If there's one feature of Dragon Ball Z that fans continuously hype up more than anything else, it would definitely have to be the different techniques seen on the show. From Krillin's classic Destructo Disk, to Goku's Instant Transmission, to the unforgettable Kamehameha Wave, it's these various attacks and abilities that have kept the show interesting for so many people over the years. Not to be overlooked, one of the most powerful and significant abilities ever used on this show is fusion.
It's such a simple concept — you just take two different characters, and then combine them into one — but somehow this basic idea of adding one and one together has become one of the most interesting parts of the series. As soon as people found out two characters could merge together and form an even more powerful warrior, fans went crazy thinking of all the possibilities.
Sure fans were temporarily sated when longtime rivals Goku and Vegeta were fused for the very first time, but it was never enough. Luckily, for all of you out there with an unquenchable thirst for all things fusion, we happen to have a handy list full of facts on just that subject.
So what are you waiting for? Here are the 15 Things You Didn't Know About Fusion on Dragon Ball Z!
15 Goku Learned the Fusion Dance From Dead Aliens
While it makes sense that most discussion about fusion focuses on the results of it, people can easily forget just where the methods came from.
The origin of Potara Fusion is pretty easy to remember, as all of the Kais on the show wear the Potara Earrings. The Fusion Dance however is a bit more mysterious. Goku was the one to first teach it to the other Z Fighters, but where did he learn it from exactly? It may sound like a meme, but here's the answer: aliens.
The aliens we're talking about specifically are called the Metamorans, whom Goku apparently learned the technique from during his time in the Other World.
Although this wasn't the first time Goku learned a new trick from alien people — Instant Transmission to be exact — it makes it sound even cooler to claim to have learned a technique from deceased ones.
14 A Man and a Woman Fusing Would Create a Drag Queen
Yes it may sound a tad, erm... crude, but referring to Toriyama's Q&A once again, this is the exact way he described a proposed fusion between a man and a woman in DBZ: "...maybe they’d end up like a drag queen? A super-duper strong drag queen; it might be kind of interesting. I should have drawn that back during the serialization."
If we're reading what Toriyama said correctly, that basically means that a fusion between Goku and Chi-Chi would result in what would appear to be Goku wearing Chi-Chi's clothing.
As amusing (and disturbing) an image as that draws, we can't help but share Toriyama's sentiments about regretting not trying this out during DBZ's run. Perhaps we'll finally see the debut of a male and female fusion in Dragon Ball Super?
13 There Are Several Ways To Fuse
The two most prominent forms of fusion used on the show are the Fusion Dance and Potara Fusion. The Fusion Dance requires two fighters of a similar size to perform a perfectly choreographed dance with one another, while also holding an even amount of energy.
If the dance is off even a bit, it will fail, leading to a weakened fusion form. Potara Fusion is much more simple as it just requires the two fighters to wear one special earring from the same pair, though becoming un-fused is a trickier matter.
Other fusions used on the show include Namekian Fusion, which can only be done by the alien race of the same name, and absorption, which when used by certain characters (such as Buu), cause the absorber to gain the power and some characteristics of the person they've absorbed.
12 The First Fusion Featured Was Namekian
Although fusion in DBZ came popular during the Majin Buu Saga, with the introduction of the Fusion and Potara fusion styles, the concept itself was used much earlier in the series. The first example of fusion used was Namekian, during the Frieza Saga, and was glossed over so quickly that many fans forgot that it even occurred.
Piccolo had just been wished back to life after his battle with the Saiyans on Earth, and had arrived to planet Namek in order to help the Z Fighters in their battle against the space tyrant Frieza.
Nail, the last Namekian warrior left on the planet, was breathing his last breaths as Piccolo passed by, and urged him to merge together so they could defeat Frieza together. Piccolo reluctantly accepted, and the very first fusion in DBZ history took place shortly after.
11 Piccolo Has Permanently Fused Twice
While most of the fusions in DBZ are temporary, Piccolo's merge with Nail was very permanent, and it wasn't his only one.
