Super Dragon Ball Heroes Review – Is it Any Good?

It’s been over 5 years since Dragonball Super ended and its been slightly odd to me why exactly the anime hasn’t returned still despite being quite popular and there is source material to adapt. However after DBS ended Toei decided to do a promotional anime called Super Dragon ball heroes for a card game of the same name, which started to air in 2018 few months after the last episode of DBS.

Now it’s not exactly most popular thing out there and reception been lukewarm at best among the fans, but that’s not always a good reason not to try something out. It needs to be understood that is not canon and its totally alternative story which starts after Tournament of power. It has bunch of characters which are exclusive to it and lot of fan service like SS4 forms from Dragonball GT for instance, which is something that old school fans will appreciate.

Understanding the Arcs & Release Schedule

Like i stated earlier the Web series was started back in 2018 and has been ongoing since then in a very infrequent basis and we don’t know exactly when its going to end (I guess its all based on the popularity of the card game and its revenue). The episodes are significantly shorter around ~9 minutes each and you can definitely see that there isn’t exactly well balanced pacing in the series due to that (everything moves just quite fast) but more about my thoughts down below..

Universe Mission
  1. Prison Planet Saga (Episodes 1-6)
  2. Universal Conflict Saga (Episode 7-19)
Dark Demon Realm Mission
  1. Dark King Mechikabura Saga (Episode 20)
Big Bang Mission
  1. Universe Creation Saga (Episode 21-28, 30-32)
  2. New Space-Time War Saga (Episode 33-40)
Ultra God Mission
  1. Supreme Kai of Time Saga (Episode 41-ongoing)

Is this series worth watching?

Let’s be honest SDBH has little to no value as a story in Dragon Ball universe, most of the time it feels like a decent quality animation that adapted a fandom story written by a fan. There are no character developments or really explanations of the grander plot, everything revolves about throwing a new cast of villains each arc who will push our cast to all our favorite transformations, fusions and moves basically.

Often times it feels like a fan edit of a DBS episode where all dialogue and story is cut and only fighting is left. As a kid obviously fights were cool to see, but build up and character development were important parts that made the fights more meaningful, which you just don’t feel with Super Dragon Ball Heroes.

It needs to be understood that Akira Toriyama was not involved with this series in any capacity and that kinda shows up with some of the character designs, which not all are actually that bad. Koola fan service for example was good, i always like the design even though i never saw neither of the two original movies. But let me quickly share my thoughts on the sagas

  • Prison Planet Saga – This is the introduction to the series and it starts out very fast and it actually has lot of overlap with the saga after this one, the core concept of some random prison planet with lot of tough villains is actually pretty good, but that’s not the route that this arc, it just jumps around extremely lot really.
  • Universe Conflict Saga – This one is lot better than the arc before because there is much more episodes to build up whats exactly going on, which revolves around new group of villains going into different universes fighting people (Yea…not very complex) if you are big fan of Jiren and Hit you are gonna see them a bit here which is nice fan service i guess.
  • Universe Creation Saga – Plenty of fan service here, we get bojack and turles making appearance and somehow both can keep up with Super Sayian Blue Vegeta and Goku? Well lets look past that and you got kinda decent setup here which is broken down on this “Special Episode” which goes into laying out some of the premise. Bunch of new characters too which are great, but none of them are flushed out which is pity.
  • New Space Time War Saga – First of all, does anyone give a fuck about having million different gokus on the show? Fuck no. You just need one because this is the most monotone character in the series, brings no value whatsoever. This one gives conclusion to first 4 arcs which are kinda more connected to each other i guess… but its pretty much similar to previous one.
  • Supreme Kai of Time Saga – Basically rehash of the tournament of power arc without proper focus on basically anything and yes this hasn’t wrapped up yet so i cant give my full thoughts about it.

The more you keep watching this series the more you think like, oh yeah this could’ve been lot better if it had full episodes and new/old characters wouldn’t just suddenly appear out of the blue. The OST and opening themes aren’t anything wrote home about either and since i haven’t played the game, i don’t know if that would enhance my experience of watching this anime.

All things considered i think i speak for the majority that we want DBS back and also want Toei to consider making some of these filler movie characters actually canon too in some way (meaning they can be introduced in different manner like Broly was, but not necessarily same as in the original story).