The Dragon Ball franchise is in a very curious place right now. Officially, there is no anime going on, not one that is canon anyway. But then there is Dragon Ball Heroes that is doing its own unique story by twisting history and more. Then, there’s Dragon Ball Super. The anime of it is “done” but a new movie is coming out next year. One that might setup the return of the anime or start a new one, it’s hard to say. But in the meantime, diehard fans are enjoying the manga.
The manga is very much the blueprint for Dragon Ball Super’s anime adaptation in various ways. It’s not always a 1-for-1 adaptation due to story arc lengths and how much content can fit into an episode, but it’s a good blueprint for what is going to happen. And currently, Dragon Ball fans are glued to the “Granolah The Survivor” arc, which has been very compelling for various reasons.
However, for artist Toyotaro, he admitted to the Dragon Ball website that there was some true challenges in trying to do this arc. Not the least of which was character designs. Why? Because Akira Toriyama, the creator of the franchise, still has sway and can veto character designs. And for the crime family known as The Heeters, Toyotaro had to go through various designs to please Toriyama, to the point where he almost gave up on the characters until he did one more design for them that Toriyama approved.
This goes to show just how much work can be put into a single design, and how a certain person can be quite…dedicated to a particular look or style for characters.
This no doubt also applies to the new forms that Goku and Vegeta have taken over their own recent arcs, and we’ll be waiting to see what other surprises this arc gives.