Hey there everyone! Sorry for the long hiatus, but I’m back and ready to spit out some more reviews here at Rewind:STL, and what better way to start it back up with one of the best anime series out there: Dragon Ball!
Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and the very brief and hated Dragon Ball GT have been around for over 30 years believe it or not; it started as a Japanese manga/anime book series in 1985 with its adaptation to television shortly after, however the Funimation English versions didn’t hit America until later on. But when this titular series hit television across the globe, the entire series received critical acclaim, numerous awards and a major cult following (I still watch the episodes from time to time and I’m 26). With over 300 episodes combined and 19 films produced, save for that horrendous live action adaption Dragon Ball Evolution, the Dragon Ball series has seen universal success all around.
However there were ruminations that a possible new and original series was in the works; well that series turned out to be Dragon Ball Super, which began airing in Japan back in 2015 and is just now airing in America on Toonami (it debuted on my birthday, January 7th!). Now I will admit: I love the Dragon Ball Z series; the Dragon Ball series, which tells the tale of a young Goku and his teenage years, is my least favorite. That series takes place before everything else with Dragon Ball GT taking place some time after the Z Series. And for those of you that will get on my case about this, I will admit that I do like the GT episodes, to a point though.
So when I heard that a new original series was in development, I geeked out. I grew up on the Dragon Ball Z series; it brings back fond memories of me as a kid and watching the half hour episodes with my best friends. So enter Dragon Ball Super, on my birthday mind you, at 11:30 on Toonami. I kicked my wife off of the TV, curled up on the couch and readied myself to be engulfed in nostalgia…only to be disappointed.
Dragon Ball Super takes places sometime after the Z Series and before the GT Series. There is peace on Earth and Goku is a f***ing radish farmer. And let’s not forget that Bruce Faulconer is not scoring the series like he did for the Z Series; I was thoroughly disappointed with that. Most of the score is based off of the Japanese versions and film adaptations; I’m not saying that those scores are horrible, I’m just used to hearing the awesome, climatic scoring of Bruce Faulconer. But the icing on the cake for me folks was that only a handful of the original American voice actors returned to voice their anime counterparts such as Vegeta, Goku (thank God) and other major characters. Even the voice actors for Whis and Beerus returned for the series, but others did not, such as Chi-Chi (Goku’s wife) and Goten (Goku’s youngest son). Yes I know that this is nit picking, however to me, for a person that grew up on this series, it matters, and I feel that it will matter to other die hard fans as well.
Another aspect that I did not like was that the first quarter of the series is just a more detailed re-telling of the film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods; the series does not actually portray an ‘original’ aspect until later on. To me this is just an added insult to the fans that were expecting an entirely original Dragon Ball series as advertised. Yes, it is a nice touch, however we all know the battle that takes place between Beerus and Goku, or at least those that have seen the film.
Dragon Ball Super is admittedly a breath of fresh air for Dragon Ball fans; while I do have a lot of negatives, the high quality of animation, the stories and even the characters still bring a lot of nostalgia and wonder to me, which leads me to believe that this might be the best Dragon Ball series yet. I’ve only watched the first two American released episodes and the entire Japanese released series (it’s surpassing Dragon Ball GT, so that’s saying something) thus far and can honestly say that it is a series that will grab you and ask for more. Time can only tell how well received the American versions will fair; however, in my opinion so far, the negatives out weigh the positives.