Anime Review: Dragon Ball Z Movie Collection 6 – Fusion Reborn & Wrath of the Dragon

By Drew Hurley 12.03.2018

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Dragon Ball Z Movie Collection 6 - Fusion Reborn & Wrath of the Dragon (UK Rating: PG)

Manga Entertainment is bringing the latest installment of the Dragon Ball Z movies to the UK once again, this time the twelfth and thirteenth films in the series, with only a final film remaining that was produced afterward before the films reach the Battle of the Gods and the post-Dragon Ball Z story. The one remaining film is Dragon Ball: The Path to Power, a film set during Goku's childhood, thus this is likely the final release in this movie series. This collection comes courtesy of Manga Entertainment and is available from 12th March, but is it a good one to go out on?

The first film, Fusion Reborn, opens on an event that borrows from one of the few decent filler arcs. While the "Other World Tournament" was never part of the original manga, the anime received an enjoyable filler arc based around this afterlife-centred martial arts tournament. This film revisits the premise from that filler arc, so much so that the movie picks up in the final match, once again seeing Goku about to face off against his ally from the former story, Pikkon. While these two are getting ready to throw down, there's suddenly a disastrous occurrence in the underworld. King Yemma is processing souls when one of his minions, a gormless little fool, is paying no attention to his work and accidentally busts open a container of evil souls. The minion is transformed into a huge baby-like (not that baby… GT never existed… it's not canon) demon with the Pokémon-style habit of only being able to say its name; it's Janemba, and it gets old quickly.

The transformation is only one issue rolling out of the explosion. The other is that the barrier between the worlds of the living and the dead is torn asunder, chaos engulfs the Earth as spirits, ghosts, ghouls, and characters from the series history are suddenly back on Earth. The latest part of Dragon Ball Super - Dragon Ball Super Season 1 Part 2 - gave fans a reborn Frieza taking centre stage; this film delivered that story point long ago. With the chaos in the afterlife, the undead are wreaking havoc on Earth - everyone from Hitler to the iconic villain Frieza shows up.

The Z Fighters on Earth have to try and deal with the multitude of villains while Goku takes on Janemba in the underworld. Wouldn't you know it? Janemba's true form is not the cutesy baby-ish giant monster? When he gets serious, he transforms into an awesome looking creature that somehow manages to include elements from many of the fan favourite villains from the series' history. As is to be expected considering the title of the film, the only way to take on the new form is to use Fusion, but with Vegeta dead and without a body, how will they manage?

The second film, Wrath of the Dragon, opens after the Majin Buu arc has reached its conclusion. A brief snippet before the movie starts proper shows a young boy with a mohawk and a huge blade searching around for his enemy. It seems silly that he should have to try and find it as it seems it's about the size of a building. It finds him and all that's left is a footprint. Jump to present day Earth, where Gohan and Videl are fighting crime and helping the populous as their Super Saiyaman alter-egos when a call comes in to help an old man threatening suicide. This old man happens to be doing this to try and get the young couple's help. He claims a great destroyer is coming to Earth and the only way to stop it is by opening a strange music box.

The truth of the matter is rather convoluted but suffice to say the top half of a huge monster is sealed within a noble warrior named Taipon who is sealed within that box. Its bottom half is currently rampaging on Earth after being freed. After summoning Shenron the box is open is Taipon is freed, but this now runs the risk of the undefeatable monster being reunited.

The new character designs from Toriyama-sensei are fantastic, with Taipon reminiscent of his work with Dragon Quest and Janemba final form a great combination of elements of previous villains. Hirudegarn is lacking the same quality of design but makes for a fun battle at least. Instead of going the cliche anime route that Dragon Ball relies upon so often and seeing him shrink down to a humanoid "Final Form" for a one-on-one final fight this huge beasty makes for a Kaiju-style battle.

As with all of the previous movie releases, this comes with both the English and the Japanese dub and as usual, they are very different stories. The persona of Goku has always been drastically different between the original Japanese and the English dub, with the English version desperate to try and make him a Superman-style character while the Japanese dub is happy to portray him as the flawed character he is, a bit of a greedy idiot that just loves a good fight.

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10
Both films are highly enjoyable for Dragon Ball Z fans in Dragon Ball Z Movie Collection 6 - Fusion Reborn & Wrath of the Dragon but they have their issues. The two tie-in nicely to previously established Dragon Ball lore in the series, and manage to deliver where it matters with Dragon Ball - in the comedy and in the combat. Due to the short running times of these movies, though, none of the new characters get much time to really develop.

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