Dragon Ball has entered a new renaissance following the return of the franchise in 2013 with the Dragon Ball Z: Battle Of Gods movie, and has since enjoyed success with a whole new anime series and 2 subsequent movies. Dragon Ball Super: Broly is the latest part of this renaissance.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly, as the title suggests, focuses on the character Broly, a Saiyan like series heroes Goku and Vegeta. Unlike the two heroes, he’s a Saiyan exiled from their home planet and was raised by his abusive father, Paragus, on a planetoid at the edge of space. Broly was exiled for having too much latent power in him, to the point that it becomes beyond his control. His father has since been honing his powers to enact revenge on the Saiyans that exiled him, namely the crown prince Vegeta.
If Broly sounds familiar to you, that’s because he was a villain back in Dragon Ball Z. In fact, he has had 3 movies all about him before. But those movies were never canon and this new movie is the official reintroduction of Broly to the canon. Unlike the original movies, Broly isn’t just a hulking force of nature, instead he has a tragic past and a more nuanced personality. This new Broly is a gentle and innocent soul, that is being manipulated by his father and series’ villain, Frieza, who want to use his latent power to destroy Goku and Vegeta. This makes him a good contrast to our two heroes, more of an anti-hero than an actual villain.
The story starts off with the destruction of Planet Vegeta, the home planet of the Saiyans, up to the modern day, right after the Tournament of Power arc that ended the anime earlier this year. Broly and his father were discovered by the resurrected Frieza Force, and swept away for both Frieza and Paragus to enact their revenge towards Goku and Vegeta respectively, both by manipulating Broly to do their bidding.
While the story is pretty solid, though simple, the stand-out of the film is the animation quality. For this movie, the animation quality has raised phenomenally looking unlike any other Dragon Ball movie before this. There’s a new sort of energy and fluidity to the motions of it all. The only jarring part is when there are certain scenes where it transitions between 2D animation and 3D. The 3D parts looked like it came right out of the Dragon Ball: Xenoverse games, which can disrupt the flow of it all.
Weird anime tricks aside, this is definitely a film for fans, which may put some people off. Though the film does do enough to make it a good stand alone as well, since it mostly covers the genocide of the Saiyans by Frieza, and the surviving Saiyans; Broly, Goku, and Vegeta. These are the only elements in play in the film, and for the most parts, it works. Though there are a few moments that only fans would enjoy. Also, since the movie only centered on a handful of Dragon Ball characters, a large chunk of the cast didn’t even make an appearance in the film.