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Published by VegettoEX
01 April 2021, 5:53 PM EDTComments Off

While a large number of Dragon Ball fans have at least a passing familiarity with the Daizenshuu guidebooks released in Japan in the 1990s, many are unaware that three supplemental volumes brought the total to ten books, covering the ongoing Carddass releases and wrapping up with a third animation guide.

Our latest translation comes from this July 1996 release: a column called “Animation’s Gleanings,” covering production of the television series, names of the theatrical films themselves in addition to their respective characters, how some of the sound effects were made, crossover voice actors, and much more.

■ The Secrets Behind the Choosing of the Movie Sub-Titles!!
Apparently, the production staff always struggled immensely with the varied and elaborate sub-titles of the theatrical movies, which were always undecided until the very end. These sub-titles were also intimately connected with things such as popular trends of the time. For instance, A Super Decisive Battle for Earth is an altered version of the title of a popular TV show. Meanwhile, Burn Up!! A Red-Hot, Raging, Super-Fierce Fight gave a mental image of F-1 racing, which was popular at the time!! Now that we’ve told you, it all makes sense, doesn’t it?!!

■ Bardock was Goku’s enemy?!
The TV special, A Final, Solitary Battle, is quite popular for having given greater depth to the world of Dragon Ball. This concept grew out of the ideas, “What were Goku’s roots?” and “Goku must have had a father,” and developed into the form that ultimately aired on television. Incidentally, in the initial plan, we hear that there was also the suggestion that perhaps they could make Goku and his father enemies. Hmm… we want to see Goku and his father face off?!

This column has been archived in our “Translations” section.

Published by VegettoEX
24 March 2021, 9:03 AM EDTComments 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 March 2021 entry, Toyotarō has contributed a drawing of Olivu from the Afterlife Tournmanent filler arc of the Dragon Ball Z television series.

Olivu

A warrior from Earth who apparently went down in history as a hero of myth. Seems like he had a considerable role to play while he was alive. What sort of battles, against what sort of foes, did he have…? I’d sure like to see that!

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

Published by VegettoEX
18 March 2021, 9:39 PM EDT1 Comment

Continuing onward from previous chapters, Shueisha and Viz have added the official English translation of the Dragon Ball Super manga’s seventieth chapter to their respective Manga Plus and Shonen Jump services, continuing 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 May 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’ seventieth chapter coming today in the magazine’s May 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 thirteenth collected volume is due this June.

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 last year.

Published by VegettoEX
24 February 2021, 2:46 PM EST2 Comments

Online video provider Tubi announced today the forthcoming addition of the Dr. Slump television series to the streaming platform alongside other entries from the Toei Animation catalog.

FOX ENTERTAINMENT’S FREE STREAMING SERVICE TUBI SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDS ANIMATION PORTFOLIO BY ENTERING CONTENT DEAL WITH ANIME POWERHOUSE TOEI ANIMATION

Adding to its robust anime arsenal, Tubi secures seven series and six films from Toei Animation for the US, Canada and Mexico including global franchise phenom One Piece

SAN FRANCISCO, February 24, 2021 – Tubi (www.tubi.tv), a division of FOX Entertainment, is continuing to expand its robust animation portfolio by entering a significant licensing agreement with Toei Animation, the industry-leading anime studio and pioneer in Japanese animation. With the deal including seven television series totaling nearly 500 episodes, as well as six TV specials, viewers will soon have access to six TV special installments of the internationally popular One Piece franchise – including 3D2Y, Episode of Sabo, Adventure of Nebulandia, Heart of Gold, Episode of East Blue and Episode of Skypiea – as well as episodes from the One Piece television series currently streaming on Tubi. Additionally, Tubi viewers will also now enjoy episodes of the classic and popular anime series Toriko, Saint Seiya: Saintia Sho, Saint Seiya: Hades, Ge-Ge-Ge No Kitaro, Slam Dunk, and Dr. Slump.

As part of the deal and for the first time ever, Tubi will stream English subtitled versions of Dr. Slump (from Akira Toriyama, creator of Dragon Ball) and Saint Seiya: Hades. Tubi’s collaboration with Toei Animation marks the newest anime offering to complement its massive library of 30,000 movies and television series – all completely free.

