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Published by VegettoEX
09 January 2021, 1:06 PM ESTComments Off

The name “Shueisha” began trending on social media website Twitter yesterday as the company — the top rights-holder for the Dragon Ball franchise and various other properties, including the full Jump branding line — appeared to issue numerous takedown notices on individual users for alleged content violations. Supposed violations included snippets, photographs, and direct screen captures from both comic and television series alike, including user profile icons in addition to standard post content.

The “Digital Millennium Copyright Act” is a particular — and oft-abused — arm of copyright law that (in layman’s terms) seeks to control means of circumvention and digital distribution, and through its provisions, shifts the “blame” of copyright infringement from a service host to the end-user. Through DMCA Title II, “safe harbor” is granted to service providers against infringement, provided they meet certain guidelines and block or otherwise remove copyrighted material when formally notified of it.

In an example shared on Twitter, user “RoseScape” (@BlackScapeRose) noted a takedown request for a December 2020 post sharing an animated GIF of Goku’s Super Saiyan transformation from the Dragon Ball Z television series. The post’s text stated, “Just Admit It You’ve Tried To Go Super Saiyan”.

The animated GIF post was the only one on RoseScape’s account hit by a strike, though in response they independently went back and deleted all prior Dragon Ball media source posts. “The threat of having our accounts suspended over sharing Dragon Ball content is terrifying,” RoseScape told Kanzenshuu. “We all love this franchise and connect on it together as a community. Shueisha has broke my heart today and I hope for the sake of this fandom they redeem themselves.”

In the past, FUNimation — the North American sub-licensee for the Dragon Ball franchise’s animated products — has regularly encouraged fans to post animated GIFs on Twitter.

Japanese artist “fenyo_n” — widely believed to be a freelance artist currently working on Dragon Ball imagery for official Dragon Ball merchandise, including mobile video games — posted a message in English early in the day, noting (without any further specifics):

Professional artists like “fenyo_n” and creators like “RoseScape” have significant followings, but a follower count does not seem to have necessarily come into play with these strikes.

Responding to “fenyo_n” and numerous other accounts discussing the issue, user “Red Dog” (@FishermanWest, with 28 followers) claimed on Twitter that their “Vegito Vs Beerus” fan manga had been taken down:

At the time of this article’s publication, this fan manga — clearly their own exaggerated art style, and not one directly reminiscent of official art — was separately still available on the user’s Facebook page.

Much of Red Dog’s tweet history has been removed, an action specifically taken in response to this account strike, as explained in a response to Kanzenshuu. Many replies from other Twitter users back to (now-deleted) Red Dog posts remain of course, with countless conversations including extensive collections of full manga pages, anime screenshots, photographs, and crude translation attempts. When asked if any of their own prior posts with these official manga images came into play with the account strike, Red Dog told Kanzenshuu — whether this is accurate or not is largely debatable, of course — that they believed their fan manga was targeted specifically. “It’s not surprising they would strike down those using their work,” Red Dog told Kanzenshuu. “But for them to target fan-made artwork is rather surprising and funny due to how extreme those measures are.”

Spanish fan “Red Ribbon DRAGON BALL 亀” (@Red_Ribbon_DBZ) reached out to Kanzenshuu and shared a December 2020 post comparing scenes from Jaco the Galactic Patrolman and chapter 67 of the recently-released Dragon Ball Super manga. The post received a DMCA strike, prompting “Red Ribbon” to make their account private and cease all further posting for the time being. In a message to Kanzenshuu, they expressed their frustration over a strike coming to an account they felt provided serious and researched analysis of Dragon Ball and Akira Toriyama’s works, not an account focused on “spoilers” and material leaked ahead of its official and legal release date.

In another example privately emailed to Kanzenshuu, a Twitter user explained that a strike was issued to a years-old post with a cropped panel from a chapter of the Dragon Ball Super manga. While the user responded to Kanzenshuu saying they do not remember the exact panel used (which they can no longer view due to it being removed), from the specific surrounding context and screenshot of the tweet content in their original communication to us, we can confidently say that the image in question was posted two days ahead of the respective chapter’s official release date.

