Dragon Ball Super: Broly is the first proper Dragon Ball film with Super in its title. Although the other films Battle of Gods and Resurrection F were featured in the Dragon Ball Super anime, neither are considered Dragon Ball Super films as they are both contain the “Z” in their titles. This film is available on Netflix and it’s worth watching. For me, watching this film in the theatres as a long time fan of the series was awesome, being lucky enough to watch the film in both Japanese and the English dub. Both are great and there is lots of care given in both versions.
As for what was happening on screen, the film moved from scene to scene without making any particular scene feel too long. Despite my initial reservation, I really love the art and animation for this film as it is very fluid and manages to show Dragon Ball in a truer sense. The fights, particularly the movements feel more authentic in showing off how fast these characters move. I also felt the colorization and the animation movements were incredible.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly is a film for the fans. It’s action packed and manages to piece together so many interesting story threads, including the updated history of the Saiyans, Broly’s origins and how Goku, Vegeta and Broly stories are intertwined. Fans of the series will notice that thankfully baby Goku (or Kakarot) in this canonize narrative doesn’t cause Broly to cry incessantly at birth and also be the reason for Broly’s unnatural wrath against him. Instead, this version of Broly doesn’t have much beef with Goku at all in this iteration other than the obligatory fight they must have.
It seems this time around that it is Vegeta who is sole target of both Broly and his father Paragas’ scorn. Vegeta and Broly share similar birth dates (not Goku and Broly) and the moment Broly sees Vegeta, he sets his sights on demolishing the man whose father sent him to his exile.
Well before this film, Broly was a well known character in the Dragon Ball universe. He was the most popular non-canon villain appearing in the eighth Dragon Ball Z film, reappearing several times in subsequent films and video games. He was depicted as a raging beast with almost unlimited power. Thanks to this, Broly in this film manages to introduce this character without much need to focus on this story for too long. Most of his story and what he will eventually become in the film is clear. He is going to turn into an uncontrollable Super Saiyan and run amok on both Goku and Vegeta. What the film does really well is give Broly a more human side, thanks to his interaction with some of Frieza’s henchmen, Cheelai and Lemo.
Aside from Broly, Goku and Vegeta being the stars, Bulma, Frieza, Whis and Beerus also play an important role in advancing the story. Interestingly Frieza, while a villain, is given a more comical, slapstick role in this film. His reason for collecting the Dragon Balls and recruiting Broly and Paragas only appear to stoke his ego and his dislike of Goku and Vegeta. While the idea of Frieza blowing up the planet in one go or terrorizing planets for his own amusement seems to have taken a back seat thanks to the events of Dragon Ball Super (but it evident that his still in the business of selling planets), it seems he is still intent on giving Goku and Vegeta a hard time whenever he can.
The main battle that takes place in the film takes up more than half the film’s run time. There is a lot of fighting happening. It’s really good to see Vegeta star in his various forms including his red Super Saiyan God form for the first time. Throughout the battle, what I found concerning was that Broly had various states of power without going into his Super Saiyan form. At a certain point, Broly enters a Wrath State where he is able to access the powers of the Great Ape without transforming into an ape. At the same time, Broly’s natural talents allow him to gain power as he fights. Before long, Broly manages to become so strong that he able to best Super Saiyan God and Super Saiyan Blue forms effortlessly.
I won’t spoil it, but it’s really good to see another character introduced at the end of the film who becomes canon for the first time. The fight is long enough to show off this character’s skills and abilities.
All in all, Dragon Ball Super: Broly is a really enjoyable film to watch. It was fun seeing all the story play out and felt great that so many characters and ideas from the non-canon stories come together and become part of the canon story. While I grew up with the previous version of Broly, I definitely prefer this iteration and I’m sure many would agree given that Toriyama Akira had a hand in crafting the film’s story and making sure Broly had a origin worthy of a longtime popular character.
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