The Dragon Ball phenomena began in 1984 when Japan’s well-known manga from Akira Toriyama premiered in Shueisha’s “Weekly Shonen Jump” – becoming a top ranked title throughout its 10 and a half years of publication. Since then, the manga’s popularity has continued to grow with an astonishing record of 260 million copies sold worldwide and counting. And with Dragon Ball’s ever-increasing popularity, it has expanded beyond manga to include TV animation, movies, games and merchandising. Now 38 years after the launch of the original manga, two Androids call themselves “Super Heroes,” and begin attacking Piccolo and Son Gohan. What is the New Red Ribbon Army’s objective? In the face of approaching danger, it is time to awaken, Super Hero!
With full commitment and deep involvement from Dragon Ball’s original creator Akira Toriyama and directed by Tetsuro Kodama, this latest adventure touts a premiere Japanese voice cast including include Masako Nozawa (Son Goku, Son Gohan, and Son Goten), Toshio Furukawa (Piccolo), Yūko Minaguchi (Pan), Ryō Horikawa (Vegeta), Mayumi Tanaka (Krillin), Aya Hisakawa (Bulma), Takeshi Kusao (Trunks), Miki Itō (Android 18), Bin Shimada (Broly), Kōichi Yamadera (Beerus), Masakazu Morita (Whis), Hiroshi Kamiya (Gamma 1), Mamoru Miyano (Gamma 2), Miyu Irino (Dr. Hedo), Volcano Ota (Magenta), and Ryota Takeuchi (Carmine).
Dragon Ball fans are hardcore and many will always find something to pick apart, but I can tell this film is pure joy from start to finish with plenty of action, laughter, super cool characters and a little undercover father/son conflict. Baby, when one character hopped on his Hello Kitty phone complete with tie, I thought I would hit the floor dying from laughter. But it was the comedic stylings of Miyu Irino (Dr. Hedo), Volcano Ota (Magenta) that were giving me the anime version of Batman and Robin complete with oreo’s which brought me uber joy.
On the action tip, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero felt very much like an anime version of the Avengers complete with a dramatic father/son conflict (which must be the theme of the summer as the same plot permeated throughout Bullet Train with a daughter/daddy issue). Massive good vs evil vibes as Dr. Hedo desires to turn himself in after the epic battle with an overall goal to create superheroes in order to halt potential threats to Earth, which he was tricked into thinking was led by the Capsule Corporation. I know, that’s a lot but my anime fans will totally get it! After all, the bad guy turning good guy is typical for most villains in the DragonBall universe. Ask me if I care? I really don’t and was living my entire life for every second.
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is even giving us end credits that made me hollar as we witness Goku and Vegeta’s fight continue that happened off-screen during Piccolo and Gohan’s adventure. Goku eventually gives up leaving Vegeta with a rare win as both hit the floor collapsing in exhaustion. Pure comedy!!!
Distributed by Crunchyroll, this satisfying, skilled journey back into the Dragon Ball universe drops in theaters today! Don’t Miss It!