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Anime fans weren’t quite sure what to expect in 2013 when Battle of Gods was released in theaters, becoming the first new piece of Dragon Ball animation in 16 years. After such a long hiatus, would it be any good? And would this perhaps be the very last creative gasp from series creator Akira Toriyama?

The respective answers, yes and no, came quickly. Battle of Gods was a fan-pleasing hit, and a follow-up came in the form of the recently released Resurrection “F”.

So after two movies in two years, is Toriyama ready for a break? Nope, he’s ready for more, but this time not in theaters, as Dragon Ball is returning to TV this summer with a brand-new anime series.

While the manga remained Dragon Ball for all 11 years it was in serialization, its anime adaptation have gone by a number of names. Starting off as plain old Dragon Ball in 1986, the anime switched its title to Dragon Ball Z before reaching the peak of its popularity. Later came the retouched Dragon Ball Kai, a leaner, cleaner version of the Z portion of the Dragon Ball anime library.

▼ There was also Dragon Ball GT, made with minimal input from Toriyama and received with minimal enthusiasm by long-tome fans of the franchise.

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The new series, for which visuals are yet to be released, will be called Dragon Ball Super in both English and Japanese, although written with the kanji character 超 (pronounced cho and meaning “super”). Unlike the lengthy period between the announcement and premiere of Sailor Moon Crystal, we won’t have long to wait for the first episode of Dragon Ball Super, since it’s scheduled to start airing in July on Sunday mornings at 9 o’clock on Fuji Television, the ancestral home of Dragon Ball on Japanese broadcast TV.

And just in case you’re worried that this is another Dragon Ball GT-like attempt to milk the Dragon Ball name for all it’s worth, you can rest easy knowing that Toriyama himself is handling story planning for the new series, which is set following the end of protagonist Goku’s battle with the villainous Majin Buu. Fuji TV producer Osamu Nosaki has already read the plot penned by Toriyama, calling it “the stuff of dreams” and telling fans they might be seeing Goku and pals take on an enemy even stronger than Buu or the ever-popular Frieza.

As much as we’d like to praise the 60-year-old Toriyama as “tireless” for continuing to work on his masterpiece at an age when most people would be thinking about retiring, the description seems even more fitting for voice actress Masako Nozawa, who will turn 79 this October. Nozawa isn’t passing the torch to anyone else for Dragon Ball Super, as she’ll once again be voicing Goku as well as his sons Gohan and Goten.

“I’ve said the word ‘super’ countless times in commercials, games, and such,” mused Nozawa. “But nothing has felt as good as being able to say ‘Dragon Ball Super’ is starting.”

For all the rest of us, that feels pretty good to hear, too.

Source: Comic Natalie via Jin
Top image: Wikia
Insert images: Dragon Ball GT official website