Dragon Ball Z Kai, known in Japan as Dragon Ball Kai (ドラゴンボール改カイ, Doragon Bōru Kai, lit. Dragon Ball Z, done for its 20th Anniversary. It premiered on Fuji TV on April 5, 2009, at 9:00 am just before One Piece and ended initially on March 27, 2011, with 97 episodes (a 98th episode was later released straight-to-video), and the two shows were marketed together as "Dream 9", which refers to the hour in which they both aired. The series average rating was 9.4%, with its maximum being 12.3% (Episode 47) and its minimum being 6.4% (Episode 18). Dragon Ball Kai returned to Japanese TV on April 6, 2014, with the Majin Buu Saga, and ended its run for the second and last time on June 28, 2015, with 61 episodes while the original uncut international version would go on to have 69 episodes (bringing the total episode count of the series to 159 for the original Japanese broadcast and 167 for the extended International broadcast). For most of the international releases, the Majin Buu Saga of the series is known as Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters. The "Kai" (改「かい」) in the series' name means "updated," "modified," or "altered," reflecting it being an abridging of the original anime that removes a majority of its filler.
39;s Toonzai block. It was shown on Kix in the United Kingdom.
Two issues of Shonen JUMP have included some primary information about the series., despite the series being only a director's cut of Dragon Ball Z, the Z has been completely removed from the title (at least in the original Japanese version). Funimation has dubbed Dragon Ball Kai into English for a North American release, under the release title of Dragon Ball Z Kai (more information can be viewed below). This was quite a change, as all the Dragon Ball series have almost always appeared on Cartoon Network in the United States. On August 14, 2010, the series premiered on The CW's Toonzai block. It was shown on Kix in the United Kingdom. After episode 97, there were initially no plans for Dragon Ball Kai to reach the Majin Buu Saga. A new anime series based on the Toriko manga debuted in April 2011, taking over the Dragon Ball Kai time slot at 9 AM on Sunday mornings before the One Piece anime series. The 97th episode of the series was broadcast on March 27, 2011 in Japan, and January 1, 2012 in America.
The series was in syndication in Japan for exactly two years. In November 2012, it was confirmed that the production of Dragon Ball Z Kai would continue and air outside of Japan. Mayumi Tanaka (the Japanese voice of Krillin in the series) posted the news on her blog confirming that Dragon Ball Kai would be continuing, as voice work was already underway for the early stages of the Majin Buu story arc. Her post went on to specify that the series revival is for the overseas market, and as of the time of her post there are no plans to air the new episodes in Dragon Ball's home country of Japan. In April 2013, Sean Schemmel and Kyle Hebert (the Funimation dub voice actors for Goku and Gohan) they were recording their lines for the Funimation dub of the Buu Saga. In November 2013, when questioned about it on their Facebook page, it was stated by Australian anime distributor Madman Entertainment that the Buu Saga of Dragon Ball Z Kai should be released on November 8, 2014 on Cartoon Network, as they were just waiting on dubs to be finished. Dragon Ball Kai returned with the Majin Buu arc to Japanese TV on April 6, 2014, taking over the time slot previously occupied by Toriko. This story arc was comprised of 61 episodes for the Japanese version, and 69 episodes for the International version, raising the total episode count for the entire Kai series to 159 episodes for the Japanese version and 167 episodes for the International version. Comparison of aspect ratios from Dragon Ball Z Kai (left) and Dragon Ball Z (right).
Part of this is reformatting and extending the picture to 16:9 Widescreen.
