It’s time for another anime movie based on a property that is entirely unfamiliar to me. I don’t think that’s true – I’ve heard of “Dragon Ball” (though I haven’t seen a “Z” attached yet) and know Goku is the main character.
That’s more than I can say about recent big-screen versions of “Demon Slayer” and “Jujutsu Kaisen,” but I know it doesn’t help. Please keep in mind that all the information that follows comes from the perspective of someone who is very late to the “Dragon Ball” party.
The film largely follows characters who seem to be descended from familiar actors. As the son of the former villain Commander Red, Magenta teams up with Dr. Hedo, the brilliant-but-arrogant grandson of the evil scientist Dr. Gero, to transform the defunct Red Ribbon Army into androids that can take over the world.
As a sort of warm-up, Hedo creates the formidable fighters Gamma 1 and Gamma 2. Their title refers to the fact that they think they’re superheroes working for the good guys. However, Hedo’s real mission is to perfect Cell Max, an unimaginably destructive being.
The idea of villains causing irreparable damage to the planet in the pursuit of power makes me mad – do they really want to rule over a huge crater? The direction Magenta is headed in is clear, however.
The new alliance is opposed by Piccolo, an alien humanoid and former adversary of Goku, now an honorable fighter who trained Goku’s son Gohan and Gohan’s daughter Pan. Despite Piccolo’s pleas, Gohan may have gone soft since settling down with his family. Perhaps Piccolo can enlist the assistance of some old friends.
He might be able to make himself more powerful by using wishes from a Dragon Ball. The Dragon Balls grant three wishes at a time, isn’t that what they do? Someone uses a Dragon Ball to make the bad guys disappear or something. Piccolo is said to have too much pride to use Dragon Ball wishes like that, but what about everyone else?
The scene where two Dragon Ball wishes are wasted is probably the movie’s funniest. Interestingly, there’s a subplot about Goku and Vegeta on a planet ruled by Beerus, the God of Destruction. There is nothing Goku and company do besides spar, and Beerus just eats and naps.
It’s teased that they’ll participate in Earth’s battle, but nothing happens. This sequence is nothing more than a poor excuse to get Goku into the movie. There are many character-driven scenes in this movie that work despite some unnecessary cameos.
The story is easy to get caught up in with Piccolo’s frustration in trying to find assistance, Dr. Hedo’s drive to continue his research, and Gohan’s reluctant return to heroism. There is more personality and a stricter moral code in the Gamma androids than it would appear at first glance.
As with many animes, “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero” comes up short in the climactic battle. The character of Cell Max is big, dumb, and hollow, and that of Magenta before him was an unremarkable megalomaniac, except that it was surprisingly hard for him to be taken seriously.
There are about four death blows dealt per round, most of which are fake-outs, extending the already long battle. It has a lot to offer even if you’re new to Dragon Ball Super, though I’m sure fans will find even more.
Robert Poirrer is a contributing author who covers Hollywood latest movie releases and web series for the MovieThop website. He has a decade of experience in writing movies based articles for numerous renowned media outlets. He is excellent at creating unique content based on emerging trends in a variety of categories especially entertainment, movies and lifestyle. When not writing articles you could find Robert enjoying mountain biking trips with his friends. He graduated in English Literature from North Carolina State University.