This is Raitzeno, back from a food coma with another delicious Ani-TAY Review. Today’s target is a fantastic little movie I’m sure none of you have ever heard anyone talk about: The Broly Rises. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, which should be everyone, TBR is a new movie set in the Dragon Ball Super timeline.
The Broly Rises features a brand new character nobody has ever heard of, who is probably some sort of author self-insert. Let’s get right to it!
The Broly Rises is set just after the Universe Survival Saga arc, and the story follows the life of Broly, a Saiyan warrior and his quest to start a great tournament. The plot is very ghibli-esque. It feels like a melting pot of everything Akira Toriyama, and you get what you expect out of this: a charming yet tragic love story with an excellent plot to back it up. The plot is definitely focused on the characters, and all the characters were well rounded and interesting. Of course, our main dreamer protagonist Broly took the spotlight, but he was such a likable character that is really inspirational that I didn’t mind it at all. The one thing I felt that TBR does better than any Dragon Ball film in the past, is that it balanced the feels and the humor to an amazing extent, and I loved it. Stuff like Battle of Gods and Resurrection ‘F’ were all serious, while Mystical Adventure and Lord Slug were very light-hearted. This, along with The World’s Strongest, has a perfect mesh of all of them.
Taking an ultra-powerful figure and making compelling character development is something that is always challenging, and Toriyama remedied this by taking a simple approach to his characterization of Broly: he took one fact, that Broly had been against using his fists for war, and then artistically interpreted the character. In this way, Broly was made into someone far more relatable than possible otherwise, as Toriyama was able to create HIS character, instead of artificially chaining himself.
I really enjoy when a protagonist is faced with a harsh reality similar to Broly’s, one in which their greatest dream ironically brings about their greatest fear. The paradoxical nature of Broly’s desire to host a tournament yet never lose a fight was a primary internal conflict of the story, and although such a hope is not really possible, it was interesting to explore how the conflict affected him mentally and added weight to the themes throughout the movie.
ALL THE SPECIAL EFFECTS... IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL. The powerups look just amazing, and they are everywhere. Toriyama loves power-ups, so it’s fitting that the last film of his is full of beautiful fighting auras. The scenery was also really nice, I loved how Universe 6 was portrayed in the film. Because I watched it in theaters, I had the pleasure of seeing it in 4k, on a huge screen. I loved every bit of it visually. It looks so good. I’m sure it’ll look amazing on a 1080p TV too, but wow, I was blown away. I still think Resurrection ‘F’ looks better, but this is the second-best looking Dragon Ball film out there, and one of the best looking animated films in general. The attention to detail. This is what I call art. But, like any other art, this leaves a message: Akira Toriyama, like Broly, changed the universe. If it was for the good or bad is for the historians to decide. But they kept on dreaming and made amazing works.
The first time I watched The Broly Rises, I remember checking how much of the movie was left towards the end and being shocked to see that there were only ten minutes remaining. How could such a story be sufficiently ended in so little time? In answer, it can. The conflicts all found resolutions, and arguably satisfying ones, at that.
However, I can’t help but think that it could have been handled better if the movie had given more time for a resolution, because although The Broly Rises wraps things up, it does it so impressively for such little time that I really would have liked to see what Toriyama would have done with another ten minutes.
WHAT? A Dragon Ball film with Meh sound? It was very meh at the beginning, but it got better. I have to mention the stupid sound effects. You know how in Resurrection ‘F’, they made some of the sound effects by just grunting? That’s like half of the movie here, and it’s very noticeable. When you hear fighters making brrrrmmmmthhhhhh sounds that sound like people were having sex, you cannot help but laugh. Me and my friends were making stupid sounds the whole time.... When I started watching it, I was wishing I watched TBR in sub, but then the dub got way better as Broly matured, and more Saiyan culture seeped in, with the Prince of All Saiyans, and all the Super Saiyans. This is one movie you want to watch dubbed. I cannot forget to mention the amazing soundtrack by Norihito Sumitomo, this is one of his best works, but the weird sound effects aren’t really helping here.
I hate mainstream media. This movie intensifies this. Alongside this movie comes a wave of controversy because it’s a more mature plot, and the fact that it’s made in memory of the designer of the GT timeline, the one that nearly doomed the entire franchise. This fact is actually an important plot point in TBR, as Broly is just a guy who wanted to host a tournament, but the gods had other thoughts. The controversy annoyed me to no end... just enjoy a movie as is; it was a great movie. If you watch it, it gives a very hotblooded message, but most people coming in will not expect this. Also, a lot of people equate Dragon Ball to children friendly (obviously they have not watched Resurrection ‘F’...), but this is anything but that. The older you are, the more you will enjoy this.
Seriously, how did DBS: Broly become the new The Wind Rises? Three reviews in half a week, with probably a few more planned or half-written even as I write this. Damn, people, dial it back. :p
Special thanks to Protonstorm, Rockmandash, Ishamael, and Koda Kazar for gracefully allowing me to butcher their work. (In case you couldn’t tell, this is a Frankensteinian monster of Storm’s and Rock’s The Wind Rises reviews, stitched together with names changed, with images from Ish’s and Koda’s Broly reviews.