It has been an interesting, topsy-turvy ride for Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission in terms of sales. The Japanese Nintendo 3DS game fell off the Media Create best-sellers list three weeks ago, but gained a second-wind and has actually been back on the rise — that usually does not happen with these types of games!
It now seems likely that the tie-in with the new film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods gave it a bit of a bump last week, since the game has once again dropped off the Media Create list. The Famitsu sales list, however, places it with another 4,964 copies sold this past week (the period of 08 April 2013 to 14 April 2013), the game’s seventh week since release.
The game, released 28 February 2013, has now sold just under 160,000 copies and is currently only available in Japan (with a physical release only; there is no digital eShop release of the game) with no word on any international release.
One of the great benefits of being such a truly-international website is being able to do things like go see the new film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods on opening day, and to also attend the new exhibit, “Akira Toriyama The World of DRAGONBALL”. While the exhibit kicked off in Tokyo at the end of last month, I headed off to its second stop in Osaka today to bring some exclusive details to the Kanzenshuu audience.
After ascending to the eighth floor and paying admission, visitors are greeted at exhibit by a timeline covering the entire history of the series, including events as far back as the existence of Kaiō’s planet “a hundred million years ago or more”. Curiously, it also includes a large number of anime-only events, such as the Garlic Jr. Arc, the Ano-Yo-Ichi Budōkai, the first and fifth Dragon Ball Z movies, the Jump Super Anime Tour special, and all of Dragon Ball GT. Bardock is also described as having been “sent into the distant past” rather than killed outright by Freeza, in an indirect nod to Episode of Bardock.
In addition, and of particular interest to us here at Kanzenshuu, the timeline unambiguously places Battle of Gods in AGE 778, though it also says without a hint of irony that Bulma is celebrating her “38th” birthday, despite listing her birth year as 733 (actually making it her 45th birthday). The timeline also notes that Pan is born in 779 and Bra in 780, further indicating that the “778” birthdate for Bra (one of two birth years given for her in Daizenshuu 7) was merely an oversight. For more details and insight on placing Battle of Gods into the timeline and reconciling it all into something coherent, check out Episode #0327 of our podcast!
After the timeline, visitors arrive at the character wall, showcasing hundreds of characters from the series. Interestingly, it includes not only characters from the original manga, but many anime-only characters designed by the likes of Minoru Maeda, Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru, and Tadayoshi Yamamuro in the form of both lineart and stills. It seems an odd choice for an event celebrating the work of Akira Toriyama himself, but then again, we suppose that the world of Dragon Ball has also grown to be far larger than the man who created it, so perhaps it is fitting.
As we anticipated, the exhibit contains lots of original manga pages — both color and black and white — taking up the greatest amount of the exhibit. This includes the entirety of chapters 1 and 519 (though about three pages of chapter 1 were obvious reproductions). For chapter 519, there is also a comparison between his original version of the chapter and the Kanzenban version.
These manuscripts really are a window into the way Toriyama worked: you can see individual strokes in the blacked-in areas, places where he used a bit of white-out to get rid of stray ink or highlight sound-effects or lighter areas, and places where he had pasted over another piece of paper either to correct a mistake (rarely) or photocopied another panel and pasted it on to save time (often). An example of this was the iconic image that also graces the cover of the upcoming Chōgashū: he shortened one of Goku’s locks of hair corresponding to where his hair in its normal style is also shorter. As if to highlight Toriyama’s replication of panels, the event also includes the scene from chapter 480 where even Kuririn notices it, and Toriyama appears to apologize. This too had the pose-panels pasted on.
Another technique that can be observed through these manuscripts is that, whenever Toriyama used tone, he would only cut the tone roughly where it came up against a solid-black area, then blacked in over top of it. This was, no doubt, to save time. Toriyama also inked directly over his pencil illustrations, just as he has claimed in interviews; these were usually completely erased, though some pencil outlines were occasionally still visible.
Moving on from these original manga pages, there is a collection of original color illustrations for things like tankōbon covers, illustrations for Weekly Shōnen Jump, and chapter title pages. At least one title page even had catch-copy penciled in; perhaps Toriyama thought of at least some of these blurbs himself (even though most are deleted in the Kanzenban manga release). Also present in this gallery were Akira Toriyama’s original concept illustrations for Dragon Ball GT, along with his color design sketches for Giru and the ship, complete with notes. An anime gallery follows, showcasing design materials, cels, and a visual progression through the various anime series and movies using posters and official artwork.
