Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero – such a fun film with a focus on Piccolo, Pan and Gohan

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Having now watched Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, I can safely say that it was a pleasure to watch. Not one minute of the film was wasted. There was something interesting happening each moment, which ended up making the film feel pretty short. The focus on Piccolo, Pan and Gohan was refreshing. I enjoyed the build up of the antagonists Magenta, Carmine, Dr Hedo, Gamma 1 and Gamma 2 and the final fight. It was sold as a super hero story and it delivered a solid super hero story.

Spoilers ahead

I really enjoyed watching the opening montage which was done with incredible art and animation showing the history of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z when Goku took down the mighty Red Ribbon Army to Gohan defeating Dr Gero’s ultimate android, Cell. The film establishes that Magenta, son of Commander Red, has been biding for his chance to reconquer the world. He has built the Red Ribbon Army behind a company Red Pharmaceuticals. His assistant Carmine is able to convince him to recruit the 24 year old prodigy Dr Hedo. Dr Hedo seemingly wants to do good and has a good heart, but is low on funds. When Magenta offers him all the funds he needs to create heroes, Dr Hedo accepts the offer on the basis that he is creating super heroes to save the world from the evil Capsule Corporation.

While Dr Hedo is quite comfortable creating androids, Magenta wants Dr Hedo to focus on Cell Max. Cell Max has a nice design. While it is practically the same as Semi-Perfect Cell, Cell Max is gigantic, has a club ball for a tail, and has red color armor. He serves as the ultimate last boss of the film where the heroes all team up to take him down.

The film manages to show the more aloof and comedic side to Dragon Ball with moments like Magenta standing on milk crates (due to his lack of height), Carmine having an extension bubble installed in his driver’s seat to cater for his quiffed hair, Bulma’s cosmetic wishes to Shenron to have a teenage curve and longer eye lashes, and later in the film the failed fusion dance between Goten and Trunks.

What is fitting is just how much focus there is on Piccolo and his adventure throughout the film. He is the main protagonist for most of the film, but it is ultimately Gohan who reigns supreme by its end. The film manages to show just how much Piccolo cares for his protégé Gohan and his desire to see him become Earth’s strongest hero. If anything, this is a Piccolo film. That’s a good thing because Dragon Ball needs to focus on its other characters, aside from Goku.

In terms of what was good, I though Dr Hedo was pretty well introduced, Piccolo thinking of using the Dragon Ball to unlock his potential (like Gohan and Krillin did when they were on Planet Namek), and the way Piccolo manages to create a situation where Gohan has no choice but to act.

In terms of what I thought could be improved upon, I think we needed to know the extent of the threat that Cell Max posed and there needed to be an explanation or more foreshadowing for Gohan’s transformation.

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero promotional poster showing the key characters

Goku, Vegeta and Broly make appearances with Beerus, Whis, Lemo and Cheelai on the God of Destruction’s planet. Their cameo don’t add to the story of Super Hero, but is a nice inclusion to explain why Earth’s mightiest heroes are missing from the action. In total, their scenes make up around 15 minutes of the film’s runtime. (If you are wondering, the voice actor for Broly has been replaced with Johnny Yong Bosch – whom I remember as Adam from Power Rangers and Lelouch from Code Geass.)

There are post-credit scenes for this film. It’s worth sticking around for.

The film was only in cinemas in Melbourne over four days from 18 August to 21 August 2022. I reserved my seat at M-City’s Village Cinemas. It was a pretty simple affair getting into the cinema. I noticed that the cinema was half full and most attendees were adults, who seemingly grew up with the popular franchise.

Village Cinemas at M-City is located at 2125 Dandenong Road, Clayton VIC 3168

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