Since Dragon Ball Super ended with a spectacular fight to the finish just last year, fans have been dying to see more Dragon Ball action. Most would expect this to come in the form of another season, so what a surprise it was when we got the announcement of a brand new movie – featuring not only a new art style, but also a revisit of a classic Dragon Ball character in the form of the Super Saiyan known as Broly (whose character has been completely changed/retconned for this movie).
If you’re a Dragon Ball fan then you’re undoubtedly aware of the massive hype surrounding around this movie – but does Dragon Ball Super: Broly really live up to the hype? Or is it just like all of the other movies in the franchise? Let’s find out!
Of course, while this review is mostly spoiler-free, I will be talking a bit about some of the older movies in the franchise as well as a little about how the movie progresses (in vague terms). You have been warned.
But anyway, let’s get started!
So let’s start with some of the main key features of the movie, mainly being the new art style the movie uses.
When fans got a first glimpse at what the movie was going to look like, they literally couldn’t contain their hype for how beautiful the new art style was – it was fluid, colorful and very refined compared to Dragon Ball Super‘s art style. And thankfully, they keep this up for the entire movie.
It’s definitely a selling point when talking about what the movie does best, and while we all know it won’t be the new art style for the rest of the series, it’s always nice to see what Goku and the others can look like with a few changes.
The use of outlining really makes the characters pop, and also keeps action sequences focused. Often times during an intense anime fight, it is easy to lose track of what is going on, but that almost never happens here, thanks to this style.
It is worth mentioning that the movie does make use of CGI in some scenes, but only when things get particularly intense while fighting. It isn’t too bad, but their movements definitely make it noticeable, and their models seemed to have a weird pale tint.
Much like the main art style the movie features, the backgrounds are also very beautiful, similarly having an abundance of color. While most settings are original and unique to the movie, there are some classic locations like Capsule Corp and the Planet Vegeta which look great in HD quality compared to their appearance in former works like DBZ and DBS.
Now, let’s talk about the plot, which I find to be very interesting compared to other movies in the series.
While the plot isn’t very different from most of the other Dragon Ball specials and movies, it does somehow feel a lot more modern, much like the other two recent DBZ movies Battle of Gods and Ressurection F. This is likely due to the involvement of mangaka/creator of Dragon Ball, Akira Toriyama, who wrote the screenplay and story.
Everything from the beginning to the end in the movie remains fast-paced with enough story building material during less-intense scenes to make sure the viewer remains at the edge of their seats and isn’t bored while watching.
Even though the movie is pretty much 80% fighting and 20% story, thanks to the unique art style and new characters things remain somewhat fresh. The only downside is that movie just follows the classic DB movie formula, something I think much of the series suffers from when it comes to the movies and specials.
We still don’t know yet if Toei Animation will try a different formula with future movies, but after how successful this movie was, I can’t blame if they keep using it for years to come. Still, it’d be nice to see a new formula someday, as there’s a lot of untapped potential there.
Another thing I found to be interesting was the new character origins for both Goku and Broly, improving upon their existing origins and Broly’s overall story from his original appearance and character debut in the DBZ Broly movie.
The changes make Broly a much more compelling villain, with understandable motivations – rather than a petty desire for revenge he’s clung to for way too long. As much we may dislike retcons, this is a much needed improvement.
Broly’s personality has also been greatly changed – which is again, definitely a change for the better. Rather than being quick-tempered and launching into a rage at the mere mention of a Saiyan’s name, he now acts more like a traditional Saiyan with a Tarzan-like understanding of everything. Which makes him much more entertaining all-round.
Goku’s new backstory isn’t anything too major, but it does reveal something fans have always been curious about, and it’s a nice little detail which adds more to our understanding of Goku’s personality.
Unfortunately, this movie is kind of a letdown in terms of returning characters, with only a small group of the fan-favorite DB characters making an appearance – with even Piccolo hanging back from the fight and basically only being useful to teach Vegeta the fusion technique. Which is a real shame, but then again, shoving in too many characters could have ended up being a detriment to the movie, since this allows them to put much more focus on Goku, Vegeta and Broly.
The movie has an excellent soundtrack, and the ending theme “Blizzard” performed by Daichi Miura has got to be one of the best in the franchise. It’s a very addicting song and it’s a real shame it wasn’t used in the actual movie other than just for the ending. At the very least, one thing that made me smile was the use of a new cover of the classic DBZ opening Cha-La-Head-Cha-La being used during the beginning – a nice touch considering it’s used in a lot of the other specials and movies as a way to pay tribute to DBZ.
Overall, Dragon Ball Super: Broly was a very exciting movie to watch and while it still falls into the classic DB movie formula, it uses this formula in the best way possible. Even though the movie shares a lot of flaws with many other entries into the franchise, they still were able to present one of the best DB movies in a while with a new art style, gorgeous fight scenes, and and a story which reboots a fan-favourite character in the best way possible, leaving us hopeful that he’ll make another appearance sometime in the future.
I’d bet on the fact that with the success of this movie, we’ll be seeing either a sequel or even possibly the next season of Dragon Ball Super very soon! (Or at least, I’d really like to see either of those very soon.)
And that’s it for this review! What did you think about Dragon Ball Super: Broly? Did you find it as exciting as I did? Let’s discuss! Leave a comment down below and as always, any suggestions or feedback you have is much appreciated as well.
Thanks for reading!