Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods is the 18th official movie in the Dragon Ball franchise. It was released in Japan on March 30, 2013, and features heavy involvement from Akira Toriyama himself, making it one of the few canon movies. An extended edition debuted on Fuji TV on March 22, 2014, adding an extra 20 minutes of footage.The plot involves the awakening of Beerus, the God of Destruction, who due to a dream and a prophecy becomes obsessed with finding and fighting a legendary warrior called a Super Saiyan God. As such, he heads to King Kai's planet and later Earth in search of any information on this warrior. Meanwhile, the Z Warriors are celebrating Bulma's birthday, while the Pilaf Gang attempt to steal the Dragon Balls.An English dub by FUNimation was shown in theaters for a limited run on August 5th-9th, 2014 and proved to be popular enough for a second, smaller run the following Tuesday on August 12th.
This work contains examples of:
Affably Evil: Beerus and Whis, inspite of being the God of Destruction and his assistant, are actually incredibly polite and respectful, well Beerus is when he doesn't throw tantrums over every little thing that goes wrong for him. Although, despite the fact that he's hard-headed, Beerus is capable of being a genuinely nice guy. Whis even sincerely apologizes on both their behalves when alls said and done.
Almighty Janitor: Almost literally ("Almighty" is right) with Whis, who is even stronger than Beerus despite being his retainer.
Animation Bump: The sequence where Goku and Beerus fly into space during their final battle makes the rest of the movie look like a string of crayon-drawings by comparison.
Anti-Villain: Beerus is actually kind of a nice guy when he's happy, but he has a hair trigger, a childish personality, and once he's decided to destroy a planet he won't reconsider, though he can change the amount of destruction. It's shown best in his fights with the Z fighters after Buu pisses him off he takes them all out quickly and cleanly using pressure points to knock them out instead of destruction heavy attacks. Then when he and Goku are fighting in a city he doesn't use any big attacks and even dodges around a bridge.
Batman Can Breathe in Space: Beerus isn't bothered at all being in a complete vacuum. Justified given that he is a god. Strangely enough, though, Goku is also unaffected during his time in Earth orbit, which might be explained by the Super Saiyan God powers, except that he had apparently lost the upgrade by that point.
Because I'm Jonesy: The Pilaf gang has this little exchange with Trunks when they get caught trying to steal the Dragon Balls from the prize room:
Berserk Button: Hitting Bulma proves to be a major one for Vegeta, so much so that for a few minutes he becomes stronger than SSJ3 Goku and lands a few hits on Beerus.
Big Eater: Saiyans aside, Beerus and Whis fit as they pass most of their time eating. Also Majin Buu, who even refuses to share a single pudding, causing Beerus's Disproportionate Retribution.
Bigger on the Inside: Bulma's house has a room big enough to contain a castle, as well as many other prizes.
Blatant Lies: In the dub at least, after being pestered about her age, Bulma insists she is 38.
Blue and Orange Morality/Jerkass Gods: Beerus is the God of Destruction: it's his job to destroy worlds so it makes sense he doesn't see anything morally wrong with his actions. It's actually established that old planets have to be destroyed so new planets can be born; the problem with Beerus is that he acts independently of the Supreme Kais (even worse now that there's only two of them left), chooses what planets that he will destroy at his leisure, and he can and will destroy even important planets without a second thought if he's irritated enough.
The Bus Came Back: The Pilaf Gang. Their last appearance chronologically was in the Wedding Dress filler in Dragon Ball and their last canonical appearance was in the early Piccolo Daimaou arc.
Canon Immigrant: Tarble. He's mentioned in the film, and seeing as the film was actually co-authored by Toriyama himself, this makes his existence canonical.
Can't Hold His Liquor: Downplayed with Gohan, who gets tipsy rather than completely drunk. He still acts over-the-top cheery and behaves irresponsibly, like letting his wife get wounded by a bullet.
Demoted to Extra: All the characters that are not Goku, Vegeta and Kaio-sama. All the others have very little parts or are just Plucky Comic Relief or Cameo characters so the fans won't complaint they were missing somehow. Even Krillin has about two lines of dialogue.
Discontinuity Nod: Pilaf and his group were reduced to children because of the Dragon Balls, and they think the same happened to Goku. Clearly this is a disregard to the first episode of Dragon Ball GT... maybe.
Disproportionate Retribution: Majin Buu eats all the custard puddings at Bulma's party after Beerus asks for one. Beerus tries to destroy the Earth in return.
The Dreaded: Beerus. Even Shenron himself is scared to death of him.
Even Evil Has Standards: Though it doesn't stop him from beating the crap out of him later, Beerus is disturbed and starts considering the Destroy the Earth plans when Trunks is being held hostage and has a gun to his head, since none of the adults seem to care (it probably didn't help that he himself had been hit right in the forehead with a stray bullet).
Exact Words: Beerus says he will keep his promise of destroying the Earth. He does. He destroys a random rock. A fragment of the Earth.
Food Porn: Special focus is paid to a sushi-box, octopus balls and everything Beerus and Whis are eating.
Foreshadowing: Beerus delaying his destruction of Earth until Whis finished his food is Played for Laughs but one would wonder why someone with such a short temper would allow something like that to happen. It makes sense when, later, Beerus explains that Whis is actually stronger than him, so Beerus pretty much had to let Whis do what he wanted.
