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Dragonball Z: Fusion: Hope Returns (1996) – DVD Review


Original Japanese Version by: Akira Toriyama


  • Contains episodes 251-253
  • Trailers

Dindrane’s Anime Warnings:

  • Too short! Too short!
  • Heroes dropping like flies
  • Tough choices

Released by FUNimation
Rating: 13+
Region: 1
Anamorphic: N/A; episodes appear in their original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Buy it.

As the Majin-Buu Saga continues, three more episodes bring new twists to the story that make matters even worse…and then usher in a new hope. In “The Old Kai’s Weapon,” we see how the absorption of Piccolo and Gotenks has given Buu nearly unlimited power, as well as several new ideas for how to use those abilities, thanks to Piccolo’s intelligence. Gohan, while newly powerful, is still all alone and weakening under Buu’s borrowed power, until the Old Kai steps up with an idea for Goku. In “Ready to Fuse?,” Goku has to watch helplessly as his other son is absorbed by Buu, making the monster yet more powerful. Old Kai, however, has tricks of his own that just might allow Goku to even out the battlefield a bit. Finally, in “Union of Rivals,” Goku must decide with whom he can fuse to face Buu: Hercule Satan, Dende, or…Vegeta?

The plot of this disc is interesting in that it, like some earlier discs in the saga, portray more about the characters than usual. While there’s still plenty of fighting and action, Goku has a real dilemma in finding someone with whom to fuse. My only real problem with the way the Buu Saga is going is that Buu, who was originally “unstoppable,” is now obscenely powerful. He contains not only his own fearsome power, but the combined power of the souped-up Gohan (with the Sword), Goten, Trunks, and Piccolo, as well as a host of other people with their own wisdom and knowledge, like Bulma. Even a combined Goku and Vegeta would be, you would think, hard-pressed to defeat the über-powerful Gohan, much less him, Gotenks, and so on. The credibility factor, then, is a bit pressed, as much as fans want to see the Seiyans triumph, especially the much-beloved Vegeta and Goku. Luckily, there are some good moments with these older fighters to offset the vague oddness of their situation.

The audio and video quality of this disc is comparable to the other discs in the series. It’s about as good as decent-quality TV animation with no real problems or issues. The sound and dialogue are nicely clear, even the music, and all colors are bright and attractive. As with the rest of the DBZ discs, the features are limited to a handful of trailers and an ad for FUNimation’s online store. On the other hand, these are at least the uncut original episodes, not the hacked up versions that aired on American TV.

In short, if you’re a fan of Dragonball Z, then this disc needs to be in your collection. We get to see more about who Vegeta and Goku really are, as well as a possible change in the course of the Buu saga. You can almost smell the end of the story, and the excitement is increasing. I can’t wait to see whether or not Vegeta and Goku are truly going to be fused forever and how on earth Bulma and Chi-chi will react when they find out! Besides, how will Goku and Vegeta get their respective children out of Buu’s body, even if they defeat him? And how can they defeat him, knowing that their loved ones and friends are at least in some way still in there?

Buy it from Amazon.

Also: DVD reviews of Majin-Buu: Revival, Majin-Buu: Tactics, and The Return of Cooler.

Originally published on Version 3 of the site, ported to WordPress (Ver. 4) on 11/1/2005.