All reviews on Rotten Tomatoes
(It's) chock-full of popcorn nostalgia and fan favourite characters and villains and power moves exactly like what any fan of the long-running saga is looking for.
(It's) chock-full of popcorn nostalgia and fan favourite characters and villains and power moves exactly like what any fan of the long-running saga is looking for.Full review
Super Hero is familiarity on top of familiarity, but with slight tweaks in perspective and style.Full review
For this critic, who has been following Dragon Ball diligently since his teenage years, the fan service only added to the esoteric charm.Full review
A must-see for fans that salutes one of the series’ best relationships, but newcomers... might want to check out some of the TV series first.Full review
Fan or not, it’s safe to say you’ll have fun with it.Full review
If... you can relax and just let it wash over you, Super Hero’s eye candy animation is mesmeric.Full review
The plot is held together with minced Senzu beans, but for a feature-length fight scene intercut with some hearty chuckles, it’s quite effective.Full review
The film, while nothing groundbreaking, mostly finds a sweet spot between fan service and narrative heft.Full review
Though it takes time to warm up, the occasional hiccups in pacing and any qualms with the new style melt away pretty quickly.Full review
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is now playing in 9 cinemas in Australia.
Music byNaoki Satō Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero (Japanese: ドラゴンボー超（スーパー）スーパーヒーロー, Hepburn: Doragon Bōru Sūpā Sūpā Hīrō) is a 2022 Japanese computer-animated martial arts fantasy/adventure film, directed by Tetsuro Kodama, produced by Toei Animation and written by Dragon Ball series creator Akira Toriyama. It is the twenty-first Dragon Ball feature film overall, the fourth produced with Toriyama's direct involvement, the second to carry the Dragon Ball Super branding, and the first to be produced mainly using 3D animation. The film follows Piccolo and his former student Gohan as they go on a mission to save the world from the newly reformed Red Ribbon Army.
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero (Japanese: ドラゴンボー超（スーパー）スーパーヒーロー, Hepburn: Doragon Bōru Sūpā Sūpā Hīrō) is a 2022 Japanese computer-animated martial arts fantasy/adventure film, directed by Tetsuro Kodama, produced by Toei Animation and written by Dragon Ball series creator Akira Toriyama. It is the twenty-first Dragon Ball feature film overall, the fourth produced with Toriyama's direct involvement, the second to carry the Dragon Ball Super branding, and the first to be produced mainly using 3D animation. The film follows Piccolo and his former student Gohan as they go on a mission to save the world from the newly reformed Red Ribbon Army.
Toei AnimationDistributed byToei Company
Running time99 minutesCountryJapanLanguageJapaneseBox office¥2.49 billion (Japan)
$87.3 million (Worldwide)
The film is the first to introduce a reiteration of Cell after the original Cell Saga. It was originally set for release in Japan on April 22, 2022, but was instead released on June 11 due to a cyberattack at Toei Animation. It received positive reviews from critics, with praise for the nostalgia, character development, fan service, animation, story, humor, and relationship between Gohan and Piccolo, with many critics deeming it superior to its predecessor Broly. The film grossed over $87 million worldwide, becoming the second-highest grossing Dragon Ball film to date.
Magenta, CEO of Red Pharmaceuticals, seeks to revive the Red Ribbon Army that his father Commander Red led and was ultimately destroyed by Goku. Magenta and his assistant Staff Officer Carmine seek to recruit Dr. Gero's surviving grandson Dr. Hedo, a superhero-obsessed mad scientist who was released from jail after serving a grave robbing sentence. Hedo accepts the offer despite his initial reservations after Magenta convinces him that Capsule Corp and the Z-Fighters are evil organizations. While Goku and Vegeta are training under Whis on Beerus' planet alongside Broly, who is being taught to control his power, Piccolo is annoyed over Gohan wasting his potential while training the latter's daughter Pan. Piccolo is then attacked by a Red Ribbon android named Gamma 2, but manages to elude the android by faking his death and follows him to the Red Ribbon Army's base.
