A new series of Q&As with original manga author Akira Toriyama — “Super Long Interview!! Please Tell Us, Akira Toriyama-sensei!!” — kicks off with today’s issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump (WJ 2013 #14) in Japan, all leading up to the theatrical debut of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods in just a few weeks. The first question deals with the origin of the plot points for the movie, and how Toriyama’s involvement shaped things:
What’s the story behind the birth of the plot line for “Battle of Gods”?!
It began two years ago. The ideas “God of Destruction” and “Super Saiyan God” were there from the start, but the worldview was pretty dark. So correcting this into a more “DB”-esque content kids could enjoy too was the catalyst for me becoming heavily involved in the story.
This week’s issue also features a two-page spread focusing on Battle of Gods, though no real new information is included:
The God of the Saiya descends!?
The Power to Resist the God of Destruction — —
Super Saiyan God!!
A legend among legends of the warrior race, the Saiya — — that is ‘Super Saiyan God’!! Witness the true nature of this ultimate warrior, who excites even Birusu, at the theater!!
This is a big week for Dragon Ball material in books, so stay tuned!
The official website for the upcoming film, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, recently updated with an entire page dedicated to promoting the film’s debut in IMAX Digital theaters across Japan. The page includes quotes from Masahiro Hosoda (the film’s director) and Greg Foster (Chairman & President, IMAX Film Entertainment).
Hosada explains his excitement for the upcoming film’s debut as well as its extra “power” via the IMAX Digital presentation:
日本が世界に誇るアニメの金字塔「ドラゴンボール」が、原作者鳥山明先生の完全オリジナルストーリーで、17年ぶりに映画「ドラゴンボールZ 神と神」として復活、日本映画初のIMAX上映となりましたことを大変うれしく思います。最新映像効果を駆使した、最強の孫悟空と破壊神ビルスのパワー全 開バトルシーンを、よりパワフルで臨場感あふれるIMAX(R)デジタルシアターにて是非とも、体験していただきたいと思います。
I am extremely happy for Dragon Ball, a monumental animated work that is the pride of Japan the world over, to be revived with a completely original story by creator Akira Toriyama-sensei as Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, the first movie in 17 years, and to become the first Japanese film to be shown in IMAX. By all means, I’d like you to experience the full-throttle power battle-scene between the mighty Son Goku and Birusu, God of Destruction, which makes use of the latest visual effects, at an IMAX Digital theater, with an even greater power and sense of immediacy.
我々は、IMAXデジタルシアターで初の日本映画を上映するにあたり、漫画クリエーターのパイオニアでいらっしゃる鳥山明先生のような方とパートナーとな れたことを誇りに思います。テンポの速いアクションシーンや目を見張るようなビジュアルによって、我々は「ドラゴンボールZ 神と神」がIMAX体験に相応しいものとなることを確信しています。
We’re proud to be partnering with a pioneering manga creator like Akira Toriyama to release the latest installment of this beloved franchise and our first Japanese film in IMAX. With its fast-paced battle sequences and stunning visuals, we believe Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods is an ideal fit for The IMAX Experience®.
The film will debut in all 16 IMAX Digital theaters — specifically the IMAX Digital theaters, and not the standard IMAX versions — across Japan. While the film received government funding as part of a project to support the international endeavors of Japanese creators, and though the film was made “with a view toward international screenings“, there is still no word on any type of international release, IMAX or otherwise.
This past Friday, a news posting to the official website for “Battle of Gods” laid out a list of “media exposure” for the new movie up through 10 March 2013, and first on the list was a Dragon Ball segment on the late-night NHK program “MAG Net”. Julian stayed up to watch it… and then fell asleep before the segment got underway. Luckily, forum regular kei17 was there to pick up our slack.
This episode, the program’s last, covered the ways Dragon Ball appeals to fans around the world, and gave a (very short) inside look into the new movie’s production. The highlight was an interview with Toei Animation producer Gyarmath Bogdan, the setup for which revealed matter-of-factly what we had long suspected:
To expand this sort of multi-faceted force in Dragon Ball, a foreign producer has been appointed for this work: Gyarmath Bogdan, age 44. He holds a distinctive résumé: born in Romania, he participated in the democracy movement before coming to Japan 21 years ago in order to study Japanese culture. Now, he has a role at a major animation production company. A new Dragon Ball release, with a view toward screenings overseas. Bogdan-san, involved in the work with a foreigner’s perspective, is obsessed with putting in many gags, where previous theatrical productions were centered around battles.
As for Bogdan himself, he had this to say about the movie’s production:
This time in particular, we had a request from (Akira Toriyama-) sensei to leave in not only the action, but also some truly enjoyable… the truly enjoyable aspects of Dragon Ball; Dragon Ball‘s chaotic feeling, and the action of Gohan’s battles, and of the Z Warriors, are mixed together very well, so I believe that has also helped make it an enjoyable movie.
