DCEU Storyboard Artist Reveals 'Dragon Ball' Inspired 'Man of Steel'

Whether you love or hate it, Man of Steel has become one of DC Entertainment’s most important movies. The blockbuster is responsible for launching the DCEU as fans know it, opening the road for characters like Batman and Wonder Woman to join forces. Now, one of the film’s creators gave anime fans another reason to revisit Man of Steel.

After all, it seems anime titles like Dragon Ball had a big influence on its final battle.

Over on Twitter, Jay Olivia answered a fan-question about his anime interests. The artist, who has done storyboard direction on several superhero films, told his followers he’s a big anime lover.

“Of course I LOVE anime! My MoS fight was basically me riffing off of dragonball z and countless other animated series/films I love!”

In his replies, Olivia went into deeper detail about how anime influenced Man of Steel’s climatic fight. The epic battles between Superman and Zod pulled action scenes from Dragon Ball, but it also paid homage to Birdy the Mighty, a 2008 anime helmed by A-1 Pictures.

“Zack and his crew used what they liked and added some stuff but it’s basically all there. I was the one who showed Birdy to Zack to illustrate the tone and energy I was trying get at,” Olivia admitted.

The artist also said he pitched his Man of Steel battles at an anime angle. “That’s how I pitched it when we were brainstorming since a lot of the stuff that was brought up we had already done in the Wb animated films/series, ‘If you want, I could come up with something I’ve never seen in live action American cinema and only in anime,’” Olivia explained.

For fans, this confirmation prompts an interesting question about the future of live-action anime. Last year, projects like Ghost in the Shell and Death Note failed to impress, but Man of Steel proves epic anime fights can be done in real-life. Sure, the story of the Superman blockbuster was critiqued, but fans worldwide praised its scale and action sequences. So, if Warner Bros. Pictures can do these scenes right with DC, then what is to stop then from giving Dragon Ball a better go with Toei on-board?

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Do you see the anime connection underlying Man of Steel? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!

These days, Dragon Ball Super currently airs its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami programming block Saturday evenings at 9:30 p.m. It is also available to stream on Funimation and Amazon Video. The Japanese language release of the series is complete, and available to stream on Funimation, VRV, and Crunchyroll.