Dragon Ball Super (Japanese: ドラゴンボールスーパー, Hepburn: Doragon Bōru Sūpā) is a Japanese manga series written by Akira Toriyama and illustrated by Toyotarou. Set during the time frame of Toriyama's original Dragon Ball manga, it follows the adventures of Son Goku and friends during the ten-year timeskip after the defeat of Majin Buu.[4] It began serialization in Shueisha's monthly shōnen manga magazine V Jump in June 2015. The manga is simulpublished in English by Viz Media and by Shueisha on their Manga Plus platform. The manga is currently on hiatus after the passing of Akira Toriyama.

Dragon Ball Super
First tankōbon volume cover, featuring Son Goku above Shenlong
ドラゴンボールスーパー
(Doragon Bōru Sūpā)
Genre
Manga
Written byAkira Toriyama (2015-2024)
Illustrated byToyotarou
Published byShueisha
English publisher
ImprintJump Comics
MagazineV Jump
DemographicShōnen
Original runJune 20, 2015 – present
Volumes23 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by
  • Masatoshi Chioka (#1–46)
  • Morio Hatano (#28–76)
  • Kōhei Hatano (#47–76)
  • Tatsuya Nagamine (#77–131)
  • Ryōta Nakamura (#77–131)
Produced by
  • Atsushi Kido (#1–76)
  • Osamu Nozaki (#1–46)
  • Naoko Sagawa (#1–27)
  • Tomosuke Teramoto (#28–76)
  • Satoru Takami (#47–131)
  • Shunki Hashizume (#77–131)
  • Hiroyuki Sakurada (#77–131)
Written by
Music byNorihito Sumitomo
StudioToei Animation
Licensed byToei Animation[a]
Original networkFNS (Fuji TV)
English network
Original run July 5, 2015 March 25, 2018
Episodes131 (List of episodes)
Anime films
Media franchise

An anime television series produced by Toei Animation aired in Japan from July 2015 to March 2018. A sequel film, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, was released in December 2018 and became the highest-grossing anime film of the franchise. A second film, Super Hero, was released on June 11, 2022.

Plot

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Battle of Gods Saga

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After the defeat of Majin Buu, Son Goku is seen working as a farmer and his family and friends live peacefully. However, the God of Destruction Beerus awakens after decades of slumber. Beerus, along with his Angel assistant and teacher, Whis, seeks a warrior known as the Super Saiyan God, threatening to destroy the Earth if the warrior loses to him.[5] Goku transforms into the Super Saiyan God with the help of his friends, battles Beerus and loses, but his efforts appease Beerus, who spares the planet.

Resurrection 'F' Saga

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Afterwards, while Goku and Vegeta train with Whis, the remnants of the Frieza Force collect the Earth's Dragon Balls and resurrect Frieza. After training, Frieza returns to Earth, seeking revenge. Despite achieving his Golden transformation, he is defeated by Goku and Vegeta, who have mastered the Super Saiyan Blue transformation, a transformation achieved by using and controlling God Ki. In spite, Frieza destroys the Earth, but Whis reverses time, allowing Goku to slay Frieza.

Universe 6 Saga

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Following Frieza's defeat, Beerus' twin brother, Champa, and his assistant, Vados, visit Beerus while Goku and Vegeta are in the middle of training.

Goku Black/Zamasu Saga

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Future Trunks reappears, with news of an enemy who resembles Goku, known as Goku Black. They discover that Goku Black is Zamasu, a Kaioshin apprentice from Universe 10, who used the Super Dragon Balls to steal Goku's body from a different timeline, as part of his plan to wipe out every mortal.[6] Ultimately, Fused Zamasu and the future timeline is erased from existence by Future Zeno, who accompanies Goku back to the present, where he becomes Present Zeno's friend. Future Trunks leaves for an alternate timeline.

Tournament of Power Saga

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Later, both Zenos hold the Tournament of Power, where teams of fighters from eight of the twelve universes battle, with defeated universes being erased.[7] Goku, his friends, Android 17, and a temporarily revived Frieza join the tournament. They battle formidable warriors, such as Universe 11's Jiren. Goku attains a new form known as Ultra Instinct, allowing him to fight unconsciously.[8] The tournament ends with Goku and Frieza eliminating Jiren along with themselves, leaving Android 17 as the winner for Universe 7. He is awarded one wish from the Super Dragon Balls, and restores the erased universes. Frieza is permanently revived.

