Dragon Ball Super has a new movie coming in 2022 - and while that forward motion in the franchise is great, it's not enough. The new film comes with a lot of exciting prospects being teased by series creator Akira Toriyama and Toei Animation, including "some extreme and entertaining bouts which may feature an unexpected character," as well as "unexplored territory in terms of the visual aesthetics," and a "large-scale story that would build on the enthusiastic response for the previous theatrical series." That is certainly ample reason for Dragon Ball Super fans to get back in theaters - but what happens after that? Will Dragon Ball Super's new movie give fans a new anime?
Dragon Ball Super hasn't been airing new anime since the spring of 2018 in Japan and since the fall of 2019 in the US. It's been a conspicuous absence, as Dragon Ball Super (and really anime as a whole) has blown up large on the international stage. The was made clear when Dragon Ball Super: Broly exploded onto movie screens in early 2019, setting new records for the franchise and genre as a box office contender.
That's all to say, Dragon Ball Super built unprecedented levels of hype for itself before disappearing entirely, and fans have been starved for some new content to hit the screen, going on years now. Meanwhile, the Dragon Ball Super manga has been pushing into bold new territory for the franchise, as Akira Toriyama and his mangaka, Toyotaro, have used the last two arcs of the series to change Goku and Vegeta's relationship, distinguishing their respective power sources and goals. The joint backstory of Freeza and the Saiyans continues to be expanded in significant ways, and the role of the Namekian race has been seriously expanded, as have the number of Dragon Balls they possess in the universe.
So now we're in a situation where Dragon Ball Super is pushing forward with major re-invention of the franchise lore, but only on the manga page. While fans may hear the headlining details when they pop up, the manga audience is only a portion of the much larger anime viewing audience. Knowing what kind of exciting new canon Toriyama and co. are putting out, Dragon Ball fans have every right to expect (and demand) some more than just another film - especially since we don't yet know if the new movie is even canon or a standalone one-off.
The Dragon Ball Super 2022 movie will get fans back into the franchise again - especially if some big character reveals and captivating visuals are dropped in the marketing. Dragon Ball Super's manga has had years to provide more than enough rich and exciting content to fuel an anime series for at least a few years (or more, depending on filler). Time to give fans something fun to look forward to, after the movie's release.