Monday, July 6, 2015

Where On Earth Is 'Dragon Ball Super'?

Modern anime fans are spoiled. If you've been into Japanese animation for a long time you'll be aware that today's situation where almost every anime is available, legally online in English within hours of airing in Japan is a relatively recent development. Now it's notable when an anime isn't available as a simulcast. Who would have thought that one series that has so far not been picked up is none other than the long-awaited Dragon Ball Super?

That's right- Dragon Ball Super has begun airing in Japan and there is currently no sign of an English release. So what's going on? It goes without saying there's going to be a lot of interest in this series. This means that probably every anime distributor is going to be interested. It also means it's probably going to come with a hefty price tag.

Funimation are the most obvious candidate as they have had all the rights to earlier Dragon Ball releases. But it's worth baring in mind that thanks to the much-maligned live action Dragon Ball Evolution, Fox still have rights of first refusal on any Dragon Ball release. So far they haven't chosen to exercise the right- but it's always possible they've been watching the amount of love still out there for the franchise and seen an opportunity for easy cash.



It's likely Toei will also want to get it on American Television. Funimation has recently being trying out 'simul-dubs', so it'd be surprising if it doesn't end up on Toonami (or elsewhere) before too long. I'm actually surprised they didn't do a similar deal as happened with Space Dandy- where it was actually produced in English simultaneously with the original, and even premièred in the US first.

Is somebody sitting on a deal, waiting to  make the announcement? Anime Expo would have been the obvious place, but remember San Diego ComicCon is also coming up. Whether or not though Funi, or somebody else, has signed on the dotted line or not, it seems like they are missing an opportunity. Many fans will, lets be honest, not wait and will have already watched the first episodes through less official channels. Dragon Ball Super will no doubt be available in English before much longer- but right now it seems like Toei and their licensing partners are just leaving money on the table.
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