In roughly the same area, there is also a “treasure gallery”, which showcases rare and intriguing items: character concept sketches Toriyama drew for the 23rd Tenka’ichi Budōkai (including a version of Tao Pai-pai with a translucent brain-case and a much younger-looking Goku), Dragon Ball merchandise from around the world (including the “Orange Bricks” and several different versions of the Viz-translated manga, with both uncensored early volumes and “Viz Big” omnibuses), postcards and newsletters from Toriyama’s official fan-club (including an early concept illustration for Dragon Ball) and items from Masako Nozawa’s personal collection of memorabilia, with not one, but two signed Goku illustrations, presented to her by Akira Toriyama at different milestones in the series.
The exhibit’s “theater corner” showcases a comparison between the Japanese version of the anime and of several different foreign-language dubs, including FUNimation’s English version, taken from the fight against Vegeta on Earth in Dragon Ball Z. It was truly a surreal sight to see crowds of Japanese people sitting in rapt attention as Sean Schemmel and Christopher Sabat screamed at each other behind the guise of Goku and Vegeta. This is followed by a talk with Akira Toriyama (off-camera) and Masako Nozawa about the new movie and Goku as a character which unfortunately was a little too quiet to hear clearly without being closer to the front.
An introduction to the new movie Battle of Gods closes out the exhibit with elements from the new film, including storyboards used by director Masahiro Hosoda, character-model sheets by Tadayoshi Yamamuro, and Akira Toriyama’s own artwork for the film. For now, this is the only place where fans will be able to catch a glimpse of Toriyama’s original illustration of Super Saiyan God, as it has not been included in the Official Movie Guide, theatrical program, or the exhibition’s own official program.
Upon exiting the exhibit, there is a Kamehameha photo corner where visitors can capture themselves firing a ki blast, and a gift shop featuring merchandise, much of which (especially products related to Battle of Gods) is exclusive to the exhibit.
As you have come to expect from us at Kanzenshuu, we will continue to bring the English-speaking world this type of exclusive coverage. Please enjoy the information and photos, and look for even more commentary about the exhibit on an upcoming podcast episode!
Cinema Today reports that the new film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods has broken the ¥2 billion mark in 15 days, and it is also the first movie this year in Japan to take the #1 spot three weeks in a row. On Saturday and Sunday this past week the movie saw attendance of 178,553 people and gross revenues of ¥228,671,950.
Cinema Today recaps the fact that the series made ¥680 million in its first two days with over 500,000 tickets sold, and 1 million tickets in 6 days. It also asserts that its strength has shown no sign of faltering even after the end of the spring vacation period.
Its totals in 16 days stand at attendance of 1,823,141 people and gross revenues of ¥2,201,936,850. Battle of Gods is the fastest movie of 2013 (in Japan) to break ¥2 billion in gross revenue.
It’s true! I heard it from a friend! On the Internet! Akira Toriyama is totally animating a new Dragon Ball series even though Toriyama is not an animator and it will be over 200 episodes and he announced it at a press conference even though he didn’t even show his face on TV last time he was on and it is because the movie did so well even though the announcement was supposedly made before the movie actually premiered in theaters and…
Heard this one before?
Episode #0330! VegettoEX and Julian give fandom a lesson in critical thinking with regard to new Dragon Ball announcements. There is always a random new rumor floating around, but we took the opportunity to break this one down – that Akira Toriyama supposedly appeared at a press conference to announce a new 200-episode series – to its humble beginnings and how a game of telephone can contort and twist misinformation into even worse misinformation.
- Animazement Announces Yūko Minaguchi As Additional 2013 Guest
- “Battle of Gods” Second Weekend Figures Updates
- “Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission” Sixth-Week Sales
- New “Chōgashū” (“Super Illustration Collection”) Release Details
- 8th “Please Tell Us, Akira Toriyama-sensei!!” Q&A
Enjoy! Discuss this episode on the Kanzenshuu forum.
The new series of Q&As with original manga author Akira Toriyama — “Please Tell Us, Akira Toriyama-sensei!!” — continues on yet again for another week in today’s issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump (2013 #20) in Japan. This time around, Toriyama gives a couple brief thoughts on the type of open-ending used for the new movie, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods:
What is the meaning of that conclusion…?
