Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero Review – A Successful, Stylish, And Nostalgic Experiment

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero Review – A Successful, Stylish, And Nostalgic Experiment

Published August 19, 2022
Views 10

Nowadays, it feels like if you didn’t grow up with Dragon Ball, then delving into its endless selection of characters, locations, arcs, proper nouns, and goodness knows what else is all but impossible. I dabbled in the Toonami release of Dragon Ball Z as a kid and saw a handful of films in recent years (including the excellent Super: Broly) but to claim I’m expert on the daunting well of lore would be a complete and utter lie. I know my Gokus from my Vegetas from my Piccolos, but the moment you start talking about the science behind Power Levels I’m just going to switch off and distract myself with all the over-the-top explosions.

The obnoxiously named Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero understands that perspective, or at least positions itself as a feature film that veterans and newcomers can find immense value in. Small yet essential elements of the series’ backstory are explained before we’re thrown into the deep end, with Super Hero intended to be both a nostalgic callback and stylish modernisation of Dragon Ball’s Red Ribbon Army Saga and Dragon Ball Z’s Android Saga. Nostalgia is capitalised upon while previously rejected heroes are brought back into the spotlight for a well-deserved epic showdown. Piccolo stans rise up.

Certain viewers might take issue with the polarising animation style that sees the entire film computer animated for the first time in series’ history, while others could turn their noses up at the cliched execution of melodramatic anime exposition and needing to have a reasonable bedrock of knowledge to not find themselves lost amidst the chaos. But even for a lapsed fan like me who has only engaged with Dragon Ball on the periphery, Super Hero remains an explosive, emotional, and downright ambitious experience to behold.

I’d normally roll my eyes at an esteemed series like this for digging up the past, but Dragon Ball has evolved so much that it makes perfect sense to explore existing arcs from a new perspective, even more so when some fans weren’t even alive when certain storylines were first conceived. If you don’t fancy forking out for expensive Blu-rays or unearthing older episodes from the vault, Super Hero follows in the footsteps of Broly and seeks to depict its myriad heroes and villains in a modern light. The Dragon Ball Super storyline fans have been following from the anime and manga is also pushed forward, but with far more flair and circumstance than your typical television adaptation could ever hope to be capable of.