Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero Animation Director Offers Insights

dragon ball super animation director

With Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero out in Japanese theaters and coming to the United States on August 19, Animation Director Chikashi Kubota offers his insights into Dragon Ball’s first CGI movie.

Kubota has been part of animation and character design for a variety of anime, including One Piece films, Attack On Titan, and One Punch Man. He was a key animator for Dragon Ball Super: Broly (2018), and has a greater role of responsibility in this film.

Kubota commented on the difference between 3D computer-generated-imagery (CGI) and hand-drawn 2D animation, saying, “It was like a different culture, or grammar. I’d think, ‘Oh, they put this kind of frame in here. I see.’”

Kubota continued, “Sometimes there were even cases where I felt there was a bit too much motion, but I was in awe of how much control you could feel over even the smallest details, in comparison to 2D animation, where things tend to fall quietly into line.”

broly animation image

Traditional 2D animation mixed with CGI effects as Broly charges up a ki blast, from Dragon Ball Super: Broly

dragon ball super super hero son gohan headbutts gamma no 1 and no 2

Completely 3D Animation in Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero as Gohan faces off with one of the Gamma Androids

While Kubota was the subject of the interview, he was quick to heap praise on Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama.

“From Dr. Slump to Dragon Ball, from Son Goku’s growth, to his marriage, to the birth of his first child—there’s always a sense of the unexpected. The unexpectedness of Toriyama-sensei’s analogue art making the transition to digital.”

“The ‘unexpectedness’ often seen in Toriyama-sensei’s world is well and alive in this film. I talked about my excitement over being involved in the newest installment at the start, but I hope you can also find excitement over the unexpectedness of being able to enjoy Toriyama-sensei’s latest Dragon Ball story in 3D.”

His lure for Toriyama stems from being a long-time fan of Dragon Ball.

“One of the reasons I first aspired to become an animator was that I was in awe of the fact there were professional adults who were able to take this great Dragon Ball manga and turn it into an anime for us kids. From the performers to the writers to the artists, I deeply admired everyone involved in production and the final animation made up of all of their work. This time, I feel like it’s my turn. I owe it to everyone to pay back the excitement that Dragon Ball gave me back then. That’s the attitude with which I went into my work.”

Source and Full Interview: Kanzenshuu