Dragonball: Evolution trailer thoughts

So I checked out the leaked Dragonball: Evolution trailer which came out earlier this month (oddly, I can’t an official website for the movie yet) and these are basically my thoughts:

  • They’re banking on special effects (especially of things blowing up) and people fighting to bring in people
  • The special effects are, on average, average and some of them look pretty bad (though one might give them the benefit of a doubt since they might not be complete yet)
  • They appear to be trying to do the fighting scenes in the Chinese Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon/Matrix style – that is to say, it is obviously fake, and since they’re trying to mimic it, it looks even worse.
  • The acting sucks.  No, really, it really sucks.  And there isn’t even much of it in the trailer.
  • The actual video quality sucks (and I’m not talking about the YouTube quality.  I mean how the cinematography is done makes it look like a cheap TV show, not a theatrical movie)
  • I don’t fucking care what the character names is.  That portion of the trailer is targeted solely towards people who are already fans which, I’m sorry, isn’t enough to keep the movie from bombing.

Some of you may remember how unimpressed I was with the Speed Racer trailer and how much I doubted how it would attract people to see it, even with the flashy special effects.

Well, Dragonball is making Speed Racer look like an academy award winner movie.  While Speed Racer didn’t really attract people to the theater, it’s special effects were actually, you know, good.  And while the acting wasn’t good, it was decent.  Dragonball appears to be several levels below Speed Racer on both accounts based on this trailer.

Amazingly, Fox has spent a whopping $100 million on this movie, only $20 million less than the eye-popping Speed Racer, and the dollars per minute is actualy more than Speed Racer at the moment:  Speed Racer ran for 135 minutes, which amounts to about $889,000 a minute, while Dragonball: Evolution is currently slated to be 98 minutes – at least according to Wikipedia – which would put it at $1,020,000 a minute.

That’s nothing compared to most summer blockbusters – Pirates of the Carribean: At World’s End cost $300 million and the just released Quantum of Solace cost $230 million.  On the other hand, the hugely popular Ironman cost $135 million – which is only about $50,000 more a minute than the Dragonball movie right now.

Considering that, this movie should be a special effects extraveganza.  It sure isn’t looking like it.

I’ve long said that I thought that this movie would bomb – not because I think turning anime series into live action movies is an inherently bad idea or because of any ill will towards the Dragonball series, but it just didn’t seem like the right title to adapt.  And on top of this, Fox ignores the lessons of movies like Batman Begins, Spiderman, and X-Men as well as of movies like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Speed Racer and decide to turn the movie into a “live action cartoon,” something which almost assures a death sentence for a movie.

If you want to give people a cartoon, then give them a cartoon.  If you want to give them a live action movie, then give them a live action movie.  People don’t seem to like it when you try to mix the two.

Funimation’s New Show A-Go-Go Day 9: Gungrave

Well, someone blew their clue guessing on this one.  People were so sure that Soul Eater and Evangelion 1.0 were going to be the last two titles that it was assumed to be a forgone conclusion!

Contrare monfrare! Funimation pulls a fast one and gives us Gungrave, and this isn’t even a “license” announcement as Funimation makes clear that they are “distributing Geneon’s Gungrave.”  That means we have one spot left and two clues.  I’ll try to go through and see which clue we messed up on, as that should tell us what the final title is.

In any case, this guarantees that a majority of the 10 titles are going to be Geneon rescues.

Shows so far:

Geneon rescues: 6
Actual new titles: 3


Unless we get a double-announcement tomorrow, I’m trying to figure out what clue people got wrong.  Here are the clues we were given and the shows that go with them (or we think should go with them):

Clue 1


Hope that poison cleared up.  Hate to think you’re walking around with itchy toes!

See you soon.

OK, easy, this was announcement #1: Ikki Tousen (itchy toes)

Clue 2

Dear Mom,

I thought of the perfect gift for Dad! It’s this little gadget called the veggie guardian.  It transmits a high frequency signal that’s supposed to keep bugs off the plants.  Look it up online.

Whether you wish to do either “Dad Guard” or “Gadget Guardian,” this clearly is the clue for the second announcement, Gad Guard.

Clue 3

Uncle Randy,

Can’t wait to see your new van!  In fact, we should plan a road trip.  It would take my mind off off of the feelings of dread I’m feeling about next semester.



This is for announcement #3: Vandread.


Hey Katie!

You’ll never guess who was at the party last night! Your Ex!  I’ll tell you more about it in person.  He was asking about you! Ha!


This is for announcement #5: Last Exile.

Clue 5

Hey Ed,

You totally have to remind me to tell you about this dream I had last night.  VERY random.  Here’s the preview: You, me, a rocket and ship, three monkeys.  Oh! And you were in a diaper!

-XOXO Kelly

I was one of the ones that figured out that this was for announcement #6: Oh! Edo Rocket.

Clue 6

Dear Helen,

Wow, I wasn’t counting on Monte Carlo being this much fun!  Oh, and Crissy says hi!  We wish you were here! Best vacation ever!


Most people guessed this right for Funimation’s 7th announcment: Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo.

That leaves the following 2 clues, and at least one of these has to go with either Slayers, Gungrave, or Nabari no Ou:

Clue 7

Hey Talia,

You coming on New Years Eve?  Angie, Eli, and you can make it!



Clue 8


Thought you’d like to know that your grandpa and I went to eat at Smith’s Pie Shop last night.  Bless Your Soul, you always got so excited about their pies during your summer visits!

Come see me soon sweetie.

All of my love,

So what goes with what? Clue 7 doesn’t seem to suggest anything other than Evangelion, and it even mentions New Years Eve – the last announcement date, highly suggesting that that’s when it’s gonig to be announced.

So let’s focus on clue 8.  Given that all six clues we know are right, and assuming the Evangelion clue is right, all the clues include the actual name of the title in some form.  However, Clue 8 has no hint of the words “Slayers,” “Revolution,” “gun,” “grave,” “nabari,” “no,” or “king” assuming they were trying to throw us off by using the English title of Nabari no Ou (and for that matter, neither does clue 7).

Unless Funimation shocks us by giving us both Soul Eater and Evangelion tomorrow (or at least two shows that somehow match clues 7 and 8), someone is going to have to explain this to me.

Update 2

When I saw this comment last night, I thought about adding an update, but decided to wait until today, but I see that AstroNerdBoy beat me to it.

Last night on the ANN bitch festival forum about the Gungrave announcement, a Funimation representative mentioned the following:

Timing on contracts for new shows add a few wrinkles into the mix with announcing. Rescue licenses are an easier contract – hence faster announcement and delivery on DVD release dates.

I agree with Astro that this might suggest that Funimation ran into a hiccup with either the Soul Eater license or the Evangelion license in the past two weeks which caused them to not be able to announce it yet, and threw in something they already had in their queue as a replacement in the meantime.

I guess we’ll find out a little more tonight when the final announcement (or if we’re lucky, announcements) are made.  If we get both Soul Eater and Evangelion, then it was probably just a ploy by Funimation as they watch anime fans panic that one of them isn’t coming and then go “jusk kidding! here you go!” on the last day.

If we only get one, then unless they explain what the “wrong” clue actually meant, I think that may strongly suggest that whichever title they didn’t announce got hung up somewhere along the way.