If you have been keeping tabs on the new film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods — as we have! — then you are probably already aware that, in its first weekend, it was doing pretty well! It probably comes as no surprise that it continued that trend in its first full week.
As of this past Wednesday (its fifth day in theaters), the film had already reached attendance of roughly 990,000, and was seen as certain to reach 1,000,000 on Thursday (its sixth day), thus making it the fastest movie to reach that milestone this year (in Japan). The precise numbers as of Wednesday stood at attendance of 988,790 and gross revenue of ¥1,146,467,600.
The Cinema Today article goes on to state that other family-oriented films for the spring vacation period, Doraemon: Nobita’s Secret Gadget Museum and Wreck-It Ralph (renamed Sugar Rush in Japan), are also doing well. Dragon Ball has many parents taking their children to see the film, but it is also attracting older fans of the series, as well as pairs/groups of women in their teens to early 20s, truly demonstrating its strength across generations.
In addition to totals at the end of the spring vacation period, Toei is looking ahead with great expectations for audience turnout during the Golden Week holiday at the beginning of May.
A recent article from Kōgyō Tsushinsha does not give any hard numbers for attendance or earnings, but shows Dragon Ball Z maintaining its place at the top of the pack for its second weekend.
Namco-Bandai has unveiled the first video footage for their upcoming crossover fighting game J-Stars Victory Vs with a debut commercial:
The footage showcases the four known playable characters — Goku (Dragon Ball), Luffy (One Piece), Toriko (Toriko), Naruto (Naruto) — battling with each other and performing their signature attacks.
J-Stars Victory Vs, initially unveiled as Project Versus J, is tied in with the 45th celebration of Jump and will be available for the PlayStation 3 and Vita at some unspecified point with a promise that there will be more “announcements of successive Jump heroes joining the battle” to decide who is the strongest, and to keep your eyes on the official site.
We will, of course, keep on top of any further announcements via their own website and the regular plethora of magazines in Japan!
The new series of Q&As with original manga author Akira Toriyama — “Please Tell Us, Akira Toriyama-sensei!!” — continues on for yet another week in today’s issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump (2013 #19) in Japan. We are still back on the one-question-per-week schedule, and this one brings us a tidbit on backstories that Toriyama creates in his head.
Do you have any unspoken backstories?
Just because he’s the God of Destruction, I wouldn’t like it if he just showed up for no good reason and went on a rampage. So even if it’s not mentioned in the work itself, I do try to come up with a convincing backstory in my own mind. …Although, I forget surprisingly quickly. (laughs)
The third in a series of four new Dragon Ball books, “Chōzenshū 3: Animation Guide Part 2″, was released in Japan this week (04 April 2013), packing a huge amount of material from four prior Daizenshuu into one book.
A good bunch of new material was also included, such as a 25-page spotlight on Dragon Ball GT (which does not pull its material from the Perfect File books), along with a feature on the new film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods.
The “Library of Adventure” sections have all been printed in one shot now titled as as “Design Library”. The “All Story Digest” pages from the third, fifth, and supplemental Daizenshuu are also present and accounted for, plus a new section in the same format for GT. Only one “Variety of DB” page made it through intact this time, showcasing Toriyama’s redesigns of the Red Ribbon Army for the 10th Anniversary film. The “Next Movie” page from Daizenshuu 6 that showed conceptual art with different character designs has been omitted, as well as all “Memorial” sections that highlight merchandise related to the older movies.
This is another huge week for new Dragon Ball merchandise releases, so we thought it was worth posting up a reminder for anyone with a little extra cash burning some holes in their pocket!
The third of the new Chōzenshū guide books, “Animation Guide Part 2″, is due out 04 April 2013 for ¥2,300 and will cover a whopping 352 pages. The previous volume covered Daizenshuu 3 & 5, leaving plenty of material to cover in a second animation guide. We already know “Part 2″ is set to include Daizenshuu 6 (“Movies & TV Specials”) as well as new Battle of Gods material, but we hope to have a full rundown on the new volume for you this week!
The print-edition “Full Color Comics” return from Shueisha all on 04 April 2013 with five volumes to cover the entire Freeza story arc. Each volume runs 248 pages for ¥630 each. This new edition colorizes Akira Toriyama’s original manga artwork, and is also available digitally both in Japan and on a weekly-basis in English from Viz in the domestic Weekly Shonen Jump.
The first collected-edition volume of spin-off author and artist Naho Ooishi’s Dragon Ball SD also comes out 04 April 2013. The volume will run ¥600 and contain 192 pages.
The May 2013 issue of Nikkei Entertainment! magazine will contain a lead feature on the “revival” of Son Goku and Dragon Ball. A separate feature will revolve around Shōnen Jump and its rivals. The issue will run you ¥600 and is also due out 04 April 2013.
The “Miracle of God” expansion for Miracle Battle Carddass hits 12 April 2013, with boxes running ¥4,200 for 20 packs of eight cards each.
Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission for the Japanese Nintendo 3DS fell off the Media Create best-sellers list last week — which would have been its fourth week on the charts — but managed to hang in there on the Famitsu list, which pegged it at 8,924 copies for the week.
The game appears to have made a slight comeback during its fifth week (covering the period of 25 March 2013 to 31 March 2013), popping back up at #19 on the Media Create list with another 9,414 copies sold.
Media Create puts the game at 140,208 total copies sold so far, which also lets us reverse-engineer the math to get 9,097 copies back last week compared to Famitsu‘s 8,924 — definitely in the same ballpark.
The Heroes brand has absolutely zero penetration outside of Japan (with the exception of a few character designs plopped into 2011′s Ultimate Tenkaichi), and while our own Herms says to not lose any sleep over missing out on the game, it sounds like a good bunch of you would still be interested in a localized version. Is this still the case? Hoping any upcoming announcements give you some good news?
