Over the weekend, the official Twitter account for manga artist Kentarō Yabukishared a special drawing of Freeza, noting that Kabuki had mentioned wanting to draw Freeza in celebration of 530,000 followers — a(n oft-made) reference to Freeza’s first-form battle power — should that milestone ever be reached, which it did!
Yabuki is no stranger to Dragon Ball, with “professional” involvement in the series actually dating back to 1995… as a fifteen-year-old fan! In this fun Twitter thread, join us for a quick tour as we explore some of Yabuki’s contributions to the franchise — you’re bound to learn something new!
This tweet has been making the rounds, and with good reason: mangaka Kentarō Yabuki joked about drawing Freeza if and when his account hit 530,000 followers… and that happened! What you might not know is that Yabuki has a long history with Dragon Ball! https://t.co/v7i3ZxQbXf
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 2021 entry, Toyotarō has contributed a drawing of Pu’er transformed as Son Goku:
Pu’er (transformed into Goku)
He appears in Dragon Ball volume one. These character designs from the early serialization are so distinctive and adorable; I love them.
This particular transformation occurs in chapter nine of the original manga as Yamcha and Pu’er attempt to lure Bulma and Oolong outside, though the two transforming animals have a little bit of a surprise for one another…
Following the previous five entries, this month’s February 2022 issue brings us Koyoharu Gotōge (Demon Slayer) and their take on the series’ 32nd volume cover:
Greetings, this is Gotōge. I really liked Bulma, so I’m really happy that I was able to draw her! Thank you very much. My parents, my siblings and their children all know of and love Dragon Ball (just the other day, they had a Goku figure in their left hand), so I sometimes think about how truly amazing Toriyama-sensei is for having made this story that is so timeless and beloved.
Saikyō Jump is currently a monthly magazine published in Japan by Shueisha under the “Jump” line of magazines. The magazine began as a quarterly publication in 2012, went monthly in 2013, went bimonthly in late-2014, and returned to a monthly format last fall (including a digital release for the first time). The magazine’s focus is spin-off and supplementary manga series aimed at a young audience, while also including game promotions, news coverage, and more. The magazine currently serializes content such as Yoshitaka Nagayama’s Super Dragon Ball Heroes: Big Bang Mission!!! and the Dragon Ball GT Anime Comic. For calendar year 2019, Shueisha reported Saikyō Jump‘s circulation down at 130,000, with readership as 58.5% upper elementary school, 28% lower middle school, 11% middle school, and 2.5% high school or older.
Each week the recently revamped Dragon Ball Official Site posts a short “Weekly Dragon Ball News” video hosted by Victory Uchida, which highlights the franchise’s most recent news. Today a “New Year’s Special Edition” was posted, featuring several project leaders and producers on what to expect from the franchise’s video games, merchandise lines, Dragon Ball Super manga series, and upcoming movie in 2022.
The first portion of the video highlights the franchise’s various current video games, including Dragon Ball Legends, Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, Dragon Ball XENOVERSE 2, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and Dragon Ball: The Breakers. The majority of the producers merely summarize their achievements in 2021 and provide a sense of optimism for more great things to come in 2022. The second portion highlights upcoming merchandise, most of which includes figures, cards, and other various items pertaining to the upcoming Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero movie. The producer for Super Dragon Ball Heroes does note that the “Big Bang Mission” story line will be wrapping up with the release of Mission 12 on 13 January 2022, but that the new “Ultra God Mission” will launch in March 2022.
Victory Uchida, who is also V-Jump’s editor for the Dragon Ball Super manga, then covers the ongoing series. He officially confirms that the Granolla the Survivor story arc will quickly be reaching its climax, following one more turn of events, and then a new story arc will commence sometime in 2022. Uchida is vague on the exact time frame for the start of this upcoming, new story arc.
Finally, Shueisha executive producer Akio Iyoku provides a quick update on the upcoming Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero movie, which is now slated to premiere in Japan on 22 April 2022. After saying he is currently working hard to finish up the movie, he notes that original author Akira Toriyama is so far really pleased with it, and he hopes everyone will enjoy the new animation. Iyoku then teases that there may also be something else other than the movie coming in 2022, before noting it should be a great year for Dragon Ball. This statement is left intentionally vague without saying anything specific about any specific property or medium, so any speculation about it is merely that: speculation. It is perhaps worth noting that while Iyoku has been heavily involved in the production of the franchise’s recent movies, he has had no credited involvement in any of its television series to date. Wrapping up the segment, Iyoku replays the recent trailer that debuted at Jump Festa ’22.
