Translations Archive

V-Jump, June 2022 (21 April 2022)

Back-Up Comic: Victory Asada’s Road Toward Super Top-Class!!! Chapter 35:

A New Challenge! The Dragon Ball Director!!


Page 1:
Victory Asada: What we’re most looking forward to this year… Why of course, it’s the film Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero!
Kasai: I’m super excited too!!

Asada: So today, we’re interviewing Super Hero‘s director!
Kasai: He’s a director with awesome CGI skills! I was so impressed with how cool the trailer looked! Plus it’s exciting having Gohan and Piccolo at the fore! And new Red Ribbon characters too!
Asada: For sure, for sure!

Asada: I watched the trailer too, but…
Kasai: But what?

Asada: Don’t you think I kind of look like a Red Ribbon goon?
Kasai: Hu-wha’?!

Kasai: Y-…you mean appearance?
Asada: I mean I wear a red suit too… And…

Asada: My hair looks just like their logo!! [Pointing to chevron haircut]
Kasai: Eh! You’re right! It does!!

Page 2:
Asada: So, when I meet the director, I’m asking if I can be in the movie too!
Kasai: No way!! Plus, why are you in the center?! [DBS: SH poster-style line up of Gamma 1, Piccolo, Victory Asada, Goku, Gamma 2]

Asada: I finally get to make my film debut… [Glasses make Scouter-style beeping noise] Hm?

[Asada’s glasses explode]
Asada: Gyaahh!!!!
Kasai: Asada-san‘s glasses have exploded!!

Asada: Someone with an incredible Battle Power is approaching!!
Kasai: Th-those were your Scouter?!!
[Figure on motorcycle rumbles in from the distance]
Asada: J-just who could it be?!

[Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero director Tetsuro Kodama screeches in on his bike]
Asada: Ah! Run away!! He’s too scary!!

Page 3:
[Kodama stops his bike]
Asada: Oh no! He stopped!!
Kasai: Don’t look him in the eyes!!

[Kodama removes his sunglasses]

Kodama: Nice to meet you. I’m the director, Kodama!
Asada and Kasai: Whaaaat?!!

Kasai: N-Nice to meet you… [Nervous laughter]
Asada: P-pretty cool bike you have there… [Nervous laughter]
Narration: Trying to avoid all eye contact [Re: Kasai and Asada]
Kodama: Thank you! Motorcycling is my hobby, and this Harley is my fifth bike!
Narration: Actual current bike: Harley-Davidson 20222 SportstarS

Kasai: Your fifth bike? Then you must have been riding for a while. [Imagining Kodama in Japanese biker-gang garb]
Asada: Must have been a trouble-maker in his youth…
Kodama: Hnf. Actually… [Posture of closed-eyed confidence]

Kodama: I just got my license two years ago!
Asada and Kasai: Two years?!!

Asada: Two years and you’ve already changed bikes four times?! Isn’t that overdoing it?!
Kodama: Next I’m thinking about getting a (Honda) Super Cub!
Narration: The gas mileage is the best! [Beneath picture of Kodama on a Super Cub]
Asada: You sure go to both extremes!!

Page 4:
Kodama: Before the Harley, I rode a pretty cute little bike too!
Asada: Thank goodness… He’s not so scary after all.
Kasai: I was worried he wouldn’t actually listen to our questions…

Kodama: Of course! Actually, I always respect the client’s wishes! I don’t like just insisting on my way!
Asada: Really?!

Kodama: But within the given stipulations, I always do my best… And know that somewhere in there my own strengths will come to the fore!

Kodama: Your own quirks shine through in the end!
Asada: A Super Top-Class quote right off the bat!!
Kasai: He’s a Dragon Ball director, after all!

Kasai: But what actually led to you becoming a Dragon Ball director?
Kodama: I started out in Oita. When I was a student, I dreamed of becoming an illustrator. After a lot of experiences, I wound up setting my sights on drawing animation backgrounds.
[Picture of child Kodama drawing Goku➡Picture of Kodama building an architectural model, Narration: Moved to Kansai and found work➡Enrolled in junior college of arts in Osaka]1

Kodama: I sent samples to various anime companies, and started working freelance.
[Picture of Kodama with a sack on his back riding on top of a bullet train, Narration: Moved to Tokyo, Age 27]
Kodama: I wound up getting lots of work, and founded my own company, called ECHOES.
[Picture of Kodama holding trophy, Narration: Won a bunch of awards; Picture of Kodama in a lecture hall, Narration: Worked as a lecturer at Kyoto University of the Arts]
Asada: You run a company too?!

Kodama: I’d worked with Toei Animation for over ten years.
[Picture of Kōzō Morishita, Narration: My foot in the door was Toei Animation Senior Advisor Kōzō Morishita]
Kodama: So I was selected to do some of the proof-of-concepts for Super Hero. The proof-of-concepts were met with high praise, and I was appointed as director.

