OH BOY we get to talk about Dragon Ball Minus.
During New York Comic Con 2018, a new trailer for the upcoming movie Dragon Ball Super: Broly was released…and there’s lots to talk about.
The trailer focuses almost entirely on what will most likely be a flashback sequence/prologue of the film. Before we dive into that, let’s clarify the film’s premise.
Taking place after the events of Super, this film will see Goku and Vegeta facing Broly, the legendary Super Saiyan. Written by series creator Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball Super: Broly appears to reintroduce and revamp the titular big buff Saiyan into the official continuity of the series, assuming the movie isn’t retooled into future episodes of Super.
What’s so fascinating about this trailer is that, just like reinventing Broly, Goku’s origin story is retooled as well.
In the anime (and instances of the manga ), Goku was born shortly before Frieza destroys Planet Vegeta. He is sent to Earth to destroy all life on the planet, and his father, Bardock, could care less about his weak son. This is all covered for the most part in the TV special Dragon Ball Z: Bardock – The Father of Goku.
Infant Goku from Dragon Ball Z: Bardock – The Father of Goku
That was all considered “canon” until the 2014 special manga Dragon Ball Minus: The Departure of the Fated Child. Minus is significant for (among other things like introducing Goku’s mother Gine) completely changing most of what was established in Bardock – The Father of Goku, and much of Goku’s backstory. Specifically, Goku is three years old when he is sent to Earth, he is sent there because Bardock becomes suspicious of Frieza, and so Goku is separated from his parents to be safe from harm.
Minus is very controversial among DB fans. This is mainly because it contradicts a lot of previous Dragon Ball lore and content that is well received by fans, specifically Bardock – The Father of Goku.
It also (this is why I hate it), takes away the more interesting and meaningful aspects of Goku as a character. Previously, Goku was framed as a weakling of the Saiyan race sent to destroy life on Earth and never amount to anything. Instead, in great dramatic irony, Goku becomes the strongest warrior in the universe and defeats the tyrant who killed the Saiyans because he was sent to Earth.
Now, Goku is little more than a Superman clone. Sent away from his doomed planet because his parents wanted to save him, not because he was a runt whose mission was to kill.
I don’t think this is awful, it’s just not nearly as interesting or original as what originally happened (yay more irony).
BACK TO THE TRAILER. This was all to say that this trailer for Broly seems to more or less adapt the events of Dragon Ball Minus, while also reworking it in an attempt to thematically tie the origins of Goku to Vegeta and Broly.
Before this trailer I was really excited to see Broly and a new take on the titular character. Right now, I’m pretty lukewarm. Minus is a big misstep for the franchise because it takes away one of the few meaningful fragments of character depth in the series. By adapting Minus, and spending the time to do so, I’m a little worried about Broly, his movie, and how everything will shape up.
But hey, at least the Ginyu Force shows up.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly comes to theaters in January 2019.
All images from Minus and Bardock are taken from the Dragon Ball Wiki. It’s great, check it out!