Anime is a global thing now. But back when anime wasn't so mainstream, there were a few shows that slowly opened anime to a wider audience. Dragon Ball and Digimon were among the shows that led that movement. So it's honestly quite exciting that both shows are making a comeback this year. But once the initial euphoria wears off, you have to ask, will the comebacks be good?
For the new Dragon Ball series, Dragon Ball Super, a saving grace is that the series' original creator Akira Toriyama will be writing it. That should automatically make it better than Dragon Ball GT, a spin-off that didn't quite pick up although it was the 'sequel' to Dragon Ball Z. Toriyama was supposedly inspired to write the series after seeing the warm reaction that the movie Dragon Ball Z : Battle of Gods got in 2013. But there are a few things that we should all keep in mind before we get our hopes too high.
One, we're not quite kids anymore. Or at least not the same age we were when we first saw Dragon Ball Z. So things like Goku, Saiyan Transformations and all that jazz might not seem like such a novelty. Secondly, Dragon Ball Z is from another age of Anime/Manga, back when most action manga focused purely on the action element of things, not focusing so much on plot development. Now that the present generation of action manga such as One Piece, who were all obviously inspired by Dragon Ball Z, has gotten us used to multi-layered plot lines, the relatively simple hero-villain mechanic of Dragon Ball Z might come as a dud for older fans. Especially if they don't do away with the classic compulsory shouting and seven episode-long trash-talking sessions before every fight. Basically Akira Toriyama is competing with himself to come up with villains that are more interesting and fight scenarios that are more creative than anything he's done before. If he goes along the route of adding yet another stage to Super Saiyan then I would honestly be very let down. It's Dragon Ball Z. It made action anime. It has to maintain those standards.
As for Digimon, this is also a show that ran four distinct generations of 'chosen children' being transported into a world of Digital Monsters and fighting bad guys. The question will remain the same, what new can you throw at us?
It's the same situation for both. These shows will be competing with two things. One, the new generation anime such as One Piece and Attack on Titan, shows that have taken the classic action elements and added intricate plots to revolutionize how we see anime. Second, they'll be competing with themselves. Every second we watch these shows we'll be thinking back to when we saw the original shows year ago. I personally don't think it will ever be the same because a part of why these shows are special is because they come from a simpler time, when we didn't have to sweat over university admissions and what not. Don't get your hopes up. The only acts they're following are themselves. And they are very tough acts to follow. Dragon Ball GT already showed us that.