Dragon Ball Super

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Dragon Ball Super
Dragon Ball Super Key visual.jpg
Key visual
ドラゴンボールスーパー
(Doragon Bōru Sūpā)
Genre Adventure, comedy, martial arts[1]
Manga
Written by Akira Toriyama
Illustrated by Toyotarou
Published by Shueisha
English publisher
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine V Jump
Original run June 20, 2015 – present
Volumes 7 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Kimitoshi Chioka (#1–46)
Morio Hatano (#33–76)
Kōhei Hatano (#68–76)
Tatsuya Nagamine (#77–131)
Ryōta Nakamura (#77–131)
Produced by Osamu Nozaki (#1–53)
Naoko Sagawa
Atsushi Kido (#1–83)
Tomosuke Teramoto (#26–46)
Satoru Takami (#37-131)
Shunki Hashizume (#50–131)
Hiroyuki Sakurada (#77–131)
Written by Akira Toriyama
Music by Norihito Sumitomo
Studio Toei Animation
Licensed by
Original network Fuji TV
English network
Toonami
Original run July 5, 2015 March 25, 2018
Episodes 131 (List of episodes)
Dragon Ball franchise

Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Dragon Ball Super (Japanese: ドラゴンボールスーパー, Hepburn: Doragon Bōru Sūpā) is a Japanese anime television series produced by Toei Animation that began airing on July 5, 2015 and ended on March 25, 2018.[2] Its overall plot outline was written by Dragon Ball franchise creator Akira Toriyama, while the individual episodes were written by different screenwriters. It is also a manga series illustrated by Toyotarou, serialized in Shueisha's shōnen manga magazine V Jump. The anime is a sequel to Toriyama's original Dragon Ball manga and the Dragon Ball Z television series featuring the first new storyline in 18 years. It was broadcast on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. on Fuji TV.[3]

Dragon Ball Super follows the adventures of Goku and his friends after defeating Majin Buu and bringing peace to Earth once again. Goku encounters beings far more powerful and defends the Earth against a powerful destructive deity. He attains the power of a god and learns his newly discovered powers under the gods of his universe. Goku travels to other universes to face more powerful opponents as well as nearly unstoppable foes.

Plot[edit]

Sometime after the defeat of Majin Buu, peace has returned to Earth. Son Goku has settled down and works as a farmer to support his family. His family and friends live peaceful lives.[4] However, a new threat appears in the form of the God of Destruction named Beerus, who is considered to be the most terrifying and the second most powerful being in Universe Seven. After awakening from decades of slumber, Beerus tells his Angel attendant named Whis that he is eager to fight the legendary warrior whom he had seen in a prophecy known as the Super Saiyan God (スーパーサイヤ人ゴッド, Sūpā Saiya-jin Goddo).[5] To protect Earth, Goku transforms into the Super Saiyan God to fight Beerus by using the power of five Super Saiyans, which includes Vegeta, Gohan, Son Goten, Trunks, and the baby named Pan in Videl's womb. Despite losing, Goku's efforts appease the God of Destruction enough that he decides to spare the planet.

While Goku and Vegeta leave with Beerus and Whis to train for a year, the remaining remnants of Frieza's army arrive on Earth in search for the Dragon Balls to revive Frieza. A few months after coming back to life and training, Frieza gathers his forces and returns to enact his revenge on Goku. Despite achieving a new transformation, he is defeated by Goku and Vegeta, who have both mastered the Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan transformation. Frieza destroys the Earth in retaliation. With Whis's ability to turn back time, Goku is able to kill Frieza again.

Champa, Beerus' brother and the God of Destruction of Universe Six, convinces Beerus to hold a tournament between the best fighters from each god's universe for the possession of Earth. Goku and some of his friends join the tournament. Each match in the tournament shows different surprises and abilities. The tournament reaches its climax in the second-to-last match between Goku and Hit. After a failed attempt to lift the rules to face Hit in his full power, Goku forfeits the match. However, Hit forfeits the final match since he was inspired by Goku to do the same thing. The tournament concludes with Universe Seven's victory.

Goku later meets and befriends Grand Zenō, who is the king of all universes. Goku promises to bring him a friend to play with. Later, Future Trunks reappears and brings news of a new and powerful enemy resembling Goku, who is known as Goku Black. Goku and the others eventually discover that Goku Black is actually a Supreme Kai apprentice from Universe Ten named Zamasu, who hijacked Goku's body from a different world as part of his plan to attain immortality and wipe out all mortals.[6] In the end, Zamasu is erased along with the entire future world by the future Grand Zenō, who accompanies Goku back to his world. Goku fulfills his promise to Grand Zenō by introducing him to his future self.

