It is not a secret to anyone how much of a Dragon Ball nerd I used to be. I collected the manga (having read it quite a few times) and watched the anime religiously, although I did not enjoy the post-manga material (Dragon Ball GT and the “TV specials”) that much. Granted, I did watch it, but those always felt like something was missing. Akira Toriyama (original manga writer/artist) not being much involved on their production surely played a role.
Well, things has changed: thanks to Nick van Vugt, I have just watched Dragon Ball Z: Kami to Kami (Battle of Gods), and I REALLY, REALLY enjoyed it! Every single element of the series is there, bringing all the joy from the classic: I laughed, I got thrilled, I got embarassed. Just like the old days (with a bit of modern animation here and there).
Announced as as the first “really canon” DBZ movie, it has a good share of Toriyama participation: he came up with the new characters’ backgrounds and designs, steering what would have been another higher-order-of-power-magnitude-but-heartless-guy into a way more interesting character that blends in with the existing cast as few of the new ones in TV specials or GT did.
The story happens in the 10-year hiatus between Z and GT (or, manga-wise, between the end of Majin Boo saga and the epilogue). Won’t give any spoilers – it suffices to say that adding canon to this precise time frame brings its share of inconsistencies with the non-manga material. One can bet it will bring Dragon Ball nerds (in particular GT haters) countless hours of fun figuring out and discussing possible explanations.
Unfortunatelly, it seems that nothing short of summoning Shenlong would bring it to Canadian theathers. This time, Brazilians hit jackpot: it will be on the big screen in October 18, with the voices from the original Brazilian dub. If you live in Brazil and enjoyed Dragon Ball Z, you owe yourself a ticket for this one!