Much to the delight of series fans, Dragon Ball Z is still going strong in the form of feature-length animated films released sporadically over the years since the original series ended its run way back when people still wore Hammer pants and JNCOs.
Fans were surely pants-wettingly ecstatic, then, to learn recently that the 19th feature-length film in the series will hit theaters in 2015 and will apparently be only one of the two films personally supervised by series creator and lover of food-themed character names, Akira Toriyama.
Now more details are being released about the film, Dragon Ball Z: Fukkatsu no F, in the form of a detailed character cast sheet.
Some of these characters will obviously need no introduction, but if you’re like me and haven’t followed the series much since obsessively watching it daily on its original Cartoon Network Toonami run, we’ll cover bios for all included so you can catch up on characters both new and old. Note: There may be mild character progression spoilers here if you’ve somehow caught the show’s original run but haven’t had time to catch up over the last 18 years or so.
The star of the show. Goku hasn’t changed much over the years and he’s still your pretty standard hero archetype: fiercely loyal to friends, super strong, unwavering sense of justice, etc. He’s basically anime Superman – in fact, the two had a rap battle a while back to settle the score once and for all!
Not mentioned in the official website’s cast list, Frieza is already known to be the main villain in this newest film, after having been resurrected following a prolonged battle with, and eventual defeat by, Goku and team. The fukkatsu in the title means “resurrection” in Japanese.
Goku’s son. Gohan started out as a rambunctious kid who gradually evolved more or less into a teenage version of Goku. Apparently, somewhere between now and the original DBZ, he got really into his schoolwork and now dreams of becoming a scholar. Also, he supposedly lost his trademark orange uniform and now fights in gym clothes. Don’t these guys keep more than one pair?
Another long-running member of the show, Tenshinhan is an ally to Goku and team and a Crane School martial arts practitioner.
- Master Roshi
This guy needs no introduction as the slightly pervy mentor of Goku and martial arts master. The Japanese bio for Master Roshi’s appearance in this newest film hints that he’ll be joining the fray this time in a more active combat role.
She’s the daughter of somewhat inept human martial arts fighter, Mr. Satan, and is now married to Gohan.
- Android 18
Originally a terrifying villain from the Cell Saga season in DBZ’s original run, she’s now one of the good guys and is married to Krillin – who’s probably happy someone has finally found it in their heart to love him, weirdly symmetrical head spots and all.
One of a handful of human characters to regularly join in on the earth-shattering, super powered battles depicted in the series, Krillin has recently put his fighting days behind him and is now a patrol cop. The return of Frieza has left him no choice but to join the fray again.
Beerus is a literal God of Destruction and has the power to destroy worlds at will.
Beerus’ attendant and martial arts master, the enigmatic Whis, along with Beerus, made up the primary team of antagonists in the previous film to be overseen by Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods.
One of the very first characters to appear in the DBZ prequel, Dragon Ball, Bulma is Goku’s longtime friend and a mechanical whiz. The cryptic Japanese bio says that “a certain someone” tells her of Frieza’s imminent return.
The Namekian warrior that became one of Goku’s first test of strength as an antagonist in the manga series, Piccolo set the long-running series trend of villains switching sides after being defeated by Goku (Frieza notwithstanding).
- The Oracle Fish
A surprisingly forgetful prophetic marine creature of some sort, the Oracle Fish returns from its original appearance in Battle of Gods, where it told Beerus a worthy opponent awaited him in the form of Goku.
- Pilaf, Shu and Mai
Adorable chibi villains, these three will almost certainly be the comic relief of the film as the bumbling bad guys constantly hatching plans to conquer the world. Their quest to get their hands on the dragon balls may be the impetus for Frieza’s resurrection in the latest film.
Another villain-turned-friend, Vegeta was another of the original DBZ run’s main antagonists. Although he’s long since changed his ways, his anti-hero attitude, gravelly voice (at least in the US dub) and relative complexity has made him one of the most beloved Dragon Ball Z characters.
Now, judging by the announce trailer here – which admittedly came out a while back – this character list is only scratching the surface of characters that will appear in the new film but, unlike this guy, we don’t have the superhuman dedication to Dragon Ball to identify all of them. Suffice it to say, fans will have one very big event to look forward to this year.