Dragon Ball fans around the world went wild when Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods was announced for a 2013 release.
It was not only the first original Dragon Ball Z movie since 1996 (see the trailer below), but it also marked the return of series creator Akira Toriyama. It was a critical success, and its box-office numbers were satisfying enough for Toei Animations to green light a sequel: Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F. That movie was just as successful as its predecessor.
Motivated by their unexpected success, Toei Animation decided to grant the wish of every Dragon Ball fan. Shortly after Resurrection F’s release, Toei announced their plans to revive the series all together. Dragon Ball Super aired from 2015 to 2018 and many fans like me are still waiting for its return!
After DBS ended, Toei’s next move was interesting. They announced that Dragon Ball was going back to the movies to feature the return of a divisive character named Broly.
However, this Broly wasn’t the same one fans grew up with in the ’90s. Instead, Dragon Ball Super: Broly featured a rebooted, reimagined version of the character. This one had more depth and character. Ergo, we have the birth of the Broly Treatment.
A Little History Lesson
The original series, Dragon Ball (1986-89) and Dragon Ball Z (1989-96) were direct adaptations of the manga by Akira Toriyama. For DBZ’s sequel series, Dragon Ball GT, Toriyama was not involved. As a result, fans of the franchise considered DBGT to be not canon. The spin-off movies that were released throughout the years are also considered non-canon.
They had no creative involvement from Toriyama, which led to many continuity errors and plot-holes that contradicted the main series. This includes the original 1993 Broly movie.
And that is why Dragon Ball Super: Broly was so interesting.
Toriyama looked at this controversial character–one he didn’t create–and saw potential in it. The result was a new and unique character, universally loved by original Broly fans…and haters alike. The original movies, and DBGT, are extremely divisive in terms of quality. However, they had interesting, awesome characters that Toriyama could explore and re-imagine. Characters he could “fix” as he did with Broly.
Here are some classic Dragon Ball villains that deserve the Broly treatment!
Honestly, Bojack was probably one of the coolest Dragon Ball movie villains and someone who would really benefit from the Broly treatment. Coming from an ancient race known as the Hera Clan, he is the leader of a gang of ruthless pirates who almost wiped out life in thousands of galaxies. Eventually, the Kais put a stop to his carnage and imprisoned him inside a star. The seal that kept him prisoner was accidentally broken when Cell blew up North Kai’s planet, setting him free.
There are a few reasons why that storyline wouldn’t work today. However, there are more reasons for why it would. Dragon Ball Super heavily focused on the lore of its universe, expanding on beings like the Supreme Kais and introducing concepts like the Gods of Destruction and even the multiverse. Seeing how Bojack’s original backstory was already related to the Kais, adapt it in the series current status quo would be simple.
- Is he a Former Kai?
- One of Moro’s old subordinates? They’re similar in concept!
- Perhaps he killed Jiren’s master?
Just add new, unexpected details and you got yourself a new character.
Originally from Dragon Ball GT, Baby was an artificial being created by a Tuffle scientist to seek revenge against the Saiyans. The last ones being Goku, Vegeta, and their children. Originally from the Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans TV Special, Hatchiyack was an artificial being created by a Tuffle scientist to… well, you see where I’m going with this?
The idea of bringing back the Tuffles as villains is an amazing idea. It’s been tried, many times, but never by the creator himself. DBGT did it (almost) perfectly, but the story missed that spark that makes Dragon Ball feel… well, like Dragon Ball! And the less I say about “Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans,” the better.
Whether it’s Baby or Hatchiyack, or even both to get the Broly treatment, such a cool concept isn’t something Toriyama should ignore. I’m sure he can develop it in a way that’ll finally make these characters justice. There’s just so many ways to do it. We know the race still exists in other universes, notably in Universes 2 and 6, so bringing them in shouldn’t be too difficult.
Cooler is Frieza’s older brother, and they say he is just as powerful as he is. After Goku defeated his brother, Cooler goes after him to restore his family’s honor and reputation.
Cooler is by far the easiest character you can bring into the main Dragon Ball canon. Dragon Ball Super ended with Frieza’s permanent revival. As we saw in Dragon Ball Super: Broly, he is hard at work rebuilding his empire. The revenge story doesn’t make sense in the current context.
But the Frieza family has always been about greed, so here’s an effortless way to introduce Cooler…
Frieza is hard at work rebuilding his “real-estate business.” Except, years have passed since his death, and Cooler is now in charge of the family business. His return causes a conflict of interests amongst the family, and a struggle over who gets to rule the universe ensues.
The Shadow Dragons
Originally from DBGT, the Shadow Dragons introduced something Dragon Ball desperately needed: actual consequences.
Goku and the gang, after attempting to use the dragon balls, accidentally unleash seven powerful dragons onto the world. They came to be because of the negative energy that amassed within the dragon balls, due to Goku’s overuse of them. These monsters exist because of Goku and his friends. They’re the only ones to blame.
Cool idea, but flawed story. One of the complaints about this arc was the boring character designs for these dragons. Another complaint was the arc being focused on only two characters: Goku and Pan. Wouldn’t they benefit from the Broly treatment?
Whether they’re born out of the regular Dragon Balls, or the Super Dragon Balls, a story like that should be presented as the culmination of everything Goku and his friends have been through. And it shouldn’t just focus on Goku and his granddaughter, every character should have a time to shine in a story like that. Namely, since they all had a part to play in the creation of this mess (we’re looking at you, Krillin).
Plus, seeing how much Dragon Ball has evolved, it could be a story of absolute epic proportions. Heck, this storyline would be the perfect opportunity to finally introduce the Dragon God Zalama into the series.
The Shadow Dragons arc needs a reboot. Why? Because a story about the Z Warriors facing the consequences of their actions, after more than 40 years of abusing the Dragon Balls, is simply too good to pass up. The only one who should be telling that story is the one who knows this world better than anyone else, the creator himself: Akira Toriyama.
Who else do should get the Broly treatment? Should they stop at one? Is rebooting non-canon characters lazy? Let us know!