Well Dragon Ball Super sure creeped up on us from the ether now didn't it! It's hard to believe that it's been eighteen years since Dragon Ball GT left fans scorned. Fans have literally been born and grown up with Dragon Ball Z in the time of its absence, yet Dragon Ball Super feels as natural as ever upon its opening episode. This new show gets off to a classically slow start, but what is there to look out for at the beginning of Dragon Ball Super?
That new theme song!
While we don't know yet what kind of theme song we might get when it comes to the English dub, as it stands, Kazuya Yoshii's performance of "Chōzetsu ☆ Dynamic" (I really have no clue of how to pronounce that) is an excellent start to the show. It's fast paced, optimistic and fun. While it's not quit the brilliance of the original Japanese theme to Dragon Ball Z Kai, it's still just the right tone to get pumped for the return of Dragon Ball!
Goku goes Super Saiyan in the first 5 minutes!
One reservation I had in regards to Dragon Ball Super was the idea that it might cash in all its chips at once, with the knowledge of the huge following it had garnered from Dragon Ball Z. The first episode only kind of proved me right, with Goku living the simple life on Earth as a farmer. During lunch, he casually goes Super Saiyan in order to pull up roots. Not quite the the planet-saving shenanigans we're used to, but this might be a cool way for Dragon Ball Super to admit that it's a tonal reset while still being a successor to DBZ.
I'm guessing that the universe's most feared scrawny cat-god, Lord Beerus is set to be the primary villain in Dragon Ball Super. I guess he's stepping out of [Dragonball Z: Battle of Gods](tag:579427), and really coming to dominate this universe. He features heavily in the opening, and his appearance in episode one serves only to show him as a bad guy. An entire planet's civilization presents him with food, the saltiness of which he likes, but he also finds it too greasy. For that, he only destroys half their planet... What a considerate guy!
Trunks and Goten
So far, Trunks and Goten are my favorite aspects of Dragon Ball Super. Sure it's early in the series, but the stakes are significantly low, with the main concern of these characters being getting Gohan's wife-to-be, Videl, a wedding gift. Here, Trunks and Goten are a reminder of the series roots, with a childlike sense of wonder placed right by supernatural powers and epic battles.
A new cleaner art style
So what else is new in Dragon Ball Super? Well, the art style fits a modern aesthetic much better. There's a crisp vibrancy that we've come to expect in anime today, but I for one almost find that a shame. That shaky, almost papery quality Dragon Ball Z had in its early days has almost come to define the series, and if Akira Toriyama really wanted to tap into our sense of nostalgia, that art style wouldn't go unappreciated. Also, only a slight gripe, but that giant snake that Goten and Trunks fight about half way through the episode really looks out of place!
Are you looking forward to the English dub?
Now I'm not looking to stoke the flames on this age old debate, but it's fair to say that Dragon Ball is somewhat set aside from the feud between English and Japanese dubs, since the decision to keep Masako Nozawa as the voice actor for Goku throughout the series has created a strange dissonance for English speaking fans. Goku still sounds barely different from Goten at this stage, and it's more an a little distracting.
For all things Dragon Ball Z, just look right here! Watch this space for more recaps of Dragon Ball Super!