OP: 「超絶☆ダイナミック! 」 (Chouzetsu☆Dynamic!) by 吉井和哉 (Kazuya Yoshii)
「平和の報酬1億ゼニーは誰の手に!? 」 (Heiwa no Houshuu Ichioku Zenii wa Dare no te ni!?)
“The World Peace Prize. Who’s Getting the 100 Million Zeni?!”
My childhood is back. I can’t explain the amount of nostalgia that I get just watching the first episode of Dragon Ball Super. It brings back everyone’s favorite characters from Dragon Ball Z and then some, plus it’s a sequel. Not a remake or a new series like GT was, but an actual sequel straight after the Buu saga. For a lot of younglings out there, this might be your first time watching a Dragon Ball series as it airs, but for those that are older (*cough like myself), this marks the beginning of my anime story. I’ll admit that I originally started with Dragon Ball Z, watching the dubs on TV… and then rewatching the Freeze saga over and over again because there were so many issues with the later sagas getting dubbed. So what is a girl to do when you need more Dragon Ball Z in your life? I went searching for the original Japanese series in sketchy rental video stores that only subbed in Chinese… Please don’t judge me. I’m definitely not a foreigner to the original seiyuus for our beloved heroes but I’ll admit that it takes some getting used to. In recent years, I’m incredibly glad that the new Dragon Ball Z movies have been getting more attention. It’s likely the catalyst that the series needed to get a sequel nearly two decades later. So without further ado, I’ll stop with the personal sap stories and get to the synopsis…
Dragon Ball Super starts off exactly the way that any Dragon Ball Z episode would – with a flashback! As a true sequel, the story picks up with Goku’s (Nozawa Masako) complaints about having to work a real job to make money after defeating Majin Buu (but “Fat” Buu (Shioya Kouzou) is still around!), when all he really wants to do is train and get stronger. His son Gohan (Nozawa Masako) is engaged to Videl (Minaguchi Yuko), who is Mr. Satan’s (Ishizuka Unshou) daughter. Of course, Mr. Satan gets all the credit for the defeat of Majin Buu as well and is rewarded the World Peace Prize of $1M zeni! Goku’s second son, Goten (Nozawa Masako) spends the episode with Trunks (Kusao Takeshi), Bulma and Vegeta’s son, looking for the perfect engagement present for Videl. They end up fetching some water from a pond outside of town and think it has special magical abilities (similar to make-up and hot springs) and give to Videl. Videl catches on as soon as she pours the water out, but she appreciates the effort from the boys anyway. Meanwhile, Beerus (Tsuru Hiromi) is out in space, destroying planets when his taste buds aren’t satisfied. At the end of the episode, Mr. Satan ends up giving the $1M zeni to Goku (guilty for not deserving it anyway) to which Goku gives it to Chi-Chi (Naoko Watanabe). With that, much to Goku’s pleasure, Chi-Chi allows him to leave and train with King Kai. In addition to this huge cast, you also see appearances from Piccolo, Muten-Roshi (Mr. Roshi), Chi-Chi’s father and Whis.
So I know it sounds like a lot is going on here – and there is, but it’s simply just a reintroduction to all the characters we know and all. There’s just enough screen time here for the audience to get a taste as to who our characters are and what they’re like. For the most part though, I do think it’s friendly enough towards new audiences so that you don’t need to know the full context of Dragon Ball Z to enjoy the episode. For those of you who have seen Dragon Ball Z, it’ll definitely mean much more for you to see these characters in action again. I had this wave of nostalgia hit me as soon as I saw Buu and Gohan – I guess I have a soft spot for them (and Vegeta! But he wasn’t in the episode). All in all, the premiere was very light and slice-of-life focused so you shouldn’t expect this to be the typical episode going forward (although, as I’m typing that, next week’s episode seems to be all about Bulma and Vegeta’s family…). I think the creator is just taking his time reintroducing everyone, what have they been up to and sitting up the story with Beerus. Speaking of Beerus, he’s the only “new” character who appeared in the 14th Dragon Ball Z film called Battle of Gods (in case you don’t recognize him). He’s a “God” that blows up planets and likes to challenge strong individuals in the universe. I won’t spoil the movie if you haven’t seen it, but I highly recommend it – especially if you’re looking for more Dragon Ball Z in your lives. It continues off after the Buu-saga as well.
This is a massive entry…and all I wanted to say was – Dragon Ball Super completely meets my expectations and then some, bringing back everything that I loved about Dragon Ball Z. I was never one to ask for sequels when they’re uncalled for, but seeing one anyway and being able to appreciate it more now, I definitely can’t wait to see more. Seeing as how Sailor Moon Crystal didn’t live up to my expectations as a remake, I’m so glad that Dragon Ball Super didn’t fall into the same issues. Toei did not disappoint with this one, thank God. What brings the magic of Dragon Ball come to life is that the creator, Toriyama Akira is back and credited for both story writer, and original character design. With his vision of what he wants Dragon Ball Super to be, I am excited to see it as a genuine extension to the Dragon Ball Z storyline. Unlike Dragon Ball GT which was based years later and almost like a reset for the franchise, Dragon Ball Super brings back Goku and the loveable cast. The director, Chioka Kimitosh, and producers, Nozaki Osamu, Kido Atushi and Sagawa Naoko, all have limited experience working with the Dragon Ball universe, but I still have high hopes that they’ll do it justice. At least with the creator on board, hopefully they’ll bring his vision to life.
Finally, I think most people are excited for the return of the original cast from Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. They’re not all there, but all the main characters have all returned to reprise their roles; primarily Nozawa Masako who plays Goku and his two sons. In case you’re wondering why they ever casted a female to play a male role, I can explain that one (actually Div told me this story, I’m just repeating it)! It’s because Masako was first casted to play Goku as a child in the original Dragon Ball. As Goku grew up, his voice would supposedly change as well but they kept Masako as his seiyuu… and thus, years later, she still plays Goku! Goku’s voice may turn some people away but I don’t find it annoying (*cough like Sailor Moon’s), just different, so I don’t care how old Masako is, I can’t imagine Goku sounding any other way.
I’ll finish off by saying that this series is reportedly 100 episodes so prepare for a long run everyone. I don’t think I’ll be blogging it regularly, but you can bet that I’ll be watching. It’s an odd feeling, waiting for a new episode every week (rather than every other day) but I shouldn’t complain when I’m reliving my childhood through anime. Can’t wait to see the rest of it and hear everyone’s thoughts. I haven’t been this excited for a sequel since… Rozen Maiden? Gosh, I can’t imagine Dragon Ball Super ever failing me though.
Bottom Line – @ RCCherrie: As an avid #DragonBallZ watcher, I’m so glad this first ep didn’t flop. #DragonBallSuper brings back so many memories and I love it! Love the SOL moments before all the nonstop fights. Goten and Trunks are adorable!
ED: 「ハローハローハロー」 (Hello Hello Hello) by グッドモーニングアメリカ(Good Morning America)