Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero uses completely new animation techniques


The Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero development team used completely new animation techniques. Dragon Pearl was created by Akira Toriyama back in 1984, and the franchise beloved by the Japanese media has spawned several manga, anime series and film adaptations. Today, “Dragon Ball”, “Dragon Ball Z” and “Dragon Ball Super” remain among the most popular anime of all time and are dedicated to the iconic character Kakarot, also known as Goku.

Following Dragon Ball Super: Broly, the Crunchyroll network and Toei Animation’s Super Hero are the second installment of the Dragon Ball Super franchise. The film takes place decades after the young Goku destroyed an evil organization known as the Red Ribbon Army, which has now been reformed by Dr. Hedo. The character adheres to the main goal – to take revenge on Goku. Enter two powerful new androids in Gamma 1 and Gamma 2, who call themselves “Superheroes” and face Piccolo and Gohan while Goku and Vegeta train on the planet Berusa. Apart from the story and characters of the film, one of the most important points to discuss is the animation style.

Related: New Piccolo Shape May Confirm Timeline of Superheroes’ Lives

During the Shonen film panel at Comic-Con in San Diego this year, Super Hero creatives discussed how Dragon Ball Super is gradually moving away from 2D graphics in favor of 3D. The latest film in the franchise combines the atmosphere of traditional anime with 3D computer images. Nevertheless, Super Hero still invested a lot in hand-drawn animation, which was used both as the basis of computer graphics and for its touch-up.

When Toei Animation presented the first look at Goku’s 3D model, the Superhero’s animation style began to attract a lot of negative attention. This caused controversy among Dragon Ball fans, who became attached to the ever-evolving 2D anime franchise. The first glimpses of Super Hero have drawn comparisons to Dragon Ball video games, which certainly don’t showcase an art style suitable for a movie or TV show.

In Broly 2018, action sequences were presented, in which 3D models were sometimes used, but they were combined with 2D animation. In the end, it turned out to be profitable: many praised the film’s action scenes as some of the best the franchise has to offer. Previously, it was thought that Super Hero would apply computer graphics to its entire runtime environment. While computer graphics are being used more than ever before in Piccolo and Gohan’s battle with androids, the latest trailer for Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero proves that its animation style does not negate the expectations of viewers when they think of Dragon Ball. However, it remains to be seen how U.S. audiences will react to this brand new approach to classic anime when “Superhero” hits U.S. theaters next month.


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