Broly Saga

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Frieza and his rebuilt army seek the Dragon Balls. During his search, Frieza meets two exiled Saiyan survivors, Broly and his father Paragus, the latter of whom wants revenge on Vegeta for his father exiling Broly before the Saiyan homeworld's destruction. Broly overpowers both Goku and Vegeta, until they fuse into Gogeta. However, before Gogeta can kill Broly, he is saved by Frieza's henchmen Cheelai and Lemo. Frieza flees Earth and vows revenge.

Moro Saga

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Goku and Vegeta are asked by the Galactic Patrol to recapture the fugitive Moro, an evil magician who can siphon energy from planets. In New Namek, Moro defeats them and uses the Namekians' Dragon Balls to restore his abilities and release all criminals in the Patrol's custody. Moro and the convicts rampage across the galaxy while Goku and Vegeta train for a rematch. Goku learns to use Ultra Instinct at will, while Vegeta heads to Planet Yardrat to learn a new technique to overcome Moro's magic. Moro leads his army of criminals to Earth, and Goku's allies make a stand until Goku and Vegeta arrive. Nearing defeat, Moro fuses with the Earth, threatening to self-destruct and destroy the galaxy. After absorbing energy fused by Vegeta's new powers, Goku slays Moro, saving the Earth.

Granolah Saga

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Goku and Vegeta return to training with Whis and Beerus. Meanwhile, a Cerelian mercenary named Granola learns from his employers, the Heeters, that Frieza is alive, and vows to destroy him and avenge his home planet of Cereal. Granolah uses his planet's Dragon Balls to become the strongest warrior in the universe, at the cost of his lifespan. The Heeters manipulate Goku and Vegeta into fighting Granolah. While Goku and Vegeta grow stronger fighting Granolah, and Vegeta gains a new Ultra Ego transformation, the two are defeated by Granolah. Before he can finish them, Granolah's foster father, the Namekian Monaito, reveals that Bardock, Goku's father, had saved them during Frieza's attack on Cereal forty years prior. During the attack, the Heeters, who were behind Cereal's destruction, killed Granolah's mother Muezli. Bardock saved Monaito and Granolah, defeating the youngest Heeter Gas.

In the present, the Heeters Oil, Maki and Gas arrive to finish off Granolah, Monaito, Goku and Vegeta. Gas has become the strongest warrior in the universe, through a wish made to the Cerealian Dragon. Gas easily defeats Granolah and Goku as Vegeta retrieves a Senzu bean. Vegeta feeds the bean to Granolah, who confronts Gas, and overwhelms him. Elec arrives and removes Gas' pendant that was suppressing his powers. Gas goes berserk, but regains control of himself, with Elec's help. With Granolah and Vegeta incapacitated, Goku uses Instant Transmission to lure Gas away from Cereal. Goku, Granolah, Vegeta and Monaito retreat to Monaito's house to recuperate. Monaito gives Goku Bardock's scouter, which contains an audio recording of him defeating Gas through sheer will and determination.

As Monaito heals Granolah, Goku and Vegeta face off against a returning Gas. Despite their best efforts, they are defeated, though Gas' lifespan is also consumed in the fight, aging him greatly. Granolah eventually returns, and seemingly defeats him. As Monaito heals Goku, Vegeta, and Granolah, Gas, in a more powerful though decrepit state, returns and fatally injures Monaito. Granolah tends to Monaito, while Goku and Vegeta fight Gas, but are defeated. Frieza arrives on Planet Cereal, having been lured by Elec so Gas could kill him. Having spent 10 years training in a Hyperbolic Time Chamber, Frieza easily kills Gas and Elec, and reveals his new transformation, Black Frieza, easily defeating Goku and Vegeta. He hires Oil and Maki for his crew and leaves. Whis arrives and heals Monaito, retrieving Goku and Vegeta. After Whis retrieves Goku and Vegeta they go back to Beerus' world, wondering if Frieza is now the universe's strongest warrior.