While no overseas release has been announced at this time, it increasingly seems as though it will only be a matter of time until that happens.
In preparation for the upcoming Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods movie, due out 30 March 2013, we’re finally beginning to port over all those missing movie information pages in the “Movie Guide”. To begin with, we’ve jumped all the way back to the mid-1980s to bring you the three Dragon Ball theatrical films. We’ve even gone a step beyond simply importing the old pages, having spent a lot of time digging through everything we could think of to really bring you the most comprehensive information possible. You’ll find updated information about each movie’s promotional materials, premiere, and releases, along with additional movie notes, character profiles, background information from movie staff, detailed name pun analysis, and more!
Check back soon for our next batch of movie pages, and as always, stick around for the best “Battle of Gods” news coverage on the net. We’ve got you covered!
We have already covered all of the significant pieces from the April 2013 issue of V-Jump that hit Japanese shelves 21 February 2013 — things like “Super Saiyan God“, upcoming Dragon Ball Heroes updates, etc. — but there are a few interesting promotional tidbits still hanging out that we have not yet covered.
Starting 12 March 2013 at Lawson only, when you reach 300 Ponta points, you can exchange them for a Dragon Ball-styled “Dragon Bowl”; just print the exchange ticket off the Loppi machine.
Starting 15 March 2013 at both Lawson and Mini Stop, buy any two applicable snack foods and you can get a “Hoi Poi Capsule Stamp” on a first-come, first-serve basis. You will also be able to buy an applicable beverage and you can do a drawing for original Dragon Ball goods via the standard process of pulling a piece of paper out of the contest box to see if you win anything. Both locations are also set to sell Dragon Ball limited-edition items one after another.
Starting today (01 March 2013), and exclusive to Ponta members, if you enter their campaign, you can do a drawing to win a Dragon Ball-design Ponta card.
At HMV stores nationwide between 23 March 2013 and 05 April 2013, you can get Dragon Ball goods in a prize drawing. With the purchase of any two items, you can try the “limited speed-lottery”.
At GEO locations, with the use of Dragon Ball rental DVDs or rental comics totaling ¥300 or more, you will receive a “free clear file”. The three designs include:
- 01 March 2013 onward: Goku, Piccolo, & Vegeta firing ki blasts
- 15 March 2013 onward: Gohan, Goten, Trunks, Piccolo, Kuririn, Bulma, Kame-Sen’nin, and Goku
- 29 March 2013 onward: Goku, Piccolo, & Vegeta super-deformed
In addition, if you collect three of the entry tickets included within these clear files, you can enter a drawing to win a complete 42-volume set of the tankōbon (50 winners) or a JIS B2-size 3D poster (300 winners).
We expect even more of these types of promotions as we head toward the theatrical debut of Battle of Gods come 30 March 2013, so stay tuned!
A selection of voice actors and actresses from the Dragon Ball franchise took home prizes in the 7th Seiyu Awards announced today in Japan.
- The late Takeshi Aono received a lifetime achievement award for his many years of service and contributions to the industry. In Dragon Ball, Aono was best known as the voice of both Piccolo Daimaō and God (Kami-sama). Aono suffered a stroke in Summer 2010 (and was replaced as God by Bin Shimada in Dragon Ball Kai), and passed away in April 2012.
- Masako Nozawa received a distinguished service award for her many years of service and contributions to the industry’s numerous genres and productions. In Dragon Ball, Nozawa is best known as the one and only Son Goku, but also his two sons (Son Gohan and Son Goten), along with Goku’s father Bardock and Dragon Ball Z Movie 3 doppelgänger-villain Tullece.
- Yūji Mitsuya received the “Kei Tomiyama Award” for spreading the profession of voice acting across different media. In Dragon Ball, Mitsuya is best known as the voice of Kaiōshin.
- Mayumi Tanaka received the “Kids/Family Award”, which was selected by children themselves. In Dragon Ball, Tanaka is best known as the voice of both Kuririn and Yajirobe, but has also played Uranai Baba — Tanaka’s biggest role today is that of Luffy from One Piece.
The official “Battle of Gods” website has posted a more detailed breakdown of the upcoming “Akira Toriyama The World of DRAGONBALL” exhibit being held in honor of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. While the titles of the exhibit’s various “zones” were recently unveiled in Weekly Shōnen Jump, this official announcement now associates each of the seven zones with its respective Dragon Ball and provides further descriptions of each:
- One-Star Ball: Dragon Ball Complete History
While looking back on major events, it invites you into the world of the work.
- Two-Star Ball: Character Wall
An introduction to the over 400 characters who appear [in Dragon Ball].
