Today marks a full year since the premier of Dragon Ball Super in Japan. The series, which has become a somewhat polarizing subject in the already divided Dragon Ball fanbase has of course had its ups and downs, and personally there are aspects I enjoy and others I don’t, but otherwise it’s been a fun ride and one I am happy to write about today.
Initially the thought of writing this blog came because, while Dragon Ball may indeed continue for years to come the existence of Dragon Ball Super is a unique thing itself, primarily because as a fan of the franchise it’s hard to imagine anything that could have ever, or will ever have the same kind of hype again. Since this show was the first all-new series of new content (at least after the Resurrection F arc) in such a long time it was inevitably going to be something of a curiosity. Will fans ever have to wait anywhere around 18 years for a new series, will it ever be as meaningful should Dragon Ball Super fail? Dragon Ball GT did not exactly set the world on fire the same way Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z did. So what if the same happened to Super? Unlike GT, Toriyama has been a little more involved with Super, certainly not to the same extent as Ball and Z, but just his name was enough to have fans all over the world cling on to the hope this would be a great series.
That said the fact we were getting a new series in this day and age carries with it a number of questions. Was Dragon Ball now becoming a Pokemon, or a Yu-Gi-Oh, or even Beyblade? All series that have been around for a while, but none have any end in sight because they print money for the creators and studios that benefit from them. Some would say such shows are merely toy commercials. Additionally there was the challenge of keeping Dragon Ball up to the standards of modern animation and storytelling. While the series hasn’t lived up to its hype for many the improvements in both animation and story, and Norihito Sumitomo’s score since the Universe 6 is in my opinion indicative of a TOEI who has been bombarded with complaints and is now putting more effort into the show.
How much longer can we see such improvements? Will it last? Such questions all depend upon how long Super runs for, but with at least another arc teased for after the current Future Trunks arc it could be a little longer, and Super may be looked upon as not a great, but a decent and watchable addition to the franchise, and one Chris Sabat and the rest at Funimation will look forward to dubbing.
So for now I am cautiously optimistic for the future of this series, and if it continues it will be a nice addition to my existing collection of Dragon Ball DVDs and Blu-Rays when the Funimation home release containing the future dubbed and official subbed version comes out. Like many other fans I am also interested in everything else that’s yet to come from the Viz translation of the manga due for a print release next year, and the Toonami Asia dub, which should be premiering soon.
And for those interested in this blog and my reviews, I do plan to continue, even at times it feels I’ve abandoned this space (which I haven’t). I have a very busy life, but will return to this blog when I can, even my shamefully neglected Super reviews. At this point I may continue them all slowly but surely, or do overall reviews for each arc, keep watching this space for more.