Multiple Twitter users are sharing their DMCA notifications, which curiously include long lists of other users’ posts, including RoseScape, whose own list does include a reference to Red Dog’s “FishermanWest” account. Were it not for RoseScape’s single animated GIF example, one might be led to think that these strikes were focused on accounts sharing significant portions of Shueisha-owned manga properties, or those sharing material before its legal release date.

What this behavior ultimately seems to imply, however, is perhaps the action of an overzealous and misguided legal firm or — Occam’s Razor here — an automated and effectively unsupervised takedown toward the end of the day (Japan time) on a Friday to avoid having to worry about any fallout for a little bit. There is always the potential for further abuse of the antiquated and insufficient DMCA from unaffiliated, everyday users — literal bad actors — posing as official companies, but, again, the simplest solution is almost always the correct one. Several industry professionals, including those actively working with Shueisha, have responded in ways similar to other fans, assuming this to be a genuine Shueisha maneuver.

Many fans have cited recently-enacted Japanese laws as a potential instigator for this Twitter wave, though this seems misguided; while these laws seek to curb illegal manga distribution, particularly based on prior pushback, they focus on larger, organized, wholesale manga distribution and accompanying “leech sites”, far removed from individual Twitter users. Likewise, fans often point to “fair use” as some sort of legitimizing basis for posting copyrighted material, but this is a defense for the act that is analyzed on four major criteria when legally challenged, rather than a blanket permission.

The wave of Twitter notices come after similar strong-arm maneuvers from Shueisha, Toei, Bandai Namco, and other Japanese partner companies both on- and offline.

In late 2018, multiple Dragon Ball FighterZ tournaments were shut down with little explanation; meanwhile, Shueisha was currently publishing Hiroshi Otogi’s DeSpo FighterZ manga series in the children’s magazine Saikyō Jump. The series, which ran from the magazine’s September 2018 to September 2020 issues, followed a group of young protagonists in a world obsessed with eSports as they attempted to become the ultimate Dragon Ball FighterZ pro-gamers.

In 2009, we spoke with TeamFourStar’s Scott “KaiserNeko” Frerichs on Episode #0187 of our podcast about dealing with similar account strikes on YouTube. At the time, Toei appeared to be on their own rampage, taking out numerous videos and entire accounts, TeamFourStar included. At the time, Frerichs explained, “YouTube has a three-strike [system]. Unfortunately, Toei was like, ‘Well that video, that video, that video.’ just one after another, and when you don’t have time to say, ‘Uh oh, they’re pulling the videos,’ and it’s only a three-strike limit… so if they take down three videos at once, you’re done.”

“One of the most frustrating aspects about being struck with a DMCA takedown is that there are no clear guidelines on what is and isn’t acceptable,” video creator, animation critic, and occasional Kanzenshuu contributor “AnimeAjay” told us this week. “Spending days writing and editing a video only to lose all your hard work and earnings for a nebulous reason is one of the most agonizing parts of the job. Ultimately, I know we as creators don’t really have much of a leg to stand on, and are always at the will of the rights holders, but it’s that lack of transparency and consistency that causes the most frustration. Now we’re running into cases where profitless tweets and fan art are being taken down, and nobody has any idea why, and especially why now.”

This is, of course, only a small selection of users affected by these potential Shueisha takedowns, and as a Dragon Ball-focused website, we have only spoken with Dragon Ball fans; the reach extended far beyond just our own community. While it can be easy to shrug off these strikes as unintended consequences of legitimate action being taken against piracy accounts, it is clear that regular, everyday fans can and do become disenfranchised over such draconian actions. With Dragon Ball continuing to rake in significant international licensing revenue, however, just how much should the rights-holders ultimately care about their actions and their easily-replaceable fans?

It is worth noting that it is difficult-to-impossible for us to verify the legitimacy of since-deleted tweets for users that we were not already following and could not preemptively save tweets ahead of these events. In these cases, we have made every attempt to corroborate as much as we can with what resources are still available to us, such as searching out responses to alleged tweets that still remain from other users. We are confident in the validity of the tweets mentioned in this article.


