"The Fusion" (最強戦士の誕生か！？ネイルとピッコロが合体 Saikyō Senshi no Tanjō ka!? Neiru to Pikkoro ga Gattai, lit. "The Birth of the Strongest Warrior?! Nail and Piccolo Merge") is the third episode of the Frieza Saga and the seventy-seventh overall episode in the uncut version of the Dragon Ball Z series. This episode first aired in Japan on February 13, 1991. Its original American airdate was September 23, 1999.
Frieza has arrived on the scene with Vegeta, Gohan, Krillin and Dende. He is impressed at the apparent demise of the Ginyu Force, also remarking what Captain Ginyu would think of the defeat (unbeknownst to Frieza, Ginyu who had been changed into a Namekian frog, saw Frieza and hid behind a corner in embarrassment), but at the same time greatly angered at the loss of his chance for immortality. Vegeta stands up to Frieza, ready to fight him at last. Frieza begins to power up.
Meanwhile, Piccolo flies towards the battlefield, sensing Frieza's energy. Suddenly, he senses another dying power, and lands to investigate. He finds Nail, beaten and unable to move, but still barely alive. Nail sees and recognizes Piccolo, relieved that Frieza was too late to make his wishes. As Piccolo prepares to leave, Nail tells him that he will not be able to defeat Frieza, since he has seen Frieza's power and knows that he is unstoppable. Piccolo's only sure chance of defeating Frieza would be to unite with Kami, which is essentially impossible since Kami is on Earth (and Piccolo does not desire to do so anyway, since he carries King Piccolo's dislike of Kami).
Nail then suggests that Piccolo unite with him instead, since it will increase Piccolo's power, giving him a better chance at beating Frieza, and at the same time save Nail's life. Piccolo is reluctant at first, but after sensing Frieza's growing power from afar, ultimately decides to go through with it, and fuses with Nail. Piccolo immediately feels his new power, and continues his journey to the battlefield.
Frieza finishes his power up and begins firing energy blasts at Vegeta, who dodges them with ease. With Frieza's back turned, Krillin and Gohan attack Frieza from behind, but he deflects their attacks effortlessly and almost kills them with an energy beam, but Vegeta appears at the last second and deflects it. Frieza commends Vegeta and the others for their bravery, but nonetheless tells them that they are all going to die then and there. Vegeta counters Frieza by claiming that he and Gohan have both reached new levels, and Vegeta himself has become a Super Saiyan.
With this, Frieza flies into a rage and charges at them, but Vegeta grabs both of Frieza's fists and manages to hold him back. Vegeta's power level sky rockets and Frieza's scouter breaks and now, much to Frieza's shock, they are equal. Frieza breaks off and acknowledges Vegeta's increase in strength. Then, Vegeta shocks the others by demanding that Frieza transform, claiming that he learned of Frieza's ability from Zarbon. Frieza warns them that if he does so, he will become unstoppable, but Vegeta takes no notice. Thus, Frieza begins transforming.
- Piccolo fuses with Nail, gaining an incredible boost of power.
- The battle between the Dragon Team and Frieza begins.
- Frieza begins his transformation into his second form.
- Vegeta, Gohan and Krillin vs. Frieza (First Form)
- Vegeta vs. Frieza (First form)
Bruce Faulconer tracks
- "Nail's Gift" - When Nail executes the Namekian fusion.
Differences from the manga
- In the anime, after Frieza powers up, he fires energy attacks at Vegeta and then Gohan and Krillin when they launch an attack of their own. In the manga, this did not happen and he just jumped straight into his contest of strength with Vegeta.
- Kami is voiced by Chris Forbis in the original airing of this episode when Piccolo thinks back to the former, but Christopher Sabat has since replaced him and also redubbed Kami here and the previous episode for the remastered dub.
- Although Zarbon told Vegeta about Frieza's transformation abilities in the manga, that scene was not depicted in the anime.
- The lower back of Frieza's armor is colored purple as he finishes powering up. Similarly, when he is shooting ki blasts before Krillin and Gohan come out, the lower back is colored pink like with his arms and legs.
- Frieza's lipstick is also missing in his reaction shot from Vegeta claiming to be a Super Saiyan.
- In the original Japanese-language version and Dragon Ball Z Kai, directly prior to beginning his transformation, Frieza confirms to Vegeta that it was he who destroyed his home planet.
- This is the very first episode where a fusion between two characters occurs.
- Vegeta was erroneously depicted with shoulder guards in the manga when Frieza powered up. This was corrected for the anime.
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