Dragon Ball Z Kai

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What is Dragonball Kai?

Dragonball Kai is a refresh of the Dragonball Z animated series. Updates include an upgrade to HD resolution instead of the standard resolution DBZ originally aired in, re-done voices by the original Japanese cast, and a new score by Kenji Yamamoto. Unfortunately, there is very little new animation, but instead remastering and clean-up of the original film has been done. Dragonball Kai aims to condense the series by removing most of the filler present in DBZ in an attempt to more closely follow the manga by Akira Toriyama.

Dragonball Z Kai is the English renaming of the show.


Dragonball Kai is said to be a celebration of the 20th anniversary of Dragonball Z.

When did this begin?

Episode 1 of Dragonball Kai first aired on April 5th, 2009 on Fuji TV at 9:00 AM in Japan. English dub began May 24th, 2010 on Nicktoons at 8:00 PM ET in America.

When will it end?

Although the original Dragonball Z TV series had 291 episodes in total, Dragonball Z Kai will have significantly less due to the lack of filler episodes and in some cases entire story arcs like the Garlic Jr. saga. The Majin Buu saga will air in Japan April 6th 2014.

How can I watch Dragonball Kai?

The Japanese version of Dragonball Kai airs every Sunday at 9:00 am on Fuji TV. If you don’t live in Japan, you can either stream Fuji TV online as episodes air, or download episodes after they air using programs such as BitTorrent.

Dragonball Kai also began airing in English on May 24th, 2010 at 8:00 PM ET on the Nicktoons channel in America, and will air later in 2010 on 4Kids. There are, however, noticeable edits, such as censoring of blood and brief nudity.

Dragonball Z Kai airs Monday to Thursday at 8:00 PM ET on Nicktoons in America. It also airs every Saturday morning at 10:00 am PST on CW 4 Kids (for more information visit http://www.cwtv.com/stations).

If you’re unable to watch DragonBall Z Kai on TV and can’t afford the home video releases, you may find streams of the latest episodes here on our website.

Is Dragonball Z Kai available to buy on video?

Absolutely. The first DVD and Blu-Ray is already out and ready to be bought by you in stores, and the second (and third, and fourth, etc.) is on the way. Here’s the lowdown:

1. Dragon Ball Z Kai Part One (DVD/Blu-Ray) / Episodes 1-13 / May 18th, 2010
Run-time of 325 minutes, TV-14 Rating, available on DVD and Blu-ray now!

2. Dragon Ball Z Kai Part Two (DVD/Blu-Ray) / Episodes 14-26 / September 14th, 2010
Run-time of 325 minutes, TV-14 Rating, available on DVD and Blu-ray September 14th, 2010.

What’s up with the English dub!? Why doesn’t my favorite character sound the same?

That’s probably because there have been serious recasts for Dragonball Z Kai. Although all the major voice actors (Chris Sabat and Sean Schemmel for example) are back and mostly working on the same characters, lots of other voice actors have changed roles or have been replaced completely. Here’s the known list of recasts:

Colleen Clinkenbeard – Gohan (Replacing Stephanie Nadolny)
Monica Rial – Bulma (Replacing Tiffany Vollmer)
Brina Palencia – Puar and Chaotzu (Replacing Monika Antonelli)
Chris Cason – Mr. Popo and Turtle (Replacing Christopher R. Sabat)
Bryan Massy – Oolong (Replacing Brad Jackson)
Mark Stoddard – Dr. Brief (Replacing Chris Forbis)
Chris Ayres – Frieza (Replacing Linda Chambers-Young save for Episode 1)
J. Michael Tatum – Zarbon (Replacing Christopher R. Sabat)
John Swasey – Dodoria (Replacing Chris Forbis)
Maxey Whitehead – Dende (Replacing Laura Bailey)
R. Bruce Elliot – Ginyu (Replacing Brice Armstrong)
Jason Liebricht – Jeice (Replacing Christopher R. Sabat)
Vic Mignonga – Burter (Replacing Christopher R. Sabat
Greg Ayres – Guldo (Replacing Bill Townsley)
Bill Jenkins – Grand Elder Guru (Replacing Christopher R. Sabat)
Travis Willingham – Cell (Replacing Dameon Clarke)

What about the censoring (blue popo!?) and weird pronunciations in the English dub?

Oddly enough, even the Japanese version of Kai has some censoring and content edits (the brief nudity of baby Goku for instance was censored). But there’s nothing as crazy as blue Mr. Popo in the Japanese version.
The series is edited on Nicktoons to fit the target audience (kids), and occasionally contains different verbiage than the home video releases, which is entirely unedited. Most character attacks retain their correct pronunciations in the unedited dub while some other names that have always been associated to the English dub remain the same (for example the pronunciation and spelling of “Saiyan,” Tenshinhan’s adapted name “Tien,” and so on). Dialogue is being treated with more respect than ever before, but still isn’t 100% faithful or perfect. Also, episode titles are now mostly faithful translations of their original Japanese versions.

Dragonball Z Kai seems like a butchering of the original show to me with very little redeeming qualities. Is this what the creators intended?

Although I definitely understand why you think this, it wasn’t the creator’s intentions. At the end of the day, you can easily ignore Dragonball Z Kai just like you can ignore Dragonball GT or Dragonball Evolution. Not every fan is going to love everything there is to do with the franchise and no reasonable person expects you to. Not even Akira Toriyama. Just enjoy Dragonball – in some way – however you like!

Why did they end at the Cell Saga!?

Due to lower than anticipated ratings in Japan, they decided to end production at the Cell Saga — however, they’ve recently announced they’re still planning on completing the show and releasing it on home video in North America. There’s no firm release date yet, but the Buu Saga is eventually coming so be patient.

For even more up-to-date coverage on Dragon Ball Kai, check out our Dragon Ball Kai news category.