Super Hero Saga

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Commander Magenta, CEO of Red Pharmaceuticals and son of the late Commander Red, recruits Dr. Gero's surviving grandson and genius scientist Dr. Hedo to help revive the Red Ribbon Army, while Goku, Vegeta and Broly train under Whis on Beerus' planet. Piccolo grows annoyed over Gohan's unhealthy focus on his academic work over his training, though Gohan admits that he has been doing some training. While taking care of Pan, Piccolo is ambushed by Red Ribbon android Gamma 2. Falsely believing that he has killed Piccolo, Gamma 2 returns to Red Ribbon Army's base, not knowing he has been tailed by Piccolo. While at the base, Piccolo discovers that Gamma 1 and 2 were created by Hedo to defeat Capsule Corporation and the Z fighters. Hedo also reluctantly uses Dr. Gero's schematics to create an improved version of Cell, known as Cell Max. Failing to make contact with Goku and Vegeta, Piccolo, disguised as a Red Ribbon Army soldier, volunteers to help "kidnap" Pan to lure Gohan to the base.

Furious upon learning of his daughter's abduction, Gohan attacks the base, and teams up with Piccolo to take on both Gamma 1 and Gamma 2, while trying to convince the androids that they are being manipulated. Magenta runs off to activate Cell Max as a last resort, forcing both Gamma androids, Gohan and Piccolo to cooperate to take on the new enemy; and Bulma arrives with Goten, Trunks, Android 18 and Krillin for reinforcements. The ensuing battle results in Gamma 2 sacrificing himself before Gohan, transformed into a new "Beast" form, successfully defeats Cell Max. Gohan is reunited with Pan, while a repentant Hedo and Gamma 1 are given job positions at Capsule Corporation.

On Beerus' planet, Goku and Vegeta learn from Whis the events that occurred on Earth, including Gohan's new power. After Magenta's funeral, his right-hand man Carmine and Soldier 15 attempt to avenge his and the Red Ribbon Army's demise. The two convinced Goten and Trunks (in their Saiyamen personas) to take out a "bad guy" (Gohan). Goten and Trunks realize the mistake upon reaching Gohan's house. Angered to see Red Ribbon Army survivors, Gohan transforms into "Beast"; it's so powerful Goku and Vegeta can sense it from Beerus' planet. This prompts Goku to arrive on Earth to see Gohan. Goku then takes his sons, Trunks, and accidentally Carmine and 15 to Beerus' planet. After Gohan spars with and beats Gotenks, Goku then challenges Gohan. Gohan and Goku then transform into their Beast and Mastered Ultra Instinct forms respectively and then spar with one another. The fight is even until Goku powers up further, which Gohan does as well; Gohan's overwhelming speed allows him to land several blows on Goku. Goku ends the fight to allow Broly to spar with Gohan. While fighting Beast Gohan, Broly transforms into a Super Saiyan, finally controlling it. Broly and Gohan's growing power agitates Vegeta, who impatiently challenges Gohan, prompting Goku, Goten and Trunks to rejoin the fight. The Saiyan free-for-all brawl results in Beerus' planet being damaged, much to the Destroyer God's anger and annoyance. After eating a meal following the brawl, the Saiyans (with Carmine and 15) return home to Earth.

Production

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When Dragon Ball Super was first announced, Akira Toriyama was reported to be credited for the "original story and character design concepts" of the anime, in addition to his regular role as series creator.[9] The official Japanese name of the series uses the ending suffix 超 which can translate as "super" but instead of using the traditional on'yomi Chō (ちょう) or kun'yomi Ko () reading for the kanji, it is meant to be pronounced and read as Sūpā (スーパー), the English word for "super" in katakana. Other media in the series had done the same like Super Dragon Ball Z.

Toriyama explained his involvement with the "Future Trunks arc" by saying that he created the story based on suggestions from the editorial department, "As with last time, I wrote the overall plot outline, and the scriptwriters have been compiling and expanded the story content into individual episodes, making various changes and additions, and generally doing their best to make the story more interesting."[10] In addition to new characters designed by Toriyama, other characters for the "Universe Survival arc" were designed by Toyotarou, and a few by both.[11] After covering the last story arc seen in the anime series in November 2018, the Dragon Ball Super manga continues with original story arcs.[12]

For the "Galactic Patrol Prisoner arc", Toyotarou wanted the enemy Moro to be truly evil, like Piccolo Daimao was in the original Dragon Ball. He utilized elements of goats, a common Western demon motif, for the character and made his clothes shinigami-esque.[13] Because Jaco and the Galactic King have "classic alien"-like designs, Toyotarou wanted Merus to have a retro look as well and so gave him a silver bob cut. But he also gave the character bishōnen elements because he wanted him to be popular.[13] For the Yardratian race, who are mentioned but never appear in Toriyama's original Dragon Ball manga, Toyotarou and his editor Victory Uchida decided to use both the design seen in Dragon Ball Z and a design created by Toriyama.[13]

The "Granolah the Survivor arc" came about when Toyotarou created Granolah after having proposed various ideas for characters and being unsure if he should use existing characters or create new ones.[14] After settling on a new one connected to the Saiyans, he sent Granolah to his editor Victory Uchida. After the two brainstormed story ideas, he was then given the go-ahead to bring it to Toriyama, who came up with the plot proposal and added the group known as The Heeters.[14] It was Toriyama's decision to have the newly revealed backstory on the Namekian race. Toyotarou called it the "sort of huge decision" that he (Toyotarou) can not make.[14] Because Granolah's race went extinct in the story 50 years prior, Toyotarou made his clothing old-fashioned in addition to adding steampunk elements. After Toriyama reminded him that the Cerealians were not a warrior race but did enjoy fighting, Toyotarou imagined them as sharpshooters and gave Granolah his unique goggles. The goggles double as a communicator because he is a "lone warrior" and Toriyama had previously told him that having two characters converse better conveys characters' inner thoughts than having them talk to themselves. This led to the creation of the character Oatmeel.[14] Toyotarou's designs for The Heeters were rejected three or four times before he came up with the final version, while Toriyama designed the Sugarians after Toyotarou's first two designs were rejected.[14] Toriyama also designed the Namekian Monaito, whom he originally named "Slug" before it was changed to differentiate him from the character of the same name in the film Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug (1991).[15]

Manga production

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Toyotarou, illustrator of the Dragon Ball Super manga, which began serialization before the anime began airing, explained that he receives the major plot points from Toriyama, before drawing the storyboard and filling in the details in between himself. He sends the manga storyboard to Toriyama for review, who edits the initial draft, making dialogue and art changes, before sending it back to Toyotarou, who illustrates the final draft and sends it to Shueisha for publication.[16]

After the death of Akira Toriyama in March 2024, the Dragon Ball Super manga has been put on an indefinite hiatus.[17]

Anime production

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Toei Animation producer Atsushi Kido previously worked on Dragon Ball Z for a brief time during the Frieza arc, while Fuji TV producer Osamu Nozaki said he has been a fan of the series since childhood.[18] The Dragon Ball Super anime was originally directed by Masatoshi Chioka.[9] Morio Hatano, series director of Saint Seiya Omega (episodes #1–51), began sharing the series director credit with Chioka beginning with episode #28, before taking it over completely with #47. From episode #47 to #76, Morio Hatano shared the role of series director with Kōhei Hatano (no relation), another storyboard artist and episode director for the series.

Masako Nozawa reprises her roles as Son Goku, Son Gohan, and Son Goten.[9] Most of the original cast reprise their roles as well.[6][19] However, Jōji Yanami's roles as the North Kaio and the narrator were indefinitely taken over by Naoki Tatsuta as of episode 12, so that Yanami could take medical leave.[20] Kōichi Yamadera and Masakazu Morita also return as Beerus and Whis, respectively.[19]

The first preview of the series aired on June 14, 2015, following episode 164 of Dragon Ball Z Kai.[21] The next day, the main promotional image for Dragon Ball Super was added to its official website and unveiled two new characters,[19] who were later revealed to be named Champa and Vados, respectively.[22] A thirty-second trailer including the new characters was uploaded to the series' official website on June 26, 2015.[23]

