Dragon Ball Super: Broly is without a doubt going to play a vital role in how the franchise proceeds moving forward. With a new aesthetic, a rejuvenated Akira Toriyama penning the story, and emphasis on making non-canon characters canon, modern Dragon Ball is undergoing a serious shift for better or for worse. In terms of presentation, it absolutely is for the better. The series has never looked so good in its animated form. We are finally at a point where Akira Toriyama’s art style is coming to life almost pitch perfectly. Mind you, it isn’t a 1:1 adaptation considering how much his style has changed over the years, but Goku and company have never looked so alive.
Unfortunately, everything else is a bit hit or miss, to say the least. Where Battle of Gods suffered from poor art, but thrived narratively, Broly has the opposite problem. It is a gorgeous movie on every aesthetic level, but stands out as one of the worst stories in the franchise’s long history. Incohesive, thematically devoid of content, and generally unfocused, Broly is not a good movie if you’re there for characters or plot. Worth keeping in mind, these are two elements the series has always excelled at. In many respects, Dragon Ball Super: Broly is what the average consumes believes Dragon Ball to be: nonsensical, devoid of character, and non-stop action.
30 Shenlong Shouldn’t Have Been Able To Teleport Broly
At the end of the Namek arc, the gang wishes for Porguna, a stronger dragon than Shenlong, to whisk Goku back to Earth. Unfortunately, as Goku does not want to return and a wish cannot override the desire of another person, Porguna cannot fulfill the request. At the end of Broly, Cheelai wishes to summon Broly away from Earth.
Using the same logic from the Namek arc, and taking into consideration that Shenlong is an inherently weaker version of Porunga, there is no realistic scenario where the wish would have been able to go through. It could be argued that Broly was in a state of madness and lacked a will of his own, but that in itself raises other questions.
29 Frieza’s Wish
Characters change with time, but it is important to recognize that Frieza, the series’ only character who has been very clearly shown to be unredeemable, cannot change. He is a monster. Even when friendly, he cares only about himself. He may banter with Goku, but he is not a good person. He genocided an entire race just to wish for immortality, after all.
It's a sad day when Frieza is reduced to old gags.
Flash forward to Broly and Frieza has finally done it: he’s gathered the seven Dragon Balls. With no one to stop him, Frieza is prepared to wish not for immortality, but to be a few inches taller. It’s a gag, but one highly derivative of Commander Red from the Red Ribbon Army arc and totally out of character for Frieza.
28 The Oracle Fish Should Have Prophesied Broly, Not Goku
The whole context surrounding the Oracle Fish prophesying Goku becoming a Super Saiyan God revolved around the fact that Beerus wanted to wake up to a good fight after his decades-long sleep. While this made sense in Battle of Gods, Broly’s existence puts a serious damper on the whole scenario.
If Beerus wanted a good fight, why wouldn’t the Oracle Fish use his oracleness to prophesy Broly instead? At the time, Broly was undeniably stronger than Goku, and by a lot. If Goku was catching up to Beerus during the Tournament of Power, and Broly is stronger than Goku in the film, Broly would naturally be a bigger draw than a Super Saiyan God.
27 Bardock’s Assault On Frieza Contradicts The Manga
Despite Minus firmly knocking the Bardock TV special out of canon, it never actually contradicts Bardock’s two appearances in the manga. From what we know, Bardock led a charge against Frieza before immediately getting vaporized with the rest of Planet Vegeta. That part is in the film, but…
Bardock isn’t wearing his headband. In the manga, Bardock is clearly shown wearing his signature headband, but not such accessory exists in the movie. It’s a minor detail, but it’s one that directly contradicts the main source material: the manga. If anything, the movie made Minus’ place in canon all the more exhausting.
26 Goku’s Minus Backstory
In the original series, the reveal that Goku was a vicious alien sent to Earth to destroy the planet was a big deal. It completely recontextualized Goku as a character and brought with it inherent themes relating to the concept of nature versus nurture. Goku’s nature is to be a barbarian, but he was nurtured into anything but.
There's just no winning when Dragon Ball Minus is involved.
Minus demolishes this twist, and by extension nuance relating to Goku’s character, by explaining away his gentle nature as a trait he simply inherited from Gine. Because of Minus, Goku is less interesting and has less depth. This is an unfortunate consequence that the film, in adapting the chapter, maintains.
25 Frieza Fights Broly For Way Too Long
As is tradition, Goku and Vegeta mess up their fusion when it comes time for them to practice the fusion dance in preparation for Gogeta. All the while, Frieza is actively fighting Broly. Since Goku and Vegeta perform the fusion dance three times before ultimately going to fight Broly, Frieza ends up fighting the Saiyan for 90 minutes.
