Published by VegettoEX
25 May 2013, 10:23 PM EDTComments Off

Animazement 2013 continued into overdrive for its second day with a couple key events: Toshio Furukawa’s own panel and a gigantic “West & East Dream Match” panel (with all Japanese and American Dragon Ball guests).

Furukawa’s panel — “Talking With Ataru? Piccolo? Or…?” — was filled with stories from the actor’s rich history of roles from series such as Urusei Yatsura, Fist of the North Star, One Piece, and (of course!) Dragon Ball. Furukawa updated his figure collection count to roughly 800 Piccolo figures and 350 Ace figures, noting that whenever he sees foreign variations of figures online, he grabs them and enjoys comparing them to the Japanese versions. He noted that during the original process of coming up with his Piccolo voice (a role he was hand-selected for with no real audition), the producers asked him to tone down his otherwise higher-pitched voice. Furukawa asked why they wanted him since he clearly was not a match for the voice they envisioned, but who was he to argue? When asked what Dragon Ball in particular meant to him, Furukawa responded by saying that sometimes the series takes slack for being filled with fighting and violence, but for him it is filled with messages of courage and dreams, and that children can take so much more away from it such as standing up to bullies. Our own question for Furukawa was his thoughts on the character’s change into “Uncle Piccolo” during the Majin Boo story arc (particularly with all the Goten and Trunks babysitting). Furukawa responded that he had been hoping for a change in the character by that point in the series, and was relieved and excited to see him move in that direction. In fact, he received many letters of support from fans at that time, too!


The “West & East Dream Match” panel was one of the biggest for the entire convention, spanning two sections of the upstairs ballrooms. All Japanese and American Dragon Ball guests were invited for a large-scale Q&A session with the fans. The panelists included (from left to right):

  • Ryūsei Nakao (JP: Tambourine, Freeza, Coola)
  • Sean Schemmel (US: Son Goku, Kaiō-sama, Nail)
  • Masako Nozawa (JP: Son Goku, Son Gohan, Son Goten, etc.)
  • Toshio Furukawa (JP: General Blue, Piccolo)
  • Kara Edwards (US: Son Goten, Videl)
  • Yūko Minaguchi (JP: Videl, Pan)
  • Kyle Hebert (US: Son Gohan, Paikuhan, Narrator)


Schemmel began things by noting that we were “sitting in history-making” with such a gathering. Questions kicked off with fun requests such as the types of wishes each actor would make with the Dragon Balls. Answers ranged from Nozawa’s wanting to walk the Earth like Goku and make friends with everyone, to Nakao’s wishing to turn Freeza into a good guy and not be a villain (thus giving Goku and Freeza very little to do). Her fellow actors shared stories about Nozawa, such as — even these 20+ years later — always coming into the studio wondering what was going to happen next in the story, and Nakao’s confession that “Mako-chan” turns into Freeza when she drives. A heartfelt request from a Super Saiyan 3 Goku cosplayer to perform a Kamehameha alongside both Schemmel and Nozawa brought the entire panel to huge applause. Fans asked about favorite episodes, scenes, and specific lines of dialog. Nakao responded that Freeza was only around for a comparatively-short amount of time, but each time they recorded together, Nozawa would remark to him that he (as Freeza) really was a bastard! A particular highlight was Edwards’ and Minaguchi’s English-then-Japanese performance of the same line: Videl exclaiming to Gohan that she was flying for the first time.

A poster for the new film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods was hung behind the panelists the entire time, leading to at least one question about whether or not we would hear anything about the movie today or perhaps get a chance to view a clip. A quick laugh and resounding, “NO!” from Nakao shut things down pretty quickly, but all hope was not entirely lost: the poster was autographed by the entire group of panelists and submitted for the charity auction to occur shortly thereafter.


The charity auction was another highlight of the day bringing in an impressive amount of fans (and their money!) to go toward relief efforts. Ryūsei Nakao was on-hand as well as the convention’s main emcee to bring in the cash. A batch of kanzenban autographed by the Japanese guests brought in $430 (two Vol. 21 for $50, two Vol. 22 for $55, two Vol. 13 for $40, two Vol. 1 for $70). A copy of Derek Padula’s “It’s Over 9000!!!” When Worldviews Collide (signed by the author and the Dragon Ball guests) brought in $35. A signed copy of the Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods theatrical program guide brought in another $50. A complete set of small, bouncy Dragon Balls were auctioned off one-by-one, saving the four-star ball for last: 1 for $35, 2 for $27, 3 for $27, 5 for $32, 6 for $30, 7 for $45, and finally Sūshinchū itself for $100! A Piccolo figure signed by Toshio Furukawa went for $70, while a Son Goku figure signed by Masako Nozawa went for $120. The final item was the Battle of Gods poster, which immediately shot up to a $100 price point by one enthusiastic fan.

Today was definitely the “big day” of the convention (with the Kanzenshuu community representing in full effect… and you all are awesome), but tomorrow brings us more panels and autograph sessions by the guests — stay tuned for more stories and tidbits!

