I did say I would review Battle of Gods didn’t I? Hmm normally I make these openings longer but I’ve kind of already done Dragon Ball stuff twice now… and yet this is the first anime review of it, ah well it’s a good enough place to start.
Dragon Ball Z Battle of Gods was released in 2013 and back then was the first proper new piece of Dragon Ball since the end of the abysmal GT series and lovingly made it non canon (ding-dong the witch is dead). Set during the time skip between the defeat of Kid Buu and the epilogue of Dragon Ball Z, the film thankfully opens up with a short recap so if you haven’t seen all of Dragon Ball and Z (yes there was a series before Dragon Ball Z) you will get caught up with all the info you need to enjoy this film.
The film then has lead character Goku training on King Kai’s small planet with its extra gravity having forgotten it’s his friend Bulma’s (most important female character and insanely rich and smart, no really her young self invented a tracker for finding magical wish granting Dragon Balls and her future self makes a time machine) birthday. But this is a moot point soon as Beerus the God of Destruction has awoken.
In his first scenes we soon get to grips with just why Beerus is one of the best things ever made in the franchise, also his attendant Whis who is also a great character.
Beerus is the antagonist of the film, but at no point does he come off as the villain, he’s doing his job… mind you he has his own hang ups, like people stealing his food, and he’s not the kind of guy you want to get angry, which is why fan favourite anti-hero Vegeta spends the majority of the movie trying desperately to keep him from blowing up the planet.
For those that worry it’s going to be just action, a lot of the movie is in fact very comedic as the characters spend time at Bulma’s birthday unaware that a being that is vastly beyond them is standing over there looking like a skinless cat. This is actually another lovely thing in that it harkens back to the days of Dragon Ball which was much more comical and less action, also helped by the return of the Pilaf gang from the original Dragon Ball having accidentally wished themselves into being kids (thus allowing the adorable pairing of Mai X Trunks).
The main action starts after Buu ends up eating all the pudding sending Beerus into a rage and effortlessly beating the vast majority of the cast with just a pair of chopsticks. The first real damage to him is by Vegeta who is enraged after Beerus hits Bulma (don’t worry he apologies for that later, Beerus is actually very polite) which is a lovely bit of character development on Vegeta’s part.
Eventually this builds up to an amazingly done fight between Beerus and Goku who unlocked the Super Sayian god transformation making a Battle of Gods (hence the title). The last fight is amazing to behold, a proper HD Dragon Ball battle, them flying about between buildings firing energy blasts and even into space, all to some great music. What really sells the fight is Beerus, as mentioned he’s not coming off as a villain in this fight, some of the characters even point that it’s more like he’s training Goku who just obtained the power of a god (he really does sell this film).
Dragon Ball Z Battle of Gods is not just great for Dragon Ball fans, be they the kind that preferred the comedy or action. But it is also good for anime fans as it’s a genuinely enjoyable movie. It definitely feels like they took steps just in case you haven’t seen any Dragon Ball before but not overdoing it to the point you just want them to get on with it. The film basically reinvigorated the franchise leading to a sequel movie that brought back the greatest Dragon Ball villain and later a new series.