Just when we thought we were done with Dragon Ball Evolution, much like a Godzilla marathon on Saturdays, you always seem to pull me back in. So last post I did a review of Dragon Ball Evolution, and in my final words I talked about how this movie ultimately saved the franchise in a lot of ways. How did it exactly? Well today I’m going back to my ways with the Godzilla 1998 movie and how it changed the Godzilla franchise, there are many parallels between these films and what they did for their franchises. Without further ado, let’s dive into this rabbit hole and see what we find.
First! Some Context!
So, back in 2009 Dragon Ball was in a bit of a dry spot. The latest Dragon Ball animation at the time was Yo! Son Goku and his Friends Return. It was shown at the Jump Super Anime Tour back in 2008. This was the first animated Dragon Ball content for 10 years, following Path to Power in 1996. Knowledge of the upcoming movie was already around, but at the time we had barely any Dragon Ball content, both for Eastern and Western audiences. Then in 2009 on the 13th or March, Dragon Ball Evolution was unleashed on the general public. It was…well if you’ve read my review you know what happened, it was a failure. Disliked by critics, hated by Dragon Ball fans, this movie did not do well. Against a $30 million dollar budget it made about $58 million at the box office, which was a disappointing return.
The Aftermath and Battle of Gods
Well…after this movie, the Dragon Ball community wasn’t in the highest of spirits. We’d just got a movie that effectively harmed the franchise forever in the eyes of many, what to do? Well Dragon Ball continued to produce content, with video games worldwide and the Dragon Ball Heroes game going headstrong in Japan. Then in July of 2012, it was announced, a new animated Dragon Ball Z movie was being made. The movie was Battle of Gods, and in 2013, it was released. It was released internationally so that western audiences could get a taste as well. This movie was very well received by fans of the series, and reinvigorated interest in the franchise. Many praised the film for its characters, art style, music and the introduction of new characters Lord Beerus and Whis. It also brought forth the new transformation Super Saiyan God, all of which have risen to become the favourites for many fans. With this movie, the sins of Evolution had been erased for many, but this was just the beginning.
What Does This Have to do with Evolution?
Battle of Gods was a massive success for an anime movie, and brought Dragon Ball back into the mainstream. But why is this attibuted to Dragon Ball Evolution, well the series creator and writer for the Battle of Gods movie Akira Toriyama, stated in an interview that he wrote Battle of Gods after being so upset with the Evolution movie. He helped with the script and rewriting the movie mainly because he had seen Evolution and famously disliked it for what it did to the source material. He helped to craft the movie from it’s first draft and it’s thanks to him that we got Battle of Gods the way we did. But this was just the beginning!
Ressurection F and Dragon Ball Super
In 2015, we received another Dragon Ball Z movie, a direct sequel to Battle of Gods. The movie was Resurrection F. This movie saw the revival of fan favourite villain Frieza, and saw the introduction of Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan, now renamed to Super Saiyan Blue. The movie did well and received a generally positive reception from critics and fans alike, but this isn’t why Resurrection F if brought up here. After the release of Resurrection F we received an even bigger announcement, a new Dragon Ball full length anime! Titled Dragon Ball Super, and released in 2015 where it ran for 3 years until 2018. Now the series itself was somewhat well received, but long story short, Dragon Ball was back and bigger than ever.
That’ll Do Evolution, That’ll Do
So, in conclusion, I think we have another Godzilla 1998 situation here. Dragonball evolution may not be the best Dragon Ball has to offer, but I think we owe a lot of modern Dragon Ball media to this film. If not for the universal distaste for this movie, we may never have gotten Battle of Gods, and by extension Resurrection F or even Super for that matter. It’s a weird butterfly effect with this movie, and while it came from a place of negativity, it lead to a shining beacon for the Dragon Ball community, so thank you Evolution for bringing the franchise back.
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