Some time after Future Trunks returns home, Grand Zenō and Future Grand Zenō hold a new tournament called the Tournament of Power (力の大会, Chikara no Taikai). At Goku's suggestion, the multiverse tournament features teams of fighters from eight of the twelve universes. However, it becomes a battle for survival when both kings declare that the universes defeated at the tournament will be erased.[7] Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, Krillin, Android 17, Android 18, Piccolo, Tien, Master Roshi, and a temporarily revived Frieza join the tournament as representatives for Universe Seven to protect it. The Universe Seven team must battle against many formidable enemies from the other universes such as Universe Eleven's Pride Trooper named Jiren. During the fight, Goku briefly attains a new godly form known as Ultra Instinct (身勝手の極意, Migatte no Gokui), which increases his agility and power and allows him to move automatically without his brain needing to send signals to his body.[8] The tournament ends with Goku and Frieza taking Jiren down along with themselves, which leaves Android 17 as the sole contestant remaining and the winner of the Tournament of Power. He is awarded one wish from the Super Dragon Balls, which he uses to restore all of the erased universes. The Grand Minister revealed that Grand Zenō and Future Grand Zenō expected the universes to be restored. If the wish was used for selfish purposes then Grand Zenō and Future Grand Zenō would have erased all of existence. For his efforts in the Tournament of Power, Frieza is fully revived and rebuilds his army. Goku and his friends return to their daily lives on Earth. While sparring, Goku reveals to Vegeta that he is unable to activate Ultra Instinct again. Goku and Vegeta pledge to get even stronger.

Production[edit]

In addition to his role as the series creator, Akira Toriyama is also credited for the "original story and character design concepts" of the new anime originally directed by Kimitoshi Chioka.[3] Toriyama elaborated on his involvement with the "Future Trunks arc" saying he created the story based on suggestions from the editorial department, "As with last time, I wrote the overall plot outline, and the scriptwriters have been compiling and expanded the story content into individual episodes, making various changes and additions, and generally doing their best to make the story more interesting."[9] In addition to new characters designed by Toriyama, other characters for the "Universe Survival arc" were designed by Toyotarou, artist of the anime's manga adaptation, and a few by both.[10]

Toei Animation producer Atsushi Kido previously worked on Dragon Ball Z for a brief time during the Freeza arc, while Fuji TV producer Osamu Nozaki said he has been a fan of the series since childhood.[11] Morio Hatano, series director of Saint Seiya Omega (episodes #1–51), began sharing the series director credit with Chioka beginning with episode #33, before taking it over completely with #47. From episode #68 to #76, Morio Hatano shared the role of series director with Kōhei Hatano (no relation), another storyboard artist and episode director for the series.

Masako Nozawa reprises her roles as Son Goku, Son Gohan, and Son Goten.[3] Most of the original cast reprise their roles as well.[6][12] However, Jōji Yanami's roles as Kaiō-sama and the narrator were indefinitely taken over by Naoki Tatsuta as of episode 12, so that Yanami could take medical leave.[13] Kōichi Yamadera and Masakazu Morita also return as Beerus and Whis, respectively.[12]

The first preview of the series aired on June 14, 2015, following episode 164 of Dragon Ball Z Kai.[14] The next day, the main promotional image for Dragon Ball Super was added to its official website and unveiled two new characters,[12] who were later revealed to be named Champa and Vados, respectively.[15] A thirty-second trailer including the new characters was uploaded to the series' official website on June 26, 2015.[16] On January 19, 2018, it was revealed that Super's timeslot will be replaced with GeGeGe no Kitarō starting on April 1, 2018. According to Amazon Japan, the final Blu-ray set indicated the series' end at episode 131.[17] The series ended on March 25, 2018, with the conclusion of the "Universe Survival Saga". Fuji TV stated that no definite plans were made to either continue the series at a later date or discontinue it entirely.[18]

English production and broadcasting[edit]

Dragon Ball Super received an English-language dub that premiered on the Toonami channel in Southeast Asia and India on January 21, 2017. This dub is produced by Los Angeles based Bang Zoom! Entertainment for the Asian market. A sneak preview of the English dub's first episode aired on December 17, 2016.[19] Production on the Bang Zoom! dub ended after episode 27.[20][21]

