In the world of anime, there’s one series that everyone, regardless of whether they’ve seen it before, has heard of, and that’s Dragon Ball. Makings its televised journey to the West two decades ago, Dragon Ball helped make anime a thing in Western pop culture. No matter how many newer, critically acclaimed anime comes out, the Dragon Ball franchise will always maintain reverence in the medium.

So, what happens when fan anticipation for the next Dragon Ball film combines with the first in-person San Diego Comic-Con in two years? A hype train that can’t be contained.

Those lucky enough to attend Comic-Con have been posting photos all over social media, and many have to do with Dragon Ball Super. The series has posters, statues, and banners hanging all over the convention and the city. Of course, due to the hype for the upcoming movie, that’s to be expected.

Since the franchise’s revival in the 2010s, Dragon Ball has returned to the cultural spotlight and is more accessible than ever. As such, a new movie’s arrival has always been treated as a big deal for fans. However, what separates Superhero from previous films (besides his 3D animation style) is that the film’s not about Goku. Instead, it’s about his son, Gohan, and his mentor, Piccolo. Fans of the franchise know that Gohan’s lived in his Dad’s shadow for years, despite originally being meant to surpass a long time ago. Thus, Gohan’s getting the chance to be the hero he is without his Dad to steal the spotlight is a big deal. The same can also be said about the panel for the movie.

What the Movie’s About

Quick recap, for those who don’t know what the film’s about: taking place sometime after the events of Broly, Superhero sees the return of the Red Ribbon Army, an evil organization almost wiped out by Goku when he was a kid. Their former top scientist then dedicated his life to creating superhuman androids strong enough to kill Goku and his friends and ensure the Red Ribbon Army’s return to power.

What’s left of the army has continued that work, creating even more Androids strong enough to kill Goku. When Gohan’s daughter gets captured while his Dad’s training elsewhere, he’s got to come out of retirement and fight alongside his mentor, Piccolo, to save the day.  

Super Panel for a Superhero Movie

The Panel for DB Super: Superhero was a must-see for Dragon Ball fans. The film’s producer appeared on stage and explained that he was grateful to be at Comic-Con like they could with Broly. Despite the use of CGI over 2D animation, he felt confident they did the franchise justice.

A major highlight, though, was having the voices of Piccolo themselves appear onstage together. First, there’s Piccolo’s Japanese Voice Actor Toshio Furukawa (who admitted he has thousands of his character’s merch) and his Dubbed VA, Chris Sabat. Having the two appear onstage together was a milestone for Dragon Ball and a much-welcomed one.

To top everything off, fans got a video message from Masako Nosawa, the Japanese voice of Goku/Gohan herself, as she gave everyone a screening of the first 20 minutes of the film. Those who couldn’t watch it will have to wait until August 19th to see it in theaters. Given how much the studios are promoting it, it’s clear that everyone’s looking forward to seeing it.