Anime: Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods

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:

  • Achievements in Ignorance: After losing the Super Saiyan God form, Goku doesn't notice it... but still manages to keep landing hits on Beerus.
  • Affably Evil: Beerus and Whis, in spite 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. He even sincerely apologizes for causing trouble when all's said and done.
  • Almighty Janitor: Almost literally ("Almighty" is right) with Whis, who is even stronger than Beerus despite being his retainer.
  • Always Someone Better: Deconstructed and exaggerated. Beerus, who is the God of Destruction and a god which all of the other gods fear. This would normally be not as dangerous considering how the gods of the Dragon Ball Universe normally rank in the power scale., until he curb stomps Super Saiyan 3 Goku with a finger. Since this is the canonical universe, where Super Saiyan 3 is the strongest state aside from Mystic and Fusions, this is a big deal. Then the Super Saiyan God state, which is the strongest state in the series' canon is activated by Goku to defeat this guy, normally you'd expect a Curb-Stomp Battle to ensue and deal with the Big Bad. Nope, Goku still loses, only managing to force Beerus to go 70% of his power and suffers no punishment. The real scary part comes after this turns out despite being the strongest character in the series according to V-jump, his advisor Whis is much stronger than he is, and given that we never see the full extent of Beerus' power, Whis' power must be beyond comprehension. We also get this bit of information; turns that he's the designated God of Destruction for the universe that Dragon Ball is based in which is No.7 out of 12. To sum up Beerus, the most powerful character in the series, has several shades of Bigger Bad algorithms above him. There's his mentor who's strong enough to smack him around like a child as a joke, and then there's the other eleven universes' Gods of Destruction that are all possibly stronger than he is. Needless to say, Goku can't become the strongest in the universe, because as long as gods like Beerus exist, he never will be. Now Goku knows exactly how his friends feel…or at least, one would think so if they didn't know Goku. Those who do would say that he clearly finds this fun.
  • 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 be convinced to put it off indefinitely. 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.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap:
    • Subverted when Bulma slaps Beerus or ruining her birthday party. It doesn't work, and he slaps her back.
    • She does it again to Goku, several times in fact, to much greater effect.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Vegeta and Bulma even get a little tease from Goku because of this. This is even Vegeta's Berserk Button, as after the aformentioned Armor-Piercing Slap incident, Vegeta goes apeshit on Beerus when moments before he was willing to humiliate himself to keep Beerus happy.
  • Ax-Crazy/Insane Equals Violent: Beerus, especially when he is in a bad mood in his Disproportionate Retribution moments. Adding to that he has extremely sharp personality changes, he can vary from a calmed guy to incredibly crazy, irrational and extremist if he gets angry.
  • 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:
    Trunks: What're you doing in the prize room?
    Mai: We're friends of the boy who lives here.
    Trunks: You're not my friends!
  • 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.
  • Bishounen Line: Goku crosses it upon assuming his Super Saiyan God form; his build becomes slightly slimmer, along with his hair and eyes turning red.
  • Blatant Lies: After being pestered about her age, Bulma insists she is 38. She's actually 45. Though considering Akira Toriyama's well known forgetfulness, this could have just been a mistake.
  • 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.
  • Book Ends: Counting only the ones that originated in Z, Goku's most powerful transformation, Super Saiyan God, actually looks more like Kaio Ken, his first.
  • 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.
  • Call Back:
    • When Goku goes to greet Beerus, he initially says "Hi, it's me, Goku!" ("Ossu! Ora Gokuu!") before getting clocked by King Kai for his improper manners. In the original series, Goku would always use this greeting at the beginning of the next-episode preview. Made even funnier in the English Dub, when King Kai cracks that he "knew he'd say that".
    • During the climatic battle with Beerus, Goku starts spamming Instant Transmission, ending with a point-blank Kamehameha, like he used against Cell.
  • 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.
  • Cats Are Superior: Beerus, of course.
  • Character Development: The movie actually delivers one of the few morally-upstanding lessons that Goku was sorely lacking in his life: he's never going to be better/stronger then everyone. It was a continuous yet cleverly disguised fault in his character, when he saw someone beyond him he simply had to surpass them. While an earnest and diligent working to better himself, it was also part of that Saiyan nature to need to overcome others. Beerus teaches Goku the hard way the same lesson Vegeta came to learn during the battle with Kid Buu: there's always going to be somebody better out there. Goku even seems more respectful of Beerus as a superior once the battle is ended as a result.
