Dragon Ball Super: Broly – Review

It’s been a bit over a week since the new anime movie premiere hit theaters around America, but unlike many features come & gone in the past, usually 2 or 3 night events, Dragon Ball Super: Broly is still in regular rotation in all my local cinemas. In its opening weekend alone, according to Box Office Mojo, Broly nearly brought in $10m, which is usually unheard of for Anime in the ‘States. Dragon Ball enthusiasts came out to support in droves and still are, and there’s little question as to why.

My experience was much like that on Thursday, January 17th, a day since the initial drop into North America. The audience was packed out, even the first two rows up front were filled, all signs that I was in for a good time. What I wasn’t prepared for was the cheering, the applause, and laughter that at separate times filled the space. Much like many had said before me, it was like being at a boxing match, except our competitors have been in the wings for more than a decade before a bout none of us thought would happen.

I’m going to say firstly that very, very few of us came to see a good story. DBS: Broly had just about the same, if not more, ridiculous set-up many of us have come to expect with Shonen Anime movies.

***Spoilers Beyond This Point***

 

freeza
*Pictured – Child Frieza, aka Everything we never asked for yet are not disappointed by*

Bulma collected the Dragon Balls to become 5 years younger (“I can’t do 10, it’d be too noticeable!!”), Frieza wanted them so he could be 5 centimeters taller (“Not 10! I want my troops to think I’m still growing into my form!”), to which this writer could only grin at the bold assumption of anyone in their universe caring. The premise is fun though, it got everyone in one spot on Earth, so *boom*.

The real story, obviously, is how Broly’s story gets to be in Dragon Ball Canon, of which we’re allllll assuming is a thing now. This comes off of the fact of Battle of the Gods & Resurrection of F both made it into the current story via the storylines themselves being broken down into episodes for the newest anime addition to the series, DB Super. So, SURELY if/when a 2nd season for the show premieres, we’ll be seeing the Legendary Super Saiyan again albeit in chunks at first.

Aside from the goofy setup story, a lot happened in just under two hours of runtime. Bardock got a new look & somewhat of a revamped story himself over the course of the first hour, and as well we see King Vegeta do more than sit on his throne. Other than the title character, it was rather cool to see more flesh be put to an already serialed cast. Bardock seems to be, along with many of the other citizens of the Saiyan race, just a day-in day-out family man, so while he goes out to take over planets despite his feeling about the job, he felt softer in this new skin he’s put under.

King Vegeta, on the other hand, is everything we initially saw Vegeta to be at first, and maybe even more so. Wound up in his own ego, he couldn’t just watch a “lower-class saiyan” outpace his own spawn in power readings, therefore establishing the anger to be with Paragus, Broly’s father, rather than with Broly himself, whom until Cheelai (Space Bulma) shows up only knows the life his father forced on him via “The Saiyan Way”. This sets up a future for the character in many ways, but the most important being that Broly is now a blank slate to be written upon as well as a more intelligent endeavor when it comes to writing him from here on.

So, King Vegeta casts out father & son, Frieza discovers them years later, brings them to Earth to “test” Broly out on our main heroes while stealing the ‘Balls to get taller, coming into conflict with Bulma whom he was stealing them from, alerting Goku & Vegeta to Frieza’s presence. This about sums up the setup, so let’s get onto the main course: Broly vs. Everyone.

dragon-ball-super-broly-trailer-1

There was absolutely nothing but love in the creation of this fight. Whether it was watching the power-up’s in between (Saiyan God Vegeta), or seeing the build-up to Goku’s SS God Blue, the animators handled it masterfully. I could almost have sworn at times that Bandai Namco collaborated with Toei to craft the transitions within the brawl itself, just based off of their work with Dragon Ball FighterZ. It was flashy, the environment around each set was worked to encase the brawling in-progress, and each special move used was given that extra attention to detail. There was nothing but love in that feature, and it really showed. I watched an entire audience scream at times, reeling from the blow-for-blow, watching some opponents get knocked out just to be reset for the next match. So with the boxing match metaphor, it was seeing smaller fights build up to the title card, except not one fight left the stadium of fans disappointed. We also got to see Frieza thrown in for good measure, and again, it was everything we didn’t know we wanted & yet everything we never knew we needed. Beautiful, beautiful.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly was a knock-out of a feature, most definitely the best use of animation I’ve personally seen for Shonen outside the One Piece features, and a movie I hope becomes a pedestal to put future fights up to. There was quality, better writing on background, and foresight laid into this undertaking. Mainly though, we have a better Broly, one of which we can actually care about. If this feature wasn’t a prelude to a fantastic future with his character, than I’m at least pleased he got another shot in the spotlight.

***WARNING, WARNING***

According to the recent Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour Finals that concluded this weekend, the Season Two Fighter Pass releases with a new duo to play as, aka Jiren & Videl. At the end of the trailer? It’s out boys!!! Watch the full breakdown & look forward to a hot 2019 with this game!

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Thank you for tuning into your world, for this… is 20XX.


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