Keep in mind, Broly is significantly stronger than Frieza and this is a series where fights happen at a lightning fast pace. Goku’s entire fight with Jiren is, at most, one minute long. The fact Frieza could survive against Broly for an hour and a half is quite frankly absurd. That’s the price you pay for some comedy, though.
24 Gogeta Has No Place In The Movie
When it comes down to it, there is simply no logic behind Goku and Vegeta choosing to do the fusion dance. In the 90 minutes they spent preparing for the fight against Broly, they could have teleported to any Kaioshin, grabbed some Potara, and become Vegetto. On a thematic level, there’s no real justification either. This is a film about the three children or three very specific men yet it all boils down to two of them fusing to defeat the other. Where’s the commentary? Where’s the weight? It’s pure fanservice through and through. At least the fight is visually stunning.
23 The Prologue Has Little To Do With The Rest Of The Film
On that note, there really is no reason why the prologue had to follow Bardock, Vegeta, and Paragus. Once the intro is over, nothing we learned about them during that time- save for Broly’s backstory- ends up mattering in the grand scheme of things. Even Paragus’ demise comes and goes with little fanfare. It’s always nice to get a glimpse into Saiyan culture, but this isn’t a story that actually uses the opportunity to say or do anything meaningful. Which is ultimately the film’s biggest problem.
22 Goku And Vegeta Have No Character Development
To break that down further, Goku and Vegeta are left coming out of the film relatively dry in terms of development. This is a movie about Broly first and foremost, which is fine, but there was also a fantastic opportunity to examine Goku and Vegeta. With context from Bardock and King Vegeta, how have the two men grown or changed over the years? Can Broly inspire more growth? Apparently not. Both are just content to fight Broly without examining who they are or their nature as Saiyans. The series isn’t the deepest, but it never shied away from examining interesting character beats until recently.
21 Vegeta Can Suddenly Use Super Saiyan God
In the anime continuity, Vegeta not only never uses Super Saiyan God, but it’s even suggested by Goku that Vegeta skipped the form entirely, instead jumping to Super Saiyan Blue on his own. This is an idea the manga shares, but, this time around, the implication is that Vegeta trained himself to trigger God on his own.
Does continuity really matter when you have two valid canons running simultaneously?
Either way you cut it, the fact Vegeta can use Super Saiyan God in this movie is… questionable at best. If the film is indeed following the anime continuity, which is the main canon when all is said and done, there’s still a narrative hole that should be filled. Regardless, it’s not as bad as Vegeta not using SSE.
20 Vegeta Never Uses Super Saiyan Evolution
As we’ve established, the new film is more than likely a part of the anime continuity. As a result, Vegeta should be able to trigger Super Saiyan Evolution which he unlocked during the Tournament of Power. Unlike Ultra Instinct, Vegeta isn’t working with the same restrictions. He should, realistically, be able to use the form, but he never actually does. This is likely because Toriyama did not create Evolution himself so the script doesn’t reference it, but it does create some continuity issues.
19 Goku Doesn’t Use Super Saiyan Blue Kaioken
Don’t fret Vegeta fans, the Prince of All Saiyans isn’t alone in losing transformations. Although Goku cannot trigger Ultra Instinct, he should still be able to use Kaioken. Super Saiyan Blue Kaioken more or less became a staple of Goku’s throughout the anime and the fact he never uses it against Broly is a bit conspicuous. Again, though, this likely stems from SSBK being a Toei invention and not a Toriyama idea. Naturally, Toriyama wouldn’t have written the form into his script.
18 Goku Lets Frieza Live
Considering just how much of the film’s conflict stems directly from Frieza manipulating Broly, it’s a miracle Goku doesn’t immediately end the film by teleporting to Frieza and wiping him out in an instant. It was bad enough that Goku let Frieza live at the end of Tournament of Power, but now there’s an actual, justifiable reason to send him back to Hell. Quite frankly, the longer Frieza lives, the worse Goku’s going to come off as a character in the context of the series.
17 Gogeta Was Going To Finish Broly Off
Goku doesn’t think Broly is a bad guy. In fact, Goku is totally comfortable keeping Broly alive so he can fight him for later. While he recognizes the threat Broly poses, Goku doesn’t see Broly as someone who needs to lose his life to be subdued. Then comes Gogeta, who is more than comfortable wasting Broly.
In Gogeta's defense, maybe he just really hated the movie.
Were it not for Cheelai’s wish at the last possible moment, Gogeta would have completely eviscerated Broly. It can be argued that the Vegeta half of Gogeta was the one who compelled Gogeta to go for the finisher, but it seems odd that Gogeta would act so in contrast to Goku who genuinely wanted to keep Broly alive.
