Dragon Ball Z is hands down one of the most popular anime series of all time. Even almost 20 years after the run of the original manga, the series is still insanely popular. Fans in North America are given a treat this week; the film Battle of Gods will be in theaters August 5,6,7, and 9, the first DB film to be released in North America in 11 years.
For the most part, Battle of Gods is an entertaining DBZ movie. It is definitely one of the more comedic DBZ films. There are some great jokes (“MY BULMA!”), and the tone of the film is rather lighthearted, despite the fact that a God is one pudding cup away from destroying the planet. Sometimes the film stretches too far for jokes and all the Pilaf scenes are a bit unnecessary. Sure, the Trunks/Mai back and forth was a bit funny, but overall the film didn’t need Pilaf and his gang.
All the joking leaves little room for action. The Dragon Ball series is known for its amazing (and sometimes drawn out), fights; but, Battle of Gods delivers little of them. Audiences don’t get very much of a battle between Goku and Beerus, which leaves us wanting more. We get to see the other characters watch the fight almost as much as we do. What little fighting there is is certainly cool and the weight of each punch and kick is felt through the animation, which looks great on the big screen. Technology for anime has really grown since the last time DBZ was seen and Battle of Gods certainly shows it.
Given that the Super Saiyan God transformation was supposed to be so important and strong, it was very underwhelmming. The appearance of the Super Saiyan God wasn’t nearly as awesome as the other Super Saiyan transformations. Goku simply slims up and his hair and eyes turn a distinct red color. His power also wasn’t as impressive as expected and didn’t offer up much of a challenge to Beerus. Goku’s fight with Beerus has its moments, but actually gets better when Goku’s God transformation ends. For the film to be about a battle between gods, the god aspect wasn’t too captivating, at least on the Saiyan side.
Beerus is one of the more interesting DBZ villains and hands down the strongest; however, his strength being so high contributes to the lack of fights. He can easily dispatch SSJ3 Goku with just a simple chop of the neck, for example. Even Super Saiyan God is no match for Beerus, who only fought at 70% of his strength. At least he and his companion Whis have plenty of funny moments, and the introduction of Gods of Destruction and the mention of 11 other universes creates many possibilities for where future DBZ movies might go.
Overall, Battle of Gods is a pretty good Dragon Ball Z movie, but it’s not one of the best. It suffers from a lack of action but the comedy is some of the best for a DBZ movie. If you wear your nostalgia goggles while viewing Battle of Gods, you’re almost sure to enjoy the movie; but, if you take them off during some sequences, you’ll be left wanting more.