The UK branch of Bandai Namco announced an impending update for the Vita version of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z last month which was set to include the Japanese voice cast as a new selectable option; previously, only the international console versions of the game (Xbox 360 & PlayStation 3) had this option available.
Europeans were finally treated to the update this week with the downloadable content launching as a free update 26 March 2014.
The update has not been announced for the North American version of the game and at last check-in the company responded to Kanzenshuu with a “hold tight”-esque answer.
On the flipside, the two characters previously only available as pre-order bonuses — Super Saiyan Bardock and Super Vegetto — have now been released as paid DLC in all regions. While available to outright purchase in Japan at ¥300 a pop, Bandai Namco had recently responded to Kanzenshuu that there were “no plans” to release the characters as paid DLC in this region. That plan seems to have changed, as both are now available for all three systems (Xbox 360 / PlayStation) at an equivalent $2.99 a pop.
The character DLC for North America, unlike with the Japanese versions, are not cross-buy for the PlayStation 3 and Vita, meaning that two separate purchases will be necessary to cover both versions of the game. The downloads are 100 KB each; the characters’ respective data are already a part of the game, and are actually part of the post-story battles to fight against (but not play as without the requisite pre-order code or now paid-access code).
J-Stars Victory Vs, the Jump-franchise crossover fighting game extravaganza, originally hit Japanese shelves back on 19 March 2013 on the PlayStation 3 and Vita in Japan.
For the period of 17 March 2013 to 23 March 2014, according to the Media Create sales chart, the game pushed 118,240 copies on the PS3 and another 97,821 on the Vita. The game grabbed the #4 and #5 spots on the list, respectively, coming in behind the new Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, Samurai Warriors 4 on the PlayStation 3, and the PlayStation 3 version of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes; all titles were initially released during the reporting period.
The game was also digitally available on the PlayStation Store for both platforms, though these figures are not reported in the physical game sales.
In addition to the revamped website, which we mentioned earlier, Toei Animation also held a pre-broadcast press screening yesterday (28 March) to help build buzz for the series’ relaunch. As such, the Japanese press (as well as the series’ own website) are abuzz about the series’ continuation starting this 06 April in Japan.
Headlining the event as MC was Fuji TV announcer Mizuki Sano along with comedy-duo Harisenbon; member Haruna Kondō was repeatedly referred to as “Majin Buu” throughout the event. In attendance were Masako Nozawa (Son Goku, et al.) and Toshio Furukawa (Piccolo), along with the performers of the opening and ending themes, “Dragon Soul” (Takayoshi Tanimoto and Takafumi Iwasaki, with “Kuu-Zen-Zetsu-Go”) and Good Morning America (“Dear Zarathustra”). Tanimoto performed the full version of the new opening live for the first time.
Nikkan Sports quotes Nozawa as mentioning (as she has before) that they frequently had to record their voices against unfinished lineart during Z, and so having finished animation for Kai made it much easier for them to act. Furukawa mentioned how, with improvements in audio technology, it’s now possible to hear the fine details of their performances when playing it back. However, Nikkan Sports previously posted and then deleted an earlier version of the article in which Nozawa goes on to say that the series will air for a year, and that the episode count has been “halved” from the original 92 in Dragon Ball Z. Whether this means there will be exactly 46 episodes or somewhere around that number is unclear.
Finally, as he did five years previously, creator Akira Toriyama had a written message for those in attendance, although this time he went into much greater detail in what is essentially an expanded version of his comment that was published earlier this month in V-Jump:
The final opponent of Dragon Ball’s weekly serialization was Majin Buu. The final opponent is round! Formidable! And tenacious!
In the first half, the spotlight shines on the everyday life of Son Goku’s son, Son Gohan, who wants to live an ordinary life but can’t, as well as the first Tenka’ichi Budōkai in a long time.
In the second half, Majin Buu makes his appearance in the mortal realm at last. It’s a string of battles intense enough for even me, the person writing the comic, to get sick of. Now that I’ve become an old man with high-ish blood pressure and a taste for things mild, I can’t draw these sorts of battles anymore. Or rather, I’ve lost the will to draw a battle manga from here on out.
Buu and the Saiyans, who keep transforming to become stronger and stronger, and — to give out spoilers — the Genki-Dama at the end, are parts to watch out for.
But as an author, I greatly prefer trivial character interactions. In particular, it was electrifying drawing the silly character Mr. Satan contributing to the victory.