The anime began airing on July 5, 2015, and was broadcast on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. on Fuji TV.[24][9] On January 19, 2018, it was revealed that Super's timeslot would be replaced with GeGeGe no Kitarō starting on April 1, 2018. According to Amazon Japan, the final Blu-ray set indicated the series' end at episode 131.[25] The series ended on March 25, 2018, with the conclusion of the "Universe Survival Saga". Fuji TV stated that there were no plans to continue the series.[26]

Music

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Norihito Sumitomo, the composer for Battle of Gods and Resurrection 'F', is scoring Dragon Ball Super.[27] An original soundtrack for the anime was released on CD by Nippon Columbia on February 24, 2016.[28]

The first opening theme song for episodes 1 to 76 is "Chōzetsu☆Dynamic!" (超絶☆ダイナミック!, Chōzetsu Dainamikku, "Excellent Dynamic!") by Kazuya Yoshii of The Yellow Monkey in both Japanese and English. The lyrics were penned by Yukinojo Mori who has written numerous songs for the Dragon Ball series.[29] The second opening theme song for episodes 77 to 131 is "Genkai Toppa × Survivor" (限界突破×サバイバー, "Limit Break × Survivor") by enka singer Kiyoshi Hikawa in Japanese and Nathan "NateWantsToBattle" Sharp in English. Mori wrote the lyrics for the rock song, while Takafumi Iwasaki composed the music.[30][31]

The first ending theme song for episodes 1 to 12 is "Hello Hello Hello" (ハローハローハロー, Harō Harō Harō) by Japanese rock band Good Morning America in Japanese and Jonathan Young in English.[29] The second ending theme song for episodes 13 to 25 is "Starring Star" (スターリングスター, Sutāringu Sutā) by the group Key Talk in Japanese and Professor Shyguy in English.[32][33] The third ending song for episodes 26 to 36 is "Usubeni" (薄紅, "Light Pink") by the band Lacco Tower in Japanese and Jeff Smith in English. The fourth ending theme song for episodes 37 to 49 is "Forever Dreaming" by Czecho No Republic in Japanese and Mystery Skulls in English.[34] The fifth ending theme song for episodes 50 to 59 is "Yokayoka Dance" (よかよかダンス, Yokayoka Dansu, "It's Fine Dance") by idol group Batten Showjo Tai in Japanese and Dani Artaud in English.[35] The sixth ending theme song for episodes 60 to 72 is "Chao Han Music" (炒飯MUSIC, Chāhan Myūjikku) by Arukara in Japanese and Elliot Coleman in English.[36] The seventh ending theme song for episodes 73 to 83 is "Aku no Tenshi to Seigi no Akuma" (悪の天使と正義の悪魔, "Evil Angel and Righteous Devil") by The Collectors in Japanese and William Kubley in English.[37] The eighth ending theme song for episodes 84 to 96 is "Boogie Back" by Miyu Inoue in Japanese and Lizzy Land in English.[38][39] The ninth ending theme song for episodes 97 to 108 is "Haruka" () by Lacco Tower in Japanese and Zachary J. Willis in English.[40] The tenth ending theme song for episodes 109 to 121 is "70cm Shiho no Madobe" (70cm四方の窓辺, "By a 70cm Square Window") by RottenGraffty in Japanese and Lawrence B. Park in English.[41][42] The eleventh ending theme song for episodes 122 to 131 is "Lagrima" by OnePixcel in Japanese and Amanda "AmaLee" Lee in English.[43]

Media

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Manga

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Dragon Ball Super is illustrated by artist Toyotarou, who was previously responsible for the official Resurrection 'F' manga adaptation, began serialization in the August 2015 issue of V Jump, which was released on June 20, 2015.[44][45] Shueisha periodically collects the chapters into tankōbon volumes, with the first released on April 4, 2016.[46] Viz Media began posting free English translations of the manga chapters to their website on June 24, 2016.[47] A print release of the first volume followed in spring 2017.[48]

Anime

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The anime television series was produced by Toei Animation, with individual episodes written by different screenwriters, and aired on Fuji TV from July 2015 to March 2018. The first 27 episodes readapt the events of the Battle of Gods and Resurrection 'F' films. The series ran for 131 episodes, broadcast from July 5, 2015, to March 25, 2018, on FNS (Fuji TV).

