Taylor Mitchell , A&E Editor
I don’t often get to review anime when I write. I do a radio show about it, but it’s weirdly more niche then even the other nerdier stuff I write. I also find it hard to review entire television series, which is most of what mainstream anime consists of in the States. Theatrical anime film releases are rare to begin with, but ones that reach Alabama are even rarer. This brings us to Dragon Ball Super: Broly. When the movie was announced I was excited, but expected to have to see the movie quite a bit after release. I was delighted to hear it would get a wider release than usual, and even more delighted to see that a local theater would be showing it. I was able to experience the film in just enough time to write this review in fact.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly is the first movie connected to the Dragon Ball Super manga and television series. It is also the 20th feature film in the overall Dragon Ball franchise created by Akira Toriyama. The film picks up right where the show ended, but with a prologue that sets up the films antagonists Paragus and his son Broly. They are members of the saiyan race, much like heroes Goku and Vegeta, exiled by Vegeta’s father. Now, Paragus seeks revenge on Vegeta, and he teams up with longtime villain Frieza to do it. Long time fans of the series may recognize Broly as the villian of 2003’s Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan. This is Toriyama’s take on the fan favorite character that was originally unique to the film. The film explores a new Broly and combines him with new concepts introduced in Dragon Ball Super. This ends up making a character that actually makes sense to the story as well as making quite a spectacle.
Speaking of spectacle, the new animation style used in movies facilitates a whole lot of it. The films animation feels like very much a throw back to hand drawn styles from the 90s. It is incredibly bouncy and high energy. It looks just as impressive in the film’s slower moments as it does in fight scenes. Speaking of the fights, ladies and gents this is Dragon Ball, and there are as always the star of the show. While some of the fight animation is clearly produced the same way the rest of the film, a large chunk of it is CGI. This was also done in the most recent Dragon Ball Z movie Resurrection F, which admittedly handled it poorly. This time around it blends in pretty seamlessly. While I noticed it, I admit I was looking for it. The person I went with commented afterwards that they hardly noticed until I pointed it out. It also just looks incredibly good, especially the energy blasts that often punctuate Dragon Ball’s action sequences. They have honestly never looked better, which adds tremendously to the visuals of the movie.
This movie is fantastic and opens up several possibilities for the future of the Dragon Ball franchise. I really enjoyed all the fast paced action of the movie. While the story is hard to talk about since it both concludes a story and sets up another possible story, it was still incredibly satisfying. If you’re a long time fan I cannot recommend it enough, and even if you aren’t I would have a hard time finding a better place for you to jump on. For our local readers I feel I should mention that it is showing at Amstar Theater in Oxford, Alabama and Trussville Cinema 16 in Trussville, Alabama. The Chanticleer is not in any way sponsored by these theaters, but they are the only immediately local theaters we are aware of that are currently showing the film.