a.k.a.Dragonball Z: Fukkatsu no Fushion! Goku to Vegeta
It’s time for yet another afterlife budoukai and Son Goku and Paikuhan are matched up once again in the finals. They are pulled mid-match, however, because Enma Daioh is having a problem; a careless worker operating the soul cleansing machine for those sent to Hell has failed to act when the machine goes haywire. The souls of the damned coalesce into a giant being named Janenba and imprison Enma Daioh. While Paikuhan attempts to free him, Goku must defeat Janenba and prevent dead souls from being reincarnated.
summary by Kain
Highs: Remarkable animation; comedy that works more often than not
Lows: Whatever happened to bad guys with depth?; Vegeta’s sudden sentiment is artificial at best
After the disaster that is Dragonball Z Movie XI, I was actually looking forward to this one (don’t laugh). To my surprise I wasn’t disappointed… then again, my expectations for these movies aren’t exactly what I’d call “monumental”.
There’s always a first for everything, and this is the first Dragonball Z movie that I consider funny. Everything from Frieza’s short-lived attempt at a comeback to Trunks and Goten going head-to-head with Hitler managed to get me to chortle with great mirth. The expression on Vegeta’s face, in particular, when Goku shows him the fusion dance is a Kodak™ moment. And don’t get me started on the result of Vegeta not extending his fore finger at the right moment. Still makes me chuckle when I think about it. The art and animation is ten times crisper and bolder in this movie, something that was lacking in the television series and was a continual sore spot during fight scenes. And while the actual combat in this flick is nothing to write home about, the quality of execution was better than average.
What I didn’t like about Dragonball Z Movie XII? The same thing I don’t like about any of the movies in this series: there are only so many times the plot can be recycled before I start reaching for M.D. Geist for something different. OK, perhaps that was a bit exaggerated, but you get my point. I thought no antagonist could get more moronic than Broli in the previous two movies, but I was wrong. Janenba is a grunting, one-line cookie cutter baddie that is there to merely fill a role.
It could have been worse. Being one of the better movies in this series doesn’t make it a masterpiece, but I wasn’t exactly hoping for one.