Reviewby Allen Divers, Aug 26th 2003
Dragon Ball Z Movie 8
DVD: The Legendary Super Saiyan [Uncut]
When the entire Southern Galaxy suddenly disappears, King Kiaoh turns to the only one capable of stopping the powerful force behind the destruction: Goku. Goku, looking for any excuse to get out of his suit, quickly rushes to save the universe once again. Meanwhile, Vegeta is approached by a Saiyan named Paragus who claims to have built a new homeworld for the wayward Saiyans. Paragus tells Vegeta of the legendary Super Saiyan who is slowly destroying the worlds of the galaxy. Now Vegeta, Trunks, Gohan, Krillin and even Master Roshi and Oolong head off to New Vegeta to confront the greatest threat the galaxy has ever seen.
On the surface, Dragonball Z – Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan is simply another slugfest in the spirit of all previous DBZ films. This movie does make a few changes to the standard formula, bringing many of the supporting characters up in importance as well as introducing a character that is the major focus of this film, as well as a driving force in future films. Doing the best with what they've got, FUNimation throws together a solid cast and makes some improvements on a formula they've used for previous movies. What comes out of it is a solid Dragonball Z action flick with plenty to keep the fans happy.
As is typical for a Dragonball Z DVD release, extras are a bit skimpy. There are two English soundtracks and the original Japanese track. Selecting the Japanese version in the menu gives you the original opening and closing sections complete with Japanese text. Also included is the opening song for the English version redone by the band Tendril. This is included as a "music video" in the extras menu along with the standard array of FUNimation trailers and a few character profiles. FUNimation also includes a tie-in with the Dragonball Z Card Game produced by Score with a set of Broly character cards. Rounding out the extras is a look behind the scenes at the Legacy of Goku II gameboy game.
The soundtracks contained on the DVD are a mixed bag of good and bad. The good is the fact that the English cast of DBZ retains a lot of high energy despite having done this show for over three years. The bad is the inclusion of several hard rock songs that often counter the action on the screen. While the intent is to make the action and fighting scenes more intense, the actual affect is awkward. The animation was timed to the original Japanese soundtrack and not these songs that feel forced in. At least the songs do stay more in the background, unlike previous DBZ releases, allowing the important dialogue to come out as originally intended. While still not quite right, this is a vast improvement over previous movies and features where the dialogue was often masked by the lyrics of the soundtrack. While the English tracks get both a 5.1 mix and a stereo mix, it's still a disappointment to only see a mono Japanese track. This continues to be a sore point with the fans of the original series who feel alienated by FUNimation's lack of effort to grab at least a stereo mix of the original track.
Helping to liven up their English soundtrack, FUNimation went outside of their standard pool of actors and brought in Vic Mignogna, normally an ADV Voice Actor. Vic has done some outstanding supporting roles in the past, so playing the part of Broly gives him a chance to take more of a lead role. The rest of the cast is filled out with the standard players, with Sean Schemmel in the lead role of Goku and Chris Sabat handling both Vegeta and Piccolo. Mike McFarland, voice of Roshi, takes on directing duties, leading the cast through a well done dub. While still filled with the standard mix of FUNi humor, the dub script stays fairly true to the original Japanese making for a fun listen, despite the awkward music.
The movie's plot is the standard Dragonball Z plot, the galaxy is threatened, the heroes get beat up, the heroes save the day. Trying to change things up a bit is an exploration of a few side elements presented in the original manga and anime. Bringing back the idea of the Legendary Super Saiyan, the movie moves quickly into exploring Vegeta's origins and works over the pride that pushes him forward. It also helps to bring out the idea that while, most of the Saiyan characters have managed to hit the Super Saiyan level, they shouldn't be confused with the Legendary Super Saiyan which is something entirely different. At seventy minutes, the story has little time to dwell on these revelations and its right into the standard array of butt-kicking. The story moves well to include all the major fighters in the DBZ world allowing for a solid mix of action and humor as the story barrels forward.
Despite being more of the same, Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan does a good job of breaking away from the mold a bit and allowing more of the supporting characters into the limelight. Sure, Goku is still the hero, but it's nice to see Trunks, Vegeta and Gohan all get their licks in. Overall, Dragonball Z fans can delight in more wit, humor and action that are the staples of the series thrown into a nice feature package that makes for a quick afternoon's entertainment. Even with its dubious reputation, Dragonball Z remains a guilty pleasure for the majority of anime fans and this Broly movie is a fine example why.
Overall (dub) : B
Overall (sub) : B
Story : B
Animation : B
Art : B
Music : C
+ Contains all the standard traits that make DBZ fans quiver
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