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With a series like Dragon Ball, comments from author Akira Toriyama hold a lot of weight. The man traditionally hides behind-the-scenes, and though he was trotted out for Q&As more than ever before during the Battle of Gods promotional circuit, he still remained as elusively off-camera as ever before, choosing to provide prepared text answers.
One of the things we at Kanzenshuu love doing is diving into the archives while simultaneously keeping up with newer material. It can be fascinating to compare answers and viewpoints that Toriyama provides over a period of decades. We feel that it provides a deeper understanding of Dragon Ball and of Akira Toriyama himself.
With that being said, we are excited to provide translations of two in-depth and surprisingly-candid Akira Toriyama interviews.
The first new interview translation comes from the January 1997 issue (“Issue 3.01″) of the initial Japanese edition of WIRED magazine, which ran for a little less than four years from 1994 to 1998; it now exists as a special quarterly issue of the Japanese edition of GQ, relaunched in 2011. In addition to translations of articles from its American equivalent, it also had Japan-original material, and for their second-anniversary issue (published 21 November 1996), they had a special two-page interview with the man himself. This is notable principally for two things: being published during the time that Dragon Ball GT was still on the air, and Toriyama’s comments on Goku’s personality, which he repeated nearly verbatim 17 years later in the run-up to Battle of Gods (see below).
There’s how, basically, Son Goku from Dragon Ball doesn’t fight for the sake of others, but because he wants to fight against strong guys. So once Dragon Ball got animated, at any rate, I’ve always been dissatisfied with the “righteous hero”-type portrayal they gave him. I guess I couldn’t quite get them to grasp the elements of “poison” that slip in and out of sight among the shadows.
The second new interview translation we have added to the website is the “Akira Toriyama & Masako Nozawa Special Talk” which exclusively aired as a part of a special exhibit in Japan, “The World of Akira Toriyama”. While the special talk was previewed on Mezamashi TV, the actual video footage in its entirety could only be seen at the exhibit itself. Friend of the site “Peking Duck” visited the exhibit in Nagoya and studiously transcribed the talk in its entirety; with his permission, we have translated said talk.
In the special talk, Masako Nozawa reveals how she was given the role of Gohan with no audition and no warning prior to coming in to record, while Toriyama reiterates his feelings on Goku’s personality and motivations that he discussed in the WIRED interview so many years earlier.
At any rate, I wanted him to have the sense of being that rare guy who seeks only “to become stronger than before”, so much so that it feels like “there’s no one as pure as this person”. And while he does end up saving everyone as a result of that, he himself at least has a very pure sincerity about “wanting to become stronger”. What I wanted to depict the most was the sense that he might not be a good guy at all, although he does do good things as a result.
Please enjoy these new additions!
While the 2015 #13 issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump promised a reveal of Freeza’s new evolution in the 2015 #15 issue, Toei decided to release a new Dragon Ball Z: Revival of “F” trailer a few days ahead of then… which itself spoiled the big reveals that would have come in the magazine.
While the 2015 #15 issue does indeed provide its own reveal of “Golden Freeza”, it comes packed with a bunch of other supplemental tidbits. Confirmed in the recent trailer, the magazine issue also confirms an appearance and contribution in the film by Jaco the Galactic Patrolman from the 2013 prequel/spin-off manga series.
A special booklet by original manga author — and writer for the film itself — Akira Toriyama will be distributed to the first 1.5 million moviegoers. This booklet will contain the complete script of the film, along with conceptual material and commentary on the film itself. As noted in Cinema Today’s coverage, the booklet will touch on the plot of the film in detail, so attendees are advised not to open it until after seeing the film.
However, the real bit of new information comes in the form of a a quick interview from idol group Momoiro Clover Z, who will contribute the theme song “Vow of ‘Z'” to the film. Here, they talk about their experience voicing a group of angels torturing Freeza in Hell. We have dutifully translated this interview, which can now also be found in our “Translations” section.
