In the anime fan community, Dragonball Evolution is one of those uncomfortable realities we live with. The film, which hit theaters in 2009, was panned across the board. It seemed like everybody, from anime fans, to the community of critics had their own criticisms and comments on the sheer levels of awful. For those who haven’t seen it, the film is a joke. For those who have, it’s a parade of horribles, which shouldn’t be screened near an open flame.
Perhaps the most damning criticism of all, though, came from series creatgor Akira Toriyama. In an interview with Asahi Shimbun, Toriyama verbally disowned the film to state that he couldn’t call the film Dragon Ball.
Apparently, the criticism hasn’t fallen on deaf ears.
Derek Padula, who penned several books on the series including Dragon Soul, is working on a new book titled USA DBZ. While researching for the book, Padula reached out to Dragonball Evolution screenwriter Ben Ramsay in hopes for an interview. Ramsay responded with a wholehearted apology, which Padula published to his website:
I knew that it would eventually come down to this one day. Dragonball Evolution marked a very painful creative point in my life. To have something with my name on it as the writer be so globally reviled is gut wrenching. To receive hate mail from all over the world is heartbreaking. I spent so many years trying to deflect the blame, but at the end of the day it all comes down to the written word on page and I take full responsibility for what was such a disappointment to so many fans. I did the best I could, but at the end of the day, I ‘dropped the dragon ball.’
I went into the project chasing after a big payday, not as a fan of the franchise but as a businessman taking on an assignment. I have learned that when you go into a creative endeavor without passion you come out with sub-optimal results, and sometimes flat out garbage. So I’m not blaming anyone for Dragonball but myself. As a fanboy of other series, I know what it’s like to have something you love and anticipate be so disappointing.
To all the Dragon Ball fans out there, I sincerely apologize.
I hope I can make it up to you by creating something really cool and entertaining that you will like and that is also something I am passionate about. That’s the only work I do now.
Source: The Dao of Dragon Ball