Despite the Japanese franchise Dragon Ball initially coming to an end in Japan in 1997 with Dragon Ball GT, the hugely popular series has never faded from public consciousness. Thanks to the English-dubs of Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT from the Funimation broadcast on Toonami, the show has been a constant with regular televised re-runs, video games and merchandising. A couple of years ago, we got a feature-length animated continuation of the series with Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, shortly followed by a sequel entitled Resurrection F. Now the series will be returning to American screens once again with Dragon Ball Super.
However, committed fans have already been watching Dragon Ball Super as the series following the Super Saiyan Goku and his friends is already at its 69th episode and has been broadcasting for a year and a half in Japan. But today, Funimation announced that an English Dub of Dragon Ball Super will be broadcast on Adult Swim during the Toonami block starting January 7, 2017. The series will run for 26 episodes and will be adaptations of the Battle of Gods and Resurrection F arcs that have been told on the big-screen, though the Japanese dub has already gone far beyond those stories with additional arcs and stories that are adapted from the Dragon Ball Super manga.
In fact, thanks to Goku voice actor Seán Schemmel, you can watch an official English-dubbed clip through his Twitter as a taste of what’s to come:
— Sean Schemmel (@SeanSchemmel) November 30, 2016
Jason DeMarco, senior vice president of on-air for Adult Swim has stated;
“Toonami and the Dragon Ball franchise have a long and storied history together in the U.S. We are thrilled to be premiering Dragon Ball Super to our audience and keeping Dragon Ball on Toonami!”
Not only will fans from the 90s get a shot of nostalgia by watching Dragon Ball on Toonami again, but many long-standing Dragon Ball voice actors will return for Super including Seán Schemmel as Goku, Christopher R. Sabat as Vegeta and Piccolo and Sonny Strait as Krillin. Also reprising their roles from the recent theatrical releases will be Jason Douglas as Beerus and Ian Sinclair as his attendant Whis.
The official synopsis is as follows;
“With Majin Buu defeated, Goku has taken a completely new role as…a radish farmer?! With Earth at peace, our heroes have settled into normal lives. But they can’t get too comfortable. Far away, the powerful God of Destruction, Beerus, awakens to a prophecy revealing his demise at the hands of an even more formidable being. When his search for the Saiyan God brings him to Earth, can Goku and his friends take on their strongest foe yet?”
But that’s not all for Dragon Ball fans in 2017. Shortly after this official announcement, Funimation also revealed they’d be finishing the English dub for Dragon Ball Z Kai, now entitled Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters. This franchise re-mastering and re-edit will also be broadcast on January 7 on Adult Swim’s Toonami Block. Dragon Ball Z Kai is essentially a HD re-release of the original series, but with new audio-assets and with the filler-material removed making it a much tighter and faster piece of television. The U.S. dub ended in early 2013 with nearly 100 epiosdes of the original series to adapt and condence, but almost 4 years later Funimation will be finishing the story with the Majin Buu saga. It’s strange that Adult Swim will be broadcasting these two iterations concurrently as opposed to one leading into the other, especially since Dragon Ball Super is a direct continuation of the events of Dragon Ball Z Kai.
“Seven years have passed since Cell’s defeat, and the Z Fighters have returned to normal life. Goku has continued his training in the Other World, Krillin has gotten married, and Gohan has his hands full attempting to navigate the pitfalls of high school. But with the new World Martial Arts Tournament about to begin, it’s time for Goku and the Z Fighters to reunite and face off against the greatest warriors on Earth!
“Meanwhile, the evil wizard Babidi has traveled across the galaxy on a quest for revenge, hoping to fulfill his father’s thwarted dreams of universal domination. The Supreme Kai has come to enlist the aid of the Z Fighters in his effort to prevent Babidi from awakening a monster of unimaginable terror—Majin Buu!”
Both the English dubs of Dragon Ball Super and Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters will be broadcast on Adult Swim on January 7, 2017.
IMAGES: Toei Animation & Funimation