An English-subtitled simulcast of Dragon Ball Super was made available in North America and Europe through Crunchyroll and Daisuki.[49] Following the closure of Daisuki, the hosted Dragon Ball Super episodes were transferred to the Dragon Ball Super Card Game website in February 2018 and was available until March 29, 2019.[50][51]

On November 4, 2016, Funimation (currently known as Crunchyroll LLC) announced the company acquired the rights to Dragon Ball Super through Toei Animation USA and would be producing an English dub, with many cast members of their previous English-language releases of Dragon Ball media reprising their respective roles. As well as officially announcing the dub, it was also announced they would be simulcasting the series on their streaming platform, FunimationNow.[52][53] The Funimation English dub of Dragon Ball Super began airing on Adult Swim on Saturdays at 8 p.m., with an encore showing in their Toonami block later that night at 11:30 p.m. starting on January 7, 2017, alongside Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters.[54][55][56][57]

Toei Animation Asia-Pacific has commissioned a separate English-language dub of Dragon Ball Super produced by Los Angeles-based Bang Zoom! Entertainment for the Asian market. It premiered on the Toonami channel in Southeast Asia (excluding Malaysia) and India on January 21, 2017.[58] A sneak preview of the English dub's first episode aired on December 17, 2016.[59] Production on the Bang Zoom! dub ended after episode 27 as Toonami Asia and India ceased transmission. Later in March 2022, Cartoon Network started airing Dragon Ball Super in Hindi, Tamil, and Telegu. The first 26 episodes being licensed by Toei Asia-Pacific (Bang Zoom!) and the rest by Toei itself using the OkraTron 5000 dub.[60][61]

In Australia, ABC Me started airing the series on November 3, 2018, with a new episode every Saturday at 2:45 pm. In the United Kingdom, the series aired on Pop from July 1, 2019, with episodes first airing at 7 pm on weekdays. As of 2022, the series now airs on CBBC and can also be found on BBC iPlayer.[62][63]

Films

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An animated film, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, was the first film in the Dragon Ball franchise to be produced under the Super chronology. Released on December 14, 2018, with a new art style, most of the film is set after the "Universe Survival" story arc (the beginning of the movie takes place in the past).[64] A second Dragon Ball Super film was confirmed to be in pre-production on June 4, 2019, by Toei executive Akio Iyoku. Iyoku feels that the film's original story "will probably be totally different [from Broly]."[65][66] On July 23, 2021, the sequel's official title was revealed as Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.[67] The film was released in Japan on April 22, 2022,[68][69][70] and internationally on August 19, 2022.[71][72][73]

Home video

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In Japan, the anime series was released on DVD and Blu-ray by Happinet between December 2015 and July 2018, with each "box" also containing textless opening and closing credits sequences and packaged with a booklet.[74] In North America, Funimation began releasing the series from July 2017, again on both DVD and Blu-ray, containing both English-dubbed and English-subtitled Japanese versions; the Blu-ray releases generally also contain interviews with the English cast and textless opening/closing credits sequences. Funimation's localized releases are distributed in the United Kingdom and Australasia by Manga Entertainment and Madman Entertainment respectively.

Japanese

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Name Date Discs Episodes
Box 1
December 2, 2015[75]
2
1–12
Box 2
March 2, 2016[76]
2
13–24
Box 3
July 2, 2016[77]
2
25–36
Box 4
October 4, 2016[78]
2
37–48
Box 5
January 6, 2017[79]
2
49–60
Box 6
April 4, 2017[80]
2
61–72
Box 7
August 2, 2017[81]
2
73–84
Box 8
October 3, 2017[82]
2
85–96
Box 9
January 6, 2018[83]
2
97–108
Box 10
April 3, 2018[84]
2
109–120
Box 11
July 3, 2018[85]
2
121–131
Complete Box 1
February 2, 2022[86]
12
1–72
Complete Box 2
March 3, 2022[87]
10
73–131

