Sunday, April 24, 2016

Dragonball Z Movie 12: Fusion Reborn

This is the trivia answer to "What Dragonball Z movie contains both Freeza and Hitler?"

This was the second DBZ movie I ever saw (after Tree of Might). It was quite a step forward in time. I'd only seen up to the Ginyu Saga in the show because that was all we got in the U.S. for a long time.

We begin with an arena on the side of an asteroid. This takes place very late in the series, when Gokou is in the afterlife. The afterlife is apparently the depths of space. Works for me.

King Kai is here, along with a few other Kais. They all screech at each other and I momentarily consider turning the movie right back off.

But wait! It's Gokou Vs. Pikkon in a rematch for the ages. These guys fought on the show between the Cell and Buu Sagas. This takes place quite a bit later and they're still fighting, as the only two powerful characters in the afterlife. ...wait, what about Broly? Wasn't the next thing supposed to be them fighting Broly? Yeah, probably. Unfortunately, Diarrhea Broly ruined the character for good.

Final version of the opening credits. Gohan is grown-up now and featured front and center, like he's the main character or something. lol

Down in Hell, this punk kid is responsible for watching the machine that regulates souls and separates the evil from them before they get recycled...or something. He's goofing off and listening to music, so his boss comes up to criticize him. The boss talks about how he's Old a lot, then leaves the kid to go back to not doing his job.

This leads to the machine exploding, unleashing the beast of pure virulent evil known as...

...Janemba, a gigantic puff-ball who can only say his own name. W...T...F. Looks like we've got another personality-filled villain here.

He immediately distorts time and space all around his body, literally freezing the corridors of hell. The "old guy" gets frozen right away, which is the price he pays for wearing that tiger-striped tie. He was 25.

 Janemba continues to bend the universe as we know it. This is actually a really cool idea, and something we don't see anywhere else in this series.

The afterlife gets divided by colors, creating a sea of giant jellybeans.

Meanwhile, ghosts are roaming the Earth en masse. In a graveyard, a guy encounters his girlfriend who died many years ago. She immediately asks him why he's all old.

He replies by asking her why she can't go easy on an old man.


The Nazis now roam the Earth again, as panzer divisions roll through the streets. Between the layer of slime and the ghosts being rampant, this is like the big late-story conflicts of both Ghostbusters movies rolled into one.

 Hitler himself, or at least a goofy charicature of him, stalks the streets and declares that he now owns this city.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...Chi Chi is looking quite a bit older than she was ten movies ago.


Videl's communication-watch informs her of the Ghost Invasion...

 ...and Gohan is ready for action.

Back in the afterlife, Gokou and Pikkon are on the case, and finding it difficult to damage the big yellow puff.

Pikkon goes from being a really cool customer to being a complete goofball in the span of two seconds, as he suddenly starts ranting at Janemba. Well, he used to be cool.

Gokou also starts exhibiting the worst of his character, as he demands that HE be the one to fight Janemba without help since he wants to face someone powerful.

The afterlife continues to distort and jellybeanize. This background is still rad, and I'd go so far as to say this movie has the best color palette of any of the DBZ movies.

Back at the city, Great Saiyaman (aka Gohan) has arrived to battle the ghosts.

And his foe? FREEZA. 

I mentioned how this was the first Japanese DBZ movie I ever saw and the second overall. This part was particularly confusing for me because I only knew Freeza as his initial appearance in the show. Didn't know anything about him having multiple forms, so I thought this was just him without his armor or something.

Gohan inadvertently Heils while posing! Damn it, you're playing right into Hitler's hands!

Freeza summons a horde of goons from the past. The Ginyu Force are here, as well as...

...Turliss' goons? What the hell? And do I see Bojack goons too?

Yeah, definitely Bojack goons...and that's Broly's father on the left. What the actual fuck?

BOJACK TOO? He's way stronger than Freeza and could give Gohan a tough fight, so this doesn't bode well...luckily we never see him, or any of his goons, after this one shot.

Gohan teleports to Freeza and destroys him with one punch, after which all of the minions just sorta disappear. ...ooookay

Our heroes summon the Eternal Dragon to try and solve the ghost problem, but he says there's nothing he can do about it. Well, that was pointless. I wonder if he's tired of these buffoons summoning him all the time. One of these days the dragon is going to go postal and eat Goten.

Back in the afterlife, Pikkon discovers that he can shatter the solid ooze by yelling expletives at it.

