Howdy ladies and gents, tonight I’m gonna give you a review on an anime film I’ve been meaning to review on this blog for a while now which is Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. Now when this film was announced in July of 2012, I pretty much blew up after the teaser trailer came out, then the film got released in March last year, but it didn’t get english subtitles until September. Now I love DBZ, that was my childhood, so having any new material from that franchise (besides the now shitty video games) makes me happy. So how does Battle of Gods fare? Read on and find out.
So the story in this film involves Beerus, the God of Destruction, learning of the defeat of the galactic overlord Freeza by the hands of Son Goku. Seeking an opponent worthy of his power, Beerus, along with his companion Whis, travels to the north galaxy to challenge Goku to a battle.
First off I have to say I really liked the story in this film. It wasn’t overly complicated or dark a moody, just simple stuff that is straight-to-the-point. The film felt just like the days of Dragon Ball with DBZ aspects meshed together, it felt so nostalgic and new at the same time and I think that is due to Akira Toriyama’s involvement in the film as you can feel is presence here. One thing I didn’t expect was the amount of humour, much like the recent Iron Man 3, Battle of Gods plays the balancing act between seriousness and humour and for the most part it works. There is a lot to laugh at it is thanks to some good jokes and comedic timing when it comes to the dialogue and physical stuff. Another great thing about this film is all the ties to previous DB history whether it be flashbacks of verbal mentions, it is littered with references and I loved it. Now I will say that the story isn’t your straight-up action adventure, there is a lot of down-time and very silly moments throughout the film, some secondary characters also get ignored, some things happen to no consequence and there is an anti climatic nature of the film. Some of these elements will probably turn a few fans off but for me it wasn’t too much of an issue.
As for the characters they are all pretty much exactly how you remember them. Goku is still the loveable oaf who is super strong and always wants to battle the next strongest fighter. Vegeta is still the prince with a lot of pride and moodiness, but he is given a lot more screen time than I thought he’d get and has one of the most unexpected funny moments ever int his film. I also really liked Gohan’s contribution to this film, the return of Emperor Pilaf, Mai and Shou was very welcomed and Buu was another funny guy as well. Now let’s talk about the big new bad guy Beerus, man he was not what I was expecting, he’s like the nicest, quirky and most odd bad guy ever. He is very eccentric, lazy and confident, but he has anger issues and one small thing can make him switch like a light. I loved his more light-hearted side because it lend to some really funny dialogue moments. As for Whis, Beerus’ partner, he was very strange, but also funny.
When it comes to the presentation it is gorgeous. Before the DB short film of 2008, me and countless other fans had wanted to see what DBZ would look like in present day, but the dream seemed so unfeasible. Sure we had the short anime openings in DBZ Budokai 2 & 3, but we wanted more. Since then we have seen more and more glimpses of DBZ in other animated intros in video games, the DB Kai opening and closing animations, one remade OVA and the anime crossover with One Piece and Toriko. Toei Animation had basically been teasing fans for years… Until this film came out and let me tell you I think it looks brilliant.
Considering how great Toei are with One Piece films, it should come as no surprise that Battle of Gods looks awesome. Everything is visually crisp, vivid, full of colour and the fluidity of the animation is INSANE with some of the most crazy dynamic tracking shots and camera angles that have ever been used for a DB animation. The character designs are also very nice, detailed and are familiar and yet slightly new. This film also employs Toei’s use of blending a lot of 2D and 3D animation and for the most part it works, though there are times I wish it was more 2D.
The soundtrack by Norihito Sumitomo is another aspect I like about this film, it is very good and suits every situation it is used in. I especially like it when the music when it ramps up and gets all epic when something serious is going down on-screen. Also the cover of Hironobu Kageyama’s “Cha-La Head-Cha-La“, the original opening theme of DBZ, by the rock band Flow is alright, it has its moments but it never gets as exciting as the original version.
In conclusion Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods is a lot of fun and is another solid addition to the animated world of Dragon Ball. The film feels new but at the same time incredibly familiar thanks to its comedic tone, memorable characters and chaotic action sequences. Some fans may be turned off by the more light-hearted tone, villain personality and the overall ending of the film, but if you’re a true DB fan who enjoys this franchise then this is the film for you. It is all sorts of awesome.
Rating: 8.5/10 (Some kick ass nostalgic fun with great visuals, characters and humour)
So readers out there, what did you think of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods? Have your seen or are you gonna watch it, whatever your thoughts are drop them in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