Super Saiyan Son Goku from Dragon Ball will be flying over the the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade later this month, the first Japanese manga character to do so in the annual event.
Anime distributor Funimation made the announcement on Nov. 1 through a behind-the-scenes video uploaded on YouTube and Twitter.
Artists from Toei Animation, the studio that produces the “Dragon Ball” anime, collaborated with people from Macy’s to ensure the details for the Super Saiyan god Goku balloon will be just right. The artists from Macy’s adjusted the clay model where the balloon will be molded from to get an accurate expression from the character.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade traditionally features giant balloon versions of popular animated characters from various series. Thanks to the popularity of “Pokémon” in the western market, even Pikachu made an appearance not once but thrice since 2001.
Son Goku’s inclusion in the parade roster may have something to do with the “Dragon Ball” franchise’s continued popularity, particularly its anime, which has been running since 1986. “Dragon Ball” has gotten so popular in some parts of the world like Mexico that a public screening for the last episodes of “Dragon Ball Super” was held with permission from Toei.