On May 9th, 2021, the Dragon Ball official site was launched. And the first article on the site was about a sudden announcement of a new Dragon Ball Super Movie in the making.
This excited fans all over the world because Dragon Ball Super had been on hiatus since 2018 and no one knew what the series’ future would hold. For more information on that announcement, click here!
Two months later, another announcement dropped which talked about a special Dragon Ball Panel in the San Diego Comic-Con 2021. To celebrate Dragon Ball and the announcement of the upcoming Dragon Ball Super movie which is planned to hit the theatres in 2022, a special panel involving some key personalities will appear to talk about the new film. Those personalities are:
- The voice actor of Son Goku, Ms. Masako Nozawa
- Mr. Akio Iyoku – The head of the Dragon Ball team at SHUEISHA who is also the Executive Producer of the series and editor for Akira Toriyama
- Mr. Norihiro Hayashida – Producer of TV animation and movies for the Dragon Ball series including [Dragon Ball Super: BROLY]
On 16th September 2021, the Dragon Ball Official Site gave a special announcement of a discussion panel to be held at New York Comic Con which commences on October 7th.
The discussion, like the San Diego Panel, will be on the new Dragon Ball Super Movie and what goes around behind the scenes. The Panelists are as follows:
- Akio Iyoku
- Norihiro Hayashida
- Ian Sinclair (Voice Actor of Whis in the Funimation English Dub)
- Monica Rial (Voice Actor of Bulma in the Funimation English Dub)
Based on the info given in the two panels, Let’s dive into what we know about the upcoming movie so far. Here’s everything you need to know about the new Dragon Ball Super Movie!
Nothing much about the plot is known so far. But we do know the title of the film, which is as follows:
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero
Within minutes of the title drop, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero started trending on Twitter!
While commenting on the title, Akio Iyoku said that this movie is all about the superhero vibes. According to him, Toriyama himself would say this to be the best Dragon Ball movie yet. So please look forward to it!
Norihiro Hayashida gives a clue on the tone of the plot. He says and I quote:
I think this new movie has a different appeal to the outrageously intense ‘Dragon Ball Super: Broly’. There are a lot more slice-of-life scenes that really put a spotlight on the rich world that Toriyama has created. Of course, that’s not to say the movie doesn’t have its share of intense scenes! It’s a perfect fusion of classic Dragon Ball and new aspects to the series, which is why I feel it might just end up being something truly original and groundbreaking!Norihiro Hayashida on Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero
In the NYCC Panel, it is revealed that an evil organization is moving in the shadows and it’s up to Earth’s heroes to dismantle their plans.
Based on the panel discussion, fans speculate the following:
- This may not be a full on full battle movie with power scaling comparisons like the previous one and would focus more on the plot.
- The panelists went over many details about Piccolo, and the film emphasizes the “Super Hero” aspect. Connecting it with Gohan’s Saiyaman avatar and the fact that the panelists put emphasis on Gohan’s teacher, i.e., Piccolo, fans think this could be Piccolo’s and Gohan’s movie.
- Pan’s playing an integral part in the film, says Akio Iyoku. He adds further that Pan is in kindergarten and she’s shown wearing a uniform.
In the SDCC panel, they released a single-minute teaser displaying Goku with the new visual style that’s been hyped about. Take a look:
The teaser doesn’t reveal any plot details at all but showcases a glimpse of the new animation. Commenting on this, Akio Iyoku said “The actual visual expression of Goku’s moves and such incorporate quite a lot of ingenuity using different technologies”. He also confirmed that this scene is not from the actual movie.
In the NYCC panel, a trailer with actual scenes from the completed portion of the film is released (although it might require further polishing). This gives us a clue on what the final product could look like:
NYCC Trailer Breakdown
Akiyo Iyoku said, animation-wise, they were very particular with the detailing of small accessories and some big stuff like the car in the trailer.
Hayashida said, together with the director, they researched some unprecedented uses of movement and colors & textures to result in a sophisticated artwork for Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.
Coming back to the trailer, when looking at it closely, we observe a couple of fascinating things:
- The Red Ribbon Army are confirmed to be appearing in the film
Iyoku said that the bunch of characters who showed up at the beginning of the trailer are very important to the story and his personal favorite is the driver.
If you notice carefully, one of the characters in the back seat of the car has the Red Ribbon Army badge on his jacket and the other eats something off from a cup that has the organization’s logo on it.
