To the uninitiated, Dragon Ball is a staple of Anime not only of Anime history but also of Animeculture. It’s in a few words, classic, inspirational, original and for it’s time probably the best series ever produced. These are terms that I would use to describe this series, I love Dragon Ball, I love the characters of Dragon Ball, I love the story, it’s timeless and doesn’t fail to entertain every time I watch it. The question is though, is this new Dragon Ball Z movie “Battle Of Gods” a happy addition to the franchise or a horrifying flop that needs to be taken out with the trash? I hope to put your fears to rest with my review.
Video (Spoiler Free Version)
FYI, the following may (and my may I mean WILL) contain spoilers. Above is the spoiler-free version.
First and foremost, I as a fan of Dragon Ball am mainly a Manga nut. I’m not going to lie and say that I’ve seen all 13 previous Dragon Ball movies or seen GT or much of the anime in general. This doesn’t change the fact that I watched this show as a kid off and on and I’ve read the manga almost religiously, I love the manga! That being said, my understanding of the manga storyline is what has shaped my view on “Battle Of Gods”.
The story follows typical Dragon Ball formula, a new foe appears that’s stronger than the rest, our hero needs to train or find a new technique to defeat the baddie. Following this there is an epic fight or two and usually this first guy is a setup for fighting a veritable army of endlessly tier -ing stronger guys. For the most part, Battle Of Gods follows this formula with a few exceptions.
The story takes place between chapters 318 and 319 of the manga and fleshes out a fight with a new foe “Beerus The Destroyer” a god of destruction in the world of Dragon Ball whose power has no rival. He is awoken from his 38 year slumber to investigate what he calls “a premonition” a dream that he had of fighting what he calls: “a super seiyan God”.
Beerus is honesty my favorite part of this whole movie. He is stronger than any other character in Dragon Ball Z according to Akira Toriyama, but my favorite thing about Beerus is his mannerisms. Far from pretentious, annoying and OP Beerus feels right at home with the rest of the Dragon Ball cast. And I enjoyed just as much his character as well as his fight with Son Goku at the end of this movie.
Beerus kind of takes on Goku’s job in seeking out a new rival to fight. Having had a feeling that he could find a suitable match for his awesomeness in a “super seiyan God” Beerus seeks out earth in order to investigate. Upon arrival (after defeating Goku on North Kai’s world AWESOME BTW) he is greeted by a birthday party for Bulma and meets the rest of the Dragon Ball cast. What ensues is Vegeta attempting to calm Beerus down while everyone else acts annoying, since Vegeta is the only one in their group that understands what’s going on. Eventually crap hits the fan and Beerus can’t take any more stupid crap and an awesome fight breaks out! Beerus dusts everybody! Even Vegeta in his new and crazy “YOU-NO-TOUCHA-MAI-WAIFU-FORM!”
As the story goes Goku shows up fashionably late, only this time it’s because he was watching Beerus and trying to come up with a strategy… he couldn’t come up with one… freaking Goku. In the end Goku relies on his fellow super seiyans to give him the power boost necessary to become a “Super Seiyan God” which I’m guessing is supposed to be stronger than Super Seiyan 4. It’s impressive and a good fight ensues, but in the end FAR against the grain of past Dragon Ball canon Goku loses!
This along with a few other tweaks to the Dragon Ball universe such as Vegeta being a thousand times less prideful than normal and having real character development are either a welcome addition or a deal breaker depending on how you see it. Personally, I loved it, it felt less like a watered down filler episode and more like a teaser for more stuff. Towards the end of their fight, Beerus explains that he is the God of Destruction of “this” universe and explains that there are twelve universes, some that have spawned fighters even stronger than him. IT felt more like a setup to me for more to come. Now, whether or not Akira Toriyama intends to continue his beloved franchise remains to be seen but I have some hope that this will further the series.
This movie was mainly a comedy, a comedy with a lot of the typical Dragon Ball tropes and idioms. We are missing a few of the main character’s signature moves, the animation might seem like an issue to you, but to me, this is a welcome addition to a series that I love.
I give Dragon Ball Battle Of Gods an 8/10, while not perfect, this film is a welcome addition to the Story of Dragon Ball and hopefully a jumping off point for future films or a future series.
Thanks for reading, and keep your eye out for a new Dragon Ball movie coming out in 2015!
your resident Geek,