The way the Tournament of Power plays out in the manga is quite different from the anime. This article will give as much info as possible between the differences while still saving you a lot of time from reading/watching both. Needless to say, there will be some spoilers (for this arc only).
The Tournament of Power manga takes place from volume 5* (warmup)/volume 7* (actual tournament) until volume 9*. The Tournament of Power Anime takes place from episode 77* (warmup/recruitment)/97* (actual tournament) until the anime’s last episode, episode 131.
*Links marked with a * are affiliate links to places you can buy Dragon Ball Super. I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you when you make a purchase through these links.
Short Tournament of Power Manga vs. Anime Summary
The anime creators needed to pump out a new episode each week. On top of that, Dragon Ball Super’s Tournament of Power was a (perhaps temporary) end of the line for them. That means they had a limited amount of story to work with but a lot of content to produce. The manga did not have this issue, as it runs on a monthly schedule and had plans for arcs beyond the Tournament of Power.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this leads to a lot more content in the anime. Optimistically speaking, you could call this fleshing out the story. Pessimistically you would call it fluff. The main differences are as follows:
- The leadup to the Tournament of Power is a lot shorter in the manga
- Recruiting characters for the team happens much more quickly (partly off-screen even) in the manga
- The tournament itself goes by much more quickly as well, with many characters getting less screentime
The big lines of the story, however, are the same, including the ending. The main points were, after all, provided by Akira Toriyama himself. It’s a misconception that he has a totally hands-off approach. Apart from giving the main story points, he often gives feedback to action panels, especially in the manga. Still, since he doesn’t care about the details, that leaves a lot of room for manga vs. anime differences. These are interesting to take note of, especially if you’re a fan of specific characters. Let’s dive into it.
The Tournament of Power Warmup
In both the Dragon Ball Super anime and the manga, there were a few exhibition matches before the recruitment of the actual tournament teams began. Future Zeno was not there for the Universe 6 vs. Universe 7 tournament, so the purpose of these smaller matches is to show him what to expect in the actual tournament. There are quite some manga vs. anime differences for this part of the story. Below you can find the main ones summarized, after which they are expanded on in their own sections further below.
- In the anime, there is a fight between three Gods of Destruction: Arak (Universe 5), Liquiir (Universe 8) and Iwan (Universe 1).
- In the manga, there is a battle royal between all of the Gods of Destruction.
Not being satisfied with the above fights, an exhibition match is held in both mediums, but they are vastly different:
- In the anime, there are first three exhibition matches between universe 7 and 9. Goku, Majin Buu and Gohan take on the Trio De Dangers: Basil, Lavender and Bergamo. After this, there is an additional fourth, unexpected match between Goku and Toppo.
- In the manga, the only exhibition match is between Goku and Toppo. It follows directly after the Gods of Destruction’s battle royal.
- Despite the Goku vs. Toppo match happening in both the anime and the manga, the way it plays out is quite different.
God of Destruction Anime Battle
In the anime, three Gods of Destruction duke it out: Arak (small old shaman guy, Universe 5), Liquiir (fox, Universe 8) and Iwan (small fuzzball, Universe 1). The goal is to both test out the durability of the stage and to show they are superior to the Gods of the universes that need to participate in the Tournament of Power.
The participating Gods are from the four universes which do not need to participate in the Tournament of Power. There are four such universes, but the God of one of them chooses not to participate: Giin from Universe 12. He did so because he felt “the outcome was obvious.” At first, it seemed like he knew who would win. His prediction turned out to be of another kind, however: the match ended up in a stalemate after the Gods destroyed the stage. The three participating Gods ended up having to clean the mess at the command of the Grand Priest.
The Omni-Kings ended up sleeping through this match, requiring the organization of additional matches.
God of Destruction Battle Royal in the Manga
In the Dragon Ball Super manga, all Gods of Destruction were forced to participate. Refusal to participate or even performing unsatisfactorily could lead to their erasure. The Grand Priest also commanded them to go at it with the intent to kill… not quite the fun and games we saw in the anime. These events take place in volume 5* and volume 6*.
Phase 1: Beerus vs. All Other Gods
The Battle Royal started with the other Gods teaming up against Beerus. Apparently, all Gods of Destruction have a bone to pick with him. One of apparently quite a few reasons for this is that during a hide-and-seek competition between the Gods of Destruction, organized by the Omni-King, Beerus fell asleep. Understandably, Zeno was not very pleased and all Gods fell his wrath.
Being ganged up on gave Beerus the opportunity to show off his Ultra Instinct. As he didn’t perfect it yet, however, he is eventually grabbed by Mule (Robot, Universe 3) but escapes through sheer force. The Gods can’t stop their attack in time and hit Mule before noticing Beerus is now floating above them. They quickly move to attack Beerus but quickly find out the one they are approaching is Champa, who Beerus threw up as a distraction.
Beerus then charged up a huge energy blast towards Champa and the other Gods who followed him. They were saved by Sidra (monk-looking God, Universe 9), who boasts about his barrier charging speed. Belmod (Clown, Universe 11) then kicked Sidra out of bounds, stating he was “too full of openings to hold back.” As the Tournament of Power rules were not yet decided at this point, this did not count as an elimination, however, and all Gods continued their battle.
Phase 2: Battle Royal
Belmod followed up his kick by trapping all Gods in an energy sphere. He then opened a barrage of exploding cards on them. The first to escape from the sphere was Liquiir (Fox, Universe 8), who retaliated with a blast barrage from his tails.
