Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods （ドラゴンボールZ 神と神）
Production year: 2013
Runtime: 85 mins
Director: Masahiro Hosoda
Original author, story, character designs: Akira Toriyama
Dragon Ball is easily one of the most influential manga to emerge out of "Weekly Jump Magazine". It changed and shaped the style of manga we read today. Without Dragon Ball, today's popular manga (such as ONE PIECE, Naruto, Bleach, and Gintama to name a few) simply would not exist. Despite the original series spanning from 1984 - 1995, the popularity of the series has continued to the present day with the anime "Dragon Ball GT" [1996-1997] (set five years after the Dragon Ball Z canon), the manga series republished in 2002-2004, the digitally remastered edition of the anime Dragon Ball Kai [2009-2011] and countless video-games and merchandise. Oh, and let's not forget the horrendous live-action Western remake!
Despite the super-being of a God of Destruction as a villian, there is no dramactic tension nor is there any trying to be established. Birus is very much a likable comic character in a similar way Goku is. For instance, he threatens to destroy Earth but puts it off to have a taste of pudding. Despite it being of the "Dragon Ball Z" series (known for its adult battle orientated storylines), it is more reminiscent of the original "Dragon Ball" series (known for more comedic adventures).
|Also being a purple skinny cut is not that scary.|
The fight scenes very much feel in spirit of the original anime series, even enhanced by incorporating CG. But it isn't at the standard that we expect of 2013. With the emergence of the three disciples of ONE PIECE, Naruto and Bleach, the Dragon Ball style seems a little dated.
Having said that, there are some stand-out moments, such as Vegeta (known throughout the series being the arrogant Villian) becoming a total pussy and doing a humiliating song-and-dance number to stop Birus from blowing up Earth, and Gohan's super-hero alter-ego "The Great Saiyaman" telling a 10 year old girl holding a gun to shoot him in the face (go see the film, and you'll get it). Comedic moments like these were what made the original series so awesome.
|When did I become Chris Rock!?|
It is said that the original creator, Akira Toriyama, was heavily involved in the production of this film, although known for his reclusive personality and loss of interest in the series. One reason for his involvement was said to be his disappointment in the live-action Hollywood movie. He said that the fans deserved more and that is pretty much what this film is, an ode to the fans.
I am a fan myself. I have the original manga series in its entirety at home, and have to control myself whenever I see a figurine inside a UFO catcher. So yes, I was happy to see the characters again, and to see them in a new situation.The film even gave a little nod Toriyama's previous work, Dr. Slump.
So overall, as a film or even as an anime film, it is not of acceptable quality but if you were a fan of DB in your youth and are seeking a nostalgia trip, it's definitely worth a watch. I'm sure you'll leave with at least a smirk.
|Kinda like this one...|
[WARNING: the next paragraph may contain spoilers]
And "Super Sayian God" is even worse. It is a cheap macguffin with very little payoff, both visually and as a plot-point. At least Super Sayain 4 looked all baddass with a furcoat. Super Sayian God is a Red-haired Goku who shed a few pounds. Plus wanna know the way to get to Super Sayian God... BY HOLDING HANDS IN A CIRCLE!! No joke. Earth was saved from a destructive god by 5 men and a pregnant woman acting all hippie... Remember that... Still less gay whatever the fuck Justin Chatwin was trying to do in Evolution!