Perhaps the weirdest, and definitely the cutest, wish anyone has ever made on the Dragon Balls.

There hasn’t been a ton of Dragon Ball anime produced in the last few years. The Dragon Ball Super TV anime wrapped up in the spring of 2018, and that fall came the Dragon Ball Super: Broly theatrical feature, but since then the only new animated project for the franchise has been last year’s Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero movie.

But next year Dragon Ball is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and it’ll be celebrating with a brand-new Dragon Ball anime series.

The teaser trailer for Dragon Ball Daima, as the new series is called, doesn’t give a lot of concrete story details, but it does show a pair of sinisterly shadowy figures who’ve gathered the full set of mystical orbs and summoned wish-granting dragon Shenron. And what do they wish for? Apparently for Goku, Vegeta, and the rest of Dragon Ball’s core cast of heroes and heroines to be turned into little kids.

It isn’t too shocking seeing Goku himself drawn like this, since before Dragon Ball hit its Dragon Ball Z phase he was generally portrayed as a short, chubby kid. For everyone else, though, this is a major departure from how we’re accustomed to seeing them, almost like a Muppet Babies version of Dragon Ball.

▼ Is this Piccolo old enough to be drinking wine?

Even Kamesennin, a.k.a. Master Roshi, is transformed into a little tyke, keeping his smoothly bald scalp but losing his sagely white beard.

While cynics might jump to the conclusion that this is just a thinly veiled ploy to peddle new lines of super-deformed merch, the heavy involvement of series creator Akira Toriyama should dissuade those fears. The English-language trailer for Dragon Ball Daima credits Toriyama with “original work, story, and character design,” leaving the parsing a little vague as to whether it’s saying Toriyama is responsible for Dragon Ball’s original/overall story and character designs or also for those of Dragon Ball Daima. The phrasing of the Japanese trailer’s text is clearer, though, with “original work” (i.e. the Dragon Ball manga), “story,” and “character design” all separate entities, implying that Toriyama himself is the one crafting Daima’s story and character designs.

There’s also a slight difference in the English trailer’s promise of “A story never before told in Dragon Ball and the Japanese one’s “[A] Dragon Ball [story] that nobody knows of.”

It should also be pointed out that while both trailers declare that Dragon Ball Daima is an “anime series,” neither specifies if that means it’s going to be a TV series or if it’s going to debut via online streaming, as was the case with Sailor Moon Crystal, which, like Dragon Ball, is produced by Toei Animation. Either way, though, Dragon Ball Daima is scheduled to premiere in fall of 2024.

Source, images: YouTube/東映アニメーション公式YouTubeチャンネル
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he awaits the inevitable pairing of the Dragon Ball Daima trailer with the Mupper Babies theme song.