On November 4, 2016, Funimation announced the company acquired the rights to Dragon Ball Super and would be producing an English dub, with many cast members of their previous English-language releases of Dragon Ball media reprising their respective roles. As well as officially announcing the dub, it was also announced they would be simulcasting the series on their streaming platform, FunimationNow.[22][23] On December 7, 2016, IGN reported that the Funimation English dub of Dragon Ball Super would air on Adult Swim Saturdays at 8 p.m. with an encore showing in their Toonami block later that night at 11:30 p.m. starting on January 7, 2017.[24] This was later confirmed on Toonami's official Facebook page.[25] The United States premiere of Dragon Ball Super obtained 1,063,000 viewers for its 8 p.m. showing on Adult Swim.[26]

Toonami Africa started airing Dragon Ball Super in Fall 2017 at 15:00 CAT (Central African Time) with an edited Funimation English Dub.

Music[edit]

Norihito Sumitomo, the composer for Battle of Gods and Resurrection 'F', is scoring Dragon Ball Super.[27] An original soundtrack for the anime was released on CD by Nippon Columbia on February 24, 2016.[28]

The first opening theme song for episodes 1 to 76 is "Chōzetsu☆Dynamic!" (超絶☆ダイナミック!, Chōzetsu Dainamikku, "Excellent Dynamic!") by Kazuya Yoshii of The Yellow Monkey. The lyrics were penned by Yukinojo Mori who has written numerous songs for the Dragon Ball series.[29] The second opening theme song for episodes 77 to 131 is "Genkai Toppa × Survivor" (限界突破×サバイバー, "Limit Breakthrough × Survivor") by enka singer Kiyoshi Hikawa. Mori wrote the lyrics for the rock song, while Takafumi Iwasaki composed the music.[30][31]

The first ending theme song for episodes 1 to 12 is "Hello Hello Hello" (ハローハローハロー, Harō Harō Harō) by Japanese rock band Good Morning America.[29] The second ending theme song for episodes 13 to 25 is "Starring Star" (スターリングスター, Sutāringu Sutā) by the group Key Talk.[32] The singer for Funimation's English dub is Professor Shyguy.[33] The third ending song for episodes 26 to 36 is "Usubeni" (薄紅, "Light Pink") by the band Lacco Tower. The fourth ending theme song for episodes 37 to 49 is "Forever Dreaming" by Czecho No Republic.[34] The fifth ending theme song for episodes 50 to 59 is "Yokayoka Dance" (よかよかダンス, Yokayoka Dansu, "It's Fine Dance") by idol group Batten Showjo Tai.[35] The sixth ending theme song for episodes 60 to 72 is "Chao Han Music" (炒飯MUSIC, Chāhan Myūjikku) by Arukara.[36] The seventh ending theme song for episodes 73 to 83 is "Aku no Tenshi to Seigi no Akuma" (悪の天使と正義の悪魔, "Evil Angel and Righteous Devil") by The Collectors.[37] The eighth ending theme song for episodes 84 to 96 is "Boogie Back" by Miyu Inoue.[38][39] The ninth ending theme song for episodes 97 to 108 is "Haruka" () by Lacco Tower.[40] The tenth ending theme song for episodes 109 to 121 is "70cm Shiho no Madobe" (70cm四方の窓辺, "By a 70cm Square Window") by RottenGraffty.[41][42] The eleventh ending theme song for episodes 122 to 131 is "Lagrima" by OnePixcel.[43]

Related media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Dragon Ball Super is being adapted into a manga illustrated by artist Toyotarou, who was previously responsible for the official Resurrection 'F' manga adaptation.[44] Toyotarou explained that he receives the major plot points from Toriyama, before drawing the storyboard and filling in the details in between himself. He sends the storyboard to Toriyama for review.[45] It began serialization in the August 2015 issue of V Jump, which was released on June 20, 2015.[46] Shueisha began collecting the chapters into tankōbon volumes with the first published on April 4, 2016.[47] Viz Media began posting free English translations of the manga chapters to their website on June 24, 2016.[48] A print release of the first volume followed in spring 2017.[49]

In Japan, tankōbon volumes 1 and 2 sold 594,342 copies as of June 2017,[50] volume 3 sold 236,720 copies as of July 2017,[51] volume 4 sold 267,417 copies as of November 2017,[52] volume 5 sold 400,000 copies as of April 2018,[53] and volume 6 sold 216,871 copies as of June 2018.[54] This adds up to at least 1,715,350 tankōbon copies sold in Japan, as of June 2018.