Briefly after their battles with Frieza, the Z warriors were tasked with a new and even more powerful foe named Cell, an organic android that threatened to evolve into a threat big enough to destroy the entire planet. There was only one option left in order to help his friends, fuse with the only other Namekian on the planet, the wise Kami.
Although Piccolo had already merged with Nail, his fusion with Kami would be different. As it turns out, Kami and Piccolo were already once the same person, an extremely powerful Namekian who had split years before in an attempt to rid any evil from his body.
Kami warned Piccolo that when they merged, that he wouldn't really be Piccolo anymore, but someone else entirely. They both agreed, and their resulting fusion was more powerful than any of the other heroes (for a short while anyway).
10 More Than Two People Can Fuse At A Time
After fusion was introduced to DBZ, fans have speculated on all the different possible combinations there could be between the many characters in the series.
From something as cool as Cell combining with Frieza to make a super bad guy or something as hilariously absurd as Krillin fusing with Yamcha, theoretical characters of pretty much every possibility were thought of. One thing that people seemed to overlook though, was the possibility of multiple characters fusing together.
Akira Toriyama, the creator of DBZ, actually revealed in a Q&A that it's very possible for more than two people to fuse together, so long as they were as accurate as a synchronized swimming team during a fusion dance.
This brings even more crazy fan speculation on what crazy fusion characters could result from three, four, or even more different warriors being combined.
9 Gotenks Is The Only Successful Fusion Dance Result In The Manga
Here's one that may be surprising for many fans of the series. While it's well known that Trunks and Goten's merging to create Gotenks was the very first successful Fusion Dance in the series, it turns out that it was also the only successful Fusion Dance in the entire manga. Before you start typing up a correction, yes, we know that Gogeta is a thing.
We haven't forgotten about Goku and Vegeta's notable fusions into the extremely powerful Gogeta on more than one occasion during the GT series, but therein lies the problem.
Dragon Ball GT was the first time — besides the movies — where a Dragon Ball anime had no manga to base itself off of. Toriyama didn't originally write anything past the Dragon Ball Z manga, leaving Goten and Trunks as the only characters to have ever have fused via the dance.
8 There Are Dances Used For Other Purposes
Now this is a fact that so far hasn't been hinted anywhere on the show, having only been mentioned in the Q&A with Toriyama. There's no denying, DBZ is a show that focuses firstly and foremost on power.
If the characters aren't concerned about some super-powerful antagonist threatening the world, then they're busy trying to train and get more powerful so that they can defeat them. With that logic, it would make sense that the sole purpose of fusion is to increase one's power for battle.
Toriyama had something interesting to say about this, when discussing the Fusion Dance technique that Goku learned from the Metamorans:"By the way, there are many different types of Fusion, and the kind Goku learned is the one for increasing battle power."
With this in mind, we can only wonder what other types of fusion there are, and what they'd be use for. Could two college students fuse together to increase their IQ's and ace their exams? (Oh how we wish.)
7 It Heavily Inspired Gem Fusion In Steven Universe
Wait, Steven Universe, in a list about Dragon Ball Z? If you're confused, we don't blame you.
When you think of one show about super-buff warriors with crazy hairstyles taking five episodes to power up and blast their opponents with a Earth-shattering beams of energy, you don't exactly see how it might relate to another show about a sentient rock from space having a baby with a human. (Okay, they're gems not rocks, but you know what we mean.)
If you haven't seen the shower however, Steven Universe does share one thing in common with DBZ-- it has a lot of characters who engage in battle regularly. They also happen to have a special technique, where two or more gems can perform a synchronized dance in order to form into a more powerful warrior.
6 Fusion Can Make Fighters Weaker
We've already established that power is the most important thing in the DBZ universe, and that the entire purpose of fusion is to become powerful enough to defeat a formidable opponent, but things don't always work out like they should. As it turns out, there's oftentimes when a successful merging of two characters actually results in a loss of power instead of an increase.
While two characters of about equal power are guaranteed to create someone even greater than the sum of their parts, fusing together a pair in entirely different leagues from one another creates a very different result.
One of the most amusing examples of this would be when Super Buu absorbed Gotenks and Piccolo at the same time. Although Buu was initially powered up by the fused youngsters, after their fusion ran out inside of him, he reverted to taking on the characteristics and power-level of the next best thing, our favorite green alien. It might have been bad for Buu's fight, but hey, no one can look bad with that outfit.
