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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).
Something that has been passed around as accepted fact over the years is that Akira Toriyama went on to design a special upgraded version of Mecha Freeza for the PlayStation 2 home release of Super Dragon Ball Z. We here at Kanzenshuu even incorporated this into our accepted knowledge base without really questioning it.
It turns out this may not actually be true.
Super Dragon Ball Z is a game that needs no introduction around these parts. Created by Crafts & Meister-fronted Noritaka Funamizu (co-designer of various Street Fighter games), the game came at a time when Dimps was wrapping up the Dragon Ball Z / Budokai series while Spike was jumping into the ring with their Sparking! / Budokai Tenkaichi series, offering traditional fighting game enthusiasts something more akin to what they had grown up with.
After an announcement in late 2005, the game officially hit Japanese arcades 22 December 2005 (and was ported to the PlayStation 2 the following year). Alongside the launch, the game’s official website published a sketch and message from original manga author Akira Toriyama:
Everyone on the staff, who is more knowledgeable about Dragon Ball than a guy like me, and who love it very much, obsessed over [reproducing] the atmosphere of the original comic, and have finished up a truly enjoyable game!
Everyone, by all means please give it a play, losing yourself in the battle world of this hot Super Dragon Ball Z!
— Akira Toriyama
Stay tuned for even more content from the Super Dragon Ball Z archives in the coming days! In addition to some podcast coverage, we have translated comments from three members of the game’s production staff, along with an absolutely massive “Rumor Guide” entry / research project. As they say, please look forward to it!
Earlier this month, on Episode #0365 of our podcast, we discussed a variety of sources that provided more information about what happens to certain characters in the Dragon World. Some of these are common questions fans tend to ask while reading the series (“What happens to the rabbit gang when the moon is destroyed?”) while others are new tidbits of information outlining additional jobs and adventures the characters find themselves taking on.
As with many of our podcast episodes, it was a way for us to collect and outline the information ahead of time to later use in a proper section on the website!
- The Rabbit Gang
- Tsuru-Sen’nin & Tao Pai-pai
- Son Goku
Read on to learn what happens to these characters! Depending on what news comes our way leading up to the new movie in 2015 (as was the case leading up to Battle of Gods last year), we may even have more entries to add in the coming months!
It is time to once again to dust off a few issues of V-Jump, pull out a few randomly-purchased magazines, and attempt to put another minor dent in our ever-growing translation backlog! This time around we are hitting a few lengthier interviews, intermixed with some short Q&As and commentaries, with original manga author Akira Toriyama as well as a few others associated with the Dragon Ball franchise.
V-Jump, May 2013 Issue – “Double Dragon Talk” Interview
This interview with Naho Ooishi (author of Dragon Ball SD) and Toyotarō (author of Dragon Ball Heroes: Victory Mission) was released on 21 March 2013, just shortly before Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods officially debuted on 30 March 2013. The two manga artists gave their review of the film, having just seen an early screening, and each includes a short humorous comic strip about it.
V-Jump, June 2014 Issue – Kōzō Shioya & Unshō Ishizuka Interview
With the “Majin Buu arc” of Dragon Ball Kai just underway in Japan, this issue of V-Jump contains an interview with some of the other stars of the series, Kōzō Shioya (Majin Buu) and Unshō Ishizuka (Mister Satan). The two discuss their respective characters, the change in their performances from Dragon Ball Z, and of course the recording session after-parties.
Men’s Non-No (January 2014) – Akira Toriyama Interview
In late-2013 Men’s Non-No, a fashion and lifestyle magazine for the young single male business professional, interviewed Akira Toriyama just shortly after Jaco the Galactic Patrolman wrapped up its run in Weekly Shōnen Jump. The author discusses his early career, how he stumbled into the manga business, his most popular series (Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball), as well as some of his more recent works.
Training the Manga Mind – Akira Toriyama Q&A
Published by Shueisha on 19 March 2010, Training the Manga Mind was a special book released as a part of the Weekly Shōnen Jump 40th anniversary celebration (the anniversary itself was in 2008). It features interviews with, and articles about, 37 different Jump manga artists and their techniques, conducted/written by Shima Kadokura. Naturally, Toriyama is quite shy about this, and while most other artists have face-to-face interviews where they show Kadokura their studio and tools in person, Toriyama’s is a Q&A conducted by e-mail.
While not from a print publication, Fuji TV’s own website published a brief series of comments with Dragon Ball Kai production staff earlier this year:
Fuji TV Information: “Dragon Ball Kai” Producer Comments
As part of their promotional hype for the revival of Dragon Ball Kai in 2014, Fuji TV’s public relations department released statements from two of the series’ producers, Osamu Nozaki and Norihiro Hayashida. While they contain nothing too eye-opening regarding the production process, you can certainly “feel” the hype level they are striving for. It also marks the first time anyone associated with its production notes that this new production coincides with the 25th anniversary of Dragon Ball Z.
As always, you can now find these listed on our “Translations” page along with many others. Check back soon for our next batch of translations, as we attempt to clear out as much as we can in preparation for the upcoming 2015 Dragon Ball Z movie!