Lastly, please be moved at the masterful performance of Masako Nozawa-san, who performs the admirable feat of switching instantaneously between the voices of Goku, Gohan, and Goten.
This message will be archived shortly in our “Translations” section.
Thanks to kei17 for his help in keeping track of the press coverage! Stay tuned for more as the Kai promotional machine ramps up into high gear!
The official Japanese website for Dragon Ball Kai has finally been updated (or as the update says, the “Site Renewal is Open!”) to its final iteration in preparation of the series’ revival in a mere week. The update includes a few next sections to the site, none of which currently provides any new information outside of what has already been advertised in Jump, and of course the Majin Buu arc promotional video that was originally shown at AnimeJapan 2014.
Along with the promotional video, the site has also posted the title for the 99th episode of the series, which is set to premiere next Sunday (06 April 2014) on Fuji TV at 9AM.
Dragon Ball Kai Episode 99
7 Years Since That Event! Starting Today, Gohan’s a High Schooler
Finally, Fuji TV and Toei recently hosted a pre-broadcast press screening earlier today with numerous guests to help promote the series’ revival. Don’t worry though, we’ll have more details about the press screening shortly, so be sure to check back soon. But for now, enjoy this picture Furukawa tweeted from the event!
In addition to a few words from original manga author Akira Toriyama himself, the May 2014 issue of V-Jump — in promotion of the upcoming revival of Dragon Ball Kai for the Majin Buu story arc — contains a few words of wisdom from three of the series’ most notable voice actors: Masako Nozawa (Son Goku, et al.), Ryō Horikawa (Vegeta), and Kōzō Shioya (Majin Buu). Their comments have been archived on a new page in our “Translations” section, so be sure to check that out.
Finally, just before the release of the May 2014 issue of V-Jump last week, the series’ new musical composer Norihito Sumitomo commented about the recent broadcast of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods and the continuation of Dragon Ball Kai on his official website. The following is an excerpt of his comments about Kai, but you can read the entirety of his original post in our “Translations” section.
Then, from 06 April (Sun.), every week at 9 a.m. on Fuji TV, Dragon Ball Kai: Majin Buu Arc will start. Actually, this work is something [that was started] even before Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, produced in secret over about a year. It’s planned to be aired widely overseas, as well.
Dragon Ball Kai will premiere 06 April 2014 — in less than two weeks at this point — on Fuji TV at 9 a.m., rejoining One Piece as part of the “Dream 9″ anime block. We’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date with the latest news as it comes out during this lead up to its premiere!
More information is still coming out of AnimeJapan 2014, again courtesy of forum member Gerardo Martinez. This time, he happened to spot a banner advertising the 04 April 2014 release of Jaco the Galactic Patrolman, but the real item of interest is the revelation of the title for the included bonus comic: “Dragon Ball Minus“. (Photo courtesy of @dbfor_rien)
This bonus comic was announced last month via a “Super Q&A” with Akira Toriyama accompanying the March 2014 issue of Saikyō Jump, and is set to introduce for the first time Goku’s mother, Gine. The illustration accompanying the images features an individual in Saiyan armor who appears to be Goku himself, as he appeared in the final chapter of Jaco the Galactic Patrolman, but all will become clear when the volume itself is released next week.
As reported last week, with only two weeks left until Dragon Ball Kai’s grand return to broadcast television in Japan on 06 April 2014, a new promotional video (with the tagline, “The curtain rise on a new chapter of ‘Kai’!”) was on display in the Dragon Ball Kai booth at AnimeJapan 2014. Luckily for us, forum member Gerardo Martinez was on-hand to document it all!
In addition to the new promotional video, the booth also contained a map of the numerous countries that have licensed Dragon Ball across the globe, a look at various international Kai merchandise, and a life-size Super Saiyan Son Goku that fans could get their pictures taken with. Interestingly enough, the global map also indicates which counties will, or have already, licensed Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. In total the map lists 29 countries that will see Battle of Gods, including the “United States of America”. You can view pictures of the booth, and of course join in the discussion, over on our forums.
Later that afternoon Dragon Ball Kai took over the event’s open stage, with voice actress Masako Nozawa (Son Goku) and an unknown Toei representative, who took most of the time discussing the production process and hyping the series’ return. Musician Takayoshi Tanimoto, who will be providing the series’ new theme song, was also on-hand to give a live performance of “Dragon Soul” and the aforementioned new theme song “Kuu-Zen-Zetsu-Go”. As done at the Battle of Gods premiere, Masako Nozawa closed out the event by performing a Kamehameha with Son Goku.
