‘Dragon Ball Super’: Revelations From the First-Ever New York Comic Con Panel

Lucas DeRuyter
TV Anime
TV Anime Comic-Con

This year’s New York Comic Con featured the event’s first-ever panel for the Dragon Ball Super anime. The highly anticipated event was declared to be at capacity more than half an hour before the panel began, and was so full that attendees had to stand behind the back row of chairs to fit into the room.

The enthusiastic audience was filled with fans cosplaying Goku, Vegeta (in the regular, Super Saiyan, and Blue variety), and there was even a Piccolo! Once the lights went down, and the voice actors (Ian Sinclair, Jason Douglas, Monica Rial, Chris Sabat, and Sean Schemmel) appeared on stage, the room filled with cheers louder than any Super Saiyan transformation.

The voice actors discussed the incredible experience of working on the many iterations of Dragon Ball, how heartwarming it is to see Super feature the daily lives of the characters that they’ve come to love, and answered a plethora of fan questions.

How Far Things Have Come

Twenty years of Dragon Ball.

The most senior members of the Dragon Ball cast – Monica Rial (voice of Bulma), Sean Schemmel (voice of Goku), and Chris Sabot (voice of Vegeta) – expressed disbelief in Dragon Ball having been around in one form or another for 20 years in the west. They had previously assumed that the Battle of Gods and Resurrection F films were going to be the last they’d see of the characters. Schemmel even joked that “this could all be a dream happening while I’m passed out on the floor of the recording both after shouting out a Super Saiyan 4 Kamehameha.”

Fans also seemed to be in a state of disbelief; not quite being able to come to terms with the fact that they were at the largest ever Dragon Ball panel with the voices they had grown up listening to. No one could quite believe that they were there or how big Dragon Ball had become. This sentiment was crystallized when Sinclair commented that, “It’s crazy for me to be here and even crazier that we’re talking about new Dragon Ball content in 2017.”

Dragon Ball Super Might Be the Best Dragon Ball

More little moments than ever.

Despite every actor on the panel having a wealth of experience on other shows and projects, the conversation stayed focused on Dragon Ball Super. The more senior members of the cast expressed how they deeply appreciate the show’s focus on the smaller moments in each characters life, like Vegeta finally taking Trunks to an amusement park and Goku finally getting a real job as a farmer.

More specifically, Rial really enjoys how Bulma has played a more active role in Dragon Ball Super than she did for the majority of Dragon Ball Z. She elaborated by saying that she “really appreciates having a strong female character more visible in anime.”

Jason Douglas and Ian Sinclair – the voices of Beerus and Whis, respectively – just appreciate that their characters are featured so prominently on the show, as both had anticipated that their characters wouldn’t be focused on much after the Battle of Gods film. That this was ever a concern is rather surprising, as Beerus, Whis, and their relationship have become one of the best and most appreciated elements of Super.

Responses to Fan Questions

A great series deserves great fans.

One fan asked Sinclair and Douglas about the potential romantic nature of their characters’ relationship. While the actors that portray Whis and Beerus don’t really see that dynamic ever playing out on the show, Sinclair revealed that he delivers most of his lines to Beerus as though he’s talking to a sassy house cat. This makes perfect sense upon revisiting older episodes of the show.

Another fan asked about the kind of stories the cast hoped would happen in Super in the future. Sabot and Schemmel responded saying that they hope a storyline occurs in which Goku falls on his head again, and Vegeta is forced to teach Goku how to interact with humans and live in human society. Specifically, Sabot imagined Vegeta uttering dialogue along the lines of, “You have to make eye contact with your wife every couple of days, or else she’ll get mad!” While a couple of episodes like these are not likely to happen in the dub’s near future, maybe someday this incredible story will finally be told.

The Dragon Ball Super is only going to get better. Fans of the sub have the incredible fight between Goku and Jiren to look forward to this upcoming Saturday and dub viewers can watch the return of future Trunks in upcoming episodes. Considering that this series was thought to be done for good as little five years ago, this turn around is incredible and fans of the series couldn’t be happier.

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Lucas DeRuyter
University of Wisconsin Madison graduate with a deep interest in media, writing, and storytelling.