16 Bulma’s Wish
Dragon Ball Super: Broly has a tone problem. Despite being a fairly serious film in regards to Broly’s character, the events surrounding the movie tend to take a lighter approach. In the same way Frieza’s wish was a strangely humorous approach to the film, Bulma’s prospective wish takes a similar approach with her wanting to wish to be younger. In a vacuum, this is fine. The series has always relied on comedy and this is a charming piece of humor from Bulma, but the movie’s tone is trying to be serious. Dragon Ball cannot have it both ways all the time.
15 Gohan Doesn’t Make An Appearance
Not every character needs to appear in every arc or film. To be honest, the fact Goten and Trunks appear in this movie at all is not a positive. They have no place so why should they appear? In theory, it should be fine that Gohan doesn’t appear, but it’s important to recognize Gohan’s arc at the end of the Tournament of Power.
Now would have been a nice time to analyze what being a Saiyan means to Gohan.
Regardless of medium, Gohan ends the Tournament of Power a more determined martial artist. He understands that he needs to fight and he’s ready to do so. Once Broly arrives, though, Gohan is suspiciously left out of the action in favor of Goku and Vegeta. Considering how much the movie comments on the nature of Saiyans, now more than ever would have been the best time for Gohan to make an appearance.
14 Piccolo And The Fusion Dance
It’s bad enough that Goku and Vegeta end up doing the fusion dance over just getting some Potara earrings from Kaioshin, but the fact Piccolo is the one to help Goku and Vegeta pull off the fusion dance is just… odd. Logically, Piccolo should know that there’s no time to waste, but he’s totally comforting coaching the two as they practice.
This in itself raises another issue: when did Piccolo become the expert on the fusion dance? Keep in mind that this was a technique Goku learned and then taught during the Buu arc. Piccolo was the one on the receiving end before, but now he’s more or less taken Goku’s place. It’s a bit of a waste of Piccolo to be honest.
13 Goku And Vegeta Are Once Again Forced To Work Together Even If They Don’t Want To
Modern Dragon Ball has a serious teamwork problem between Goku and Vegeta. Starting with the Goku Black arc, the series has made a habit of ensuring each finale ends with Goku and Vegeta teaming up against their wills to resounding success only for them to immediately claim they’ll never work together again.
Because Dragon Ball isn't allowed to move forward.
Yet again, the series finds itself in a position where Goku and Vegeta are forced to work together and, like clockwork, they’re back to the status quo at the end of the film. It’s an aggressively annoying parroting of a concept that was interesting in the Buu arc. It’s just derivatively obnoxious now.
12 Cheelai Has No Real Understanding Of Broly
Cheelai spends most of the film trying to connect to Broly, lambasting a world that has misunderstood the gentleness inside his soul. She is framed as the only character to truly understand for him on a personal and intimate level. Unfortunately, as she is depicted in the film, Cheelai clearly has no understanding of Broly either.
While the movie presents her as Broly’s equal and the only person to realize who he is internally, she takes a rather surface level approach to his personality regardless. Nothing she says or does give the impression she actually “gets” him. If anything, Goku comes the closest and even he’s rather short sighted in regards to Broly.
11 Minus Muddied Up The Timeline
The fact the film chose to spent its opening adapting Minus immediately raised some red flags within the fandom, but there is nothing stating that an animated version of Dragon Ball Minus needed to have the same problems as its admittedly short and underdeveloped manga source material.
What a surprise, Dragon Ball Minus ruined something.
Unfortunately, while the plot is far more fleshed out and actually palatable now, the timeline is still a mess. In jumping so haphazardly between internal time skips, the prologue butchers the timeline into pieces, entering the main chunk of the film at a year that quite frankly makes little sense when examined closely.
10 Goku And Broly Have No Connection Now
The fact Broly used to hate Goku because the latter cried too much as a baby was certainly stupid, but it was specifically tied to the fact that the crying was associated with the worst day of Broly’s life. It reflected on Broly’s internal turmoil while also giving the film’s two most important characters a connection.
Coming into the new film, Goku and Broly lack any sort of definable connection. Rather, they’re just two Saiyans who happened to have been born around the same time. Instead of a personal grievance, Broly is now connected to Goku through fate. As a result, the action between them feels far less meaningful.
9 The Musical Chanting
Norihito Sumitomo’s score for Dragon Ball Super began very poorly to say the least. Unmemorable compositions, poor musical placements, and an insistence on repetition led to the few three arcs coming out musically challenged when compared to Shunsuke Kikuchi’s, and even Kenji Yamamoto’s, previous compositions.
