Super Dragon Ball Heroes hit the scene in 2018, just after Dragon Ball Super stopped releasing anime episodes.
At first glance, fans were jubilant that Dragon Ball Super was continuing, but on closer inspection, it seems like it wasn’t continuing the existing story at all but was a new story altogether.
So the question on every fan’s lips was, is Dragon Ball Heroes canon?
Super Dragon Ball Heroes is non-canon. It is an official release and features a lot of canon characters, like Goku, Vegeta, Future Trunks, but also features a lot of non-canon characters, like Cooler and has a non-canon storyline.
Table of Contents
What is Super Dragon Ball Heroes?
Super Dragon Ball Heroes, commonly known as Dragon Ball Heroes, is a promotional anime that uses the characters and transformations from Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super to battle against each other.
However, the story was not written or outlined by Akira Toriyama, so it is not considered canon by pretty much anyone.
You’d think canon status would be black and white, but for years there were people insisting Dragon Ball GT wasn’t canon, long before it was officially agreed as non-canon with the release of Dragon Ball Super.
But out of the gate, everyone knew Super Dragon Ball Heroes was just a bit of fun.
The game it is promoting is SUPER DRAGON BALL HEROES, which can be found on arcades in Japan, and there’s also a version on steam. Its a battle card game
What is Super Dragon Ball Heroes story?
The story is taken directly from the Japanese game’s Prison Planet saga and pretty much plays out the same.
The story starts with our version of Goku and Vegeta being tricked into going to a mysterious prison planet by a shady character named Fu, where they must search for the Dragon Balls so they can wish their way to freedom.
Apparently, Universe 10 Future Trunks was arrested for breaking the laws of time travel, and it’s up to Goku and Vegeta to rescue him.
But kept on the prison planet are villains from all different times and universes, meaning Goku and Vegeta have got a lot of fighting to get to Future Trunks and the Dragon Balls.
The first fight of the anime is our Goku as a Super Saiyan Blue Vs an alternate universe Goku Super Saiyan 4, so that gives you a flavour of the hi-jinks to come.
If you want to read our own overview/mini review you can find it here.
Is Dragon Ball Heroes after Super?
Yes, the Super Dragon Ball Heroes anime takes place after Dragon Ball Super.
The events of Super Dragon Ball heroes takes place during Age 780, the same year that Xeno ordered Goku and friends to fight in the Tournament of power.
So we know that Goku and Vegeta visited the Prison planet. However, the events of Dragon Ball Super: Broly take place after the Tournament of Power as well, in the same year.
So the events of Super Dragon Ball Heroes could either be set before or after.
How long are Dragon Ball Heroes Episodes?
Dragon Ball Hero episodes aren’t as long as the regular Dragon Ball Z series episodes. They normally last between 8 and 9 minutes.
In contrast, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super episodes last around 24 minutes. So this doesn’t give Goku that much time to go Super Saiyan and save the day.
The dialogue was definitively sacrificed to keep these episodes short, so they probably have the same level of action the regular series has.Just without those boring things like character development and plot points.
Is Dragon Ball Heroes Official?
Yes, Dragon Ball Heroes is official, in that it was authorised by Toei Animation, and I’m sure Akira Toriyama gets his cut of the royalties.
But just like the many non-canon DBZ movies that have been officially released throughout the years, Dragon Ball Heroes may be official but is non-canon.
Dragon Ball Heroes vs Dragon Ball GT
Even the harshest critics of Dragon Ball GT will still probably agree that it’s a better anime than Dragon Ball Heroes.
At the end of the day, Dragon Ball heroes is just a cynical move by Toei to sell their game to the fans by showcasing their favourite characters from the Dragon Ball Anime universe.
As badly received as GT was, the creators tried their best to continue the story of DBZ, and I personally quite enjoy GT.
Is Dragon Ball Heroes fan made?
Nope, Dragon Ball Heroes is not fan made. Even though the quality of fan made projects has increased dramatically since youtube gave smaller video creators a voice, this particular non-canon project was officially sanctioned by Toei Animation.
Though just because it wasn’t made by a fan doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain a lot of fan service. The inclusion of the Super Saiyan 4 fighting other transformations and villains throughout the series is the stuff of fanfic dreams.
Is Dragon Ball Heroes canon? – Final Thoughts.
So, just because Dragon Ball Heroes isn’t canon, does that mean it’s worthless and not worth watching? Definitely not!
Fans love video games even though they aren’t canon, and this anime is basically like one big lets play of an imaginary video game.
Sure the story is barebones and a flimsy pretext for people fighting, but cynics would say the same about all Dragon Ball episodes!
And fans of Dragon Ball GT should be happy that it is considered by the fans to be the 2nd worse Dragon Ball anime out there.