I am the terror that flaps in the night, I'm the chills that race down your spine, I am Darkwing...errr, I mean Fireheart1001!!!!
Let's start the journal off with the appropriate theme: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nyGIO…
Well, it's finally that time. Time to give my full review of the new DBZ movie "Battle of Gods". This journal will contain spoilers, so if you haven't seen the movie yet, here it is English subbed: www.animeultima.tv/dragon-ball…
Okay, let's get down to it. After this movie got released and many people saw it, the opinions were EXTREMELY mixed. Some people consider it the best DBZ movie made so far, and some people consider it the worst DBZ movie made so far. I've watched it and all I can say is...... "yes" to both sides. No, I'm not kidding. I can see where both sides are coming from and I can accept their arguments. I'll give my thoughts on different elements of the movie and explain what I consider the good, the bad and the "interesting" (as in "inbetween").
THE GOOD PARTS
1) The Antagonists - The God of Destruction, Bills, and his Martial Arts Teacher, Whis, are by far the strongest element of this movie. This is a very good thing, since, when you consider how many characters the Dragonball franchise has, it could be difficult to create new ones and still keep them fresh and likeable, which was definitely accomplished with Bills and Whis. They are incredibly entertaining to watch, and have nice, defined personalities. Bills is lazy, easily annoyed, loves to have fun and loves to fight. He is NOT a villain in the full meaning of the word. He is not evil. He is the God of Destruction and it's his job to destroy planets so new ones can be created, and thus, maintaining balance in the universe. The problem, however, is that he doesn't care if the planet is populated or not. He's unpredictable and will wipe out entire civilizations without a second thought if he picks their planet to destroy. Whis is absent minded and very polite, always by Bills's side giving him advice and providing him with information. Both of them love to have fun and absolutely LOVE TO EAT. Whis in particular doesn't even fight in this movie because he's too busy tasting Earth food. Despite their fun and comical moments they have vast knowledge about the universe and are currently the most powerful beings in DBZ. We all know how DBZ works - this is the most powerful villain in the universe, oh but wait, now there's another one who is even more powerful, oh but no, now another one arrives who is even stronger than that etc. No, that's not the case here. Bills and Whis are the end of it - they are the absolute high tiers of the DBZ universe, with Whis implied to be the strongest, Bills second strongest and end-of-movie Goku third strongest. Still, despite this, there IS a twist in the end that opens more possibilities.
Also, their names are a pun on the words “beer” and “whisky”. First the protagonists fought against colors (members of the Red Ribbon army), then against musical instruments (King Piccolo and his children), vegetables (the Saiyan Saga names), fruit (Freeza’s henchmen), dairy products (Ginyu Force), cold temperatures (Freeza and King Cold), androids, microscopic organisms (Cell), magical incantations (Bibidi Babidi Buu) but now it’s pretty obvious what the most powerful fighting style in the DBZ universe is – DRUNKEN BRAWLING!
Another thing that’s pretty interesting is that I heard an online rumour that, upon being asked about why he had two antagonists in the movie rather than just one, Akira Toriyama said that he liked doing antagonists in pairs. I don’t know if this is true or not, but looking back at DBZ, yes, I can definitely believe it. Vegeta and Nappa, the Ginyu Force (more than just a pair, but still the result is the same), Androids 17 and 18. Basically you always have one character doing all the fighting and being incredibly hard to take down while the other one (usually stronger one) is just looking on. This is such an effective way to make the situation look hopeless. Now, in this movie it’s a little different, for the simple reason that we don’t know how strong Whis is until the very end. That’s when we get the idea of how screwed the Earth would have been if this had been an all out fight.
Going back to Bills now, one of the things I like about him is that the movie really does it’s best to try and portray him as a threatening character despite the humor surrounding him. When the Supreme Kai got introduced in the series, he was hyped up as being a powerful fighter but never really lived up to that. Bills is different. There are several characteristics he has that make him truly stand out as an antagonist:
a) Just like the Androids, his and Whis’s power levels can’t be sensed. The explanation that their power is apparently beyond mortal comprehension is a pretty clever idea.
b) He is NOT just a powerful brute. Some DBZ villains (especially movie villains) don’t have a very distinct or original fighting style. Bills CLEARLY knows martial arts and combines his huge power with effective pressure point combat, striking his enemies in their weak spots, using minimum effort for maximum results.
c) He has a strong reputation in the Universe to the point that Shenlong, the Eternal Dragon is SCARED of him. This is the first and so far only time we’ve seen Shenlong act like this. He is visibly freaked out and nervous around Bills.
