One of the most integral parts of watching anime on television as a kid was anticipation. It’s traditional in anime for episodes to end with a teaser for the next episode, complete with a voiceover/hype man trying to get the audience pumped up for whatever might be happening next. Will Goku be able to conquer Freeza? Will Domon Kasshu find his brother? The voice would ask, and you would really, really want to know. So you’d tune in the next day, or the next week, or whatever, and find out.
In the age of streaming, these teasers are not nearly as hefty as they used to be. But before digital TV was a thing, where missing an episode of an anime could mean just not finding out what happened at that point in the story, they were everything. Which is why this new teaser for Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, the next Dragon Ball video game, is so damn clever. Bringing back the dude who did the teaser voice in classic Funimation-dubbed Dragon Ball Z, Kyle Hebert, and framing the game like a new episode of the show, it summons all that nostalgia and just throws it at my face.
I don’t know if this game will be any good, but the approach here—of trying to imitate the experience of watching that show as a kid—is an excellent one. What a cleverly made ad. Even though they don’t have the same impact now, I wish more Western shows had this sort of stinger, and these sorts of voices. They’re just so fun.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot comes out on January 17, but honestly, I’m mostly interested in the ad.