The energy barrage caused huge explosions, which lifted a smokescreen over the tournament area. Taking advantage of this smokescreen and Liquiir’s rage towards Belmod, Heles (Egyptian-looking Goddess, Universe 2) shot an arrow towards his face, point-blank. Liquiir did manage to lift his arm just in time to protect his face but could not prevent the arrow from piercing through his arm.
Rumsshi (Elephant, Universe 10) then activated his special ability: the loudest shout in all of the Universes. This made all of the Supreme Kais faint, paralyzed Goku and left the Gods of Destruction barely able to move. He then charged at his opponents and tossed them around.
Phase 3: Chaos and Conclusion
After the Gods recovered from Rumsshi’s shout, the battle turned into a chaotic all-out brawl. Most of the rest of the battle happens offscreen and we only get to see the final moments. After Quitela (Rat, Universe 4) takes out Iwan (the fuzzball from Universe 1) and Beerus takes out Rumsshi, they are the only Gods who remain standing. Before their fight could conclude, however, the Grand Priest stops both of their charges using only one finger. It should be noted that Belmod was simply faking being down and, unlike the other Gods, had no visible damage.
After Liquiir’s blast barrage against Belmod, a smokescreen covered the stage and chaos ensued. From that point onward, Zeno had difficulty following the action. He could no longer follow who was fighting who, which made the fight boring. It was decided that the Gods of Destruction’s fights were too destructive for Zeno to follow and, as a result, they were not allowed to participate in the Tournament of Power. To make the actual tournament easier to follow, the Grand Priest also decided flying would also be forbidden. The final decision was that contestants had to focus on throwing their opponents out of bounds rather than killing them.
Dragon Ball Super Anime-only Exhibition Tournament
To give future Zeno a good idea of what to expect in the Tournament of Power, the Grand Priest held an exhibition tournament. He chose the two Universes with the two lowest average mortal levels to participate, which turned out to be Universes 7 and 9. The reason for choosing those tournaments was that if the tournament is not to the Omni-King’s liking, the loser would be eliminated. As such, it makes sense to use the most expandable universes.
Both Universes only received a few hours’ notice to find their three participants. Knowing what is at stake, Universe 9’s Sidra brought their strongest combatants: the Trio De Dangers. Beerus, not really occupied with knowing who the strongest fighters in his universe are, made Goku collect two other fighters. Goku ended up choosing Majin Buu and Gohan, as Vegeta was too preoccupied with Bulma’s pregnancy.
Match 1: Majin Buu vs. Basil
Basil seemed to have an advantage over Buu at first. He even managed to make a hole in Buu’s chest. Buu was just messing around, however. This changes when Basil causes an explosion and a piece of debris wounds Mr. Satan. Unsurprisingly, Buu gets very angry and quickly shoots Basil out of bounds with an energy blast. Goku tells the Grand Priest that this should be the end of the match, but the Grand Priest replies the competitors will keep fighting until Zeno is satisfied.
Seeing his competitor is on the ropes, the Supreme Kai of Universe 9 gives Basil steroids. This temporarily turns the tables on Buu again, but not for long. Buu does acknowledge his opponent’s strength but states that he himself is even stronger. Buu then shoots a full power energy blast at his opponent. Although Basil seems to withstand the blast in his powered-up form at first, he reaches his limit and collapses.
Match 2: Gohan vs. Lavender
Gohan reveals he has taken up training again and claims to be stronger than ever. He starts off the match pretty well, being on par with his opponent while in base form (without his mystic/ultimate form). Lavender manages to poison Gohan shortly after, however, causing him to go blind and giving the advantage to Basil.
After receiving a pummeling, Gohan recovers by relying on his heightened hearing. Lavender counters this by attacking from the air, which makes a lot less noise. Gohan then turns Super Saiyan and spreads his energy towards his opponent to pinpoint his location. This tactic also spreads the poison faster and causes Gohan to deplete his energy quickly, however.
After a desperate struggle, including going out of Super Saiyan temporarily, he eliminates Lavender with an all-out desperation attack. Not being able to remain standing himself, the match ends in a draw.
Match 3: Goku vs. Bergamo
Before the match starts, Bergamo requests Zeno not to destroy any universes if he wins his match with Goku. Zeno thinks hard on this and agrees but also warns Goku he should not hold back. This effectively turns all the universes against Goku.
Bergamo and Goku spar in base form for a while until Bergamo provokes Goku to hit him. It turns out to be a trap, as Bergamo’s special ability is to grow larger and stronger by absorbing the energy of his opponent’s attacks. Being the battle-hungry individual he is, Goku deliberately makes Bergamo grow as big as possible. As the fight reaches its conclusion, Goku fires a Kamehameha in his Super Saiyan Blue form combined with Kaioken. This attack turns out to be too much for Bergamo’s ability to handle and he collapses.
Goku vs. Toppo in the Dragon Ball Super Anime
In the anime, Toppo clearly dislikes Goku (and, to a lesser extent, the rest of Goku’s Universe). Just like the other onlookers, he feels the Survival Tournament is Goku’s fault. Goku’s lust for battle, witnessed when he made Bergamo grow deliberately, disgusts him. The fact that a large piece of debris flew towards him, Belmod and his Universe’s Supreme Kai as a result of Goku’s fight did not help matters either. Toppo calls Goku a villain and challenges him to a fight.
