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Arts

Dragon Ball Z offers new iteration of fan-favorite Broly hits all the marks

Dragon Ball Z Super Broly reveals another side to newly redesigned villain

Explaining the origins of Broly, Goku and Vegeta: Dragon Ball Z Super Broly takes its time to illustrate their dramatic backgrounds. Establishing Broly as the main character, this movie places him in the spotlight, providing insight into the villain’s past and allowing the audience to justify his actions.

The original iteration of Broly was a straight up villain. He wanted revenge on the protagonist of the Dragon Ball Z series, Goku, for crying too much as a child, which made it impossible for him to sleep and led to his mental instability. Broly made it his sole goal to destroy Goku.

The new iteration of Broly is more of a tragic character, newly redesigned by the creator of Dragon Ball, Akira Toriyama. Already revealed earlier in the series, as a baby, Broly was exiled to a barren planet, where he was held captive and brainwashed by his father. His power was controlled, as it was greater than Vegeta’s father’s, the king of the planet where Broly was kept. The king feared a mutiny, which led to Broly’s father failing to rescue his son and ending up stranded there as well. Broly’s father then manipulates his son in order to exact his revenge on Goku and Vegeta. When saved, Broly is revealed to be much more than a big, heartless brute.

Toei Company, a Japan-based studio, did an amazing job bringing the television series to the big screen. Their techniques allow the film to shift between flat 2D and dynamic 3D animation, allowing for very detailed graphics in the background and in the main scenes. The fight between Gogeta—a fusion between allies Goku and Vegeta—and Broly was the highlight of this film, as it featured some of the best animated fight choreography. The energy attacks were well-represented with immense shimmering orbs to show just how powerful the fighters are.

In the movie theatre, the audience cheered when Gogeta unleashed the Stardust Breaker, which is a little easter egg throwback to Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn (1995). It was in this movie that Gogeta first used the technique to destroy his enemy. Goku exposed his shining silver hair and aura, better known as his Ultra Instinct Form, which not only increases his power tremendously, but does not require thought, giving them more time to attack. The Dragon Ball fan base was hoping Goku had finally mastered the form’s transformation to use it against Broly. This was the first time the creators have given the audience detailed transformations throughout the entire Dragon Ball series.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly is now playing at the Pepsi Forum and other select theaters. You can catch a new episode of Dragon Ball Super dubbed in English every week on Adult Swim, or buy episodes 1 through 78 on Blu-Ray and DVD at Sunrise Records.

 

Graphics by @spooky_soda

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Music Quickspins

QUICKSPINS: Aminé – ONEPOINTFIVE

Portland rapper Aminé has returned with the follow-up to his 2017 debut studio album Good For You. This project sees Aminé ditching some of the sunny, poppy production of his last album and opting for more trap-influenced instrumentals. While this direction has the project lacking the commercial sensibilities of Good For You, it makes for a more cohesive-sounding project. The album achieves a good balance of smooth, introspective tracks and braggadocious bangers throughout the track listing. “DR. WHOEVER” sees Aminé reflecting on his life and stresses, referring to the listener as his anonymous therapist. On “REEL IT IN,” Aminé showcases his versatile flow and witty punchlines over a bass-heavy instrumental with an infectious flute-sample. With a fantastic selection of beats and just a few features, this project is highly enjoyable and does a great job of highlighting Aminé’s abilities as a singer and rapper.

Trial Track: “REEL IT IN”

8/10

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Arts

Fandom at its finest

Thousands gather at Otakuthon to celebrate everything Japanese

A Pokémon trainer faces off against a team rocket duo while an eager crowd snaps some pictures. Pyramid Head stands near the far wall, holding a very confused baby while parents look on amusedly. Three Deadpools form a line and dance a jig while moving through the audience.

Welcome to Otakuthon, the largest anime convention in Quebec and the second largest in Canada. According to their website, this year, over 21,000 people attended the three-day convention, held at le Palais des Congrès from Aug. 5 to 7.

