2016 In Review: Top 5 Dragon Ball News Stories
Published by 01 January 2017, 9:03 PM EST

While the last few years have all been massive ones, there is no denying that 2016 left its own distinctive mark on the Dragon Ball franchise. These were the top five stories of the year according to total website traffic, rate of traffic growth, social media conversations, etc.

#5: April 22nd – Arale to Appear in Upcoming “Dragon Ball Super” Episode

While all five of our top news stories involve Dragon Ball Super in some way (spoilers…?), the #5 spot was secured by something appropriate for the Kanzenshuu audience: a deep-cut from Dr. Slump. Unfortunately, we all seemed to extrapolate more from Mami Koyama’s website listings than we should have at the time. While Arale’s cameo was unfortunately just that, it was at least a taste of things to come in that magical episode later in December.

#4: June 3rd – “Future Trunks Arc” Key Visual Revealed For “Dragon Ball Super”

Say what you will about Toei’s overall marketing strategy, but there is no denying the key visual for the Future Trunks arc left an immediate impression. Whether it be a gun-toting Mai, an evil Goku smirk, a Potara earring, or even just Trunks’ blue hair, there was something for everyone in this image. With less than two weeks to go until the new arc when the image debuted, the visual accomplished everything it needed to.

#3: April 23rd – God Hierarchy to Expand with “Zen’ō” in Upcoming “Dragon Ball Super” Episode

When the 2013 theatrical film Battle of Gods teased another dozen universes out there, there was no doubt in our collective minds that future entries in the franchise would show us this larger plane of existence. Despite the series rolling out God and then gods above him and then even more gods above those gods, color us all surprised to see the Omni-King — the “lord of everything” — introduced as both a playmate and literal deus ex machina. As we roll into 2017 with two “Zen-chan” hosting a multi-universal tournament, our interest in the character can only increase!

#2: May 9th – “Future Trunks Arc” Announced For “Dragon Ball Super”

Blue hair?! Blue hair. B-but… blue hair? Yes, blue hair.

While Trunks’ return had been teased in interviews with Akira Toriyama and Toyotarō, May’s confirmation that the following month would see a brand-new story arc starring the tortured time traveller penned by Toriyama himself (with a little help from the editorial department) threw the Internet into hysterics. Toriyama warned us that things might get a little confusing, but some of us are still trying to work out all these timeline leaps.

#1: December 15th – “Dragon Ball Super” Upcoming “Universe Survival Arc” Key Visual & Synopsis

The top story of 2016 is only two weeks old, and did significantly more traffic in those two weeks than the number two story, which was posted over half a year ago.

After some disappointing movie re-tellings, Dragon Ball Super‘s Universe 6 vs. 7 tournament finally began to drag fans back in. While it was a fun diversion, there is no denying that the darker tone of the Future Trunks arc was what a huge contingent had been waiting for. With promises of universal destruction ahead, it seems as if the next arc will fall right in line. Hopefully the optimistic and fun tone is not lost along the way!

In terms of popular website content this year, the Dragon Ball Super episode guide has seen an enormous amount of traffic, while staff- and fan-favorite “Animation Styles Guide” has also held steady as a top-performer. Deeper cuts across the site that also did well in 2016 include the “Dragon Ball Super” section of our manga guide’s “Spin-Off” section as well as the “Databook” page in our “Battle Power Guide“.


Cheers to an amazing 2016! Onward into 2017!

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