A follow-up to the interview is promised for the May 2015 issue of V-Jump, which will hit Japanese newsstands 20 March 2015. The group also recently contributed the first of two interviews to the official movie blog, run in-character by “Bulma”.
The story for Revival of “F”, opening nationwide in Japan 18 April 2015 in 2D and IMAX 3D, is being crafted by original manga author Akira Toriyama, who stated he is writing it, “…as though it were a continuation of the manga when it was in serialization,” and that while it will, “…of course be a continuation of the previous Battle of Gods,” he has also, “…deliberately increased the amount of action scenes by a good deal.” Tadayoshi Yamamuro, who worked for many years as character designer and animation supervisor on the Dragon Ball franchise, will serve as the film’s director and animation supervisor. Norihito Sumitomo will return from Battle of Gods and the Majin Buu arc of Dragon Ball Kai for musical composition duties. Momoiro Clover Z will contribute a song alongside Maximum the Hormone, whose “F” will be used as a “battle song” during the film. Revival of “F” is set to bring back Freeza and will also include two new characters (Sorbet and Tagoma), feature Beerus and Whis again from Battle of Gods, and much more.
Norihito Sumitomo came on as a new composer for the Dragon Ball franchise with the 2013 theatrical film, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. In addition to being the second new composer for Dragon Ball Kai (scoring the Majin Buu arc, which is currently airing in Japan and certain international markets), Sumitomo will return to his duties for the upcoming new film, Dragon Ball Z: Revival of “F”.
A staff member named “Hikari” recently wrote a blog post discussing Sumitomo’s and the team’s work composing for the film:
He began composing the songs after reading the script in December of last year, at a rate of five pieces a day.
With a film, the music requests come in chronological order, so he starts writing from M1.
The turbulent M2 has about 5 variations.
Sumitomo says it’s precisely these kinds of pieces which must be written in order from the start.
If you can write the cool pieces right at the start, then the rest is just a matter of adding on.
Pictured above are many of the musical composition team members surrounding the film’s director, Tadayoshi Yamamuro. Read a full translation of the staff blog post (accompanied by many more photos!) in our “Translations” section.
It is technically the 21st in Japan, and so the April 2015 issue of V-Jump has officially gone on sale. While plot details about the upcoming film, Revival of “F”, have been scarce as-of-late, Shueisha’s latest magazine gets the ball rolling once again.
Debuting this month is the first of three chapters for an introductory manga adaptation of the film by Dragon Ball Heroes: Victory Mission author and illustrator Toyotarō. The adaptation is set to tell the story from the early parts of the upcoming film, and so needless to say, it is essentially guaranteed to contain massive spoilers for those wishing to eventually head in to the film entirely blind.
That being said, we have expanded the “Official Spin-Offs” section of our “Manga Guide” to include a new “Movie Adaptations” page which will catalog Naho Ooishi’s Jump Super Anime Tour Special manga adaptation, as well as this new Revival of “F” adaptation by Toyotarō.
The first chapter has a full listing including relevant notes; be on the lookout for special other-Toriyama-works cameos!
“Toyotarō” is, in all likelihood, a second pen-name used by Dragon Ball AF fan manga author and illustrator “Toyble”. The introductory manga will run for three chapters in the April, May, and June 2015 issues of V-Jump in Japan.
2013 was a packed year for Dragon Ball. The new film Battle of Gods saw its Japanese theatrical debut and home release, plenty of international releases (both theatrically and on home video), video game tie-ins, etc. Beerus and Whis were fantastic new additions to the pantheon of Dragon Ball characters. It felt like original manga author Akira Toriyama had truly immersed himself back into the series. Oh, and he also wrote a prequel to Dragon Ball (!!!).
What could possibly top that in 2014? Oh, right: another new movie is on the horizon! Without the final product itself even coming out until 2015, we had 2014 as a transition year filled with news.
These were the top five stories of the year according to total website traffic, rate of traffic growth, social media conversations, etc.
