Numerous changes have occurred within the Dragon Ball series over the years that have affected the dynamic between characters and the world around them. With every new arc comes a different challenge to overcome, pushing old favorites out of relevancy and relegating them to a more passive role within the narrative. The same can be said of some once-prominent objects featured throughout the anime and manga.
The Power Pole served as Goku’s iconic weapon of choice in the early Dragon Ball series. The magical staff gifted to him by his Grandpa Gohan was a multipurpose tool that helped Goku in his adventures just as much as it did in battle. But as the series moved on to grand battles and super-powered transformations, the Power Pole was phased out like so many other fan favorites before it.
Its Various Uses
The Power Pole was primarily used as a weapon by Goku throughout his early adventures. The magical staff’s ability to extend and change its size to incredible lengths made it a versatile tool in fights for the younger, smaller Goku. This was especially true when going up against the Red Ribbon Army and Mercenary Tao, as the Power Pole was strong enough to break the latter’s sword in half.
Despite being predominantly used in combat, the Power Pole was not designed for battle. While Goku would regularly make use of it in his younger days, he wouldn’t discover its true purpose until he arrived at Korin Tower.
The Power Pole initially belonged to Korin and was at one point given to Master Roshi, who himself would pass it down to Grandpa Gohan. Its incredible size-changing abilities were to be used as a means of traveling from Korin Tower to the Lookout, with the pole connecting to the top of Korin Tower and reaching the base of the Lookout.
From there, the user would then climb the Power Pole above the clouds until they finally reached the Heavenly Realm. Seeing as it was able to extend to the moon at one point, the Power Pole can be put to use in crossing through a variety of long distances, not just the gap between Korin’s Tower and The Lookout. But like many other early elements of the series, the need for this mystical device gradually waned as the narrative evolved.
Why The Power Pole Was Phased Out
Many aspects of the early Dragon Ball series were dropped or changed as it progressed. Just as some characters became less prominent, so did certain objects as they lost narrative significance. At a certain point in the story, Toriyama couldn’t really justify making use of the Power Pole in the same way that flying had gradually made the Nimbus obsolete.
With every arc introducing newer, stronger characters, the Power Pole was quickly phased out in favor of more hand-to-hand combat. Goku growing up and closing the size gap between him and his opponents also made it so that he didn’t need the staff to even things out. Though Goku would be seen wielding and even using it towards the end of the original Dragon Ball, it was quickly shelved once the Saiyans changed the series’ dynamic for good.
The Power Pole remains a memorable part of Dragon Ball history despite its years-long lack of relevance within the narrative. Similar to other legacy items like the Dragon Radar and Flying Nimbus, the Power Pole embodies the mysticism and adventurous spirit the original series was known for, and while it no longer has a place within the current narrative, will always be remembered fondly by fans.
These characters and creatures are the oldest, most deadly, or most powerful in all of Middle Earth.