Dragon Ball Z is a phenomenon. Fifteen years ago, DBZ was the juggernaut of anime. The popularity was so high in fact, that most credit the Dragon Ball franchise as the main reason for the popularity of anime as a whole. Nearly two years ago, Akira Toriyama decided to make the first Dragon Ball related animation in 18 years, after an insanity of fan demand, FUNimation has finally licensed both versions of the film for North American audiences. Does Battle of Gods live up to the hype?
Note: This is a screener disc, and not a review of the final product. If I get the chance, I will review the final product.
Sometime between the ten year gap between the end of the Buu saga and the world martial arts tournament that capped the Z series, our heroes are enjoying peaceful times by enjoying a day at Capsule Corp, celebrating Bulma's (voiced by Monica Rial) birthday. The only absence, of course, is Goku (voiced by Sean Schemmel), who's busy training his life away on King Kai's (also voiced by Sean Schemmel) planet.
Elsewhere, a cat like god, Beerus (voiced by Jason Douglas), dubbed the God of destruction, is awoken from a several decade long slumber by his assistant, Whis (voiced by Ian Sinclair), due to the premonition of a mythological figure called the "Super Saiyan God." Upon being awoken, Beerus discovers that Frieza, one of the most ruthless villains in the galaxy, has been defeated, by a saiyan no less. Beerus concludes that the one whom defeated Frieza must be the super saiyan god. Along with Whis, Beerus decides to track down the saiyan whom defeated Frieza: Goku.
Goku, through King Kai's telepathy, finds out about Beerus being awoken and in typical Goku fashion, is overjoyed at the prospect of finding a new challenge, despite King Kai's warnings against doing so. King Kai's fears become realized when the god of destruction appears before them.
Once again, Goku being Goku, he jumps at the opportunity to challenge Beerus to a fight. Goku powers up to super saiyan 3 and is baffled that Beerus has remained in the same stance, calm and collected, since he arrived. Goku attacks but can't land a single hit, and with a flick of his finger (literally), Goku is put into the ground, unconscious. Beerus deduces that Goku can't be a super saiyan god with such pathetic strength. Whis informs Beerus that there are several more saiyans gathered together on Earth. Beerus decides to visit Earth eventually making it to Bulma's birthday party. With Goku out of commission, it's up to Vegeta (voiced by Chris Sabat) to defend the earth against the god of destruction. Is he up to the task? Can Goku make it back to Earth to defend his friends and planet? What and who exactly is the super saiyan god and can it stop Beerus from destroying the Earth?
+ Excellent dub. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this is Sean Schemmel's best work to date, he does fantastic work here and proves why he's widely considered to be the definitive Goku. Jason Douglas is the other standout of the film, perfectly capturing the playful yet terrifying nature of the villain, Beerus.
+ Nostalgic for Dragon Ball Z fans.
+ Perfectly balances elements of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z.
+ Surprising ending.
- While a lot of the fight scenes are fluid and excellently done, there are a couple that are a bit uninspired.
- The film feels bogged down at some points, especially in the Emperor Pilaf sequences.
- A movie really only for the established fan base.
- The voices of Dragon Ball Z unveiled: A near twenty minute behind the scenes featurette showing the process of dubbing the film with some of the voice actors including, Sean Schemmel (Goku & King Kai), Christopher Sabat (Vegeta, Piccolo, & Yamcha), Jason Douglas (Beerus), Ian Sinclair (Whis), Kyle Hebert (Gohan, Narrator, and Ox King), Kara Edwards (Goten and Videl), Sonny Strait (Krillin), John Burgmeier (Tien) Monica Rial (Bulma), Josh Martin (Majin Buu), Chuck Huber (Emperor Pilaf), Cynthia Cranz (Chi-Chi and Mrs. Brief), Meredith McCoy (Android 18), Brina Palencia (Chiaotzu and Puar) and Mike McFarland (Master Roshi.)
- Behind the scenes: Battle of the voice actors - a featurette that showcases the dubbing process of the final 10 minutes of the fight sequence between Goku and Beerus.
- Textless closing theme.
- U.S. dub trailer.
- Trailers for other FUNimation titles such as Dragon Ball Z, Attack on Titan, Toriko, Fairy Tail, Code;Breaker, The Devil is a Part Timer! & a live action Street Fighter film.
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods is one hell of a fun flick. For any fan of the Dragon Ball franchise, you need to check it out. The brand new film takes all of the best elements of both Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, combines them and the result is a film full of nostalgia, fun characters, legitimate laugh out loud moments, and slick action sequences. It's a film that showcases perfectly why the Dragon Ball franchise has such long lasting popularity. Highly recommended.