Things to Come – Dragon Ball Super & Digimon Adventure tri.

It’s been a while since the news broke but I still felt the need to cover these two. And by cover I mean complain. Normally I’d file this to the Complaint Department but I’d rather make a new category. Things to Come are for things… coming out. Not really a review, but more looking at accumulated news for future releases.

Things to Come

Dragon Ball Super

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Oh, we don’t have a picture of that? And it’s coming out in July? HA!

As bad as it is, I’m a huge fan of Dragon Ball Z. When I’m not sitting through gratuitous powering up or padding/filler, the original anime is pretty entertaining. I can watch my favorite episodes/scenes over and over again though I’ve never actually watched every episode. Since the Battle of Gods movie in 2013, we’ve gotten a second movie that came out this year, and now a television series set for the summer. I haven’t seen Resurrection ‘F’, but I can’t say I was ecstatic about it. Battle of Gods expanded the universe which makes for more stories but I don’t expect anything out of Dragon Ball Z anymore. Why do people like it today? Well, because they liked it back in its day. If the original Dragon Ball Z came out today, I don’t think anybody would care. It’s definitely a classic but to say it stands the test of time or that the storytelling is on par with some of what’s coming out today probably wouldn’t be true. I thought Battle of Gods was a special one-time thing. I guess it’s back to stay…

Fuji TV producer Osamu Nozaki commented on the new series as well, saying, “As I read the plot [of the series] I’ve already received from Akira Toriyama, my dreams for this begin to expand. An enemy even stronger than Buu or Freeza may appear…”

I stole that from somewhere. He read the plot and mentions the strength of the bad guy. I don’t care about the bad guy because besides Fat Buu (who is bad guy, but he is not bad guy), there’s no depth or development to them. They have quirks and are fun to watch, but it’s a given that they’re going to be strong… If this producer talked about awesome story elements, that’d get me a little more excited. Or how about something else about the bad guy? Maybe his backstory? Motivations? He doesn’t have to give it all away, but something besides “stronger than before”… (Go, Zeo!)

I’m at the point where when I watch something new, I’m looking for a solid story, substance, or just good execution. What did we learn at the end of Battle of Gods? More characters are out there… Thanks? You could’ve told me that in the next movie or the series and it would’ve been just as effective. In fact, that would’ve been even more like DBZ because new arcs do not require you to have seen the last one. It always starts fresh where almost nothing going on is dependent on the past and exposition is required for all the new stuff.

This is all sounding very jaded, but let’s face it. It’s Dragon Ball Z. It has a loyal fanbase who will no doubt eat this stuff up. This is a preliminary post, so who knows? Maybe Resurrection of ‘F’ has a legitimately good story and a well-thought out reason for Frieza’s return. And maybe Super will be a whole new kind of Dragon Ball Z that breaks new ground. Or it’ll just be more of the same… We’ll see.

Digimon Adventure tri.

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Digimon was a big deal to me when it aired on good old Fox Kids. That it’s getting some recognition with an all-new anniversary anime was wonderful to see. Digimon is so irrelevant now, especially on the English side. Between dubbing bad seasons with a failed toyline along with a string of bad games over the years, it’s sad to see how Digimon has fallen. I was really hoping this series would bring it back to the forefront because Digimon is not a doomed concept nor one that has overstayed its welcome.

Sadly, there were a lot of attempts to buy time from the company in terms of spreading news. I didn’t see all this biding their time and delaying for Dragon Ball Super. As soon as the news broke on Super, we knew exactly the month and time it’ll air. Digimon on the other hand we’ve known about since last year and only now do we have a teaser and release date. I apologize in advance for the tone of the following as I’m basically nitpicking the teaser to death.

I still wonder to this day what this series is about. Why? Because the teaser didn’t show me anything. Alphamon’s in it and there’s some… thing right after Tai’s voice actor. Okay, all that waiting for this? I was pretty excited when I saw the 3:34 runtime because you can show a lot in that. Instead they spent a lot of it just listing off voice actors. What, you couldn’t just show those on your site? You know the first movie’s coming out in half a year, right? Unless these are shorter than an hour like the other Digimon “movies”, they really should’ve made something more substantial.

What sounds like an instrumental version of the new Butter-Fly is playing in the back. Couldn’t bother adding the lyrics to sell more CDs? The bigger problem is that the song doesn’t match what I’m seeing. It starts out okay, but gets bad when they show the humans and their voice actors. They’re stills so we have a song in the back with nothing going on visually. The worst part is when they have Omnimon hold that Jesus pose. I really wonder if they drew/animated this to the song.

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Oh, nuts the song’s too long even though we edited it down. Uh… Uh… have Omnimon do that longer for no reason.

As for what’s good, the animation and art for the two fights are fantastic. Agumon’s promotional art was odd but he looks good here. I still don’t care for the design of the humans so I really liked the part where I couldn’t see their faces. Adds an air of mystery to them since we haven’t seen them in so long. But then they go and show the faces anyway. What was the point of hiding them earlier then?

You want to see this done right?

Now of course these songs wouldn’t have made it into the Japanese teaser, but I got just as much information out of this compared to the Japanese teaser minus the thing after Tai which if they weren’t going to zoom in anyway, I didn’t need to see it. Everything I complained about is addressed here. The music fits what I’m seeing. The energy is hype-inducing. The human faces aren’t shown keeping the mystery to those shots. The editor even realized how pointless Omnimon’s extensive Jesus pose was and cut it out. If this was the original teaser, I would’ve been disappointed at the lack of plot details, but more than satisfied with the presentation in that amount of time. Now you might say that the tone here wasn’t what the Japanese teaser was going for. Obviously not due to lack of voice actor promotion, but this edit just felt so right. It’s not bias from watching the dub either. It’s all in the execution.

Finally, instead of a television series, we’re getting six movies… This is terrible. I’ll be dead before I see all of these in Japanese, much less dubbed in English. Japan’s business model for their movies makes no sense to me. The waits for their physical releases are just awful. People are saying that because they’re movies, they’ll have a movie budget so they’ll look better. Yeah, I don’t care. I’m more worried about the story over how pretty everything looks. We never knew the episode count nor do we know how long these movies are. I’m concerned that this was supposed to be fifty episodes and they now have to cram all that into six movies. Also, by making these movies instead of a television series they’re missing out on a wider audience. There goes that dream of Digimon being super relevant again…

I wouldn’t be surprised if Dragon Ball Super’s to blame for the sudden shift to movies. We JUST got a DBZ movie. Do you really have to air Super a few months after? Sure, it’s replacing Dragon Ball Kai but it’s not like Super’s a direct sequel to that. To drop that on us with no prior news, art, or teaser and it’s coming out sooner than Digimon? Should’ve just aired Digimon in Kai’s slot and saved Super for next year unless they’re THAT far ahead in production which is impossible.

This post was pretty negative but I have a lot to worry about. Digimon was a strong kids anime I’ll always remember and this is a good chance for the franchise. I have much higher expectations for this over new Dragon Ball Z. I hope they can pull it off and the movies are big hits. These at least have to be better than the generally awful average anime movies based on existing franchises, right?

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