Dragon Ball Z Movie 12: Fusion Reborn (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Justin Rich
Review Date: Thursday, March 23, 2006
Release Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What They Say
An industrial disaster in Other World has unleashed a gargantuan monster and the Z fighters are taking action! Janemba's arrival has thrown the dimensions into turmoil, leaving the door between worlds gaping open, and the dead are rising from their graves. To combat this juggernaut, Goku must power up to his rare Super Saiyan 3 form, but shockingly, the move is not enough!

It's a battle on two fronts and teamwork is the key! As time runs out, Goku stumbles across a wear Vegeta and devises a risky plan that might be the universe's only hope... Fusion Reborn!

The Review!
If Kakarot and Vegeta, the two most powerful Saiyan warriors, cannot stop Janemba by themselves what's left? Fu...sion... ha!

Since I have always enjoyed the FUNimation dub cast I decided to take advantage of the English 5.1 for this viewing session. Solid rear speaker action as the entire facility gets destroyed continuously via Ki blast explosions. The dialogue from the center, with no dropouts or distortions. The best part of the 5.1 was when Janemba would materialize behind Kakarot which would be projected from the rear speakers as if he was materializing behind the viewer. I also took a look at the Japanese 2.0 after watching the entire disc, for I wanted to make sure there was no apparent problems with this audio which was balanced and functioning properly.

The twelfth movie in the DBZ franchise was released in March of 1995 and is presented in it's original aspect ratio. Solid transfer from FUNimation leaves no bleeding of color. Although, the presentation of the scenes with Gotten & Trunks the different coloration comes off extremely paler in comparison to the scense with Vegeta and Kakarot. Also FUNimation continues to use the alternate angles here.

The Dragonball Z logo is dead center on the top of the cover with Fusion Reborn in silver block letters below it. This is an extremely vibrant cover with images of all the main characters on the cover. Fading behind the DBZ logo is Janempa and his evolution Janemba with Goten and Trunks to Janempa's left and right. Standing in front of the chubby warrior is Gogeta and behind him is Kakarot and Vegeta performing the conclusion of the fusion dance with all three having halos hanging above their heads. Along the bottom of the cover is the FUNimation logo, DBZ website and the listing of the sound options for this volume. The back cover is mostly made up with a large picture of Kakarot and four screen caps to his right.

To the right is a picture of Super-Saiyan Gogeta staring directly ahead and behind is the picture of Janempa with Janemba over his should fading into the red background to the left.. The rest of the menu is a vibrant crimson, with a black cutout that goes to the right behind Gogeta to hold the commands. Below the DVD title is play movie, audio, chapters and extras. The menu responds quickly using a vibrant yellow curser to take you were you need to go.

This movie contained only two extras. Unlike many of the character profile extras this disc has an extensive listing; which includes all the characters and their fusions (Gotenks & Gogeta). Each character profile has a page on the character filing you in on the background before you view this film. This DVD also contains trailers for the DBZ card game, the next volume of the Vegeta saga rerelease (Vol. 9 Ultimate Sacrifice), Degrassi the next generation, Mr. Stain on Junk alley & FUNimation's Zstore.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The series begins with an Outworld tournament like in the Great Saiyaman saga, with yes you guessed it, Kakarot and Pikkon as the final combatants. But while those two are fighting a demon is mutated by a malfunctioning spirit cleansing machine and turned into the yellow monster Janempa. Janempa begins to destroy the fabric of life and death causing the dead to return to Earth. This even includes a knockoff version of Hitler to run tanks through the center of the street.

Kakarot and Pikkon arrive at King Yemas thanks to instant transmission but their ki blasts doesn't even scratch the shield around the check in station. The puffy Janempa (who acts much like Majin Buu's first form) follows Kakarot into Hell while Pikkon is left to try and free King Yemma. Janempa makes smaller versions himself to fight Kakarot while the rest of us are treated to an unfortunate Great Saiyaman sighting. Undoubtedly the worst alter ego to ever be created, goes off to fight a horribly weak Freiza and defend Earth from Hell's invaders.

Jamempa's tiny versions are quickly defeated and so he rains down on Kakarot the jellybean-like floating pieces of time. He then fires multiple blasts as well as punches through dimensions to try defeating Kakarot, which forces him to have to resort to his Super-Saiyan 3 transformations. Kakarot hits Janempa with a powerful blast which mutates him into the even more powerful and ruthless Janemba.

Goten and Trunks fight against the knockoff Hitler which would be more entertaining if the animation quality was so horrific. The animation looked as if it were pulled directly off the Candyland board and then you tossed in a pair of young Super Saiyans.

Janamba and Kakarot's fight rages on while Pikkon's mean words rip into the shell encasing King Yemma. Janemba goes on the offensive with his newly created sword slicing everything in the way, including Kakarot's left shoulder. Just when it seems that Kakarot is dead in the water, Vegeta arrives to save his old nemesis/friend/rival. Vegeta attacks, but like always, is easily dismissed by his opponent. There is only one solution...fusion. The first version of goes wrong and the fusion results in combination that looks like a shorter, fatter & gassier version of Jay Leno. After they split Vegeta and Kakarot escape because of Pikkon stepping in to give them the necessary time to refuse. Gogeta is properly made this time, and like every anticlimactic DBZ movie ending, easily defeats Janemba. Gotenks also is made because the two young Saiyans sense their fathers combined power and use their Kamakaze Ghost attack to eliminate all the last of the invaders.

In Summary:
Rebirth of Fusion is a vast improvement over the last three dreadful attempts in the movie franchise. Solid fight scenes to go along with the full crew of characters leads this movie to be a rather fun time. This film is not without it's faults though. The Goten/Trunks parts are ridiculously drawn and the whole Gotenks vs. Hitler thing is just poorly done leading to the question of why are we taking time away from the high powered action to watch this? Even with the minor flaws, the film does have great action and far better comedy then recently mixed well together.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony SAVA D9000 Dual Stack DTS w/ 5 Disc Changer in stack 1 and subwoofer in stack 2 Tv is Sony 57" widescreen rear-projection HDTV Model #KPD 57WS550

Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B-
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: B-
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
MSRP: 24.98
Running time: 55
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dragon Ball Z