In 2013, perhaps the most famous of anime’s many spikey-haired protagonists, "Dragon Ball Z’s" Goku, returned after a 17-year hiatus. While the film, subtitled "Battle of Gods," didn’t really stray from the pattern of wacky hijinks and super-powered martial arts battles "Dragon Ball Z" had already established in its hundreds of TV episodes and dozen-plus movies, fans in general were happy and satisfied just to be able to spend an hour and a half with a group of old animated friends.
They’ll have the chance to do so again soon, and an ad for next year’s "Dragon Ball Z" movie shows that rejoining the cast of familiar heroes will be one of their most memorable foes.
Although "Dragon Ball Z" has its share of low-level minions who go down with just one punch or ki blast, the ruthless Frieza has always made for a tough adversary.
Despite the many years since his last significant appearance, Frieza remains one of anime’s most popular villains. Diabolical as he may be, it’s kind of hard not to respect the tenacity of a guy who’s been cut in half twice, banished to Hell, dragged back there after a brief escape, and yet still refuses to give up.
Yup, no matter what happens, Frieza just keeps coming back, and next April, he’ll be coming back again.
While there’s still no clear consensus on what the Z stands for, a poster for next year’s "Dragon Ball Z: The Return of F" leaves little doubt that that’s F as in Frieza.
Also showing up in the poster is Beerus, the cat-like antagonist from "Battle of Gods" who has now advanced past the level of a mere one-shot character.
Like the 2013 film, "The Return of F" features a script and character designs by series creator Akira Toriyama himself. The movie is set to open in both 2-D and 3-D versions during Japan’s Golden Week vacation season, with April 18 your first chance to give Frieza a warm welcome back.
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