Dragon Ball is still on indefinite hiatus as far as its next anime goes - and that was long before the rest of world was forced to follow suit! While fans everywhere await the next era of Dragon Ball Super storylines, one thing fans have been wondering about is the future of one of the franchise's most iconic characters: Broly. After decades of being the most popular non-canon character in Dragon Ball, Broly got his chance to shine in the Dragon Ball Super: Broly movie, which is now the franchise's most popular theatrical release of all time. So what should Dragon Ball do next with Broly? Let's discuss.
As far as official canon goes, Dragon Ball Super: Broly basically retconned the entire backstory of Broly, as well as and his connection to Goku and Vegeta's childhoods on Planet Vegeta. By the end of that film, Broly had lost his father Paragus; incurred Freeza's wrath; unlocked Super Saiyan 4 levels of power in his fight with Goku and Vegeta; and finally ended hiding out on remote Planet Vampa with his two new friends. Only Goku knows Broly is there, and has set him up with Capsule Corp. provisions to both earn the berserker Saiyan's trust, and use him as the ultimate sparring partner.
In that sense, Dragon Ball Super: Broly basically defined what (I personally feel) would be the character's best role in the franchise: A Saiyan powerhouse always waiting in the wings, brought out at key times, for key battles, in future storylines (be they anime, manga, movie or any combination). The movie left things wonderfully ambiguous; Broly and Goku are neither fully friends, nor fully foes, but occupy a tenuous in-between. Broly could show up in future moments as either the ultimate ally, or biggest opponent our Dragon Ball heroes have to face. What's key is that the moments when he does appear truly be worthwhile ones. Like, show-stopping BIG kind of moments.
The other side of this conversation is whether or not Broly could be more than just an 'Event Character' gimmick. Dragon Ball Super canon has presented Broly as a childlike bruiser just discovering how to live in the universe after years of exile and abuse. With his new companions (Freeza Force deserters Lemo and Cheelai), there's room for the argument that Broly could actually support his own story arc or limited series, in the next phase of Dragon Ball.
There's been increasing sentiment within the fandom (even from series star Sean Schemmel) that the franchise has finally gotten big enough to have different sets of characters get major focus. The only downside to this is that while the new canonized Broly does have much more relevance to the series mythos, he's still not all that dynamic as a character. Of course, if Broly started to learn and evolve and develop a personality of his own, it would an entirely new form of the character, quite possibly the best.
What would you like to see Dragon Ball do next with Broly? Let us know in the comments!
Dragon Ball Super is dropping new story arcs in the manga, over on Shonen Jump magazine. Be sure to check them out.