Page 5:
Kasai: I see! So that’s how it went.
Asada: I hear Toriyama-sensei even said the quality was quite high.
Kodama: Yeah, I was really grateful!

Asada: So, were you happy when you found out you were the director?
Kodama: About that…

Kodama: I… I had no idea what to do!! [Panel of Komada floating fear-stricken, modeled after Vegeta’s moment of panic against Freeza] Wracked with fear!!!

Kodama: First of all, I was worried about how to do those wrinkles in Dragon Ball characters’ clothes in CG… [Image of wrinkles on Goku’s gi]
Asada: I see. That does look tough…

Kodama: Of the two proof-of-concepts I made, I actually recommended a version with a different look from the final film. But the request came to go with this style.
Toei Animation (Figure in suit jacket and unbuttoned shirt with circle reading “Toei Animation” over the face): We’d like to go with this look…
Kodama: Eh?! That one?!
Kasai: Clients first, right?
Kodama: I really wracked my brain over how to best realize Dragon Ball‘s visuals in CG.

Kodama: The most important thing to me was making a work where nothing felt “off.” [Kodama fires a Makankōsappō through the word “Off”] I wanted to lose that unnatural feeling that can come with the shift to CG, to the point where you wouldn’t just wind up wishing it had been hand-drawn.

Kodama: I researched various methods.
[In lab coat in front of the Dr. Hedo’s spherical chamber from the movie, Narration: Frame-count, Expressions, Shading, Lines, Shapes]
Kodama: After 20 years of CG projects, I think we’ve finally done it! A commercial CG work where nothing feels off!
Asada: Incredible!

Page 6:
Kasai: But movement seems hard in CG.
Kodama: For movement, I’d usually share my ideas with the animators via images, then leave them to their work and do checks. Sort of like acting direction.
[Kodama, gesturing in front of an animator at a table: Like this!]
Kodama: Toei’s animators are pros when it comes to action, so the battle scenes turned out fine! Instead, it was the scenes of everyday life that gave us trouble. How do we get the movement to look natural?
Animator: How do we handle the dialogue scenes?
[Image of Gohan and Piccolo staring at one another silently]
Kodama: What do we do about gestures…?
Kasai: Huh. I never would have guessed!

Asada: How did work for this movie start?
Kodama: The first thing I received was the script from Toriyama-sensei and a picture of Carmine he’d drawn. When I first looked at the script, I was amazed at the number of characters and information inside!
[Kodama reading script: Wow!]

Kasai: Whaaa? So Carmine came first?
Kodama: Yeah! So even now, he’s a pretty resonant character with me. [Outside of speech bubble: A pretty amusing one too.]

Asada: Incidentally, do you have a favorite character in Dragon Ball?
Kodama: Ah, every time…

Kodama: It’s those three young Namekian fighters! [Picture of three Namekian warriors from Muri’s village who attack Zarbon and Dodoria]
Asada: Oh come on! Now that’s just trying too hard!!!

Kodama: No, but I really do like them. There actually might be an homage to them hidden in Super Hero!
Asada: Ah! Now that is interesting!!

Page 7:
Kasai: Are there any other highlights we should look for?
Asada: Ah! Oh crap! We’re out of pages!!

Asada: Director!! Please put me in the film!!!
[Asada in a kneeling bow, Narration: Head all the way to the floor]
Kodama: Eh?!!
Kasai: You interrupted me in the middle of a question!!!

Asada: I look just like the Red Ribbons!! Plus, I like bikes too, so we’re friends!!
Kasai: This guy… He’s all about insisting on his way!!

Asada: Pllleeaaaase!!! [Outside of speech bubble: Waaaah]
Kodama: I do owe a lot to everyone at Shueisha, too… Okay!

Kodama: I’ll put you… In my absolute favorite scene!!
Asada: A… All right!!

Kasai: No way!! [Outside of speech bubble: You’re going too far for the client!!]
Asada: I never expected all this!! I’ll do my absolute best!!
Kodama: Right.

Kodama: Now, just a little paint… [Applying paint to Asada, who has the Red Ribbon “R”s attached to the peaks of his hair]
Asada: Okay!!
Kodama: Now please don’t move, all right?

Kodama: The Red Ribbon logo is designed into hundreds of spots in the film!! Please keep an eye out for them when you go to see it in theaters!!
[Holding diagram of Carmine’s umbrella with the logo on top and designed into the shape of the handle]
Asada: Wait, I’m just part of the set!! [Painted to blend into a men’s restroom door, with his hair forming the logo]
Kasai: Congratulations on your big film debut… [Wiping away tears]
Narration: Asada will not appear in the film.

The following translator notes are included for the benefit of the reader as supplemental information and were not originally published in the book.

1 Likely Osaka University of Arts Junior College, but not named explicitly
English Translation: Cipher