True, Bills loses some badass points when he’s revealed to be incapable of handling spicy food in the end, but hey, that scene is clearly meant to be Whis’s moment of awesome, when he just casually knocks down the guy who had been kicking everyone’s asses in the movie so far.
2) The final battle outcome - Goku LOSES. Goku is DEFEATED and SURRENDERS to Bills in the end. This is completely different from the traditional DBZ movie endings where the new form-power up defeats the villain after the villain beats the hell out of everyone. Bills is the God of Destruction and the movie makes sure that he lives up to his title and power level. As of this point, Bills is the only antagonist in DBZ to go completely and utterly undefeated. He wins every single fight in the movie, curbstomping every Z-Fighter that fought against him and defeating even Goku after he received an additional power-up, the Super Saiyan God form. This is a first time for DBZ and it's a breath of fresh air compared to the usual way a DBZ movie ends. There is also the fact of the way the final battle is done. It's not really a hardcore battle to the death like the battles against Freeza and Kid Buu, nor is it a Tournament style fight like the battle against Perfect Cell. It's more like a very intense training session with Bills as the teacher and Goku as the student. This is very interesting and a very clever way to show off Bills. Despite his comical and sometimes very immature nature, Bills is still a God and demonstrates a superior level of wisdom and experience compared to the much younger Goku, which makes perfect sense and gives Bills a certain level of charisma. Not to mention brings in a level of realism to the series. Yeah, Goku, we know you’re the hero and all but you’re up against a freaking God now with much more experience than you. You’re not hoping to beat him immediately during your first time going Super Saiyan God, are you? I heard people complain about the outcome, but I really disagree with them – it’s the most appropriate outcome and it makes perfect sense.
3) The multiple universe revelation - As I said, it can get very tiresome when a character is stated to be the most powerful in the universe, but then another one shows up and the whole process is repeated. It's nice to know that Bills and Whis are the end of the road for the DBZ universe. They are the absolute strongest beings and there is nobody else in the universe as powerful as them. However, how do you open up new possibilities with a scenario like this? Easy. You expand the universe. The revelation that there are actually 12 universes and that the DBZ universe is just the 7th one opens new possibilities for creative writing, story lines and characters. This movie proved that it's still very possible to create new and interesting DBZ characters. Will there be a new series? Is this the start of something new? Will the multiple universe revelation be used to it's full potential? I don't know. Maybe, maybe not. It's pretty obvious that this movie is a sequel hook, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
4) The Art and animation - Despite some battle scenes where the difference between traditional animation and CGI is very obvious, the animation and art in this movie is beautiful. Bill's temple is wonderfully drawn, exactly as you would expect a God's home to be like. The animation is also several levels above the usual animation quality of DBZ. Also, the final battle between Goku and Bills is shot from so many different angles that you almost get the feeling that you're there near them.
5) Revelation that Videl’s pregnant – in this movie Videl reveals to everyone that she is pregnant with Pan, and I have to say, for a movie that really doesn’t have many emotional moments and is mostly just humor and/or fighting, this is really well done. Gohan’s expression when he hears the news is perfect, and the reactions of everyone make the scene looks so heartwarming.
6) Food porn – minor detail, but I swear I was getting hungry while watching all the food and feasts in this movie.
THE BAD PARTS
1) The Pilaf gang - .......what were they doing in this movie? No, seriously, what WAS the point of them being in this movie? They have absolutely no influence on the main plot at all. The only thing they do is indirectly cause Bills to be angered enough to destroy Earth, but hen Bills calms down and gets angered again later by something completely unrelated to them. You can literally cut out the parts they appear in and the plot of movie won't change. Were they in the movie for the humor? The movie doesn't NEED anymore humor. Bills is already all the humor it needs and he balances it out nicely with his sheer level of badassness once he gets serious. I feel like the only thing the Pilaf gang did is waste time. Time that could have been much better spent with some more exposition, main character moments or fight scenes. I know that they're Dragonball's first and most iconic villains but they were completely unnecessary here. The only thing that kind of comes out of their presence is that young Trunks gets shipped with young Mai.......which I find pointless to the movie's plot.
2) The revelation about the destruction of planet Vegeta - in the movie it's revealed that Bills knew both Freeza and King Vegeta. It's also implied that Bills told Freeza to destroy planet Vegeta. No........ no, NO! NO-NO-NO-NOOOOOO!!! NO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! You do NOT do that. You do NOT attempt to retcon such an important part of the story. Freeza destroyed planet Vegeta on his own accord. He did it because he was afraid of the Super Saiyan legend. HE and only HE is the reason for the genocide of the Saiyans. The revelation that he destroyed the planet under orders from Bills not only decreases Freeza's level of evil and badassness but it also creates an unfair feeling that the guy who was only acting under orders (Freeza) got all the blame for the genocide, yet the guy who was apparently really behind it all (Bills) gets away with it scot-free. *sigh* Though to be fair, it's possible I'm giving this scenario a little too much importance. The movie really doesn't put much emphasis on it, so I can still accept the obvious theory - Freeza's decision to destroy the planet was influenced for the most part by his own intentions. He would have done it anyway due to the Super Saiyan legend, and that Bills's order was just a bonus reason that ultimately wouldn't have made much of a difference anyway.