When Namco-Bandai brought the Dragon Ball video game license back in-house from Atari in 2009, the American branch of the company heavily promoted the franchise and their upcoming games over the course of the next year. After that, however, the promotions were significantly scaled back. The European branch of the company, on the other hand, has consistently been in the mix with fans to hype up whatever releases are on the way at the time. In fact, the vast majority of promotional videos for Ultimate Tenkaichi — highlighting game features like character creation — were done in-house by the European branch exclusively.
It is perhaps no surprise that the European branch is the one teasing what is likely a new video game announcement (link available only to European Facebook visitors):
So far, there is no real information on what the big console game for the franchise — if any — will be this year. Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission on the Nintendo 3DS remains exclusive to Japan (despite comparatively-fantastic sales), J-Stars Victory Vs has yet to receive a release date in Japan (never mind an international announcement), and there is still no word on any possible home console port of Zenkai Battle Royale. Tap Battle for Android-based (and eventually iOS) devices also has no international announcement just yet.
That all being said, Namco-Bandai’s big games preview day is coming up soon this month, and it would be the prime place for an announcement of this type! Last year’s “Global Gamers Day” brought us the formal reveal of Dragon Ball Z for Kinect. Hopefully we get a pleasant surprise this year.
Thanks to John-Edvard for the heads-up and screen grab!
Though it is due out this week on 04 April 2013, very little information has been released about Shueisha’s Dragon Ball SD Volume 1, the first compilation of spin-off author & artist Naho Ooishi’s on-going comic in Saikyō Jump.
Shueisha’s own website has finally dripped out a few details, including a proper version of the book’s cover art:
7つ集めて呪文を唱えると、どんな願いも一つだけ叶えてくれるドラゴンボール。ある日、山奥に住む少年・孫悟空はブルマと出会い、球探しを手伝う事に！？ あの冒険物語がSDで登場！！ 原作ファンも楽しめる！！
When you collect the seven Dragon Balls and recite the incantation, any single wish will be granted. One day, Son Goku, a young boy living deep in the mountains, encounters Bulma, and ends up helping her search for the balls!? That tale of adventure appears in SD!! Even fans of the original can enjoy it!!
The volume will run ¥600 and contain 192 pages. No listings online appear to detail exactly which chapters will be included, and in particular if it will start with the four quarterly chapters that skip over the course of the series, or pick up with the monthly chapters that start at the “beginning” of the series. Furthermore, we do not even know if it will be collected in color like its original printings!
UPDATE: We can confirm that Volume 1 of Dragon Ball SD is indeed printed in full color, features nine chapters starting with the reboot from the January 2012 issue of Saikyō Jump, and a few new bonuses such as a new illustration and message of congratulations to Naho Ooishi from original manga author Akira Toriyama.
Dragon Ball SD began with Saikyō Jump as a quarterly publication with four total issues in 2011 re-telling major aspects of the franchise in an even more childish tone. When the magazine switched to a monthly format in 2012, Dragon Ball SD started over at the very beginning of the series with the same kind of writing and artistic style. Last month’s issue of Saikyō Jump took a short break from the traditional storyline to feature a one-off “Special Manga Version” of the new film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods.
As anticipated and confirmed via leaked pages last week, today’s issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump (WJ 2013 #18) in Japan confirms Project Versus J has been retitled as J-Stars Victory Vs, Naruto Uzumaki from the (obviously-enough) Naruto series has been added, and more series/characters will be unveiled soon. The 3D-field “team battle action” game is being released on the PlayStation 3 and Vita tied-in with the 45th anniversary of Jump, but no exact release date has been set.
In line with the magazine’s publication today, the game’s official website has also been updated showcasing Naruto’s addition:
While a “movie” is listed as “coming soon” on the website, Famitsu reports that a large number of characters will be revealed in both Weekly Shōnen Jump and V-Jump, and that the first video footage will be aired during the upcoming “Dream 9 Super Collaboration Special” set for 07 April 2013 at 9:00 am on Fuji TV. The special will feature Toriko, One Piece, and Dragon Ball Z crossing over with each other in two parts: “Run, Strongest Team! Toriko, Luffy, and Goku!” and “The Mightiest Collaboration in History vs. the Gluttonous Man of the Sea”.
Believe it or not, we are still catching up on various interviews conducted in support of the new film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, and we have English translations of another two for you today: one with Masako Nozawa from Animate.tv, and another with Nozawa, the band FLOW, and scriptwriter Yūsuke Watanabe from the April 2013 issue of DVD & Blu-ray Vision magazine.
In her interview with Animate.tv, Nozawa speaks to getting the whole gang back together to record the first new theatrical film in 17 years, adding new aspects to the expected Dragon Ball story, and bringing multiple generations of fans together to enjoy the movie.
The multi-part interview in DVD & Blu-ray Vision magazine speaks to FLOW’s involvement with the theme songs and being such long-time fans, Nozawa’s process for voicing multiple characters, and Watanabe’s own thoughts on the characters and approaching them as a fan, himself. Perhaps most interesting are a few hints given toward Watanabe’s original ideas for the script, such as a wedding between two certain characters instead of what turned into Bulma’s birthday party in the final draft:
I thought I’d do a story where the enemy appears at a party on Earth when Goku’s not there, and there’d be big trouble; in the original plot, I wrote Kuririn and No. 18′s wedding, but in the story that came back from Toriyama-sensei, it had changed to Bulma’s birthday party. I think, with regards to Kuririn and No. 18′s wedding, it’s probably something that he wants all the fans to imagine for themselves.
Archives of both interviews can be found in our “Translations” section.