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Is Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero Canon?

While there have been more than a dozen films based on the Dragon Ball franchise (more than two dozen, Approach to think of it), there is none quite like the latest installment Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero. The movie is unlike any other Dragon Ball films in many key ways. It’s the first movie in a long time to primarily be a comedy. It’s one of the rare films where Goku is not the central character. It is the first movie of the franchise to be made in full CGI. In America it is the first Dragon Ball movie to officially receive a PG-13 rating (yes, this includes the live-action movie).

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There are so many firsts & so many ways that it is different, particularly the spotlight put on Gohan & Piccolo. On a deeper level though, the film focuses more on comedy than action, & major storylines of the current series are only slightly hinted at. That means fans have started asking the very serious question: is Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero canon?

RELATED: Is Dragon Ball GT Still Worth Watching?


What is Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero About?

The story for Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero revolves around Piccolo as the main protagonist (which may be a first for this series). He spends his days teaching Pan (daughter of Gohan & Videl) how to fight in the same way he taught Gohan. He’s frustrated though because Gohan has really been slacking off these days, & seems more interested in studying bugs than training. Gohan doesn’t see the problem with this as not only is the world at peace, he honestly never enjoyed fighting that much in the first place.

This changes though when the Red Ribbon Army entices the son of Dr. Gero (humorously named Dr. Hero) to join the Army & create &roids under the promise that they will be used to fight evil. This is a lie as the army wants to use the &roids to take down the Z Fighters, but Dr. Hero doesn’t know this, & happily makes the &roids. When they are set lose Piccolo must convince Gohan to Approach out of battle retirement & help defeat the robots. Also, there’s a five-minute scene of Goku, Vegeta, & Brolly training on another planet, in case you were wondering if they were in this.

Who Made Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero?

Toei Animation Logo

Toei Animation produced Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero as they have all the other Dragon Ball anime productions. You might not know this from the start as they decided to make the movie completely in CGI, which is a first for the franchise. While the characters look & sound the same, the CGI animation means they will move & interact with one another completely differently than they have in other productions. Considering that Goku & Vegeta only have a cameo appearance has also thrown fans off, as there are few movies that don’t revolve around them.

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What may be key for Dragon Ball fans is to know who wrote the screenplay. In this case, the screenplay was written by none other than Akira Toriyama himself. The film doesn’t credit any other writers for the film, so as far as we can tell the creator & author of the entire franchise is the sole writer for this movie. That may be the biggest indication on whether or not Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero should be considered canon.

The Verdict

Piccolo fights the RR &roid Gamma 2

Despite the fact that Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero does something very different from what fans expected (or maybe wanted) from the movie, by every measure the movie is absolutely canon. It follows the events of Dragon Ball Super: Brolly (no matter how loosely). Akira Toriyama himself is the sole writer. Without spoiling the end, two new characters are given jobs at Capsule Corp by Bulma, so if they show up in the next film that would explain it.

If not for this ending it would be easy to write off Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero as a side story that can be skipped by fans if they really wanted to. Yet there are enough story threads that connect to the last film & set up events for future installments. The biggest reason Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero can be considered canon is not only because Toriyama wrote the screenplay, but he also has complete control of the franchise, & nothing gets made without his approval. If the movie didn’t count, Toriyama wouldn’t have approved it. So yes, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is different. It wasn’t what fans were expecting. However, by every metric, it is canon, so enjoy.

MORE: How Dragonball Evolution Saved the Franchise


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