UPDATE (14 January 2021): Shueisha released a brief statement today today acknowledging last week’s “copyright infringement scam”, noting:

It has come to our attention, Shueisha has been falsely misrepresented by an individual sending copyright and removal requests on Twitter and other social media platforms. Shueisha is currently consulting with the various platforms to investigate what measures can be taken to address this issue.

Rather damning evidence posted online and shared with Kanzenshuu — particularly that from @jessix_tv and from @newworldartur — seems to convincingly point to a repeat-harasser.

Several of the tweets mentioned in our previous report have been reinstated.

Thank you to all who took the time to speak with Kanzenshuu to share their experiences and frustrations alike.

Published by VegettoEX
03 January 2021, 5:36 PM ESTComments Off

Following last month’s episode, the official Super Dragon Ball Heroes website announced a title and summary for the upcoming tenth numbered episode of the Super Dragon Ball Heroes promotional anime‘s new “Universe Creation Arc” (under the larger umbrella of the game’s current “Big Bang Mission” update series), set for online streaming at some as-of-yet unannounced time this month.

Breaking the Most Evil of Limits! Broli’s Revival!
In the Time Rift, Vegetto: Xeno and the Dark King Fu clash. The Dark King Fu raises his evil energy, and the moment he raises one hand, all of a sudden, his surroundings transform into a massive ballroom. With a thunderous roar, from within the crumbling debris comes a deafening growl and the shape of a familiar but terrifying presence… During the fierce fight, the Universe Tree that had been filled with energy by the Dark King Fu starts to gradually become brighter and brighter until its light suddenly bursts! While the light released by the Universe Tree spreads everywhere, next to the captive Cumber is a single man with an ominous grin on his face.

The self-described “promotional anime” began its free online streaming in July 2018, with the initial six episodes covering the “Prison Planet” arc, then moving on to the “Universal Conflict” arc. Back in March, the series re-branded again for the new “Universe Creation Arc” alongside the arcade game’s own update to the “Big Bang Mission” series. Though the promotional anime series’ original trailer was available worldwide, the subsequent episode postings themselves have been region-locked to Japan. No home release of the promotional anime has been announced.

Super Dragon Ball Heroes is itself an update and hardware revision to the original Dragon Ball Heroes, a card-based arcade game in which players arrange teammates on a playing field for turn-based battles, now in its tenth year of operation. Dragon Ball Heroes has seen a variety of multimedia spin-offs and support pieces. Yoshitaka Nagayama’s Super Dragon Ball Heroes: Big Bang Mission!!! manga (a follow-up to the previous Dark Demon Realm Mission! and Universe Mission!! series) currently runs in Shueisha’s bimonthly Saikyō Jump magazine, while Toyotarō’s Dragon Ball Heroes: Victory Mission ran from 2012-2015 in Shueisha’s monthly V-Jump magazine. Three portable game adaptations — Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission, Ultimate Mission 2, and Ultimate Mission X — were released on the Nintendo 3DS. A fourth home version, Super Dragon Ball Heroes: World Mission, launched on the Nintendo Switch and PC on 04 April 2019 and internationally (a first for the series) 05 April 2019.

Published by VegettoEX
25 December 2020, 6:00 PM ESTComments Off

The seventh collected volume of Dragon Ball SD is on its way from Shueisha, with a catalog entry noting an 04 February 2021 release date, clocking in at 192 pages and running at ¥600 + tax.

The release will mark about a year and a half since the sixth collected volume, no doubt due to the current bimonthly schedule of Saikyō Jump where Naho Ooishi’s “chibi” spin-off manga is serialized, as well as the series’ brief hiatus earlier this year. The seventh collected volume will pick up with Bulma, Kuririn, and Gohan’s trip to Namek and Freeza’s introduction in Dragon Ball SD chapter 59.

