Blu-Ray Review: Dragon Ball Super: Broly The Movie

Super Saiyan titans collide in this epic showdown of immeasurable power but does Manga Entertainments Blu-Ray release of Dragon Ball Super: Broly The Movie live up to hype of this films strong UK presence. Let’s take a look and find out.

Synopsis:

This is the story of a new Saiyan.

Earth is at peace after the Tournament of Power. Goku, knowing that there are ever-stronger forces in the universe he has yet to encounter, spends all of his time training to achieve another level. One fateful day, a Saiyan appears before Goku and Vegeta who they have never seen before: Broly. How can a Saiyan – who had all supposedly been annihilated after the erasure of Planet Vegeta – appear on Earth?

With the return of Frieza from hell, a fierce battle awaits these three Saiyans who have followed completely different destinies.

Our View:

Acting as both an origin story, and as a continuation to the events of the Dragon Ball Super TV anime series, Dragon Ball Super: Broly the Movie serves up a bold statement by bringing the franchises biggest titans together for a showdown of epic proportions and the result is astonishing.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly the Movie delivers the most exhilarating and entertaining Dragon Ball product ever produced and that’s before I even mention the animation style used to bring this story to film. Whether you are a newcomer or an old fan rekindling a lost flame Dragon Ball Super: Broly the Movie offers something for you; but at the very least the films sparks new life into an ever ageing franchise.

The story of Dragon Ball Super: Broly the Movie begins by introducing Planet Vegeta, King Vegeta, King Cold and Freiza in the form of King Cold’s resignation and that Freiza would be taking control of operations within the Freiza Force.

Shortly after this visit from the Freiza Force King Vegeta discovers that a low-class-warrior saiyan Broly has been detected with abnormal latent powers. In fear of this power becoming uncontrollable he sends Broly to a remote planet. Angered by this action Broly’s father, Paragus, leaves the planet to find his son; but in doing so find himself marooned on the planet alongside his son.

A few years later Freiza orders all of the Saiyans back to Planet Vegeta and upon doing so viewers are introduced to Bardock, the father of Goku, and his doubts about the Frieza force. Unlike the OVA Film Bardock: The Father of Goku, Bardock is more compassionate about his family and as such takes matters into his own hands by sending Goku in a space capsule to earth in hopes of sparing him from any dangers that lie ahead.

That danger of course is the destruction of Planet Vegeta and just like the OVA film, and the opening of Dragon Ball Z Kai, Bardock charges in to space to stop Freiza; but alas fails and the entire planet is destroyed along with all saiyans on the planet.

This opening twenty minutes or so of Dragon Ball Super: Broly the Movie sets the “wheels of fate” to turn and acts as the viewers introduction to Broly and Paragus’s anger towards King Vegeta. More importantly than this it helps to build each of these characters back stories and makes them seem more human rather than just a mindless villian. Most Dragon Ball films tend to offer a simplistic “here is an enemy go and defeat them” kind of approach; but here we have a set characters that will do anything to achieve their dreams… and this is only just the beginning.

Fast-forward several decades into the future and we find that Goku and Vegeta are training near a resort island owned by Capsule Corporation with Bulma, Bulla/Bra, Whis and Beerus basking in the sunlight of the facility. Goku is urging for a new challenge as a result of the Tournament of Power and wishes to push himself further but before being given the opportunity Bulma receives a phone-call from Trunks that reveals Freiza’s men have stolen her Dragon Balls and in turn her Dragon Radar.

Outraged by this sudden turn of events, and that Freiza is still after the Dragon Balls, the group travel to the ice content in order to retrieve the final Dragon Ball. I won’t spoil the reasoning behind the desire to find the Dragon Balls; but it is an unexpected (and almost pointless) wish that illustrates a simple ploy on getting the characters together in one spot. It may be a simple ploy but it works well as a plot device and adds some comical charm to a film that already has enough comedy going for it.

Regardless of this plot device two new characters to the Dragon Ball franchise, known as Cheelai and Lemo, are introduced and they have been tasked with recruiting members for the Freiza Force. Cheelai and Lemo are an important part of this film by not only finding Paragus and Broly but because the relationship between Broly, Cheelai and Lemo sees Broly’s own origins of upbringing being brought out.

Previously Broly has been seen as a mindless killing machine; but here he is represented as a kind-hearted Saiyan that only wishes to do good things for the people he cares about. It’s not something we think about; but with Paragus controlling Broly via an electric chain-neck it makes sense that Broly isn’t totally evil and further gives merit to this character (unlike the stories of old found within Dragon Ball Z: The Legendary Super Saiyan).

At this point the story of finding the Dragon Balls doesn’t really matter as the reasons for obtaining the Dragon Balls is nothing but a force being used to have Goku and Vegeta encounter Freiza, Broly and Paragus. This meeting sparks Paragus’s anger and causes Broly to attack Vegeta with all his might and as such the battle of Saiyan warriors begins.

