Cast: Sean Schemmel, Christopher Sabat, Christopher Ayers, Dameon Clarke
Directors: Tatsuya Nagamine, Naohiro Shintani, Kazuo Ogura
Being 100% honest, I have never watched an episode of Dragon Ball before, so maybe I’m not the best person to review a film like this. As someone without any sort of background in this series, I have to admit after watching Dragon Ball Super: Broly, I am very interested in watching more of this series, which is a testament to how entertaining and exciting this movie was. Combining a beautiful animation style with battles that literally shape the Earth, Dragon Ball Super: Broly is an amazing experience that will be adored by superfans of the series and enjoyable to those with less familiarity to the series.
The film follows Goku (voiced by Schemmel) and Vegeta (voiced by Sabat), two Saiyans on Earth looking for the seven Dragon Balls, which when collected will grant the finder any wish they desire. While this is going on, Frieza (voiced by Ayers), Goku and Vegeta’s long-time enemy, is plotting his revenge against them and recruits Broly (voiced by Vic Mignogna), a super-strong Saiyan who was left to die on a desolate planet by Vegeta’s father and wants revenge for his rough childhood. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, the animation of this film is absolutely gorgeous. The colors are fluid, the scenes are detailed, and the various environments always transport us to wherever we need to go and make us feel we are with the characters the entire way. Speaking of the characters, the story is so well-written that you feel an emotional connection to every character regardless of what side they fight for. We know why you’re supposed to support Goku and Vegeta, but at the same time we can empathize with Broly and his journey leading up to this point. This means that their battle has an extra level of emotional weight to it rather than if Broly was introduced merely as one of Frieza’s minions. Speaking of the battle, this was one of the most impressive animated fight sequences I have ever seen. I don’t watch very much anime, but if a normal fight in series involves a continent being melted, then you may have just convinced me to start watching. Just as one side gets the upper hand, the other side does something to equalize the situation and balance out the fight once again. What this means is that the screen is always busy with quick punches, kicks, and beams being shot at people, but the aforementioned animation never makes it feel like there’s too much going on. Very few films can strike this balance in the way that Dragon Ball Super: Broly can, and this goes to show what can happen when you take a series with a strong and established fanbase and put talented people at the helm of this film. Sure the film can be a little campy at times, but I feel as though that was the intention of the movie was to be light and campy to break up the moments of drama and action. All of these elements combine for an immersive experience that can entertain the masses and provide fan-service for those who love this show so much.
Overall, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find an anime movie that can capture the essence of a show and condense the plot into 100 minutes so effortlessly as Dragon Ball Super: Broly. I may not appreciate this movie as much as someone who is in love with the show, but as someone who has no emotional attachment to the show, I believe that anyone can just sit down with no real prior knowledge and still have a great time experiencing this movie.
Overall Score: 8/10