Anime Blu-ray/DVD Combo Review: Dragon Ball Super: Broly

Dragon Ball Super: Broly was released as the first film with the Dragon Ball Super branding, and it is the 20th Dragon Ball feature film overall.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Release Date: April 16, 2019

Dragon Ball Super: Broly is a re-telling of Broly’s origin story, and it starts out with some history of the Saiyans. The ultimate focus of this history, though, is on Vegeta, Broly, and Goku and what happened to them leading up to their respective introductions. The most time is spent on Broly, though, which makes sense. The audience gets to see King Vegeta get angry that another Saiyan child would have a higher power level than his son. Broly is sent away in a pod, and his father, Paragus, steals a ship to rescue him. The pod lands on a rather inhospitable planet, and Paragus’ ship crash lands on the planet. While Paragus is able to rescue Broly, they are unable to leave because the ship is damaged. Paragus vows to raise his son in order to exact revenge on King Vegeta, When Frieza summons all the Saiyans back to Planet Vegeta, Bardock (Goku’s father) returns, but suspects something isn’t right. In this film, we get to meet Goku’s mother, Gine, and after some discussion, she and Bardock steal a pod in order to send Goku away to Earth, just in case Bardock is correct about Frieza’s intentions.

The film then moves ahead in time 41 years after the destruction of Planet Vegeta, and is set after the end of the Dragon Ball Super anime series. Two of Freiza’s henchman have broken into Capsule Corp and stolen the Dragon Radar and the six Dragon Balls that Bulma has collected. Bulma knows where they’re headed, so she, Goku, and Vegeta head toward that location.

Meanwhile, two new recruits for Frieza’s army are out trying to find new recruits for Frieza, and they end up on the planet where Paragus and Broly are. The two recruits find them and are blown away by their power levels. When they learn that the two of them have been stuck on this planet for years, they make a strong case for Paragus and Broly to come with them. The two recruits become friends with Broly, and the female recruit is unhappy about how Paragus tries to control Broly. She steals the remote and destroys it, which becomes important later in the story.

Frieza decides to take Paragus and Broly with him when they go to retrieve the Dragon Balls on Earth. Goku, Vegeta, and Broly encounter each other, and this is when the battle that dominates the film gets started. At first, it seems like Vegeta has the upper hand on Broly, but as Broly figures out what Vegeta is doing, it becomes a much more even match. But Broly’s strength keeps going up, and Paragus has no way to control it since the remote was destroyed. The story reaches its climax with an epic battle between Broly, Vegeta, and Goku. I liked how the battle was brought to an end, because it’s not something that the audience would have necessarily anticipated.

After watching Dragon Ball Super: Broly, I have to say that this was a much better film than I had anticipated. This telling of Broly’s story allowed Broly to truly be developed as a character, and as a viewer, I came to really like him. I also thought the addition of the old man and the female recruits for Frieza’s army helped to make a huge difference. By having these two characters to befriend and confide in, the viewer gets to see that Broly is actually a decent and gentle Saiyan, who was being pushed by his father to become a warrior because of his desire to get his revenge on King Vegeta. I also liked how parent-child relationships played an important role in this film as well, and we get to see three different relationships (Gine and Bardock’s love for Goku, King Vegeta wanting to mold his son into what he wanted him to be, and Paragus micromanaging Broly’s life).

The animation was definitely in the same vein as the Dragon Ball Super anime series, although it was at a little higher quality for this feature film. My only real gripe with the animation has to do with when attempts were made to include computer graphics among the traditionally animated elements. The CG used in this film stood out way too much, and it was blatantly obvious how much CG was being used in some of the scenes. Outside of that, though, the animation was pretty decent.

When it comes to the Blu-ray included in this release, it has 1080p High Definition 16:9 (HD Native) video. For audio, it includes Dolby True HD: English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 5.1. For the DVD, it has English 5.1 Surround and Japanese 5.1 Surround for the audio. I watched the Blu-ray included in this set, and I had no complaints with either the video or the audio quality.

There are a handful of bonus features included on the release, but only on the Blu-ray Disc. First is “Interview with the Cast of Dragon Ball: Super.” This feature runs for about 18 minutes and includes interviews with Christopher R. Sabat (the voice director for the film, as well as the voice actor for Vegeta and Piccolo), Ian Sinclair (the voice actor for Whis), Jason Douglas (the voice actor for Beerus), Monica Rial (the voice actor for Bulma), and Sean Schemmel (the voice actor for Goku). All of the actors talk about the film, their impressions of it, as well as their characters.

This is followed by “Dragon Ball Super: The Legacy,” which runs for about four-and-a-half minutes. Over the course of this, all five of the voice actors from the previous feature give their thoughts on Dragon Ball Super and its legacy. “Are You Smarter Than a Voice Actor?” runs for about five minutes, and the five voice actors are asked trivia questions about the Dragon Ball franchise. It’s obvious that these first three bonus features were shown before the theatrical screenings for Dragon Ball Super: Broly, and this was made especially clear with the “Are You Smarter Than a Voice Actor?” feature, because they reference the fact that there is an audience.

The next five features are the five voice actors answering questions submitted by fans on Twitter. These features run anywhere from two-and-a-half minutes to four-and-a-half minutes. Unfortunately, some of the questions were reused between the voice actors (and it was obviously the same question, because it was the same user who submitted it), so this made this feature feel a little repetitive. Christopher R. Sabat and Sean Schemmel seemed to receive some more unique questions in comparison to the others, though. These features may have been shown prior to the theatrical screenings of Dragon Ball Super: Broly, but it’s not as obvious as the other ones.

The final bonus feature is “Trailers,” which includes trailers for other releases that FUNimation Entertainment was promoting at the time this Blu-ray/DVD Combo was released.

This Blu-ray/DVD Combo is a “must get” for Dragon Ball fans who want to include the Dragon Ball Super: Broly Film in their anime home video library.

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