If there is one thing Dragon Ball fans tend to argue over, it is the franchise’s canon. The iconic franchise has a lengthy history and a slew of Dragon Ball content has been made over the years. From manga series to anime and video games, Akira Toriyama’s action-packed story has come along way since its debut. With so much content to filter through, fans continue to go back-and-forth on whether Dragon Ball movies can be considered canon.
Many fans have already solidified what they consider to be their personal canon, but there is one voice who can help fans come to terms with the franchise’s overall narrative. In the past, Toriyama has revealed how he approached Dragon Ball films in terms of canonicity - and his answer may surprise some.
In an interview collected in the sixth Daizenshuu volume, Toriyama was asked what his personal stance was on his franchise’s theatrical features. Here is what the artist had to say:
“I take the movies as “stories in a different dimension from the main story of the comic”. I’m entirely just an audience member for them,” Toriyama said.
Then, when Toriyama was asked what kind of work he did on the film, he said, “I check the plot and script that gets sent to me from Toei Animation. I also do some character designs and touch-ups, as well as altering the names and such.”
For some, Toriyama’s words will be a blessing. After all, the dreaded Bio-Broly feature was enough to swear fans off the series, and it would be traumatic to discover the Dragon Ball creator had any part in it. Toriyama seems to distance himself from the series’ films as much as possible save for exceptions like Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods. But, in the end, not even the creator’s word will convince some fans their Dragon Ball head-canons aren’t observed by everyone.
This month, Dragon Ball Super's story arc kicked off the ‘Universal Survival’ saga. You can check out the brief synopsis for it below:
“At Goku’s request, the Omni-Kings’ “Tournament of Power” martial arts tournament between universes now begins! …But this also proves to be the beginning of universal destruction. What awaits the victors of this tournament, and the vanquished…?! How will these intense team battles between the elites of each universe turn out…?!”
As for the saga's start date, the new arc premiered on February 5, 2017. The “Universal Survival” saga is part of the recent simulcast agreement that sites like Crunchyroll and Funimation have scored. Dragon Ball Super airs on Crunchyroll Saturdays at 7:15 p.m. CST. Toonami will begin airing the English dub on Adult Swim Saturdays at 11:30 p.m.