“This Is the Last Bit of my Power! Conclusion to the Battle of Gods!”
The finalé of the Dragon Ball Super ‘Battle of Gods’ saga is finally here as Goku’s battle with Beerus, the God of Destruction, finally comes to its conclusion.
Spoilers from beyond this point:
From a fighting standpoint, Episode 14 is one of the more intense installments of Dragon Ball Super to date, with lots of kick ass action. Indeed, the entire first half of the episode consists of one beautiful fight sequence. Some superb hand-drawn animation, coupled with snazzy digitally produced effects (for energy auras, ki based attacks etc.), makes this arguably the most aesthetically pleasing portion of Goku and Beerus’ encounter – which is fitting considering their battle finally comes to an end and the winner is…
Beerus! The God of Destruction finally emerges victorious, having beat Goku down repeatedly. However, Goku sure went down hard, finding another one of his legendary second winds and coming back with renewed vigour. Eventually though, he just runs out of steam and can’t take the punishment anymore, falling toward Earth (oddly, throughout this battle Goku has seemingly been able to breathe and even speak whilst under water as well as in space).
When Goku does come back down to Earth, both literally and figuratively, it is Vegeta who catches him. This moment is quite amusing for two reasons. The first is that, in order to catch the plummeting Goku, Vegeta yells at Goten and Trunks to get out of his way. They flee in terror, no doubt remembering the battering he gave them during the Majin Buu saga – a nice little nod for long term Dragon Ball Z fans. Secondly, after Vegeta catches Goku before he literally hits the deck, we have Goku saying, “Thanks Vegeta”. This is met with the curt response of “Shut up”. Good old Vegeta, even when he’s being nice he still manages to act like a complete asshole. That’s why the fans love him so much.
On the topic of Vegeta, soon after he saves Goku there is a very stange moment where the camera just focuses on his crotch. It is really weird and no explanation is offered as to why it happened. It’s probably going to have to end up being one of those moments which DBZ fans simply file under “Yeah, well Dragon Ball is pretty weird” before moving on (Personally, when pressed by non DBZ fans about such in-show strangeness, I usually just yell, “Because Japan!” – that usually makes them back off).
The ending of Dragon Ball Super Episode 14, and therefore the show’s ‘Battle of Gods’ story arc, sees Beerus standing by his promise to destroy the Earth should he have won his battle with Goku. Unlike in the Battle of Gods movie where he exploits a loophole / play on words and simply destroys a chunk of Earth, here he has every intention of annihilating an entire planet based on the outcome of a bet – playing to the theory that Dragon Ball Super‘s take on the character is a somewhat more nasty one than that which was portrayed in the BoG film. The Earth is, however, spared as Beerus simply falls asleep before he can finish the deed, his exertions from battling Goku seemingly taking a lot more out of him than he was letting on – something which could perhaps become an important plot point at a later stage in the series? Whis later remarks that Beerus had simply prestended to fall asleep – something which the God of Destruction explicitly denies.
In any case, Whis thanks the Earthlings for all the pudding (literally) and brings Beerus home for some shuteye, but not before informing everyone that they will return one day while Vegeta vows, as he always does, to surpass Goku in strength by becoming a Super Saiyan God himself, albeit without the aid of the technique which Goku used to achieve that level of power. How exactly he plans to do this is something which the series will reveal at a later date.
All in all, the first 14 episodes of Dragon Ball Super (i.e. the ‘Battle of Gods’ saga) have been a good Dragon Ball story. In a sense though, it is a shame that the Battle of Gods movie exists at all as having seen it beforehand, it takes away much of the surprise from DBS and makes much of the series feel like a foregone conclusion. With that in mind, when comparing the two side by side, the Dragon Ball Super version of events is clearly superior as the longer overall running time allowed the climatic battle between Goku and Beerus to go much further and feel a lot more epic overall.
The feeling of the path already trod looks set to be over for Dragon Ball Super, at least for the time being, as next week’s episode gives us a storyline which hasn’t been done before and, not wanting to spoil anything, looks lovely and mental.
[Image: Original DBZ Anto]