Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero. Dragon Ball Virgin Review.

On the night of 22nd August 2022, this author wanted to go and see a film in cinemas with his Unlimited Card. A reoccurring theme in his writing over the past two years relates to how streaming has completely gutted what remains of the theatrical window and release schedule. The fact that something like Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero was getting a minimum one-week theatrical run in both Subbed and dubbed incarnations playing one of the biggest screens at local multiplexes was to this writer the perfect antithesis of how the prospect of theatrical releases has changed. No hate to any Dragon Ball fans out there. This viewer has gone deliberately out of his way to hunt down theatrical screenings of Pokémon and Yi-Gi-Oh movies. Massive anime franchises and films from various directors and studios do you have an audience on the big screen. It was just that in previous years any theatrical screenings would be a decidedly limited engagement. In the fight for screen space at your local overcrowded multiplex depending on what variants an anime film is released in it might get one or two screenings in subbed or dubbed editions over a few days and then migrate to streaming or physical media. Unless it was the new Studio Ghibli or something that had potentially wider appeal outside of the audience they typically would show up for theatrical presentations of anime. Sony’s acquisition of Funimation and the general broadening of the creative teams and directors whose work is more broadly known helps expand the range of anime screened in cinemas That said the new Dragon Ball Super film getting a major theatrical push with a full run across both versions would have been unheard of even five years ago. Especially with its topping of worldwide box office charts the week of its opening. . Therefore out of a desire to see something projected beyond anything else this viewer watched Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero as his first major introduction to the franchise. Did he have any inclination of what was going o?
Sort of. The weird thing about watching this with only a vague knowledge of some of the characters by cultural osmosis was that this newbie was simultaneously totally lost and completely within his element. The new film offers very little inclination of what exactly these characters’ interpersonal relationships are or why one should care if they’re not already immersed in the lore of Dragon Ball. That said you know what this viewer is intimately familiar with. Shonen anime fights. Dragon Ball gets mercilessly parodied in many circles for being nothing more than ridiculously overpowered God-like beings firing blasts of energy at one another. There’s something refreshingly honest and comforting in knowing this parody has its grounding within the deliberate text of the franchise. Sometimes even if this new viewer had one has no idea what exactly is going on a piece like this can default two expectations in a way that provides some mildly endearing turn-your-brain-off entertainment. This was very much enhanced by seeing Super Hero in its English dubbed edition. This viewer doesn’t know how the quality of Funimation’s English Dubs are generally received in 2022 but the voice work here gives off the appearance of a mildly elevated Saturday morning cartoon. This is fine on one level. Various incarnations of Dragon Ball have played on Saturday morning since the franchise broke through to western audiences. That said it was a little bit jarring knowing how much things like the 4Kids era of westernisation within anime get roundly laughed at ( and deservedly so.) it’s a little bit jarring neutrally that the English audio recorded in 2022 is not that far away from something that one might have seen in the mid-2000s. That said not knowing a great deal about this franchise this writer will reserve judgement on the dub’s production beyond those thoughts.
Watching Dragon Ball Sper: Super Hero knowing nothing beyond a few vague details about the franchise and its impact was a bizarre theatrical experience. It felt simultaneous like knowing nothing and knowing everything. You may not have seen Dragon Ball specifically but as someone who grew up watching a lot of westernised Saturday morning Anime of the early to mid-2000s, there’s something or feeling right at home with the ridiculously earnest God-like beings that are so overpowered to the point of being comical fighting each other. It was certainly more accessible than the other time in recent memory the only major new theatrical offering was a new movie from a previously established franchise and audience. This author doesn’t know specifically if it’s heresy to say that Dragon Ball is more accessible than Downtown Abbey. This writer thinks it might be more accurate that he is more familiar with the influence Dragon Ball has over anime culture specifically. That said the fact that it was the only major theatrical release the week of its opening says something depressing and potentially life-threatening regarding the state of theatrically exclusive movies. The world may have pivoted pretty exclusively to watching a plethora of mediocre streaming content from the comfort of their sofas. That said there are still those of us that like to get out and experience movies on the big screen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: