Dragon Ball Z is arguably the most popular and significant anime of all time. When anime was becoming big in the US in the mid ’90s, Dragon Ball Z quickly rose to the top of the list of popular shows, and it didn’t take long for it to become a full blown phenomenon.
The adventures of the Saiyans and their allies battling the powerful aliens bent on galactic domination is now the stuff of legend, and the cast of villains is certainly one of the best ever. Among all those mega powerful baddies, one particular villain, one not even created by Akira Toriyama himself, has stood the test of time as one of the most revered.
We are talking, of course, about the Legendary Super Saiyan Broly. As a destructive, hulking monster of few words, Broly debuted in Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan, and immediately caught the attention of fans with his unique look and planet-shattering level of power.
Over the years, Broly has had numerous incarnations and has been the subject of more fan service than perhaps any other character, and although some fans call his character 1 dimensional, he actually is deeper than they think and has an important place in the Dragon Ball ethos.
Here are the 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Dragon Ball Z’s Broly.
15. His Father Was A Top Lieutenant For King Vegeta
Broly’s father, Paragus, is one of the antagonists in Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan, and serves as a high ranking officer for the King of the Saiyans, Vegeta. Though Paragus never actually fights in the films he appears in, he is a critical part of Broly’s story arc and we can determine quite a bit about him from the information we have.
First, Paragus speaks to King Vegeta directly, which is something very few characters can do. Also, unlike most other Saiyans, he doesn’t have an aggressive lust for battle, preferring instead to craft meticulous plans and wait for the right moment to execute them.
Combined with his cunning and adaptability, this makes it easy to see why Paragus was valued by the arrogant and selective King Vegeta. It’s also shown that he was higher ranking than Goku’s father, Bardock.
Of course, everyone’s value has limits, and Vegeta is fast in his attempt to dispose of Paragus and his son when he felt it was necessary. Regardless, it really adds to Broly’s character that he comes from such lineage, though Paragus’ personality had less than positive effects on Broly’s childhood.
14. He Is A Figure of Prophecy
In Saiyan folklore, the Legendary Super Saiyan was an ancient and indomitable warrior and an idol among the warlike Saiyan race. Originally thought to be mythology, it turns out that the legend is real and even more destructive that the legend says.
The Legendary Super Saiyan’s original identity is unknown, but what is known is his power. Periodically, once every thousand years or longer, a Saiyan will be born with the same power, and bring all of the problems that come with it to their time. This serves as a doubled edge sword for the Saiyans, who, on one hand, revere strength and a Saiyan with enough to bring every other race under their heels is what they’re all about.
On the other hand, the Legendary Super Saiyan poses a very real threat to anything that lives when it exists, and that includes his own race. The LSS will be, without question, stronger than whoever the current Saiyan King is, which means that king is likely dead meat shorty after the LSS emerges. The LSS is both a source of great pride and great fear for the entire Saiyan race.
13. His Power Is Really A Curse
While being born with immense power may be appealing to some, the power of the LSS can be seen as a curse for many reasons. Whoever is gifted with it has no choice, however, because they are born with it.
Additionally, the power they generate is uncontrollable and limitless. For the rest of the Dragon Ball universe, every other being except the Androids use Ki, or energy to fuel their power. The development of Ki in training and the management of it in battle are absolutely necessary for victory, and is thus a key part of any strategy.
The LSS, however, is more like a power source of Ki rather than a battery, and no matter how much power Broly exerts, it will be quickly replenished for him to use again.
Furthermore, the ki generates at such a rate that it must be expelled on a near constant basis, or else it will eventually reach critical mass inside Broly and he’ll explode. Destined to be a vessel of mass destruction, the LSS inherently has aspects of a tragic figure no matter who the unfortunate Saiyan it possesses is.
12. He Has An Intense Hatred For Goku
Broly’s biggest weakness might not be the curse of the LSS, but rather his mental illness. Broly was born on the same day as Goku and, in fact, the two were nursery-mates together. During this time, Goku was a rather fussy baby and cried… a lot.
Goku’s crying was so constant that it was ingrained into Broly, even though he was too young to recall the exact moments. Because Broly had a very traumatic childhood, his earliest memories are that of Goku’s relentless crying, and thus serves as a trigger mechanism for them.
Broly’s mental state deteriorates as the movie goes on, and by the end, he has lost all sense of reason and is completely fueled by rage. The impetus of this rage is his memories of Goku’s crying, and his lack of reason leads him to associate everything that happened to him in the childhood with it, and even blame the traumatic events on Goku.
11. His Super Saiyan Transformation Is Unique To Him
The golden, spiked hair of the Super Saiyan transformation is an iconic image from the childhood of millions. As one of the defining traits of the DBZ characters, the Super Saiyan form has some variation, but across most characters it shares the same traits.