Goku starts the fight against Toppo in his Super Saiyan form. They are fairly even until Toppo gets Goku in a chokehold. Goku breaks out the chokehold by turning Super Saiyan Blue and turns the tables on Toppo. Overcoming his surprise, Toppo powers up and evens up things again. Goku shoots a Kamehameha at him, but it barely damages Toppo. They then power up further. Before the fight reaches a conclusion, however, the Grand Priest stops it. He is afraid one of them may kill the other, which would make the actual tournament less exciting.
Goku vs. Toppo in the Tournament of Power Manga
In the Tournament of Power Manga, this fight is the Grand Priest’s idea. He states the Gods of Destruction’ Battle Royal was too hard to follow for Zeno and suggests this match as an alternative. Because of this different leadup, Toppo is more neutral and less hostile towards Goku in the manga. He acts more as a warrior fighting a challenging opponent rather than as an enemy.
Goku goes through his different forms more gradually in the manga fight than he does in the anime. After the initial phase of the fight, Toppo calls Super Saiyan 3 weak, after which Goku turns Super Saiyan God to match up. This still doesn’t bring a clear winner, so Beerus encourages Goku to go Super Saiyan Blue and end the fight. Goku complies and Toppo seems overwhelmed by Goku’s new power. Toppo manages to catch Goku by surprise with a counter, however, knocking him out of the ring.
Although the Tournament of Power manga fight ends with Toppo winning rather than the anime’s draw, there is no clear winner in either medium. Goku was simply careless in the manga.
Goku and Toppo fight each other in volume 6* of the manga.
Other Pre-tournament of Power Story Elements
Apart from the exhibition match, the main part of the story revolves around recruiting team members. This process is a lot more lengthy in the anime. Part of it even happens off-screen in the manga. We do get a Vegeta vs. Beerus match in the Tournament of Power manga that we don’t get in the anime, however.
Manga Only: Vegeta vs. Beerus
Seeing Beerus being his lazy self, the Oracle Fish spurs him into action by claiming that Goku and Vegeta will pose a real challenge in the future. As planned, Beerus is annoyed by this and challenges Vegeta, who is training with Whis at the time.
Although Beerus clearly has the upper hand, Vegeta’s attacks do faze him this time. Vegeta is then launched into the water by Beerus, but he emerges more quickly than expected. He shows that he can still continue and also shows off a more mastered form of Super Saiyan Blue. In the next phase of the fight, Vegeta does better than before and even manages to block and dodge a few hits. The challenge still doesn’t seem great enough for Beerus to put in much effort, however.
Beerus’ laidback attitude backfires, as his playing around eventually enables Vegeta to get a solid hit in. This angers Beerus and makes him explode with anger, instantly taking out Vegeta in a single attack. Vegeta is unable to hold on to his Super Saiyan Blue form due to the damage he suffered but does remain conscious. Calming down, Beerus acknowledges Vegeta’s strength. He even says that if this were another universe, Vegeta may make a good candidate for God of Destruction.
Vegeta and Beerus fight each other in volume 6* of the manga.
Caulifla and Kale Recruitment – Anime
In the anime, Cabba goes to recruit his old captain, Renzo, who does not make an appearance in the manga. It turns out Renzo retired after suffering from a permanent leg injury, however, so he suggests recruiting his sister Caulifla instead. Caulifla is initially not interested but changes her mind because she is being enticed by the power of Cabba’s Super Saiyan form.
Cabba first tries to make Caulifla turn Super Saiyan by insulting her, mimicking Vegeta’s methods. As Cabba is not nearly as effective at inducing rage in his opponents as Vegeta, this does not have the intended effect. Cabba then tries explaining the “feeling” of Super Saiyan instead. The way the creators handle this is one of the biggest Dragon Ball Super memes: Caulifla turns Super Saiyan after focusing her energy in her back “all tingly-like.”
In the anime, Caulifla is the one who suggests Kale also participates in the tournament. The manga version of Kale is very unconfident and shy, leading to many fairly cringy “I could never”s when suggested she also learns Super Saiyan. It’s Kale’s tsundere feelings towards Caulifla that eventually cause her to transform after she feels Caulifla and Cabba are getting a bit too close.
Caulifla does not transform into a regular Super Saiyan but instead transforms directly into berserker (Broly/legendary Saiyan) mode. She then attacks Cabba, who can barely hold her off. When Kale shoots a big energy blast at Cabba, Caulifla saves him. When Caulifla deflects Kabba’s blast, electricity surrounds her, suggesting she already turned Super Saiyan 2. This turn of events and the rapid unlocks of forms understandably led to quite some criticism.
Caulifla and Kale Recruitment – Manga
In the manga, the character of Renzo (Cabba’s old captain) does not exist. Cabba goes straight for Caulifla, who is however not interested, just like in the anime. This leads to a fight in which Caulifla dominates until Cabba turns Super Saiyan. This form piques Caulifla’s interest, similar to the anime. There is no mention of “tingly feelings in the back” here, however. Her transformation happens off-screen but is suggested to at least be after an intense training session and made possible because she is a prodigy.
The character of Kale is very different from the anime. In the manga, she seems aware of her own potential but hides it because she doesn’t want to one-up Caulifla. After Cabba steals Caulifla’s necklace to show off the speed of his Super Saiyan form, Kale stole it back without anyone noticing… while still in her base form. This leads Cabba to recruit her along with Caulifla. Due to this order of events, Kale only has her (admittedly powerful) base form available to her going into the tournament.
