Dragon Ball Super: Broly is not a perfect film by any means- riddled with pacing issues and a second half that relies far too heavily on action over storytelling- but it is a massive step in the right direction for the series. Animation wise, it is the best Dragon Ball has ever looked, truly bringing the series into the modern era of animation and setting a new standard that’ll go on to define Son Goku’s adventures to come. Narratively, it’s Toriyama experimenting with what Dragon Ball is and what it means to be a Saiyan, recontextualizing the scope of the story into a grand, almost operatic, epic of sorts.
That’s going to be hit or miss for most fans, but the point is that Broly is a game changer. It’s also packed with content, to the point where Toriyama’s script was reportedly sliced in half. As a return, the movie goes by fast. Literally. This film is chalk full of blink and you miss it moments. Watching the film once just isn’t enough, but, considering the limited release, it might be all you get before its home release. If that’s the case, don’t worry: we watched extra hard so you wouldn’t have to.
30 Battle Power Versus Power Level
Historically, the series’ dub has referred to the numbers that appear on Scouters as “Power Levels.” In Japan, however, said term would be more appropriately translated as “Battle Power.” Since Funimation is not at liberty to shift too much from their established early terminology, whether right or wrong, Power Level has remained the term.
Until now, it seems. In a twist of fate, the newest film actually does use Battle Power rather consistently. Paragus does indeed use the term “Power Level” at one point early on, but every other mention of the term uses the actual translation. It’s a minor step forward, but a step forward nonetheless.
29 Not Every Saiyan Is A Soldier
Considering how the Saiyans were initially introduced in the original series, we were lead to believe they were a completely barbaric race. The idea of a passive Saiyan was unrealistic let alone the idea that Saiyan culture would allow any single member to not be an active soldier.
Someone has to support the soldiers.
Coming into the new film, though, things have changed. It’s established right away, through Beets no less, that the Saiyan hierarchy does actively maintain persons who aren’t militaristic. This isn’t a matter of semantics defining a level of soldierdom, either. Beets explicitly says he’s never even turned into an Oozaru.
28 Not All Of Minus Is Adapted
Interestingly, despite the prologue’s heavy focus on adapting Minus in its back half, not all of the manga chapter is adapted. For starters, the introduction depicting Bardock fighting off an alien race is omitted. As the prologue is rather low key, it does make sense to cut back on the action.
More pressingly, the actual end of the chapter is cut entirely. Rather than showing Grandpa Gohan finding Goku, the prologue cuts ahead to where we currently are in the series’ timeline. Considering how the film focuses so intimately on Goku, Vegeta, and Broly as byproducts of their fathers, it would have been nice to see Goku with his actual parental figure.
27 Not Every Saiyan Has Black Hair
It’s revealed in the Cell arc that every pure blooded Saiyan is born with black hair. While the anime did show Saiyans with different colored hair, (Toei even going so far to give Vegeta brown highlight at times,) the manga consistently stood by the black hair rule. That may not be valid anymore, though
Early in the film, when King Vegeta is admiring his son and later admonishing Broly, a female Saiyan with light hair is among the group. Her mere existence is enough to suggest that Vegeta’s black hair claim is no longer genuine. It can be argued that this is just an animation error, but it’s also important to remember the animated side is the main continuity now.
26 Suction Cup Scouter
Even though Scouters have been a part of the series for ages now, we’ve never actually known how exactly they stayed onto one’s ears. Did they clip on? Mold on? According to the film, Scouters actually have a suctioning function where they suction around the ear and stick on. Considering their design, it’s very likely Akira Toriyama conceives this idea all along. If nothing else, this is the first time we see the suctioning in action, comical sound effect and all.
25 Scouter Colors Take After The Manga
Although the anime seemingly colored Scouters based off some sort of internal hierarchy (low ranking soldiers wearing green, mid ranking soldiers wearing blue, and elite soldiers wearing red,) the manga- in its full color format- primarily used shades of green and blue for all Scouters.
A shame since red Scouters are undeniably the best.
Coming into the film, we see that Scouters do indeed take after their manga selves. A more direct approach would have been to uniform each Scouter either light blue or green, but the movie does stick to a consistent color scheme more often than not. Freeza never even dons his signature red Scouter!
24 Bardock’s Final Confrontation May Not Have Been In The Script
In general, the film has a bit of a pacing problem. With so much content to wade through- and hundreds of pages cut from Toriyama’s final script- we end up jumping around quite a bit. One such jarring moment comes from Bardock assaulting Freeza’s army pretty much out of nowhere before being vaporized.