As we reported at the beginning of the month, the upcoming broadcast of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods on Fuji TV’s “Premium Saturday” will contain exclusive new scenes not included in the film’s original theatrical run or any of its home video releases. While voice actress Eiko Yamada (Mai) let slip the initial news, Toei Animation producer Gyarmath Bogdan has now confirmed via Twitter that an additional 20 minutes of footage has been added to highlight characters without much of a role in the original film.
The movie “Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods”: 85 minutes.
The special edition airing from 9 p.m. on the 22nd: 105 minutes.
We’ve added 20 minutes of footage. The relationship between Whiz and Beeruz [sic], and gag-action with the Pilaf Gang; it’s full of characters who didn’t play [much of] a role, such as Oolong and Mr. Satan.
@Bogdan_Gyarmath (12:00 PM JST – 20 March 2014)
This morning, the footage for Premium Saturday was completed without incident. Adding in 20 minutes, it’s become something incredible. It’s named a “special edition”, but perhaps it would be better to call it a director’s cut, or rather, a creator’s cut. It’s a must-see! #fujitv
@Bogdan_Gyarmath (12:06 PM JST – 20 March 2014)
As author Akira Toriyama mentioned in his interview published in the “Official Movie Guide”, his original scenario “was actually so long that it had to be cut down”. According to Toriyama, the film would have been around 120 minutes based on these initial storyboards. Director Masahiro Hosoda also noted in the “Official Movie Guide” that the film had “gone very much over [the intended length]”, citing a few examples, such as:
In the scenario, the Z-Warriors played a larger role, so I would have liked to put more of that to video, if possible. Each of them has their fans, after all, and I think they’ve all trained and gotten stronger.
— Masahiro Hosoda, Battle of Gods Official Movie Guide
So it appears that Akira Toriyama, Masahiro Hosoda, and many fans around the world will be getting their wish granted. The TV broadcast is set to air 22 March 2014 on Fuji TV at 9:00 PM.
Tied in with the impending re-launch of Dragon Ball Kai into the Majin Buu story arc, none other than original manga author Akira Toriyama contributed some thoughts to this week’s May 2014 issue of V-Jump in Japan:
A comment has arrived from the creator, Akira Toriyama-sensei!!
The final opponent of Dragon Ball‘s weekly serialization is Majin Buu. He’s round! He’s formidable! And, he’s tenacious! It’s a string of battles intense enough for even me, the person writing the comic, to get sick of, and which, now that I’m an old man, I can never draw again. Gohan’s funny everyday life in the first half, and the fierce back-and-forth battles of the second half. Check out both sides, which keep transforming to become stronger and stronger, and the Genki-Dama at the end.
Also included in the magazine are comments from Masako Nozawa (Son Goku, et al.), Ryō Horikawa (Vegeta), and Kōzō Shioya (Majin Buu) — stay tuned for translations of their comments, as well!
The May 2014 issue of V-Jump is available at sites such as CDJapan and comes packed with additional Dragon Ball news as well as a Super Saiyan 3 Vegetto card for the arcade version of Dragon Ball Heroes.
This week’s upcoming May 2014 issue of V-Jump — officially due out 20 March 2014 — is announcing Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission 2 for the Nintendo 3DS, set for release later this year in 2014.
The game is thus far advertised to include all missions up through at least the current JM3 iteration. It will surpass its predecessor in terms of both graphical quality and the amount of content, including a brand-new “Adventure Mode”, as well as an “Ultimate Mission” where the player has a finite number of cards and is not allowed to play the same one twice. Players will also be able to retain all the cards they obtained in the first game, although how this will be accomplished has yet to be revealed.
The first Ultimate Mission — released back in February 2013 — covered up through the early “Galaxy Mission” updates of the original arcade version of Dragon Ball Heroes. Over an entire half-year, the game swayed in and out of the Famitsu and Media Create top-selling games charts with reliable, if not consistent, sales figures. The game was not released outside of Japan.
The May 2014 issue of V-Jump is available at sites such as CDJapan and will come packed with additional Dragon Ball news as well as a Super Saiyan 3 Vegetto card for the arcade version of Dragon Ball Heroes.