Dragon Ball Super's new character designs for Dragon Ball Super: Broly have been a major point of hype, and now fans have learned a little more of the thought process behind designer Naohiro Shintani's design overhaul.
In an interview with director of the film Tatsuya Nagimine (as translated by Kazenshuu), Nagamine elaborated on the thought process behind Shintani's new character designs as they wanted to emphasize the movement of the new movie.
Nagamine explains that "the first thing [Nagamine] talked with [Shintani] about was how we wanted it to feel...[S]ince Dragon Ball is a series that has gone on a long time, we have impressions of what it should be." Breaking it down, he explains that certain transformations or attacks are "so well-known they've become fixed."
Nagamine expressed a desire to keep "transforming or firing beams from your hand" feeling special, so he made sure everything else felt just as special around it. Taking Toriyama's new canon tidbit of having Super Saiyan transformations originate at the start of the back, Nagamine wants every action to feel earned, "Transforming randomly without reason is no good...The characters in the anime can't just do it in an instant, either; they also have to try earnestly or it won't work."
This extends into the character design as Nagamine expressed an overall desire for animators to explore the movements as much as they can, without feeling constrained by the current established character models, "I tell the animators to not be concerned about what was previously established, and I want them to draw how they feel using current techniques. If there's inconsistency between how Dragon Ball has looked before and how we're presenting it now, then I think it's best to get rid of those past conceptions."
Shintani's new designs for the characters have been a point of hype for the film, and that's because Shintani and the film's staff are steadily moving away from what's been animated in the franchise as Nagamine wants the film "to utilize the latest advancements and be on the cutting edge of action series. We're not treating the series as something untouchable, and we want to create our own enjoyable Dragon Ball story."
With new character designs, and a drive to change the Dragon Ball franchise for the better, it's going to be tougher than ever waiting for Dragon Ball Super: Broly. Luckily, the film opens this December in Japan.
Funimation will be bringing the film to theaters in the United States in January as well, and Dragon Ball Super: Broly is described as such:
"This is the story of a new Saiyan. Earth is peaceful following the Tournament of Power. Realizing that the universes still hold many more strong people yet to see, Goku spends all his days training to reach even greater heights. Then one day, Goku and Vegeta are faced by a Saiyan called 'Broly' who they've never seen before. The Saiyans were supposed to have been almost completely wiped out in the destruction of Planet Vegeta, so what's this one doing on Earth? This encounter between the three Saiyans who have followed completely different destinies turns into a stupendous battle, with even Freeza (back from Hell) getting caught up in the mix."