My first experience with anything Dragon Ball related was seeing a grainy, poorly subbed VHS tape that I saw at a friend’s house. As kids, we all just discovered anime and we would watch anything that came from Japan and even better, was subtitled. Tape trading was such a big deal amongst my friends and DragonBall Z was the most popular among us. The one movie I can fondly remember was DragonBall Z Broly.
I remember being a mall rat as a kid and seeing the movie being played outside of a video store with horrible subtitles. Every other word was “shit” and “fuck” and “damnit” as I saw blonde Super Saiyans beating the crap out of each other. As a kid I thought, “THIS IS COOLEST THING EVER!!!”
Of course as we all got older and we saw official releases, we all learned that anime wasn’t all fights and curse words. It was still cool seeing and hearing them at the best with official DVD releases and of course watching the series unfold as DBZ got released in syndication and later on Toonami. I remember going through the censorship of the show as well as the switch from Ocean Studios to Funimation, it has been a long journey for DBZ in America.
The DBZ movies always followed the theme of most anime films back in the day where they were rarely considered canon to the overall story of the series. You could say that they were elaborate side stories, not essential watches, but it didn’t hurt it as well. With the Dragon Ball Super movies, they were essential stories to continue the franchise as Akira Toriyama and Toei Animation has decided to bring more life into the Dragon Ball universe.
Over the years, the original Broly movie didn’t age well as fans found the movie to be nothing more than the Z warriors getting owned by a giant meathead that happened to be called the Legendary Super Saiyan. Yes, Broly did have a huge fan following because of his amazing overpowered fights but because he was always considered non-canon, he was more of a mythical character that didn’t really exist. TeamFourStar sums up how silly the story and motivation of the first Broly movie is just 30 minutes
Now with the release of Dragon Ball Super: Broly, that has all changed. Broly is now canon, he isn’t just an overpowered meathead obsessed with a crying baby, you learn of why he turned out the way he did and even get to understand more of his history and why he is even better than the “original.”
I’ll try to not go to heavy into spoilers but be forewarned, I will talk a bit about the story. The first 30 minutes or so was a flashback to the past where we see King Cold arriving on Planet Vegeta to meet the King. We also see Prince Vegeta and Broly as infants in their capsules getting primed from birth for their destinies.
We transition to how Paragus goes after his exiled son on Planet Vampa and what became of them during the years of DBZ and Super. We also get a movie retelling of Dragon Ball Minus when Bardock and Gine pull a Superman and send Kakarot in a space pod to Earth.
Fast forward to after the Tournament of Power, Frieza is trying to build his force back up again as well as steal the dragon balls. We see two new characters, Lemo and Cheelai (or as I see her as, Green Bulma) head to Planet Vampa to find an aged Paragus and a grown up Broly. They rescue them and bring them back to Frieza in order to exact revenge on Goku and Vegeta.
This movie was beautiful to look at. After seeing the teaser with Goku bouncing around and warming up in such fluid animation, I couldn’t wait to see how the movie looks. Each screenshot here has a high degree of detail but the action in motion was jaw dropping to see. Not everything was perfect as during the slower parts had those far views with faceless faces that I hate that they do in anime lately.
The contrast to that is with the very detailed up-close face shots that just bleeds emotion form Vegeta smirking, Broly, flowing with anger, Goku with a calm demeanor, or Frieza feigning care and overacting just to bring Broly to the next level.
They do take some chances and try different things during the main fights. There was a Broly point of view battle for a minute against Goku which was interesting to see. Some of the 3D battles can be a little off if you are actively looking for it but it does look pretty good for the most part. No one that I know had anything to bad to say over the choreography of the fights, it’s basically one big fight spilt into five to six rounds.
