The Dragon Ball franchise is making a milestone move with the first Dragon Ball Super movie, by bringing fan-favorite character Broly into the series' official canon. Now that early details of Dragon Ball Super: Broly have been revealed, there has a massive wave of fan speculation about how Broly's debut in official canon will reshape Dragon Ball as a whole.
So why is Broly being brought into Dragon Ball canon so important? Read below for the full breakdown of why this milestone development is such a crucial part of the series' future.
The first thing to discuss is the issue of who Broly is. The character first debuted in the 1993 Dragon Ball Z movie, Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan, and was so popular that two more films (Broly - Second Coming and Bio-Broly) were released, to form entire Broly Trilogy. However, none of these films was considered official canon because Broly never appeared in Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama's manga series. Like so many other non-canon Dragon Ball characters, Broly has been stranded in a sort of limbo: he's included in so many Dragon Ball projects, is an iconic part of the series, but has still been lacking that full "official" stamp. However, with Akira Toriyama handling the story and characters of Dragon Ball Super: Broly, that's all about to change.
With Broly making the jump from a quarter-century of non-canon limbo to the official storyline of the Dragon Ball Super continuity, the glass ceiling that has kept him and so many other popular non-canon characters just like him from transitioning into canon has now been shattered. Already you can observe the fandom beginning to absorb the idea, with expressions that from here on out, there is no possibility too outlandish for characters showing up in official storylines. The floodgate seems to be opening, and it's not just because of this latest Dragon Ball Super: Broly reveal...
As we've been stating for months now: big shifts are happening in the Dragon Ball franchise. When the Dragon Ball Heroes promo anime was announced months ago, we went on a deep-dive discussion on what the Dragon Ball Heroes anime's existence meant for the franchise, noting that its arrival would beging eroding the line between what "canon" and "non-canon" means, and what impact it would have on the future. The long-short is that if series like Dragon Ball Heroes can exist, with its fantastical crossovers between various pieces of the franchise (video games, canonized series, non-canonized series); and fans enjoy and respond to it with overwhelming enthusiasm; then the "official" nature of canonized series and storylines are no longer as esteemed and important. Between Dragon Ball Heroes and Dragon Ball Super: Broly, it's clear there may be a bright new horizon in the franchise's sights:
Dragon Ball currently seems to be entering a phase where fan-service content is taking the lead over creator-driven storytelling. After Dragon Ball Super, this Dragon Ball Heroes anime is an adaptation of an arcade game that's basically built on indulging fan-service scenarios (like what SSJ4 Goku vs. SSB Goku would look like), while Dragon Ball Super: Broly was clearly created to service a longtime hope and debate within the fandom (it could've easily been a different story). With fan-service content clearly a priority at the moment, the response to Dragon Ball Super: Broly will likely be an important barometer on how that strategy is working.
In terms of the actual storyline for Dragon Ball Super: Broly, the film is poised to be a major game-changer, due to the fact that it will be filling in some really big and pivotal points in the official history of the Saiyan race, and the destruction of their homeworlds, Sadala and Planet Vegeta. In explaining mysteries of the past, DBS:B could likely be opening up a lot of new doors, which will allow for more Saiyan characters in the series, as well as more official canon adaptations of non-canon fan theories and plotlines about the Saiyan race.
Some specific rumors point to Dragon Ball Super: Broly addressing series mysteries like what happened to all all those Saiyan babies that were sent out into the universe to conquer planets, or Goku and Vegeta finally uncovering the secret history of Beerus and Freeza conspiring to destroy Planet Vegeta. Those kinds of explosive reveals won't just be important for Dragon Ball Super: Broly, they're also potential big catalysts for the new storylines and developments that will lead us into the next canonized anime series that will follow Dragon Ball Super. It's been said since Dragon Ball Super's first movie was announced that the film is bridge between Super and what comes next, and Broly's official origin and first fight with Goku and Vegeta will be at the center of ushering in that new era.
Finally, with Broly making his way into the official canon of Dragon Ball Super, we will, as always, have to rekindle the debate ranking the various Saiyan characters, depending on how Dragon Ball Super: Broly chooses to explain and quantify the Legendary Super Saiyan's power. With Goku and Vegeta on a much different level than the Dragon Ball Z Broly movies, and Super's manga and anime having already introduced powerful new Saiyans (including female Legendary Super Saiyan, Kale), it's going to be a long discussion to determine who is the most powerful Saiyan in the new canonized lineup.
Are you excited for Dragon Ball Super: Broly's game-changing developments? Or are you not behind the idea of bringing Broly into canon? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Dragon Ball Super: Broly will be released in December in Japan, and January 2019 in the US. Dragon Ball Super airs its English Dubs Saturday nights on Cartoon Network's Toonami. Dragon Ball Heroes is the new promotional anime series now streaming online in Japan.