Animazement takes place this coming weekend down at the convention center in Raleigh, North Carolina with a pretty incredible group of guests. Fans have been anticipating what kind of panels and autograph sessions will take place, and the convention has started to drip out some of these details through its Facebook page. Here is our own cheat-sheet for the weekend in terms of Dragon Ball-related content, spanning both the original Japanese and FUNimation English casts of the show (note that some panels may not be exclusive to Dragon Ball, especially in the case of miscellaneous English voice actor panels, or the One Piece voice panel that happens to have various Dragon Ball actors):
(BLUE: Japanese cast; RED: English cast; PURPLE: both)
- 12:30 G44 — World of Heroes’ Voices w/ Masako Nozawa (302B) / A01 — AUTOGRAPHS: Kyle Hebert (301A) / G47 — Sean Schemmel’s World (302C)
- 14:00 A06 — AUTOGRAPHS: Masako Nozawa (301B)
- 15:00 Z01 — Opening Ceremonies (401AB)
- 16:30 G43 — Here Comes One Piece! w/ Ryūsei Nakao, Toshio Furukawa, Yūko Minaguchi (302A)
- 17:30 A08 — AUTOGRAPHS: Ryūsei Nakao, Toshio Furukawa, Yūko Minaguchi (301B)
- 18:00 G49 — Geek Talk w/ Kyle Hebert (302C)
- 20:00 V56 — Dragon Ball Z Movie 5 – Subtitled (305B)
- 10:30 G38 — Talking with Ataru? Piccolo? Or…? w/ Toshio Furukawa (302B) / G58 — Video Game Voice Acting w/ Kyle Hebert (302C)
- 12:00 A09 — AUTOGRAPHS: Kyle Hebert (301A)
- 15:00 G62 — Animazement presents Dragon Ball West & East Dream match! (401AB)
- 16:30 A16 — AUTOGRAPHS: Ryūsei Nakao, Masako Nozawa, Toshio Furukawa, Yūko Minaguchi + English VAs (401AB)
- 10:00 G28 — SURPRISE AUTOGRAPHS: ?????? (401C)
- 11:00 G65 — Anime Radio w/ Kyle Hebert (302B)
- 11:30 A17 — AUTOGRAPHS: Ryūsei Nakao, Masako Nozawa, Toshio Furukawa, Yūko Minaguchi + English VAs (401C)
- 12:30 G66 — We are GOKU! w/ Masako Nozawa, Sean Schemmel (302B)
- 14:00 G64 — Ryūsei Nakao Off-line! (302A) / G67 — We are VIDEL! w/ Yūko Minaguchi, Kara Edwards (302B)
Animazement has gathered what may be the largest, most-prestigious group of Dragon Ball voice actors to ever be assembled at a North American convention. We will see you there!
As we get ready to head down to Animazement this coming weekend, we figured it would be a good time to reflect on just how busy of a month May is. We don’t mean busy for us — we mean busy for the Dragon Ball characters! The Tenka’ichi Budōkai taking place in May each time it comes around might just be why so many things happen in that one particular month. Tournaments? Check. Assault on an army? Check. Demon King returns? Check. Time travel complications? Check.
Episode #0334! VegettoEX and Hujio dive into the timeline and history of the Dragon World in an attempt to figure out why just about everything in the series happens during the month of May. Does Toriyama hate winter, or does the Tenka’ichi Budōkai taking place in May just set the stage for the entire series? “Ultimate Mission” 3DS sales and your questions round out the episode!
- “Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission” Eleventh-Week Sales
- New Translations: Toriyama Chōgashū Interview + Shenlong Times 7
- Kanzenshuu Podcast Primer Lineup
- Kanzenshuu 2013 Informal Donation Appeal
- Animazement Official Website
Enjoy! Discuss this episode on the Kanzenshuu forum.
The theatrical program available for sale (¥700) along with the new film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods contains a series of comments from original manga author Akira Toriyama. It appears to be an expanded version of the selection available in previous marketing materials, but now with a fun twist: very direct thoughts on the American live-action movie, Dragon Ball Evolution. If the Battle of Gods theatrical program comments were not enough, a recent interview with Akira Toriyama via Asahi Shimbun Digital removes any question at all.
It might be worth setting the stage. The theatrical program for Dragon Ball Evolution back in 2009 also contained a message from Akira Toriyama, who was at the time looking forward to the film:
As the creator, as far as the scenario and characterization are concerned, I get a feeling of “Whaa?”, but the director, everyone in the cast, and the crew on-set are ultra high-caliber.
Maybe it’s correct for both me and all the fans to appreciate this as a “new Dragon Ball” in a separate dimension.
With the power on-set, perhaps it will even have become a great masterpiece!
I am greatly anticipating it!!
In a more-recent Q&A with Mandō Kobayashi, he describes it as tondemonaku sugoi in Japanese, which does not necessarily have a positive connotation. It could be read as “incredibly amazing”, or “unthinkably terrible”. Toriyama was obviously playing with the ambiguity inherent in the phrasing, but he apparently meant the latter judging by new comments (see below).
