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Dragon Ball Super: Broly
Dragon Ball Super: Broly's existence in the Dragon Ball franchise is to make the popular anime exclusive character from the 90s Dragon Ball Z movies into a canon character for the franchise. Surprisingly, this movie does a pretty solid job of integrating him into the series canon and changing up his character backstory and personality greatly from the 90s movie. Rather than being a one-note villain who is bloodthirsty and single-mindedly obsessed with killing Goku, Broly's character is given a good deal more fleshing out throughout this movie's run to make him into a more sympathetic character.|
For this movie, Broly is a victim of abuse from his father, Paraguas, who is exploiting his son's abnormal power to attempt revenge on Vegeta's father for declaring Broly an outcast from other Saiyans. An effective way the film shows a comparison in the parent-child relationship of other Saiyan families is using the first half-hour of the film to show how Goku and Vegeta's parents shown care for their child's well-beings compared to Paraguas neglecting Broly's feelings for his own self-interest. While this does recap some of the events depicting the hostile relations between Frieza and the Saiyans explored from the Frieza saga in Dragon Ball Z, it still serves as a solid exploration in the differences that Goku and Vegeta's parents had caring for them compared to Paraguas with Broly.
With Broly's upbringing, he's also depicted to have a gentler personality with his friending of two of Frieza's henchmen and still caring for his father in spite of being naive to his father's regard for him as a tool of revenge. This makes his fight with Goku and Vegeta in the second half of the film a unique one for the Dragon Ball franchise in that Broly isn't a heartless villain who is willingly trying to destroy all around him, as his lack of experience with learning to control his powers gradually makes him into a mindless berserker and unwilling victim as he is further manipulated and driven to tap further into his abilities by both Paraguas and Frieza, in the latter's latest scheme to get Earth's Dragon Balls. Goku gradually becomes aware of this problem as his fight with Broly progresses and this dimension helps add a tragic element to the fight unlike past encounters he has with past enemy threats.
Better still, the movie keeps its focus mainly on Broly's developments and doesn't deviate from this exploration for the most part throughout the film. While there are cameos from some other notable Dragon Ball characters, Dragon Ball: Broly doesn't waste too much time to shift focus on them and the film largely maintains focus on Goku, Vegeta, Broly, and Frieza throughout its run. Probably the only major gripes I would have with the movie is its rather awkward blend of CG and 2D animation that were prior issues with Battle of Gods and Resurrection F and the film seeming to leave things open with its plot for possible future entries in the Dragon Ball franchise.
Otherwise, Dragon Ball Super: Broly is easily the best movie within the Dragon Ball franchise to date thanks to its solid addition of Broly's character to the series canon that adds some fresh possibilities to the franchise's typical storytelling with Broly's origins and the unique dilemma it gave Goku and Vegeta in this film. A definite recommendation if you've been a long-time fan of the Dragon Ball franchise.
Last updated Friday, May 15 2020. Created Friday, May 15 2020.