Dragon Ball Z has often being critisied for drawing out its battle with long-pieces of dialogue; but here it is different. Each fight, which includes Vegeta vs. Broly, Goku Vs. Broly, Freiza Vs. Broly, Whis Vs. Broly and even Gogeta Vs. Broly, lasts a respectable amount of time and just as the fight begins to reach its climax something happens and the fight (or characters involved) shift slightly. It’s always keeping the viewer engaged; whether it be a new power-up, some dialogue, a one liner or preparation for the Fusion dance and it works effectively well.

Ever since Broly was introduced as part of Dragon Ball Z: The Legendary Super Saiyan fans of Dragon Ball Z have been waiting for a respectable story that delivers both an emotional attachment to Broly and displays his raw beast-like-potential on screen; and this is exactly what is achieved from Dragon Ball Super: Broly the Movie. What’s even more surprising is that despite this ‘fast-paced-fist-fight’ we still do not see the levels of violence, blood and gore seen from past Dragon Ball Z films.

It is refreshingly surprising to see this amount of violence and yet still remains faithful to the non-brutal elements of Drgaon Ball Super. Sure we do see the levels of damage to skin and clothing; but not an ounce of blood can be seen other than those coming from Alien creatures found on the different alien planets.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly the Movie is an experience worth watching and if you can survive the carefully presented back story of both Broly and Planet Vegeta you’ll then be treated to an immerse fight that gets better with each passing minute. Sure enough the film has some minor issues, such as Broly being able to fight as good as Vegeta and Goku without any real training, and that searching for the Dragon Balls grants a stupid wish, but it delivers everything Dragon Ball fans want from a film.

A clear respectable story filled with heart and fun that sees fan-favourite characters battling in amazingly animated sequences. For a Dragon Ball movie it is beyond perfection.

Extras:

Despite the North American Blu-Ray release featuring a wide variety of bonus features, including Q&A with the English Voice Cast, our UK Blu-Ray release authored by Manga Entertainment UK does not feature any bonus features at all. Although this Blu-Ray release does not feature any extras on the main menu it does feature promotional trailers for other Manga UK products before the main menu; in this case viewers will find Pokemon: The Power of Us, My Hero Academia and Dragon Ball Super – Part Six being advertised; all of which can be skipped.

Disappointing indeed BUT the caveat to this is that we receive a superior product with visual quality remaining true to the source material (and not having a green tint as reported on the North American release) as well DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound (in both English & Japanese) as opposed to FUNimation’s Dolby TrueHD 5.1 option. This UK Blu-Ray release even features an English Hard of Hearing subtitle track for the English Dub as well as an English subtitles for the Japanese audio track.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50
Region: B
Running Time: 1:41:18
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD 5.1 (English & Japanese) & LPCM 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White) & English Hard of Hearing (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Goku may be the protagonist of Dragon Ball Super; but this film is the story of Broly. Taking place shortly after the events of The Tournament of Power, which brought the mainline Dragon Ball Super series to its hiatus, Dragon Ball Super: Broly the Movie reinvents a familiar character to give him a ‘true purpose’ within the world of Dragon Ball. That purpose is not revenge; but for the most part of this film he does act like it.

The film can be broken down into three distinctic arcs; the first of which introduces Planet Vegeta and its relevant inhabitants and the potential dangers of keeping a high-powered Saiyan on the planet. The second arc meanwhile introduces Bardock and the story of how Goku escaped the planet before it demise. The third and final arc of this story sees elements from the first two arcs brought together to see Saiyans battle. Paragus (through Broly’s strength) wants revenge on Vegeta while Freiza wants to kill all Saiyans (especially Goku) and this third portion of the film represents these facts.

Naturally the film offers more than simplistic duels between Saiyans, as a deeper meaning of self-worth and strength can be found lurking in the background; but watching these Saiyans do battle and the birth of Gogeta in Super Saiyan Blue form really does make the fight scenes stand up. Be warned it is fast-paced and should come with its own epilepsy warning of some kind.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly the Movie is (in my mind) beyond perfection of what I was expecting to see and this Blu-Ray release by Manga Entertainment UK continues to deliver that experience. Sure enough it is disappointing to not have any supplementary content being included (as even the promotional trailers are missing) but considering we receive DTS-HD Master Audio and picture-perfect quality with the visuals it is a nice trade off.

Another positive aspect is that, as Manga Entertainment UK have self-authored the title, we have English subtitles and hard of hearing subtitles; both of which are clean and presentable despite half of the film being a white background.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly the Movie is the most exhilarating Dragon Ball experience to date and it brings all the best elements of the franchise into a single film; all of which is presented cleanly on this UK Blu-Ray release by Manga Entertainment UK. It goes without saying that Dragon Ball Super: Broly the Movie is a recommended addition to your collection; even if you are not a Dragon Ball fan.

Score: review-stars-5

Dragon Ball Super: Broly The Movie will be available via Manga Entertainment within the UK on the 27th May 2019 as a Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray, Standard DVD and Triple-Pack Blu-ray and DVD sets.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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