Posted by: TWILT | September 15, 2013

Dragon Ball Z: Battle Of Gods – Truly Godlike

Dragon-Ball-Z-Battle-of-Gods-Poster

While I’m going to avoid as many as I can in this review, I cannot guarantee this will be spoiler free. Read at your own risk.

  • Director: Masahiro Hosoda
  • Producer: Hashimoto Kunio
  • Based on: Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama
  • Studio: Toei Animation
  • Release date(s): March 30, 2013 (Theatres), September 13, 2013 (DVD)
  • Running time: 85 minutes

If you’re like me, you grew up with Dragon Ball. Probably the most well known anime series ever, the Dragon Ball series has a huge legacy behind it. The main character, Son Goku, is all about facing strong opponents, pushing his limits beyond to overcome any obstacle with the help of his companions, no matter how strong the enemy may be.

While the main series is certainly popular for many, it doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to one offs. I mean, GT existed, and most people would prefer to pretend it didn’t happen. When it comes to movies, while the main Dragon Ball Z anime movies will vary in quality according to your tastes, there’s of course, Dragon Ball Evolution, because oh god that movie was awful.

So how does Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (or ドラゴンボールZ 神と神 Doragon Bōru Zetto: Kami to Kami if you’re a weeaboo) fare? To be honest, I didn’t know what I was in for when I started watching it, but after I finished watching it, for me, I apologize for the pun, but it was truly godlike.

Taking place a couple years after the defeat of Kid Buu, the God of Destruction known as, “Bills,” awakens after a seriously long sleep, where he had a dream that he fought someone that was a Super Saiyan God (yeah, I’m not making this up), and heads to King Kai’s planet where our good old friend Goku just happened to be training. Goku was ecstatic to know that this Bills person was super strong, despite King Kai warning him not to engage combat, but after a small sparring round, Bills effortlessly knocks Goku out in only two hits. Disappointed, Bills heads to Earth to try and find this Super Saiyan God. If left disappointed again though, he may just very well destroy the planet!

Despite the seemingly super serious main plot, the film is actually…pretty damn funny. I mean, haha funny! The type of humor shown in the film reminds me of the old Dragon Ball series (even Emperor Pilaf and his two minions return…sort of), and there’s a lot of charm to it.  I was honestly pleasantly surprised just how much less serious the film is compared to the regular Dragon Ball Z movies, and I was laughing out loud throughout the entire film. The humor is actually, y’know, humorous without being absolutely cringe-worthy about it, which is a rarity since I have this problem with a lot of animes that attempt to be funny.

That's our Goku.

That’s our Goku.

What about the action? Well, needless to say, I thought the animation is top notch. It’s the best looking Dragon Ball Z film to date, and the animation is really nice and crisp. I was on the edge of my seat, from watching Goku get bitch smacked by Bills, who was way too obviously better than Goku in everywhere, to Vegeta surpassing Goku (albeit for only ten seconds, but hey!) by giving a valiant effort to try and stop Bills, to the absolutely epic fight at the end. It honestly makes me feel really nostalgic; it reminds me of the time I used to cheer for Goku when I was a little kid to win, despite how tough the opponent is (yes, I was one of those losers who raised his arms in the air when he was charging the Spirit Bomb).

I never thought Vegeta would go so low.

Speaking of getting bitch smacked, this may be the first time Goku in a long time doesn’t actually win. Well, he manages to prevent the Earth from being destroyed, but Goku despite finally attaining the power of Super Saiyan God (which basically looks like Kaio-Ken, though without the muscle mass, but hey, beats Super Saiyan 4) cannot defeat the enemy in this movie, and gives up, which is a little crazy considering Goku’s character, but I guess even Goku’s no match for a god.

Super Saiyan God Goku clear

Super Saiyan God: Still looks better than Super Saiyan 4

I was really surprised how much backstory was told in this film about Bills and the Super Saiyan God legend, and it was actually explained rather well. I did have a problem how they just used the Dragon Ball’s wish just to find out how to get to Super Saiyan God (and y’know, the idea of yet another Super Saiyan form existing), but that’s just a minor thing really. Bills is actually a very interesting antagonist. Despite being the God of Destruction, he actually shows his comedic side and isn’t 100% generic evil like most Dragon Ball villains. I hope he makes a reappearance in the future.

I was really impressed how well done the soundtrack was. I mostly listen to Bruce Faulconer’s version of the Dragon Ball Z soundtrack, but Battle of Gods kept me pumped and engaged to the film. You can listen to the entire soundtrack here, and shoutouts to the band FLOW for the amazing Hero track and their own cover of the good old “Cha-la Head-Cha-la” song. There’s still no English dub of the film (yet), but it’s on the internet right now subbed if you want to watch it. I didn’t have a problem with the Japanese voices for the most part, though it made me REALLY miss Goku’s english voice sometimes.

The film strongly suggests that Bills isn’t the only god with absolutely insane strength and that Goku and Vegeta will one day be formidable opponents. I actually really hope this means that a new series of Dragon Ball films (if they just made a new series of the TV show, the quality would probably drop a lot). Yeah, you could argue that they’re just milking the Dragon Ball Z series, but A: Dragon Ball Z is old as hell, what’s the point of milking it now and B: If the sequel still keeps the same quality as this film, I’m more than all for it.

I almost wish we could get a full on remake of Dragon Ball Z with this type of quality, but that'd probably be super expensive...

I almost wish we could get a full on remake of Dragon Ball Z with this type of quality, but that’d probably be super expensive…

In conclusion, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods is simply godlike. If you’re expecting just Goku and the gang being super serious fighting this one bad guy, you’ll probably be a little disappointed in that regard. If you want a film that’s a a great fan service celebration of the series, that perfectly blends humor and intense fighting into one film, or maybe you just want to see Goku, Vegeta and the rest in a brand new high quality film, I highly recommend this move. It was one great amazing nostalgic trip from beginning to end, and I hope the ride doesn’t end with just this film. It’s good to see Son Goku back again.

Oh and this film basically retcons Dragon Ball GT. PRAISE THE LORD FOR THAT.

9/10 

Seriously, go watch it. The film was ZOMG EPIC.

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Responses

  1. rip badman

  2. Why?

  3. because with the fight on his hands he’s a badman


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