3) Z-fighters lack of effort in fighting Bills - having Bills curbstomp the Z-Fighters is a great way to have him show his power. However, I've always been bothered by battle scenarios (not just DBZ but in general) where the characters don't use all of their abilities and tactics and give up too soon. True, a lot of these fighters didn't really have to use their full power, since, let's face it, when you see Bills effortlessly beat Ultimate Gohan there's really no point in you trying anything. But still, it would have been much more awesome to see SSJ3 Gotenks, Krillin using the Destructo Disc, Tien using his Tri-Beam, Piccolo using the Special Beam Cannon etc. and have Bills block, evade, destroy all of these attacks and still curbstomp everyone. It would have made the fight longer and more entertaining, it would have shown the Z-Fighters doing their absolute best to win the fight and it would have cemented Bills as even more of a badass.
4) SSJ/SSJ2 Vegeta surpasses SSJ3 Goku - ....................what. I am ALL for Vegeta surpassing Goku. I am tired of Goku always being the superior fighter, despite his likeable personality. Vegeta deserves some credit, but not like this. I'm really supposed to believe that an angry SSJ/SSJ2 Vegeta is stronger than SSJ3 Goku? I'm not buying that. You want Vegeta to surpass SSJ3 Goku? Have him go SSJ3 also. The fans have been waiting since forever to see SSJ3 Vegeta in the main series. Not only that, but Vegeta before getting angry actually does better against Bills than Goku or Gohan did, even though they're both stronger than he is. If you want to give Vegeta credit, do it in a way it makes sense, not using PIS.
5) Lack of feats – one of the most common mistakes DBZ had been suffering from lately. New extremely powerful characters are introduced in the series. They are stated to be insanely powerful, on the level of solar system/galaxy busting and....they never prove it. Goku’s and Bills’s battle was awesome. They fight in several different places (city, forest, mountains, river, underground, in the sky and in space) but throughout all this time they never really do anything that makes them look so far above all the other characters in the series. They still mostly just knock each other through boulders and whatnot which has been a common thing since the Saiyan Saga. This is why I feel that, despite it’s length, the anime version of the battle against Freeza is still the greatest DBZ battle of all time. Not only was it intense but there is one scene in particular that really made it stand out – when Freeza knocks SSJ Goku into the lake, he creates a massive energy ball that Goku manages to deflect into space and it destroys a nearby planet. That was BRILLIANT! It’s a perfect way to show off how powerful these characters are without having them blow up the planet they’re on. Have their blasts be deflected into space and destroy distant solar systems or something. If you don’t want to imply casualties, you can simply have King Kai say how the solar system was lifeless or abandoned or whatever, it’s doesn’t matter, just PROVE to us that these characters are really that strong. Don’t TELL us, SHOW us. It’s getting annoying how we’re constantly told that these are characters that can cause massive cosmic destruction yet they never show anything close to it.
THE MIXED PARTS
1) SSJ God Goku - one of the most talked about things about the movie. After a lot of build up, quite a few fans were disappointed by the way the SSJG form looks like. I'm not going to lie, I also expected more. However, after hearing the explanation about it in the movie and thinking about it a little, I feel that it makes much more sense than I originally thought. Some fans have even gone so far to say how it's a Kaio-ken rip off. While at first glance they do appear to be similar it’s pretty obvious there’s a significant difference between them. The Kaio-ken grants you a violent red/pink/purple-ish aura that makes your hair stand on end. The SSJG gives you an orange-ish flame like aura and does what any other SSJ form is supposed to do – changes the color of the hair, eyes and eyebrows. Personally, I feel that the color is fitting. As a kid, when the Ascended Saiyan form was first introduced I wondered what the ultimate SSJ form would look like. I usually imagined the hair to be a different color instead of yellow to make it look "stronger". I always thought it would either be red (because it’s darker than yellow) or white (because it’s brighter than yellow). So, to me, this really wasn't much of a disappointment. But enough about what I thought as a kid, let's focus on what is actually happening. SSJG being of a different color makes sense and it especially makes perfect sense (to me anyway) for it to be red because red is a "stronger" (darker) color shade than yellow (red>orange>yellow) so it signifies that this form is more powerful than the forms we had so far. The fact that it's a simple form is also a nice subversion of the SSJ trend with every new form being more complicated. Due to this the form is very simple and "calm-looking" in comparison to other forms. This makes sense since the SSJG form is not something you achieve through a powerful emotional kick such as extreme anger or grief. It's something you achieve by channelling the energy of pure hearted Saiyans. SSJ is supposed to be a powerful fighting machine, SSJ2 makes you more sadistic and SSJ3 looks practically villainous by outside appearance. SSJG on the other hand is supposed to be a benevolent being, something extremely rare among Saiyans since they're usually ruthless fighting and killing machines. SSJG is a calm, good and noble power up, not a violent one like the previous SSJ forms were. That's why, in my opinion, the SSJG form's appearance makes much more sense than some people give it credit for. It's exactly what it's supposed to be - a noble looking SSJ form thanks to it's simplicity, but clearly stronger than the previous forms thanks to it's red color as opposed to yellow.