English

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Name Date Discs Episodes
Region 1/A Region 2/B Region 4/B
Part One
July 25, 2017[88]
October 30, 2017[89]
September 6, 2017[90]
2
1–13
Part Two
October 3, 2017[91]
January 29, 2018[92]
December 6, 2017[93]
2
14–26
Part Three
February 20, 2018[94]
June 4, 2018[95]
March 7, 2018[96]
2
27–39
Part Four
June 19, 2018[97]
August 6, 2018[98]
August 15, 2018[99]
2
40–52
Part Five
October 2, 2018[100]
October 8, 2018[101]
December 5, 2018[102]
2
53–65
Part Six
January 8, 2019[103]
February 18, 2019[104]
March 6, 2019[105]
2
66–78
Part Seven
April 2, 2019[106]
September 23, 2019[107]
June 5, 2019[108]
2
79–91
Part Eight
July 2, 2019[109]
October 28, 2019[107]
September 4, 2019[110]
2
92–104
Part Nine
October 8, 2019[111]
December 9, 2019[112]
December 4, 2019[113]
2
105–117
Part Ten
January 14, 2020[114]
January 20, 2020[115]
March 4, 2020[116]
2
118–131
Collection 1
December 5, 2018[117]
8
1–52
Collection 2
October 9, 2019[118]
8
53–104
Collection 3
October 7, 2020[119]
4
105–131
Complete Collection
September 20, 2022[120]
November 2, 2020[121]
November 18, 2020[122]
20
1–131

Merchandise

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Bandai announced that a line of Dragon Ball Super toys would be available in the United States in summer 2017.[123] Bandai has also announced the updated Dragon Ball Super Card Game that starts with one starter deck, one special pack containing 4 booster packs and a promotional Vegeta card and a booster box with 24 packs. It was released on July 28, 2017.[124] A line of six Dragon Ball Super Happy Meal toys were made available at Japanese McDonald's restaurants in May 2017.[125]

Reception

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Manga reception

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All four volumes of Dragon Ball Super's manga adaptation have charted on Oricon's weekly list of the best-selling manga; volumes one and two sold 29,995 and 56,947 copies in their debut weeks respectively.[126][127] Volume three was the fourth best-selling for its week with 92,114 copies sold,[128] and volume four was fourth its week with 150,889.[129] According to Nielsen BookScan, the English version of volume one was the second best-selling graphic novel of May 2017,[130] the ninth of June,[131] the fourteenth of July,[132] and the eighteenth of August.[133] Dragon Ball Super volume 4 topped NPD BookScan's graphic novels list for January 2019.[134] In The New York Times' Graphic Books and Manga bestseller monthly list, the sixth volume ranked fourteenth for October 2019;[135] eighth volume was fifteenth of April 2020;[136] fifteenth volume was twelfth of February 2022;[137] sixteenth volume was thirteenth of September;[138] eighteenth volume was seventh of July 2023;[139] and the nineteenth volume ranked eleventh of October.[140]

In Japan, the manga's tankōbon volumes 1 and 2 sold 594,342 copies by June 2017,[141] volume 3 sold 236,720 copies by July 2017,[142] volume 4 sold 267,417 copies by November 2017,[143] volume 5 sold 400,000 copies by April 2018,[144] volume 6 sold 216,871 copies by June 2018,[145] volume 7 sold 208,796 copies by September 2018,[146] volume 8 sold 314,269 copies by January 2019,[147][148] volume 9 sold 188,027 copies by April 2019,[149][150] volume 10 sold 196,204 copies by August 2019,[151][152][153] volume 11 sold 119,283 copies by December 2019,[154] volume 12 sold 146,305 copies by April 2020,[155][156] volume 13 sold 155,095 copies by August 2020,[157][158] volumen 14 sold 95,101 copies by December 2020,[159] volumen 15 sold 150,971 copies by April 2021,[160][161] volume 16 sold 107,812 copies by August 2021,[162] volume 17 sold 156,744 copies by December 2021[163][164][165] and volume 18 sold 193,333 copies by April 2022.[166] According to Oricon's Yearly Sales Ranking 2020 - Top 50, Dragon Ball Super ranked at #38 with Yearly Sales - 1,019,655 Copies Sales.[167][168] This adds up to at least 3,747,280 tankōbon copies sold in Japan by April 2022.

