Goku showing up on earth kicked off a whole string of ridiculous events in the Dragon Ball world, not all of which were to humanity's benefit. But what if Goku had never shown up at all?
It's still likely that some horrible villains would have appeared on earth while looking for Goku, that's true. But if Goku wasn't present, then perhaps a different character would have had room to shine a bit more?
At least, that's the wild theory concocted by ConstantCompile. They explain:
In Dragon Ball [Z], Earth would have dominated the galaxy and possibly the universe, including all planes of existence, within 50 years if Goku hadn't shown up
Consider: In one corner, we have the Red Ribbon Army. More specifically, we have Dr. Gero - a scientist of unfathomable genius able to create bipedal nexuses of near-infinite power. In the opposite corner, we have Capsule Corporation. More specifically, we have Dr. Brief and Bulma - individuals of such absurd intellect that their first commercial product turns conservation of mass on its head. After discovering an alien spacecraft, they are able to improve upon its design (including FTL travel and gravity control!) within a couple of decades, if not less.
These brilliant minds existing at the same time, on the same planet, gives us everything we need for galactic conquest to be inevitable. First, let's consider the less interesting scenario - they go to war with each other.
Capsule Corp. wins, obviously.
That Bulma is a genius is not news to anyone — that's part of the reason she's so high on our ranked Dragon Ball Z character list. I mean, she can build a time machine. That's pretty dope. And it's with that time machine that Bulma would have been able to fix pretty much every situation by herself/her past self, according to ConstantCompile:
Seriously, if the RRA's best creations didn't manage to kill Bulma after wiping out every other noteworthy fighter on the planet, with the exception of one who was laughably weaker, it's a fair bet to say they don't have much of a shot. With her alive, every other possible scenario turns to this:
Bulma: Hey, you look kind of like me! Except older!
Future Bulma: Funny story about that! How'd you like to quit this idiotic scavenger hunt of yours and get your mind fucking blownwith the knowledge of all developed technologies and major world events in the next X number of years, presented to you in a means tailor-made to suit your current knowledge level?
Bulma: Bitchin'! To what do I owe the pleasure?
Future Bulma: We're going to steal and/or reverse engineer and/or improve upon the designs of Dr. Gero, then use them to not only conquer this timeline, but my timeline as well!
Bulma: Fuckin' A! But what if we fail?
Future Bulma: Don't you worry about that, sugar tits! In 24 hours' time I'll be time-space travelling to a nondescript asteroid that only I know the coordinates of to report my success to my past self. If my past self doesn't get that report, I'll implement a slightly different plan! If we weren't already guaranteed to succeed, I wouldn't exist by now!
Boom. Done. GG Red Ribbon Army. But again - that's the LESS interesting scenario.
Can you imagine - just imagine - the sheer insanity that would result if Dr. Gero gave Bulma the Cyborg 18 (fuck you) treatment?
Acquiring the dragon balls - barely an inconvenience. Immortality? Done. Undo any of Gero's meddling with bombs, systems etc.? No fucking problem. We now have a super-genius stronger than a Super Saiyan, who is able to bend gravity, time and matter to her will, whether through science or sheer force of power. Who knows what the fuck Cyborg Bulma would use the third wish for.Probably pocket it as an insurance policy against fucking everything.
The possibilities become endless — and so does Bulma herself:
At this point, nothing in the Dragonball [Z] universe holds a candle to Bulma anymore. She is the singularity. Any problem she encounters can be solved with a combination of self-augmentation and technological engineering.
And if she were, somehow, to encounter a problem she could not solve, she can always build another fucking time machine and either give herself all of eternity to develop the means to solve it, or prevent it from ever becoming a problem in the first place.
Every galaxy, every afterlife, EVERYTHING now falls under Bulma. She is the all-knowing, all-powerful focal point around which all of existence revolves.
What the fuck. That's the anime I would have rather watched, honestly — it sounds amazing. But, as ConstantCompile notes, instead Bulma meets Goku and becomes his lackey. She ends up having to use the time machine to send Trunks back in time in the hopes he'll save the day, instead of being able to use the time machine for world domination.
Bummer. Goku, you suck. It's your fault Bulma didn't reach her entire potential. Maybe that sounds ridiculous, but ConstantCompile explains that because the show always needs to put Goku in the limelight, it ends up maiming all his allies, "as the plot always demands the world be saved by his receiving a power upgrade."
I think Future Bulma said it best:
"Being around Goku just makes you feel like everything's going to be ok."
Goku's presence slowly conditions her to take a passive role in world events and I think everyone, and I mean everyone, ends up paying the price for that.
Not just in her attitude changes from DB to DBZ (from "You'll follow my lead" to "I'll just stay here," or even worse "I'll just show up to watch, with infant in tow"), but even during the period after Goku's death to Raditz (well, to Piccolo) and before his revival, she takes MUCH more responsibility in her hands to do things herself.
Once Goku came back from the dead, literally, to defeat Frieza and save the galaxy, why should anyone else bother even trying to be the hero anymore? Goku is basically Space Jesus at that point.
Future Bulma, without Goku present, goes on to perform the single most impressive feat anyone has ever accomplished - she grants herself (or more accurately her son) the ability to travel to an alternate timeline at will.NO ONE ELSE in the DBZ universe has been able to do this, before or since. The ramifications of this are staggering. But because Trunks was present, she made the mistake (the understandable mistake, but still a mistake) of assuming that her super saiyan son was meant to be the hero.
Bulma, honey! You could have done it yourself! You could have done it quicker, more efficiently, more effectively! If you'd only give yourself the chance!
Alas. Here's to you, Bulma. We know you were ripped off because of Goku.
What do you think? Are you convinced by this theory? Is it a bunch of hogwash? Let us know in the comments.
Correction: we accidentally labelled Pan as Bulma. We've corrected this, as well as added even more Bulma pictures. #bulma