UPDATE: It appears that Dragon Ball Super is really coming to an end. Get the details here.
Dragon Ball fans, you might want to sit down for this. Over the last week, fans have been speculating about the possibility of a Dragon Ball Super hiatus, and that reality just became way more likely. Over in Japan, reports just confirmed the show has lost its time slot, and fans are kind of freaking out.
Over on Twitter, vetted fan-translator Todd Blankenship posted a scan of a Japanese newspaper. The publication confirmed Gegege no Kitaro will be taking over Dragon Ball Super's 9 a.m. time slot starting April 1 once the latter finishes its on-going saga.
Right now, Fuji TV says it has no plans to broadcast a new Dragon Ball show since "it's not like the series is over." The network says Kitaro will take the Sunday time slot and that Dragon Ball's broadcast afterwards is still being discussed.
According to this newspaper, the new Gegege no Kitaro series will indeed take Super’s 9 AM Sunday timeslot starting April 1st, with Super ending in March. Fuji TV says that while there are no set plans for the broadcast of a new DB show, “it’s not like the series is over”. pic.twitter.com/VRHEYvBRQk— Todd Blankenship (@Herms98) January 18, 2018
For fans, the news is as upsetting as it is expected. Dragon Ball Super is one of the anime industry's most lucrative franchises, and its international simulcasts have made it a global phenomenon. Ratings for the anime have been high in Japan and abroad, and Toei Animation made some serious profits off Dragon Ball's retail alone in 2017 as such.
However, the hiatus may be just what Toei Animation needs to do to get a handle on Dragon Ball Super. The show is notorious for its very demanding production schedule, and fans continue to nitpick its quality. A hiatus would give Toei the time needed to get ahead of schedule and let the manga catch up - if not surpass - the anime. With a Dragon Ball film slated to debut this December, Toei needs to pool its resources for the film, so Dragon Ball Super's break will free up many of its top animators.
Of course, there is a chance that this is it. Dragon Ball Super could cut out with episode 133 if Toei feels like it is time. For now, fans will have to wait and see what comes of the anime has the 'Universal Suvival' saga comes to an end and hope for the best.
Do you think Dragon Ball Super is really about to end? Hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to let me know and talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!