and for worse, Dragon Ball has always been a TOEI Animation property. As exciting as it would be to get a Dragon Ball Z remake that’s produced by MAPPA or Studio TRIGGER, realistically, it’s just not going to happen.
That being said, it’s still possible to turn to a bold new direction that’s capable of unique visuals and aesthetic styles to differentiate this remake from Dragon Ball Z Kai and the original. For instance, Dragon Ball Super: Broly and Super Hero both have wildly different looks, both of which differ from the proper anime and could be beneficial in a remake.
2 Find The Right Balance For Its Filler
One of the most striking details about Dragon Ball Z Kai is that it removes all of the filler material to present a more streamlined story. This is preferable to most viewers, but at the same time, there are certain filler sagas that have made impressions with audiences and are worthy of a return.
A new Dragon Ball Z remake could be more selective towards the filler that erases and finds a happy medium between Z and Kai. In doing so, characters like Garlic Jr. or Pikkon could become bigger characters.
1 It Can Change Or Adjust The Ending
Endings are never easy, and audiences are so reactionary that a false finish can permanently tank a series’ reputation. Dragon Ball Z falls somewhere in between, and while its ending isn’t completely reviled, it’s still a confusing turn of events that throws off fans.
One of the biggest opportunities in a Dragon Ball Z remake is to fine-tune the ending to a conclusion that feels more fitting with the direction of Dragon Ball Super. This new ending could remove the epilogue that’s set ten years later and not box itself into such a corner like the original series.
NEXT: Dragon Ball Z Vs. Dragon Ball Kai: Which Anime Should You Watch?