Toei Animation has finally revealed some juicy details about the new film dedicated to Dragon Ball Super. The special event held at ComiCon in San Diego confirmed the exit window of the film (in the course of 2022) and revealed its official title: the new feature film will be called Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero and the Japanese animation house has published a first CGI teaser for the expected announcement. A trailer and a series of panels that show us the character design of some characters that we will see in action in Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero. But, in light of the new revelations, what do we know about the film coming out next year and what can we expect?
An original story
It is now almost completely certain that Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero will introduce a brand new story with events never developed in the paper version edited by Toyotaro. As happened with the previous film dedicated to Broly, also in this case all the clues suggest a discontinuity with the manga and therefore the hypotheses made in these months dominated by the hype remain completely open (we have hypothesized which enemies could return in Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero and which Z warriors would deserve a major relaunch in Dragon Ball Super).
The saga of Moro will still have to wait to be animated and it is now very likely that its transposition will be spread in several episodes in the continuation of the series of which we know little. It is precisely the panels held by Toei that confirm the choice to focus on an unpublished story, given the presence of a grown Pan and a character never seen before.
New characters and an undefined time period
Who are the curious characters shown in the preview? There Pan grown up actually assumes a time skip for the events of our Z warriors? THE “twins 1 and 2”, designed by Toriyama and presented during the event, could also be allies for our heroes, but their serious and hostile appearance and their “shark” appearance could suggest the opposite and military clothing (complete with blaster equipped) seems to indicate their belonging to a combat corps.
May they be gods scagnozzi of the main villain of the film? Or are they two characters who will help Goku and his companions in their mission? It looks like we’ll have to wait for more details to find out more about them. But more weight certainly has the new grown version of Gohan and Videl’s daughter. We had left Pan still in the arms of her parents and the caring “babysitter” Piccolo, we find her now, in the panel of Toriyama, grown and determined, in a version that recalls the Bread of the 28th Tenkaichi Tournament end Dragon Ball Z (event chronologically after the story told in Dragon Ball Super). Unless it’s time travel that once again sees the Trunks del futuro (of which timeline?), the Pan seen at the San Diego ComiCon could, in fact, mean a leap forward in the chronology of the work. It may even have breached the limit of Dragon Ball Z, with a story that takes place immediately after the Tenkaichi Tournament in question. Whether we go beyond DBZ or continue to tell the events preceding the final act of the legendary series, the time jump would constitute a change of great importance since it would correspond to the growth of Trunks e Goten and could involve significant developments for our protagonists.
All this would clash with a possible sequel with the antagonist Moro (in the saga of the sorcerer our heroes still look the same) and therefore the possibility of something else remains open. punctual and unique which concerns only the character of little Pan even if the hypothesis of a back and forth over time: this film could already be a “sequel” to the events that we will see in the anime series to come, but it would not be a completely productive choice in terms of narrative tension, given that we would be aware of the fate of our heroes.
May the anime therefore detach itself from the manga and skip the Moro saga in its entirety?The presence, then, among the published images, of the residence of Little it could instead be a signal on the importance that the Namek will have in the upcoming film, a character of which Toriyama wanted to provide us with two other artworks (with and without a cloak), which could support the thesis according to which the attention could finally shift to another of the our Z warriors. Could Piccolo be the Super Hero of the title? Or will Goku still be the hero who will save humanity in the new film? It might even be a new character or one potential canonization.
Character design e CGI
Little to say about the character design of which Toei Animation gave us a taste. We know that the drawings are entrusted to the wise pencils of the legendary creator of Dragon Ball, who can only be a quality assurance when it comes to the design of its creatures. With a Little which returns to the yellow of the arms (no longer pink), a Crillin really very expressive under his police helmet, i new mysterious characters simple but captivating and one Pan really tender and with a stubborn gaze, Akira Toriyama’s work is of indisputable value (we know that the author is heavily involved in the production of the film), with particular attention to the clothing, for the atypical clothes of Krillin and Pan and for the soldier’s outfit of the two new-entries.
Still unresolved dilemma concerning thefilm animation. The CGI teaser contributes to deepen the mystery about the choice made by the development team. It will really be one technical revolution in full rule? Will Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero be completely in computer graphics? For sure the new Toei Animation movie will make massive use of 3DCG, but it could repeat and re-propose the mix of classic animation and CGI already seen with Broly, even if the result was not the best (despite an unprecedented animation for the brand).
Yet the message shared by Toriyama some time ago on twitter could confirm the drastic change of direction decided for the series, given that the author spoke on that occasion of “an unexplored territory in terms of visual aesthetics”.
It would be a shame given the great work done with the film Dragon Ball Super: Broly which had, in effect, raised the animation bar for the series to enviable heights. Despite this, the first sensations (it is still a few seconds teaser showing Goku jumping) are good regarding the quality of the CGI, but an actual new graphics for the series it could distort a historical anime that – between ups and downs on a technical level – has always left its mark in the field of classic animation.