So I may not be a 10-year-old anymore hooked on high-octane, colorful and flashy action, but shit! The latest installment of Dragon Ball Super: Broly is the stuff of pre-pubescent me’s dreams.
I haven’t exactly been staying up-to-date with the anime of Dragon Ball Super however I was happy to find out that I didn’t really have to, to a degree, as the first act of the film provides just enough exposition that I can get a fairly clear understanding of previous events. This is extremely helpful as, like the previous two movies, this one also takes part within the main continuity. Unlike all the previous films prior to Battle Of The Gods.
One hugely noticeable fact with Dragon Ball Super: Broly is that there is a lot of retconning going on during the first act. We see events play out from what we previously knew. One huge factor which is changed is what happens with the father of main protagonist Goku/Kakarot’s, Bardock, and the circumstances surrounding his death.
Another change is the reason for why Broly is as angry as he is, we will get to that but it is no longer due to Kakarot’s incessant crying when he was a baby as no longer were they born on the same day, with Broly sharing a birthday with Prince Vegeta instead.
So with the first act rehashing previous plot points, the second act not only provides exposition from the series but also gives us adult Broly. The titular titan finally offers us a glimpse of what is to come. We then get two of the most instantly recognizable villains coming face-to-face when our big bad meets the revived Frieza! This is easily the best way to provide fan service, and it only gets better, but we will get there.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly‘s first act also gives us context as to what it is causing the antagonists and protagonists coming into conflict. One guess as to what it is. The Dragon Balls! No surprise really. My problem here is the wishes which wish to be granted. For our heroes, Bulma wants to look 5 years younger and Frieza (after everything he wanted originally) wants to be 5 centimeters taller, so it looks like he is still growing. This main plot point is a head scratcher for sure but I will take any reason to see Broly.
The final act finally puts our heroes of Goku and Vegeta in direct contact with both Frieza and Broly. Here we get some of the most insanely fast-paced, adrenaline pumping fight sequences. Despite the flashy imagery and speed of the actual fights, it isn’t difficult to actually follow what is happening. It is also filled with an absurd amount of transformation sequences. This isn’t a bad thing as I can recall the first time I saw a Super Saiyan transformation. It was chilling and with each power up I was flooded with nostalgia.
Eventually, we see Broly overpower both Vegeta and Goku in fairly quick succession and both need a way to break away from the fighting to find a way to best him. In the end, they manage to lead Broly over to Frieza who ends up in a fairly one-sided fight despite his Golden Perfect Form, and our dynamic duo uses Goku’s Instant Transmission technique to fall back.
The following scene flashes between the emasculation of Frieza by everyone’s favorite behemoth as well as how Goku and Vegeta plan to overpower him. Here we get to witness the birth of Gogeta in the main storyline after Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Rebirth’s rendition was deemed as an alternate timeline (this is based on the multiverse theory, people get pissy in this fandom with the term ‘canon’).
There is a nice twist in Dragon Ball Super: Broly with Broly actually surviving his encounter with Gogeta as he is actually saved by those who introduced him to the galactic overlord. The Dragon Balls are used to wish Broly back to the planet which he was found upon, meaning that Gogetas’ final attack does not deal the finishing blow.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly does what the previous iterations of the tirading tyrant never did, and actually provides a more in-depth character. No longer is he just a vessel of pure rage but an actual complex being who shows compassion for others, especially his father, Paragus. There is a vital moment in the final few scenes of the film that really shows this and touches upon a depth of the character which would have been an inconceivable thought originally.
There is a lot more room for what can happen with Broly’s character but Dragon Ball Super: Broly is hopefully the opening of a whole new arc where we get to see anime Brock Lesnar make a return like we were lucky enough to get with his first outing to the franchise. Thanks to him now being in the main continuity I would say that it was likely.
Not only do we see the survival of Broly, but Frieza actually makes it to the end too. Unlike his last silver screen appearance where he was annihilated by Vegeta thanks to some cheating on Whis’ behalf. Therefore I believe we can also expect to see more of a turning point or a new concept that Dragon Ball has never really explored with a recurring villain as opposed to the usual Saga style stories.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly is definitely a movie for both those familiar and unfamiliar with the franchise as a whole. We have a new insight into one of the most revered characters to grace Dragon Ball and we have some absolutely gorgeous fight scenes. The main story which sees the crossing paths is definitely an acquired taste but thankfully doesn’t take away from the excitement which oozes from this feature. I would like two zeroes and a one added to the end of my score (I hope the editors find a way for me).