Piccolo disguises himself as a Red Ribbon soldier to infiltrate a Red Ribbon meeting, learning that Gamma 2 was created by Hedo along with Gamma 1 as superheroes to deal with the Z-Fighters and that Hedo reluctantly used his grandfather's schematics on Cell to create an improved version, known as Cell Max. Piccolo informs Bulma of the situation and asks her to contact Goku and Vegeta, while convincing Dende to upgrade the Dragon Balls so he can use a wish from Shenron to unlock his full potential. After completing the wish while learning that Bulma has been unable to contact Whis, Piccolo learns of Magenta's scheme to kidnap Pan to force Gohan to face them. Piccolo volunteers himself for the kidnapping party and talks Pan into playing along. Enraged upon learning of his daughter's "abduction," Gohan reawakens his Super Saiyan form, launches a full-scale assault on the Red Ribbon base and fights Gamma 1. Gohan powers up to his "Ultimate" form during his fight with Gamma 1 while Piccolo discards his disguise to face Gamma 2, with his full potential manifesting in a new form dubbed "Orange Piccolo." Piccolo manages to convince Gamma 2 that Magenta was lying about the Z Fighters, and the Gammas have a change of heart. Carmine is knocked out by Pan after attempting to kill her, while Magenta runs off to prematurely activate Cell Max.
Hedo kills Magenta but is unable to stop Cell Max's activation. Cell Max emerges as a giant, rampaging monster, while Bulma arrives with Goten, Trunks, Android 18 and Krillin as reinforcements. Gohan, Piccolo, the Gammas, and the other fighters battle Cell Max. Goten and Trunks try to fuse into Gotenks, but their fusion technique is imperfect; however, Gotenks does manage to crack Cell Max's skull, revealing that he does not have a regeneration ability like the original Cell. Gamma 2 sacrifices himself in an attempt to kill Cell Max, but only succeeds in destroying Cell Max's left arm. Piccolo battles Cell Max by combining his "Orange Piccolo" and "Great Namekian" forms but is overwhelmed and brutally beaten. This causes Gohan's inner rage to erupt, and he transforms into a new "Beast" form. Piccolo restrains Cell Max while Gohan charges up a Special Beam Cannon, which pierces through Cell Max's head and kills him. With the battle over, Gohan is reunited with Pan, while a repentant Hedo and Gamma 1 are given positions in the Capsule Corporation.
In a post-credits scene, Vegeta and Goku reach the end of a lengthy sparring match in which they have both used up all of their energy and are completely exhausted. Vegeta lands the match's final blow and Goku collapses first, prompting a delighted Vegeta to celebrate his victory. Whis finally discovers Bulma's earlier message, while Broly and Lemo are awestruck by the sparring match, much to Cheelai's irritation.
Production of Super Hero began before the release of Dragon Ball Super: Broly. It is the first film in the franchise to be produced largely in CGI, and the fourth to have heavy involvement from series creator Akira Toriyama, who provided the original concept and character designs. The use of CGI visuals was a decision made by Kodama, who is experienced with using them.
To differentiate the movie from prior films, Piccolo and Gohan were made protagonists (as opposed to Goku and Vegeta) and the Red Ribbon Army were brought back as villains. Toriyama personally designed the characters of the Red Ribbon Army, as well as their vehicles. Kodama explained the narrative would further explore human drama, most notably the idea of Gohan being a warrior and a scholar at the same time. Toriyama said that he wanted the plot to focus on the Gohan-Piccolo relationship, given Piccolo motivates Gohan to fight even more than his father, Goku.
The film introduces new transformations for Gohan and Piccolo. Gohan Beast (孫 悟飯・ビースト, Son Gohan Bīsuto), a form unique to Gohan, is based on the awakening of his powers ("the wild beast", per Toriyama) as a boy. Toriyama attempted to draw Gohan Beast with a "scary face", but finding this did not fit his character, gave him upturned hair as well. Orange Piccolo (オレンジ・ピッコロ, Orenji Pikkoro), which Toriyama considers Piccolo's first transformation, was made orange and extremely muscled to distinguish him from Piccolo's regular form.
Hiroshi Kamiya and Mamoru Miyano voice the androids Gamma 1 and Gamma 2. Miyu Irino voices their creator, Dr. Hedo. Kamiya was surprised by his casting, as he was a fan of Miyano, and also because the two would be a duo of villains. Despite the similarities of both androids, Kamiya looked forward to potential differences in their personalities, as it would bring an element of surprise to the narrative.