This makes it even more like Ghostbusters 2, in a roundabout way. In that movie, the only way to shatter the slime was for everyone to be really positive and say nice things to each other. Which, in pre-millennium New York City, wasn't easy.

 Janemba has some interesting abilities, like creating Portal-esque rifts in space and attacking through them.

Gokou launches the Kamehameha wave, which looks particularly awesome in this movie.

Look at the explosion of primary colors! I approve of this.

Of course, Janemba no-sells everything. At least Gokou didn't wait long to go Super Saiyan.

At this stage of the game, though, he can go beyond that...several times. He can go...

 ...Super Saiyan 3! It''s beautiful!

It's like Blue Steele, or Magnum.

Definitely Magnum. This is serious business now.

 Gokou UNLEASHES HELL, slamming through Janemba with an electrical cross. Super Saiyan 3 is awesome in action.

Look at that punch!

 Gokou quickly drops Janemba, who implodes into himself. Gokou now lives only to face a new nightmare...

...Janemba's second form, which is incredibly badass. This could easily have passed for a new Cooler form, or a new Cell form. Instead it's...Janemba. He has even less dialogue than before, now saying nothing. It's a bit of a waste of a great design, but at least he has some interesting powers.

Back at the city, Hitler is still roaming free. Will someone stop this madman?

Luckily, Goten and Trunks are on the case...and continuing to deal with the ghost menace as slowly as they possibly can.

I like how Hitler points out that they're blonde haired / blue-eyed / strong and says they would be good recruits. I'm almost certain this line was added by the dub, and it's a good one.

Trunks uses a panzer tank as a bowling ball against a bunch of Nazis. I can't believe I'm typing this.

 Back at the main event, Gokou charges!

 Janemba charges!

Some very hard-hitting fight choreography here. Excellent battle with no blurred "gif on repeat" action.

Aside from being able to reach through portals to attack, Janemba can also break apart and reform at will. As powerful as Gokou is, if he can't hand a good hit then this fight isn't going to go his way.

Janemba on the other hand has little trouble landing good hits with impunity.

Gokou is having some trouble now. He's somewhere off-camera here, but I had to get a shot of this rad giant sunflower.

Janemba summons a giant sword, as if he wasn't dangerous enough already. This guy is a seriously badass villain, I just wish he had a personality or...importance. It's Broly syndrome all over again.

Janemba ignites his sword into a huge energy slash, then fires slice-waves at our hero. Just when it appears that Gokou's on the ropes...

...Vegeta appears, complete with "No one will kill you except ME" speech.

Side note: Vegeta is actually dead at this point in the series, so this is essentially him returning from the afterlife momentarily. Due to Hell being in complete disarray from the events of the movie, Vegeta was free to get up and leave...and did. Once things are restored to normal, he'll have to go back there, which adds a poignant edge to this story. Reminds me of Jack Bauer being freed from prison just so he can save the day and go back to prison afterwards.

A short battle follows, with Vegeta getting completely dominated. This would have been a good time to see Super Saiyan 3 Vegeta, but he never gets to do that. It's Gokou's. It's always Gokou's.

Janemba dematerializes smugly.

Gokou and Vegeta take refuge in a nearby cave. This is a bit like the Cooler battle, except they're taking WAY more of a beating.

Vegeta is dismayed at his ineffectiveness, and Gokou proposes that they try Fusion. Vegeta says he'll be damned if he fuses with YOU.

He then cries because Gokou has been getting more powerful in the afterlife while he stays the same down in Hell.

Vegeta doesn't want to go back to Hell, noting that he wasn't good like Gokou was so he isn't going anywhere else. For him it's either defeat Janemba and go back to Hell, or get tormented by Janemba in this pocket dimension for eternity. Finally, he agrees to try fusing with Gokou, as much as he hates the idea.

 Destruction rains from the heavens, as Janemba blasts the cavern with energy. Our heroes are gonna need some room to do the Fusion Dance, so they run for it again.

 Meanwhile, King Kai is watching on his Apple iPad (tm). Not sure how there's a camera in Janemba's pocket universe, but whatever

Gokou explains the Fusion Dance very patiently while Vegeta grunts and growls at how dumb it is.

With our heroes having fled the scene, Janemba is now all alone in an empty world. He's finally happy. This is probably his only character development in the movie.

Meanwhile, the kids still haven't defeated the Nazis. Come on, guys! The RAF would have been home for dinner an hour ago!

Janemba senses that fusion has taken place...does this mean Gogeta has arrived?

Nope. It's Vekou, the botched version of Gogeta. Apparently Vegeta did the Fusion Dance wrong, so now they have to wait for the "buff" to wear off to try again.

