Dragonball Super: Superhero is a fresh and SUPER take on the franchise

Dragon Ball is a phenomenon spanning generations, with decades worth of episodes, movies and merchandise to entertain folks young and old. While the TV show Dragon Ball Super has a mixed reputation as a continuation of the popular Dragon Ball Z anime, the newest movie Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero hits all the right notes.

The movie starts with a recap of some earlier events from the show, refreshing some memories while playing catch-up for the newbies in the audience. We are reminded of the Red Ribbon Army, a tyrannical organization that went mildly underground as a pharmaceutical company after being thwarted by Goku in battle. The leader, Magenta, aims to join forces with young, misguided scientist Dr. Hedo in order to revive the Red Ribbon Army to its former glory by means of androids.

The plot follows namekian Lord Piccolo who now trains Gohan’s daughter Pan, a toddler in the series but now 3 years old. She has all the powers of a Saiyan but struggles to focus and harness her power of flight. After a startling altercation with an Android superhero, Piccolo follows him to the secret headquarters to find out exactly what the Red Ribbon Army has in store. What they don’t know yet is the secret weapon Magenta has locked away that is more dangerous than they may be anticipating.

Mostly missing from the movie, save for a few scenes, it’s clear and intentional that the new Dragonball film is not the “Goku and Vegeta” show. However, the film only benefits as fans get to see our heroes while they get a little break from being the main characters. But if this looming threat is so deadly, why not call in the strongest Saiyans they know: Goku, Vegeta and Broly? Bulma, Capsule Corp and Vegeta’s wife, knows that they are training with in the company of Beerus, the god of Destruction. She tries to get a hold of them through Whis, Beerus’ Angel Attendant, via a communication device but they are unreachable. Frustrated, she goes to gather everyone else she knows in order to fight this threat.

Seeing Akira Toriyama’s name in the opening credits promises quality, and it sure does deliver. The animation is smooth and exciting, very much akin to the franchise’s video games. With a plot to keep you on edge, great comedic timing and even a touch of fan-service, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is a fun ride for anime novices and die-hard fans alike.

Dragonball Super: Super Hero is currently playing in select theaters.

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