“Our new partnership with Toei Animation super serves fans with some of the most iconic anime ever created,” said Adam Lewinson, Chief Content Officer at Tubi. “With One Piece, Akira Toriyama’s Dr. SlumpSlam Dunk and more, Tubi viewers will soon have instant access to nearly 500 episodes of some of the world’s best anime, further expanding our powerful collection of animated content.”

“We’re thrilled to bring this collection of six TV specials and nearly 500 series episodes from Toei Animation’s library to Tubi viewers for the first time,” said Masayuki Endo, President and CEO of Toei Animation Inc. “From the One Piece specials and series episodes to Saint Seiya and Dr Slump to Ge-Ge-Ge No Kitaro and Slam Dunk, there is something for every anime fan on Tubi to enjoy.”

Based on the best-selling manga title in history by Eiichiro Oda, the One Piece anime series from Toei Animation first premiered in 1999. Toei Animation has produced more than 960 One Piece episodes to date and counting. The series follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his fearless Straw Hat Pirates on a fantastical journey across a world teeming with wonders and imagination. Today, One Piece enjoys a multi-generational fandom and continues to captivate viewers both young and old. One Piece is now a global franchise and its story and characters have expanded beyond print and TV to include film, gaming, amusement parks and merchandise.

Additional Toei Animation titles coming to Tubi include:

  • Dr. Slump (English subtitled version on Tubi) – Based on the manga by Akira Toriyama (creator of Dragon Ball), this comedic adventure about an inventor and his robotic daughter Arale. Dr. Slump predates Toriyama’s Dragon Ball, but occasionally the two series have had crossover appearances and share the same universe.
  • Toriko – During the Gourmet Age, an era in which the world is full of undiscovered ingredients and people seek out unknown and exquisite culinary delights, the Gourmet Hunter, Toriko travels the world to capture wild ingredients to complete the “Full Course Meal of Life.”
  • Ge-Ge-Ge No Kitaro – Kitaro, a monster with a strong sense of justice receives letters from people crying out for help. Kitaro fights monsters to solve these problems.
  • Slam Dunk – Hanamichi, a high school boy with no basketball experience plays a game with the captain of a basketball team and wins. His basketball life begins and he and his teammates aim for victory.
  • Saint Seiya: Saintia Sho – This series is told from the point of view of the Saintias, the Female Saints who act as a bodyguard and personal attendant for Athena, as the conflict in “Knights of the Zodiac” unfolded.
  • Saint Seiya: Hades (English subtitled version on Tubi) – Hades, the Lord of the Dead, has come back from the depths of darkness and is after Athena. Will Seiya and the Gold Saints be able to protect Athena from the approaching hands of death?

Tubi has more than 30,000 movies and television shows from over 250 content partners, including nearly every major studio. The service gives fans of films and television programs an easy way to discover new content that is available completely free.

Tubi is available on Android and iOS mobile devices, Amazon Echo Show, Google Nest Hub Max, Comcast Xfinity X1, Cox Contour, and on OTT devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Vizio TVs, Sony TVs, Samsung TVs, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X | S, and soon on Hisense TVs globally. Consumers can also watch Tubi content on the web at http://www.tubi.tv/.

The press release notes that 500 episodes worth of content from the various announced series will be added, so it remains to be seen how many of the 200+ episodes of Dr. Slump will specifically be made available, as well as if and when additional episodes may make their way to the service.

Based on Akira Toriyama’s 1980-1984 manga originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump, the Dr. Slump television series by Toei Animation ran from 1981 to 1986 on Fuji TV; it was replaced by the Dragon Ball television series after its conclusion. In a fitting switch, the 1997 Dr. Slump reboot television series took its original timeslot back following the conclusion of the Dragon Ball GT television series that November, itself running for just over 70 episodes.

Arale and the Dr. Slump cast have made their way into the extended Dragon Ball universe many times over the years, beginning with a three-chapter crossover during the original manga’s Red Ribbon Army story arc.

Along with Dragon Ball, Harmony Gold dubbed a pilot production of Dr. Slump in the 1980s, though this attempt never resulted in a proper, continued broadcast of the series. The Dr. Slump television series has long had a complete episode listing on Amazon Prime, though the episodes have not been actually made available for streaming in America. The original manga, translated by Alexander O. Smith, is available in English from Viz both digitally and in print.

