The English dub for Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods begins its theatrical event across North America in just a few days! Thanks to FUNimation, we were invited to participate in an advance screening of the film prior to its nationwide debut. We are going to give an in-depth analysis of the film from a fan’s standpoint (versus that of a major film critique), as well as give expectations, praises and some teaser clips from the film itself. Before we get into the review, lets take it back to the beginning.
What is “Battle of Gods”?
Special Announcement! “Dragon Ball” set to be made into a movie!
Translation by Kanzenshuu
Back on July 10, 2012, Weekly Shōnen Jump announced that a new Dragon Ball movie was in production. The movie, (first indicated on a mystery countdown website) was later revealed to be called “Battle of Gods“, and was slated for theatrical release in Japan on March 30, 2013. This was to be the first Dragon Ball Z movie in 17 years, and Akira Toriyama, for the first time, was “deeply involved” in writing the script for a Dragon Ball movie.
It’s rare, or I should say, it’s the first time, that I’ve been deeply involved with the animation from the scriptwriting stage.
As it had been a while, there was a lot I’d forgotten, but as expected of the creator of the original work, I was soon able to get back into the tempo of things, at least.
For this film, while leaving the atmosphere of the original intact, we’ve added just a little bit of modern flavor, so I think it will be an enjoyable piece of entertainment, just like old times.
Translation by Kanzenshuu
It is also worth mentioning that Toriyama specifically stated that this film, unlike all of the others, fits directly into the original Dragon Ball storyline, thus making this the first canon Dragon Ball Z movie. With that said, this movie takes place within the “lost decade”, which is the ten-year time-lapse beginning after the defeat of Majin Boo, and the final few episodes of Dragon Ball Z. Moving forward, after various teaser trailers, and promotional imaging, “Battle of Gods” finally made its theatrical debut on the aforementioned date of March 30, 2013. In Japan, the film was nothing short of a success, so successful that other countries began purchasing the rights to the film. It seemed as if North America was never going to obtain rights to the film, but here we are almost 1.5 years later, and it is finally here. Initially premiering at a Red Carpet Event in Los Angeles California, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods is set to screen in over 800 North American theaters on August 5, 6, 7 and 9.
“Battle of Gods” English dub – What to expect?
As we previously stated, we were invited by FUNimation to take part in viewing the films English dub before its official release nationwide. With that said, we are going to give everyone an in-depth teaser of just what to expect from this film. Keep in mind, this will contain spoilers, so for those that have not seen the film, this is where you should stop reading.
- Beerus, not Bills.
- Bulma’s voice. It is the same as in Kai. I find there should be no issue getting accustomed to her in this film. Her voice fits the part perfectly.
- Pilaf and Flashbacks. If you are not familiar with the first thirteen episodes of the Dragon Ball television series, this is a good time to go back to them.
- Beerus, although being mentioned as being a God of Destruction by Vegeta and Goku, has his title changed to “Beerus the Destroyer”.
- A very Dragon Ball (Z) Kai-like experience. While the dub uses some liberties, it is still very accurate to the original Japanese version, and in fact, most of the liberties used in the dub add to the film to make it much more humorous than the original, in my opinion.
- While #18′s old voice is back, in the one line the character has in the film, the delivery has been vastly changed from the original DBZ dub. This is a good thing, since the old voice was not a good fit for the character based on the Japanese version anyhow.
- FLOW’s English versions of “Hero ~Kibou no Uta~” and “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA” are featured, rather than their Japanese counterparts.
- Expect to laugh and have a great time!
Thanks to FUNimation, below we have an official promo clip from the film’s official English dub! Please allow a couple of moments for the video to load, as it is a large file.
Our opinion of the film:
This is not your typical Dragon Ball Z movie. Akira Toriyama is not big on the whole, “flashy fighting scenes”, so although this movie lacks the action most of the other Dragon Ball Z movies have, it does not take away from how great this film actually is. In short, this is a classic Toriyama film. This movie is hilariously funny and entertaining. Compared to the Japanese version, it was done in a much more humorous fashion. The Japanese version had more serious dialogue, but for this film, the humorous take FUNimation did worked marvelously.
For starters, Goku, as always, is completely oblivious. At the very beginning of the film North Kai is talking with Kaioshin (Supreme Kai) concerning the awakening of Lord Beerus, “The Destroyer”, also know as “The God of Destruction” (In the Japanese version Beerus is always referred to as “The God of Destruction”, but FUNimation changed it up a bit. However, Goku and Vegeta both refer to him as “The God of Destruction” a select few times throughout the film). Of course, Goku overhears the conversation in which the Kai’s are having and asks, “Lord Beers, what are those?! Do they taste like Root Beers?!” (Of course this is him not understanding “Lord Beerus”).
At this point, North Kai is already a mess. It doesn’t help that once Lord Beerus and Whis (his assistant) arrive, Goku is very nonchalant while introducing himself. North Kai is scared to death for the universe’s safty and is showing the utmost respect to this God of Destruction. When questioned about this, “Super Saiyan God”, Goku replies with, “Super Saiyan God, let me think..well I know all about just plain old Super Saiyans, but this Super Saiyan God stuff isn’t ringing any bells, dude!”
Well, I am not going to give any more specific details, but those examples were just showcasing some of the film’s hilarity! Anyway, moving forward, Vegeta is definitely out of character in this film, so be prepared. (Although he may surprise you!)
Thoughts on the Voice Acting:
One word, AMAZING.
The voice performances have definitely developed over the years. It’s always good to hear when voice acting comes a long way. #18’s voice from DBZ is back, and to be honest, we weren’t sure how we were going to feel about it, but it turned out Meredith McCoy played the part the way the character was intended to. Now as far as the voice acting goes for Beerus, we were very impressed. Jason Douglas did a GREAT job acting Lord Beerus’s part. It was very fitting. Bulma is voiced by Monica Rial, the same as in Kai. Yes, a lot of people give Kai a bad rep because of its voice actor changes, but her new voice is very fitting. It even somewhat resembles her voice in DBZ! Chris Sabat of course is extremely versatile, voices a large portion of the characters, and he does a fine job as well. Sean Schemmel, the voice of Goku and King Kai, did fine job as well. His acting has come a long way since the recording of Dragon Ball Z back in the late 90’s, and it was extremely noticeable listening to him perform King Kai’s segments. Kyle Hebert returned as Gohan, the Ox-King, and the narrator. He did a fine job as well!
Overall it was a great return for Toriyama and a great first time working on a movie, and props to FUNimation for working so hard to overcome all the obstacles to be able to dub it, and how their efforts paid off immensely. The movie itself is much different than previous Dragon Ball Z movies, reason being, Toriyama’s involvement. In many of the previous Dragon Ball films, Takao Koyama was in charge of screenplay, and the flashy fight scenes were more or less a product of his. In the case of “Battle of Gods“, Toriyama prefered Yūsuke Watanabe to better express his own envision. In short, if one can appreciate Toriyama’s writing style, this movie will be a good treat. It has aspects from both Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, with humor so funny it will leave you wanting more. Lastly, the ending of this film leaves things a bit up in the air, but we won’t spoil that for you. Let’s just say with an ending like the one we get in Battle of Gods, we definitely get an indication that there can/will be future additions to the Dragon Ball storyline.
Screenshots courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods is the eighteenth Dragon Ball Z production to receive a theatrical release. It was released in Japanese theaters on March 30, 2013, and was released on Japanese DVD and Blu-ray on September 13, 2013. The Battle of Gods English dub made its way to North America on July 3, 2014 as part of a special event following AnimeExpo, and branched out to theaters in the United States and Canada on August 5,6,7 and 9th.