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Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero Stars Get Candid About The Real Meaning Behind The Movie

2022 has some hilariously redundant titles in its media catalog. "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" is set to release soon, but that's not even the first one — "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero" launched earlier this year. Akira Toriyama, the film's creator, admitted that the repetitious title was an accident no one called him on until it was far too late (according to Comic Book), so the Saiyans, at least, deserve a little slack. The funniest part about the goof is that Toriyama seems to think that his team believed the misstep to be an artistic choice. That alone should inform audiences how odd the "Dragon Ball" franchise can be. 

And, yeah, the whole thing can get a little weird. Characters are frequently named after vegetables, and when those same characters dance together, they transform into a bigger, stronger, pointier vegetable. Also, sometimes the protagonists are monkeys. There's plenty more to add, but when the pig who wears underwear on his head gets mentioned, people tend to stop listening. For all its absurdity, however, "Dragon Ball" still tackles heavier material. In the case of "Super Hero," the somber reality depicted therein is meant to shine a light on the important role of fatherhood and how that title might not always apply to a genetic donor. 

Piccolo is more Gohan's father than Goku ever was

In an interview with IGN, members of the "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero" voice cast spoke to themes of parenthood and found family that underpins the animated film. Kyle Hebert, the voice of Gohan, summed conversation by saying, "It's definitely true that Piccolo is pretty much [Gohan's] real dad through thick and thin. Not that Goku doesn't love Gohan, he obviously very much does, but he's busy off saving the universe." Somewhat in Goku's defense, Christopher Sabat, the voice of both Vegeta and Piccolo, offered that Goku never had a father figure himself, so he never had an example to guide his own time as a parent. "And whereas Piccolo comes from a kind of a tribal mentality where they all are grouped together," Sabat continued. "It would make sense that Piccolo would take on this kind of nurturing sensibility that Goku isn't able to have."

To hammer it all home, Sean Schemmel, the voice of Goku, admitted that, "Akira Toriyama recently just settled the bet on, 'Is Goku a bad father?', and basically said in an interview like last year that he's not the best. So Piccolo is really the driving force." For the most part, the "Dragon Ball" franchise focuses on Goku as its protagonist, but that doesn't mean he's above reproach. As the cast mentioned, he's a dutiful hero, sure, but he's an abysmal father — the ultimate conclusion of every fantasy hero's story arc (we're still salty about Aang).