It was almost set up like a handicap boxing match where each round had one person winning by points (if you had judges scoring the round that is….) and that you cannot take your eyes off the match, otherwise you might miss a big hit. Once you get to the final fighters, you can see Gogeta pull off some sweet moves, akin to almost like a Street Fighter match. He puts off reflector moves, different parries, and super moves that would end any commoner but Broly tanks almost all of them. It was just awesome to see and you kept thinking it couldn’t get any better, yet it slowly escalates to an iconic kamehameha.
The music, I thought was great because it was a bit different. It does back up the action of course, but I don’t think it will be very memorable except the chanting. Some people may get turned off by the whole chanting of the fighters names during the battle, I thought it was pretty cool. Go Broly Go Go! Go Ge Ta, Gogeta!
The dub is super on point in this movie. Christopher Sabat as the voice director for years and it is another high quality movie dub. His style of Vegeta is just ingrained in Dragon Ball lore and he doesn’t disappoint even when Vegeta doesn’t want to do the fusion dance. Although his version of King Vegeta reminded me of an Evil All Might, for some reason.
The polarizing Vic Mignogna returns to voice Broly and he did great for the calm moments. Vic has a lot of range with more fleshed out anime characters so Broly should be a breeze, minus the fact that that Broly is 95% screaming. I just can’t imagine how he felt after yelling and grunting when Broly goes into battle, going feral, and then Super Saiyan. His voice must have been destroyed for a while after recording.
Sean Schemmel again runs all the gamut of Goku’s emotions from the goofy laughable meathead to the voice of reason during his first round with Broly, to the iconic transformations. He goes above and beyond to make us feel and hear the pain when Broly does his best Hulk and grabs him by his foot and slams him over and over on the ice.
The voice that steals the show is Chris Ayers returning as Frieza. The dub fan community has always loved his interpretation and portrayal of Frieza and I’m one of them as well. There was a time where fans believed he wouldn’t be able to return because of his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) but he managed an excellent performance that returned had Frieza go through his Napoleon dictator stage, to a petty version of Frieza, and even an overacting cry for help type of Frieza. I laughed so much at Frieza’s antics and having Chris Ayers backing all that up just felt right. I will always love hearing his iconic line, “Hello, Monkeys!”
- Frieza gave the Saiyans the scouters? What I thought was pretty cool was when Frieza blew up the Planet Vegeta, the scouter counted down to zero and it was just chilling.
- Goten, Trunks and the Pilaf Gang gets more screen time than Gohan.
- Vegeta transforming from base to Super Saiyan had a flash of green hair. Does this mean something? Finally seeing Vegeta transform to a Super Saiyan God, it was so majestic and you can feel a bit of his royal side for a second during the transformation.
- Goku had such an aggressive transformation from Super Saiyan God To Super Saiyan Blue, it was really strange. It’s weird to see because during DBS, switching to Blue just went so seamless like flipping a switch. You even see a flash of silver hair and Ultra Instinct before he goes Blue.
- All the DBZ villains get more screen time than Gohan. 😜
- Frieza killing Paragus only to go into his fake “Oh no Broly!” had our theater laughing so hard. I loved it.
- Broly is Dragon Ball’s version of The Incredible Hulk. He gets stronger the more angry he gets. Now I’m glad he isn’t one dimensional like the old Broly.
- Tarble gets name dropped by kid Vegeta. No mention of Gohan at all in the movie. 😅
- Frieza gets his ass kicked by Broly for at least an hour. Can’t say he didn’t deserve it but man was it hilarious.
- What was also hilarious was the slightly similar and selfish reasons for Bulma and Frieza wanting a wish from the dragonballs.
- Goku’s final line of the movie, excellent
If you ever enjoyed Dragon Ball, this is a must watch. I can’t wait to see how they will incorporate Team Broly into future stories. I would love to see him and Kale battle it out in a crazy story arc. If there isn’t a better time to support the official release, that time is now! Also seeing it in the theater is an absolute experience. Seeing the horrible bootleg video cam recording of the Japanese version doesn’t do the movie justice at all. Go support the official release and see Dragon Ball Super: Broly in all its high definition glory. Support the official release!