Review: DRAGON BALL SUPER: BROLY Is a Lore-Filled Treat That Rewards With Excellent Anime Action

DRAGON BALL SUPER BROLY FEATURE.jpg

I love the Dragon Ball Z movies. So much so that I even needlessly ranked them once. Even though I never fully jumped on board the Dragon Ball Super series, I still enjoy the base pleasures that the franchise offers. But, I also appreciate when the films manage to tell a succinct story that stands on it own.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly definitely works on its own merits due to a first act that presents a lot of backstory upfront. In fact, the first thirty minutes are a retelling of the destruction of Planet Vegeta. For longtime watchers of the series, a lot of this is going to feel like a retread. Though, it's an important one as this extended intro gives us the newest - and I'm assuming now canon - interpretation of Broly.

Broly's status as a beloved character is clear through his multiple movie appearances and his inclusion in most other forms of Dragon Ball media. As with most villains in this series, creator Akira Toriyama is obsessed with finding their most sympathetic angles. This leads to trying to turn them into either full-on friends to the good guys or tenuous allies. In truth, the work done to make Broly even more sympathetic isn't bad (if a tad maudlin).

And, as always, the fight scenes are top notch. In fact, out of the recently produced Dragon Ball films, Dragon Ball Super: Broly has the best looking animation during the action. These newer iterations have struggled with the digital look, but this is the first film that makes the best of the aesthetic. Deeper shading and darker linework/texturing makes the violence (and violent expressions) feel rougher in a good way. This is by far the best-looking the series has been since abandoning cel animation.

It is worth noting that this is the longest movie that the series has ever produced, and that first hour can feel like a drag as a lot of board-setting takes place. Too many characters and overwrought plotting almost hobbles the movie right out of the gate. But, once the main event gets underway, it's everything you want out of this experience. This is the best Dragon Ball Super  has ever been. If you love this series, this is not only a must-see but is destined to go down as one of the high points of the franchise.