Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero – Movie Review

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero now playing in theaters around the world!

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero - Movie Review

After a four-year wait and a ransomware attack on Toei Animation, Dragon Ball Super has finally returned to theaters. Gohan and Piccolo, two chronically sidelined and beloved characters, take center stage in the new installment. This move alone has ignited the entire Dragon Ball fanbase. Super Hero shines in its focus on the supporting cast and its ingenious callbacks to classic moments throughout Dragon Ball lore.

Super Hero completely excludes Goku and Vegeta from the main plot in what seemed like a daring move. And the method of their exclusion is silly in a way only Dragon Ball could pull off. When the new threat from the revived Red Ribbon Army arises, an ice cream lid haphazardly discarded by Beerus blocks communication between the Earth team and the two Saiyans. The way mundane goings-on in Beerus’ and Whis’ orbit have such a profound effect on the stakes for the mortal characters is always entertaining.

Piccolo carries this movie.

As a lifelong Dragon Ball fan, I say it’s about time that Piccolo takes center stage. How he cares for 3-year-old Pan and still acts as a father figure and mentor to Gohan is a testament to his character development since his debut as a villain. Additionally, the only other character to see as much growth is Vegeta.

Super Hero will not disappoint and will excite Dragon Ball fans by introducing new transformations. Not only does Gohan obtain a new form that looks like Ultra Instinct mixed with Super Saiyan 2, but Piccolo also shockingly transforms. Cheekily dubbed “Orange Piccolo,” the Namekian has the Eternal Dragon awaken his latent abilities, similar to how Guru did for Gohan and Krillin way back in the Namek Saga. He also adopts his Giant Form, a technique he hasn’t used since the original show.

The new characters are welcome additions to the roster.

Gamma 1 and 2 are impressive fighters, and their shared sense of justice makes them likable. Dr. Hedo is a hilarious newcomer who is sure to reappear in the all-but-announced new season of the anime. For all the bold moves it makes in giving the side characters the spotlight, DBS Super Hero doesn’t do much to change the predictability of a Dragon Ball story. For long-time fans, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. One major criticism I have is the CG-infused art style.

The new transformations and character designs are wonderful. Still, overall the animation style makes the entire movie resemble a video game cut scene. I preferred the Shintani art style of the previous film, Broly. Cell Max is also far too rushed. His appearance feels like nothing more than a boss fight in a game. Super Hero’s focus on characters who have long gone underdeveloped, the way it weaves connections throughout the entire franchise, and introduces entertaining new characters make it an outstanding new entry in the franchise. Newcomers may need to do some research first.

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero Verdict

I give Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero 4 out of 5 stars. With Goku and Vegeta joining Fortnite, everyone’s favorite villain Frieza debuting a new transformation in the manga, and Super Hero’s impressive box office performance, this is quite a week for DB fans!

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Writer, native Texan, DBZ fanatic, and budding Oscars historian

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