#5: July 19th – More “Future Warrior” Screen Shots for “Dragon Ball XENOVERSE”
In a year filled with announcements of an upcoming new movie, you would think there could be little else that might even have a chance of sneaking in to the top five news stories. Dragon Ball XENOVERSE — the upcoming multiplayer online story-based fighting game extravaganza for consoles and PC — is one of those other projects dropping bombshell after bombshell. While we now know that the “Future Warrior” is your own player-created character (and can be one of five different races), Bandai Namco’s slow drip of information with their own specific design kept fans salivating and coming back for more. The original shots showcasing the red hair and cape got people talking, but the Super Saiyan transformation had fans losing their minds.
#4: July 15th – V-Jump Unveils New “Dragon Ball Z” Movie In Development
There is little that can set fire to Dragon Ball fandom like a new movie announcement. While Battle of Gods was announced and then followed-up by plenty of quotes from original manga author Akira Toriyama, the 2015 movie was being written by the man himself. Sign-off from notoriously-hard-to-please former-editor Kazuhiko Torishima and promises of more action scenes had us all begging for more information. The movie’s announcement in V-Jump (and subsequent leaks thereof) proved the magazine’s relevance and importance to Shueisha, particularly in light of Saikyō Jump‘s odd mid-year release schedule change and Weekly Shōnen Jump‘s then-upcoming shift to digital-and-print releases.
#3: February 17th – “Dragon Ball Kai” Returns With Majin Buu Arc in April 2014
It was perhaps the biggest, most-open, worst-kept secret we’ve had in quite some time: Dragon Ball Kai was coming back for the Majin Buu story arc. When, though? And how? Would it truly not air on Japanese television as Mayumi Tanaka originally noted back in late 2012? Somewhere along the line plans heavily shifted, and with Toriko out the window, Dragon Ball Kai reclaiming its timeslot on Fuji TV seemed to make perfect sense. Of course, the whole story arc has been a confusing mess with two separate versions, a cropped presentation even in Japan, Norihito Sumitomo coming in as (technically) the third composer on the “refreshed” series, four closing themes, etc. While it has slowly begun to make its way out to the international markets, FUNimation has officially kept quiet about their acquisition and production on it, despite that being yet another poorly-kept secret. All signs point to them having anticipated its release by this point. Dragon Ball Kai seems to have a cursed production from beginning to end!
#2: July 18th – Toei Opens Official Website For 2015 Dragon Ball Z Movie
The announcements of the 2013 and 2015 movies received plenty of attention, but when we start getting nitty-gritty details is when all the fans come out of the woodwork. The new movie’s official website teased us with an ominous message: “The worst wish in history. That is the beginning of despair.” We had little else to go on at that point, but it was enough for fans to drive themselves mad with speculation. Who was making this wish? After the light-hearted fare of Battle of Gods, would the new movie truly bring us to these depths of despair?
#1: December 4th – “Revival of ‘F'” 2015 DBZ Movie Trailer Teased on Japanese TV
We had a title, new characters, a significant returning character, and a few other tidbits of information. When Mezamashi TV first showcased animation from the upcoming movie, that was enough for the floodgates to open. It felt real. It felt tangible. There was truly another new movie on the horizon. Freeza is back and has something up his sleeve. Goku and Vegeta are seemingly off with Beerus and Whis. It was just a tease for an eventual proper trailer, but it was enough for fans worldwide to immediately drop what they were doing. Our first actual look at Revival of “F” was, far and away, the biggest story of 2014.
Toriyama’s words were close runner-ups with his “Twel-Buu Mysteries” Q&A from the June 2014 Saikyō Jump nipping at the heels of the Revival of “F” news stories. Various other movie comments, interviews, and Q&As followed suit in traffic numbers.
2014 was a great year for Dragon Ball as we celebrated its 30th anniversary… but 2015 is already knocking down the door promising more excitement, so cheers to 2014 as we leave you behind in search of further adventures!