Other Manga Tournament of Power Recruitment Stories
Apart from the Caulifla/Kale mini-story, the manga recruitment is very brief, with some of it even happening off-screen. There is also less convincing and secrecy going on, with just about everyone knowing what is at stake right away. The main points that happen are:
- Goku suggests recruiting Android 18. Krillin comes secondary but would be a good teammate because he is “small and can run away.”
- Vegeta suggests recruiting Gohan and Android 17.
- The visit to Android 17’s island happens, just like in the anime. The fight between the two also happens, although it is shorter and Goku only uses base form and Super Saiyan 3. The fight is inconclusive.
- Android 17 needs less convincing to participate than in the Anime. He does feel that the destruction of the universe would be destiny, just like he does in the anime, but participates because he owes Krillin a favor for his removed bomb.
- Majin Buu falls asleep. Unlike in the anime, this happens before he even knows about the tournament. There is also no fight between Goku and slim Buu.
- Freeza takes Majin Buu’s place. His recruitment is a lot quicker than in the anime, with just a short conversation and both him and Goku returning to the others in a beat-up state.
Anime Tournament of Power Recruitment Stories
The anime’s recruitment process is much lengthier. The displayed power feats are a lot bigger and the anime makes it a point to show non-main characters are a lot stronger now. This understandably led to criticism, partly due that the power increases come over a little forced. There are power increases in the manga too, but transformations are used more sparingly and there is a bigger emphasis on stamina, which makes things feel a little more natural.
Vegeta, Gohan, Majin Buu, Krillin, Android 18
- Vegeta initially refuses to participate, even knowing what is at stake. He insists on being there when Bulma gives birth and cannot be convinced otherwise. Whis then makes the birth process instant, allowing Vegeta to participate.
- Gohan (suggested by Vegeta) and Majin Buu are the first members Goku recruits. Although the recruitment is mainly for the exhibition match, they already learn about the actual Tournament of Power at this point. It is Gohan who advises Goku to keep what is at stake a secret to avoid a mass panic.
- Krillin immediately agrees to participate. Android 18 refuses until Goku promises her a 10 million Zeni reward (which is a promise he cannot keep, as Chi-Chi is in charge of finances and they don’t even have that much money).
- Gohan and Krillin spar, with Krillin revealing a new Solar Flare x 100 technique, surprising and eliminating Gohan. This caused some outrage, but not as much as what follows next in the match between Goku and Krillin. Goku ends up going Super Saiyan Blue and shoots a Kamehameha wave at Krillin. Android 18, feeling Goku has gone too far, easily deflects it.
- Buu reveals a slim form and spars with Goku. The new form’s strength is able to overcome Goku but tires out Buu. He falls asleep a few episodes after and is unable to participate in the tournament.
Android 17, Piccolo, Tien, Roshi
- After the fight between Android 17 and Goku, Android 17 still refuses to participate. The two end up going on a space adventure to rescue abducted endangered animals. Grateful for Goku’s help, Android 17 decides to participate after this. He plans to use the Super Dragon Balls to wish for a ship to travel around the world with his family.
- Gohan goes off to recruit Piccolo, but the latter reveals to already know about the tournament. He reveals his plan to reawaken Gohan’s potential and drive him to new heights. The two engage in very intensive training sessions, which make out one of the anime’s better parts. At one point during their fights, Gohan severs Piccolo’s arm, after which Piccolo uses it to blast a distressed Gohan in the back. Gohan eventually regains mastery over his mystic form during these training sessions. Piccolo admits Gohan is strong but warns him that he still has his weakness of letting his guard down at crucial moments, which they resolve to get rid of.
- Roshi is an honorary teacher at Tien’s dojo. After being bewitched by an enemy of Tien, Roshi defeats Tien and goes on a rampage. He fights Goku, which breaks the spell. Tien, refusing to participate at first, agrees after seeing the damage to the village and needing money to repair it. Roshi quickly accepts to participate after hearing about the money.
- Piccollo and Gohan challenge Goku and Tien to a 2v2 battle. Tien is utterly humiliated in this battle, after which Goku and Gohan go at it 1v1. Goku wins after a hard-fought battle but is impressed and appoints Gohan as the team’s leader.
- Master Roshi undertakes a quest to get rid of his perverted thoughts, which could cost him victory in the actual tournament.
- The negotiation process with Freeza takes longer in the anime.
- The Gods of Destruction from other universes learn of Freeza’s potential recruitment, which causes fear.
- Universe 9 sends assassins to get rid of Freeza, but Freeza easily kills almost all of them.
- The leader of the assassins then throws a ball of destruction energy (Hakai) at Freeza, which he borrowed from Sidra.
- The destruction energy engulfs Freeza, but he manages to contain it after a desperate struggle.
- Freeza then throws the ball at Goku, who manages to avoid immediate destruction but also fails to contain the energy. To be fair, Freeza was in Golden form when he dealt with the energy, while Goku was in base form.
- While Goku struggles, Freeza contacts Sidra through a communicator taken from one of the assassins. Thinking Goku will not survive and Universe 7 can’t win without him, he proposes to join Universe 9 instead.
- Before the conversation can finish, Whiz and Beerus arrive. Freeza quickly destroys the communicator to hide the evidence of his treachery. Beerus then easily frees Goku.
- Freeza and Goku have a match. If Goku wins, Freeza promises to behave during the tournament without betraying them. If Freeza wins, Goku has to leave him alone and Freeza can do what he pleases. The fight ends in a draw, with both collapsing.
