- Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods Extended Edition provides a deeper backstory for Beerus and Whis, making them more complex and fascinating characters.
- The extended edition of Battle of Gods allows for more humor and playful moments, showcasing Dragon Ball‘s comedic roots alongside its action-packed sequences.
- The extended cut of the film celebrates and includes more of Dragon Ball‘s supporting players, giving them a chance to shine and adding depth to the movie’s overall narrative.
Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball is subject to many important milestones and Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods was a pivotal turning point for the franchise. Originally released in 2013, Battle of Gods was the first Dragon Ball movie in over a decade and the precursor for the franchise’s latest installment, Dragon Ball Super. Dragon Ball would not be where it is today without the impressive foundation that Battle of Gods lays out for the franchise’s future.
To celebrate Battle of Gods’ 10th anniversary, Fathom Events is releasing the extended edition of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods for the first time in North American theaters. Initially produced for a special TV broadcast, Battle of Gods Extended Edition adds 20 minutes and 24 seconds to the original feature film so that it’s 105 minutes rather than 85. This is a considerable amount of deleted scenes and extended content, which begs the question of what’s included and if it’s a substantial improvement to the original. With the re-release of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods Extended Edition imminent, it’s never been a better time to reflect upon this special edition of the feature film.
Beerus & Whis Are Better Developed
Dragon Ball Z is often only as strong as its latest villain and the antagonists in its feature films are especially intense. Lord Beerus, God of Destruction, and his Angel companion, Whis, become indispensable Dragon Ball characters, but Battle of Gods treats them with reserved reverence. Beerus, as the film’s villain, feels bigger than anything that’s been previously experienced and the end of the movie even reveals that he was only at 70% of his full strength. Battle of Gods’ success is dependent upon how well Beerus connects with audiences, so it should perhaps come as no surprise that Beerus and Whis receive the biggest additions in Battle of Gods Extended Edition.
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods Extended Edition provides a greater backstory for both Beerus and Whis while the film spends more time on Beerus’ Planet before the duo makes their way to King Kai’s Planet and ultimately Earth. The extended cut creates a greater sense of dread when it comes to the danger that Beerus poses as various Kai freak out over the God of Destruction’s awakening. Whis’ abilities also come across as even more phenomenal. Battle of Gods Extended Edition emphasizes Beerus’ ferociousness, but also the character’s opposite extreme. The longer version of the movie includes more scenes where Beerus and Whis enjoy Earth’s many perks and delicious foods. This all connects to the film’s revised ending, which generates more tension over Beerus’ return to Earth and what lies ahead for the heroes.
A Greater Sense Of Humor
Dragon Ball is increasingly viewed as an action series, and it’s admittedly the series’ fight sequences that leave the greatest impression on audiences. That being said, comedy has always been essential to Dragon Ball’s formula, and the series’ roots are much more based on gag comedy sensibilities than action. Another way in which Battle of Gods Extended Edition differs from the original cut is that it’s allowed to be more playful and indulge its funny bone.
The longer Battle of Gods gives a lot more to the Pilaf Gang, who chaotically fail at their Dragon Ball thievery attempts. It’s a dynamic that gets further developed in Dragon Ball Super. The same is true regarding Vegeta’s frantic fear over Beerus’ appearance. This is present in the original cut, but there’s more of it in the extended edition, which again blossoms in its episodic version. One of the best moments in Battle of Gods is contained in the extended edition, and it involves Beerus singling out Oolong as a top representative of the people due to how he too resembles an animal. Oolong winds up playing a game of “Rock, Paper, Scissors” against Beerus for Earth’s safety, which proves to be a failure, but a hilarious one at that. Piccolo also proves that he can master the Special Beam Cannon, but not the fundamentals of Bingo.
More Love For Dragon Ball’s Supporting Players
Another valuable way in which Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods Extended Edition takes advantage of its 20 extra minutes is through a greater celebration of its supporting players. The movie definitely gives more to characters like Buu, Android 18, and Tien when it comes to combat, but the movie also includes several characters who the original movie doesn’t have time to include. Mr. Satan is the biggest contribution here, who’s in prime form and gets to drunkenly mix things up at Bulma’s birthday while in the face of monumental danger. Hercule Satan isn’t missed in the original version of Battle of Gods, but he’s well-implemented in this extended cut.
Some of the film’s changes are incredibly minor and only amount to a few additional seconds, but they can speak volumes in the process. The film’s final shots in the extended edition now include a brief glimpse of Trunks and Mai together in a tree, as seen by Pilaf. It’s a silent moment that might be seen as unimportant, but it heavily foreshadows the beautiful relationship to come between these two characters that’s still being explored in Dragon Ball Super. Battle of Gods Extended Edition includes characters who previously weren’t present, but it’s these tiny character touches with Trunks and Mai that make just as big of an impact. They’re important reminders that Dragon Ball is as much a series about human connection as it is about these people undergoing radical transformations and fighting against Gods.
Which Version Is Better?
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods is routinely considered to be the best film in the franchise, beating out the likes of other popular entries like Fusion Reborn, Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan, and Cooler’s Revenge. The original version of Battle of Gods confidently stands on its own, and it’s already far superior to the other Dragon Ball Z movies due to how it’s about twice the length of most of them. At 85 minutes, Battle of Gods is feature-length, but hardly a long movie. More content doesn’t always result in a better movie and 20 additional minutes to Battle of Gods could easily bloat the story and ruin its momentum. 105 minutes is still a restrained runtime, and it’s not as if this becomes a two-hour Dragon Ball affair.
Nothing essential is missed by watching the original 85-minute version, but Battle of Gods Extended Edition is the better of the two versions and this director’s cut fortunately doesn’t feel like a longer endeavor. It’s the best way to experience this story, including Dragon Ball Super’s anime and manga. The movie’s pacing doesn’t suffer and the extra details that it provides on its major players, supporting characters, and grander lore better connect the film to both Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super. There’s a particularly effective prologue in the extended edition that covers the franchise’s whole legacy and Goku’s evolving journey.
Are There Any Other Extended Dragon Ball Movies?
Crunchyroll is making a big deal out of Battle of Gods Extended Edition being in North American theaters for the first time, but it’s actually not the only Dragon Ball Z movie with a “director’s cut.” Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F,’ the following film in the franchise, also has an extended version that’s known as Resurrection ‘F’ – Future Trunks Special Edition. This longer version of the movie also aired on television and extends the 93-minute movie to a 105-minute experience.
The biggest changes in Resurrection ‘F’ are a new prologue and epilogue that feature fan-favorite character Future Trunks, who narrates the heroes’ past encounters with Frieza while also teasing the upcoming feud against Goku Black. There’s never been a home video release or English dub for Resurrection ‘F’ – Future Trunks Edition, so it’d be nice to see it receive the same treatment as Battle of Gods for its 10th anniversary in 2025. The success of Battle of Gods Extended Edition makes this all the more likely.