Toriyama’s new, full-length comments from the Battle of Gods theatrical program read (bolded emphasis our own):
Apparently, it’s been 17 whole years since the last animated Dragon Ball movie! To be able to have a new work made after so many years and months have passed, I have to thank all the people who have given their support. For all the animation up to now, I’ve basically just left everything up [to the staff], so this is my first try at being involved starting from the story’s creation. At any rate, it was quite a long time ago that I drew Dragon Ball, so I had to start by working to remember it. I pulled out the comics [i.e., the tankōbon] of my own work, which it’s fair to say I never look at; and as I flipped through it, even though I’ve gotten older, as you’d expect of the original creator, I was quickly able to recapture the feeling from back then. The keywords this time, “God of Destruction Beerus” and “Super Saiyan God”, were suggestions from the scriptwriter, but they were good ideas for presenting a crisis for the main characters, who had grown so strong that they’d reached a point where there was nothing higher. I borrowed these ideas, and after first deciding on Beerus’ character design and background, I tried thinking up an original story, imagining it as though [the manga's] serialization had continued. The God of Destruction Beerus, who I drew the design for myself (something I don’t usually do), is a terrifying opponent so overwhelmingly strong that he surpasses the dimension of the previous enemies. But it’s my trademark to not let things get too dark. At the very least, I’m satisfied that it’s been finished up as a very entertaining piece of work.
By the way, the battle scenes in the second half are particularly overwhelming! I was moved because the presentation exceeded my expectations. While I had expected, “It probably won’t be any good,” it was greatly different from a certain country’s live-action movie, which really was no good. Just as you’d expect, Japan’s animation is superb! Everyone on the staff, you really did a great job!!
Well, please enjoy the first Dragon Ball in a long time!
Going even further than that, Toriyama states during his interview with Asahi Shimbun Digital (which we have also translated in its entirety):
Also, at the time of the Hollywood movie, the live-action Dragon Ball, the script had too little of a grasp on the world and its characteristics, and on top of that, it had a conventional content that I couldn’t find interesting, so I cautioned them, and suggested changes; but in spite of that, they seemed to have a strange confidence, and didn’t really listen to me. What came out in the end was a movie I couldn’t really call a Dragon Ball that lived up to my expectations.
That being the case, there were parts where I wanted to show some spine, with a world and story only the creator could draw.
It is uncharacteristic for Toriyama — or even manga authors in a larger, general sense — to dish out such direct, unambiguous, negative opinions about materials adapted from their work. For all the claims about what Toriyama has supposedly said about certain products (particularly Dragon Ball GT, which you can also read for yourself in some of our other translation work), at least this one about Evolution is real!
Beyond just the Evolution snub, be sure to read the full Asahi Shimbun Digital interview for wonderful insight into the tonal shifts over the course of the manga, what separates Dragon Ball from other series in its own author’s mind, and the global appeal of the entire franchise.
Our coverage of this month’s new Dragon Ball books continues! In addition to an overview page in our “Databook Guide” and a complete review on Episode #0333 of our weekly podcast, we are happy to present a complete English translation of the new “Akira Toriyama Super Interview: Latest Edition” from the new Chōgashū (“Super Art Collection”). In addition to that, we are actually dipping into the past a little bit and providing an accompanying piece of history: an English translation of the Shenlong Times included with Daizenshuu 7: Large Encylopedia from 1996.
The new interview dives into Toriyama’s entire stretch of working on the series along with his switch from old-school to digital art, and the interview portion of the old Shenlong Times ties in nicely with a tidbit about the type of computer Toriyama began using. Also featured in this Shenlong Times are hilarious comments from fellow manga author (and friend of Toriyama) Masakazu Katsura. Both interviews also touch upon Toriyama’s involvement with Dragon Ball GT, making for an even nicer complement to each other and reason to share them together like this.
Enjoy, and look forward to more interview translations — old and new alike! — in the future.
Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission for the Japanese Nintendo 3DS seems to be mostly back on-track for Namco-Bandai after a short lull a few weeks back. The game pushed a surprising 15,094 copies last week, and returns again for its eleventh week (the period of 06 May 2013 to 12 May 2013) with a bit of a drop to 7,359 copies, putting the total at 184,516 copies according to Media Create.
Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission for the Japanese Nintendo 3DS is available for purchase at CDJapan and Play-Asia. As noted in previous updates, however, the Nintendo 3DS is region-locked and will require a Japanese system to play. There is currently no word on an international release of the game.
Many of you seem to love the various reviews we conduct on the podcast — in addition to all of the written ones, of course! — so we have another great listen for you this week covering the new Chōgashū, or “Super Art Collection” released this past week in Japan. Tune in as Julian breaks it all down, cover to cover, and learn about what is clearly one of the best pieces of merchandise in many years!