For the final definite proof, Masako Nozawa, the voice actor of Goku, confirms that the Red Ribbon Army will play a role in the movie.
According to fan speculation, these characters resemble people who appeared in old Dragon Ball Z movies and filler episodes.
- Broly is confirmed to make an appearance
When you slow down the trailer video to 0.25x, you’ll notice that the person Goku is sparring with on a planet with blue shaded grass is indeed Broly.
Fans speculate that Goku is training with Broly on Beerus’ planet. Only Beerus’ world is covered with blue-colored grass. The purple-ish background along with half-cut-out tree trunks provides additional weight to the theory.
- Pan is the featured unexpected character Toriyama talked about in his comment in the movie – Akiyo Iyoku
Along with the teasers, artworks of some of the characters who’ll appear in Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero were displayed.
Here’s the first look of Piccolo in the new film:
Norihiro Hayashida pointed out that the color of Piccolo’s upper arm is yellow as opposed to pink in the Anime series. He further added that the obi (sash) was blue in the Anime and now it’s the same color as in the Manga. Also, notice that there’s some scaling on his arms which weren’t there before.
In addition to his character design, the animators have added some brand new details – Piccolo’s house and its surroundings. Take a look:
“This is what’s called an imageboard that Toriyama-sensei gave us. Then we redesigned it for the Anime series” said one of the panelists.
Akio Iyoku said that Toriyama designed this house as well.
In the NYCC panel, Iyoku and the voice actor of Piccolo said the Namekian plays a fairly large role in this movie.
A large portion of his screentime is spent with Pan, and he acts as a grandfather figure who watches over his adored granddaughter. Aside from that, there are also times where he acts as a mentor of sorts.
Toshio Furukawa, the VA of Piccolo, when asked about his experience working on the film, said that he thought he was going to die by the end of the recording. This gives us an idea that he has given a lot of lines and scenes for Piccolo.
From the character front, next up is Gohan’s daughter Pan:
From the look of her uniform, Iyoku pointed out that she’s in kindergarten. Fans speculate she’s around 3 years old.
Masako Nozawa said that Gohan’s family will make an appearance in the film, which is a thing slightly different from the earlier movies.
The next character on the list is Goku’s best friend Krillin:
From Dragon Ball Super Anime, we know that Krillin has joined the Police force and earns good money for his family. Iyoku says “He’s protecting peace on Earth as a policeman. So this is him in his uniform”.
Norihiro Hayashida pointed out that in the Anime, his eyes were skin-colored but here, they’re white. Someone asked them why he doesn’t have white eyes so they changed them to match the original Manga.
A movie exclusive character artwork was released in the San Diego Comic-Con Panel. The following is drawn by Toriyama even before the production of the movie began.
This is a brand new character we’ve never seen before in the series. Iyoku added that, even though they don’t usually show a new character, he wanted to display it in the panel to give a sense of how much Toriyama-sensei is invested in the film.
According to Herms, the translation for the small text underneath the character is as follows: “By rotating this part around you can select which bullet to use”.
In the NYCC panel, Iyoku reveals the names of the two characters – Gamma 1 and Gamma 2. The symbol Γ on his belt refers to the Gamma function in math. So it adds up.
It’s also confirmed that both the Gamma characters (or at least one of them) are part of the Red Ribbon Army. He has the logo on his uniform.
According to fans, both these new characters could be Androids created by the remnants of the Red Ribbon Army engineers and brainwash them into thinking that Goku, Vegeta, Buu and Mr. Satan are bad guys and need to be terminated.
They think that they are Earth’s real heroes and the actual heroes are false.
Next up is Dende:
Iyoku pointed out that Dende has gotten a little older since the last time we saw him in the “Dragon Ball Super” anime.
Also, notice the color change of his robe coat. In the Anime and the Manga, it was purple colored.
Bulma, Vegeta’s loving wife, gets a new character design. Check it out:
Judging by her outfit, it seems Bulma is geared up for some work!
Toriyama’s right-hand man was very particular with how Bulma should be portrayed and he thinks he nailed her character this time.
Speaking on Bulma’s appearance in the movie, Sinclair and Monica Rial asked whether Vegeta and Whis would appear in the film. And Iyoku gives his confirmation.
The next one is Toriyama’s new sketch of an old character. Have a look at Karin/Korin’s new design:
Iyoku notes that the design is the perfect balance between his body and feline (cat-like) attributes.