The series was extensively "refreshed" for Japanese television. This is not a new animation, but rather a remastered edit that runs through Dragon Ball Z to provide a presentation that is as faithful to the original manga as possible, removing a majority of DBZ's padding and filler. Part of this is reformatting and extending the picture to 16:9 Widescreen. However, for episodes 1-98, this only exists with the footage used for the Japanese and Nicktoons broadcasts; the footage used for the home media release and Toonami broadcasts are in the original 4:3 ratio. Through digital processing, the image was made vibrant. All the music, damage and noise remaining on the Dragon Ball Z film is removed, making the image much clearer in high-definition. A comparison with the original video side-by-side shows considerable cropping to achieve the 16:9 aspect ratio. However, it seems carefully done to avoid missing anything important. The original image is not stretched, just cut where it would be more appropriate, being a "tilt and scan" or "reverse pan and scan" of the original Dragon Ball Z footage. New ending credits with new animations of Dodoria and Zarbon (top left), the Ginyu Force (top right), Frieza (center left), Raditz (center right), and Nappa and Vegeta (bottom left), the bottom right symbol is the Kanji for "Kai".
Dragon Ball Kai includes a complete re-recording of the dialogue by most of the original Japanese voice cast (in part due to the master audio for Z being permanently lost), as well as completely new sound design with updated sound effects. The opening and ending themes are completely new. Takayoshi Tanimoto performs the series' opening themes "Dragon Soul" and "Kuu-Zen-Zetsu-Go", and the closing theme "Yeah! Break! Care! Break! " These new opening and closing credits have newly animated appearances by most of the main cast, as well as for the villains, such as Raditz, Nappa, Vegeta, Frieza, Zarbon, Dodoria, and the Ginyu Force. There's also a new artwork clip after every intermission, such as one of Cui and Vegeta in episode 19. Unlike the original Dragon Ball Z, which only had two sets of eyecatches for the entire series, in Dragon Ball Kai, it changes every few episodes to feature an appropriate character ensemble /situation. As with most filler sequences in Dragon Ball Z, the Garlic Jr. Saga does not air in Dragon Ball Kai.
16 vs. Cell, Goku vs.
Originally lasting from episodes 108 to 117, the saga featured the return of Garlic Jr., the main villain from the first DBZ movie. The saga was completely filler and Garlic Jr. Because Kai stays truer to the manga, this saga has been completely cut out. The first 98 episodes of Kai feature new digital animation, often used to rectify continuity errors in the source print. Among other things, Vegeta's red palette while on an unnamed planet in the beginning of the series has been altered to the color scheme used from his arrival on Earth-onwards; however, Nappa's armor still uses a different palette, bearing brown pauldrons and banding instead of the standard marigold. Shots of Piccolo bleeding red blood are also altered to recolor his blood purple, such as in the Dragon Ball recap of episode one or during his fight with Raditz. However, when Raditz is explaining to Goku about the Saiyans, Vegeta has his red color scheme. For the Androids Saga, the animation in the opening scene and closing credits have been altered a bit to fit the current storyline. New animations of Dr. Gero, Android 19, Android 17, Android 18, Android 16, and Cell appear, as well as the Super Saiyan appearances of Goku, Vegeta, Future Trunks, and Gohan. The new intro also showcases battles taking place within the saga, such as Vegeta vs. 16 vs. Cell, Goku vs. Cell, and ends showing a sequence of the Dragon Team standing together with their Cell Saga appearances. The ending credits are also different, showcasing Goku flying with Shenron as the faces of the main cast appear.
He proceeds to transform into a Super Saiyan and the cast joins him in flight. The sequence ends with the Z Fighters standing in front of the Earth, with Shenron and Porunga in the backdrop. For the Majin Buu Saga, the show uses a different remaster done in-house at Toei Animation. This version is shot in cropped 16:9 rather than the original 4:3 ratio, even for the American release, and features a noticeable greenish tint compared to the Dragon Ball Z Blu-rays. Additionally, the neo-classic animation by Q-TEC that appeared throughout the previous 98 episodes is gone (due to Toei now re-mastering the footage in-house), and a new animated intro sequence for the series is used with fights and events corresponding with the Majin Buu Saga, such as Goku vs Majin Vegeta, Super Buu uses his Human Extinction Attack, Goku, Vegeta, Goten, and Trunks fusing into Vegito and Gotenks, respectively, then moves to Potential Unleashed Gohan and Gotenks vs Super Buu, and finally, Goku transforming into Super Saiyan 3 and then fighting Kid Buu, with the former launching a massive energy blast and the latter firing his Kamehameha, the sequence ends with the heroes in assembly as Super Saiyan 3 Goku drops by and powers up. Toei released the first set on DVD and Blu-ray in September 2009 in a 4:3 aspect ratio, which is said that is how it was originally created and was only 16:9 ratio before because it was cropped for HD TV.
