It is finally that day we have all been waiting for… the day we have constantly been pounding into your head for months now. It is 30 March 2013 in Japan, which marks the official release of the first Dragon Ball theatrical film in seventeen years, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods!
Ever since the movie’s announcement in the beginning of July 2012, fans across the globe have been anxiously waiting for this day to come, and so have we! We have been throwing as many staff and cast interviews, comments from Akira Toriyama, and intriguing news updates your way as fast as we could get our hands on them. Even with all that, there is really on one prevailing question left: “What happens in the movie?!” Well now that our very own Julian (“SaiyaJedi”) has come back from seeing the film himself in Osaka, we are proud to finally provide fans everywhere with an answer to this question. A fair warning though; this will contain huge spoilers, so if you are trying to avoid those, do not click the link below. You have been warned!
Without further ado, we at Kanzenshuu present to you our detailed synopsis for Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. A huge thanks goes out to our buddy kei17, who provided us with the original Japanese notes he took after attending two preview screenings of the film. We have diligently translated and rewritten his list of notes into a flowing synopsis, jam packed with exclusive details from the film you will not find anywhere else. When you are done reading the synopsis, pop on over to our ongoing forum thread discussing the movie. If you do feel the need to distribute our synopsis, please be so kind as to give us a link back.
And now, we hope you enjoy the show!
The clock in Japan switched over to a new day just a little bit ago, which means it is — technically speaking, anyway — Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods day!
We have an unbelievable amount of content coming your way as our own Julian (“SaiyaJedi”) makes his way to the theater in the morning, but until then, we certainly have plenty to keep you satiated. To kick things off today, we have another series of interview translations covering the usual range of fluff promotion all the way down to absolutely intriguing behind-the-scenes insight:
- After the special preview screening of the movie at Differ Ariake on 16 March 2013, Toei Animation released a series of statements from various voice cast members and the band FLOW — read our translation!
- In addition to a previous interview with film director Masahiro Hosoda, OKStars conducted another interview with animation director Tadayoshi Yamamuro. Most interesting are the original design concepts behind “Super Saiyan God” as well as God of Destruction, Birus, which were completely changed before the film went into production — read our translation!
- Television program Mandō Kobayashi provided a series of questions to original manga author Akira Toriyama who responded, unfortunately not in person, but with a series of answers in textual form. The questions involved the fate of certain characters after the series ends, his involvement in the movie, and what he would wish for with the Dragon Balls — read our translation!
- The May 2013 issue of GetNavi contains a series of Q&As with voice actress Masako Nozawa, scriptwriter Yūsuke Watanabe, and the band FLOW about their involvement in the movie — read our translation!
- The March/April 2013 issue of CD&DL Data contains an interview with the band FLOW regarding their eighth studio album, FLOW THE MAX!!!, which contains their new song “Hero: Song of Hope” and their cover of “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA”, both featured in the film Battle of Gods — read our translation!
Enjoy the interviews, be sure to check back into all the material archived on our “Translations” page, and look forward to non-stop Battle of Gods coverage!
As we correctly predicted based on the official website’s countdown timer, this coming Monday’s issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump in Japan (WJ 2013 #18) formally unveils the previously-titled Project Versus J for the PlayStation 3 and Vita as J-Stars Victory Vs, along with announcing Naruto as an included series with Naruto Uzumaki himself.
The 3D-field “team battle action” game is being released tied-in with the 45th anniversary of Jump. Naruto (specifically the Shippuden era) joins the previously-announced Toriko, One Piece, and Dragon Ball Z franchises in the game. The issue notes that more characters from other Jump works are promised, as well. The price and release date still have yet to be determined at this point.
The Jump brand is no stranger to video game crossovers, kicking things off back in 1989 on the Nintendo Famicom with Famicom Jump: Hero Retsuden and again in 1991 with Famicom Jump II: Saikyō no Shichinin, both of which featured Dragon Ball. The crossover world expanded with Jump Super Stars in 2004 and Jump Ultimate Stars in 2006 on the Nintendo DS, as well as Battle Stadium D.O.N. (combining just the three series Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, and Naruto) on the PlayStation 2 and Gamecube also in 2006.
Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission for the Japanese Nintendo 3DS struggled to hang on to the charts for its fourth week, falling off the Media Create Top 20 list in the process, but still clocking in at #22 on the Famitsu sales list with another 8,924 copies sold for the week of 18 March 2013 to 24 March 2013.
This puts the game somewhere around the 131,000 copies mark, and as we noted last week, it has already far-outclassed the performance of previous handheld games for the franchise that had far longer to rake in those kind of numbers.
There is still no word on any international release of the game — which is unfortunately region-locked on the Nintendo 3DS — but you can check out last week’s podcast episode for a quick first-impressions look at the game!
A recent interview with Yūsuke Watanabe, the scriptwriter for the upcoming Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods film, was published in the May 2013 issue of GetNavi magazine released on 23 March 2013. The magazine features a 12-page insert booklet highlighting the upcoming film, which includes interviews with Masako Nozawa, Yūsuke Watanabe, and the band FLOW.
In particular, Watanabe confirms in his interview the name puns behind the franchise’s two new characters, “Birusu” and “Uisu”, and discusses both his and Akira Toriyama’s involvement in their creation:
In this movie, there are new concepts such as Super Saiyan God.
When I participated in the meetings, there was already talk of, “we’d like to come out with a being surpassing Super Saiyan 3. It would be a Super Saiyan God”. Also, the name of the enemy ‘Birus, God of Destruction’ is something I came up with. I tweaked the word “virus” to give him the name “Birus”, and then it was officially set. That’s probably the thing that moved me most this time. (laughs) Incidentally, Toriyama-sensei is the one who named Uis.
As Watanabe explains, “Birusu” (ビルス) is based on the German pronunciation of the word “virus” (ビールス; bīrusu). The name was created by simply removing the elongated vowel sound at the beginning of the katakana approximation of the word. Conversely, an alternative approximation for the word “virus” in Japanese is ウイルス (uirusu), which is based on the original Latin pronunciation; in Latin there is no distinction in pronunciation between the letters “u” and “v”. This is the basis for Toriyama’s naming of “Uisu” (ウイス), where a single katakana character has been removed. Therefore, we at Kanzenshuu have decided to go with Birus and Uis for these character’s names from here on out. This decision is based on maintaining the appropriate pronunciations of the pun’s respective language of origin. We also feel it would be somewhat artless to simply write “Virus” instead of “Birus”, as the name is written differently than its name pun origin, or “Vis” instead of “Uis” due to the drastic difference in pronunciation in English. All-in-all, it is nice to finally have solid confirmation, although we are sad to retire the possibility of using “Beers” and “Whis”.
Nevertheless, be sure to check back soon for more translations from this and other recent Battle of Gods interviews!
The official website for the first-ever “touch battle” game for the Dragon Ball franchise — Dragon Ball Tap Battle — has updated with a full trailer and link to purchase the app on the Google Play Store.
Multiplayer battles are available to play over a Bluetooth connection. The game also contains “Super Break Fight” events whereby you can inflict massive damage.
The app will run you ¥350 — roughly $3.50 — and is currently available for devices running Android 2.3 and higher. An iOS version — specifically noted for iPhone 4, 4S, and 5 — is set for release at a later, as-of-yet unspecified date.
The new series of Q&As with original manga author Akira Toriyama — “Please Tell Us, Akira Toriyama-sensei!!” — continue in today’s issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump (2013 #17) in Japan. While the last three issues have included one Q&A each about the upcoming film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, today’s issue includes two.
What is Super Saiyan God?!
[Super Saiyan] God’s appearing was set from the very start of production. There’s a line in the movie, too, but even I thought, “‘God’ is an exaggeration…”. (laughs) As for the design, I made it by taking Super Saiyan, which I’d made flashy up through “3″, and paring it down to the absolute limit.
