The Broly Trilogy starts well, but ultimately peters out. Still, it is the best Dragon Ball Z movie set I have seen yet.
What They Say
Broly, The Legendary Super Saiyan
A mysterious messenger delivers horrific news: a vicious Super Saiyan is rampaging through space, and he will not stop until the galaxy is left smoldering. Goku and Vegeta rush to confront the menace - but the true danger is much closer than they think. Broly is a force of unspeakable malice, with powers that rage beyond control - and he has the Z fighters in his sights.
Broly, Second Coming
An investigation into the crash of a strange vessel quickly turns into a battle that not even Earth's most powerful heroes are guaranteed to win. Broly, one of the greatest threats the universe has ever known, has returned - and this time, Goku might be powerless to stop him. Broly has gone insane from the hatred that boils inside him; an anger that burns hotter than even the pits of the fiery underworld. The entire cosmos will suffer unless the sons of Broly's greatest rival can defeat him - and it will take nothing short of a miracle.
Corruption and technology have united to resurrect one of the greatest forces of evil the universe has ever known - Broly is back and more deadly than ever. This time, the Super Saiyan may prove to be unstoppable. A dangerous experiment has gone haywire, and a mysterious substance has been released from a secret laboratory. The oozing menace absorbs all in its path, gaining power from all that it touches. When the creeping slime ingests Broly, the uncontrollable combination threatens to devour the entire world.
For this viewing, I listened to the English Dub with original Japanese music, which is offered in 5.1 surround. There are also options for the English Dub with US music, also in 5.1, and the original Japanese track, which is only offered in mono. This mix is pretty nice, and I liked that Funimation gave us the option between the Japanese and US music. The dialogue is clear with no dropout, the sound effects are nice, and there is some pretty nice directionality during the fight scenes. And since this is Dragon Ball Z, there are plenty of those.
Both titles are shown in their original 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio and have been digitally remastered in high definition. This transfer is pretty clean, with no real technical problems, but with these three being from 1993 and 1994, they are still both titles that show their age. Flaws in the originals have been cleaned up and the colors redone, but they still are not as clean as newer titles. That said, they look about as good as any DBZ title, so fans of the series should not notice any difference.
This is a really nice set. The main case is a full color, sturdy DVD Tin with a clear plastic insert to hold the discs. Both discs are held on the right side, with room for a non-existent booklet or insert on the left. The front has a picture of Broly powering into Super Saiyan form with monochromatic shots of Goku and Super Saiyan Goku behind him. The back has another image of Broly, with screen shots, summaries, and technical details listed. On the interior, able to be seen through the plastic, is an image of Lord Slug sitting on his throne with his henchmen flanking him. Overall, it looks really nice and is well put together.
The menus for this release are pretty basic. Each have a still image of Broly set against a black background. The DVD options are underneath in yellow, making them easy to see and follow. Options for Play, Scene Selection, and Setup are available. Pretty basic, but functional.
Aside from some trailers, there were no extras on this set.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This collection brings together the eighth, tenth, and eleventh Dragon Ball Z movies: “The Legendary Super Saiyan,” “Broly: Second Coming,” and “Bio Broly.” These three movies form a trilogy depicting the story of Broly, the legendary Super Saiyan destined to rule the galaxy. As a set, these might be the best series of movies I’ve seen, with only the Cooler movies coming close, but they end up running out of steam after a strong start.
The first movie, “The Legendary Super Saiyan,” is easily the best of this set. One of the few remaining Saiyans, Paragus, travels to Earth with a proposal to Vegeta: defeat the legendary Super Saiyan and take his rightful place as king of the new Saiyan home world. At first Vegeta has no intent on doing so, but cannot resist the allure of killing off a legend and being known as the greatest Saiyan of all time. Paragus gives his son, Broly, over to Vegeta to help him search.
At the same time, Goku is summoned by King Kai and told of the emergence of the Super Saiyan, so Goku also heads off to search for him. When Goku arrives, he discovers that it is actually Broly who is the legendary Super Saiyan, and uncovers a plot by Paragus to kill Vegeta and rule the Saiyans himself. Paragus has been using power limiters to keep Broly in line, but the arrival of Goku pushes Broly over the edge, and he manages to break them off. With Broly loose, and way more powerful than any of the other fighters, it takes all the power of Goku, Trunks, Vegeta, Gohan, and Piccolo working together to even scratch him.
This movie runs about 25 minutes longer than the majority of the DBZ movies so far, and therefore has plenty of time to develop. Instead of having ten minutes to build and then 30 to 40 minutes to fight, they have a full 40 minutes of building before getting to the 40 minute fight. So they are able to incorporate a number of subplots that actually make the story around the fight interesting. I was particularly interested in the bout of cowardice that the usually over-confident Vegeta has to fight through. Add in the back-story of the connection between Goku and Broly and the smattering of Saiyan politics, and this is a fairly well rounded movie.
The next other two movies in the set take place sometime after “The Legendary Super Saiyan,” and are a bit more standard fare for DBZ movies. “Broly: Second Coming” features Broly reawakening after traveling to earth on wreckage from his first fight with Goku. As is usually the case, he awakes with nothing but thoughts of revenge. This time, he runs into Goten, the child Trunks, and Videl, who manage to stall him long enough for Gohan to come and really give Broly a challenge. “Bio Broly” is about a former rival of Mr. Satan’s vying for revenge. The rival, Jaguar, has hired a number of scientists to help him build an army of bio-mechanical fighters. The prize of his new army is the resurrected Broly, however as can be expected, Jaguar quickly loses control of Broly, and it is left to Goten and Trunks to try and save the day.
As I said before, “The Legendary Super Saiyan” is probably the best single DBZ movie I have seen so far, and it is easily the one that carries this set. “Broly: Second Coming” and “Bio Broly” are helped by the fact that they do not need a whole lot of back-story to get them going, but they are definitely more mediocre than “The Legendary Super Saiyan.” I am typically not a huge DBZ fan, but the first movie kept me interested throughout. But my interest definitely waned through the second and third as there was very little story there to keep me interested in the proceedings. It does not help that the five most powerful beings in the galaxy have to throw everything they have at Broly, including the kitchen sink, to even scratch the guy in the first movie, but by the sequels, he has trouble defeating a couple of small children. The drama just was not there.
As with the other DBZ movies, these are not for beginners to the DBZ universe. Even with “The Legendary Super Saiyan” having plenty of build time, viewers are still expected to know the characters and their relationships. This is particularly important in the sequels as no reason is given as to why Trunks is a powerful adult in the first movie, but a small child by the second; there is also no real mention as to where Goku, Piccolo, and Vegeta are by the second movie, outside of a late cameo by Goku, and why the toddlers Trunks and Goten are left to deal with this supposed threat to the planet. It is all understood if you know the TV show, but not otherwise.
This trilogy is certainly the best DBZ movie set I have checked out yet, anchored by the really good “The Legendary Super Saiyan.” The sequels leave a bit to be desired, but DBZ fans should find plenty to like with all three. Still, as with all DBZ movies, only fans need apply. There is nothing here to entice non-fans to come to the series, while those looking to get in would be well advised to go after the TV series first. Mildly recommended.
Japanese 1.0 Language, English 5.1 Language, English Language, English Subtitles
Magnavox 37MF337B 37” LCD HDTV, Memorex MVD2042 Progressive Scan w/ DD/DTS (Component Connection), Durabrand HT3916 5.1 Surround Sound System