Considering how slapped in the scene is, however, and the fact Toriyama’s take on the Bardock special did not actually include the assault, it’s entirely possible that Bardock’s confrontation against Freeza may not have been in the script and was instead added by the animation staff at the last minute to appease fans.
23 The Bardock TV Special May Still Have Happened (To An Extent)
That said, it’s just as likely that Bardock’s final confrontation was indeed in the original script and was just a casualty of the mass cutting. The prologue itself is already quite long and, by the time we get to Bardock, it does seem as though the film is just trying to hit all the major beats.
Minus Bardock's cohorts, of course.
It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that this glimpse of a confrontation does suggest the TV special still happened to an extent. Naturally, it couldn’t have happened as is (Bardock loves his son and doesn’t wear a bandana,) but it’s still likely he fought off Freeza’s army, Dodoria, and tried to warn the Saiyans of Planet Vegeta’s end to no avail.
22 Confirmation That Nappa Actually Had Hair
While the Bardock TV special did show us a Nappa who had hair, this wasn’t a product written by Akira Toriyama and even though it didn’t contradict anything from the manga and was indeed suggested to be part of the manga’s continuity, this simply wasn’t enough to indicate that Nappa with hair was part of Toriyama’s vision. Thankfully, the new film clears this up by definitively giving us a Nappa with canonical hair. It just goes to show that even the burliest of Saiyans can go bald with time.
21 The Oozaru’s First Appearance Since The Saiyan Arc
The Oozaru transformation has been a staple of the series since the very first arc. Goku’s ability to turn into a Great Ape defined his early self to an extent and it was a trait that was revisited quite heavily in the Saiyan arc. After that, though, we never saw an Oozaru again.
Broly's not monkeying around this film.
The film not only acknowledges the Oozaru transformation, but shows Broly’s Oozaru form more than once through flashbacks. His non-Super Saiyan transformation even taps into the power of the Oozaru without transforming. In many respects, it’s fairly evocative of Super Saiyan 4.
20 Tails’ First Appearance Since The Saiyan Arc
In the same way the Oozaru form makes its grand reappearance, so do tails. We haven’t seen a tail in canon (outside of flashbacks,) since the Saiyan arc. The moment Gohan gets his tail ripped off is the last time we actually see a tail in action. As the movie focuses quite heavily on the downfall of the Saiyan race in its prologue, we get to see quite a lot of tails. Paragus even manages to bring his tail to the main story itself, making him the only Saiyan to have a tail after the Saiyan arc.
19 The Red Ribbon Reference
Roughly half an hour into the film, it’s revealed that the reason Freeza has been collecting the Dragon Balls was not to wish for immortality, but to wish to be taller. As ominous music plays in the background, this is meant to be a humorous scene that highlights the fact that Goku’s love for battle has rubbed off on Freeza.
It was funnier in the Red Ribbon Army arc.
At the same time, it’s also a blatant reference to another of the series’ staple antagonists: Commander Red. In the Red Ribbon Army arc, Red’s goal wasn’t to wish for world domination, but for height since a taller commander would make taking over the world easier. Freeza’s taken a page out of his book.
18 Bulma And Freeza’s Vanity Parallels
In a sequence that goes by relatively fast and ends up immediately overshadowed by the bombastic second half, it’s easy to miss the fact that Bulma’s and Freeza’s wishes parallel each other. Where Bulma wants to wish to be five years younger, Freeza wants to be five centimeters taller.
They’re both vanity wishes, but they speak volumes to the characters they’re attributed to. Bulma is a harmless type of vanity, simply wanting to look younger for her own sake whereas Freeza has ulterior motives with his height. Not particularly bad ones, mind you, but ulterior nonetheless.
17 Paragus And Broly Contrast Their Old Relationship
In the original film, Broly and Paragus very much had a “master” and “slave” relationship. Broly was dressed down compared to his father with a design that suggested a chained aesthetic. Paragus did not truly love Broly and Broly resented his father.
Paragus is a slightly more loving father this time around.
Although Paragus is still cruel towards Broly in the new film, it’s clear that it comes from a place of love. He restrains his son because he feels he needs to and he genuinely cares about Broly. When he thinks Broly is about to lose his life, Paragus breaks down. When Paragus loses his life, Broly turns into a Super Saiyan.
