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Dragon Ball and Mario shine again with copyright business

Japanese heroes drive profits thanks to online videos and smartphones

Sanrio's Gudetama is popular in Asia.

TOKYO -- Some of Japan's biggest intellectual property holders have figured out the smartphone era. As a result, they are making tidy profits off old manga and video game characters.

"Dragon Ball" is set to become the leading profit driver at Bandai Namco Holdings in the current business year through March. According to the company, sales of Dragon Ball-related content will likely be 60% higher than a year before, at 96 billion yen ($896 million).

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