- Three-Star Ball: Comic Manuscript Gallery
An exhibit of about 200 comic manuscripts, painstakingly selected from among the enormous serialization spanning 10-and-a-half years and 519 chapters. Precious manuscripts, including all draft pages for the first and last chapters, as well as memorable scenes, will be exhibited in one shot.
- Four-Star Ball: Color Illustration Gallery
A special display of about 30 color illustrations drawn by original author, Akira Toriyama.
- Five-Star Ball: Treasure Museum
An introduction to rare Dragon Ball-related materials.
- Six-Star Ball: Anime Gallery
Will introduce the world of Dragon Ball’s anime version through design sketches and cels.
- Seven-Star Ball: Theater Corner
Screenings of Dragon Ball-related videos.
- Shop Corner
Sales of original exhibition merchandise, as well as other official items.
The exhibit’s first stop is in Tokyo, where it will be on display from March 27th to April 15th in the 8th Floor Hall of the Nihonbashi Takashimaya department store. Admission for the Tokyo exhibit is ¥800 for adults, ¥600 for university and high-school students, and free for junior high-schoolers and below. Advanced tickets are currently available for purchase from local Lawson convenience stores through March 26th.
Also in promotion of “Battle of Gods”, the official website has released a complete TV schedule for all of the original Dragon Ball movies and TV special which will be re-airing across numerous Japanese networks throughout the month of March.
No-one thought twice about Gohan when the very first details on the upcoming film, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, were first revealed. There he was with the rest of the group in what seemed to be a time frame around the end of the Majin Buu story arc.
It was only when the preliminary version of the movie’s poster first leaked that questions began to spring up, where Gohan was pictured along the bottom in his Super Saiyan form. By this point, Toei Animation and various parties associated with the movie had confirmed the story would take place between the defeat of Buu (Chapter 517) and the 28th Tenka’ichi Budōkai (Chapter 518).
At this point in the story, Gohan had received his power-up from the Elder Kaiōshin and, for what few chapters remain in the rest of the series, Gohan does not again transform into a Super Saiyan:
Son Goku: “It re-really is incredible… It’s super-duper…! Absolutely unbelievable… Your appearance has hardly changed… And you ain’t even a Super Saiyan… Yet you’ve been taken to su-such an extreme…”
Elder Kaiōshin: “Hmph, transforming isn’t good. That Super whatever-it’s-called is the wrong way of doing things…”
Long story short, nothing is revealed — at all — about Gohan’s ability or inability to actually transform if he wanted, if this was a permanent or temporary power-up, etc. It is just left at that… until Dragon Ball GT, when Gohan unceremoniously transforms into a Super Saiyan during Baby’s arrival and infestation of our heroes on Earth. Nothing is ever mentioned about the Elder Kaiōshin’s power-up and what may have happened to or with it.
Back on Episode #0319 of our podcast, the super-trio of myself (VegettoEX), Jake (Herms), and Sean (Kaboom) dug through every bit of published material about the situation. What did the manga say? What did the anime say? What did the guide books say? While there was little in the way of solid conclusions we could draw, the conversation more comprehensively covers the situation than this post does — we definitely encourage you to check it out.
So that brings it back to Battle of Gods: if this story was set to take place during the original timeline shown in the manga, what is up with Gohan transforming?
Things got a little more confusing with the second full length trailer that was recently released, in which Gohan is clearly shown to be both standing around and fighting in his “Ultimate” form, or at the very least, simply not as a Super Saiyan. What about some of the artwork, which appeared to be direct screenshots from the movie, that clearly showed Gohan transformed…?
Scriptwriter Yūsuke Watanabe was recently asked by a fan on Twitter about Gohan, to which he replied (presented below broken apart from the flow of conversation):
@yuusukewatanabe しかも悟飯は超サイヤ人になる必要性がないんですが。 いい加減なGTスタッフもそうでしたが、完全に忘れてましたよね。老界王神の潜在能力解放を。
@yuusukewatanabe And on top of that, there’s no need for Gohan to be a Super Saiyan. The GT staff were careless like that too, but you completely forgot about it, didn’t you? — Elder Kaiōshin’s unlocking his latent potential.
@Peter_smit4 あ、あとネタバレになるので、あれなんですが本編では悟飯、スーパーサイヤ人になってませんよ！ ぜひ映画本編でご確認ください！ よろしくお願いします！
Yūsuke Watanabe the Scriptwriter (@yuusukewatanabe)
@Peter_smit4 Oh, and also, this is a spoiler, so it’s kind of “that” [i.e., not appropriate for me to be telling you], but in the movie proper, Gohan isn’t a Super Saiyan! By all means, please do check it out in the actual movie!
