2015 In Review: Top 5 Dragon Ball News Stories
Published by 01 January 2016, 8:22 PM EST

2013 and 2014 were enormous years for the Dragon Ball franchise. Beyond an official addition to the manga from its original creator and new theatrical installments also officially continuing the story, there was only one place for 2015 to take us: back to television. As the following statistics are about to prove, not much can compete with that kind of announcement. These were the top five stories of the year according to total website traffic, rate of traffic growth, social media conversations, etc.


#5: June 19th – New “Dragon Ball Super” Character Revealed: “Champa”

The production staff behind Dragon Ball Super did a wonderful job with the slow drips of information leading up to (and far into!) the TV series’ debut. The reveal of Champa before the show’s premiere — tied in with his presence in the opening sequence and eventually in Toyotarō’s manga adaptation — has kept us excited about his involvement for months on end. Though he has now technically/actually appeared in the series (finally!), we are still waiting for Champa to truly make an impact. Even when other aspects of our excitement die down, the Champa hype remains real.


#4: March 2nd – New “Dragon Ball Z: Revival of ‘F'” Trailer Reveals Freeza Form

Revival of “F” / Resurrection ‘F’ feels a million years old at this point, doesn’t it? The anticipation of what Freeza might have up his sleeve was enough for at least one non-Dragon Ball Super news story to crack the top five! Other reveals (including Jaco and ominous bits of dialog) were just the icing on the cake.


#3: July 1st – “Dragon Ball Super” Complete Showcase Event Reveals Series Plot

The “Dragon Ball Super Complete Showcase Event” in Tokyo recapped a slew of information we already knew about the then-upcoming Dragon Ball Super TV series, but it was the reveal that Toriyama himself was working on the “Universe 6” material that grabbed everyone’s attention. We would still have to slog through two movie re-tellings to get to that point, but knowing we had all-new material on the horizon has remained one of the most exciting parts of tuning in each week. Toyotarō’s manga teases sure didn’t hurt, either. As 2016 begins and we approach the end of the Freeza revival arc, this post remains one of the most-linked news stories around the web as fans look for clarification on Toriyama’s involvement and confirmations on where the series might be heading.


#2: June 26th – New Fuji TV “Dragon Ball Super” Website Posts 30-Second Preview

Fuji TV accidentally spill the beans when their own Dragon Ball Super website (itself separate from Toei Animation’s main Dragon Ball Super website) posted a 30-second preview for the upcoming series, which had been scheduled to air alongside the final Dragon Ball Kai episode. The preview included a shot of Champa and Vados visiting Beerus and Whis amidst footage that was otherwise just the first few episodes. It was a great tease, albeit one that perhaps came a few days early thanks to one branch of the marketing machine clearly not knowing what the other already had in the hopper.


#1: April 28th – New “Dragon Ball Super” TV Series Announced For 2015

As if there could be any debate about what the most-read, most-linked, most-discussed Dragon Ball news story in 2015 might be.

We have been around long enough to see spin-offs, parodies, special features, movies, and even manga additions revealed. However, nothing has ever come close to the traffic we received for the Dragon Ball Super announcement. There was no contest here; we are talking about an order of magnitude above and beyond not just any other story in 2015, but any other news story in the history of Kanzenshuu (even extending back to Daizenshuu EX and Kanzentai).

What else can we say? It was the announcement of the Dragon Ball franchise’s return to a weekly TV format for the first time in eighteen years. The “Rumor Guide” needs some serious updating thanks to 2015.

In terms of popular content this year, our Revival of “F” / Resurrection ‘F’ page in the “Movie Guide” was the clear winner courtesy of our synopsis following its original Japanese theatrical debut (along with the page’s character designs, production staff interview translations, etc.). Perhaps needless to say, the Dragon Ball Super episode guide main page has also seen an enormous amount of traffic.

The “Animation Styles Guide” and “Intended Endings Guide” remain fan-favorites as well, while our Dragon Ball GT ending analysis continues to chart year-after-year. It will be interesting to see whether or not Dragon Ball Super (and in particular wherever its story may take us in the timeline) has any effect on that page’s enduring popularity.

We are tempted to say that 2016 may be one of the more predictable years due to the on-going TV series. After all, why add to the noise? If the last few years have taught us anything, however, it is that we are 100% incapable of calling what Akira Toriyama, Shueisha, Toei, and Bandai Namco have planned for the Dragon Ball franchise. In a way, it’s oddly reminiscent of Toriyama’s writing style back during its original serialization: even he didn’t know where it would end up!


Cheers to an amazing 2015! Onward to 2016!

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