DRAGON BALL SUPER: SUPER HERO (ドラゴンボール超スーパー スーパーヒーロー) (2022)

Genre: Animation
Director: Tetsuro Kodama
Cast: Masako Nozawa, Toshio Furukawa, Aya Hisakawa, Ryō Horikawa, Mayumi Tanaka, Takeshi Kusao, Yūko Minaguchi, Yūko Minaguchi, Miyu Irino, Hiroshi Kamiya, Mamoru Miyano, Volcano Ota, Ryota Takeuchi  
Runtime: 1 hr 40 mins
Rating: PG13 (Some Violence)
Released By: Sony Pictures
Official Website: 

Opening Day: 1 September 2022

Synopsis: 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!

Movie Review:

If you grew up in the 80s and owned the complete collection of Dragon Ball manga, you were probably the object of envy for many kids. Here’s a recap if you have a vague memory of what Dragon Ball was about. Inspired by the Chinese folklore Journey to the West, the story begins by introducing an adorable boy names Son Goku who trains in martial arts and goes on adventures in search of the seven much sought after Dragon Balls, which have the power to summon a wish granting dragon when gathered. Along the way, Goku makes friends and enemies, and grows into a super strong dude with an out of this world bod that you’d only see in comics.

The craze was real, as kids scrambled to own collectible trading cards (remember the limited edition glittery ones?), action figures and video games. Decades later, no thanks to adulthood, most of us wouldn’t be keeping track of how the Dragon Ball story has evolved. One thing for sure, it isn’t about going after the seven Dragon Balls anymore.

In this awesome animated film, fans can relive the good moments, whether you are aware of what’s happening in the Dragon Ball universe. Directed by Tetsuro Kodama, produced by Toei Animation and written by Dragon Ball series creator Akira Toriyama, so you can be sure the 21st Dragon Ball feature film is as authentic as it can get, and will be a joy to sit through.

This is the second film where Goku foes not have any involvement in the overall conflict. You can tell from the movie poster that the protagonist is Piccolo, a member of an extraterrestrial humanoid species called Namekians. The green guy was responsible for training Goku's eldest child Gohan in martial arts, and the two have formed a strong bond. In this movie, they have to join forces and defeat the newly formed Red Ribbon Army. The villainous organisation headed by Magenta, with the help of an almost comical Dr Hedo, is obviously trying to take over the world. And it is up to Piccolo and Gohan, together with some other familiar Dragon Ball characters, to stop their evil plans.

We haven’t been keeping up with Dragon Ball’s story development over the years, so there is a little catching up to do when the film introduces these characters. But when the childhood memories of the familiar characters come back, you’ll enjoy the movie from start to finish. The story does explain some bits, and the film can easily be a standalone title that viewers with no background knowledge can enjoy. Fans of Goku need not fret, because he and Vegeta (another old time favourite) do appear in a sequence that takes place in another location. They also return in a post credits scene.

The animation is breathtaking and while there are some cute moments that will make you chuckle, the action packed sequences are what that will make your jaw drop. The best part of the 100 minute movie is saved for the finale battle with Cell Max, the monster created by Red Ribbon. It is a battle that is exhilarating and beautifully animated, and watching it on the big screen is the only way to be fully immersed in the action.

Movie Rating:


(Beautifully animated with exhilarating action sequences, this awesome movie is a must-watch, whether you're a fan of the Dragon Ball franchise or not)

Review by John Li


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