He had the impression that until now, Korin’s design wasn’t really defined in the Anime. So he asked Toriyama specifically to re-draw for this project. And it fixed stuff up from the Anime design. So we do have a definitive version this time.
Cast & Crew:
No information about the cast and crew has been released. But by witnessing the Comic-Con panel, it’s obvious that the three panelists will be part of the film’s crew. Toei Animation is confirmed to be animating the movie.
In regards to the script, Akira Toriyama is confirmed to be writing the plot. In fact, he’s writing the whole thing dialogue by dialogue.
Akio Iyoku said the following statements in regards to Toriyama-sensei’s involvement in the film:
- Toriyama was deeply involved in “Broly”, but he’s even more invested for Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero. He goes on to say that, when comparing the previous three films, Toriyama’s influence in the upcoming film is the biggest.
- The famous Mangaka already began writing the script while on the set of “Broly”. He recalls a behind-the-scenes moment when, after finishing the script for the Broly film and the production was W.I.P, he asked whether they should move to the next film, to which Toriyama agreed.
- Toriyama improved on the old characters as well as creating brand new characters; he’s so energetic that others work day and night to catch up to him.
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero will release in the year 2022. No official date has been released so far. But according to the teaser, the release schedule will vary depending on the countries and regions.
But in the NYCC Q&A, the panelists elaborate a little on the release.
NYCC Panel Q&A
Iyoku says yes. The movie connects to the story of Dragon Ball. But he didn’t touch upon how it is connected to the recent events of the Manga. And he mentions why in the next question.
Iyoku answers as follows:
He says the Granolah arc is still ongoing so he’d like to not talk about it cause’ it would enter spoiler territory.
But what he could say is this – the events of Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero takes place after the Broly movie and before the 28th Tenkaichi Budokai where Goku fights Uub.
Hayashida said that the Japanese release is set for 2022. But they’re still in negotiations for the US release. He adds that he’d personally like it to be as close to the Japanese release as possible but they’re still working on that.
The film’s producer gives a direct answer by saying that they can’t give the fans a concrete answer just yet. He requests to give them a little more time and they’d give that information as soon as possible.
The final question adds a funny flavor to the panel:
Iyoku laughs and says Piccolo indeed has a mailbox. So if one sends a letter, it’d reach his mailbox.
Jokes aside, he admits that he doesn’t exactly know the address but the movie might contain some info on that. So he tells fans to look forward to it.
Finally, the panelists released a poster of Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero. Iyoku commented on it by saying the four characters are key to the film’s plot.
Ahead of the upcoming Jump Festa 2022, the official Dragon Ball website uploaded another key visual and this time there are more characters than just Goku, Piccolo and the 2 Gammas.
The article containing the visual gave us a clue on what to expect in the Jump Festa Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero panel:
With their capes fluttering, Gamma 1 & Gamma 2 can be seen striking a couple of slick poses! Plus, there are some all-new original characters who we’ll just have to wait to find out more about, no matter how tough that may be!
Wearing his uniform and taking center stage is Gohan, who looks to be gearing up for the fight of a lifetime alongside Piccolo, Goku, Vegeta, and Pan!
There’ll be even more tantalizing Dragon Ball Super: SUPER HERO reveals coming your way during the Jump Festa 2022 event being held in Japan. Be sure to tune in online when the event kicks off at 16:20 on Saturday, December 18th JST!
About Dragon Ball Super:
Written by Akira Toriyama and illustrated by Toyotarou, Dragon Ball Super is a Japanese manga and anime series that follows on from the original Dragon Ball manga. Having a monthly release schedule, it began serialization in Shueisha’s shōnen manga magazine V-Jump in June 2015. As of July 2021, the series is compiled into 16 volumes.
The events of Dragon Ball Super take place after the defeat of Kid Buu. Goku and his friends continue their journey to become the strongest as they face numerous foes who threaten their very existence. The story revolves around wish-granting orbs that can be used for both good and evil. It’s up to Goku and the gang to maintain peace within our world.
Currently, Granolah the Survivor arc is being serialized in the Manga. For articles and fun theories about the arc and Dragon Ball as a whole, click here!
The production team has launched a new website dedicated to the new movie. Click here!
This post will be updated as to when new information about the film Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero comes out. So stay tuned!