  • Conspicuous CG: While the majority of the battle nicely hides this, there is a part of the fight between Goku and Beerus where they are rendered in CG, which can stand out for some.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Beerus does this to Super Saiyan 3 Goku with one finger.
  • 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.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • Not that it made any difference, but props to Bulma regardless.
    • She slapped Goku, after he became a Super Saiyan God, after he made a smart comment and did it again when she found out that he was watching the entire battle where they were getting beating up without coming to help. Unlike Beerus, she got away with it.
    • The whole plot of the movie mostly amounts to this, with them attempting to stop a God that's a God even by DBZ standards. Though Goku does give him a good run for his movie, he ultimately fails to pull this trope off.
  • 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. Which makes sense, because Pan had not be born yet, and she's 5 at the end of Z. She's ten in GT while Pliaf and his gang are very old.
  • 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.
    • This is one of the reasons why so many of the characters dread Beerus. Whis even mentions that in the past Beerus blew up King Kai's world just because he lost in a round of Hide-and-Seek.
  • The Dreaded: Beerus. Even Shenron himself is scared to death of him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Beerus is disturbed and starts considering disciplining the Pilaf gang 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).
    • Beerus dislikes Frieza and planned on killing him before he found out he had been beaten to it.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The entire movie takes place over the afternoon of Bulma's birthday.
  • Exact Words: Beerus says he has to keep his promise of destroying the Earth after Goku gives up. However, he never said he'd have to destroy Earth right away.
  • Fat Idiot: Buu nearly gets everyone and The Earth destroyed because he stuffed all the Custard Pudding which Beerus wanted to try into his mouth. Nice going, Tubby.
  • 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.
  • Generation Xerox: Goku's final showdown with Beerus is above the planet's atmosphere and he's overwhelmed by his opponent's massive ki ball. This is exactly how his father died.
  • 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.
    • For Goku it was swallowing his pride to achieved Super Saiyan God, which required energy from five other righteous Saiyans. He hated it was a level that he couldn't reach on his own, but did it so he could fight Beerus and protect his friends.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Beerus. While he's actually quite pleasant when he's calm, it doesn't take much to set him off and threaten to blow up the planet in response. The main reason he decides to blow up Earth is because Buu wouldn't share his pudding with him.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Beerus — not only does he need BOMBS to wake up, but he also requires the menace of Whis singing.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: In the extended version of the movie (also known as the uncut edition from Funimation), the Elder Kai theorizes that one of the reasons why Beerus didn't destroy Earth was because of this trope. He gives the examples of Goku and Vegeta, both who were savage warriors who were changed by the Earth and became good people.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Beerus reveals Whis is actually his mentor and stronger than him.
  • 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.
    • Majin Buu. His unwillingness to share any of his pudding with Beerus nearly resulted in the entire planet being destroyed.
  • I Gave My Word: A dark example: once Beerus has decided to destroy a planet, he can't back down, as the God of Destruction must retain his credibility. Though he can be convinced to delay the destruction indefinitely.
  • Laughably Evil: Beerus, of course.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the Broly and Cooler films, this is much Lighter and Softer, with the return of the Dragon Ball comedic and cartoonish elements.
  • Literal Genie: Emperor Pilaf and his gang had wished For Shenron to make them young again. Shenron regressed their ages to that of children.
  • MacGuffin/New Powers as the Plot Demands: The God Super Saiyan Mode.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Beerus accidentally destroys some planets after eating wasabi sauce.
  • Mirthless Laughter: Goku does this at the end of the fight with Lord Beerus when, after losing decisively, Beerus says that not only is his servant stronger, but some of the other 11 universes have warriors even stronger than him. He then faints.
  • Mr. Exposition: Shen Long's only role in the movie is to give information about the "Super Saiyan God" and how it can be achieved.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: As befitting a god of destruction, Beerus' answer to every conundrum is to destroy something.
  • 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.
  • Prophecy Twist: Discussed in the FUNimation dub. Goku at one point theorises that "Super Saiyan God" isn't a level, but rather another surviving Saiyan named "God".
  • Oh, Crap:
    • Vegeta's reaction to seeing Beerus demanding pudding from Majin Buu.
    • Pilaf's reaction upon seeing Goten, see Strong Family Resemblance.
    • Piccolo's reaction when he realizes that Goku lost his Super Saiyan God form.