The January 2021 issue of Saikyō Jump (released earlier this month), contained the spin-off manga’s 68th chapter since its 2011/2012 reboot. In 2016, the series skipped ahead from the end of the 22nd Tenka’ichi Budōkai to the Saiyan arc. Other than brief absences in the January 2017 and November 2020 issues, Dragon Ball SD has run in each and every issue of Saikyō Jump since its 2011 debut throughout all of its format and release changes.

Dragon Ball SD is not available in English, though it does currently see a release in certain territories such as Germany and France.

Published by VegettoEX
25 December 2020, 1:29 PM ESTComments Off

SHOW DESCRIPTION:

Episode #0487! Mike, Ajay, Terez, Ken, Jake, and Heath review the full Galactic Patrol Prisoner arc from the Dragon Ball Super manga!

Our podcast is available via iTunes and/or Google Play Music, or you can pop the direct RSS feed into the program of your choice. You can also listen to this episode by directly downloading the MP3 or by streaming it on Spotify, SoundCloud, or YouTube. We invite you to discuss this episode on our forum.

Published by VegettoEX
24 December 2020, 6:09 PM ESTComments Off

Each month, Toyotarō provides a drawing of a Dragon Ball character — as well as an accompanying comment — on the official Japanese Dragon Ball website. Following up on the wealth of characters already drawn, for his December 2020 entry, Toyotarō has contributed a drawing of Shisami.

Shisami

Toriyama-sensei‘s design illustrations didn’t include a back view of him, so I suppose the high-cut briefs were the anime staff being playful. It’s fantastic.

2021 is the Year of the Ox, so I drew Shisami, since he’s probably got a bovine motif going on. I hope the year will be a good one.

Shisami debuted in the 2015 theatrical film Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, as designed and written by Akira Toriyama himself.

This drawing and comment set has been added to the respective page in our “Translations” archive.

Published by VegettoEX
20 December 2020, 6:07 PM ESTComments Off

In conjunction with this weekend’s Dragon Ball FighterZ National Championships session, as well as today’s release of the February 2021 issue of V-Jump, Bandai Namco formally unveiled Super Baby 2 and Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta as forthcoming paid downloadable content characters for Dragon Ball FighterZ:

Super Baby 2, a transformed version of the Baby-infested Vegeta from the Dragon Ball GT television series, has made various appearances in video games throughout the years, including two years ago as a DLC addition to Dragon Ball XENOVERSE 2. The character will make his way to FighterZ next month on 15 January 2021. Curiously, the character’s name is written with the 超 (chō) kanji in the trailer, where in all previous appearances (including the respective V-Jump announcement) the name has been written in katakana as スーパー (sūpā).

Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta, likewise also from the Dragon Ball GT television series, will make his way to the game “soon”.

The 3-on-3, “2.5D” fighting game is developed by Arc System Works and is currently available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC (via Steam). A first “FighterZ Pass” with eight additional playable characters is available for $29.99, with a “FighterZ Pass 2” available for $24.99 adding another six. In addition to these latest two character announcements, Kafla, Son Goku (Ultra Instinct), and the Turtle Hermit comprise the the five additional characters from “FighterZ Pass 3”. Said additional paid characters are also all available piecemeal at $4.99 each.

Dragon Ball FighterZ was originally released 26 January 2018 in North America and Europe, and 01 February 2018 in Japan, across the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Alongside its Japanese release, Bandai Namco announced that they had shipped two million copies of the game, making it the fastest-shipping game in the franchise’s history. The game also shipped on the Nintendo Switch back in September 2018.

Published by VegettoEX
20 December 2020, 11:33 AM ESTComments Off

Continuing onward from previous chapters, Shueisha and Viz have added the official English translation of the Dragon Ball Super manga’s sixty-seventh chapter to their respective Manga Plus and Shonen Jump services, concluding the the original “Galactic Patrol Prisoner arc” and officially kicking off the brand-new “Granolla the Survivor arc”. Alongside other initiatives including free chapters and a larger archive for paid subscribers, this release continues the companies’ schedule of not simply simultaneously publishing the series’ chapter alongside its Japanese debut to the release date, but to its local time in Japan alongside its serialization in today’s February 2021 issue of Shueisha’s V-Jump magazine.

