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The Ending Of Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero Explained

"Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero" is the newest movie in the ongoing "Dragon Ball" saga that began in the 1980s with a story about a young boy with a tail searching for the legendary, wish-granting Dragon Balls. Since then, the series has expanded to include the sagas of demons, aliens, androids, and gods, but it's never lost its focus on telling stories about a core group of characters who fans have grown to love, all while offering fans some of the best fights anime has to offer.

2022's "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero," which dominated the box office on its opening weekend, follows "Dragon Ball Super: Broly" and centers on the return of the Red Ribbon Army that Goku defeated as a child, and again when surviving loyal scientist Dr. Gero created a series of androids to take his revenge. But this time, Goku isn't around, and more avenging androids have been made by the young Dr. Hedo for the new Red Ribbon Army commander Magenta. There's a good amount of new characters, unexpected transformations, and developing relationships in "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero," and those plot points can come pretty fast. We're here to explain some key points of the movie and its ending for anyone who missed them.

Who is Magenta?

An opening narration, set to images of young Goku's victory over the original Red Ribbon Army and their leader "Commander Red," reminds viewers of the history of the army and its place in the "Dragon Ball" universe. The army was a villainous force led by Commander Red that sought to use the power of the Dragon Balls to take over the world, but they were defeated in their quest by the young Goku, Krillin, and Bulma.

But the Red Ribbon Army didn't disappear after this defeat, nor did they stay down after the defeat of the surviving Dr. Gero (more on him in a moment), and instead command was passed down from Commander Red to his son Magenta. This is when we meet the main antagonist of "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero."

Magenta doesn't fight any of his own battles, instead commanding the goons of the Red Ribbon Army and employing a brilliant young scientist to create fighting machines. But he's ruthless and willing to do whatever it takes to be victorious, including kidnapping Gohan's daughter Pan.

Who is Dr. Hedo?

Like Magenta, the young Dr. Hedo is a descendant of an earlier "Dragon Ball" villain. Hedo is the grandson of the genius scientist Gero, who created the androids and Cell that sought to bring down Goku and his friends when Gohan was still a young teenager. But unlike his grandfather and Magenta, Hedo has no interest in revenge and instead is focused on developing his research and loves superheroes.

Hedo is brought into the plot of "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero" when Magenta hires him to help with taking down Goku and bringing peaceful order to the world — or at least, that's how Magenta puts it. Hedo's interest in superheroes means that he wants to be one of the good guys, and he seeks to promote justice and saving people from danger like any good superhero. So when Magenta tells him that Bulma, Goku, and their group of friends are a nefarious gang of aliens and alien sympathizers preparing to take over the world, Hedo is convinced to join the Red Ribbon Army's cause of bringing them down. Of course, it also helps that Magenta offers to fund Hedo's research and keeps a healthy supply of cookies on hand.

But by the end of the movie, Hedo has realized that the Red Ribbon Army are the bad guys and firmly sides with Piccolo, Gohan, and the rest of the original cast of characters in their fight against the unleashed Cell Max.

Who and what are Gamma 1 & 2?

Like his grandfather Gero, Hedo has a great talent for creating androids — humanoid robots built for combat. Hedo creates two androids modeled on superheroes for Magenta and the Red Ribbon Army: Gamma 1 and Gamma 2. These androids are almost identical, except for the fact that Gamma 1 has a single fin on his head and Gamma 2 has two fins, and the numbers and colors on their costumes certainly help tell them apart as well.

But despite the fact that these androids were created by the same person for the same task, defeating Bulma and all of her alien friends, they have pretty distinct personalities. Gamma 2 is a bit of a showoff, who loves to strike poses and (somehow) make sound effects appear in the air when he's fighting, while Gamma 1 is somewhat more reserved and focused on simply completing whatever mission he's been assigned.

Because Hedo is so into superheroes and wants to be a good guy, he didn't program his androids to blindly follow orders. Instead, he's included a moral compass that makes them seek justice. So when Piccolo and Gohan offer them new information, and when Gamma 2 sees Magenta and his henchman Carmine fire at the young Pan, the androids switch sides to help Piccolo and Gohan take down Cell Max.

Who and what is Cell Max?