Film[edit]

An animated film, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, is also in the works, and it will be the first film in the franchise to be produced under the Dragon Ball Super title. The film will be released on December 14, 2018. It will be a continuation to the series that will act as a new arc. A poster showcasing the film's new art style was released on March 12, 2018.[55] A teaser depicting Goku facing off against Broly was released a week later.[56][57] The films’ first trailer was released at San Diego Comic-Con International 2018 [58]

Home video[edit]

The anime episodes are being released on Japanese Blu-ray and DVD sets that contain twelve episodes each. The first set was released on December 2, 2015. The second set was released on March 2, 2016. The third set was released on July 2, 2016. The fourth set was released on October 4, 2016.[59]

Merchandise[edit]

Bandai announced that a line of Dragon Ball Super toys would be available in the United States in summer 2017.[60] Bandai has also announced the updated Dragon Ball Super Card Game that starts with one starter deck, one special pack containing 4 booster packs and a promotional Vegeta card and a booster box with 24 packs. It was released on July 28, 2017.[61] A line of six Dragon Ball Super Happy Meal toys were made available at Japanese McDonald's restaurants in May 2017.[62]

Reception[edit]

The average audience TV rating in Japan was 5.6% (Kanto region). The maximum audience rating was 8.4% (Episode 47) and the lowest rating was 3.5% (Episodes 109-110).[63]

First impressions of the series' debut episode were mostly positive with the quality of animation being praised the most.[64] Richard Eisenbeis of Kotaku praised the series' title sequence and said "My middle-school self is so happy right now, you guys."[65] Jamieson Cox of The Verge also praised the title sequence and said that "Dragon Ball Super's intro will have you begging for its North American release". Cox was also surprised that, considering how popular the franchise is, the series did not launch internationally at the same time. He called it "a move that wouldn't be unprecedented" giving Sailor Moon Crystal as an example.[66] Lucas Siegel of Comicbook.com praised the debut episode for its "laid back plotline" and animation style and said that the debut was "very much put out as a "slice of life" episode". Siegel also noted that the premiere episode was more of a "where are they now" introduction to the series that will eventually help build anticipation for "where will they be."[67]

The original animation for episode five (left) was widely criticized and was redrawn for Blu-ray and DVD release (right).

However, the fifth episode received harsh criticism from Japanese and Western audiences due to its poor animation style compared to the previous four episodes.[68][69] Dragon Ball Kai and Resurrection 'F' producer Norihiro Hayashida felt that the criticism was overblown. He said that people were criticizing the entire series based on a few bad sequences that were done by new animators. He went on to explain a quality decline in the anime industry that he believes is the result of studios cutting time given for post-production and not allowing for reviews of the final product.[70] Toei Animation redrew the animation for episode five's Blu-ray and DVD release.[71]

The twenty-fourth episode of the series also received harsh criticism from both Japanese and Western audiences due to its poor animation style, which continued throughout several episodes compared to its previous episodes. However, the Champa Arc was praised for improving its animation. Episode 39 of the series was critically acclaimed for its improved animation and praised fighting sequences. Attack of the Fanboy reported that "Dragon Ball Super" episode 39 may be the best installment of the series to date.[72] Goku and Hit's fight "starts off explosively from the get-go."[73] The Future Trunks Arc also garnered positive reception from fans and critics alike. IGN's Shawn Saris acclaiming Episode 66, stating that, "Episode 66 of Dragon Ball Super has a few missteps but ultimately leads to a great final battle with Zamasu."[74]

The final arc, "Universe Survival Arc," garnered much more positive reception than previous arcs. Several episodes such as 109/110 and 116 have been cited as some of the Super series' best episodes;[75][76] WatchMojo.com listed the fight between Goku and Jiren in episodes 109/110 as the best anime fight of 2017.[77] Despite this praise, Jay Gibbs of ComicsVerse criticized the series for its inconsistent narrative, having heard "an explanation within an episode, then see that very explanation invalidated seconds later." [78]

All four volumes of Dragon Ball Super's manga adaptation have charted on Oricon's weekly list of the best-selling manga; volumes one and two sold 29,995 and 56,947 copies in their debut weeks respectively.[79][80] Volume three was the fourth best-selling for its week with 92,114 copies sold,[81] and volume four was fourth its week with 150,889.[82] According to Nielsen BookScan, the English version of volume one was the second best-selling graphic novel of May 2017,[83] the ninth of June,[84] the fourteenth of July,[85] and the eighteenth of August.[86]

Episodes 130 and 131 were live streamed in several cities in Mexico, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Nicaragua for free in public venues.[87][88]

References[edit]

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