A sequel to Dragon Ball Super: Broly was officially announced on May 9, 2021. At 2021's San Diego Comic-Con, a short clip of Goku with the film's logo was shown, revealing its title as Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero. Character designs for Piccolo, Pan, Krillin, Gamma 1, and Gamma 2 were also shown, as well as the design of Piccolo's home. The first trailer was released on October 7, 2021. The Japanese release date was announced with a new trailer at Jump Festa 2022.
A novelization of the film written by Masatoshi Kusakabe was released on June 14, 2022. In its first week, it sold 3,946 copies, making it the 9th best-selling light novel in Japan. As of June 26, it had sold 10,365 copies, the 10th-most that month.
The film was originally scheduled to be released in Japan on April 22, 2022, but it was postponed to June 11 after Toei Animation was affected by ransomware. The film was released in IMAX, 4DX, Dolby Cinema, and MX4D.
The film is distributed in Japan by Toei Company. In addition, due to the influence of Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox, 20th Century Studios (formerly known as 20th Century Fox) will no longer participate in the distribution cooperation of this work as their Japanese division was dissolved on September 1, 2020, so this film will become the first part of the series to be completely independent by Toei itself since Dragon Ball: The Path to Power (1996).
Crunchyroll is distributing the film outside Japan with Sony Pictures Entertainment, except in North America, where they will release it on their own. It was released in theaters worldwide in August and September 2022. This will be the first Dragon Ball film distributed under the Crunchyroll brand after Sony Pictures acquired Crunchyroll in 2021 and merged it with Funimation.
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero topped the Japanese box office on its debut weekend, selling about 498,000 tickets and earning around ¥670 million (about $4.98 million). In its second weekend, the film's gross dropped 55% to ¥300 million (about $2.2 million), placing it second behind Top Gun: Maverick. After 12 days of release, the film had sold over 1 million tickets. In its third weekend, the film remained in second place, earning about ¥232 million (about $1.71 million) from 166,000 tickets. It had cumulatively sold 1.21 million tickets and earned about ¥1.64 billion (about $12.11 million).
In its fourth weekend of release, Super Hero dropped to fourth place at the box office, earning about ¥155 million (about $1.13 million). In its fifth weekend, the film surpassed the ¥2 billion yen ($15.04 million) mark, although it also dropped to fifth place with earnings of ¥121 million (about $879,900). In its sixth weekend, Super Hero dropped to sixth place, earning about ¥72.4 million (about $523,900). In the film's seventh weekend in theatres, it earned about ¥44.3 million (about $324,600), dropping to 8th place.
Cumulatively, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero has earned ¥2.3 billion (about US$17.03 million), surpassing The Quintessential Quintuplets Movie to become the fourth-highest grossing Japanese anime film of 2022.
In the United States and Canada, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero was released alongside Beast, and was initially projected to gross $13–15 million from 3,130 theaters in its opening weekend. After making $10.74 million on its first day, including $4.3 million from Thursday night previews, estimates were raised to $21–23 million. It went on to debut at $21 million, topping the box office. In its second weekend, the film dropped 78% to $4.7 million, finishing fifth.
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 93% of 55 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.2/10. The website's consensus reads, "Blending beautifully animated action with fresh character development, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is everything fans of the franchise will be looking for." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 65 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". American audiences polled by PostTrak gave the film an 85% overall positive score, with 75% saying they would definitely recommend it, while Japanese audiences on Filmarks, the Japanese survey firm, gave Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero a ranking of 4.0 out of 5.0.
Richard Eisenbeis of Anime News Network gave Super Hero a B−. He noted its extensive callbacks to prior Dragon Ball moments and appreciated its exploration of Piccolo, who he considers a neglected character. He also praised the film's animation. However, Eisenbeis criticized Cell Max for being a lackluster villain. Cezary Jan Strusiewicz of Polygon described the movie as nostalgic, remarking on its accessibility to casual fans and people who have never watched Dragon Ball before. Unlike Eiseinbeis, Strusiewicz disliked the animation, which he found to be unusual for the series.