Dragon Ball Online somehow had both a longer and shorter life than it could have had. Starting with an open beta in 2010, the Korean MMORPG made its way to a few other territories and localizations before winding down last year, never actually making it to either Japanese or English localizations. The game brought fans a new, rich history for the franchise that spanned the entire “Age” calendar that we were already familiar with as well as onward into a new future with involvement from original manga author Akira Toriyama.
Despite the game’s closure, the wealth of new characters, locations, and scenarios will live on via Dragon Ball XENOVERSE, the upcoming fighting game on consoles and PCs from Dimps and Bandai Namco (not to mention in the upcoming major update to the card-based arcade game, Dragon Ball Heroes, which hits Spring 2015).
However, before Dragon Ball Online actually shut down, there were clear plans for additional content patches that would further the battle against Mira and Towa’s “history breaking” along with introducing even more characters. We may never know the true extent of these plans!
That being said, this past July, Bandai Namco presented information about Dragon Ball XENOVERSE to press and fans at Japan Expo in France. Included as part of the presentation was a mysterious figure in silhouette against what we now know as Toki-Toki City and the “Time Storage Vault” with a statement that “…a bunch of new characters” apart from the player’s own “Future Warrior” character will also be showcased:
Bon bah voilà, donc histoire de non pas vous révéler qui est le premier personnage, mais encore de vous faire parler, de vous faire demander qui sont les autres personnages, il nous a ramené juste la silhouette du prochain sur lequel ils vont révéler des informations. C’est un peu des salauds, c’est un peu des… ils sont limite sadiques sur les bords. Mais vous aimez ça et de toute façon, vous allez avoir les informations très rapidement. Ce qu’on peut vous dire, c’est que tout est lié, ces deux personnages, et tout le reste qui a été dit, les deux sont liés à cette image que vous avez peut-être vu passer dernièrement, qui sont un endroit un peu particulier qui s’est arrêté dans le temps et qui va avoir un rôle majeur dans toute la nouvelle histoire qui est abordée dans ce Dragon Ball Z: XENOVERSE.
Okay, there we are: he’s still not going to reveal who the first character is, but just to make you talk and to make you ask questions about the other characters, he brought us only the shadowy figure of the next character on whom you’ll get some info. They’re a bit of bastards, they’re a bit… They’re a bit sadistic. But you like it that way and you’ll have those info very soon anyway. What we CAN tell you, is that everything is connected: those two characters, and everything that’s been said earlier, both of them are connected to this picture that you may have seen around lately, which shows a pretty peculiar place that froze in time and that is going to play a major role in all of the new story in Dragon Ball Z: XENOVERSE.
This past September, Bandai Namco conducted a two-phase “network test” for Dragon Ball XENOVERSE on the PlayStation 3 (a Japanese-only phase followed by an international phase). This “test” was part of the company’s plan to stress-test the multiplayer aspects of the game, server connectivity, gameplay, and more. As enterprising fans are wont to do, the game data was mined to reveal both expected and unexpected information. One particular close look at the game data revealed special attacks for a character seemingly named “Demigra”. A recent leak of purported achievements for the Xbox platforms pin one accomplishment name as “Complete the saga of the Demon God Demigra.”
So who — or what — is “Demigra”…?
The characters of Mira (ミラ) and Towa (トワ) have names that evoke the concept of time, with “Mira” likely coming from mirai (未来) or “future”, while “Towa” (a native Japanese reading applied to the Chinese-derived compounds 永遠 eien or 永久 eikyū) means “eternity”.
“Demigra”, however, is confusing (for the time being, anyway!). Nothing comes to mind either as an anagram or with extended-syllables that suggests time. A food pun with “demi-glace” seems to be the most obvious / closest approximation.
Is the mystery character presented over the summer this “Demigra”…? Do we have new gods to add to the hierarchy of the Dragon World? Will the Makaiōshin finally make their formal appearance? With Dragon Ball XENOVERSE a mere two months away, and more reveals almost certainly on the horizon, we may know the secret of “Demigra” sooner than we think!