16 Goku Wears His Namek Arc Gi
For the most part, Goku and Vegeta have been trapped in their Battle of Gods clothing for a few arcs now. While they did get new outfits for Resurrection F, they were gone by the time we got to the Goku Black arc. Interestingly, the newest film makes yet another outfit change, but one that takes a step back.
Goku is back in his short lived Namek arc gi. While it doesn’t look too different from his old clothing, it’s important to consider what exactly Goku wore on Namek: his Turtle School gi with his personal kanji and a belt instead of a sash. That’s the exact outfit Goku wears here.
15 Vegeta Wears His Buu Arc Armor
In the same way Goku is back in his Namek arc gi, Vegeta wears his Buu arc armor for the first time in the series since, well, the Buu arc. Although he only wears it briefly- during his sparring session with Goku- it’s nice to see the spandex back in action. After multiple arcs of just wearing his Cell arc armor, Vegeta sports a more comfortable and relaxing attire. Hopefully this means we’ll be seeing him lounge around in it a bit more often moving forward.
14 Scouters Have Numerical Limits
We’ve always known that Scouters couldn’t read too high numbers, but this is the first time we’ve gotten direct confirmation that Scouters actually do have numerical caps, seemingly stopping off at five digits. Previously, Scouters would just break from the immense pressure of calculating a rising Battle Power. Interestingly, this does bring into question how Freeza was able to decipher his own Battle Power since the cap is five digits, but his value is six digits. Perhaps more advanced models can analyze past the cap.
13 Sins Of The Father: Freeza
If Broly can be boiled down to one theme, it’s fatherhood. The crux of the narrative is held up by what fathers expect out of their children, by the mistakes and actions these fathers took to mold their sons into who they would become. We’re first introduced to the theme through none other than Freeza.
It always begins with the Cold.
At the start of the film, King Cold announces that Freeza will be taking over the Cold Army. Cold immediately elevates his son to a position of power, suggesting to Freeza that raw strength triumphs above all else. Cold instilled in Freeza at a young age the might makes right values he would carry for the rest of his life.
12 Sins Of The Father: Vegeta
For King Vegeta, his son is a point of pride. Not because of an unconditional love, but because of what Vegeta represents. In the same way Cold saw raw power in Freeza, King Vegeta saw raw power in Vegeta IV (which is now canonically his name!) Unlike Cold, however, the King never got to give the Prince his kingdom.
Without a people to rule over, Vegeta was spared Freeza’s fate. He still abided by the might makes right philosophy for years, but he was able to break out of that mindset because he didn’t have a present father. King Vegeta was simply another side of King Cold’s coin.
11 Sins Of The Father: Broly
Paragus genuinely loves Broly, but he is a cold man. His love takes a form that borders on abuse, electroshocking Broly to keep him in control. At the same time, Paragus only does so to keep himself and his son alive. The two lived alongside each other in solitude and they only had each other.
The twisted love of father and son.
Despite their strange relationship, they genuinely care about one another and the idea of losing each other is enough to drive the other mad. Nonetheless, it’s important to recognize just how much damage Paragus has done to Broly’s psyche, keeping him in an emotionally catatonic state due to his overprotectiveness.
10 Sins Of The Father: Goku
The biggest difference between the original Bardock and the modern Bardock is that the latter genuinely loves his son. Bardock risks everything to give Goku a new life, sending him to a new planet. Unfortunately, Bardock does not go with him, staying behind to meet his end with Planet Vegeta.
In many respects, Goku is who Broly would have been without Paragus. Raised without Saiyan shackles and expectations, Goku is the only one of the sons to become his own man, moving through life unburdened by anyone else. Son Goku built his own life, independent of his father’s shadow.
9 Vegeta’s Flash Of Green
When Vegeta is first triggering Super Saiyan in his fight against Broly, his hair very briefly flashes green. This is a very different green than we’ve seen before, more in-line with the original Broly’s green hair. It could suggest some semblance of the “Legendary” Super Saiyan in Vegeta, but it’s also most likely just color for the sake of it. Films in the series have always experimented with colors, and the original Broly movie is one of the best examples of that rule, experimenting with color quite often during the signature.
8 Goku’s Flash Of Silver
Just as we see a brief glimpse of green before Vegeta turns Super Saiyan, we see Goku tap into a bit of silver during his most aggressive Super Saiyan Blue transformation yet. As the silver is the same shade and style of that of Ultra Instinct, it could be Goku attempting to tap into that lost power.
