It’s been decades since the Red Ribbon Army traced Goku and friends back to the original Dragon Ball, but someone’s still keeping the lights on behind the scenes… it’s Magenta, the son of a corrupt businessman and Commander Red himself! To bring the army back to its former glory, he meets Dr. Gero’s equally illustrious grandson, Dr. Manipulates Hedo into creating two new androids to stop the “dangerous aliens” (Z Fighters) who have been wreaking havoc uncontrollably for years. With Goku and Vegeta training on the planet Beerus, it’s up to Piccolo and Gohan to stop this new threat from taking over the world!
Quick Note: While this movie is being billed as a sequel to Dragon Ball Super: Broly, you don’t need to have seen that movie to understand it. Broly, Chelai, and Lemo show up, but they’re basically just eating snacks in the background the whole time, so don’t worry about getting confused if you missed their first appearance.
One of the fun things about this movie is how it shifts the perspective from “superpowerful martial artists fighting aliens for the fate of the universe” to the everyday lives of people who have to fight aliens for fate. Martial artists with superpowers have to deal with. universe. Who are these mysterious g-wearing weirdos? How can they fly and change their hair color just by screaming? And just think of all the collateral damage they have left in their wake!
This is the angle when Magenta recruits Dr. Haddo into his plan, and since Dr. Hado is a young genius who loves costumed superheroes, he resorts to it in order to save the world from evil. be able to fulfill your dreams. His androids, Gamma 1 and Gamma 2, are over-the-top in their own ways – Gamma 1 approaches the idea of ”justice” with Batman’s stern seriousness, and Gamma 2 is a charming dudbro who provides his voice projected behind him. Hologram effect balloons. These characters are villains by definition, but they’re really doing what they think is right and they’re so honest you can’t help but love them.
We also get to see aspects of Piccolo that are not usually explored. He infiltrates the Red Ribbon Army base and uses all his wits and ingenuity to thwart Magenta’s plans from the inside, as well as get Gohan to waste study bugs for some silly Ph. Inspires to lift and protect the earth. Dee even has to contend with his past reputation as the evil King Piccolo and the wisdom of his time as Kami to find a way to power himself. Yes, he still gets some hilarious moments from being the Z Fighters’ resident babysitter, but it’s cool that this film embraces Piccolo’s complicated past and identity in a way that really suffices the plot.
This is the first fully 3D animated entry in the Dragon Ball franchise, going for a cel animated look that retains much of the same charm as the original art. It can certainly take a while to get used to, but we think it doesn’t take away from Akira Toriyama’s signature style at all. The only problem is that it doesn’t really add much. There’s nothing here that couldn’t have been done with 2D animation as effectively. Still, with as much cartoony vibe as the film is going for, it serves its purpose well.
What we are most impressed with is the voice acting. We saw the English dub, and you can tell everyone had a lot of fun bringing these characters to life! Series veterans such as Christopher Sabat (Piccolo, Vegeta) and Kyle Hebert (Gohan) add new dimensions to their iconic roles, while newcomers such as Zach Aguilar (Dr. Hedo), Alex Leigh (Gamma 1), and Zeno Robinson (Gamma 2) bring. Its own unique vibes that Dragon Ball didn’t really have before. We’ve also got Charles Martinet, best known for his portrayal of Mario, his best New York mobster accent for magenta! Overall, it’s a lot of fun.
Dragon Ball Super: Super Heroes doesn’t take itself too seriously, and even though that approach leads to a lot of funny moments, it also does damage at times. As interesting as they are, the new characters and powerups feel… disposable. We know this is nothing new for canon anime movies, but with just a few exceptions, there isn’t much about this movie that we’ll remember for a very long time. Even the climax is a bit lackluster, feeling tacked on just to give the story an excuse to be a movie rather than a short anime arc. Had it somewhat undermined and made the villains more menacing, Piccolo’s return to main character status would have had more gravity than just making him feel like the writers were just throwing him a bone.