In conjunction with the Dragon Ball Super panel held at Jump Festa ’22 on December 18th, and following the release of the film’s key visual the day prior, the official “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero” website has been updated with loads of new information. Since its announcement the film has only been slated for a 2022 premiere, but is now officially set to premiere on 22 April 2022 in Japan. There are still no international release dates set at this time. The release date is also prominently featured in a new trailer, which debuted at Jump Festa and has since been added to the film’s official site. Unlike the film’s previous trailer, which featured footage playing over background music, this trailer is the first to contain actual dialogue.
The official site has also been updated to include a brief teaser synopsis of the film, which is translated below:
Dragon Ball Super: Broly managed to gather 13.5 billion yen in box-office revenue.
Since then, four years have passed. Now, the newest movie in the Dragon Ball Super series reaches a new “awakening”.
Long ago, Goku destroyed the evil organization, the Red Ribbon Army. Now, those who kept its ideals alive have created the newest, strongest artificial humans, Gamma 1 and 2. These artificial humans call themselves “superheroes” and start attacking Piccolo, Gohan, and the others…
What is the goal of this “New Red Ribbon Army”?
Before this impending crisis, now is the time to awaken! Superhero!
While the introduction synopsis does note that four years have passed, it should be noted that they are speaking in terms of real-world time since the premiere of Dragon Ball Super: Broly in 2018, not within the context of the series timeline itself. Following the introduction are several short character biographies, which include the character’s corresponding voice actor. They also provide some additional context to the film’s plot, which will center around the “New” Red Ribbon Army. These have also been graciously translated by our good friend Zenpai.
Magenta’s aide and driver. His big pompadour is his distinguishing feature.
Falling in-line with the family of Red Ribbon Army character name puns, Magenta and Carmine take their names from these colors, which are also the same colors as the suits they wear. And similar to Dr. Gero, the former scientist of the Red Ribbon Army whose name is believed to be a pun on a Japanese word for “vomit”, Dr. Hedo’s name also appears to be based on another Japanese word for vomit.
As far as the cast is concerned, all of the normal hero voices we have come to know and love are listed. However, as with most films, a majority of the new characters will be voiced by actors new to the Dragon Ball franchise. While Gamma 1 will be voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya, who portrayed minor characters Pobel and Long in Dragon Ball GT, his easy-going Gamma 2 counterpart will be voiced by newcomer Mamoru Miyano, who is perhaps best known for his portrayal of protagonist Light Yagami in the Death Note series. Other newcomers include Miyu Irino and Ryōta Takeuchi, both of whom bring several years of voice acting experience to their roles. Volcano Ōta returns, having previously joined the cast to fill a few minor roles in the Dragon Ball Super TV series, to provide what is presumably his most significant role to date in the franchise as the leader of the “New” Red Ribbon Army. Also returning is Yūko Minaguchi, once again reprising her role as the original Pan from Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT, although she had previously covered Pan’s brief appearances in Dragon Ball Super episode 68. Also listed as cast on the official site are Aya Hisakawa, who replaced the late Hiromi Tsuru as Bulma, Mayumi Tanaka (Kuririn), and Takeshi Kusao (Trunks).
During her virtual appearance on the “Jump Super Stage” at Jump Festa ’22, voice actor Masako Nozawa shared a new comment from original author Akira Toriyama with the audience. Later in the event she, along with voice actors Toshio Furukawa, Hiroshi Kamiya, and Mamoru Miyano, provided their own comments on the new movie, which have all since been added to the official site’s news section.
Akira Toriyama Comment
Hello, everyone! I’m Akira Toriyama, the creator. For this latest animated film, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, the “super” bit is kind of redundant, but you should absolutely be able to enjoy the content of it! This time out, I’ve done some of the designs, story, and dialogue, but more importantly, the quality of the animation in particular for this one is amazing!
At the present time, even I’ve only seen a handful of images, but they really moved me. I’m waiting with bated breath alongside all you fans for opening day, which is now only a little ways out!
Masako Nozawa (Son Goku, etc.) Comment
All the movies so far were obviously pretty good, but this one is great on a world level!! And as you could see from the trailer, Gohan is going to play a very active part in this movie. He’s been doing nothing but studying lately, but in order to fight the Red Ribbon Army, we’ll be able to see him taking things seriously for the first time in a while! And I would like you all to pay close attention to his conversations with Piccolo-san. Even though he’s been with us for such a long time, we’ll be able to see Piccolo-san’s house for the first time! Look forward to it!
Toshio Furukawa (Piccolo) Comment
This movie has an exceptionally good balance between the battles and the drama. Not to mention! The quality of the visuals is pretty high. I can definitely state that they’re the best so far!! Lately, Piccolo’s been acting like sort of a housekeeper, but this time we’ll be able to see him fight a lot. Gohan is also pretty active in this movie, but there are a lot of scenes where he fights together with Piccolo, which is definitely one of the highlights. It comes out in April, so it’s just around the corner! Please look forward to it.
