A wild Lucario appears!
In less than two weeks, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods will have a limited screening in US theaters. What does this mean for the franchise? And what can we expect? The Inverseman gives his thoughts.
First of all, we need to understand the movie itself, and that it’s actually quite old. Battle of Gods was released in March of 2013, so why did it take over a year for it to come here? Well FUNimation owns most of the Dragon Ball licenses here in North America. However, while they have the series and get to team up with Namco Bandai to dub any video games, the movies are another story. 20th Century Fox actually has first dibs to dub and distribute any and all Dragon Ball movie properties, which explains how the comedy film Dragonball Evolution was possible. However, with such a travesty behind them mixed with general apathy, Fox had no plans to dub Battle of Gods, probably making us very thankful for that. What ensued then was a legal waiting game for Fox’s time to expire and for our friends at FUNimation to do what they do best. If this was any other anime, saying you can see the English dub more than a year after its release would get a million yawns and fair/unfair internet criticisms, but…this is Dragon Ball we’re talking about.
Dragon Ball‘s dub, from Ocean to FUNimation, is one of those exceptional dubs. Thanks to magical 90s kid hipster nostalgia bullcrap, it’s widely regarded as superior to the original, and, in many respects, I’m obliged to agree. While I appreciate the original, I’ve always been a fan of Sean Schemmel, Christopher Sabat, and the team as part of my inspirations for a passion in theater. Dragon Ball’s legacy on pop culture is so big, you can ask any non-weeaboo off the street and they’ll know about “super-fighting martial arts aliens with big hair that yell a lot.” It’s about time we had a theatrical release.
Ultimately, this feels right. In Dragon Ball‘s storied history spanning nearly thirty years as a global phenomenon, we’ve all been waiting for a theatrical Dragon Ball movie outside of the Japan/Asia area. This truly is a testament to the impact anime and manga have had on our generation and every generation thereafter as well as the impact of Toriyama’s work (which wasn’t even his full power) has had. The ability to relive the dreams my twelve year old self had of seeing Goku and friends on the big screen and getting “that cool stuff only Japan gets” will finally come true. So people snatch your tickets while you can and get ready in August 5th through 9th. So join me next time when I name my men after dairy products.
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