The question has yet to be answered…
The Dragon Ball Super manga resumed the continuation of Goku, Vegeta, and the Z fighters’ adventures with the Granola arc, a backstory dealing with the legacy of the two Saiyans’ past, after a flawed but quite believable Moro storyline. Past events include what could be the most significant retcon in the series’ history.
To be more specific, a retcon is Retroactive Continuity and re-contextualizing a current reality by explaining it in the past. The fact that Goku has been an alien since the beginning of his adventures (explaining his innate aptitude for combat and extraordinary resilience) or the fact that the fusion of Potaras isn’t permanent in Dragon Ball Super’s Goku Black arc (explaining why Goku and Vegeta split up in the Buu arc) are two of the examples.
Attention There Are Spoilers Ahead In This Article
The character of Bardock, Goku’s father, is being used as a backstory to deal with the past of the two fighters. Without going into too much detail, Bardock plays (or rather played) a significant role in the arc. Events drive him to make a wish with another sacred Namekian dragon, like Shenron in the past.
This wish, on the other hand, could be the greatest retcon in the series’ history, not only of Dragon Ball Super but of all Dragon Ball. Bardock makes the following wish in the official Manga chapter:
“ I wish my sons to prosper ”
In other words, does this wish explain Goku’s ability to survive and surpass himself so many times? If this is the case, then Dragon Ball’s entire foundation, as well as its central premise becomes meaningless. Until now, the adventures of a young kid with the monkey’s tail were guided by a single principle: overcoming oneself in hardship. If granted, Goku is transformed into a kind of messiah destined to become what he has become, and his victories and accomplishments lose a lot of their legitimacy, which we no longer can count on.
A wider interpretation may see Bardock’s “thriving” as the reason Goku and Raditz were able to escape Planet Vegeta’s destruction, leaving no doubt about what our dimwitted Saiyan was capable of throughout his lifetime. After all, Raditz died without ever aspiring to the heights to which his younger brother had ascended.
Some Japanese-speaking fans of the franchise have examined the original text in the manga and concluded that a more literal translation of the quote would correspond to a desire to see them grow up and reach adulthood, supporting the argument that Bardock’s wish is not the reason why Goku fights on the same level as the Gods today. (Image courtesy of Twitter user @Herms98).
“To summarise, Viz framed Bardock’s desire with the word ‘prosper,’ which many mistook for a lifetime blessing for Goku and Raditz.” However, the concept corresponds to a desire for children to grow up healthy (to attain adulthood).
So, how do you feel about it? The argument is raging, and while the facts are from last month’s chapter, we were waiting for the flashback to end to be sure we didn’t miss anything. It’s difficult to be certain of the facts until the arc is completed. The arguments appear to point to a hastily made desire that only permitted the two Saiyans to survive Frieza’s attack during their childhood. Another alternative (which will be revealed before the end of the arc) is that the wish was never told to the Sacred Dragon, in which case all of these questions would be pointless. However, if he does, Toyotaro will have to clarify the meaning of that term or risk upsetting the fundamental roots of what makes the Dragon Ball story so beloved by so many fans around the world.