Word that there might be new Dragon Ball Super content in the year ahead has some fans less than enthused.
Created 18 years after the conclusion of Dragon Ball as a sequel to the Dragon Ball Z anime, Dragon Ball Super is an original manga written by Akira Toriyama and illustrated by Toyotarou. An anime adaptation closely followed the series’ first five arcs release.
Dragon Ball Super’s anime ran for 131 episodes over five seasons (dubbed “sagas”). The final episode, appropriately titled “A Miraculous Conclusion! Farewell, Goku! Until We Meet Again!”, aired on March 25, 2018, in Japan and Oct. 5, 2019, in America. Since then, Dragon Ball Super has seen a new movie, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, and the manga has continued to release new chapters expanding on the story under the supervision of Toriyama.
Later this year, the series will return to the screen in Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, a new movie releasing in Japan in April. But that’s not all.
In a new Weekly Dragon Ball News video, Akio Iyoku teased a new project for the series. Iyoku is the editor-in-chief of Shueisha’s shonen magazine V Jump, where Dragon Ball Super has serialized since 2015. He works closely with Toriyama on everything from his original Dragon Ball chapters to anime and film adaptations.
“Happy New year, everyone… I’m currently working hard to get everything finished on the Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero movie whose release date has been confirmed for April 22nd in Japan…I think the movie is just incredible, especially the animation. Toriyama is really pleased with it! It’s all-new animation, so, everyone, please wait a little while longer until it’s finished. There’s also a chance that something other than the movie will be coming this year too, so let’s make this year another great year for Dragon Ball together!”
The promise of something new has fans cautiously hoping that the original manga arcs will receive their own anime adaptation in kind, though many are keeping their optimism in check. While one viral tweet sharing the line pointed to the potential for an anime, responses were less than super.
But it’s been four years now, and many have stopped waiting for the adaptation to return from its break. “i would not count on it at this point honestly,” one fan said.
Part of the reason for the response is the direction of Super since 2018, which has left fans dissatisfied with the series. In one Reddit thread, the news was met with long discussions about power levels and the state of the manga in 2022. In recent years, Dragon Ball Super has been a popular subject for manga criticism. Its association with the original manga series is considered a revolutionary entry to the shonen battle genre when it was first released in 1984.
There is still no English release date for Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.