The Dragon Ball Super “comicalization” began in June 2015, initially just ahead of the television series, and running both ahead and behind the series at various points. The manga runs monthly in Shueisha’s V-Jump magazine, with the series’ sixty-seventh chapter coming today in the magazine’s February 2021 issue. Illustrated by “Toyotarō” (in all likelihood, a second pen-name used by Dragon Ball AF fan manga author and illustrator “Toyble”), the Dragon Ball Super manga covered the Battle of Gods re-telling, skipped the Resurrection ‘F’ re-telling, and “charged ahead” to the Champa arc, “speeding up the excitement of the TV anime even more”. Though the television series has completed its run, the manga continues onward, moving into its own original “Galactic Patrol Prisoner” and “Granolla the Survivor” arcs. Viz is currently releasing free digital chapters of the series, and began their own collected print edition back in 2017. The eleventh collected volume was released earlier this month.

The Dragon Ball Super television series concluded in March 2018 with 131 total episodes. FUNimation owns the American distribution license for the series, with the English dub having wrapped its broadcast on Cartoon Network, and the home video release reaching its tenth and final box set back in January.

Published by VegettoEX
18 December 2020, 8:46 AM ESTComments Off

Following a special episode last month, the official Super Dragon Ball Heroes website announced a title and summary for the upcoming ninth numbered episode of the Super Dragon Ball Heroes promotional anime‘s new “Universe Creation Arc” (under the larger umbrella of the game’s current “Big Bang Mission” update series).

Evil Resurrected: Dark King Fu is Born!
As the fierce fight rages in the Time Rift, the Universe Tree suddenly turns to stone. The roots of the Universe Tree had been erased via Super Shenlong, summoned by the Gods of Destruction. As Super Fu trembles in rage at his plan being foiled, Towa and Mira appear before him. Towa presents him with a crystal that belches out a blackish Darkness Factor, which envelopes Super Fu…

The instant the Darkness Factor is incorporated into Super Fu, a new overlord emerges, cloaked in an eerie aura like shimmering heat…

Vegetto Blue is in the heat of battle. While evil energy pours into the petrified Universe Tree, a red flash suddenly runs across the sky, and a super-warrior surpassing the limits appears…!

Right here and now, an intense battle swirling with chaos and flashes starts with a bang!

The episode will debut this weekend at Jump Festa ’21 Online.

The self-described “promotional anime” began its free online streaming in July 2018, with the initial six episodes covering the “Prison Planet” arc, then moving on to the “Universal Conflict” arc. Back in March, the series re-branded again for the new “Universe Creation Arc” alongside the arcade game’s own update to the “Big Bang Mission” series. Though the promotional anime series’ original trailer was available worldwide, the subsequent episode postings themselves have been region-locked to Japan. No home release of the promotional anime has been announced.

Super Dragon Ball Heroes is itself an update and hardware revision to the original Dragon Ball Heroes, a card-based arcade game in which players arrange teammates on a playing field for turn-based battles, now in its tenth year of operation. Dragon Ball Heroes has seen a variety of multimedia spin-offs and support pieces. Yoshitaka Nagayama’s Super Dragon Ball Heroes: Big Bang Mission!!! manga (a follow-up to the previous Dark Demon Realm Mission! and Universe Mission!! series) currently runs in Shueisha’s bimonthly Saikyō Jump magazine, while Toyotarō’s Dragon Ball Heroes: Victory Mission ran from 2012-2015 in Shueisha’s monthly V-Jump magazine. Three portable game adaptations — Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission, Ultimate Mission 2, and Ultimate Mission X — were released on the Nintendo 3DS. A fourth home version, Super Dragon Ball Heroes: World Mission, launched on the Nintendo Switch and PC on 04 April 2019 and internationally (a first for the series) 05 April 2019.

