On January 8th, we were invited by FUNimation to attend a fan screening of the new film, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, the twentieth film of the series, in New York City!
Hundreds of die-hard Dragon Ball fans came out to watch the early screening, sporting their favorite apparel. Some even came with the limited edition Dragon Ball shoes by Adidas and Super Saiyan hair! The energy at the theater was incredible during the film. There’s something really special about watching an incredible movie with a theater full of committed fans. The theater roared in laughter at the jokes, clapped and cheered during the epic moments, gasped in shock with twists, and reacted to every little reference in the film. It really made a great movie even more fun to watch.
As a very long time fan of Dragon Ball myself, I’ve been counting the days until the new movie’s release. What I was shocked to see over the past weeks and at the event was how popular Dragon Ball, and anime as a whole, has become. I’ve gone to the opening day show for the last Dragon Ball movie, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F, and while the turnout from fans was incredible, I didn’t really see anything about the movie outside of the online community. Anime movies have, for the most part, been fairly small releases with very little marketing. This time, that changed. On buses, trains, subway stations, and on screens all around times square, I saw posters for Dragon Ball Super: Broly. To me, this was amazing to see the how big the franchise has become and the recognition it has gained. Dragon Ball has become a household name and anime as a whole in the U.S. has gained more and more in popularity!
Alongside this, there is also particularly immense popularity of Dragon Ball amongst African-Americans, particularly in sports and entertainment. Many well-known hip-hop artists such as B.O.B. Young Jeezy, Lupe Fiasco, Childish Gambino and RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan, compared it to “the journey of the Black man” and have referenced and included Dragon Ball and its main character Goku in their music. Further love of the brand includes professional athletes such as Dez Bryant, Clay Matthews, DeMarcus Cousin and Brook Lopez who even change their avatar to Dragon Ball characters.
After seeing the movie during this event and as someone who already has tickets to see it again when it officially releases, I highly recommend checking out this movie in theaters. The story takes place after the Universe Survival Arc from the Dragon Ball Super show. While you can certainly have a blast watching without having seen the show, I definitely recommend watching it so you can get all of the references in the movie.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly comes out January 16th, 2019 in select theaters. If you like Dragon Ball, or just having a great time in general, go check this movie out!