A week ago, the new movie Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods hit theatres across Japan. But that is not the only Dragon Ball-related thing to happen.
This last Sunday, Dragon Ball Z returned to TV as part of the Dream 9 Toriko & One Piece & Dragon Ball Z Super Collaboration Special!! And, as the title suggests, the Super Collaboration Special is a crossover between popular Shonen Jump anime Toriko, One Piece and Dragon Ball Z. While Toriko and One Piece have crossed over twice before, this is the first to include Dragon Ball Z.
The first half, which aired instead of Toriko this week, involved the characters of the three series in a giant race to win an enormous piece of meat. The second half, which took over One Piece's time slot, dealt with the characters being attacked by an energy-absorbing monster in the middle of their giant feast following the race.
Overall, the Super Collaboration Special is really just a filler fan-service special episode following the typical plot for such crossovers: the leads from the various series end up fighting in the first half and team up against a big enemy for the second half. And as you would probably expect from a crossover like this, the main characters are all exactly equal in power when they fight so that the fans of all three series can save face — regardless how insane the notion is of post Buu saga Super Saiyan Goku being the same strength as Luffy or Toriko.
Perhaps the most enjoyable thing about this special is seeing what it tongue-in-cheek has to say about Shonen manga. As the hour-long special goes on, the characters split into groups that all share a similar clichéd Shonen manga personality. Luffy, Toriko, and Goku, for example, all fall under the dumb, strong, good-person-at-heart archetype that many Shonen manga leads share and so end up in the same group.
While the Super Collaboration Special doesn't manage to deliver the clever nostalgia fest that was presented in Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, and if all you want to see are the characters from these three series interacting, you may enjoy it well enough.
To see the special's opening, check out the video above.
Dream 9 Toriko & One Piece & Dragon Ball Z Super Collaboration Special!! aired on April 7, 2013, in Japan on Fuji TV.