Since its announcement on May 17th, fans of the Dragon Ball franchise have been buzzing about the upcoming, new anime series, Dragon Ball Heroes. In the wake of the conclusion of the Dragon Ball Super anime, which is set to get an additional movie this December, the primary topics of discussion have been the main villains of Dragon Ball Heroes, its relation to the games on which it’s based, and what character battles we might see in the show.
Let’s get some answers. Here’s everything that we currently know about Dragon Ball Heroes!
What is Dragon Ball Heroes?
Dragon Ball Heroes is an upcoming promotional anime based off of the massively popular Japanese digital card game Dragon Ball Heroes and its update, Super Dragon Ball Heroes. The arcade game, developed by Dimps (which has developed a slew of other Dragon Ball games), was released in 2010. In the game, players collect physical cards that they can then use within the digital arcade. In 2016, Heroes was updated to Super Dragon Ball Heroes. The game is only available in Japanese and only playable in Japan, and its transfer to the United States is unlikely. The game is known for essentially being a space for wild battles between characters from across the franchise and is considered to exist out of Dragon Ball canon.
The upcoming anime is intended to promote the game and will draw from its Prison Planet Arc and Universal Survival Saga. A translation of the synopsis provided on the official website sets up the central conflict of the series:
Trunks returns from the future to train with Goku and Vegeta. However, he abruptly vanishes. The mysterious man “Fu” suddenly appears, telling them that Trunks has been locked up on the “Prison Planet”, a mysterious facility in an unknown location between universes. The group searches for the Dragon Balls to free Trunks, but an unending super battle awaits them! Will Goku and the others manage to rescue Trunks and escape the Prison Planet?
The series seems to follow the fan-service trend of the games, promising the inclusion of epic battles between characters that haven’t yet gone against each other.
Which characters (and Saiyan forms) can we expect?
As of now, the official Dragon Ball Heroes website lists Goku, Vegeta, Future Trunks, Future Mai, Fu, Goku: Xeno, Cooler, and the Evil Saiyan as characters to be featured within the series.
Out of these, Fu and the Evil Saiyan are the most mysterious: Fu, a character who has previously only appeared in Dragon Ball video games, initially claims to be Trunks’ friend. During the Prison Planet Arc, he imprisons Future Trunks and is gathering the Dragon Balls for an unknown purpose — one that involves the new Evil Saiyan.
The Evil Saiyan first appeared in Super Dragon Ball Heroes and briefly within the manga series associated with it. He has long hair and a tail and is shown wearing both a straightjacket and a muzzle. His official character bio, translated by twitter user Herms98 along with other character bios, describes him as, “A mysterious warrior interred by Fu on the Prison Planet. With his astonishing power, he rampages through the Prison Planet and overwhelms Goku and co.” In summary: he’s incredibly powerful, and his name may be Cumber as was revealed in a magazine leak (it also fits into creator Akira Toriyama’s trend of naming Dragon Ball saiyans after vegetables).
The return of Cooler is something else to look forward to as well: the villain will reportedly team up with Trunks in an effort to escape the Prison Planet. There are rumors that Golden Cooler, who recently made his appearance in the game, will make an appearance in the anime as well.
As for Saiyan forms, fans can expect the return of Super Saiyan 4 Goku (SSJ4 Goku) from Dragon Ball GT and the appearance of Super Saiyan Blue Goku (SSB or SSGSS — Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan — Goku). The best part: the series will pit SSJ4 Goku and SSB Goku against each other.
Character designs for Goku, Fu, Vegeta, the Evil Saiyan, and Future Trunks can be seen below in scans from Saikyō Jump, a bimonthly shōnen magazine.
Dragon Ball Heroes PR Anime— GovetaXV@ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ (@GovetaXV) May 31, 2018
1st Episode on 1st July,2018
2nd Episode on 16th July,2018 pic.twitter.com/VDPWOtEz2i
Is Dragon Ball Heroes canon?
The short answer: probably not. However, the status of what is and what isn’t canon in the Dragon Ball universe is always a bit controversial. However, since Dragon Ball Heroes isn’t directly sourced from a manga and since the game on which its based isn’t considered canon, it’s looking like the promotional anime won’t be canon either. Furthermore, many fans align canonical material within the Dragon Ball universe with stories that were penned or worked on by series creator Akira Toriyama, who didn’t work on Dragon Ball Heroes.
When will Dragon Ball Heroes premiere and when will we get a first look?
New advertisements for the series say that the first trailer will be released on June 21.
The series will premiere on July 1 at a special event at AEON Lake Town, Japan’s largest eco-friendly shopping center. According to a translation of content published on the official website, the first episode will also be available for streaming on July 1, presumably on the official website. According to information published in Saikyō Jump, the second episode will debut on July 16.
How can I watch Dragon Ball Heroes outside of Japan?
As of now, it’s uncertain. Currently, there’s no license arranged to distribute the anime in the West and no confirmation of an official release outside of Japan.
How long will the series be?
At the moment, only two episodes have been confirmed through information published in Saikyō Jump.