There is another thing about it though that’s interesting – Goku’s reaction to gaining it. Goku is not satisfied that he had to rely on other people to gain this power up instead of achieving it himself. Thinking about it, and I don’t really know how to feel about that. On one hand, it makes sense for Goku to want a fair fight, he’s that kind of guy (giving Cell a senzu bean, refusing the Potara fusion against Kid Buu etc.) so it’s not hard to believe he would be dissatisfied if he needed to gather power from other people to be able to gain the power-up to keep up with Bills – he would much rather gain it through training. On the other hand, this is not the first time he has gained power from other people to defeat an opponent. He had no problems when the people of Earth had to give energy to beat Kid Buu, so what’s the deal now? I suppose you could make the argument that relying on other people to form an attack that will win a desperate fight is different from relying on them to achieve a power-up without which you can’t even keep up with your opponent to begin with are two different things, but I don’t know. I’m still kind of confused by the whole thing.
2) Bulla’s absence - when I first heard that Pan will be the last (quarter)Saiyan necessary for the SSJG ritual, I was confused, since there's no need for her. There already is a person with Saiyan blood that should have existed by this point - Bulla, Vegeta and Bulma's daughter. Some fans have also mentioned this- claiming how it's a mistake since Bulla is supposed to be older than Pan. However, after doing some research, I found that there is really no statement anywhere in the manga that Bulla is older than Pan. That seems to be something that originates from the non-canon GT series. So, for all we know, Pan seems to be older than Bulla, making this scenario plausible.
3) The Humor - a very mixed part. This movie is packed with comedy and while at times this is a good thing, I can understand the people who claim there was too much of it. This movie was made more as a Dragonball movie than a Dragonball Z movie. It has a lot of humor and silliness in it, so it's easy to see how the fans of the original Dragonball would like it but not so much the fans of Dragonball Z. On the one hand, these are Gods we’re talking about, the ultimate badasses and powerhouses of the Universe have arrived to challenge the Z-Fighters. More drama and less comedy is obviously something you would expect. A massive scale serious emotional battle is the first thing that comes to mind. However, looking at Bills and Whis......I can’t help but feel that making them more serious would have ruined a good part of their charm and appeal.
And then there’s the infamous “Vegeta singing and dancing to please Bills” scene. Oh boy, what to say about this. I found it hilarious but there are quite a few Vegeta fans out there who didn’t. Vegeta having to act completely silly to prevent Bills from destroying the Earth and Bills and Whis having the appropriate reactions to it (“-_-.....”) really made me laugh. Not to mention, after seeing him cry against Freeza and (as far as non-canon goes) panic against Broly, him fearing Bills to the point of being willing to humiliate himself doesn’t really seem all that far fetched, especially when you consider that Vegeta knows Bills from his childhood. Not to mention it, once again, helps establish Bills as the biggest threat so far. Yes, it’s over the top, I agree with that. Even so, I still like it, but I can understand the people who don’t. Hence why it’s in the “mixed parts” category.
So, there you go. This is my review of “Dragonball Z – Battle of Gods”. It’s an awesome idea that could have been executed better, but it’s still a fairly decent DBZ movie and I feel it’s definitely worth checking out for any DB/DBZ fan. It introduces two great new characters and opens a multiverse of possibilities (quite literally).
Also, there is a new DBZ game "Dragon ball Z - Battle of Z", because when a new DBZ piece of media comes out, they HAVE to cash it in.
The reason I'm mentioning it is because Bills and Whis appear in the trailer and are speaking in English. I'm curious as to whether these are their actual dub voices or just voices done for the trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2BYOh…
(gotta love the over-the-top narrator
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