It's not quite time for UI's return.
At the same time- as was the case with Vegeta’s green- this could just be an example of a movie trying to play around with colors. When it comes to films, there’s no set rule saying that each entry in the series has to abide by the defined colors. That said, Goku’s silver is a bit more blatant than Vegeta’s green.
7 Recontextualizing Broly’s Hatred Of Goku
Broly’s infantile hatred of Goku was arguably his most definable feature in his original incarnation. At least by the end of his little trilogy. Broly was consumed with rage at the idea that this literal crybaby to the point of becoming a literal monster. The film actually does keep the hatred, but it recontextualizes with a bit more nuance.
Rather than Broly and Goku having some pre established connection (they aren’t even born on the same day in the main canon,) Freeza goads Broly into thinking that Goku accidentally took Paragus’ life in battle, triggering Broly’s Super Saiyan transformation. The two make up by the end of the film for what it’s worth, but Broly’s hatred is now an in the moment affair.
6 Piccolo’s Back In His Old Movie Role
Back in the good old days, Piccolo would spend each movie waiting until the midway point where he would miraculously appear to help Goku out. As Vegeta slowly entered into the main cast, however, Piccolo’s role was diminished to the point where he wasn’t even in the last two films.
It’s business as usual for Piccolo this time around, though. While he doesn’t actually get to fight, he does appear a little over midway through the film to give Goku and Vegeta some much needed relief. Without Piccolo, Goku wouldn’t have been able to teleport away from Broly.
5 Every Villain From The Original Series Appears
In a blink and you miss it moment, Goku flashes back to all his past opponents from the original series while talking to Broly. In a quick flash, we get to see Demon King Piccolo, Vegeta, Freeza, every form of Cell, and every form of Buu. Pilaf even makes a minor cameo earlier in the film and Commander Red is referenced through Freeza as well. Every major antagonist is accounted for in the film. As for modern villains, while Zamasu doesn’t show up, we do actually get a glimpse of Jiren, meaning most of the new age antagonists also appear!
4 Goku And Vegeta Didn’t Need The Fusion Dance
Goku’s justification for doing the fusion dance in the film is that there are no Potara earrings around. While a valid claim and not incorrect by any means, said statement does ignore the fact that Goku can instantaneously teleport just by sensing Ki, a technique he abuses quite frequently in the movie’s second half. Rather than wasting an hour trying to practice the fusion dance, Goku could have just locked onto Kaioshin, stolen his earrings, and warped back as Vegetto in no time flat. In trying to justify the fusion dance, the movie invalidates its own justification.
3 Gogeta’s First Canon Appearance
Gogeta has appeared twice before in animated form, but never in a canonical entry in the series. This marks his first entry into canon, solidifying him as the strongest fused warrior alive. Interestingly, Gogeta comes with some design changes. Rather than sporting his orange highlights, his vest now sports yellow similar to that of Gotenks’.
Anything can happen in modern Dragon Ball.
This is a means of making the fusion dance aesthetic more uniform, but it also just pairs better with Gogeta’s hair when he turns Super Saiyan Blue. Considering how much Goku and Vegeta love to hate to fuse, we’re certain to see Gogeta at least one more time before the series is said and done.
2 Gogeta’s Win Record Is Better Than Vegetto’s
Even though Gogeta did not finish off Broly, he did win the fight. The threat was neutralized, the day was saved, and Gogeta wasn’t anywhere close to running out of time in the final showdown. Even discounting non-canonical victories, this makes Goget’s win record better than Vegetto’s.
In the two fights Vegetto has been in, he has won none. The first fight against Buuhan was a deliberate loss on Vegetto’s part, tricking Buu into absorbing him, but the fight against Zamasu was a genuine wash, running out of time before getting the finish blow. Gogeta just straight up beat Broly as he did Janemba.
1 This Is The First Time Goku Calls Himself “Kakarot”
Born Kakarot but christened Son Goku by his adoptive grandfather, much of Goku’s development in the Saiyan and Namek arcs stem from his coming to terms with his Saiyan heritage. While he does ultimately accept where he came from and who he is, he insists that he is Son Goku, not Kakarot.
The Saiyan from Earth.
As the series has progressed, however, Goku has gotten friendlier with the idea that he is a Saiyan, even taking pride in his heritage. At the end of the film, when introducing himself to Broly, Goku finally calls himself “Kakarot” for the first time in the series’ history, accepting his Saiyan identity full on.