[Spoiler-Free Review] Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero

Crunchyroll describes it:

The Red Ribbon Army was once destroyed by Son Goku. Individuals, who carry on its spirit, have created the ultimate Androids, Gamma 1 and Gamma 2. These two Androids call themselves “Super Heroes”. They start attacking Piccolo and Gohan… What is the New Red Ribbon Army’s objective? In the face of approaching danger, it is time to awaken, Super Hero!

Ko-fi

Movie Theater Experience

 

The movie came out on August 19th over here and I went to see it on Wednesday. As much as I wanted to see this movie on opening weekend, I already had plans with my girlfriend in which we went to Disney California Adventures. I didn’t go on Saturday, because I was exhausted from all that walking. Anyway, I went to see this movie on Wednesday and it felt nice to go to a theater with little amount of people. It almost felt like I had the whole place to myself. Still, it would have been nice to be part of a group where I can feel all the fandom energy. This was my first Dragon Ball movie to see in theaters. I missed out on the other movies such as Battle of Gods, Resurrection ‘F’ and Broly. A couple weekends later, I took my girlfriend to see this movie me. It was her first time seeing a Dragon Ball in theaters and this was my second time watching this film. Now that I seen this movie, I am ready to review movie.

Plot: The Red Ribbon Army returns!

Taking place after the events of Dragon Ball Super: Broly, peace has returned to Earth… so it seems. The remanent of the evil military army the Red Ribbon Army are back and they want to continue on their quest of world domination. The new leader of the organization is Magenta who is also the son the late, previous leader Commander Red. With the help of the brilliant scientist Dr. Hedo, the grandson of Dr. Gero, these two will work together and create a new world order and crush any opposing threats which is mainly Capsule Corporation. Time passes and Goku and Vegeta leave Earth to continue to train with Whis. At home, we have Piccolo mentoring Gohan and Videl’s daughter Pan. The peace is over when the Red Ribbon Army sends out an android named Gamma 2 and attack Piccolo. Curious, Piccolo follows the android and see the army is still alive and seeking vengeance. The Red Ribbon Army has made two androids named Gamma 1 and 2 in order to fight the Z-Warriors. Seeing that this is major threat to Earth, Piccolo must do whatever it takes to protect the Earth from this power hungry army.

Review: A love letter to Piccolo and redemption story for Gohan

Without spoiling the plot, I want to say I really enjoyed this movie. If you been following Dragon Ball all the way from the classic, to DBZ to DBS, this movie does some call back on certain key elements. We have nods to the Red Ribbon army which we haven’t seen a while since the classic Dragon Ball series and we have Dragon Ball Z which mentions key characters that motivates some characters and if you been enjoying DBS, this adds a new story that focuses on the other characters. Rather than focusing on Goku and Vegeta, the movie wanted to focus on the side characters and give them a chance to grow. When Goku and Vegeta is not taking up screen time, it’s Piccolo who gets most of the spotlight and he even brings in the humor. Besides the action, I do like how this movie doesn’t hold back on humor whether it’s Piccolo getting annoyed that he’s getting too many plushies, Gohan stuck on his studies or Bulma trying to find ways to look pretty and young. In a way, I feel like Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero focuses more on the narrative instead of just relying on fighting to tell the story. The new characters in the movie were a fun addition. Just like his father, Magenta is a strict and powerful leader of the RR, despite his short stature. I actually liked Dr. Hedo in this movie. He wasn’t crazy scientist like his grandfather, but he did do shady stuff and was more focused on wanting to make his superhero team. Gammas 1 and 2 grew on me. These superhero antagonists played a fun role and gave a good challenge for Piccolo and Gohan. We have Gamma 1 who is a powerful android who is serious and strict when following protocols and then we have Gamma 2 who likes a good fight and show off some poses to fit his style. The CGI in this movie felt so surreal and breathtaking especially in the fight scenes. Halfway of the movie, Gohan finally gets to shine. In the past, Gohan has had his moments in Dragon Ball Z, but when we got to Super, Gohan’s role was reduced to a minimum and fans was complaining about that. According to the community, Gohan peaked when he was in the Cell Games arc and the anime Dragon Ball Super mainly focused more on Goku and Vegeta. In this movie, it like a breathe of fresh air to see Gohan get serious and fight for something worth protecting. The bond between Gohan and Piccolo is evident and definitively shows how close they are even today.

These two characters were great and I like how they were used in the movie. The voices for these characters was well done and a great choice. Magenta was voiced by Charles Martinet who is well-known for voicing Mario, Luigi, Wario and Waluigi in the Super Mario games. Dr. Hedo was voiced by Zach Aguilar who has done Tanjiro from Demon Slayer and Koichi from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures Part 4. Gamma1 was voiced by Aleks Le who has done Zenitsu from Demon Slayer and Gamma 2 was Zeno Robinson who has done Hawks from My Hero Academia.

The main complaints I hear from people is that the CGI animation moments in the movie feels a bit off as it tries to feel like the classic 2D animation. The animation has updated and it may not be too keen for some fans. Some people say the animation looked as if you were watching a cutscene from a video game. I won’t spoil this plot detail, but I also heard complaints that the final villain in this movie was kind of a let down. Some fans call this villain a “Bio-Broly 2.0” or a villain resembling Hirudegarn from Dragon Ball Z Wrath of the Dragon movie. The villain was different, but it wasn’t too bad in my opinion. Some of the fight scenes wasn’t too long so don’t expect this to feel like DBS Broly. The movie tries to moderate the use of fighting and the exposition of the story.

Conclusion

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero takes the nostgia of its action and comedy themes and blends it together in a brand new Dragon Ball story. The new characters of this movie was nice addition and we got to learn and see these characters in action. Having Piccolo and Gohan as the main characters in this movie was different, but it went so well. These two characters went beyond and blow away the audiences as they get front row attention in the action. It was a nice change of pace of not having Goku and Vegeta as the stars. The movie not only gave a slugfest experience, but this movie reminded us the funny moments of Dragon Ball that can give us a chuckle. While the animation is different and has mixed feelings, it had a dazzling experience that showed off the massive proportional affect on the character’s combat and the world of Dragon Ball. Would I recommend this movie? Absolutely! If you like the previous movies, you will like this one. This movie gives a shine to Gohan and Piccolo and turns away from the usual Goku and Vegeta must save the world routine.

What did you think of the movie?

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