Non-recruitment Anime Pre-tournament of Power Stories
- The anime has quite a bit of extra story before the tournament starts, mainly taking place after the future Trunks arc. The quality ranges from filler to very good. Below you will find a summary of these storylines:
- Goku wants to revive King Kai, but an argument ensues between multiple characters wanting to use the Dragon Balls for their own wishes.
- Vegeta and Goku fight Arale, a gag character from Akira Toriyama’s Dr. Slump series. Her cartoon physics end up being too much for them to handle until Beerus interferes.
- Champa challenges Beerus for a tournament rematch. Instead of fighting with their fists, they have a baseball game. This small arc gives Yamcha some time to shine.
- Someone put out a contract on Goku, causing Hit to hunt him down. After an intense battle, it is revealed that it was [SPOILERS, HIGHLIGHT TEXT TO SEE] Goku himself who put out the contract. This story, taking place during episodes 71 and 72 (part 6 of the DVD/Blu-Ray collection*), is likely the best anime-only story of this arc.
- Gohan takes up the mantle of Great Saiyaman again to shoot a movie.
- Goku asks Krillin to spar, but Krillin retired from martial arts and refuses. Android 18 tells him Maron wants a strong father, however, so Krillin reconsiders but lacks confidence. Master Roshi and fortune-teller Baba send the duo to a forest of illusions. Facing his fears there, Krillin decides to resume his martial arts training.
Tournament of Power Performances – Universe 10 Characters
Rather than describing the happenings of the Tournament of Power chapter by chapter, it makes more sense to split things up by character. I will start with the Universe 10 characters, then discuss the other characters in the next section. I will use the Dragon Ball Super anime elimination order (from early to late), as this is what most readers are familiar with.
Krillin did worse in the manga than he did in the anime.
Although he was the first of the Z fighters team to fall in both mediums after a run-in with Frost, he did manage to show his stuff in the Anime. He eliminated one opponent together with Master Roshi and two more working together with Android 18. In the manga, he was out pretty much immediately, with dodging a single attack from Magetta being his only feat.
Tien arguably did slightly better in the manga.
He managed to dodge an attack from Magetta and he was one of the first ones who detected the invisible presences in Universe 4. He also managed to last slightly longer again Frost than Krillin did, though the latter still called his full power weak.
The above feats may not be overly impressive, but considering almost all characters get less screentime in the manga, it’s still better than in the anime. In any case, he vastly outperformed Krillin, while in the anime, it was the other way around. If you’re hoping for redemption for Tien in the manga, however, you’re out of luck.
He had less screentime in the manga than in the anime (as did just about all characters) and fewer eliminations, but:
- He was one of the only ones to detect the invisible presences of Universe 4.
- In the Frost vs. Tien and Roshi fight, seeing Tien eliminated did not phase Roshi in the slightest, despite knowing he was now Frost’s sole target. It should be noted, however, that Frost was not overly impressed with Roshi either and Goku interrupted the fight before it could proceed much further.
- Master Roshi took out Kahseral, the general of the Pride Troopers, who is hinted to be one of their stronger fighters in the manga.
- Seeing Goku’s struggles against Jiren, he reminded his student that there is more to martial arts than plain fighting power. He proceeded to fight Jiren and even dodged a bunch of his attacks. Although he did not manage to land any blows on Jiren, his lesson on “how to move well” inspired Goku to unlock Ultra Instinct.
- He was the 47th to be eliminated in the anime and 73rd (top 8) in the manga.
- Whis complimented Roshi, saying there is a great resemblance between his techniques and Ultra instinct. Roshi’s techniques may be a far cry away from the power of Ultra instinct, but the principle is the same.
Piccolo did about equally well in the anime and the manga.
Like many other characters, he had more screentime in the anime. Most notably, his fight against Universe 6’s Nameks Saonel and Pilina is missing (because they are foddered by teammate Kale when she goes berserk). However, Piccolo still manages to do some work:
- He gets quite a few eliminations in the manga and is shown to fodder easier opponents.
- He defeats Bergamo of the Trio de Danger but hesitates to eliminate him as he was the last remaining fighter of his universe. Freeza then finishes Bergamo off.
- Freeza indirectly shows some respect for Piccolo, acknowledging that Bergamo was a troublesome fighter and taking the time to urge Piccolo not to hesitate against such opponents.
- He not only detects but also eliminates the invisible Gamisalas.
Given the faster pace of the manga, this puts his performance at decent but not superb. His solid work is just a little less obvious than in the anime because Gohan needs more carrying by Piccolo in the anime.
Android 18 arguably did worse in the manga.
She comes across as neither particularly strong nor weak in both mediums but does more work in the anime (including saving Most Valuable Person Android 17).
In the manga, she does manage to quickly dispose of Jimizu (the Yardrat) and Prum (the giant blob who reflected sniper shots in the anime). As both characters are taken out without doing anything of note in the manga, however, these aren’t very impressive feats. Her fight against Ribrianne, Roasie and Kakunsa is very brief in the manga, as well. The fight also remains unfinished, as all involved are eliminated by the invisible Gamisalas or the assumed to be invisible tiny Damom. None of her opponents show the capabilities they do in the anime, essentially limiting her eliminations to fodders.
Gohan did better in the manga than in the anime.
Don’t get me wrong. Gohan does have some redeeming moments in the anime and is a lot more impressive than he was during his mediocre performance against Lavender. His feats in the manga, while perhaps not very plentiful, are however of a higher level:
- He manages to put a good fight against all members of the Trio de Danger combined without using his full power. Gohan does struggle against them at times, but when he sees Piccolo in trouble and uses more (but still not all) of his power, he gains the upper hand.