Cell Max is a bio-android like the original Cell, who was created by Dr. Gero using a combination of the cells of Namekians, members of Frieza's race, and Saiyans to build an entirely new, extremely powerful organic android (in the series' language). Cell Max is created by Dr. Hedo using his grandfather's remaining notes on the creation of the original Cell, but this information is incomplete and leads Hedo to make some of his own adjustments and improvements.

Over the course of "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero," Dr. Hedo warns Magenta that Cell Max needs more time before he will be complete, and we see the creature literally gestating in a makeshift mechanical womb. But towards the end of the movie, after the Red Ribbon Army has largely been defeated and the Gamma androids have learned that Magenta is a villain, Magenta frees Cell Max before he is complete. This causes Cell Max to lack any sort of intellectual (or even linguistic) ability, acting as a pure berserk monster and the final enemy that must be defeated in the movie's climax.

Who are Lemo & Cheelai?

Lemo and Cheelai are members of the Frieza Force who were first introduced back in "Dragon Ball Super: Broly." These two characters befriend Broly during that movie, and see that he is being manipulated by his father Paragus and is not a villainous and violent young man, but actually rather sweet and caring. At the end of that movie, they save Broly's life and escape from Frieza with him to the planet Vampa, where he grew up.

Cheelai is a stubborn and sassy character who's not afraid to speak her mind, but she has a soft spot for Broly and Lemo. Lemo is quieter and a much more anxious character than Cheelai, who helps bring him out of his shell and act bravely. In "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero," the two are seen on Beerus' planet where they've arrived with Broly, who is sparring and training with Goku and Vegeta. Beerus learns that Lemo is a great cook and decides that Lemo will be his new head chef. And while Cheelai is first discovered attempting to steal some of his things, Beerus is nevertheless immediately charmed by her.

What's up with Beerus and Cheelai?

When Beerus first sees Cheelai in "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero," she's caught walking with a bag full of the only valuable things she could find on his planet. She quickly turns her back on him and attempts to come up with an excuse for carrying the bag, but when she turns around again and he looks into her eyes, he immediately falls for her. He lets go of the spoon he was holding (for tasting Lemo's cooking), has a full body shiver, and then his jaw literally drops. It takes a second before he announces that he thinks she's cute and that she can stay on the planet.

As the movie goes on, we see him being sweet to her, and Whis teases him for his attraction. There's no big romantic moment and it's unclear if their relationship is going to develop any further, but it's pretty funny to see an extremely powerful god turned into a swooning boy with a crush.

Where were Goku & Vegeta?

Since the end of the Cell saga in "Dragon Ball Z," Vegeta and Goku have been the primary heroes who save Earth, their timeline, and their universe from existential threats. But in "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero" we barely see these heroes. That's because they're spending time on Beerus' planet sparring with one another and Broly in their constant quest to better their fighting abilities.

The exact location of Beerus' planet is unknown, but Goku and Vegeta have become frequent visitors as it's an ideal place for large-scale sparring. And every so often, Whis and Beerus offer some wisdom that may help bring their combat skills to the next level. In fact, in "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero," Vegeta decides that he's going to focus on honing his mind as well as his muscles. Whis advises Goku of the importance of that kind of training as well, and while it doesn't come up again in the movie, we have a feeling it may factor into the future of the franchise.

It may come as a bit of a surprise to fans that these two aren't center stage in "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero," but having them on the fringes of the story allows Piccolo and Gohan to be the focus. With such a long-running saga, it's good to tell a story about characters who haven't been center stage for a while.

Why didn't Goku & Vegeta return to Earth for the fight?

Given that Goku and Vegeta are widely regarded as the strongest heroes in the core group of "Dragon Ball Super" characters, it's odd that they don't return to Earth to fight Magenta and his Red Ribbon Army, especially when Cell Max is released. But it's not as though the characters on Earth don't try to get them to come back for the fight.

When Piccolo is defeated by Gamma 2 early in the movie and escapes, he immediately reaches out to Bulma, who says that she has a way to contact Whis, but has to find the device to do so first. As the movie goes on, she struggles to find it in her large and messy home, but finally gets her hands on it and calls Whis so that she can tell Goku and Vegeta about the threat back on Earth. But Whis doesn't see her call — a big ice cream bucket that Beerus has just finished and tossed away lands perfectly on Whis' staff and blocks its flickering light that indicates Bulma is calling.

