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“Dragon Ball Super: Broly” thrills new and old fans alike

Regarded by many as one of the most influential and iconic anime series ever made, “Dragon Ball” has captivated western audiences with its fleshed-out characters and breathtaking animation. Continuing its exalted legacy and reputation, the latest addition to the series, “Dragon Ball Super: Broly,” features exhilarating action scenes, a renewed aesthetic, light-hearted humor and a meaningful plot.

“Dragon Ball Super: Broly” begins with the backstory of the saiyans, an advanced warrior race driven to extinction by an intergalactic tyrant known as Frieza. Pressured by his callous father, Broly, a saiyan warrior who possesses immense power, is forced to fight against the two protagonists, Goku and Vegeta.

Capitalizing on the popularity of the classic character, Broly, “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” features a revamped and improved version of his character. First appearing in the movie “Dragon Ball Z: Broly — The Legendary Super Saiyan,” Broly was originally a bloodthirsty, anger-driven fighter whose sole desire was to kill Goku. However, portrayed to have a more relatable personality, Broly is shown as a victim of harsh parenting, with his true nature being peaceful and calm. This aspect of Broly adds much more dimension and depth to his character, while still keeping the aspects that made him so appealing to fans in the first place: his seemingly unlimited strength and powerful transformation. Although there were characterization moments that seemed too contrived and forced in an attempt to paint Broly as this innocent, naive character, I still appreciated the new layer added to Broly’s character.

In addition, the dynamic action and fight choreography surpass even that of classic “Dragon Ball” movies. Constantly switching the perspective of fights to different characters, the fast-paced editing of the film helps immerse the audience into the action, making us feel the sheer intensity and high stakes of every fight. This, coupled with the upbeat soundtrack, made each fight much more energetic and tense. Adding to the quality of the fight, the animation was clean and clearly defined, allowing us to see the full range of each character’s expressions. Furthermore, the designs bring back memories of the original Dragon Ball Z series, giving it a traditional and conventional look while still managing to look new and modern because of the mixture of computer generated graphics and hand drawn effects. The animators of the movie made the characters very fluid and motion-friendly when fighting, and it added a very dynamic element to the fight.

With a franchise as embedded in our culture as “Dragon Ball,” this new movie had tough standards to meet. However, it exceeded the bar that most fans set for it. By revolutionizing a beloved character, “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” had the perfect combination of traditional, nostalgic elements and contemporary, original elements to it. With a distinguishing animation style, this movie had a completely novel feeling to it, appealing to both new and old fans as well as setting a precedent for future “Dragon Ball” movies to come.

By Raymond Dunn, Arts Editor
Photo courtesy of Wired.com


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