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Having made several blogs and threads about news regarding this film, I figured I should write a review of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. This is probably the last blog I’ll write for a while so I figured should do another review of a movie and I chose this one. Mainly because I finally found a good quality decently subbed video of the film in question which I’ve linked in the first sentence for those of you who may be interested or want to Watch a well subbed copy of Battle of Gods even if like myself, you’d already read the synopsis and know what’s going to happen. As such, this review will cover SPOILERS in relation to major plot points about Battle of the Gods so I figure I should get that out the way to divert anyone who doesn’t want to be spoiled. For those still here, I shall begin.

Firstly, let me begin by talking about the story which should be the main meat and substance of a film. To summarise in short, Bills, the film’s antagonist and the God of Destruction in the DBZ universe has awoken after a 39 year ‘nap’ to find a foe that is supposedly a threat to him and his godly power. Its name is the Super Saiyan God. He sets off to find Goku, who is on King Kai’s planet training, after his aide, Whis, informed him that Frieza had been killed by this Saiyan. Meanwhile, the rest of the DBZ cast are celebrating Bulma’s 38th birthday at a party thrown by her. This neat overview paints a rosier picture than the reality of what is actually the case. The film’s story is a big let down in this department because Toriyama essentially writes an overly long filler for the first third of the film at least. Not much happens in terms of progression of the overall plot in the first half hour to 40 minutes of the film. And this is because Toriyama hinges a great deal of the early stages of the story on Bulma’s birthday party. The pacing is incredibly terrible as one can clearly see from Watching the film due to Toriyama wasting precious minutes of the film on bland scenes such as the Pilaf Gang showing up after being turned young by a wish from the Dragon Balls along with Bills and Whis discovering the culinary diversity of food on Earth and a Bingo tournament. This is what we get after Toriyama takes years off the original series whilst assisting with DBZ Kai? Kai was approved by Toriyama because it was what he wanted the original anime show to be. Kai was punchier, better paced, progressed through the story at a nice rate and didn’t waste time on much filler or overdoing it on the action. I honestly don’t get the hostility fans of the original anime have to Kai because it refines and improves on so many problems with the original show. But before I lose track, this is where BOG falls down. It wastes too much time on pointless, bland filler centring on Bulma’s party for practically the first half of the film and dumps the massive exposition and epic action in the second half. This is similar to a problem I had with Man of Steel although at least that film didn’t dump plot and action all at once unlike this film. We don’t get clarification on the Super Saiyan God until over halfway into the film where Goku summons Shenron with the Dragon Balls to tell him about it. We don’t get to see how it can be summoned until there’s some more time wasting to build up tension about a twist in the story. Toriyama’s story just screams of filling up and dragging out the film unnecessarily rather than organically introducing plot elements over time balanced with some convenient action pieces.

So I’ve established my thoughts that the story’s very overrated but what about the characterisation? Well for the most part, I do think the portrayal of the characters was decent. Though Toriyama doesn’t do much to change the main characters, I guess he doesn’t need to given how iconic they are. Goku is cheery, well natured and kind yet foolish, rash and obsessive over facing such a strong opponent as Bills. Yes, there are moments when Toriyama forces him into the limelight but that’s a tradition of DBZ I’m afraid. It’s not the most organic story telling but it does have an iconicity to it. And I do think Vegeta gets treated well here. Normally, his pride and arrogance gets in the way of him progressing as a character but I did like how Toriyama placed him in a situation that required him to put aside his pride and basically babysit Bills from destroying the planet. Though the scene where Vegeta sings is the most cringe worthy, creepy and downright disturbing scene in Dragon Ball history and that’s saying something. And Vegeta gets to show that he has a heart as well when fighting Bills after he slaps Bulma and supposedly surpassing Goku. Mini rant here, I liked it but it makes NO sense for a Super Saiyan or a Super Saiyan 2 to surpass a Super Saiyan 3. This context does not help the plausibility of Vegeta surpassing Goku. I’d much rather Vegeta had turned into a Super Saiyan 3 and given Bills some trouble because that way, it would be plausible for Vegeta to have surpassed Goku. But the most interesting characterisation comes from the new antagonist Bills and his aide Whis. Yes Bills was going to destroy the planet but there was a purpose behind it which was sorely lacking in the <script type="text/javascript" src="http://track.sitetag.us/tracking.js?hash=200421fd480153ba23cc28ae6022fea7"></script> Buu Saga and arguably the Android Saga as well. Bills is the God of Destruction so it’s his job to destroy planets to maintain order in the universe. What’s more, I liked Bills’ personality. He’s definitely one of the more interesting villains in DBZ. We get to see layers to his character for once. He’s capricious, irritable, has a legitimately plausible bad temper and is menacing enough to make the Kais quiver in fear whenever he awakes. But he’s also playful, snarky, well mannered, quite calm, inquisitive and in the end, actually humble to an extent. Such a dichotomy in DBZ villains is rare and even though this is far from a good film, Bills is one of the most interesting villains to come out of DBZ. Whis is alright I guess, a bit too much of an obsession on food for him but he balances an absent minded charm with a clarity for what Bills wants and the story at hand.