It's undeniably silly that a missed phone call and an ice cream bucket keep the two strongest warriors in the franchise out of the main plot of the movie, but it's worth a laugh and it lets the movie focus on Piccolo and Gohan.

Piccolo's new form

When it becomes clear that Goku and Vegeta won't be coming back home to help with the fight against the Red Ribbon Army and their androids, Piccolo comes up with a different idea for keeping the world safe. He visits Dende and asks if he would be able to unleash his latent potential the same way the Grand Elder Guru did for Krillin and Gohan on Namek during the Frieza saga. Sadly, Dende doesn't have that ability yet — even though he's Kami, he's still very young and some abilities only come with time.

But Dende suggests asking Shenron to unlock Piccolo's power, and gives the dragon an upgrade before Piccolo and Bulma call on him. When Piccolo requests that Shenron unlock his latent potential, Shenron grants his wish and says that on top of unlocking all of Piccolo's potential, he'll give him "a bit extra."

When Piccolo fights Cell Max in the climax of the movie, we see exactly what that extra does for him. He grows bulkier and his face expands with a more square jawline, but more than that his color changes from green to orange. He doesn't even notice that he's changed color, and only realizes when Gohan tells him. When asked for a name for his new form, he goes with the rather simple "Orange Piccolo."

Piccolo is able to use this new orange form — along with his classic Namekian abilities like growing larger and stretching his limbs — to work with Gohan and ultimately bring down Cell Max.

Gohan's new form

Unlike Piccolo's new form (which Piccolo names himself in the movie), Gohan's new form that we witness doesn't get an in-universe name, but it's been dubbed "Gohan Beast." Like many (if not most) transformations in the "Dragon Ball" saga, Gohan's transformation into this new form is caused by great emotion. When Gohan believes that Piccolo has died in his battle against Cell Max, his grief and anger unlock this new form that allows him to take down Piccolo's would-be killer.

The new Gohan Beast form looks somewhat similar to his Super-Saiyan 2 form, hairstyle-wise, but instead of bright yellow, his hair now turns a dark silver. It's also not only his hair that changes — his eyes become a deep dark red, highlighting his anger and the focus with which he seeks to take down his enemies.

It doesn't seem that the new form comes with any new abilities or powers, but instead skyrockets his power level, making every one of his attacks devastatingly strong. He also gains a special beam cannon that he uses to defeat Cell Max while Piccolo holds the giant creature.

Why does the story focus on Gohan and Piccolo?

The special beam cannon that Gohan uses to defeat Cell Max does the extraordinary by acting as both a satisfying ending to the major battle of the movie and as an emotionally powerful beat that speaks to Gohan and Piccolo's relationship.

The story of "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero" centers on Piccolo and his relationship with Gohan because of their long history together. Piccolo trained Gohan when he was a boy, and throughout the franchise has always been there for Gohan when Goku was busy saving the world (or being dead).

The bond between Gohan and Piccolo is very strong, and has been for decades. "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero" allows that bond to shine by centering on them and their relationship. Voice actor Kyle Hebert, who voices Gohan in the English dub, carries the emotions of that bond in his performance. "It's definitely true that Piccolo is pretty much [Gohan's] real dad," Herbert said in a 2022 interview, "through thick and thin."

What's next for Dragon Ball Super?

While "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero" features a post-credits scene, that post-credits scene doesn't offer any hints about what may come next for the "Dragon Ball" franchise. Instead, it simply gives viewers a funny moment with Goku and Vegeta to send fans out of the theater. But rest assured — there are certainly plans for the future of "Dragon Ball."

While there haven't been any official announcements about Season 2 of the anime series, a leaker stated in July 2022 that the "Dragon Ball Super" anime will be returning in 2023, and that a movie follow up to "Super Hero" is already in pre-production (via Coming Soon). Furthermore, this report claims that Toei Animation aims to make a new "Dragon Ball Super" movie every two to three years. Of course, we can't be entirely sure that's true given that it's not an official statement, but the leaker has been proven right about things before, including the appearance of "Gohan Beast" in "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero" (per CBR).

Even before the leaker's statement, though, "Dragon Ball Super" movie and TV show producer Akio Iyoku confirmed in June that the next entry in the "Dragon Ball" saga is already in the works. He didn't clarify whether that's a new movie or the return of the TV series, but it's enough to confirm that no matter the medium, "Dragon Ball Super" fans won't be missing their favorite characters for long.