What are your thoughts on having participated in the movie?
It was fun~! This time, I devoted myself exclusively to creating the story, so I was happy most of all at how it became several times more enjoyable by other people’s hands. In particular, the climactic battle exceeded my expectations by far!!
It was originally announced as a generic “Best Song Collection”, but Dragon Ball Z 20th Century-SONGS BEST finally came out last month. It is actually the first “new” CD since the Dragon Ball Kai music debacle went down — leaving us with a promised-but-unreleased fourth soundtrack/compilation from the “refreshed” series — so it was no surprise to see them fall back on the old material.
With the new film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods upon us, it perhaps made sense to rekindle some of that nostalgia with us older fans. Does this “remastered” compilation do the nostalgia justice? Read on…!
There are plenty more reviews on the way, including those for the FLOW “Hero ~Song of Hope~ / CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA” CD single and the Battle of Gods Original Soundtrack itself. Stay tuned during March and April!
The official website for the multi-series Jump crossover fighting game, Project Versus J, recently updated with an indication that a new battle is on the way.
Next Time: A New Jump Hero Will Participate in the Battle?!
What will we see announced for the game? More characters? More series? We will keep an eye on their countdown, which is set for 10 days right now. That, of course, perfectly ties in with a release of Weekly Shōnen Jump in Japan two issues from now (WJ 2013 #18).
It has been about three months since the last significant update on the game, which was the announcement that it will be coming to both the PlayStation 3 and Vita in Japan — perhaps not coincidentally, details on the platforms were spoiled via leaked Jump pages ahead of the scheduled website update on December 17th. A two-part “Dream 9 Super Collaboration Special” is set to air 07 April 2013 with the three series that happen to be currently-announced for the game (Toriko, One Piece, and Dragon Ball Z), but there has been no indication that the game and special are related or will even be used to complement each other in any way.
Thanks to Super Saiyan Prime for the heads-up.
The special Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods preview clip recently added to the Japanese iTunes Store gives a nice glimpse into the character of Birusu, God of Destruction, as well as his castle. As many people have pointed out, it seems that Birusu might have a little guest from the Dragon Quest video game series floating around:
That appears to be a Cureslime, first introduced in Dragon Quest III on the Nintendo Famicom in 1988, making his merry way through the water. Artwork and character designs for the Dragon Quest games — originally released under the “Dragon Warrior” name-change here in North America until its big re-launch with Dragon Quest VIII on the PlayStation 2 — has been done by (surprise, surprise) Akira Toriyama of Dragon Ball fame.
This is not the first Dragon Quest cameo in the Dragon Ball series, though…!
Akira Toriyama makes references to the game series in his original weekly chapter notes as far back as May 1986. Along with Chapter 79, the author noted:
Dragon Quest is dangerous! It got to the point where I couldn’t get any work done, so my wife finally took it away.
Along with Chapter 108 in February 1987, the author noted:
Dragon Quest II on the Famicom (NES) is too fun! Now I can’t get any work done!
Later that year in September, along with Chapter 141, he stated:
I’ve finally finished drawing all the monsters for Dragon Quest III. The game looks really fun!
Perhaps not coincidentally, 1987 marked special cameo appearances by Dragon Quest characters in the Dragon Ball manga. In Chapter 114, during the preliminaries at the 22nd Tenka’ichi Budōkai, three familiar faces are hanging out on the sidelines:
That would be (from left to right), a Killer Tiger, Orc, and Shaman, all originally from Dragon Quest II in 1987.
A couple pages later in the same chapter, a Shaman makes a return appearance, as well as a Cyclops two people to his left. An Archdemon also hides out behind the trio of friends.
Finally, a little bit later on during Chapter 115, both Shaman and Killer Tiger make one last appearance:
Over the decade that Akira Toriyama worked on the Dragon Ball manga, plenty of movie references, cameos, and in-jokes were littered throughout the pages. Beyond these great Dragon Quest examples, what were some of your favorites?