Whom does Goku fight when there is no normal enough to trump? Bear in mind, normal in the Dragon Ball universe means that you are strong enough to blow up planets without breaking into even heavy breathing. From childhood through adulthood right on into technically being a grandfather, Goku has proven again and again that he’s the strongest. So, who is left to fight when you yourself are a force of universal destruction? Well, the internet would say Superman. With origin stories so similar, you would think that they would be a good match up. There has certainly been plenty of evidence leading in both ways. But if we are sticking to the canonical Dragon Ball universe, why not throw in some gods? That’s where Dragon Ball: Battle of Gods jumps in.
Battle of the Gods was released back in August 2014. It introduces Beerus, the God of Destruction, and the being that ordered Frieza to destroy planet Vegeta. The long and short of it is that Beerus’ role was to go around destroying planets since he’s the God of Destruction. But since he’s a busy godling, he can’t be bothered to destroy everything. So that one time that Frieza destroyed planet Vegeta, it was under Beerus’ orders. Of course, during the last nap, Beerus also had a dream of a Super Saiyan God. Now Beerus (or Bills), is never directly mentioned in Dragon Ball Z (DBZ) which immediately makes one think that he pops out of nowhere. However, he is mentioned as cameo by all the various Kais. This film is placed between DBZ and Dragon Ball: GT (DBGT). This is important because Goku doesn’t yet have Super Saiyan 4 mode yet. When Beerus finds him on the Supreme Kai’s world, Goku goes Super Saiyan 3 and is quickly dispatched with. Beerus doesn’t even kill him, just leaves him there unconscious. Now one would think Goku would just get up and give him a better showing. He doesn’t. Beerus walks away from the encounter (if you can even call it that) the undisputed victor. Beerus is undeniably strong even amongst a group that can destroy planets with ki blasts.
Seeing as Goku wasn’t what he was looking for, Beerus comes to Earth, relaxes and goes to have some cake. That seriously happens. The Z warriors have gathered for Bulma’s (38th) birthday and a random cat person shows up and they invite him in. If it wasn’t convincing before, this part should do a great job at showing you that Beerus is just an antagonist, not so much a villain. Outside of fat Buu (who doesn’t mind picking fights with gods), he’s one of few antagonist that have proven DBZ doesn’t always have to be good versus evil. Sometimes, all the antagonist is looking for is a good brawl to stave off some boredom. He even cuts a rug on the dance floor. No one but Vegata even figures out whom he really is, which leads to hilarious Vegeta hijinx. Beerus is simply a victim of his nature and he gets bored of it. So after some Shenron time and some handholding, Goku and Beerus get down for round two. The fight scenes in this movie go to a higher plane than the original anime. It’s not simply because the villains are stronger or that the graphics are more advanced. There’s a lot on the line and you can feel it in every blow exchanged. The fights are tremendous but also a throwback to the times of old when we were all kids watching the old anime. The world is at stake and we and the people of Earth get to watch it play out.
One of the things that give a mix impression of the film is this new level of Super Saiyan. Disregarding the fact that this is a precursor to true Super Saiyan God, there are so many levels of Super Saiyan that it can become redundant. The beginning of the film gives you a brief recap of what DBZ was about but it also highlights the major transformations. With this introduction to a new transformation, how would that effect DBGT, if it effected it at all. Every major villain in DBZ seemed to require a transformation or fusion to defeat. Still, it could be worse. It’s not like Goku’s cells leak solar radiation. Pretty sure that’s not how the Spirit Bomb works.
Putting it to bed, Dragon Ball: Battle of Gods is a good movie. It’s a great blast from the past after going some time without some Goku action and Beerus isn’t half bad himself. That joke will make sense at the end of the movie. As always though, judge for yourselves. Watch it, smile, and keep being the awesome otaku you all are.