You know what’s been getting on my nerves? How Dragon Ball Super is handling Future Mai.
Now don’t get me wrong, my issue isn’t with the show making an effort to pair her and Trunks up together. Honestly it’s a ship I never knew I needed until now. No, my issue lays in a fundamental fact of Mai’s character that isn’t being addressed… The fact that she’s been around since Dragon Ball.
Hell, she was essentially the second-in-command to Dragon Ball’s first arc villain, Emperor Pilaf. She’s been around since the very beginning. She fought Goku when he was a kid. Keep in mind how long a time period both Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z cover, and Mai doesn’t make much of an appearance again after the Demon King Piccolo arc until all the way in Battle of Gods (and GT if you count that). Speaking of GT, this is rather close to how Mai should look nowadays.
But of course, Pilaf and the gang got to make a wish to Shenron prior to Battle of Gods, and in true Pilaf fashion they screwed it up and now they’re kids again.
This, I have no problem with. I always loved the Pilaf gang as characters and have always wanted to see them come back. The issue before was that they were so old now that they couldn’t really do anything, so making a wish on the Dragon Balls was a nice little solution to that. It’s amusing to see Pilaf finally reach the goal he’d been striving for since the beginning of Dragon Ball, to actually use the magical orbs… And then completely fuck it up.
Now I don’t have an issue with the now pint-sized Pilaf gang now really making any mention of their past with Goku and the gang. Fact of the matter is that they are kids, no one would really suspect them of being who they are. Hell, they actually do bring it up a couple of times that they’re only pretending to be kids, mostly on Pilaf’s end granted, but it is addressed. No one sees it of course, but that simply adds to the hilarity. The fact that Pilaf and his group were so not worth anyone’s time that everyone completely forgot about them (though it does irk me that Bulma of all people can’t make the connection).
(C’mon Bulma you’re smarter than this)
All of that, I don’t mind. I find it amusing even. No, my issue lay solely on Future Mai. I won’t ask how exactly the Mai from Trunk’s timeline stayed so young, since the Pilaf gang got turned young again after the Buu saga, far after Trunks came back and created a new timeline. That’s Dragon Ball lackadaisical “science” at its best.
But the fact remains it is the same Mai. That somehow she did manage to stay young. This is a fact. Now of course Trunks wouldn’t notice it, Pilaf was way before his time and when he travels back to the past in Super he finds Mai to be a child, which would fit in with his perception of her. Whether Future Bulma noticed or not is hard to say, I’d like to think she did, but never brought it up because what good would that do now? Future Mai had obviously long reformed from her criminal ways and was honestly earnest to help humanity survive. The more the merrier.
By this point the only person who could’ve possibly known Mai’s true origins was Goku himself, when he and Vegeta joined Trunks on the trip to the future. They actually talk to each other, which must have been so bizarre for her now that I think about it. Now I don’t blame Goku for not recognizing her. He’s not the most… observant person when it comes to anything not related to fighting, and it’s been established that he doesn’t really recall what Pilaf and his mooks looked like despite them playing a huge part in his first adventure… Despite Mai looking exactly the same now as she did when he was a kid.
(Seriously even her coat is the same)
So far all of this is excusable. It annoys me that Goku or Bulma don’t recognize them, but I get it. What’s really driven me to make this post is the fact that Future Mai doesn’t even bat an eye when she sees Goku again, doesn’t even seem to recognize him in fact. This is a man she lived most of her adult life in abject terror in, and she has literally no reaction whatsoever to him. No small line of dialogue, no thought process, not even a change in expression.
Fine, I get it. They have much bigger things to worry about. But at the moment it just feels like this huge elephant in the room. Now I’m not asking for Mai to go up to Goku and be like, “Oh yeah I tried to kill you when you were a kid I’m secretly very old.” Just any acknowledgement would be nice at this point.
Though I have to wonder if when Black showed up on the scene Mai’s first thought would be something along the lines of, “This has to be the kid who turned into a giant monkey all those years ago… I knew he was a monster.”