ByPeter Flynn, writer at
An advocate for understanding the phenomenological wonder of the moving image. Also Tremors is the best.
Peter Flynn

Dragon Ball Super is right around the corner, with July 5th set to be the first TV appearance in eighteen years for Goku and friends! I could imagine Dragon Ball fans are in a similar mind to the Star Wars fandom right now, having waited decades for a worthy continuation that will likely boot a mediocre effort from canon. Original series creator Akira Toriyama is heading up this new venture, giving the impression that this really will be the long-awaited spiritual successor to Dragon Ball Z.

We haven't been given much to chew on and determine what Dragon Ball Super will really include. This frenetically cut trailer hints at a release date, likely gives us the theme song, and shows a few sparse images we can expect. Fans are still left with a few burning questions about Dragon Ball Super, particularly in regards to it being a continuation from Dragon Ball Z.

How much of a kid's show will it be?

This is always a conundrum in bringing back long-dead properties in order to please the original fans. The Dragon Ball brand has been around for a long time. Even if someone somehow watched GT as an infant, they would be watching Dragon Ball Super as an adult by definition. Now Dragon Ball Z has spent the last twenty years accumulating new fans, but that's exactly the question we're asking. Is Dragon Ball Super remaining the same fun kid's show it's predecessors were, or is it attempting to grow with its original audience?

Dragon Ball Z specifically had a reputation in the west for not being entirely appropriate for kids. Hell, raise your hand if your parents didn't approve of you watching! It will still be interesting to see what kind of tone Dragon Ball Super takes!

A return to an original animation style?

That classic look!
That classic look!

Just one look at the above trailer will show you that Dragon Ball Super isn't detracting too much from the original art styles of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. That's kind of impressive given how long the show has been off air, and given how much anime art styles have changed over time. Anime, perhaps more than any other medium, shows its age particularly when you look back at its roots, and that isn't a bad thing. Dragon Ball Z, along with titles like Berserk and Fist of the North Star, belongs to that older, slightly janky heritage of anime that many of us associate with our first exposure to the art form.

It would be a nice touch for Dragon Ball Super to pay homage to the visual trappings of the shows that preceded it. Softer tones, thinner lines and rounder eyes would all be welcome details.

Will Goku and Vegeta fight once more?

People always wonder about this duo!
People always wonder about this duo!

Goku and fan dark horse, Vegeta are likely sporting an amicable relationship upon the start of Dragon Ball Super. That doesn't mean that fans aren't still interested in seeing who would come out on top in a fight still. These two may be the only examples of duel badasses where you actually wouldn't argue with your friends in the playground over who was better. Goku was stronger. Everyone would agree on that, yet that actually made it cooler to like Vegeta more. Assuming Goku will even be the central figure in Super (it could be Trunks and Goten for all we know), perhaps the show will find some excuse for him and Vegeta to duke it out once more and establish who's power levels are over... umm... I forget what number it was.

No more supersaiyan transformations?

Sure, Dragon Ball Z spectacularly introduced the concept of going supersaiyan, and cemented it as a cultural code for... uhh... being frustrated? While Dragon Ball Super is a continuation of Dragon Ball Z, it may do well to be done with concepts of supersaiyan transformations. This would be to make the show appear as it's own distinct product, and not just an extension that needs to take things further to the EXTREME! Dragon Ball Z was able to stand out appropriately from its preceding Dragon Ball, and Dragon Ball Super should find it's own element that helps it stand out from the rest!


Can Dragon Ball Super really continue the heritage of Dragon Ball Z?


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