- He feels like he could eliminate everyone in Universe 9 even when they team up against him if he were to power up. He ends up not having to test this theory, as Frost beats him to the punch.
- In the anime, his scaling is below Freeza. This shows in how he does worse than Freeza against Dyspo and Jimizu the Yardrat. In the manga, his scaling is above Freeza (see below).
- Gohan, and not Goku, is the one who defeats Kefla in the manga. Although it was a double knockout, this is still very impressive because Kale (and, by extension, Kefla) is an even bigger force of destruction in the manga than in the anime. Golden Freeza was previously struggling against these opponents before their fusion.
Vegeta arguably did slightly worse in the manga.
Vegeta’s feats in the manga aren’t actually that much weaker than in the anime. He also manages to unlock a more advanced form of Super Saiyan Blue, just like in the anime. It is more so that, because he tends to have most of the spotlight behind Goku, the faster pace of the manga hurts him more than it does most of the Z fighters.
After seeing Goku unlock Ultra Instinct and unlocking his improved Super Saiyan Blue form out of frustration, he blows away Toppo. Toppo is a lot less impressive in the manga, however, and doesn’t even have his God of Destruction mode, so the feat means less. After this, he does manage to push back Jiren momentarily too. But since the fight happens so much faster than in the manga, Jiren is quick to turn the tables again. There is no time for extra feats against Jiren that we did get to see in the anime, such as seeing through Jiren’s attacks.
Freeza wasn’t quite as impressive as in the anime but was still a valuable asset to his team.
In the anime, Freeza toys around a lot more with weaker opponents and also has his moments against Dyspo and Toppo. He also scales above Gohan, as he effortlessly tortures and takes out Jimizu the Yardrat and his instant teleportation, which Gohan was struggling with. He also had a massive feat before the actual tournament, managing to control a Hakai energy ball the God of Destruction from Universe 9 created.
In the manga, he scales below Gohan as he struggles against Caulifla in her Super Saiyan form, while Gohan would end up stalemating the fused Kefla. Freeza does do away with a few weaker opponents but gets less spotlight against stronger opponents. He is also a lot more careful with his stamina. This does make the teaming up with Frost more logical than in the anime, where he ends up showing his bulky 100% form to Frost despite his aim of saving stamina.
Despite shining a little less brightly in the manga, his keen intellect was still a great asset to the team. The fight against Jiren to stall for time and the fake self-destruction of Android 17 to stay hidden until the end of the tournament were a lot more deliberate than in the manga.
Goku arguably did about equally well in the anime and the manga.
Just like Vegeta, the fast pace of the manga and the lowered spotlight it brings hurt Goku’s performance. His Ultra Instinct lasts fewer panels and has a less epic feel to it. Reaching Ultra Instinct also takes less time in the manga, however, and Goku struggles less against weaker opponents in the manga. He just does what he needs to do in both mediums, so there is not much to say in favor or against either one.
Android 17 arguably wasn’t quite as impressive in the manga as in the anime, but the difference is not very big.
He does not perform as impressively against the likes of Toppo and Jiren in the manga but still effortlessly takes out several non-fodders, including Botamo the bear. He fights Dyspo on his own, though manga Dyspo is not as impressive as anime Dyspo and their fight is inconclusive (but did tire Dyspo out).
While he seems slightly more lacking in raw firepower than in the anime, he seems just as cunning and even more intelligent in the manga. When he seemingly self-destructed in the manga, it seemed like it was a lucky break he pulled through, while in the manga he planned to remain hidden until the end all along.
Tournament of Power Performances – Other Characters
Like the Universe 7 characters, I am ordering this section in order of elimination in the Dragon Ball Super anime (starting from the first elimination). While the Z fighters managed to still get some spotlight despite the faster pace of the manga, this is often not the case for other characters (with some notable exceptions). Below you can read about the characters whose tournament went quite differently in the manga than in the anime.
Lavender and Basil
They did better in the anime, where they did well against Gohan and Buu in the exhibition match and fought Goku and Vegeta in the tournament. In the manga, they fight Gohan instead. While Gohan is holding back, it is a back-and-forth battle. When Piccolo is in trouble and Gohan powers up to go save him, they are dominated. In the end, they are eliminated by Freeza when they jump up too close to the border in their fight against Gohan.
He did better in the anime, where Goku needed Vegeta’s help to take out him and his brothers. In the manga, he is defeated by Piccolo. He bargains for his survival, causing Piccolo to hesitate, after which Freeza finishes the job.
Overpowers Krillin and Android 18 in the anime until Krillin abuses his strong sense of smell. Eliminated offscreen in the manga.
Did slightly better in the manga. Although defeated by a physically weaker opponent (Master Roshi), he is implied to be one of the Pride Troopers’ stronger fighters in the manga. Only Dyspo, Toppo and Jiren last longer than he does. In the anime, he is one of the first Pride Troopers to lose after being on the receiving end of a blast by Kale and Caulifla.
Kakunsa, Roasie and Ribrianne
Love them or hate them; they played quite an important role in the anime. Their transformations had quite a big focus on them and Ribrianne even managed to somewhat hold her own against base Vegeta. In the manga, they did not last nearly as long. While going back and forth with Android 18, they were all eliminated by Universe 4’s invisible or assumed to be invisible warriors (it happened so fast it is not so clear which of the 2 got the KOs).
