The story of the 2018 Dragon Ball Super movie has been revealed by a new interview with Akio Iyoku that was posted on the official Dragon Ball website. The overall takeaway is that Goku of the present day will be a focus, but so will the past of the Super Saiyan homeworld. They’re even boasting that the last battle in the new movie will be better than Goku versus Jiren!
Iyoku is editor-in-chief of V-Jump and Saikyō Jump magazine, but he is also the head of the so-called “Dragon Room.” The team is a special division specially created at the Toei animation studio which has been tasked with taking the Dragon Ball anime franchise and expanding it even further to keep it “going indefinitely.” They coordinate everything from the Dragon Ball Super movie to new video games like Dragon Ball FighterZ.
“Me and everyone else in charge of Dragon Ball Super are on the V-Jump editorial department and also work at the Dragon Ball Room,” Iyoku said, according to Kanzenshuu. “The Dragon Ball Room is part of the rights department and was originally conceived as an integration of the V-Jump editorial department and the rights department. Both were doing the same job, so they decided to do it together.”
The interview with Iyoku official Dragon Ball website is slated to be the first of many in what is being called “Dragon Ball Movie Frontline” (DBMF). Later on, new DBMF interviews will feature other Toei Animation staff members.
In the new interview, Iyoku revealed that in 2016 the “Dragon Room” began thinking in earnest about planning for the future of the franchise. Iyoku did not mention any ideas concerning Dragon Ball Super Season 2, but they knew that they wanted to connect a movie to the Dragon Ball Super anime TV series in some manner. They were also thinking about how they could “aggressively appeal to new fans” throughout the world.
Based on this context, the “Dragon Room” leader also discussed how the popularity of the franchise varied in the world.
“In starting this movie, I set the goal as ‘I want to deliver it to fans all over the world.’ Dragon Ball is said to be popular all over the world, but in fact, the popularity of the franchise is different depending on the country. There is also a difference in the timing of popularity. There are places that are very popular now, but there are also places that were popular a while ago.”
However, the final decision regarding the Dragon Ball Super movie was ultimately made by Dragon Ball manga creator Akira Toriyama. Iyoku said that “no matter how much we say, ‘I’d like to do a movie,’ if Mr. Toriyama says, ‘I’m sorry,’ that’s it.”
“I think that the major premise was that anything involving Dragon Ball required Toriyama ‘s involvement,” said Iyoku.
The editor-in-chief says that Toriyama can come up with a “ridiculous setting” that surprises everyone, but it’s just second nature to the manga creator. For example, Iyoku says “no one thought Vegeta and Bulma would get married,” but for Toriyama the idea was inevitable.
The Dragon Ball creator also hand-picked Naohiro Shintani to be the character designer for the 2018 Dragon Ball Super movie. Toriyama wanted an artist who could create characters that looked awesome when facing forward, not just in a profile viewpoint.
“Actually, this is very difficult. If you turn it sideways you will have some clothes, but if you turn to the front and make it stand upright, you often become clumsy,” Iyoku explained.
The Dragon Ball Super movie project began in the spring of 2017 when Toei began pitching ideas to Toriyama. All of these ideas were flat-out rejected, so Toriyama began communicating via email his own ideas for the Dragon Ball Super movie’s story. Toriyama also meets with Toei staff every couple months to review progress on the new Dragon Ball project.
“It was decided early on to make a story involving the Saiyan people,” said Iyoku.
Toriyama’s initial script for the Dragon Ball Super movie was agreed upon by May of 2017, and the manga artist supplied 20 pages of original character designs and ideas for machines and one new planet. The biggest spoiler was that the new film will switch back and forth between the past and present day since when telling “the story of the Saiyan people it is necessary to look back on history.”
The editor even claims that the DBS movie is “becoming a magnificent ‘space opera'” since there are multi-layered components to the plot. Iyoku stated that the initial script was too short. The story was then expanded and became too big, so now the focus of the project is trimming the fat to make the screenplay lean and mean like any Super Saiyan.
Warning: The following paragraphs contain spoilers concerning the movie’s final battle and other plot details.
Speaking of Super Saiyans, Iyoku believes that the last battle in the Dragon Ball Super movie will actually be more amazing than the fight between Ultra Instinct Mastered Goku and Jiren.
“Compared to the past movies, everything is powering up, so I think that it will be a work that you can definitely enjoy,” Iyoku stated.
Unfortunately, Iyoku did not confirm exactly who Goku would be fighting this time around for the final battle but based on the teaser trailer video (see below), most fans assume it will be Super Saiyan God Yamoshi, the very first Super Saiyan of legend. (Check out this awesome fan art depicting the potential final battle between Goku, Vegeta, and Yamoshi.)
“Very long ago, before Planet Vegeta was the Saiyans’ planet, there was a man named Yamoshi who had a righteous heart despite being a Saiyan. He and his five comrades started a rebellion, but he was cornered by warriors and became a Super Saiyan for the first time, though his transformation and fearsome fighting style shocked the other Saiyans,” Toriyama said in an older interview. “Outnumbered, Yamoshi eventually wore himself out and was defeated, but this was only the beginning of his legend. Afterwards, Yamoshi’s spirit wandered in continuous search of six righteous-hearted Saiyans, seeking a new savior: Super Saiyan God.”
The full story of Yamoshi and the Super Saiyan God has never been told, so now it seems like the Dragon Ball Super movie will fill in that gap. Iyoku claims that “it will be such a tremendous action scene” that theater audiences will naturally yell out “Oh!” and “Wow!” during the ending of the 2018 Dragon Ball Super movie.
The Dragon Ball Super movie release date is scheduled for December 14, 2018.