When I was 12 years old Dragon Ball Z was my favorite cartoon, and I always hoped for a live action adaptation. Well, just like all the other fans of the series, I got kicked in the balls when Dragon Ball Evolution arrived, so when it finally arrived, I had so many expectations from it that, sadly few lived up to them; and movie overall was a huge disaster. However, I told myself I could always return to the originals; which I did. At least until I heard about one last chance for humanity called Light of Hope. And all my dreams and hopes came running back to the surface.
If you’re not fan of anime or never really got into it, it’s a strange but exciting world out that’s all yours to discover. Light of Hope was first announced in 2013, and later on the production company behind the fan-made series, Robot Underdog, released a first trailer, and I was amazed because this looked like something like my money would jump for joy if it came down to it. And the process took a few years to complete because these guys were doing it all on their own with their own money and equipment; securing the locations, shooting the scenes, the adding the special effects, editing – it took Robot Underdog 2 years if not more to complete the project. So when the pilot got released I was happy that it went viral. In just 7 short days, which seemed as long as 100 episodes of the original show – they had over 7 million views and it just kept growing from there.
What got me excited was that the story of this short series takes on an event from a movie made for the series that describes the events in alternative future timeline which prompts one of the characters to travel back in time to prevent those events from happening. This basically means this is a live action prequel based on a standalone anime movie that is tied to the original series.
This live action’s take on animation actually gives the original justice, and is definitely something Hollywood studios can learn from. You don’t need a lot of money to produce great piece of content, but you do need love, dedication, and hard work to create something a general audience will find appealing while do justice to the fans at the same time.
So having in mind this project is far from a major studio production, considering its short 13-minute length, Light of Hope lives up to its name and hype. Converting animation to live action is a tough task in itself, and when it comes to Japanese anime, it’s downright impossible because anime isn’t supposed to be live action. On a scale of 1-10, I give it a solid 8. I’ll ask you to hang around and see the clip through to the end. And don’t worry, Robot Underdog recently finished their crowdfunding campaign and they have already started working on script for episodes 2 and 3. I can’t wait to see what happens on the next exciting episode of DBZ Light of Hope.