Published by VegettoEX
15 December 2020, 8:49 AM ESTComments Off

Following up both on previous direct teases as well as this month’s manga storyboard drafts, Shueisha has officially unveiled the Dragon Ball Super manga’s forthcoming story arc: the “Granolla the Survivor arc”, set to begin next week in the series’ 67th chapter as published in the February 2021 issue of the company’s monthly V-Jump magazine:

Dragon Ball Super – A New Chapter
The “Granolla the Survivor” Arc
The battle is over…
But, in the shadows…

Yunba: Did you check to make sure he was destroyed?
Yunba: You didn’t … make sure, did you?

A new evil makes its move.

(New character): Oatmil, that’s the ship, right?
(Response): That’s right. Stay sharp, Granolla.

New chapter – The “Granolla the Survivor” arc kicks off!
Continued in the February issue of V-Jump. The “Granolla the Surivor” arc begins!

Within this trailer, two new character names are revealed in dialog:

  • Oatmil: The character’s name of オートミル (Ōtomiru) is likely adapted from the katakana spelling of オートミール (Ōtomīru) from the English word “oatmeal” by shortening the elongated ミー to from the “meal” portion.
  • Granolla: The character’s name of グラノラ (Guranora) is likely adapted from the katakana spelling of グラノーラ (Guranōra) from the English word “granola” by shortening the elongated ノー to from the “nola” portion. This shortened spelling is also sometimes used in brand names and other food items in Japan.

These name spellings of “Oatmil” and “Granolla” are our current Kanzenshuu style guide spellings, and are spelled in a way as to reflect their source word changes while also providing a natural pronunciation guide. These spellings may change as new information is revealed, and may differ in the official English localization.

The Dragon Ball Super “comicalization” began in June 2015, initially just ahead of the television series, and running both ahead and behind the series at various points. The manga runs monthly in Shueisha’s V-Jump magazine, with the series’ sixty-seventh chapter coming 21 December 2020 in the magazine’s February 2021 issue, simultaneously wrapping up the previous “Galactic Patrol Prisoner arc” and kicking off this new “Granolla the Survivor arc”.

Illustrated by “Toyotarō” (in all likelihood, a second pen-name used by Dragon Ball AF fan manga author and illustrator “Toyble”), the Dragon Ball Super manga covered the Battle of Gods re-telling, skipped the Resurrection ‘F’ re-telling, and “charged ahead” to the Champa arc, “speeding up the excitement of the TV anime even more”. Though the television series has completed its run, the manga continues onward, now entering its second manga-original story arc. Viz is currently releasing free digital chapters of the series, and began their own collected print edition back in 2017. The eleventh collected volume was released earlier this month.

The Dragon Ball Super television series concluded in March 2018 with 131 total episodes. FUNimation owns the American distribution license for the series, with the English dub having wrapped its broadcast on Cartoon Network, and the home video release reaching its tenth and final box set back in January.

Published by VegettoEX
03 December 2020, 2:43 PM ESTComments Off

Viz’s thirteenth collected volume of the Dragon Ball Super manga will be released 01 June 2021, covering chapters 57-60 (a la its Japanese counterpart):

Moro’s goons have arrived on Earth, but the planet’s protectors aren’t about to go down without a fight! However, when Moro himself finally appears and pits a powered-up Saganbo against Gohan and friends, the good guys struggle to keep up. With a planet in peril, will Goku and Vegeta make it back in time?!

Print editions retail for $9.99 MSRP. Digital editions of each will also be available at various retailers, including Amazon, Comixology, and direct from Viz.

The Dragon Ball Super “comicalization” began in June 2015, initially just ahead of the television series, and running both ahead and behind the series at various points. The manga runs monthly in Shueisha’s V-Jump magazine, with the series’ sixty-seventh chapter coming later this month in the February 2021 issue, concluding the ongoing “Galactic Patrol Prisoner arc”. Viz is currently releasing free digital chapters of the series, and began their own collected print edition back in 2017. Viz’s eleventh collected volume of the English translation was released this week, with the twelfth due in March. Over in Japan, Shueisha released the fourteenth collected volume today.

The Dragon Ball Super television series concluded in March 2018 with 131 total episodes. FUNimation owns the American distribution license for the series, with the English dub having wrapped its broadcast on Cartoon Network, and the home video release reaching its tenth and final box set back in January.