For those who don't know about Dragon Ball AF, sit a spell and let's go back to time after the conclusion of Dragon Ball GT. The "Grand Tour" had just come to a close, wrapping up the story of Goku as he was transformed back into a child, only returning to adulthood when he accessed the power of Super Saiyan 4. To try to save both the universe and his adult self, Goku, along with his grand daughter Pan and Trunks, travelled the galaxy in search of the "Dark Dragon Balls". However, in 1999, two years after the end of this series, a new challenger seemed to emerge.
Dragon Ball AF was considered by many to be the upcoming sequel to the Dragon Ball series, with the "AF" standing for "After The Future". What many folks didn't realize is that Dragon Ball AF was something of a hoax, not officially licensed in any way, shape or form. The first image, which was a picture of a "Super Saiyan 5", had many believing that a new series focusing on the Saiyan race was right around the corner. The image was drawn by Tablos AF and was shared via a Spanish publication, and then shared online like wild fire.
Dragon Ball AF's legacy spread out in a number of ways, launching countless fan manga that artist would create, giving fans their interpretations of how Akira Toriyama's series may have continued following the conclusion of GT. For those interested, the original artist for Dragon Ball AF is still on Instagram and here's a recent posting of his creation of Super Saiyan 5:
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New commission in process: Tablos Spirit Killer finished 🖌️😉 -- Nuevo encargo en proceso. Tablos Mata-Espíritus finalizado 🖌️😉 -- #dragonball #dragonballz #dragonballsuper #fanart #illustration #drawing #boladedragon #bardock #photography #commission #commissionsopen #sketchbook #artsy #instaart #goku #instagood #yamoshi #fanarts #dragonballfighterz #photooftheday #instaartist #dragonballlegends #dragonballmovie #artoftheday #akiratoriyama #over9000 #saiyan #ss4 #gokuss4 #dragonballaf
Besides the number of fan manga that were created as a result of AF, would you believe that AF was responsible for the creation of several Dragon Ball Super characters? The artist, Toyotaro, currently works on Super but started by creating his own Dragon Ball AF manga! From here, his artwork got the attention of the creators behind the Dragon Ball Heroes franchise and he was brought on to assist in drawing the manga for that franchise. From here, Toyotaro continued to work his way up and designed a number of the Gods of Destruction that were featured in the Tournament of Power, and are soon to make an appearance once again in the second season of Super Dragon Ball Heroes!
What do you think of the legacy that was established by Dragon Ball AF? What is your favorite fan manga that you'd like to see get more attention? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and Dragon Ball!
The Japanese-language and English dub releases of Dragon Ball Super are now complete and available to stream with FunimationNOW and Crunchyroll. Viz Media is releasing new chapters of the manga at a monthly rate that can be read entirely for free through the Shonen Jump digital library, and Dragon Ball Super's big movie, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. Fans in Japan are also able to enjoy fresh non-canon adventures from the franchise with new episodes of Super Dragon Ball Heroes' promotional anime series.