  • Older Than They Look:
    • Trunks and Goten look exactly the same as they did at the end of Dragon Ball Z, even though it's roughly five years after the Buu Saga. Justified in the established fact that Saiyans appear youthful throughout their childhood until their next growth spurt of their late teens (like it happened with Gohan and Goku).
    • There's also Marron, Android 18 and Krillin's daughter who doesn't seem to have aged at all since the Buu Saga; justified as well as she is related to Krillin, who was rather small throughout his appearance in the original series and remains comparatively shorter than the rest of the cast from there on.
    • Played with in the case of Mai, Shu and Pilaf thanks to the latter, who wished upon Shen Long for them to be young again, causing him and his companions to be reduced to their childhood appearances. Mai even mentions absentmindedly that she'll turn 41 soon before Pilaf dismisses the comment as a joke.
  • The Power of Friendship: Discussed and deconstructed: Goku becomes the Super Saiyan God thanks to this, and he's happy to have friends that helped him become a god, but as someone who has trained constantly his entire life, he hates how there's a level of power he can't ever reach on his own.
  • 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.
  • Serial Escalation: Not only does Goku have to square off with a god, but in order to stand a chance, he must become a god himself!
  • 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.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Beerus/Beers/Bills/Bils and his assistant, Whis/Uis.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Causes Pilaf to freak out. He mistakes Goten for Goku and flees in a panic. Goten, of course, has no idea what's going on.
  • Teleportation Spam: Goku in his final battle with 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.
  • Time Skip: Takes place around five years after the Buu Saga.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Buu, did you really have to eat all the pudding when a guy who's a God Of Destruction wants one? And then tease him about it? Granted, Buu didn't know Beerus was a god, but it was still a dick thing to do to anyone who made Vegeta nervous.
    • Pilaf as well, gathers the Dragonballs offscreen some time before the movie but instead of getting his desired wish of World Domination shouts that he wants to be young again and The Pilaf Gang are turned to children.
    • Goku borders on this, wanting to fight Beerus despite everyone warning him that he could be killed - this however is a natural aspect of his Blood Knight heritage, and certainly not anything new.
  • Top God: Beerus is a god even by DBZ standards. Not only are all the other Kais terrified of him, none of the cast, quite a few who could qualify for the Physical God trope by normal standards, can barely hold a candle to him. Even after becoming a god himself, Goku only managed to make Beerus use seventy percent of his power. On top of that, Whis is shown to be even more powerful than Beerus!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Uniqueness Decay: The mystical Dragon Balls, once the prize objects of the original series that people sold their souls to get, reduced to a bingo prize. At least it's a first place prize, right?
  • Values Dissonance: In-Universe; Mai is absolutely horrified when she finds out pretending to be Trunks's girlfriend involves holding hands, outright mentally claiming that people in this age have become depraved perverts.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Beerus and Whis did seem to enjoy themselves when at Bulma's party, sampling Earth cuisine.
  • Warrior Therapist: Beerus spends most of his rematch against Goku talking to him about his newfound godhood. Piccolo lampshades it.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Invoked. Toriyama himself said that the movie and his involvement with the movie were a way to atone for the awfulness of Dragonball Evolution.
  • White and Grey Morality: Goku vs. Beerus.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Vegeta and Bulma's younger daughter Bulla doesn't appear or isn't mentioned in any way whatsoever, even considering that before the movie, the anime canon implies that she's older than Pan. By this fact, the movie implies that Bulla is actually younger than Pan.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Beerus has no problem knocking out 18 and later Bulma. Vegeta is not pleased at the latter.
  • 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 Buu Arc it was established that Gohan was the strongest of the Saiyans, although he may have been outpaced by Goku during the five years timeskip given Gohan's training record. 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. Even if he did, it would most likely do little good given what happened to Goku.
    • Goku as a Super Saiyan 3 gets his butt handed to him within the first twenty minutes of the movie, showing early on that if anyone on Earth fought Beerus they were going to be tasting the ground.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Gohan's poor performance could be explained by his drinking a truly epic amount of party punch beforehand, leaving him mildly tipsy but extremely foolish.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: A variation. The movie explicitly states that gods cannot be sensed, even by the Z Fighters who are arguably the best in the universe at this. Their ki is beyond ability to fathom. It's just one of several ques that, beyond physical form, mortals just can't fully comprehend a god even when they're standing right in front of them.