Dragon Ball Super is more than halfway finished with the 'Universal Survival' saga, but fans are already looking to its next move. With its current story slated to end this March, Toei Animation has yet to reveal any immediate plans for the anime . But, when the company confirmed a very different project, Dragon Ball fans began to panic.
Honestly, the speculation of Dragon Ball Super going on hiatus was enough to make fans freak out.
The situation began when Toei Animation confirmed a new project was coming for the Kitaro franchise. The franchise is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018, and its cyclical schedule demands it get a new anime project this year. Toei has yet to give details about the project, but the announcement was enough to make fans worry about a Dragon Ball hiatus.
All of the speculation is just that for now, but fans point to Fuji TV and Toei's on-going schedules to bolster the rumors. Right now, the channel has a full block of animation that likely won't get an extension. Monster Hunters, Dragon Ball Super, and One Piece round out the block, and if Kitaro gets a full-blown anime series, it will have to take one of those spots.
Obviously, One Piece isn't going anywhere. Monster Hunters won't be asked to compete on a different TV network. Dragon Ball Super - well, it could be put on hold. After all, the anime is currently in the time slot usually reserved for Kitaro, and the latter franchise has enough clout to push Akira Toriyama's series out of it if need be.
The fandom's concerns about Dragon Ball Super going on hiatus are extensive, but it may not be the worst thing to happen. The franchise is one of the industry's top-earning titles, and Toei is not silly enough to let its hype die. Dragon Ball Super has a long road ahead of it if the studio can get a control of its notorious difficult production schedule. With a 2018 film already announced for December, Toei may choose to take Dragon Ball Super off the air to focus on the movie and get ahead on the show's production. A return in January 2019 could then reintroduce Dragon Ball Super to fans once Kitaro has had its run.
So far, all of the hubbub is purely hypothetical. Toei Animation has given no direct indication of a hiatus, but fans are simply preparing for the worst (or best) ahead of time. Fans can only wait to see what kind of project Kitaro has in store before they really begin to panic, and that announcement is scheduled to go live later this week.
What is your gut instinct about the hiatus speculation? Hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to let me know and talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!