Dragon Ball Super: Broly – Review

Dragon Ball Super: Broly is a fast paced, action packed spectacle that will leave fans new and old extremely satisfied.

Mild Spoilers Ahead

Dragon Ball Super: Broly is the 20th movie in the Dragon Ball franchise and the first in the Dragon Ball Super line. Directed by Tatsuya Nagamine, with an original story and screenplay from visionary creator, Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball Super: Broly is everything a fan of the series could want. Beautiful and fluid animation makes each battle more faithful than ever as characters like Goku, Vegeta and Broly feel ripped straight out of the manga pages. Headlined by the iconic Japanese voices of Masako Nozawa, Ryō Horikawa, the English voices of Sean Schemmel and Christopher Sabat, plus a majority returning cast, the film feels familiar, and right at home for long time fans.

Vegeta in Super Saiyan God form

Dragon Ball Super: Broly introduces the fan favorite character of Broly to the Dragon Ball canon. While the character became instantly iconic by his appearances in Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan and
Dragon Ball Z: Broly – Second Coming, those appearances have never officially counted in the official Dragon Ball storyline. For new readers, anytime a series or film is officially done with the approval or hand of Akira Toriyama, it is considered ‘canon’ while other films or shows done without his guidance fall outside of it. For this franchise, the majority of films and shows like Dragon Ball GT fall in this category. Up until this point, the character of Broly has never been introduced in the main storyline, hence Dragon Ball Super: Broly is the first official introduction of the character. Akira Toriyama wanted to put his own spin on Broly and introduces him as a more sympathetic figure and with a past that is distinctly more layered than his monstrous counterpart. As the title of the film suggest, Broly is the main character of this film and much of the attention is given to him and his backstory. For fans of the series, this Broly will feel old and new. Aesthetically he is very much in line with the original character and is faithful to that design, his personality gets a facelift and is more in line with the other main characters. In terms of battle and strength, Broly is simply at the top of the food chain and seems to be the hardest battle Goku has ever fought. Toriyama made it a point to link him with three main characters of the franchise this time. Goku, Vegeta and Freiza all have been linked together through the presence of Broly which introduces, and even changes, many notions of the storyline this far.

Broly in transformation

A huge element of Dragon Ball Super: Broly is the streamlining of the canon and the franchise as a whole. From the outside, the director seems to gives the impression that this film is about creating new fans just as much as satisfying old ones. Small retcons were made to long standing Dragon Ball concepts. The primary one is the linking of Goku, Vegeta, Broly and Frieza. Originally, it has been told that Goku was sent to Earth as a baby to eliminate humans and have the planet ready for conquering. The Saiyans were shown to be a powerful yet broken race as they are enslaved by Frieza. Goku’s departure to Earth wasn’t originally tied to the Saiyans battle with Frieza but in a very ‘Superman’ retcon, Goku’s origin story has officially shifted to be more sympathetic. Bardock, Goku’s father was given a similar retcon and while it is still faithful to Dragon Ball Z: Bardock – The Father of Goku, on a basic level, he was also changed for a more streamline approach. Overall, it is unclear how fans will react to these few changes but it is clear that it was done to bring new fans into this two decade old franchise.

Goku as a child

The highlight of every Dragon Ball show and franchise boils down to one element, the action scenes. In this aspect, Dragon Ball Super: Broly completely dominates. Action scenes in this film are the best they have ever been in the franchise. Each punch, power up, transformation and Kamehameha feels fluid, visually stunning and simply exhilarating. The art and animation directors for the film, Naohiro Shintani and Kazuo Ogura create the sleekest and more beautiful Dragon Ball experience yet and makes the film absolute eye candy for fans. Speaking of fans, the film definitely doesn’t forget about them. Dragon Ball Super: Broly is packed to the brim with iconic fan moments and callbacks. Broly himself has many callbacks to his original version, Vegeta goes Super Saiyan God, Goku almost taps into Ultra Instinct, and best of all, Gogeta makes an appearance. The film will leave any fan completely satisfied and glued to the screen.

Goku vs Broly
Super Saiyan Blue Gogeta

Dragon Ball Super: Broly is a rollercoaster of fluid animation, spectacular action sequences strong voice acting that will satisfy new and longtime fans. A streamlined story and the guidance of Akira Toriyama keeps audiences engaged as each fight scene and transformation is exhilarating and fun.