Dragon Ball Super has made the odd move of disappearing from the airwaves at the height of its popularity. The Dragon Ball Super anime has been hiatus for going on two years in Japan, and for four months here in the US. For a lot of fans, that delay (and the total lack of information from Toei Animation) has been incredibly frustrating - even we have suggested that Dragon Ball Super is squandering its own success. However, there is another view to take on all this. Maybe, Dragon Ball Super's extensive delay is actually going to turn out to be a very good thing!
To get some perspective on why the delayed return of Dragon Ball Super could be a good thing, you only have to look at what is currently happening with the franchise. We've broken it down in some detail for awhile now: the powers that be behind Dragon Ball have been using this anime hiatus to test the waters, and that trial-and-error process could set up a much bigger, better foundation for where the franchise goes next.
The Dragon Ball Heroes promo anime is the epitome of this experimentative endeavor. DBH at once promotes the Super Dragon Ball Heroes arcade game, while offering fans all kinds of crossovers and fights that are purely fan-service indulgences. Dragon Ball Heroes is heavily-criticized for its shoddy production, but the quality of the show (or lack thereof) doesn't undermine its effect: letting the makers of Dragon Ball see which of these non-canon indulgences resonate most within the fandom.
Those fun bits include new villains (Fu, Cumber, The Core Area Warriors), or new team-ups (Jigen, Hit, Future Trunks), not to mention alternate versions of Goku and Vegeta that serve as allies (The Time Patrol). It's a whole plethora of new Dragon Ball characters and storylines that could be incorporated into canon eventually, and there's no real incentive to rush that process. Dragon Ball Heroes is arguably digging for, and unearthing, diamond ideas that could be useful in the official series' future.
While Dragon Ball Heroes plays with the wide world of "What If?", the Dragon Ball Super manga has been able to introduce a new story arc that brings Dragon Ball Super much closer to its Dragon Ball Z roots. That story arc, "Galactic Patrol Prisoner," has used the mythos of Dragon Ball Z / Super to introduce an exciting new villain (Moro), while Akira Toriyama's story once again adds the darker edge, compelling drama, and higher stakes of a classic DBZ arc. The manga fandom has overwhelmingly approved the direction Toriyama and his protege Toyotaro are taking with Galactic Patrol Prisoner, so letting the manga storyline play out in full before launching the next anime makes perfect sense. Galactic Patrol Prisoner arc could arguably launch the next Dragon Ball Super anime and keep it stacked with great content for its initial run.0comments
The consensus here is that Dragon Ball isn't just wasting the time in limbo: there are clearly some very purposed moves being made with the franchise right now. Even though the wait might be frustrating, it's important to remember that it could be leading to a greater good: a more refined new anime with clear narrative and stylistic vision, which is world's better than what Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super both did in their respective early days.
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 franchise with new episodes of Super Dragon Ball Heroes' promotional anime series.
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