Dragon Ball XENOVERSE — currently in development by Dimps for Bandai Namco — will be released on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. The game will release for the four consoles 05 February 2015 in Japan, 13 February 2015 in Europe, and 17 February 2015 in the Americas. The PC version seems to be on track for a global release via Steam 17 February 2015.
Thanks to our buddy “Cold Skin” for the French translation!
Hopefully by now you’ve had a chance to check out DB30YEARS, our special Dragon Ball 30th anniversary magazine. A few major research projects have recently taken place at various Kanzenshuu headquarters around the world, and you can read some highlights from them in the magazine, including some of our dives into the original serialization of the series in Weekly Shōnen Jump. For example, how old do you think Gohan is when he is first introduced…? Four-years-old, right? You might be surprised!
We recently acquired a copy of the 1986 #37 issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump. The issue contains Chapter 087 of the series, right as Goku is about to climb Karin Tower during the Red Ribbon Army arc. Accompanying the chapter is a series of brief biographical information for some of the major characters, printed long before things like the Daizenshuu were ever conceived, and even over a year before the Adventure Special — the first true guide book to the series — would hit shelves.
Most notably, it is the only place that has ever printed Bulma’s birth date…! If you choose to reconcile all available information, you can start piecing together precisely when Battle of Gods might take place in AGE 778, and what other contradictions there might be.
Head on over to the material’s new archive page in our “Translations” section for the full scoop. Be sure to check out the translation notes at the bottom, which cross-reference later material published in books like the Daizenshuu and the Super Exciting Guide volumes.
Happy Dragon Ball Day! It was on this day in 1984 that Weekly Shōnen Jump 1984 #51 officially hit shelves in Japan containing the very first chapter of Dragon Ball.
We have been working on this for a long time, and it’s amazing to be able to finally share it with everyone. We’ve been putting together a special magazine in celebration of this amazing anniversary!
It’s called “DB30YEARS“: it’s available right now, it’s available for free, and it’s available in a few awesome formats. We have an interactive version that you can read right on your computer (which also works great on tablets!), we have a standard/web-ready PDF that you can download like normal, and we also have an e-reader compatible (MOBI) version that you can load up to your Kindle, Nook, etc. to dive into just the articles themselves.
You will see a lot of familiar names on the contributors list, maybe some you haven’t seen in a long while, and perhaps a few new ones. The articles are absolutely incredible, and we can’t wait for you to dive in. There is a complete list of contributors at the beginning of the magazine, as well as on the respective “Features” page.
In terms of us Kanzenshuu staff, we’ve also contributed material, and 99% of it is original to this publication (though, of course, a lot will eventually make its way back to the website-proper in the near future). Not only do we have editorial pieces, but also some new original research that we’ve been saving up. Some of this new material includes things like:
- Changes made from the original WSJ serialization (Gohan’s age…!!!)
- Comparisons with Toriyama’s one-shots and Dr. Slump (Futon ga futton da!)
- Deep look into the numbers behind how filler came to be and what would have happened without it (we have a chart! wow!)
- Homages in American television (The Tenka’ichi Budokai is finally complete!)
… and a ton more!
Check it out, share it with friends, share it with other fans, and let us know what you think.
Thank you Akira Toriyama, and happy birthday Dragon Ball…!
The 2013 film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods finally sees its home release today from FUNimation and comes packed with the original theatrical version along with a special extended edition. Stay tuned here at Kanzenshuu for a more complete review in the near future, but in the meantime, check out these quick facts: it is everything you actually wanted to know about this home release!
What is “Battle of Gods”?
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods was the first new theatrical film for the franchise in seventeen years, hitting Japanese theaters 30 March 2013. Though its original concepts were created by Toei Animation, original manga author Akira Toriyama entered the production early on to oversee much of the story and dialog. The script is attributed to Yūsuke Watanabe. A musical score was provided by Norihito Sumitomo. Character designs and animation supervision were handled by Tadayoshi Yamamuro. The film was directed by Masahiro Hosoda. The story is written to take place between the defeat of Majin Buu and the 28th Tenka’ichi Budōkai and is officially set in Age 778.