Published by VegettoEX
23 February 2021, 7:39 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 February 2021 entry, Toyotarō has contributed a drawing of Ultimate Shenlong from the Dragon Ball GT television series.

Ultimate Shenlong

It feels like a gigantic Shenlong, and it’s so cool! Although, Super Shenlong is actually even huger by far.

Including animation, there are quite a few different Shenlongs, but each has its own charm, and I love them all.

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

Published by VegettoEX
20 February 2021, 3:26 PM EST4 Comments

Alongside a slew of other announcements yesterday, Viz announced a forthcoming fall 2021 release of “Akira Toriyama’s Manga Theater”, a single-volume hardcover compilation pulling from the Akira Toriyama’s _____piece Theater (鳥山明○作劇場; Toriyama Akira Marusaku Gekijō ) series:

Originally released in three volumes over the course of 1983, 1988, and 1997, respectively, Akira Toriyama’s _____piece Theater (typically adapted as “Akira Toriyama’s Blank-piece Theater” in English) compiled a significant portion of the author’s short works and one-shots, many of which were contemporary with the original serializations of Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball:

Akira Toriyama’s _____piece Theater, Vol. 1

  • Wonder Island: originally published 28 November 1978 in the 1978 #52 issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump
  • Wonder Island 2: originally published 27 December 1978 in Shōnen Jump‘s 25 January 1979 Extra Issue
  • Gal Detective Tomato: originally published 20 July 1979 in Shōnen Jump‘s 15 August 1979 Extra Issue
  • Pola & Roid: originally published 24 March 1981 in the 1981 #17 issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump (alongside Dr. Slump chapter 63)
  • Mad Matic: originally published 23 February 1982 in the 1982 #12 issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump (alongside Dr. Slump chapter 109)
  • Chobit: originally published 08 February 1983 in the 1983 #10 issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump (alongside Dr. Slump chapter 157)
  • Chobit 2: originally published 23 April 1983 in the June 1983 issue of Fresh Jump

Akira Toriyama’s _____piece Theater, Vol. 2

  • Today on Harai Island (Today’s Highlights): originally published 22 March 1979 in Shōnen Jump‘s 20 April 1979 Extra Issue
  • Escape: originally published 14 December 1981 in Shōnen Jump‘s January 1982 Extra Issue
  • Pink: originally published 23 October 1982 in the December 1982 issue of Fresh Jump
  • Dragon Boy – Chapter 1: originally published 23 June 1983 in the August 1983 issue of Fresh Jump
  • Dragon Boy – Chapter 2: originally published 22 September 1983 in the October 1983 issue of Fresh Jump
  • The Adventure of Tongpoo: originally published 29 November 1983 in the 1983 #52 issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump (alongside Dr. Slump chapter 199)
  • Mr. Ho: originally published 01 November 1986 in the 1986 #49 issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump (alongside Dragon Ball chapter 99)
  • Kennosuke-sama: originally published 18 August 1987 in the 1987 #38 issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump (alongside Dragon Ball chapter 138)
  • Sonchoh: originally published 18 December 1987 in the 1988 #5 issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump (alongside Dragon Ball chapter 155)

Akira Toriyama’s _____piece Theater, Vol. 3

  • Mamejirō-kun: originally published 09 August 1988 in the 1988 #38 issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump (alongside Dragon Ball chapter 188)
  • Karamaru-kun Nihon-bare: originally published 28 February 1989 in the 1989 #13 issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump (alongside Dragon Ball chapter 213)
  • Savings Warrior Cashman: originally published 28 November 1990 – 13 November 1991 (three chapters) in the initial A5-size run issues of V-Jump
  • Dub & Peter 1: originally published 1992-1993 (four chapters) in the AB-size trial run issues of V-Jump
  • Go! Go! Ackman: originally published 21 May 1993 – 21 August 1994 (eleven chapters) in the July 1993 to October 1994 monthly issues of V-Jump

Perhaps most notable to Dragon Ball fans are the inclusion of Dragon Boy and The Adventure of Tongpoo, two works from 1983 that served as direct prototypes on the road to Dragon Ball itself the following year.

The collected volumes are also known for their interstitial, self-deprecating, autobiographical, single-page comics such as the “Me Back When I Drew This” series, in which Akira Toriyama shares stories and adventures from the past.