Coming into the Goku Black arc, Sumitomo found some fantastic footing which he carried into the Tournament of Power. While his score for the film is generally quite strong, some tracks feature the use of off putting chants which are meant to hype up specific characters during the action. It’s distracting at best and embarrassing at worst.
8 The Movie Has Nothing Going On Thematically
While there have been issues with both previous films, they at least actively sought to say something meaningful in regards to the nature of the series. Battle of Gods was an exploration of the idea that there would always be someone better than Goku in the universe whereas Resurrection F revolved around the concept of personal failure.
Broly seems to suggest that the sons of Bardock, Vegeta, and Paragus all reflect their own ideals, but this is never exemplified properly through the movie. The idea of a thematic backbone is brought up, but nothing comes of it, leaving the film as thematically dry as the older entries in the series.
7 Broly’s Growth Isn’t Meaningful Or Earned
For all intents and purposes, Dragon Ball Super: Broly is the story of Broly. Usually, Goku tends to take the focus and while he very much is the film’s protagonist, the narrative is primarily centered around who Broly is, how he became the way he is, and what he can become moving forward.
Remember when characters had arcs?
By the end of the film, Broly has found some semblance of peace within himself, but it very much unearned. As he spends half the movie emotionally catatonic so to speak, Broly’s defining character moments end up far and few between. His arc is bafflingly undefinable for just how much of a presence he is meant to have.
6 Goten And Trunks Still Haven’t Aged
With a new art style and a fresh start from the Tournament of Power, this film was the perfect opportunity to reinvent modern Dragon Ball. As far as animation goes, it very much did and successfully at that. Unfortunately, some design conventions are still in play for the worse. Specifically: Goten and Trunks.
For some reason, the series is intent on leaving the boys visually as young as they were during the end of the Buu arc. This is especially jarring considering that Trunks is now about as old as his future counterpart was during his TV special. Trunks SHOULD be much taller and older than he appears to be.
5 Whis Should Know That Goku Will Always Want More
Even though Toriyama was never the best writer in terms of structure or prose, he was always well equipped with dialogue. The original manga is filled with characters who have their own distinct voices, consistent motivations exemplified through speech, and fantastic banter from start to finish.
Starting with Super, however, dialogue seemed to take a massive back seat. While minor, Whis questioning Goku on why he keeps wanting to get stronger quite frankly doesn’t make all too much sense in the context of the series or their relationship. Whis has mentored Goku for years at this point and he should know his student better.
4 Broly’s Ridiculous Strength
As a character, Broly has always been defined by his freakish, almost impossible to believe strength. This was his entire gimmick back during his previous incarnation so it is only fitting this also go on to define him in Super. Unfortunately, a time to reinvent the character should have been used to, well, reinvent him.
We're past the point of sensible power scaling.
Although Broly’s personality is different, he very much still abides to the same issues he had the last go around. Broly is uninteresting strong and the fact he actively gets stronger while fighting not only makes little narrative sense, but actually serves to undermine tension and Broly’s growth as a fighter.
3 Frieza Shouldn’t Have An Army
Remember Resurrection F when Frieza gathered every single remaining member of his army only to bring them to Earth and have them all brutally annihilated by the main characters (and himself?) If you do, try to explain why Frieza, once again, has an army of soldiers in Dragon Ball Super: Broly.
Realistically, he shouldn’t. Frieza should be alone in the world at this point since he wasted his entire army four story arcs ago. There is no logical explanation as to why Frieza had TWO separate army remnants just hanging around the universe. Toriyama either forgot or, more likely, did not care.
2 Broly’s Mere Existence
Modern Dragon Ball is a series built on retcons. There is simply no way to continue telling a story that definitively ended decades prior without making some major changes here and there. As the series has progressed, we’ve gotten more and more Saiyans, but the story got around this problem with alternate universes.
Broly probably would have come in handy on Namek.
Broly’s existence brings with it a problem, though. When the Saiyan arc began, we were told there were only four Saiyans left: Goku, Raditz, Nappa, and Vegeta. This was a definitive, in-text fact. For Broly to exist alongside Paragus, pretty much everything in the original manga has to be brought into question.
1 No Ultra Instinct
On a narrative level, the lack of Ultra Instinct is actually perfectly fine. The series has always had an issue with overusing transformations so putting an immediate hold on Ultra Instinct is ultimately for the best. That in itself, however, makes little sense for the series considering how consistently Super Saiyan transformations have been run into the ground.
Not all things that make no sense are bad, though. While this is a departure for the franchise, it’s one in the right direction. While Dragon Ball Super: Broly is far from a perfect film on a narrative level, struggling to actually weave a narrative at that, its structure does suggest something “more” from Dragon Ball moving forward.