I’ve talked about Toriyama Akira’s Dragonball and I’ve talked about the Dragonball Z: Battle of Gods movie. Now it’s time to delve into the franchise once more with a look at the twelfth Dragonball Z movie, Fusion Reborn. Will it be on the level of the fourteenth movie or is this one of the weak Dragonball Z films?
Our story opens after the Buu saga with an afterlife tournament where Goku faces off against Paikuhan, in spite of the fact that Goku was resurrected by the old Kaio during the Buu saga and the fact that the grand Kaio decided that the prize for the afterlife tournament needed to be withheld for a while so he could get back in shape. Unsurprisingly, this is a Dragonball Z movie that doesn’t fit in with the continuity, which is an issue with a lot of them. Moving on, King Yama is busy judging souls while the oni in charge of monitoring the soul cleansing equipment goofs off. This results in an accident which causes the evil to burst out and transform the young oni into Janemba, a being of pure evil that seals Yama’s palace, enabling the souls of the dead to break free and roam around on Earth. The tournament is postponed so that Goku and Paikuhan can investigate.
To be fair, the concept behind this isn’t a bad one. The idea of the dead wreaking havoc could have been very interesting. But this is DBZ so it’s used as an excuse for action sequences and that’s pretty much it. To be fair, that’s pretty much to be expected from the franchise and it’s what people are going to be watching the film for. That’s why the biggest problem is the final fight itself. It is really anti-climactic. You get some good buildup for it, but the fight itself ends in about thirty seconds. Mr. Satan fought Cell longer than Gogeta fights Janemba. On the positive side, the film does have some funny moments and some stupidly awesome bits, including Trunks and Goten fighting undead nazis.
The film focuses primarily on the saiyajin and half saiyajin characters. Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, Trunks and Goten. Videl also plays a somewhat significant role. None of them really develop in any substantial way over the course of the film, but you do get a good sense of their personalities, which is fair enough given that the film isn’t even an hour long. Then we have our villain, Janemba. He’s basically like Majin Buu right down to starting as an obese man-child and transforming into a meaner, more heavily muscled form. It’s like the Frieza and Cooler thing where a film just makes a weaker copy of a villain from the main series.
The artwork and animation are pretty decent. The biggest issue is that the action sequences are kind of weak in this one. Given how much the franchise relies on those, that’s pretty bad. I will give the film credit for having some really interesting backgrounds during its tour of hell.
The entire vocal cast delivers decent performances. There’s some exaggeration, but no more than the usual given the franchise’s tendency to have dudes screaming to get stronger. The music is pretty good.
There isn’t any homo-eroticism in this movie.
Dragonball Z: Fusion Reborn is an action movie with some good ideas and funny moments, but that suffers from weak action and a boring antagonist. It isn’t a bad movie, nor is it one of the worst DBZ films for what it is, but there are a lot of better Dragonball Z films out there. This one is just kind of dull. My final rating for it is going to be a 5/10. Tomorrow I’ll take a look at Spirited Away.