Ladies, gentleman and Saiyans of all ages, I have a confession to make. I am a Dragonball addict; I know, shocking revelation right? It’s almost as though I hadn’t mentioned the series in nearly every article I’ve ever written… So you can trust me when I say that since it’s announcement, I have been beyond hyped for Dragonball Super: Broly.
Hours upon hours of waiting to see my favourite non-canon movie villain enter the series proper with a new story and design by the creator himself, Akira Toriyama. Big bad Saiyan beserker Broly is back with a real backstory for once, and I can say after watching that I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
When I sat down to watch the film I knew I was in for something special since I’d done my research – I knew that there was going to be a whole new art style with the animators saying they would be using old school Dragonball techniques with a little bit of CGI touch up to fuse the old and new, and the result is something truely breathtaking with incredibly smooth and fluid motions, allowing the fight scenes to look better than anything Dragonball has done before. Watching Goku and Broly speeding around an artic environment beating seven shades of shit out of one an other is rendered beautifully with seemless transitions between the CGI models and hand drawn figures. There was one scene in particular of Goku limbering up before his fight that really impressed me; sure it wasn’t all the exciting, but it’s hard not to be wowed by the nature of that animation.
Now, you didn’t come here to read me wax lyrical about how pretty it all looks… So how about we talk story instead; there was a lot of talk pre-release about how Broly (The film not the Saiyan) was going to retcon the history of the Saiyan race, and obviously reinvent the story of main man Broly. The first 25 minutes of the movie is this retelling of how main baddie Frieza came to his decision to destroy the Saiyan homeworld, and how King Vegeta chose to exile baby Broly just because he was so damn strong even as a baby!
…So after seeing these events (Including a few scenes with fan favourite Bardock), we jump ahead to the present timeline and, without spoiling anything, events transpire so that heroes Goku and Vegeta have to battle with Broly on Earth. Now you’d be forgiven for thinking that Broly was just a psychopathic rage beast like he was in the old movies… But no, the new film has given a deep and rich story to the clearly protein obsessed Saiyan so that he now comes across as a tragic victim of his father’s obsession, rather than a mad man bent on his own revenge… Oh, and yes, they got rid of that stupid thing about Broly hating Goku because he cried as a child… Like seriously? Who thought that was a good idea in the first place?!
Well I’ve said a lot about what I enjoyed, but let’s mention the massive issue I have with this otherwise epic film. The total lack of surprise. Thanks to how Toei Animation chose to advertise with such detailed trailers, there isn’t a lot that will take you by surprise. Sure the journey is great fun, and you’re in for a ride either way, but I personally think that fused badass Gogeta would have made more of an impact if I hadn’t known he was coming; I spent the whole time watching the fight thinking this is all well and good, but when is the fusion going to happen, and why does this fight even matter?! Like I said, the bulk of the movie isn’t great, but just would have been better with a little bit of a surprise here and there!
So in conclusion! Dragonball Super: Broly is an incredible new entry to the long running iconic series with some of the best anime action I’ve ever seen, and a few hilarious moments that made me laugh till I cried. However, there are certainly a few early pacing problems and, as I mentioned before, it could have done with a real surprise or two!