Published by Hujio
25 May 2013, 2:03 PM EDTComments Off

The Japanese blog “Movie & Drama Memo“, which reports on upcoming home video releases, has been updated with new listings for Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. As of right now, the tentatively scheduled release date is set for 13 September 2013, and the film will be available in four versions:

  • Blu-ray Special Limited Edition  —  ¥9,240
  • Blu-ray Standard Edition  —  ¥5,040
  • DVD Special Limited Edition  —  ¥8,190
  • DVD Standard Edition  —  ¥3,990

There is no word just yet as to what may be included on the Limited Edition versions, but we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as an official announcement is released.

All dates and prices are, of course, subject to change, especially since there has not yet been a formal announcement. This is, however, our first indication of when and how the film will be released outside of cinemas. For those planning to import one of these releases, you’ll have at least a little over three months to save up for your purchase.

Published by VegettoEX
25 May 2013, 12:47 PM EDT2 Comments

Animazement 2013 kicked off yesterday at the convention center here in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the excitement over the amount of esteemed guests could be felt in the air!

Masako Nozawa (Son Goku, et al.) held a “World of Heroes’ Voices” panel early in the afternoon to the delight of a room full of Dragon Ball fans, with translations courtesy of Takayuki Karahashi. Nozawa touched upon Goku’s character in that he is not constructed with a traditionally-attractive type of design, but appeals to so many people because of his “boy-next-door” earnestness. Nozawa believes that if everyone in the world could act more like Goku with his selflessness and striving to improve oneself, the world could be a better place. As we have heard from her in so many interviews, she also never confused her various Son family roles; in the couple steps between her stool in the booth and the microphone, simply seeing the characters on screen allows her to fully become those characters. Nozawa also dove back into the early days of her career in the theater business, the real-time dubbing of movies, and how this type of work brought more opportunities. In terms of favorite scenes, Nozawa recounted Goku during the Red Ribbon Army arc where Snow’s house is attacked and Nozawa was seriously concerned for Goku’s safety, but his “Itaaaaaaai!” (“That hurt!”) even after being on the receiving end of gunfire made everything OK. Nozawa also told a story of her (at the time) nine-year-old niece whose friends did not believe her aunt was the voice of Goku, and so went down the line of friends on the pay phone saying, “Ossu! Ora Goku!” as each said “Thank you very much!” and passed the phone to the next friend in line to receive this confirmation.


The “Here Comes One Piece!” panel later in the afternoon consisted of Toshio Furukawa (Ace in One Piece, Piccolo in Dragon Ball Z), Ryūsei Nakao (Caeser Clown in One Piece, Freeza in Dragon Ball Z), and Yūko Minaguchi (Portgas D. Rouge in One Piece, Videl/Pan in Dragon Ball Z & GT, ) with translations courtesy of Toshifumi Yoshida. While the title of the panel generally pushed the conversations toward One Piece more than anything else, Dragon Ball obviously made its way into most answers — without prodding! — by all three participants. Furukawa spoke of his monstrous collection of roughly 700 Piccolo figures and 300 Ace figures (now housed in what used to be his wife’s clothes closet), while Nakao and Minaguchi confessed that family and friends confiscate any merchandise they bring home. All three spoke of the horrors of video game recordings, with phonebook-sized lines of dialog and sounds to make, usually consisting of endless repetitions of long, medium, and short fighting noises. While each recounted being exhausted when they recorded games, all were in awe of what Nozawa has to do each time with her multiple characters and fusions on top of even them. When asked what would happen were their Dragon Ball characters to meet their One Piece characters, Furukawa responded that Piccolo and Ace would absolutely brawl with each other, Nakao responded that there really was not much difference between Freeza and Caesar Clown besides their laughs, and Minaguchi responded that Videl and Pan would want to protect her other characters.


Look forward to more great coverage of Day 2 coming soon!

Published by VegettoEX
21 May 2013, 9:12 AM EDT7 Comments

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)

FRIDAY (5/24):

  • 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)

SATURDAY (5/25):

  • 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)

SUNDAY (5/26):

  • 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!

Published by VegettoEX
20 May 2013, 6:24 PM EDTComments Off

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!


Enjoy! Discuss this episode on the Kanzenshuu forum.

Published by VegettoEX
20 May 2013, 11:44 AM EDT4 Comments

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!

An archive of Toriyama’s comments from the theatrical program as well as his Asahi Shimbun Digital interview have been added to our ever-growing “Translations” section.

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.

Published by VegettoEX
17 May 2013, 11:00 AM EDT6 Comments

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.

Published by VegettoEX
15 May 2013, 9:30 AM EDT3 Comments

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.

Published by VegettoEX
13 May 2013, 8:37 PM EDT1 Comment

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!


Enjoy! Discuss this episode on the Kanzenshuu forum.

Published by VegettoEX
13 May 2013, 7:55 PM EDTComments Off

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!

Also newly added is the “Official Movie Guide” for the film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods.

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!