We are still waiting for a confirmation from Toei Animation about the 2nd part of the Dragon Ball Super series, which, for now, would theoretically adapt the Moro and Granolah sagas, which ends today. Rumors point to 2023, although at the moment there is nothing firm. Meanwhile, if we want animation, we have to enjoy the movies and Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero premiered a few weeks ago in Japan, although in the United States and Latin America it opens a day before the publication of this review. What does this new installment that acts as a sequel to the 2018 film Dragon Ball Super: Broly have to offer us?
The film already begins with a low blow to all those who live the adventures of Goku child against the army of the red ribbon. The hit of nostalgia is brutal, a 2D summary with a quality never seen before with a sepia tone where we see the battles against Commander Red, Tao Pai Pai, the raid on the headquarters… All this puts us in a situation for what awaits us, with the son of Commander Red, who wants to put the old red belt army back as world dominator. To do this, Magenta, the son of the former commander, recruits Dr. Hedo, grandson of Dr. Gero, a specialist in androids.
After taking a bribe and deceiving him by saying that the Z fighters are an evil that must be exterminated, Hedo builds two androids with power never seen before, Gamma 1 and Gamma 2, based on inworld superheroes.
Meanwhile, from the point of view of the heroes, Goku and Vegeta are training on the planet of Whis and Beerus (yes, sorry but Beerus is a bad translation) together with Broly, who is learning to control his rage when fighting (All this derived from Dragon Ball Super: Broly). On Earth, Pan, now 3 years old, is training with Piccolo, while Son Gohan is overworked.
The Namekian is in charge of training the young mestiza, as happened many years ago with a young Gohan. As happened with Goku in the Buu Piccolo saga, he reproaches his former apprentice that he barely trains and that he is losing his form, something that will be recurring and very important in the film.
After training, Piccolo has a surprise confrontation with Gamma 2, who shows that he is much more powerful than him, although he manages to escape, to later infiltrate the new Red Ribbon Army base. From here the plot gets a little out of hand (don’t worry, I’m not going to do spoilers) and ends with Son Gohan and Piccolo trying to rescue Pan and facing the new androids.
As in previous films, this one is clearly divided into two parts. The first is the one that is full of winks, nostalgia and adventure while the second is focused on the fight. In the initial part they give us countless references to those we saw in both the original series and Z, with details such as the increase in power of the dragon Shenron, the stupid wishes of the classic series, as well as discovering things never seen before, such as the house of Piccolo or Pan’s training.
That training is very reminiscent of what the Namekian already had with Son Gohan as a child, perhaps a little less cruel, although it is not that he contains much either. Another of the great details is that of the canonization of the design of Dr. Gero’s wife, known as Vomi, who in the games is known as Android 21, although that currently does not fall within the timeline of the manga.
Speaking of the timeline, this movie should be set after the Moro and Granolah arc in the Dragon Ball Super manga, and I say this exclusively because of the new powers that some characters get in this movie, which are not seen during the aforementioned sagas. In addition, Pan’s age would more or less match what has been seen so far. We know that the Dragon Ball canon is a bit lax, and they also wanted this movie to be a sequel to Dragon Ball Super: Broly, so if you want to see it without having read the manga, you won’t have a problem.
During the battles we also learn several new facts about the saiyans (yes, it’s saiyan or saiyan, saiyan is not correct), such as that they remain children for many years and then suddenly grow (as happened with Goku in the original series and in this movie with Goten and Trunks). They also bring back something from those first classic chapters and it’s a Piccolo technique that he only used once and not even he remembered that he could do.
The entire film has a transversal concept throughout the footage, and it is that of superheroes. Both Dr. Hedo’s suit, his androids or even the name of the film refer to that trend that is so fashionable today, but it has some more subtle winks such as having a post-credits scene, as if from a movie of Marvel concerned. There are some really well-cared details, like the Batman-type signal used by the red ribbon army or every time a Gamma manages to connect a blow, onomatopoeias appear through a hologram.
On a visual level Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero surprises and for good. Several fans pointed out that this animation change would not suit Dragon Ball, but on the contrary, this 3D is very well implemented and is a visual wonder.