DRAGON BALL fans, save the date: Toei Animation announced that the 20th DRAGON BALL movie will release in Japan on December 14, 2018. The films official website includes this date, the first poster image for the movie showing Goku holding his Power Pole, and a statement from DRAGON BALL creator,  Akira Toriyama. He says that DRAGON BALL SUPER, the film’s working title, will take place after the events of the anime series.

“The DRAGON BALL SUPER movie this time around will be the next story that takes place after the anime that’s currently on TV,” Toriyama states. “The content will shed light on previously unexplored topics having to do with Frieza and the Saiyans and I think it will be a very enjoyable story that serves up a long-awaited formidable opponent!”

Major News for DRAGON BALL SUPER Fans

The announcement comes just weeks before the scheduled finale of the DRAGON BALL SUPER anime. The the last two DRAGON BALL films, RESURRECTION OF F and BATTLE OF GODS, take place in the SUPER anime. Yet, the movies are considered part of DRAGON BALL Z’s film line. The upcoming film will be the first in the DRAGON BALL SUPER series.

Goku stares with glowing white hair and eyes.
Goku in his newly mastered Ultra Instinct form | Image: Crunchyroll

In Toriyama’s statement, he talks about the work he’s done on the last two films, as well as, the upcoming title. Toriyama will serve as the film’s story writer and character designer. Tatsuya Nagamine, co-director of the SUPER anime, is slated as the film’s director.

While the anime is ending soon, the DRAGON BALL SUPER manga will continue. Toriyama added some interesting tidbits about the manga in his statement, “By the way, I think the highly popular DRAGON BALL SUPER manga, drawn by Toyotaro, is going to see some new developments different from the TV anime or movies, so please look forward to that.” There are already glaring differences between the manga and anime. For example,  Beerus battles the other Gods of Destruction in the manga’s Zen Exhibition Match, but not in the anime. It’ll be interesting to see what other differences arise between the manga and anime over time.


What Might Happen in the DRAGON BALL SUPER Film

The DRAGON BALL franchise is on a bit of a hot streak with the current hype of DRAGON BALL SUPER, the rising success of the DRAGON BALL FIGHTERZ video game, and now the anticipation for the upcoming 20th film.

Golden alien with a halo and hands stretched open.
Frieza is confirmed to be in the upcoming DRAGON BALL SUPER movie | Image: Crunchyroll

There isn’t much to speculate about the upcoming film’s plot. But, it is clear that perennial DRAGON BALL villain Frieza will be involved. DRAGON BALL SUPER is near the end of the final battle between Goku and Jiren in the Tournament of Power; however, as many fans have noticed, Frieza is still technically in the Tournament too. If Frieza remains the last fighter standing he will get to make a wish with the Super Dragon Balls. This could definitely provide a major plot point for the first DRAGON BALL SUPER movie.

It’s interesting that Toriyama mentions a “long-awaited formidable opponent.” Just who is this mysterious formidable opponent? It could be a super-powered Frieza or a new, original character entirely. Fans will have plenty of time to discuss theories and plots for the film as we approach its release.

DRAGON BALL SUPER’s final episode will air on March 25.


Featured image courtesy of Toei Animation.

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