Here’s where I admit that I know next to nothing Dragon Ball Z. I don’t think I’d ever seen an entire episode before I sat down in the theatre to watch Battle of Gods. Other than my brother hiring every single series from our local video rental store, my experience with Dragon Ball Z comes from the fact that the boy my best friend had a crush on in grade school was obsessed with it. Coincidentally that very same boy was at the screening I attended so I guess that association is destined to continue.
Point is, I went into this screening a total novice and I came out as slightly less of a novice, but not by much. This isn’t a slight against the series because I’m sure I could have gotten into it if I had the time or inclination. Let’s be real though, there are not enough female characters in this show to feed my needs and the ones they do have are treated pretty horrendously (from what I have seen, feel free to contradict me if I’m wrong).
Anyway if you’re looking for insightful commentary of anime you’ll have to ask one of my incredibly knowledgeably colleagues (who are probably judging me harshly right now). But in the spirit of trying new things, I thought I’d tell you all about my experience with Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods.
First things first, I saw the English dub of the film, which was released by Madmen Entertainment and played in limited Australian theaters over the weekend. I know that it’s the first Dragon Ball movie to have a theatrical release in 17 years. That’s a long time, and to say the crowd were pretty excited is an understatement. I felt like the odd one out because everyone seemed to know each other and there was a dress code that I was clearly not adhering to but that familiar atmosphere of fandom was still apparent. It was hard not to get caught up in the excitement to some extent.
As for the actual movie; it was entertaining, surprisingly funny, the animation was good, and it was easy enough to follow without any prior knowledge. Although the crowd around me was continually laughing at jokes that I did not understand at all, so obviously there was a large part of this film that was built around nostalgia and assumed knowledge of previous stories. And I really do find it hard to deal with the way they depict women – it’s not something I’m going to get past.
But like I said, the film was entertaining enough, even if I think it’s probably more enjoyable for people that are already fans. The experience of being in a theater with a group of people that clearly adore the thing we are watching was worth it in itself. The crowd cheered when the credits started rolling if that’s anything to go by.
Well there you have it, that was my foray into the anime world . I think I’ll probably leave it to our anime team from now on, but it was fun.
Author: Undie Girl
Undie Girl (aka Von) has a BA (Hons) Major in Cultural Studies. The title of her honours thesis was “It’s just gay and porn”: Power, Identity and the Fangirl’s Gaze. She’s currently pursuing a Masters of Media Practice at University of Sydney. Von’s a former contributor The Backlot’s column The Shipping News and a current co-host of The Geekiary’s monthly webcast FEELINGS… with The Geekiary.
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