Japanese Title: ドラゴンボールZ 神と神
Romaji: Doragon Bo-ru Z Kami to Kami
Release Date: March 30th 2013 (Japan)
Running Time: N/A
Director: Masahiro Hosoda
Writer: Akira Toriyama (Original Creator/Screenplay), Yusuke Watanabe (Screenplay)
Starring: Masako Nozawa, Kōichi Yamadera, Masakazu Morita, Hiromi Tsuru, Mayumi Tanaka, Masaharu Satō
I have a confession to make. I don’t really dig Dragon Ball Z. I respect it but I won’t really make an effort to watch it. I first encountered it during high school when it was screened on the UK version of Cartoon Network. I enjoyed the good natured humour and epicness but soon got tired of all the shouting, powering up and constant apocalyptic battles. Such things are rote for shōnen titles which I generally avoid. I prefer darker and more intricate things like Patlabor and Paranoia Agent and Toriyama’s other properties like Dr. Slump.
That written, I still respect the DBZ franchise. It is huge and even spawned an awful US live-action adaptation which is best left unmentioned. This time around we get an animated movie, the first in 17 years and it gets released next month. Here are some trailers and ads.
Birusu, the god of destruction who has maintained the balance of the universe, has awakened from a 39-year slumber to destroy everything. Hearing rumours of a Saiyan named Goku who defeated the evil Freeza, Birusu seeks Goku out and challenges him to a fight. Goku is excited at getting the chance to fight a strong opponent and ignores King Kai’s advice to avoid the battle which leads to Goku being beaten. Birusu leaves after uttering an ominous message, “Is there anyone on Earth more worthy to destroy?” Can Goku and the others stop the God of Destruction before he destroys everything?
The film is called Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (Dragon Ball Z: Kami to Kami) and is set between the 517th and 518th volumes of Akira Toriyama’s original long-running manga after the end of the epic battle with the pink terror Majin Buu. It introduces new characters named Birusu – the God of Destruction – and his attendant Wisu.
The film is directed by Masahiro Hosoda, who was assistant director on the classic blood-thirsty movie version Fist of the North Star and episode director on Dragon Ball Z. It will have a script written by Yusuke Watanabe with involvement from Akira Toriyama. Watanabe has a lot of experience transferring manga and anime to the big screen considering he is the screen writer for the live action film versions of GANTZ, Twentieth Century Boys, as well as the TV drama Future Diary. Tadayoshi Yamamuro is the lead animator and he has worked on three Dragon Ball movies and One Piece film Strong World.