Dragon Ball Z has introduced many great ideas into the mainstream but no idea has been so great and yet so undeveloped as Fusion Dance, until now that is.
What is Fusion Dance? All of this hearkens back to Dragon Ball with the character of Piccolo. You see, once upon a time there was a Namekian called the Nameless Namekian who was banished to Earth. While wandering the Earth he became corrupted by evil and, in order to apply for position as God/Guardian of the Earth, he had to be pure of heart. So he split into two beings, one pure good (Kami), and the other pure evil (Piccolo).
This was the origin of Fusion Dance, though I guess it starts with a Fission Dance.
Years later, after Piccolo was killed and resurrected as Piccolo Jr., Piccolo Jr. traveled to Namek where he fused with a Namekian warrior named Nail, becoming what I’ll call Piccolo 2. Piccolo 2 was far stronger than Piccolo Jr., thus establishing that the main benefit of Fusion was an increase in strength.
Skip ahead even further and due to extreme necessity, Piccolo 2 was forced to fusing with Kami, forming what I’ll call Piccolo 3, or Ultimate Piccolo. That represents the real zenith of that character’s arc. What’s significant is that Fusion Dance is not specific to Namekians, and it can be taught to other people, which results in many different combinations of characters, with fused personalities as well.
Until now, Dragon Ball Z is the only series I can remember that really used Fusion Dance where it incorporates a literal dance (the precision of the dance determines the effectiveness of the fusion) until I watched Steven Universe. The Steven Universe universe is populated with alien beings called Gems, and Gems, it turns out, can fuse with each other via dances.
In fact, without spoiling too much, there’s one character who is the result of a fusion with the intent of staying fused forever. Another warrior Gem comments at one point that Fusion is just a cheap method to increase the power of weaker Gems.
That’s AWESOME. They even have to dance to fuse, truly connecting it’s heritage all the way back to Dragon Ball Z.
They Fusion Dance all the time, and even the bad guys do it. It’s not the only reason why you should watch Steven Universe, you should watch it because it’s AWESOME, but it gives me great joy to see Fusion Dance explored more fully in a world.