The future of Dragon Ball's anime franchise is currently in flux, but one of the many things fans are aware of from what's coming next is that longtime character designer and animator Tadayoshi Yamamuro had been replaced by Naohiro Shintani for Dragon Ball Super: Broly. While fans can currently see Yamamuro's direction in action thanks to the Super Dragon Ball Heroes promotional anime series, Yamamuro's future with the proper anime is currently unclear. There's a division over this considering the animator's character designs, which a large group of fans had grown tired of by Super's end.
Yamamuro's style has evolved over his time with the franchise, and the famous animator recently opened up about that evolution during an interview with French magazine AnimeLand (thanks to @_Oth_Z and @AnimeAjay on Twitter).
As Yamamuro explained, he originally began by more closely mirroring the approach of previous character designer Minoru Mineda by trying to get his characters as close to the designs in Akira Toriyama's original manga. But as Toriyama evolved as an artist, Yamamuro began to evolve as well by considering other aspects of the design such as using different pencil work or filters.
He mentions how things are beginning to change with modern technology allowing more key frames, but this also changed the timing of other aspects of production, such as pushing corrections into a later phase of the process. According to Yamamuro, he had been trying his best to merge both old and new ways of doing things.
Tadayoshi Yamamuro's work with the franchise is often what fans most associate with as the definitive look at the franchise. With a harder edge than his predecessor, and straighter and thicker lines, this style was also the de-facto look of Dragon Ball Super as well. But it's clear that with the massively popular response to the character design change in Dragon Ball Super: Broly, that fans were looking for something new.
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 franchises with new episodes of Super Dragon Ball Heroes' promotional anime series.
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