Eliminated fairly uneventful in both mediums, but by different opponents: Gohan in the anime, Android 17 in the manga. Both took advantage of the fact that Botamo can be stretched and moved, even though he cannot be hurt.
Eliminated in a quite epic 2v2 battle with Dyspo against Hit and Goku in the anime. Taken out by the fused Kefla in the manga after previously holding berserk Kale at bay with teamwork.
Universe 10’s strongest warrior gives Gohan quite a tough time during their emotional battle in the anime. A berserk Kale eliminates him quickly and effortlessly in the manga.
Keeps evolving as the tournament goes on in the anime, forcing Master Roshi to go beyond his limits despite his old age. Eliminated quickly along with many others by Kale in her berserk form in the manga.
Proves to be a nuisance in the anime by firing sniper shots at Prum, who reflects them. He forces Goku and Vegeta to take cover and costs Piccolo an arm (temporarily anyway). Eventually takes out Tien, who manages to turn it into a double knockout. Eliminated offscreen in the manga.
Proves to be a nuisance in the anime by reflecting Harmira’s shots (see above). Vegeta eliminates him shortly after Harmira and Tien take each other out. Eliminated very early on in the manga after being kicked by Android 18. He collides with Jimizu on his way out of the ring, taking his teammate Yardrat out along with him.
Causes Goku trouble in the anime for a while until the latter powers up to Super Saiyan Blue to go save Master Roshi. Catches Dyspo by surprise and is about to cut his ear off when Jiren interferes. Believed by his universe to be strong enough to gather data on Jiren in the anime, though this ends up being untrue. In the manga, he is eliminated easily when Kale turns Super Saiyan.
Causes Vegeta trouble when working together with Frost. Vegeta again resorts to insulting him after getting rid of the earplugs that were supposed to prevent this. In the manga, he is easily picked up by berserk Kale despite his enormous weight. Kale then eliminates Magetta by throwing him out of the ring.
The Yardrat showed impressive fighting abilities to go along with his instant transmission in the anime. He scored an elimination and had scuffles against Goku, Caulifla, Toppo and Dyspo. He even dominated Gohan until Freeza stepped in and eliminated him.
In the manga, he was one of the first to be eliminated when his teammate Prum flew into him after being kicked by Android 18. As the Yardrat are not really known as fighters, despite their super handy techniques, this makes more sense.
Despite going out earlier in the manga, his feats there are actually more impressive. Apart from Kale, he was the only fighter not part of Universe 7 to have a lot of eliminations to his name. He practically single-handedly eliminated universe 9 (excluding the Trio de Danger) despite Gohan and Piccolo having a hard time with their team attacks. He even did so fairly effortlessly, though he did deplete most of his stamina in the process.
Freeza’s plan to use Frost to take out troublesome fighters and save stamina is the same in both mediums. In the anime, however, this storyline doesn’t flow very naturally because he ends up using quite a bit of energy despite the goal of wanting to save stamina. Freeza ends up showing his 100% power form to Frost. Frost turns out to already be familiar with it but is intrigued by the mention of yet another form. Freeza takes advantage of Frost’s lack of battle awareness during this demonstration and eliminates him.
In the manga, the gap between Frost and Freeza seems less significant than in the anime. Freeza recognizes Frost’s efforts allowed “far less troublesome opponents” to remain and takes him out (without showing off any transformation) after Frost fatigued himself.
As a last side note, Frost does not attack Freeza after his elimination in the manga, despite (understandably) being very angry. This means that he does not break any rules and avoids being erased in the manga, unlike in the anime.
Hit received an even rougher treatment in the manga than he did in the anime. Although Jiren eliminated him in both mediums, he at least received more screentime in the anime, including a back-and-forth duel with Dyspo, where he eventually gained the upper hand. He has no eliminations to his name in the manga and ends up being tricked by Jiren, who lures him to the edge and then speeds up his attacks enough to overcome Hit’s time lag.
We should note that things could have gone differently for Hit, however. When fighting Jiren together with Goku, Hit did fairly well. Goku decided this wouldn’t be the challenge he was looking for and opted not to go through with the fight, deciding to fight Jiren on his own later and leaving Hit to his fate.
Was about to eliminate Cabba until Vegeta motivated him to push his limits and turn Super Saiyan 2. Eliminated early on in the manga by an unknown opponent after a short scuffle with Botamo.
Cabba received fairly extensive screentime in the manga, although most of it was before the actual tournament. In the manga, he receives less screentime, but he does end up saving Kale and Caulifla by sacrificing himself. Considering he doesn’t actually have any feats against strong opponents in the anime either, we can say his performance in both mediums is decent, even if not superb. He does fodder a few opponents in the anime, but they did not have any feats, making this less noteworthy.
Caulifla is about equally impressive in the anime and the manga. She is stronger than Cabba unless Cabba is transformed while she is not. Although she does not cause any noticeable eliminations, she does manage to gain the upper hand against Freeza until he goes Golden. Her power feels a bit more natural in the manga, too, without any hasted transformations and tingly feelings. Also of note: while Champa gives the Potara Earrings as a secret weapon in the anime, Caulifla simply swipes them off him in the manga.
Kale is one of the only characters not part of Universe 7’s team who is easily more impressive in the manga than in the anime. She oozes raw talent, without being insecure the whole time:
- After turning Super Saiyan, Cabba gains the upper hand and easily steals Caulifla’s necklace without her noticing. Kale steals it back from him in her base form while Cabba is still transformed. He didn’t even notice.