Hiroshi Kamiya (Gamma 1) Comment
It’s been more than 20 years since I played a part in Dragon Ball GT (1996), which was my first role in the Dragon Ball series. This is very uncharacteristic for me, but I’m super nervous. With just one glance, you can tell that Gamma 1 is a character created by Akira Toriyama-sensei: simple, yet stylish. He’s an artificial human from the Red Ribbon Army, but he’s a pretty cool superhero. I’m working on a franchise I love with people I also love, so I’m really happy that I continued being a voice actor! Even I can barely wait for the premiere!
Mamoru Miyano (Gamma 2) Comment
I’m playing a part in Dragon Ball!! Back when I was in primary school, every time I came back home, I’d put on videos of the Red Ribbon Army arc. To think that there would come a point in my life when I’d be able to play a part in this franchise, I am so happy that I can’t stop shaking. Piccolo-san is a character I really like, to the point that it’s almost like I’ve also been raised by him (laughs). Gamma 2 is a character overflowing with Akira Toriyama-sensei’s worldview. Compared to Gamma 1, he’s a superhero that gets easily carried away and tries to strike cool poses. I’d be really happy if you could pay close attention to him!
In addition to the cast announcements, the film’s main staff has also finally been unveiled:
Director: Tetsuro Kodama (児玉徹郎)
Animation Supervisor: Chikashi Kubota (久保田 誓)
Music: Naoki Satō (佐藤直紀)
Art Director: Nobuhito Sue (須江信人)
Color Design: Rumiko Nagai (永井留美子)
CG Director: Hoon Jung-jae (鄭 載薫)
As expected, the upcoming film’s animation staff primarily consists of individuals heavily involved with CG animation. The film’s director will be Tetsuro Kodama, who was most recently the CG Sequence Director for the Dragon Ball Super: Broly film. Hoon Jung-jae will also be taking over the CG Director role after being a CG effects artist in the preceding two films, Battle of Gods and Resurrection ‘F’. The film will also bring a few newcomers to the regular Dragon Ball staff, one of which is Naoki Satō, who will be composing the theatrical score to the movie. He is a well known composer having provided the music for several live-action films and popular anime series, including Toei Animation’s first five Pretty Cure TV series.
Taking over as animation supervisor, and presumably also the role of character designer, is veteran animator Chikashi Kubota, who served as a key animator in the most recent Broli film and is more recently best known for his work on the One Punch Man series as its character designer and chief animation supervisor. He is a noted fan of the Dragon Ball franchise, having watched the original broadcast as a kid, and has cited it in the past as a major influence in his pursuing a career in animation. Shortly after the announcement of his involvement, he took to Twitter to express his excitement, saying “In Nozawa-san’s words, I’ll work hard to make it the ‘best in the world’!!”
And after all that, it’s now only a matter of time before news is shared about international releases. So stick around, because we will be sure to keep you updated with the most accurate information as more news and sections of the official website become available!
Continuing onward from previous chapters, Shueisha and Viz have added the official English translation of the Dragon Ball Super manga’s seventy-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 February 2022 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’ seventy-ninth chapter coming today in the magazine’s February 2022 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 fifteenth collected volume is due out in January 2022.
The latest additions to our “Translations” archive come in the form of five congratulatory comments shared during a live stream back in October of this year celebrating Dragon Ball Heroes‘ 11th anniversary:
Comments come courtesy of:
Toyotarō (Dragon Ball Super manga)
Yoshitaka Nagayama (Super Dragon Ball Heroes: Big Bang Mission!!! manga)
Following the previous four entries, this month’s January 2022 issue brings us Tatsuki Fujimoto (Fire Punch, Chainsaw Man) and his take on the series’ 2nd volume cover:
I am honored to be able to participate in this project! Dragon Ball was such a part of everyday life that I remember having heard the names of the characters somewhere before ever having read the manga, to the point I memorized them! Before serializing my own manga, I went through the entire series again, and it was really helpful for me to see how putting this sort of “dry” character in a shōnen manga would make it so appealing. I suggest you read Dragon Ball again yourselves!
Saikyō Jump is currently a monthly magazine published in Japan by Shueisha under the “Jump” line of magazines. The magazine began as a quarterly publication in 2012, went monthly in 2013, went bimonthly in late-2014, and returned to a monthly format this fall (including a digital release for the first time). The magazine’s focus is spin-off and supplementary manga series aimed at a young audience, while also including game promotions, news coverage, and more. The magazine currently serializes content such as Yoshitaka Nagayama’s Super Dragon Ball Heroes: Big Bang Mission!!! and the Dragon Ball GT Anime Comic. For calendar year 2019, Shueisha reported Saikyō Jump‘s circulation down at 130,000, with readership as 58.5% upper elementary school, 28% lower middle school, 11% middle school, and 2.5% high school or older.