This is not the case of Broly, who is only a handful of characters in the franchise to posses a unique transformation. When Broly starts to transform into Super Saiyan with his crown on, his hair gains a blue and a sea-green tint, and when his LSS mode is complete, it settles on a yellow-green tint that is similar but still different than most Saiyans.
Additionally, he gains an incredible amount of muscle mass that makes him nearly as wide as he is tall. This looks similar to Trunks’ Saiyan third grade form. However, Trunks’ form is not practical because it sacrifices too much speed for the additional strength, but Broly has no such problem.
10. The Day He Was Born Is Significant In The DBZ Universe
It’s fitting that, on the day the latest LSS was born, a number of other hugely important events in the Dragon Ball Z ethos. Most important is, of course, the fact that Goku was born as well, but it is also the day of the Saiyan genocide.
The Emperor of the Universe, the terrifyingly evil Frieza, had been using the Saiyan race as his slaves and shock troops for years, and secretly feared their great power. Though much stronger than any individual Saiyan, Frieza is still a paranoid dictator and does not suffer too much strength that may have even a slight chance of challenging him.
The Saiyans were always loyal, since they are a warrior race anyway, and under Frieza’s protection they had no worry of outside threats, but this didn’t matter and Frieza kills King Vegeta, Goku’s father Bardock, and destroys the entire Planet Vegeta which wipes out all but a handful of the Saiyan race.
9. He Has A Dual Nature
Broly shares some traits with the classic villains like Two-Face and Dr Jekyll, particularly his dual nature. Unlike most Saiyans, Broly is shown in flashbacks to have a very calm demeanor atypical of his fellow Saiyans. It’s possible that, were he left to his own devices and not been born the reincarnation of the LSS, Broly’s calmer side could have ended up his more dominant one.
Unfortunately, this was not to be, and his typical Saiyan traits emerged more and more as he grew older. Broly is shown wearing his control crown leading up to his Super Saiyan Transformation, but seeing Goku and triggering his rage passes even that device and he’s never calm again after.
This shows that Broly is a person of extremes– when he’s calm he’s almost the picture of serenity, but when angered he can shake the planet beneath his feet. Like those classic villains, exploiting this dual nature has shown to be the best way to defeat him. While not stupid, Broly’s rage obscures his thinking and renders him unable to improvise well, making him vulnerable to the highly adaptable Z fighters.
8. He Was Completely Uncontrollable By The Time He Was A Teen
The curse of the LSS will rear it’s ugly head as in anyone it possesses, and with Broly it came very early. Broly is shown to have an increasingly hard time keeping his rages in check during his younger years, and though his father Paragus is formidable himself, he can’t hope to match his son’s strength.
In a key flashback scene, we are shown how Paragus came to lose his left eye. During one of Broly’s teenage fits, he elbows his father square in the face, knocking his eye right out. This was an incredible moment for a few reasons.
For one, Paragus is not only Broly’s father but the only person who has ever been close to him or shown him any affection. For Broly to be so enraged that he strikes his own father proves that his restraint is completely gone. It also shows the next step in what has been a progressive rise in such incidents, and each one with worse consequences than the last.
7. He Wears A Mind Control Device To Keep His Power Suppressed
After Broly knocked out his father’s eye, Paragus knew that something had to be done or else the next time Broly loses it, it might cost him his life. Paragus then employs a great scientist named Krang, whose name and look is based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon character of the same name, to craft a device that will suppress Broly’s violent outbursts.
What he comes up with is a crown to place on Broly’s head with a matching ring to control it, which is worn by Paragus. Wisely taking his opportunity when Broly couldn’t fight back, Paragus manages, barely, to place the crown on his son while he’s sleeping.
This immediately sends Broly into a fit but he is quickly brought to heel by the power of the ring. The crown is also a symbol of the tragic aspect of Broly’s character, as he once again has something forced upon him, and worse, his father’s intent was to use his son as nothing more than a tool for revenge against Vegeta. The crown is very effective, as Vegeta, when looking for the LSS, cannot sense Broly’s power even when standing next to him.
6. He Was Abandoned On A Doomed Planet
Broly’s life was a mess from the get-go, and his relationship with his father parallels that of his mental state. Paragus had tried everything he could for years to try and control his son, but this was an exercise in futility.
Trying to overpower the LSS is like trying to drown an ocean, and Paragus finally reached the point where he knew his son was better off dead than alive. Paragus’ plan was to lure Vegeta onto a planet named New Planet Vegeta, which was in the direct path of a Comet called Camori.
Figuring that Broly would annihilate the Z fighters, Paragus would then evacuate with his son in the next step in conquest. However, Broly ends up transforming into the LSS unexpectedly. This event is as terrifying as it is astonishing, and Paragus makes the decision to abandon Broly during his fight with the heroes in hopes that the comet kills him.
