It’s not easy when a big anime movie comes out. It takes well over a year usually to get to the west in any form, after which any and all spoilers are out. And I don’t just mean people are saying them. Characters and elements of the movie are put into games as dlc so it’s all out there… but anyway let’s see if that has spoiled my enjoyment of this movie.
Dragon Ball Super Hero is the most recent bit of media in the Dragon Ball franchise, outside of the manga (which had a really fun prequel arc to this movie that I very much enjoyed) the last bit of media was the Broly movie ( Sgathaich: Dragonball Super: Broly).
The movie is set about a year or two after that one, though much like the Broly movie it starts with a bit of a flashback, or more in this case a bit of lore for people that didn’t know too much about original Dragon Ball recounting the fall of the Red Ribbon army and how the scientist behind many of its weapons Dr Gero then made enhanced humans or androids to get revenge (you will know that part, it was the second major arc in DBZ… assuming you lump the Saiyan and Freiza arcs together). There’s a bit of additional lore talking about the son of the leader of the Red Ribbon army and saying how he remained in the shadows before we are introduced to Dr Gero’s grandson Dr Hedo who is just being let out of prison (how he got there can be read in chapter 88 to 90 of the manga… aka the fun bit) who is talked into making weapons for the reborn Red Ribbon army, so Hedo can also make the ultimate android. Though it’s worth noting that he wants to do it as he’s a big super hero nerd. (Oh, and fans of FighterZ this movie does firmly canonize android 21s design… though maybe not the character)
So that’s our opening, let’s talk about the film more in general now. Rather than the 2d animation of the other DB films this one is CG but done in a stylized way to look almost as if it’s the 2D art. This can be a bit hit or miss for some people though as… well CG animated movies are just over used now in my opinion and I liked that anime ones were still 2D.
A big point in the movies favour though is that it’s not a Goku and Vegeta movie, no they are off on Beerus’s planet training with Broly and there’s a bit in the middle showing that and why they don’t get involved in the main action. No, this movie is mostly about Piccolo and some about Gohan. So, we get to enjoy the much more interesting characters grow and interact. Of course all their major gains were heavily spoiled before the movie got anywhere close to being watched.
I do believe the fact the film is focused on Piccolo as being one of its strong points. He’s definitely the main character and it’s about damn time he got this much attention, and without losing it in the last act to just have Goku show up and beat the bad guy (don’t worry he doesn’t do that, as said Goku and Vegeta take no role in this). We get to see his interactions with Gohan and his family (insert Piccolo is Gohan’s real dad stuff ) as well as Pan, little disappointed she doesn’t call him Grandpa Piccolo, oh that would have made my day.
The new characters of Dr Hedo, the new Red Ribbon army and the android’s Gamma 1 and 2 are all the right level of over the top that makes the film enjoyable. It’s nice to see everyone’s personalities hit and grow as the story goes on to the point you want to see more of them.
While I would argue Broly has the better battle scenes, that is mainly due to it being more 2d but this movie definitely has the better lead cast… though it’s also a little too fond of the nostalgia bating, we really didn’t need one screen shot of Freiza in this movie. But then there’s worse things… like that a little over gratuitous scene of Bulma’s butt.
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