 Vekou bounces around and attacks Janemba by passing gas. Because he's fat! That's almost as bad as being Old. Japan!

Finally the botched fusion wears off. That wasted a good amount of time that could have gone towards the real Gogeta, something I've always resented about this movie. It's the only time we ever get to see Gogeta, and more time with him would have been good.

They try fusion again, but this time Janemba is onto their scheme. Luckily, here comes...

...Pikkon, playing the Piccolo role of distracting the villain.

Speaking of Piccolo, it's worth noting that this movie doesn't follow the usual formula of the earlier movies. There's no goon squad and no jobbing out of the lesser characters before Gokou and Vegeta deal with the main threat.

...except for this part. Pikkon quickly gets stomped by Janemba. Given that Pikkon is said to be stronger than Cell, this means Janemba is quite potent.

Gokou and Vegeta FINALLY complete the Fusion Dance, resulting in...

...GOGETA. He's both Gokou and Vegeta, and he's pissed.

Look at the size of that aura. Gogeta is awesome.

Gogeta swings into action. I really like his design; he looks like a perfect combination of the two characters.

Gogeta with a flying knee to the head! Janemba doesn't even know what hit him.

Janemba lands a punch squarely on Gogeta's face damage.

Matter of fact, not only does it do zero damage, it also obliterates Janemba.

The villain explodes in a shower of sparks, and that's it for this one.

When I first saw this movie I didn't like it at all. I didn't like the way Gogeta won, or how little time we got to see him. Looking at it now, I still wish we'd gotten to see Gogeta in a real battle, but the overall situation isn't as bad as I used to think it was. This movie is actually pretty good.

Back at the city, the kids sense that their dads fused and follow suit, becoming Gotenks.

Gotenks unleashes his ghost army attack, FINALLY defeating the Nazi hordes.

Back in the dimensional pocket (or whatever this is) Gokou and Vegeta bromance it up for a moment.

They both admit that they couldn't have won without the other, and call each other friends.

This conversation alone puts this into the upper echelon of DBZ movies, but the high quality of the fights in this one is also a big positive. 

 Vegeta fades out as he gets pulled back to Hell, while Gokou is free to return to the happier afterlife.

Last shot is Gohan and Videl flying home on Earth, with a job well done.

This concludes DBZ Movie 12: Friendship is Magic. Soon I'll cover the final two that I haven't, Movies 13 and 15.


  1. Gohan = One Punch Man

  2. Well, it's hard to determine exactly when this movie is supposed to kind of take place. Gohan never goes SSJ which might suggest that it's after all of his hidden potential is released, in which case Bojack would be nothing to worry about. If it's before... then yeah, that would be bad.

    Like most things involving him, all you need to say is "the one that had Hitler" and people know what you're talking about.

    The movies tend to make up a number of bullshit ways to defeat the boss, but Gogeta completely makes sense as a thing they could potentially do and it's probably the most memorable movie-only thing they've done.

  3. This movie is so colorful! I'm a huge fan of Janemba and his arc just because it's great to look at these pictures. This is also a creative stretching of the DBZ universe. This idea of opening the doors of the afterlife to bring old characters back is a nice way to recycle things too. I would've also liked to hear more about this afterlife factory idea.

    It's too bad all those guys disappeared after One Punch Gohan got to them though. It's ok Gohan, I don't blame you!

    Yeah, you're right, this plot is totally from Ghostbusters. Not a bad place to take ideas from!

    Space rifts! Colors! This is so fun!

    Man, the eyebrow bones of Super Saiyan 3 are sooo protruded.

    Vegeta's arc is always the most interesting! He can't get stronger down in hell? But he'd prefer hell to Janemba? I really want to see DBZ hell now too, though it wouldn't be a kids' show really then.

    The explosions of colors are all so fun to watch. This is one DBZ that is making me think it's art.

    Janemba is happy to be alone? That's interesting and cool.

    Vekou is fun at least.

    Man, Gogeta won that easily? You're right, it would've been fun to see more of him. I'm sure we will in a future film!

    Whoa, ghost army attack, cool!

    This was a lot of fun to read, and I sense it was a good movie. I enjoyed the creativity, and it reminded me a lot it's a kid show, but in a good way. Always happy to see Hitler get shut down too!

  4. I think the protruded eyebrows are a Neanderthal / Early Man reference. As in the Saiyans go backwards in evolution with their various transformations. Makes sense, given that they can even go all the way into ape-form.