Is Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero canon? There have been plenty of Dragon Ball anime movies over the years, and every time one’s released, fans always question the canonicity of the film. This happened a lot during the era of Dragon Ball Z when the films would take radical departures from the source material, or straight-up contradict the anime series.
Compounding this was the fact that Akira Toriyama, the creator of Dragon Ball, often wasn’t involved in making any of the action movies featuring his characters. But then, when Dragon Ball Super came along, reviving the series, all this changed. Suddenly Toriyama became very involved with the films, so is Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero canon?
Is Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero canon?
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is semi-canon. As with Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Akira Toriyama, the creator of Dragon Ball, played a major part in the action movie’s development, both designing the characters, Gohan and Piccolo’s new forms, and penning the script.
As such, you’d expect the film to be canon, right? Well, there are a few wrinkles in this. The first is an interview Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero producer Akio Iyoku gave with Shueisha’s V-Jump magazine, where he described the events of the film as taking place “parallel” to the storyline in the manga.
“To begin with, the film is written purely as a sequel to Dragon Ball Super: Broly,” Akio explained. “We wanted to pick up on and meet the expectations of everyone who’s stuck with Dragon Ball so far, along the lines of, ‘It’d be neat this happened,’ or ‘I hope this kind of character shows up.'”
“And in [V-Jump‘s] pages, we have the continuing story of Goku and Vegeta. We’ll see new strong enemies show up, and new stories and events will continue to progress. Of course, Toriyama diligently oversees the storylines for the manga too, so it’s like we have events running in parallel. In terms of timeline placement, we try not to build things in too strictly — we’d like to leave margins in the story to allow for a greater degree of freedom.”
It’s unclear exactly what Akio means by “parallel” it could be that the events of Super Hero simply happened off-screen in the manga, or it may mean that they take place in a parallel timeline to the manga. So yes, the events of Super Hero definitely happened; we just don’t know what bearing they’ll have on the TV series’ future.