Otakuthon’s focus is on Japanese culture, both modern and traditional. With a full schedule of events, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, from the hard-core anime fan to the casual enthusiast. With live panels, video game demos, film screenings and special guests, it’s impossible to do everything. The events are as diverse as they are numerous. On the Saturday of the convention alone, convention attendees could sit in on panels about Japan tourism, the evolution of the Pokémon games, fanfiction, bento art and sushi modelling, to name a few.

“There’s a comforting sameness to these conventions,” said Chris Cason, voice actor and guest panelist. “The accents might be slightly different, but once you walk through the door you go ‘oh there’s a Goku, there’s a Naruto,’ it feels the same in a kind of unifying way that I really like.”

Montreal’s Otakuthon featured hundreds of cosplayers. Photo by Tiffany Lafleur.

It’s also a chance for fans to meet special guests, including those behind some of the most iconic character voices, such as Cason, who played Mr. Popo in DragonBall Z and Gluttony in Fullmetal Alchemist, or Eric Stuart, who played Brock and James in the original Pokémon series, and Seto Kaiba in Yu-Gi-Oh!

“It’s pretty amazing to feel like I am part of pop culture history. You can ask a six year old what a Pokémon is and you can ask your grandparents and they will know,” said Stuart, who gives panel discussions on voice acting as well as on direction and adaptation. “I’ve been told numerous times by the fans, ‘you’re the voice of my childhood,’ which to me is very humbling and very flattering, and I definitely don’t take that for granted.”

One of the special events on Saturday was a concert by L’Orchestre des Jeux Vidéo, a Montreal-based orchestra dedicated to playing video game soundtracks. During their 90-minute concert, the orchestra paid homage to some of the most iconic franchises. The soundtracks from Sailor Moon, the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and the Pokémon theme songs, both from the anime and the Gameboy games were just some of the scores played by the symphony. As conductor Jonathan Dagenais very accurately pointed out: while music in video games is mostly invisible, it serves to guide you through the emotional journey, reminding you to feel happy, sad, or maybe hint that a boss is in the room.

Over 21,000 people attended Otakuthon this year. Photo by Tiffany Lafleur.

The most remarkable aspect of the convention was the time and meticulous effort some attendees put into their cosplay outfits. Cosplaying, which is the practice of dressing up as a video game, movie or book character, is part of the integral fabric of anime conventions such as Otakuthon.

Face and body paint, prosthetics, and LED lights were just some of the products cosplayers used to recreate beloved characters, either truthful to the original design or with a creative twist. A particularly impressive group of cosplayers dressed as mechanic versions of Pikachu, Blastoise, Venusaur and Charizard from Pokémon. The costumes, which were painted and designed to look like metal plating (think something out of Transformers) included LED lights and voice boxes, so that when they spoke their voice was amplified above the din of the gathering crowd.

For the fans, Otakuthon is a way to express their love of a particular anime or character. For the special guests, it’s a way to see that their work is indeed appreciated.

“When you’re recording, you might as well be doing it in a closet,” said Cason. “Then you come here and it’s the theater aspect to it. It’s really a humbling and rewarding experience.”

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Arts

PHOTOS: Comic Khaaaaaaaan!

Montreal Comiccon set up shop in Palais des congrès on Friday for three full days of pure uninhibited geeking out.

Now in its 6th edition, the convention featured it’s usual nerd-gasmy array of vendors and artists selling comic books, signed prints, vintage action figures, steampunk jewellery, obscure variations of “Keep Calm and…” t-shirts, sonic screwdrivers and plushie-versions of every Pokémon in the greater Johto region.

Saturday tickets sold out online, resulting in line-ups at the box office that trailed outside onto Viger Ave. Most seemed to make the wait bearable by befriending their neighbours and turning the winding queues into walk-by photo ops for the zombies and Master Chiefs shuffling along with them.

While the eternal Kirk vs. Picard debate rages on in excruciatingly detailed lists on Star Trek fan forums, both former Starfleet Commanders (played of course by William Shatner and Sir Patrick Stewart) headlined as this year’s guests of honour.

And the fans, as always, made the event worth attending with their awesome costumes and genuine enthusiasm towards their shared subculture.

*Want credit for your awesome costume? Leave your name and who you cosplayed as in the comments and we’ll add your info to the photo caption!

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