What is in the extended edition?
The extended edition includes just over twenty minutes of additional material, ranging from three-second interstitial transitions to entirely new scenes. Virtually nothing is removed or replaced; it is all additive.
Is this release in English or Japanese?
As with pretty much all of FUNimation’s home releases since 2000, this release includes the original Japanese audio track (with accompanying English subtitle translations) along with the company’s own English dub.
Which region is encoded onto the Blu-ray?
The disc is solely encoded for Region A. Manga UK will be releasing their own version of this release in November.
Who provided the translation for the subtitles?
Long-time Dragon Ball fan and FUNimation translator for the franchise Steven J. “Daimao” Simmons provided the translation.
What name spelling is used for the main antagonist in the subtitles?
Simmons went with a spelling of “Beers” in the subtitle track. For more information on the question, read our own overview. The character’s attendant is adapted with the traditional “Whis” spelling.
Are all of the audio tracks provided in 5.1 surround sound?
The English dub for the theatrical version, the original Japanese track for the theatrical version, and the English dub for the extended edition are all produced in 5.1 surround sound. The odd man out is the Japanese track for the extended edition, which is presented in standard stereo sound.
What kinds of special features are included?
Two featurettes are included along with other, shorter videos adding up to roughly half an hour of bonus material:
- “Behind the Scenes: Battle of Voice Actors” (9:55) – An extended scene of Goku fighting Beerus with overlaid boxes of the English voice actors performing the lines.
- “The Voices of Dragon Ball Z: Unveiled” (19:23) – Short introductions to various English voice actors, showcases of them performing their lines, and more.
- Textless Closing Song (3:31) – A creditless version of the movie’s closing theme song.
- U.S. Trailer (1:48) – FUNimation’s English-language trailer for the film using footage from the extended edition.
- Trailers – Promotional videos and trailers for various FUNimation-licensed shows.
Is such-and-such reference kept in the English dub?
For the most part, yes. This includes an off-hand reference to a particular character’s sibling as well as the length of certain types of entertainment. The English dub’s script receives a bit of “punching-up” as seen in the company’s original 2000-onward dubbing, but overall lies somewhere between that and their Dragon Ball Kai treatment.
Are the original Japanese or English versions of FLOW’s songs included?
The English dub tracks and original Japanese language tracks for both versions of the film feature FLOW’s English versions of “Hero: Song of Hope” and “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA”. This has been the case with most other international releases (even in the Japanese language tracks). An opening screen of text on the release acknowledges and notes this change.
Are the end credits only provided in English?
Yes, the credits are exclusively written in English accompanied by the English version of FLOW’s “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA”. The Japanese cast is attributed to character names as they appear in the subtitles (Kuririn, Tenshinhan, Kaioshin, etc.). The kanzenban pages are not edited from their original Japanese text.
What types of releases are available?
A two-disc DVD set as well as a three-disc DVD & Blu-ray combo set are available. Each contain both the original theatrical and extended versions of the film.
I want to know more about this movie!
Head on over to the respective page in our “Movie Guide” for anything and everything you ever wanted to know about Battle of Gods! We have interview translations, character designs, links to our podcast reviews, and much more.
Is there a new movie coming in 2015?
Yes! Check out our article to learn everything there is to know so far.
The official website for Super Dragon Ball Z — the arcade (2005) and PlayStation 2 (2006) fighting game from Crafts & Meister — was a wealth of amazing information and content in its day. In addition to an original sketch and comment from Akira Toriyama himself, the website later updated with comments from three lead members of the game’s production staff: Ryūichirō Baba (Banpresto Producer), Noritaka Funamizu (Crafts & Meister Executive Director), and Akira Nishitani (ARIKA Director).