Unless you've been living under a rock lately, it would be hard for you to miss the advertisements for Toei Animation and Funimation's newst baby, Dragonball Super: Brolly the movie. This movie has an immense amount of hype behind it as it has such a profound legacy to live up to.
Akira Toriyama, CEO of Toei Animation and all around mega animation superstar, created the original incarnation of the Dragonball universe, Dragonball, back in 1984 for Shonen Jump Magazine. Dragonball was the third manga created by Toriyama-san, after 1978's Wonder Island and 1980's Dr. Slump, and were featured in the weekly manga anthology magazine. Dragonball quickly became popular in Asian countries and the Western areas due to its intense fighting and very interesting characters, each with their own unique personalities. Toriyama-San loosely based the ideas of the Dragonball universe on the ancient Chineese legend Sun Wukong aka the Monkey King of whom Goku is supposed to take after.
Funimation helped introduce the Dragonball world to the small screen when it began dubbing the animated version of the series for western audiences. This helped skyrocket the series to other audiences who may not have been following Dragonball in its manga form. Tragically, all anime companies took a major and unfortunate hit during the 2008 recession. Alot of major animation and manga companies had to shut down due to financial struggles.
Funimation took a huge hit but also had the good sense to wait and feel out the recession. As the recession slowly receded, Funimation began buying up the rights to a about 90% of the shows that were given up when other companies shut down. As Funimation began to slowly rebuild its brand, it pushed hard to bring anime back to the west, even creating its own convention. Without Funimation's tenacity, anime like Dragonball might not be as strong in the world as they are today.
But enough about all that, let's get back to the movie review shall we? Without a doubt Dragonball Super: Brolly is projected to be thee biggest hit to date for the mega franchise. It was the first anime to ever be debuted on an IMAX screen in the western world, first to have a red carpet premiere in both LA and NYC, it's also projected to have an over $8 million take for its opening weekend alone. It landed the number one spot in America, until Shyamalan's Glass came out, but still, an amazing run for this series.
The movie itself doesn't disappointed in ANY aspect. The animation was stunning, absolutely beautiful. You can tell there was a mixture of CGI and hand drawn animation used with some rough cuts of Vegeta showing in a particular scene. The narrative during the fights scenes was an anime first. The fight scenes were done from a first person pov and jumped from Goku and Vegeta to Frieza and Brolly. You could really feel like you were in the movie with them and this will be a great viewpoint for any VR system this movie plays on.
And if that wasn't enough, it was hilarious! With scenes of "accidental" deaths by certain heroes and villains alike. We see just how vain and selfish both Frieza and Bulma are. We also get to see Goku and Vegeta's parents back on Planet Vegeta when they were very young. And we see young versions of many of our favorite characters and surprises like, gasps, Napa had hair! Mind you, I have never seen so much Saiyan and other alien tits and ass in my life! You'll see what I mean when you watch, lol.
Of course the main feature was Brolly and the dynamic between him and his father, Paragus. This new Brolly movie is completely different from its predecessor, storywise, and while I love both versions, I did appreciate the back story of this new one moreso. They actually explained where Brolly's uncontrollable strength comes from and why he can't handle it all. He's less legendary Saiyan and more mistake that was never handled properly.
The ending does leave things wide open for all the characters to meet up once again, should they decide to continue the anime or manga in something beyond DBS. And with the popularity of this series unending, I'm sure we'll soon be treated to more episodes covering the lives of our favorite Saiyans for eons to come!