This weekend was a huge moment for anime that’s been a long time coming. Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero opened in US theaters this weekend, and won. We don’t mean it just did good numbers. We mean it hit #1. For the first time ever, an anime movie will be the movie that news reports will be mentioning when they recap the box office receipts (oh right, Pokemon: The First Movie technically beat it…ah, fudge it, this was an honest anime movie with no weird edits, so if you ask me, it was the first).
To be fair, we’re not talking anything obscure here anymore — the Dragon Ball series has been well-known in America for over 20 years now, long enough for kids to grow up, have their own kids and take them to a screening. Goku has his own Macy’s Parade balloon for crying out loud. But it’s still a massive watershed moment for anime in the US. In the past, movies animated in Japan have struggled to gain acceptance in US theaters. But last year Demon Slayer: Mugen Train managed to land the #2 position in its opening weekend and now Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero has surpassed that.
“We’re absolutely thrilled that Dragon Ball fans could come together to experience and enjoy this amazing film in theaters,” said Mitchel Berger of Crunchyroll, the film’s distributor. “Crunchyroll thanks all of the fans, whether or not you are a ‘super’ fan or a newcomer, and we hope they come back again and again.”
In the movie, the Red Ribbon Army has returned with a lineup of newer, more dangerous Androids created by Dr. Hedo, the grandson of Dr. Gero. The bots have just one objective: DESTROY ALL ALIENS! That pretty much affects Goku’s friends and family directly, and Piccolo leads the charge to fend off the vengeful Androids and save the Saiyan race. The dub version stars the English voices of Kyle Hebert (Son Gohan), Sean Schemmel (Son Goku), Robert McCollum (Son Goten), Christopher R. Sabat (Piccolo, Vegeta), Monica Rial (Bulma), Sonny Strait (Krillin), Eric Vale (Trunks), Kara Edwards (Videl), Jeannie Tirado (Pan), Zach Aguilar (Dr. Hedo), Aleks Le (Gamma 1), Zeno Robinson (Gamma 2), Charles Martinet (Magenta), and Jason Marnocha (Carmine).
And it’s still open, so you can see Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero at a theater near you.