After many delays (and a hack on Toei Animation that is still something really odd to think about), we’re about to see the premiere of Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero in the West. The movie has already come out in Japan and done a well-enough job there to garner hope that it might be the No.1 movie in the domestic box office upon its release. This movie is also a landmark one for various reasons. Not the least of which is that it doesn’t directly coincide with the current events of the manga (as proven by the time jump it’s known to have via Pan’s age and other elements) as well as Gohan and Piccolo having a leading role over Goku and Vegeta (who were the main focus in the last three mainline movies).
During an interview, the voice actor for Gohan was asked about the character finally getting to take the lead in the movie. Kyle Herbert noted that it was indeed his “wish” that something like this would happen:
“The world has seen what happened to Gohan as he trained and that all was going to go somewhere but then it all took a left turn as Gohan became very different.”
He’s not joking. For much of Dragon Ball Z, Gohan went from the “crying child” to the “reluctant warrior” to then at the end of the Cell Saga being the only one who could defeat Cell (with some help from his dad in spirit). Everyone thought that the next saga would be his “shining moment”, but instead…we got the “Great Saiyaman”. A move that fans are still cringing at to this day. Then, he went and met his future wife in Videl, they had a daughter in Pan, and he took to being a father and teacher versus being a fighter.
That would eventually change in Dragon Ball Super when he had to help his father and fellow Z-Fighters win the Tournament of Power to ensure their universe wasn’t destroyed, but it still wasn’t the crescendo that fans wanted. This movie is meant to be that. As well as to show the relationship between Gohan and Piccolo, which Herbert was also happy to praise:
“It’s amazing to see how Piccolo becomes so protective of not only Gohan, but his found family.”
Another thing Herbert commented on was how this film was the first to use full 3D animation, even calling it a “natural evolution” for the franchise.
There is a lot of hope with Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero in terms of not just being successful at the box office, but hopefully spawning a new anime for the franchise as a whole. We’ll have to see if that happens!