2012 has been one of the most exciting years to be a Dragon Ball fan, no matter where in the world you live. Every single type of news story — from the controversial to the heart-warming to the completely banal — has come and gone over the last 365 days. We merged Daizenshuu EX and Kanzentai back on April 1st and have been able to cover the news even better than we already were beforehand (not that any of us were deficient before, or anything…). We have been so incredibly proud to share this ride with you and bring you the best coverage, the most accurate translations, the most original features and guides… and we plan on bringing you far more in 2013.
That all being said, let us take a look back at 2012. These were the top five stories of the year according to total website traffic, rate of traffic growth, social media conversations, etc. If all five of these stories seem recent to you, that is because they are — these stories from just the last couple months completely blew everything else out of the water from the entire rest of the year!
#5: December 5th — New Crossover Video Game Announced: “Project Versus J”
The last year brought what most felt was a snooze-fest of video game announcements — between Dragon Ball Z for Kinect (a motion-control re-skin of a re-skin) alongside Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection (a mostly-competent release with a replacement soundtrack and a missing game), expectations were low for 2013. When the first page showcasing Project Versus J found its way to fandoms far and wide, it was clear that excitement was once again in the air.
#4: November 10th — New 2013 Dragon Ball Z Movie Title: “Battle of Gods”?
There are leaks, and then there are leaks. In what turned out to be an in-progress version of the eventual poster for the upcoming 2013 movie, we learned the title of the movie (“Battle of Gods”) and caught our first glimpses of two new characters, who themselves would later be revealed as “Uisu” and “Birusu”, the God of Destruction. Fans argued whether it was a cat or a bunny or a jackal (and most importantly of all, why on Earth Gohan was a Super Saiyan?!), but one thing was for sure — this was going to be crazy.
#3: July 10th — New 2013 Dragon Ball Movie First Details
After the countdown website revealed that a new Dragon Ball movie was on the way, fans were salivating for the first bits of any real information. When Jump came out with a two-page spread detailing Tadayoshi Yamamuro’s involvement with the animation, as well as Akira Toriyama’s own personal statement about his involvement with the movie, it seemed like things could not possibly get any better.
#2: July 27th — New Dragon Ball Z 2013 Movie Teaser
It did not yet have a name, but when the short teaser trailer for what would become Battle of Gods debuted on Fuji TV this past summer, the Internet exploded with enthusiasm. All it took was a sweeping shot into a smiling Goku for everyone’s excitement to reach new levels.
#1: November 6th — Dragon Ball Kai is Set to Continue… but Not in Japan
Dragon Ball Kai has always been an interesting monster for us to cover. It was pretty much an unprecedented type of experiment: bring back the exact same version of a show, not reanimated, but edited down with an all-new musical score. The Japanese audience reacted to it with near total apathy, but the international markets seemed insatiable. When the seemingly-failed-experiment came to a seemingly-premature close with the Cell story arc, many fans were left wanting more. Toshio Furukawa’s teaser photograph and Mayumi Tanaka’s blog post unceremoniously announcing the continuation into the Majin Boo story arc nearly sent fans into convulsions with excitement.
Cheers, 2012! Here’s to an equally-amazing 2013.