The refreshed series also spawned a stage play named Dragon Ball Kai: Super Battle Stage. Dragon Ball Kai used a new background musical score by Kenji Yamamoto, composer of the Dragon Ball video games. His score was used regularly for all releases of episodes 1-95, however, he was given a layoff notice from Toei Animation after it was discovered that he had spent nearly his entire career at Toei infringing off of works from various western artists (such as Earth, Wind and Fire, Pink Floyd, Stratovarius, Propaganda, James Horner and Danny Elfman) and eventually resigned. The last few episodes of Dragon Ball Kai, as well as Japanese reruns of past episodes, made use of music recycled from Dragon Ball Z by Shunsuke Kikuchi (although the Dragon Ball Kai theme songs remained intact), however, the placing of the music differed from the original series. It is unconfirmed if the original matching of the tracks with the scenes as the original series will ever be released.
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The American broadcast of Dragon Ball Z Kai was affected as well. The 5th American DVD/Blu-ray volume was delayed twice, due to Funimation Replacing Yamamoto's score with the original Dragon Ball Z background score for the remainder of the English release of Dragon Ball Z Kai, for the DVDs/Blu-rays (all episodes ) and the TV Version (all episodes). The re-released Dragon Ball Kai collections including episodes 1-26 and episodes 27-52 have included the random placement of the original tracks. It is possible, though, that Funimation has not disposed of the original masters as Toonami mistakenly aired the Yamamoto score for the first episode. Norihito Sumitomo, who composed music for the film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, would succeed Yamamoto for the series' music, and composed new background music for the series' Majin Buu Saga, and some of this arc's music was reused for the new series Dragon Ball Super, in which Sumitomo also composed the scores. Navarre revealed during its Q3 2010 earnings conference call, on February 2, 2010, that its North American anime distributor Funimation had licensed the Dragon Ball Kai series for release in the "latter part of the upcoming fiscal year." However, it was re-titled Dragon Ball Z Kai. Dragon Ball Z Kai Part One was released to DVD and Blu-ray on May 18, 2010. The cast for Kai was mostly the same as DBZ except for a few re-casts for various reasons. The English dub for the series was produced by Okatron 5000 in Dallas, TX, US at the same recording studio used for the video games of the Dragon Ball franchise, with Christopher Sabat as one of the primary voice directors.
Cartoon Network, broadcaster of all previous Dragon Ball media, passed on the rights to show Dragon Ball Z Kai (though the series would eventually air on the channel as part of Adult Swim). A comparison of the opening scene in Dragon Ball Kai. The shot on the left is the original uncut scene, and the right being the one that appeared on Nicktoons. The series was edited on Nicktoons to fit the intended audience, and occasionally contains different verbiage than the home release, which is entirely unedited. Some character attacks regained their correct and untranslated-proper-noun announcements in the unedited dub (ie English names for the attacks are retained for the broadcast version. Most other names used in the English dub remain the same (ie Less liberty is taken with the script, and episode titles are mostly literal translations of their original Japanese versions. Nicktoons' broadcast originally used Kenji Yamamoto's musical score, however it changed to Shunsuke Kikkuichi's cues after the music plagiarism incident (see "Music" above). The opening theme was retained, although shortened to allow time for more commercials. The broadcast used Vic Mignogna's version of the theme song for the full run, even though his complete version was only used for Episodes 27 - 39 on the official home video release. The ending theme was usually cut, and the credits were shown in split screen, although a shorter version of the ending was used on occasion. The CW also aired Funimation's English dub of Dragon Ball Z Kai in their Toonzai block (later named Vortexx). Their broadcast contained most of the edits of the Nicktoons version, as well as extra editing to fit the stricter broadcast standards (see "English adaptations" below).