Hot on the heels of our last update on the subject (less than half an hour in fact), Yūsuke Watanabe, scriptwriter of next year’s new Dragon Ball Z film, took to his Twitter account to clarify the timeframe, as pointed out to us by kei17 on the forums:
@komori_mayo ありがとう！厳密にいうと原作漫画の「最終話」と「その直前回」の間です。ＧＴは原作にないからね～。[rest omitted]
@komori_mayo Thanks! Strictly speaking, it’s between the comic’s “final chapter” and “just before that”. GT isn’t part of the original work, after all~. […]
Watanabe’s tweets about the script actually began several days before the official announcement, with him playfully teasing the reveal (which had already been leaked). He also linked to the Comic Natalie article cited by Anime News Network and retweeted a similar article from Oricon, which suggests that he was either interviewed (and uncredited) or otherwise closely involved with the announcement regarding the “lost decade”. While he has not commented on these articles’ second claim — that of the film’s relation to the plot of the manga — we can assume, by his implicit endorsement, that they are probably on the mark. Regarding the content of the films, in addition to mentioning that he “won’t forget getting chills” when writing the iconic lines “Heya! I’m Goku!” or “…Kakarrot…!”, he also had this to say:
I was given the honor of doing the script for the first Dragon Ball Z theatrical anime in 17 years. “Given the honor” really is the best way to say it. It’s a completely new, original work. Toriyama-sensei is truly great. I can go back to being a child. I think I’ll keep my hair dyed blond until [the movie] opens next spring.
So, with word from the official screenwriter, it seems that the matter has been settled. With that out of the way, the fandom can now get back to its rampant speculation…!