Tom Speelman of ComicsAlliance noted that Toyotarou's condensed and altered versions of the Battle of Gods and Resurrection 'F' arcs made it a lot easier to speed through and added suspense. He also said that for the first time he could not decide whether the anime or manga was superior.[169]

Anime reception

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The anime adaption received generally positive reviews from critics and fans. The first episode was highly praised from initial reactions for its improved quality.[170] Richard Eisenbeis of Kotaku praised the series' title sequence and said "My middle-school self is so happy right now, you guys."[171] Jamieson Cox of The Verge also praised the title sequence and said that "Dragon Ball Super's intro will have you begging for its North American release". Cox was also surprised that, considering how popular the franchise is, the series did not launch internationally at the same time. He called it "a move that wouldn't be unprecedented" giving Sailor Moon Crystal as an example.[172]

 
The original animation for episode five (left) was widely criticized by viewers and was redrawn for Blu-ray and DVD release (right)

However, the fifth episode received harshly negative responses from Japanese and Western audiences due to its poor animation style compared to the previous four episodes. These problems continued at episode twenty-four, and several more episodes onward. Dragon Ball Kai and Resurrection 'F' producer Norihiro Hayashida felt that the criticism was overblown. He said that people were criticizing the entire series based on a few bad sequences that were done by new animators. He went on to explain a quality decline in the anime industry that he believes is the result of studios cutting time given for post-production and not allowing for reviews of the final product.[173][174][175]

Despite this, the Champa arc was praised for improving its animation. Episode 39 was noted improved animation and praised fighting sequences. Attack of the Fanboy reported that "Dragon Ball Super" episode 39 may be the best installment of the series to date.[176] Goku and Hit's fight "starts off explosively from the get-go."[177] The Future Trunks arc also garnered positive response from fans and critics alike. IGN's Shawn Saris acclaiming episode 66, stating that, "episode 66 of Dragon Ball Super has a few missteps but ultimately leads to a great final battle with Zamasu."[178] However, Anime News Network criticized the poor animation and narrative quoted as "shameless soap opera" based on the handling of the cast.[179]

The final arc, Universe Survival arc, particularly episodes, 109/110 and 116 have been cited as some of the Super series' best episodes due to Goku's new power up form known as the Ultra Instinct;[180][181] Despite this praise, Jay Gibbs of ComicsVerse criticized the series for its inconsistent narrative, having heard "an explanation within an episode, then see that very explanation invalidated seconds later."[182]

The United States premiere of Dragon Ball Super obtained 1,063,000 viewers for its 8 p.m. showing on Adult Swim.[183] Episodes 130 and 131 were live streamed in various cities across Latin American countries including Mexico, El Salvador, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua for free in public venues.[184][185] The public screenings drew large record audiences, which included filling stadiums in Mexico and other Latin American countries,[186] with each screening drawing audiences numbering in the thousands to the tens of thousands.[187]

Even though the fan reaction has been positive, Dragon Ball Super has been criticized by fans for lacking the blood and gore that was present in its predecessor Dragon Ball Z. This is, however, due to the fact that the series is targeted towards a younger demographic than the previous installments, and as such, censorship would not allow such content to be shown on a television program targeted towards children.[188] A Dragon Ball Super episode received a major complaint by Japan's Broadcasting Ethics and Program Improvement Organization as the part of the story involved Master Roshi making multiple sexual attacks on the female character Yurin.[189]

Accolades

edit

2017 Crunchyroll Anime Awards:[190]

  • Best Continuing Series – Dragon Ball Super – Nominated

2018 Crunchyroll Anime Awards:[191]

  • Best Fight Scene (Presented by Capcom) – Jiren vs. Goku – Nominated
  • Best Continuing Series (Presented by VRV) – Dragon Ball Super – Winner[192][193]

Notes

edit
  1. ^ Toei Animation holds the international rights to the Dragon Ball Super series. Its subsidary in North America, Oceania and Europe has sublicensed the series to Crunchyroll (formerly known as Funimation Productions) for home video and streaming distribution while its Asia-Pacific division produced the dub in Southeast Asia by Bang Zoom! Entertainment.[2]

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