The official Dragon BallTwitter account and website shared a new key visual today for the forthcoming theatrical film, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, currently scheduled for release in Japan in 2022:
Text alongside the image states レッドリボン軍超極秘作戦、開始! (“The Red Ribbon Army’s Super-Secret Operation Begins!”).
A panel for Dragon Ball Super will be held at this year’s Jump Festa ’22, which will be held at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba, Japan between December 18th and 19th. After last year’s event was held virtually due to the pandemic, this year’s Jump Festa will feature in-person programs which will also be simultaneously streamed online. The Dragon Ball Super panel is scheduled for 4:20 PM JST (2:20 AM EST) on the Jump “Super Stage” and will feature voice actors Masako Nozawa (Son Goku) and Toshio Furukawa (Piccolo), with Nozawa attending remotely. Joining them will be the yet-to-be-announced voice actors for the characters Gamma 1 and Gamma 2, set to debut in the upcoming Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero movie and featured prominently in the film’s initial teaser and now key visual; their actors will be officially revealed at the event.
The story, script, and character designs for Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero are being crafted by original manga author Akira Toriyama. Shueisha’s executive producer Akio Iyoku has noted that the movie’s story will take place after the events in Dragon Ball Super: Broly, but before the 28th Tenka’ichi Budōkai, and feature the revival of an old foe. The movie’s main staff and cast have yet to be revealed, but it has been noted that the Japanese cast recorded their lines in early October 2021 and the movie itself is being produced almost exclusively with CG. The movie is currently slated for release in Japan sometime in 2022, with no definitive release date set at this time.
Jōji Yanami, best known as both the voice of the Narrator and Kaiō (the northern “Lord of Worlds”) in the Dragon Ball franchise, has passed away at age 90 as reported by his agency, Aoni Production:
Jōji Yanami, who was affiliated with our company, passed away at 10:59 p.m., Dec. 3, 2021, aged 90 years.
A funeral and memorial service, for close family members only, were held soon after.
While we regret to relay this news, we would also like to express our heartfelt appreciation for the kindness he gave us during his life.
Following two decades of already-legendary work in the industry, Yanami’s performance in the Dragon Ball series began with the narrator in the very first episode in 1986, and continued onward into the modern era through 2009’s “refreshed” television series Dragon Ball Kai (though the role of Bobbidi would shift to Bin Shimada in 2014’s eventual airing of the Boo arc), 2013’s theatrical film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, and then beginning into the Dragon Ball Super television series in 2015. After only a dozen episodes, it was announced that Naoki Tatsuta (Oolong’s voice actor) would take over the role of Northern Kaiō and the narrator due to Yanami’s ongoing health issues, marking the end of his work on the series.
Yanami played other roles — some credited, others uncredited — throughout the Dragon Ball franchise, including Doctor Frappe, Doctor Brief, and Bobbidi.
In an interview printed within the 2004 anime guidebook Dragon Ball: Tenka’ichi Densetsu, Yanami noted that he had been specifically chosen for the role of the narrator, and then once again for the role of Kaiō, and that he was, “…truly thankful for everyone’s many years of support!!”
Now that you mention it, during young Gohan’s training, it seemed like Piccolo was picking on Gohan, didn’t it? At that time, all the performers were really into their roles, so Jōji Yanami-san got angry at Piccolo’s voice actor, Toshio Furukawa-san, and shouted, “Hey, knock it off. He’s just a child!” (laughs) Furukawa-san was perplexed, and said, “I’m just voicing the character…” (laughs)
Learning of the sad news about Jōji Yanami, who was my great senior both at Aoni Production and in the industry, has struck me with emotions that are hard to describe. I had the honor of working together with him on a great many titles over a long span of time. I cannot adequately express the joy I felt to have had the privilege of sharing the same time and space with him. I am truly thankful.
Jōji Yanami-san has passed away at the age of 90. Starting with Star of the Giants, he helped me greatly on a number of productions. In his later years, he was extremely happy that I took up golfing and even joined me on many occasions. He was always very gentle and friendly, and admired by everyone. Goodbye, Yanami-san, and thank you for everything. I pray with all my heart that you may rest in peace.
Scriptwriter Takao Koyama also shared a post on Twitter (responding to writer Getsuto Yūki, the alter ego of voice actor Yutaka Aomori):
Thank you, Yūki-san. Just the other day, I lost a senior colleague who had looked after me, and now Yanami-san… He was truly good to me. He was of course in the “Bokan” series, but he was also Inchiki the Great (Shigeru Suzuki) in “Doteraman”, and both Kaiō and the Narrator in “Dragon Ball”. He saved my butt time and time again with his brilliant ad-libs. Rest In Peace.