- Kale saves Caulifla multiple times in her fight against Golden Freeza. She even does it without Caulifla noticing, as she feels it would be a sign of disrespect to show she is stronger than her boss. Even Freeza takes 3 hits to notice what is happening and says that Kale’s punches “sting a bit more” than Caulifla’s, even though Caulifla is Super Saiyan at this point while Kale is not.
- After transforming, she uses Golden Freeza as a punching bag, although the latter had been dominating Cabba and Caulifla 2v1. Freeza was not ready to give up the fight but was clearly in trouble.
- Super Saiyan Blue Goku steps in and fares slightly better, but Kale simply powers up further to turn the tables. This causes her to go fully berserk, however.
- She goes on to score the most eliminations out of all contestants, racking up 17 KOs (not even counting Kefla’s eliminations). This includes Agnilasa, the fused robot which required teamwork from Universe 7’s strongest fighters in the anime. Unfortunately, she also eliminates multiple teammates, most notably Magetta (thrown off with 1 hand), Saonel and Pilina (the Nameks). Toppo and Vegeta only hang on by a thread after being punched by her.
- Her anime weakness is also present in the manga, however: her movements are predictable and she is no match for Universe 11’s teamwork.
Unlike Kale, Kefla’s best performance is in the anime, where Goku needs Ultra Instinct to beat her. In the manga, she gets a lot less screen time. She does turn the tables on Universe 11 easily and challenges Jiren and Goku, but Gohan interrupts before that fight can go through. Gohan manages to make it an even fight which ends in the elimination of both contestants.
Saonel and Pilina (Universe 6’s Nameks)
Fusing with their whole race for the sake of the Universe’s Survival, Saonel and Pilina got into an epic 2v2 with Gohan and Piccolo in the anime. In the manga, without any mention of their backstory, they are collateral damage after their teammate Kale goes berserk. As a side note, I wonder if they can undo their fusing after their resurrection at the end of the tournament.
In the anime, this fused robot was one of the last obstacles on Universe 7’s way to survival. It required the strongest attacks of Android 17, Super Saiyan Blue Goku, Super Saiyan Blue Vegeta, Ultimate Gohan and Golden Freeza. In the manga, a single attack from berserk Kale were sufficient to deal with Agnilasa.
Dyspo was less impressive in the manga.
Although it was clear he separated himself from the weaker Pride Troopers, who only had teamwork going for them, he just doesn’t have the feats he does in the anime. He was fearful when Toppo told him Goku had several more transformations in store after Super Saiyan. He has no epic duel against Hit, Freeza or Gohan and doesn’t show off his impressive speed like in the anime. Dyspo eventually tires out against Android 17 and is unable to return to the main platform after trying to save Toppo. Freeza prevents both of them from returning by blasting the platforms they could use as stepping stones to return to the main platform.
Toppo was less impressive in the manga.
He doesn’t dominate Gohan, Freeza and Android 17 as he does in the anime. He also doesn’t have his anime God of Destruction form. Although he does keep up with Vegeta fairly well, he is nearly eliminated when Vegeta evolves his Super Saiyan Blue form after seeing Goku’s Ultimate Instinct. Dyspo attempts to save him, but Freeza prevents him from returning to the stage. Dyspo then asks Jiren to help, but he refuses, leading to a fairly uneventful double elimination.
Jiren did about as well in the manga as he did in the anime.
Sure, he gets less screentime and less flashy fights, but he does what he needs to do against all opponents. He also seems to struggle less with Ultra Instinct than in the anime. His attitude is also better in the manga: rather than meditating all the time and only fighting when he has to, he gives it his all no matter how weak the opponent. His teamwork sucks just as much as in the manga, however, opting to let Dyspo and Toppo fall and wanting to take care of things of his own rather than helping them.
Tournament of Power Manga vs. Anime Ending
If you would like to read a more expanded version of the ending, please head over to our dedicated ending article.
The ending of the Tournament of Power is fairly similar in the anime and the manga. The main characters in the end phase of both are Jiren, Goku, Freeza and Android 17. Android 17 is not so obvious to manga readers at this point, as he is assumed destroyed after blowing himself up against Jiren.
In the anime, Goku and Freeza push their limits in a fight with a drained Jiren with backup from Android 17. Although they manage to hold their own, they are running on fumes and end up doing a suicide attack, taking Jiren with them. Android 17 is the last remaining contestant.
In the manga, Jiren is pushing Goku back at the edge of the arena. At that point, Freeza calls out to Goku, telling him to grab Jiren. Goku complies and Freeza launches a giant energy ball at both of them. Jiren manages to deflect the energy ball despite Goku holding him back. Freeza foresaw this, however, and had already moved in to push both of them off the edge. Proclaiming that this was his plan all along, the sheer force of his push launches him off the edge as well. Goku is puzzled as it seems the whole team is out now, only for Android 17 to come out of hiding and reveal he survived his apparent self-destruction.
Is It Worth Reading the Tournament of Power Manga/Watching the Tournament of Power Anime?
If you’re a fan of Dragon Ball and at least somewhat liked the Tournament of Power anime, then it’s worth reading the manga in my opinion. The manga focuses more on martial arts and techniques and less on raw power, which makes the power scaling feel less out of place.
If you read the manga and are considering watching the anime, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Some parts are definitely worth watching. Gohan vs. Piccolo training, Hit vs. Dyspo and Android 17’s overall exploits come to mind. Other parts may irk you due to parts with lesser animation and wonky power scaling. Its slower pace also causes some parts to feel fillerish.