@yuusukewatanabe あれ？予告編でなってると思ったんですが、あれは宣伝目的的な映像だったのでしょうか。 基本洋画は特典などがついてるからDVDでみるのが好きなんですが、DBに限ってはDBファンの話のなかに入りたいし、公開日に観に行きます。お返事ありがとうございます。
@yuusukewatanabe Huh? I thought he was one in the trailer, but maybe the video was just for promotional purposes? As a rule, I like to watch western movies on DVD because they come with extras and such, but for DB alone, I want to be involved in DB fan-discussions, so I’ll go see it the day it opens. Thanks for your reply.
Yūsuke Watanabe the Scriptwriter (@yuusukewatanabe)
@Peter_smit4 Sorry! As the scriptwriter, stuff like trailers and posters falls outside my responsibilities, so I can’t tell you anything [about that]. I’m terribly sorry, but please [try to understand] all the same.
So there you have it: Gohan being shown as a Super Saiyan in early promotional materials was simply for visual purposes, and Yūsuke Watanabe at least seems to agree with this fan that Gohan’s transformation in Dragon Ball GT might have been a careless oversight.
Perhaps thankfully, while this is great clarity to have, it actually does not render our discussion in the podcast episode irrelevant! We highly encourage you to check it out and come up with some of your own conclusions as we break apart all of the fun little tidbits, particularly from a few guide books that rarely get the spotlight.
Big thanks to our buddy kei17 for the heads-up!
東映・20th Century FOX
[Toei / 20th Century FOX]
[All Humanity Has Been Waiting]
[The First New Theatrical Release in 17 Years]
[Original Work / Story / Character Designs:
Trailer Narrator: “Several years after the life-and-death battle with Majin Buu, he paid a visit to the peaceful Earth——”
[He paid a visit to the peaceful Earth——]
Trailer Narrator: “A being that surpasses everything: Birusu, God of Destruction.”
[Birusu, God of Destruction]
Vegeta: “He’s the most fearsome thing in this world: a god of destruction!”
[A God Who Governs the Entire Universe]
Kaiō: “He’s in a completely different dimension of strength!”
Uisu: [in honorific register] “The entire solar system will be destroyed in an instant.”
Birusu: “I’ll have the pleasure of destroying Earth.”
Son Goku: “Destruction ain’t somethin’ t’ take pleasure in——!”
Trailer Narrator: “Now, the curtain opens on a battle with the entire universe on the line!”
Kuririn: “The Earth is doomed!”
Vegeta: “You cur!”
[Then, He Will Appear——]
Trailer Narrator: “Then, he will appear——”
[The Legendary Warrior]
Trailer Narrator: “The legendary warrior,”
Birusu: “Super Saiyan God!”
[Super Saiyan God]
Goku: “Ka… me… ha… me… HAAAAA!”
Trailer Narrator: “The movie ‘Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods’!”
[30 March (Sat.)
The Mightiest Clash.]
Goku: “Opens on March 30th!”
[Triple Attendee Present!!!]
Goku: “Attendees’ll get a triple-present. You can put the Dragon Balls inside th’ Dragon Radar!”
[Pre-Release Tickets With Present:
Goku: “Dragon-Ballpens come with pre-release tickets!”
The trailer showcases new scenes of “Birusu” and “Uisu”, a great deal of characters attempting to take on Birusu (Piccolo, Vegeta, Gotenks, Gohan, Buu), Vegeta mentioning Birusu to Bulma, and more. As with the short version from Fuji TV, the new “Super Saiyan God” form is heavily teased.
It is also worth noting that we previously misinterpreted the phrase “Triple Attendee Present” to mean that people who bought three tickets would receive the special bonus gifts at the theater. In fact, it was not a “Triple-Attendee Present”, but a “Triple Attendee-Present”, made ambiguous by the phrasing and the lack of punctuation. We apologize for the confusion.
FLOW and Ki/oon Music have released promotional videos for both of the band’s musical contributions to the upcoming film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods — a cover of “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA” and an original song called “HERO ~Song of Hope~” — to YouTube.
Unfortunately, both videos are region-restricted. The video for “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA” showcases the band from a live performance synced up with the studio version of the song, while the video for “HERO ~Song of Hope~” puts the band in a more traditional Japanese PV style performing atop a CG-rendered background.
Both songs will be included on the band’s upcoming “double A-side” CD single set for release 27 March 2013, just three days before their respective movie’s release. Both songs will also be featured on the band’s upcoming eight studio album, “FLOW THE MAX!!!”, due out a week earlier on 20 March 2013. A “Limited Edition” version of the album will be packed with a bonus DVD that contains music video content, but it has not been confirmed if these two promotional videos will be that bonus content.
Along with the promotional videos, it was confirmed that the band will indeed be at Differ Ariake on 16 March 2013 for the special “Tenka’ichi Preview” screening of Battle of Gods with a special “mini concert”. You can also apply to get into the screening if you are a mileage club members with Toho Cinemas or by purchasing all five ringtone versions of “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA” available from “Reko-choku” by 04 March 2013.