Monica Rial, the English dub voice of the tech wiz Bulma in Dragon Ball Super, served as moderator for a special Dragon Ball panel. “I got away from [Bulma’s hotheaded Saiyan hubby] Vegeta for the weekend,” she jested. She got the fans fired up by teasing a “mysterious exclusive new video, not announced anywhere else.” Also attending was Ian Sinclair, the English voice of Whis (the right-hand guy of Beerus the Destroyer), who had never seen the footage.
Sinclair and fans then got a glimpse of a special teaser for a new series, Dragon Ball: Daima, celebrating 40 years of the franchise. With writing and designs from Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama, Daima is a Dragon Ball tale never told elsewhere in the franchise. Somehow Goku, Bulma, Piccolo, Yamcha and others have been reduced into cutesy, pint-sized younger forms. The series is slated for a fall 2024 release.
Before Dragon Ball fans can scratch their heads and utter, “I got so many questions,” know that you’re not getting any answers for a while. The visiting Dragon Ball executive producer Akio Iyoku (with a translator) remained secretive about the transformation. “Yes, it’s very curious. There are some things I can’t say… Akira Toriyama has been deeply involved beyond his usual capacity in the character design and artwork and more.”
“We decided [the title] a few days ago,” shared Iyoku. So why the title Daima?
A letter form Toriyama, displayed on screen at the panel, explained it along with some — still vague — plot development:
“DAIMA” is a made-up term… in English would be something like “Evil.”
Due to a conspiracy, Goku and his friends are turned small. In order to fix things, they’ll head off to a new world! It’s a grand adventure with intense action in an unknown and mysterious new world. Since Goku has to make up for his petite size, he uses his Nyoibo (Power Pole) to fight, something not seen in a long time. I came up with the story and settings, as well as a lot of the designs. I’m actually putting a lot more into this than usual.”
Now back to his pint-sized self of the old days, the Saiyan Goku is reuniting with his Power Pole, which is among the elements that may remind the viewer that Dragon Ball is a liberal retelling of the Journey to the West epic. The trailer hints that the wish-granting Dragon Balls play a role in the heroes’ kiddie transformation, but it doesn’t show the culprit who might have uttered the wish.
Sinclair inquired about another mystery: “Is Whis going to be in it?” Iyoku answered, “I’m not going to say no, but maybe, but I’m going to say Bulma’s in it.”
The panel also teased Dragon Ball video and card games, a Sand Land role-playing video game (based on another Toriyama property), the home and digital video release of Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero (November 11), and the return of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods to movie theaters (October 17 and 18) with 20 minutes of bonus material.
“Dragon Ball: Daima. Dragon Ball: Daima. Dragon Ball: Daima, please remember this name,” Iyoku reiterated.
The panel closed out with a video message from Goku’s (classy as always) octogenarian Japanese voice actress, Masako Nozawa, posing as if she were performing a KamehameHAAAAAAA. That was it for Toei’s Dragon Ball panel, but make sure to check out all of Polygon’s coverage of all of New York Comic Con 2023’s news, trailers, and highlights right here.