Is ‘Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero’ canon?

Image via Crunchyroll

Dragon Ball has had many series and film additions to the franchise over the years, most recently with Dragon Ball Super and the latest film in this universe, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.

For long-time fans, movies have always been known as stories told outside the manga’s canon, but with the 2019 release of Dragon Ball Super: Broly this all changed. Having done one film set in the canon, you may be wondering about the latest Dragon Ball Super film.

Here’s everything you need to know about the canonical status of Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.

Is Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero canon?

Image via Crunchyroll

While it would seem that yes, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is canon to the anime, things aren’t so simple.

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is a direct follow-up to the events of Dragon Ball Super: Broly which became the first canonical film in the Dragon Ball franchise. This being the case, it would only make sense that Super Hero is also considered canon.

However, things get confusing — during a recent interview with Shueisha’s V-Jump magazine, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero producer Akio Iyoku detailed exactly where the movie fits alongside the manga canon.

In this interview, he explained that the film shows a parallel storyline taking place at the same time as Toyotaro’s manga series. The interview was translated and shared on Twitter.

Between this film and Toyotarou-sensei’s manga, we currently have two lines of Dragon Ball Super running. To begin with, the film is written purely as a sequel to Dragon Ball Super: Broly. We wanted to pick up on and meet the expectations of everyone who’s stuck with Dragon Ball so far, along the lines of, “It’d be neat this happened,” or “I hope this kind of character shows up.”

And in [V-Jump‘s] pages, we have the continuing story of Goku and Vegeta. We’ll see new strong enemies show up, and new stories, and events will continue to progress. Of course Toriyama diligently oversees the storylines for the manga too, so it’s like we have events running in parallel. In terms of timeline placement, we try to not build things in too strictly — we’d like to leave margins in the story, to allow for a greater degree of freedom.

This would seem to indicate a departure from the manga canon but right now it isn’t entirely clear. 

If this is the case, it remains to be seen how the manga and a potential second season of the anime will treat the character progression that has taken place during the film. Once this is addressed we should have a clearer picture of how the two are connected.