Fountain of Youth: The Pilaf Gang have been reduced to children thanks to a mis-worded wish to Shenlong. Doubles as a Mythology Gag when you consider that a misunderstood wish by Pilaf was the very reason Goku was turned back into a kid himself in Dragon Ball GT.
Friendly Enemy: Beerus, even though he's a God of Destruction Beerus doesn't have the sadistic pleasure for hurting others that Goku's other enemies do. His and Goku's final fight even seems more like a training exercise than Good vs. Evil.
God of Evil: Played with Beerus. He is the God of Destruction and the film's antagonist, and is greatly feared as a result, but it's never demonstrated that this is a bad thing, and he's quite friendly when not angered in some way.
Godzilla Threshold: Vegeta throws away his pride and entertains Beerus with a funny dance to delay the destruction of Earth.
Karma Houdini: Beerus. While he's friendlier and less evil than Frieza, Cell, or Buu, still gets away with some unpleasant actions. He cruelly used King Vegeta's head as a footstool in front of his own son Prince Vegeta while making him treat him to an Eight-Course Banquet, knowing that he is much weaker than him and with no posibility of defense and has been responsible for numerous genocides throughout the universe. Then again, being the God of Destruction, this is basically his job.
My Secret Pregnancy: Turns out the movie is placed after Gohan and Videl conceive Pan, and the only one who knows this is Dende, until the last act of the movie, where it also happens to be the Deus ex Machina to achieve the "Super Saiyan God" Mode.
Recut: An extended edition of the film aired on Fuji TV on March 22, 2014 (Almost a year after the theatrical release) with an extra 20 minutes of footage.
Recycled Premise: The movie takes place during one of the character's big party, the main antagonist arrives and wants to fight the strongest of the group, Goku arrives and they fight, the antagonist joins the big buffet and leaves in good terms with Earth. It's the exact same structure of the 2008 special, where Vegeta's brother appears and a pair of aliens fight all the super-fighter characters. Vegeta's brother is even referenced offhandedly at one point, though not by name.
Red Herring: Right after the movie shows us that it is definitely not a good idea to annoy Beerus, the viewers are introduced to Lord Pilaf and his gang. Fans of Dragonball would probably expect him to trigger Beerus' rampage. Instead, they play an insignificant role, their antics only being used to stage some homages to Dragonball and DBZ.
Scenery Porn: Up to 9000. The movie, visually, is flat out amazing from start to finish. The blend of CGI and top quality animation and art used throughout the movie makes everything look spectacular. Ironically, there's more detail placed in the background art and animation when fights occur. However, the standout scenes for where things get visually breathtaking is when Beerus takes on Goku on Earth and then in space.
Sequel Hook: Beerus mentions other, more powerful, gods. Also, in the ending, Whis knocks out Beerus and says that he'll reawaken in 3 years. Since it seems Beerus usually has reasons for waking up at specific time periods, he may have more plans for Goku in the future.
Servile Snarker: Whis, who openly reprimands and mocks his boss. Can be considered foreshadowing that he's more than a mere retainer to Beerus.
Theme Music Power-Up: Played with during the battle with Beerus. "Hero" by FLOW plays, but it is after Goku LOSES his Super Saiyan God powers. Even then, Beerus claims he had absorbed the power of the form, keeping him being completely outclassed like before.
Theme Naming: As usual, Toriyama names characters after food or objects. In this case Beerus and Whiskey. Funnily enough, though, Beerus and Whis are actually a dual case of this — the original scriptwriter based for Beerus' original Japanese name on the Japanese pronunciation for "virus", and Whis's name sounds like the Latin version of that same word. So one was initially named with the intention of a virus pun yet was taken for an alcohol pun, and the other was named according to the alcohol pun only to also fit the virus pun as well.
The Unfought: Beerus reveals that his assistant, Whis, is even more powerful than him and in fact trained him. Whis does not fight anyone in the movie, yet still showed a glimpse of how incredibly powerful he is in the two's final scene in this movie — when Beerus, after spending the length of the film virtually stomping the entire cast, goes out of control after eating some wasabi yet Whis simply dope slaps him to sleep and it's Played for Laughs.
Time Skip: Takes place around five years after the Buu saga.
Tsundere: Vegeta towards Bulma. He goes nuts when Beerus hits her, but when it is pointed out to him, he is embarrassed and denies it.
Villains Out Shopping: Beerus and Whis did seem to enjoy themselves when at Bulma's party, sampling Earth cuisine.
Would Hurt a Child: Beerus also has no problem attacking children. This is evident when ruthlessly punishes Gotenks. That said, he does so by spanking.
The Worf Effect: Naturally this was going to happen since they were fighting a god, but at the end of DBZ it was established that Gohan was the strongest of the Saiyans. Here, he gets easily beaten by Beerus, with even Vegeta having a better showing. And this is despite the fact that Gohan and Buu were fighting Beerus two on one.
Gotenks as well, having been shown as only a little weaker (if at all) than Gohan during the Z series. But like Gohan, he suffered quite a humiliating defeat and for whatever reason didn't even try Super Saiyan 3.