Special guest of honor from Japan, Toshio Furukawa (voice actor for Piccolo), Christopher R. Sabat (the English voice actor for Piccolo), producer Norhiro Hayashida, and the anime distribution company Crunchyroll announced during San Diego Comic-Con International 2022 that the latest installment in the global anime blockbuster Dragon Ball franchise, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, will be available in both English dub and subtitled on August 19 at more than 2500 theaters across North America.
The Dragon Ball phenomenon started in 1984. Inspired by the classical 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West and Hong Kong martial arts films, the initial manga for the Japanese media franchise was written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama and serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump from 1984 to 1995, becoming a top-ranked title throughout its ten and a half years of publication, resulting in 519 individual chapters collected into 42 tankōbon volumes. Since the manga’s popularity has only grown, selling a record of 260 million copies sold worldwide and counting and expanding into TV animation, movies, games, and other merchandising.
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Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is the 21st feature film in the Dragon Ball franchise. After a successful theatrical release in Japan on April 22, 2022, earning approximately 670 million yen (about $4.99 million) during its first two days, it was announced during an SDCC 2022 panel on July 22 that the English version of Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero would be released in North America on August 19. The panel moderator Lauren Moore, a content producer at Crunchyroll, also read the description for the latest installment in the franchise: the film follows Piccolo and his former student Gohan as the main characters (instead of Vegeta and Goku) as they go on a mission to save the world from the villainous Red Ribbon Army (designed by series creator Akira Toriyama).
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero’s official film synopsis reads:
Son Goku once destroyed the Red Ribbon Army. Individuals, who carry on its spirit, have created the ultimate Androids, Gamma 1 and Gamma 2. These two Androids call themselves ‘Super Heroes.’ They start attacking Piccolo and Gohan… What is the New Red Ribbon Army’s objective? In the face of approaching danger, it is time to awaken, Super Hero!
Crunchyroll and Toei Animation also unveiled a new trailer during the July 22 panel, treating both fans attending Comic-Con International to a new, special exclusive look at the upcoming film.
First Dragon Ball Film to Mix Traditional Animation and CGI
Bird Studios/Shueisha/Dragon Ball Super Film Partners
During the SDCC 2022 panel, producer Norhiro Hayashida talked about the challenge of creating a new vision for Dragon Ball using a mix of traditional and CGI animation, the latter being a first for the franchise. Preemptively addressing fan concerns about the animation style, Hayashida conceded that while the blend doesn’t always work, he’s confident that fans will enjoy the animation in Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero tickets are now on sale in the United States (where the film will also be released in select IMAX theaters) and Canada at Fandango.com. Tickets are now available in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. Find more information about ticket-on-sale dates and openings for global territories at http://2022dbs-global.com/.