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Dragon Ball creators announce first new anime series in 18 years

18 years after Dragon Ball GT, Akira Toriyama and Toei Animation continue gathering the Dragon Balls

Dragon Ball, one of the most popular animes in Japan and across the world, is getting a new series: Dragon Ball Chou (Super). Akira Toriyama, the creator of the original manga and anime, has been attached to the project.

The previous anime, Dragon Ball GT (Grand Tour), aired from 1996 to 1997 in Japan. It was a continuation from the previous two series, Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, which were more popular and had accompanying manga (Japanese comics). However, GT did not have an accompanying manga series, and Toriyama was not attached to the project. In the last two decades, Dragon Ball gained popularity not only in Japan, but also around the world.

Recent releases include Dragon Ball movies (which are not considered canon) such as Battle of Gods (2012) and the recently released Resurrection of Frieza (2015). It is not yet known when Chou will come to American shores, but Texas-based television and film production company FUNimation could provide the English dub of the series, just like it did for Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT from 1998 to 2005. FUNimation also provided the English dub for the movies.

Masako Nozawa, the voice actress who has voiced Goku, the series’ main protagonist, in the Japanese version of the anime, is excited about the new project.

“I’ve used the word ‘cho’ (super) in so many commercials, games, and other media, it is fantastic that the long-awaited Dragon Ball Super will finally begin,” she said in a Toei Animation (the producers of the Dragon Ball anime) press release. “I hope that this series will last a long time and have the same impact around the world as its predecessor.”

“Having loved Dragon Ball since childhood, it is very exciting to be a part of this project,” said Osamu Nozaki, producer for Fuji Television, the Japanese TV station that has aired all previous iterations of the series in Japan from 1986 to 1997. “Mr. Toriyama has developed a plot that’s not only a dream come true for Dragon Ball’s millions of fans, but one that will foster in a new generation of viewers.”