Episode #0333! VegettoEX and Julian dive in to the new “Chōgashū” (“Super Art Collection”) released this week in Japan. Does this expanded edition of the first Daizenshuu contain enough both reprinted and new material alike to make any artwork-appreciating fan go nuts? Video game and movie ticket sales wrap-up the news, and that’s a show!
- “Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission” Ninth-Week Sales
- “Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission” Tenth-Week Sales
- “Battle of Gods” Fifth Weekend Theatrical Figures
- “Battle of Gods” Sixth Weekend Theatrical Figures
- Namco-Bandai Fiscal 2013 Figures
- Databook Guide: Chōgashū
- Staten Island DBZ Graffiti
- Kanzenshuu 2013 Informal Donation Appeal
Enjoy! Discuss this episode on the Kanzenshuu forum.
Last week was busy for new Dragon Ball books: the fourth (and final) Chōzenshū guidebook and the Chōgashū illustration collection were both released 09 May 2013.
Both of these books now have complete overview pages added to our ever-growing “Databook Guide“. Each book also contains new interview material, primarily with original manga author Akira Toriyama — look for translations in the near future!
For audio coverage of the new Chōgashū, check out this week’s forthcoming podcast episode. Various additional translations and tidbits will be made available from these and other guidebooks in the near future, so stay tuned!
Namco-Bandai has posted a ¥32.4 billion (approximately $319 million) profit for the full fiscal 2013 year.
Dragon Ball did not perform well enough to warrant inclusion in the top-performing overall franchises list this year. While it also did not appear at all in 2011, it did pop up last year. The #5 franchise Namco-Bandai lists is Pretty Cure bringing in ¥11.6 billion for the year — a year ago, the company forecast the Dragon Ball franchise bringing in ¥8.5 billion for fiscal 2013, so it is likely somewhere in that vicinity.
No individual Dragon Ball video games are listed in the report, not a surprise considering budget-esque releases last year such as the Budokai HD Collection and Dragon Ball Z for Kinect, neither of which were even released in Japan.
In terms of general toys and hobby merchandise (non-video games), the franchise jumped from ¥4.4 billion last fiscal year to ¥4.8 billion this year (which, while not stated, was likely due to tie-ins with Battle of Gods and Dragon Ball Heroes), despite having forecast ¥4.0 billion a year ago. Namco-Bandai is forecasting a similar drop to ¥4.0 billion for next year.
As part of another round of interest in the Dragon Ball franchise — primarily tied in with the then-upcoming new film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods — a new series of guide books was announced for 2013: the four Chōzenshū. The books were revealed to be refreshed versions of the previously-released Daizenshuu from the 1990s, also packed with additional information and reference material from the various productions created since the prior books’ release. As a complement to the Chōzenshū, one additional book was also announced: the Chōgashū, which would be a new illustration and artwork collection.
The final Chōzenshū (#4, “Super Encyclopedia”) and the Chōgashū (“Super Art Collection”) are available today (09 May 2013) in Japan. Our own Julian / SaiyaJedi already has them in-hand and has begun the documentation process. Stay tuned for our regular overview pages for the books in our “Databook Guide” — we will have complete breakdowns of both books in the coming days.
For those of you that need that quick-hit to your information-bloodstream, here are a few key details:
- The Chōgashū — with the official English translation of “Super Art Collection” within the book — does indeed contain material from the first Daizenshuu (though not necessarily printed at the same size as before), along with a wealth of new content — such as the Kanzenban cover illustrations — and a new interview with original manga author Akira Toriyama (“Akira Toriyama Super Interview: Latest Edition”) alongside the original one from the first Daizenshuu. Some of the new artwork content includes Toriyama’s Hoko×Tate illustration, Tōhoku earthquake/tsunami support image, and “Super Collaboration Ticket” drawing of Goku.
- Chōzenshū 4 does indeed contain the majority of material from the seventh Daizenshuu (such as the timeline), and most of it has been re-set in a new layout instead of being directly re-printed as-is; only 30 pages or so out of 352 are straight-up reproductions of the originals. Also included is an essay by Masako Nozawa (Son Goku, et al.) and an interview with Akira Toriyama looking back on the series at different points in time.
Both books are available today (09 May 2013). Chōzenshū 4: Super Encyclopedia runs ¥2,300 and can be purchased online at CDJapan and Amazon Japan. The Chōgashū runs ¥3,800 and can also be purchased online at CDJapan and Amazon Japan.
Cinema Today reports that the new film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods held onto its eighth-place spot during its sixth weekend in theaters. The film has reached a cumulative total of 2,346,726 in attendance and ¥2,875,870,650 in gross revenue.
Back in March, publicity producer Masaru Tsuchiya revealed that Toei Animation’s own goal for the movie was to hit ¥3 billion over the film’s six-week theatrical run.
A few theaters appear to be playing the movie up through this coming Friday (10 May 2013), and others — such as Namba Parks Cinema in Osaka — even up through the following Friday (17 May 2013) at the very least. Most Toho Cinemas locations plan on wrapping up their screenings of the film on either this coming Sunday (12 May 2013) or the following Friday (17 May 2013).