Informally, Goku Day is celebrated on May 9th, 2023, by fans and license holders alike, to commemorate all things Dragon Ball. Fans had been anticipating a new announcement throughout the week leading up to the event, in particular hoping that Toei would take advantage of the Super Hero movie release to confirm the long-awaited sequel to Dragon Ball Super.
Regrettably, Goku Day came and passed without any updates. The narrator had assured fans that the separation from the Super anime would be brief when it initially concluded in 2018. This led many to believe that its hiatus wouldn't be extended, but currently, the series is in a five-year absence with no indication of returning anytime soon. Therefore, it's essential to question whether the desire for a possible revival has waned since Super anime has been absent for so long.
Dragon Ball Super Can No Longer Solely Rely on the Novelty of Newness
Announcing Dragon Ball Super in 2015 was one of the most shocking moments in the franchise's history. Rumors of a new Dragon Ball series had permeated the internet ever since GT ended in 1997. It was thought that a true sequel to DBZ would be impossible, much less involving Akira Toriyama. Due to the goodwill generated by Super's existence, it was able to survive its turbulent first year.
Despite the series struggling out of the gate due to a grueling production schedule, fans weathered Super's growing pains because the promise of new Dragon Ball persisted. In 2023, though, Super as a brand is now eight years old and no longer represents a bold new beginning for Dragon Ball. It will have to find a new angle to feel fresh after being gone for longer than it was on air.
Although Super's anime ended in 2018, the series has continued in other formats. Many fans have only tuned in to Dragon Ball televised, so they have missed out on crucial developments, although new arcs in the manga, as well as movies like Broly and Super Hero, have furthered the story. In order to maintain parity with the current status quo of Super, it must adapt the storylines that have occurred since the ''Universe Survival'' Saga.
Should Dragon Ball Super Adapt Old Arcs or Forge Ahead With New Ones?
The risk has increased as time has gone on, however. While many fans would welcome TV adaptations of the Broly and the ''Galactic Patrol Prisoner'' storylines, others may feel they're no longer relevant. As a result of Super Hero, Goten and Trunks grew older, Piccolo and Gohan took on new forms, and Broly, Cheelai, and Lemo joined the main cast.
Introducing a fresh anime that depicts events before previous developments may cause fans to become restless, as they eagerly anticipate the series to catch up. On the flip side, since so much has taken place in the manga with characters like Goku mastering Ultra Instinct and Vegeta and Frieza attaining their own unique forms, jumping ahead of Super Hero could estrange those who haven't been following along. As a result, bringing back Super would face challenges and fail to entirely appease every member of its fanbase.
However, despite their popularity, none of the manga-original forms or characters have yet received merchandise or appeared in video games. As a result, Toei may be waiting to animate these elements before introducing them to franchise side material, suggesting that it is still considering an animated adaptation of the franchise.
Following the conclusion of Super, the studio has shifted its focus towards other ventures including World Trigger, two new Digimon series, Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai and One Piece’s highly anticipated ''Wano'' arc led by director Tatsuya Nagamine. Given their current workload, it is possible that Toei lacks the necessary resources to do justice to a Super TV series at this time. This constraint has been frequently cited as the reason behind using CGI animation for Super Hero since their 2D animation teams are preoccupied with ongoing projects.
Dragon Ball Super Still Has Strength as a Brand
Even though Dragon Ball Super has been around for a while and hasn't been in the spotlight lately, it appears to be thriving. The franchise is still a major player in merchandise sales, and its latest movie, Super Hero, earned the most money of any Dragon Ball film in yen. This success demonstrates that there is still significant interest in the series among fans, and Toei doesn't need to rush out a new anime season just to keep the brand going. Therefore, if they do decide to bring back Super at some point despite long gaps between productions or other worries about production quality etc., it could nevertheless be very popular.
Whether that revival is still on the cards or just a pipe dream remains to be seen. It may be frustrating for fans that their patience has not been rewarded since Super’s initial conclusion, but at least Dragon Ball has not completely disappeared. Hopefully one day Super will finally make good on the narrator’s promises and return to television, but in the meantime, Goku and friends continue to adventure in other media.