5. He Was As Strong As King Vegeta At Birth
Power levels are something that have somewhat fallen out of the narrative of Dragon Ball nowadays, but for the earlier years of the series they were a big deal. The scouters Saiyans used to assess opponent’s power are still remembered, and it was during the time of Broly that they became irrelevant.
Broly’s power level at birth was 10,000. To put that into perspective, Goku was born with a power level of 2, and the King of the entire Saiyan race was only marginally stronger at his peak. At his strongest, Broly is more powerful than Super Perfect Cell, who came later.
This meant that the potential Broly had was so great that it far eclipsed anything anything the universe had seen before. Once this fact was known to King Vegeta, he immediately ordered that Broly be killed so that his power can never threaten him.
Paragus’ pleas fall on deaf ears, and King Vegeta blasts him and Broly is stabbed in the chest. King Vegeta’s actions come back in perfect poetic justice, as it is fear of potential challenging power that dooms him and his race at the hands of Frieza
4. He Is Powerful Enough To Destroy Galaxies
The measure of how strong a villain is in Dragon Ball Z has always been how much widespread destruction they can cause. A reliable measuring stick is if a character can destroy and entire planet, and many characters have done so.
Vegeta and Frieza both accomplish this, and even Master Roshi blows up a moon at one point. Broly, however, is on an entirely different level altogether. At one point, he destroys a planet effortlessly after turning into the LSS, but even that isn’t close to what he can do.
It is said that Broly is strong enough to single handedly destroy the entire south and all life within it. The scale of that, even by Dragon Ball standards, is unreal. Frieza can certainly destroy many planets, but a galaxy is too much, even with his vast and powerful armies.
Broly basically has the power of thousands of Death Stars in his hands, and this level of power is in the hands of an insane, completely unfettered instrument of destruction. The Dragon Ball universe wouldn’t see that level of power for a long time to come, and it remains one of the scariest unrealized threats in its history.
3. He Is Not Part Of The Canon
No matter what the franchise may be, if it has source material, then its fans will continuously debate what parts of it are canon. In the case of Dragon Ball, there are things that are canon, semi-canon, and non-canon, with the manga and anything written by series creator Akira Toriyama being canon.
This means anything that has Broly in it is considered non-canon to the overall Dragon Ball story. This surprises some fans because of Broly’s longevity in the series, but there is still grey area to be considered. For instance, Toriyama had prototype designs for non-canon characters, like King Vegeta, and joint collaborations with Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru on Bardock, who he liked so much that he put him in the manga.
It seems that canon is more malleable than some fans believe, as changes have happened before, so Broly fans shouldn’t despair when told their favorite baddie doesn’t count because it’s possible that Toriyama can pen Broly into a Manga some day. Regardless, Broly ranks as one of the greatest villains the Z fighters ever tangled with, and can be enjoyed by fans whether he’s canon or not.
2. He Is One Of The Most Popular Villains In Dragon Ball History
Broly has persisted for nearly 25 years in the ethos of Dragon Ball as one of the most feared and popular villains the franchise has ever produced. Though at this point Frieza has been firmly established as the biggest villain with the most recurrence in the canonical series, Broly is the only villain to be featured in three different Dragon Ball Z films.
He is also featured in every game, even those not brought to the west, and has multiple incarnations throughout them. In fanfic, you are guaranteed to find a plethora of fantasy fights matching Broly up against later super powerful characters, and he’s also one of the most popular subjects in fan art as well.
In the latest series, Dragon Ball Super, a female character named Kale is designed just like Broly, with the same transformation, complete with the muscle gain and hair style. Though she isn’t called the LSS, Broly’s design is clearly the inspiration behind her. Search the vast amount of YouTube videos about Dragon Ball, from character portraits to power assessment and more, and you’ll see just how many videos Broly is the subject of.
1. He Might Have Turned Out Differently If Not For His Father
While it’s true that Broly was born cursed, and perhaps it was his destiny to end the way he did, there were many points in his life when things could have turned out differently if his father wasn’t such a selfish and evil person.
After being sentenced to death on the day he was born, Broly and Paragus both survive and go into hiding. Paragus knew his son’s potential, and rather than use the opportunity to raise his son away from the circus of violence and death that is Saiyan life, he chose to use Broly as his own personal instrument of revenge.
To this end, he was never interested in instilling any kind of civility in his son, only resorting to the control ring/crown when his own safety was compromised. Broly was never taught to be mature and control his impulses, as seen in his penchant for going nuts over the smallest annoyances.
If he had been raised by a proper teacher who understood not just power but character, his better side could have been cultivated and perhaps even be taught to control his vast power. Unfortunately, because of Paragus’ horrible parenting, we’ll never see how things could have been
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Dragon Ball Z‘s Broly? Tell us in the comments!
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