5 Goku Almost Permanently Fused With Hercule
During his battle with Buu, Goku had been given a pair of Potara Earrings by the Old Kai. He was supposed to use them to fuse with someone powerful-- such as Vegeta or Gohan (yeah that would have been weird)-- but unfortunately the only two people that were around during the fight were Dende and Hercule.
Goku quickly assessed that Dende's size and lack of power would do more harm than good, before slowly realizing that his only other option wasn't much better.
He rationalized that, while Hercule had no knowledge of Ki, that he at least had some martial arts discipline, and readied himself to fuse with the kung fu hack and seal his fate forever. Thankfully, at that very moment, Vegeta showed up instead, saving him from turning into what would have been Gokule.
4 Old Kai Is Stuck In A Permanent Fusion
Old Kai is the one who introduces the Potara Fusion method to Goku, explaining how it works, and even offering up his own pair of earrings for Goku to use in his fight against Buu.
Interestingly enough, neither of the other Supreme Kais seemed to have known about this ability, even though they all wear the same earrings. Another thing that nobody knew, is that Old Kai wasn't always so old and wrinkly-looking.
As it turns out, years before, Old Kai used to look youthful and handsome, but when a ditzy old witch took one of his earrings and wore it herself, he was forcefully fused together with her forever.
Not only is this a unexpected reveal, but it also seems at first glance to be an example of a man and woman fusing, despite what Toriyami stated about it before. It's very likely, though, that he never considered the Kais to have a gender, leaving the prospect of male and female fusion still a mystery.
3 Potara Earring Fusion Isn't Actually Permanent
For the last twelve entries on this list we've always described the Potara Earring Fusion to be absolutely permanent, so how can we now suddenly claim that it isn't? Welcome to the world of Dragon Ball folks.
No, we didn't simply make up the fact that the earrings would lead to permanent fusion and then change our minds, we were actually just following the show's logic every step of the way.
While it was originally described as being permanent by Old Kai himself, it's much later revealed (like 20 years later) in Dragon Ball Super by another Supreme Kai, that the fusion itself actually only lasts about an hour if you're not a Kai.
Considering the fact that Toriyama didn't decide to have Goku and Piccolo be aliens until 3 years after the debut of Dragon Ball, this sudden change of canon actually isn't all that surprising.
2 Androids Can Fuse Post-Death
Now here's one type of fusion that we haven't really gone into much detail about yet, that of the android variety.
It actually falls into the absorption category, since the main android initiating the fusion (usually Cell) is merely powered up after absorbing the other, rather than taking on any of their other characteristics. The android we're going to be talking about here isn't the organic Cell however, but the lesser known, Android 13.
Android 13 may have only appeared in one movie, alongside his companions 14 and 15, but he proved himself to be formidable foe, particularly after his robot brethren were defeated. After a short mourning, 13 promptly absorbed parts from each of the destroyed androids, transforming himself into the much more powerful Super Android 13.
This not only proves that certain androids can absorb others even after they've died, but also that red hair and blue skin apparently makes you a lot stronger.
1 There's An Entire Game Dedicated To Fusion
There's been a countless number of Dragon Ball games over the years, and more than a handful of them have utilized pretty much every kind of fusion method seen in the series. Since the technique itself is so popular with the fans, it was only a matter of time before they decided to come out with a game that focused entirely on fusion.
That's where the accurately named Dragon Ball Fusions comes in. Filled to the brim with major characters, minor characters, and even a generous number of completely non-canon characters exclusive to this game, there's enough fusion character options to fulfill every nerd's OC fantasy.
On top of that, it introduced the new Ex-Fusion (similar to the Fusion Dance), and the Five-Way Fusion — an extremely powerful Fusion method invented by, who else, but the Ginyu Force.
Oh, did we mention it also allows players to take photos of themselves and friends, and fuse them together? Yeah, if you can't get enough fusion, then this is definitely the game for you.
Are there any fusion-related Dragon Ball Z facts that we forgot to mention? Let us know in the comments!