The collected volume series later received its own Akira Toriyama’s _____piece Theater REMIX release, published on lower-quality paper per the usual for Shueisha’s “REMIX” line.

2008’s smaller Toriyama Akira Mankanzenseki (“An Emperor’s Feast of Akira Toriyama”) editions re-collected some of the same Akira Toriyama material, while also collecting items such as Lady Red (from Weekly Shōnen Jump‘s extra “Super Jump #2 ” in March 1987) and Alien Peke (from Weekly Shōnen Jump‘s 1996 #37/38 & #39 issues in August 1996) for the first time.

Beyond the full Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball series, works of Akira Toriyama released by Viz in English thus far include:

  • Sand Land: a 14-chapter manga originally serialized in 2000 in Weekly Shōnen Jump in Japan; Viz first serialized the manga in 2003 in their monthly Shonen Jump print magazine, and later released it as a full collected edition in 2003
  • Neko Majin Z 5: the final chapter of the Neko Majin series was published (without its “5” chapter number) in Viz’s October 2007 issue of the now-defunct Shonen Jump print magazine in September 2007; no further collected publication has ever been made of this chapter or any other Neko Majin material
  • Cowa!: a 14-chapter manga originally serialized in 1997-1998 in Weekly Shōnen Jump in Japan; Viz released it as a full collected edition in 2008
  • Sachie-chan GOOD!!: a single-chapter one-shot originally published in the May 2008 issue of Jump SQ in Japan in cooperation with Masakazu Katsura; Viz included the first 14 pages of Sachie in the Shonen Jump Alpha Yearbook 2013 mailed to subscribers of their Shonen Jump Alpha digital manga service in December 2012, alongside making the full content of the chapter available digitally to said subscribers, with no full print release available
  • Kintoki: Toki of the Golden-Eyed Tribe: a single-chapter one-shot originally published in 2010 in Weekly Shōnen Jump in Japan; Viz included the one-shot within a January 2013 issue of the company’s Weekly Shonen Jump digital publication, with no print release available
  • Jaco the Galactic Patrolman: an 11- (later 12)-chapter manga originally serialized in 2013 in Weekly Shōnen Jump in Japan; Viz first serialized the manga in their digital Weekly Shonen Jump that same year, and later released it as a full collected edition in 2015

Akira Toriyama’s _____piece Theater, alongside other Toriyama works such as Kajika, have been translated and released in various countries over the years prior to their acquisition and release by Viz in America.

UPDATE: An Amazon listing promoted by Viz pegs the release as coming 07 December 2021 for $34.99 MSRP and spanning 626 pages.

An extensive collection of imaginative and action-packed short stories from the creator of Dragon Ball, Akira Toriyama!

From Akira Toriyama, the legendary manga creator of Dragon Ball, comes this special collection of short stories spanning the first few decades of his career. Serving as both a collection of his early works and a history of his life as a manga writer and illustrator, this giant tome is packed with everything you could ever want as a fan of classic shonen manga!

Translation of the volume will be provided by Greg Werner:

We most recently had Greg on our podcast back on Episode #0400 to discuss his old Dragon Ball fansite, work on Beckett’s unofficial magazine, shifting to professional writing with Shueisha, etc.

Published by VegettoEX
19 February 2021, 12:05 PM ESTComments Off

Continuing onward from previous chapters, Shueisha and Viz have added the official English translation of the Dragon Ball Super manga’s sixty-ninth chapter to their respective Manga Plus and Shonen Jump services, continuing 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 April 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-ninth chapter coming today in the magazine’s April 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 twelfth collected volume is due this March.

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 last year.

Published by VegettoEX
22 January 2021, 6:51 AM 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 January 2021 entry, Toyotarō has contributed a drawing of Murasaki.

Master Sergeant Murasaki

Trunks’ broadsword is cool, but Murasaki’s katana is tasteful and cool, too.

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

Published by VegettoEX
20 January 2021, 10:15 AM EST1 Comment

Continuing onward from previous chapters, Shueisha and Viz have added the official English translation of the Dragon Ball Super manga’s sixty-eighth chapter to their respective Manga Plus and Shonen Jump services, continuing 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 March 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-eighth chapter coming today in the magazine’s March 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 twelfth collected volume is due this March.

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
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.