I suppose there might be a variety of impressions with regards to the battle’s conclusion…. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll be happy if I can get people to feel “an expansion into [something] afterwards”. Like, “Isn’t there still more to come?” (laughs)
Toriyama’s comments here are incredibly similar to what he wrote as the final compilation volume of the manga was being published back in 1995, with the possibility and open door of an ever-expanding world:
At long last, it’s the final volume! I deliberately made the end low-key, as though the story might still continue; what did you think of it?
About a month ago, a listing for yet another new Dragon Ball book popped up on Shueisha’s website, separate from the on-going Chōzenshū guide books: a new “Dragon Ball: Chōgashū” or “Super Illustration Collection”. At first, all we had was a release date (09 May 2013, the same day as the fourth and final Chōzenshū), a size (B5, same as the Chōzenshū), and a price (¥3,800, a bit more pricey than the Chōzenshū).
The upcoming issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump in Japan (WJ 2013 #20) gives us a few more key details about the book, including its cover art.
The new 240-page book will contain a collection of over 400 illustrations drawn from the time period of 1985 to 2013. As of right now, there is nothing specifically stated about it exclusively containing illustrations by original author Akira Toriyama, so it is possible that it could contain the contents of Daizenshuu 1: Complete Illustrations, new Toriyama artwork, and/or additional artwork from other artists and producers that have worked on the franchise.
Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission for the Japanese Nintendo 3DS fell off the Media Create best-sellers list in its fourth week, but charged back upward last week for a return appearance.
Now in its sixth week (covering the period of 01 April 2013 to 07 April 2013), the game is performing as strong as ever, jumping all the way back up to #6 on the Media Create list with another 11,674 copies sold.
This puts the game at 151,881 total copies sold. The game, released 28 February 2013, is currently only available in Japan with no word on any international release.
The new film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods continued to prove successful into its second weekend, with its 9-day total attendance standing at 1,488,518 and gross revenue at ¥1,772,955,800 (passing the halfway mark to Toei’s target of ¥3 billion). The audience demographic holds steady with parents and children, older fans from back during the series’ original run, and young women in their teens to early 20s.
Coming off an already-impressive announcement of Ryūsei Nakao (Tambourine, Freeza, Coola), Masako Nozawa (Son Goku, et al.) and Toshio Furukawa (Piccolo), Animazement has also announced Yūko Minaguchi (Videl, Pan) as a guest for their convention this year.
Animazement will take place 24 May 2013 to 26 May 2013 at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Kanzenshuu will be there to cover all of the panels and stories from this amazing collection of talent!
As the new film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods continues to hold steady in theaters, we felt it was proper to continue diving into all of the reference materials coming out these days — guide books, magazine articles, website interviews, etc. — to get a better idea of where the movie actually came from. So many ideas were drafted and tossed out before the final stages of production that we almost have an entirely different story sitting out there in the unused ether. Join us for an in-depth look at some of these ideas and where the story could have taken us!
For those of you who may also wish to refer to this material in text form, the Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods page in our “Movie Guide” has been updated with an “Original Draft/Design Concepts” section which includes a few tidbits we have yet to post in full over in our “Translations” section!
Episode #0329! VegettoEX, Hujio, and Julian dive into a wealth of reference materials for the new film “Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods” and attempt to discover where the film’s story truly came from. While the final result was fantastic, imagine an alternate version with a lizard-esque villain, Super Saiyan God with a cape, a wedding instead of a birthday party, and a far darker story than has ever been told before!
- “Battle of Gods” On Track To Beat 3 Billion Yen Goal
- “Battle of Gods” Passes 500,000 People & ¥680 Million in 2 Days
- “Battle of Gods” Opening Week Figures Update
- 6th “Please Tell Us, Akira Toriyama-sensei!!” Q&A
- 7th “Please Tell Us, Akira Toriyama-sensei!!” Q&A
- “Super Saiyan God Son Goku” Coming to “Zenkai Battle Royale”
- More Updates & Video Coming For “J-Stars Victory Vs” (PS3/Vita)
- “J-Stars Victory Vs” (PS3/Vita) First Commercial
- “Dragon Ball SD” Vol. 1 Release Details
- European Namco-Bandai Teasing New DBZ Announcement?
- “Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission” Fifth-Week Sales
- Upcoming Dragon Ball Releases: April 2013
Enjoy! Discuss this episode on the Kanzenshuu forum.