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Dragon Ball Z

Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman

Dragon Ball Z is an anime produced by Toei Animation, and based off of the last 26 volumes of Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball manga. This series has less emphasis on comedy and more emphasis on science fiction themes than the original Dragon Ball anime.

Dragon Ball Z continues the adventures of Son Goku and his companions, who defend the Earth and other planets from various supervillains. While the original Dragon Ball anime followed Goku from childhood into adulthood, Dragon Ball Z shows Goku's adult life and the maturation of his son, Son Gohan. Piccolo and Vegeta are the main villains, and during the course of this series, the viewer sees their evolution from evil to good.

Dragon Ball Z was introduced to American audiences with FUNimation teaming up with Saban to produce an English dub of the series. Due to US broadcast standards, there was extensive editing done to the series; the amount of cuts that were made is the equivalent of cutting 14 of the first 67 episodes. This version features dialogue not found in the original script, which resulted in minor changes to the original story. The entire musical score was replaced, and many character names, terminology, and locations were renamed.

The English dub of Dragon Ball Z began airing on the WB network in September 1996. The show was canceled by the WB in May 1998 due to low ratings. In August 1998, Cartoon Network added Dragon Ball Z to their Toonami block. The series found a new life and new heights in popularity after being included in Toonami. By 1999, FUNimation had earned enough money to continue dubbing the series on their own, and dissolved their distribution agreement with Saban. FUNimation also eased up on their content restrictions a little bit.

In 2003, FUNimation began to re-dub the first 53 episodes, and ultimately restored them to the original 67. In April 2005, these new dubs were released on DVD under the name of the Ultimate Uncut Special Edition. That summer, Cartoon Network began airing these uncut episodes; this ultimately earned the series a rating of TV-PG.

In 2009, a re-working of Dragon Ball Z was produced in Japan to commemorate the series' 20th anniversary; this re-working was known as Dragon Ball Kai in Japan, while it was known as Dragon Ball Z Kai in North America. This re-working was done in such a way to remove much of the content in the original Dragon Ball Z anime that was not featured in the original manga. By removing this extra material, the story in Dragon Ball Z Kai goes at much more natural pace, and doesn't feel nearly as stretched out as the original Dragon Ball Z series did.

Title
Episodes
Release Year(s)
Director
Studio
N.A. Licensor
Dragon Ball Z1531989-1996Daisuke NishioToei AnimationFUNimation Entertainment
Dragon Ball Z: Dead ZoneN/A1989Daisuke NishioToei AnimationFUNimation Entertainment
Dragon Ball Z: The World's StrongestN/A1990Daisuke NishioToei AnimationFUNimation Entertainment
Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of MightN/A1990Daisuke NishioToei AnimationFUNimation Entertainment
Dragon Ball Z: Bardock, the Father of Goku11990Daisuke NishioToei AnimationFUNimation Entertainment
Dragon Ball Z: Lord SlugN/A1991Mitsuo HashimotoToei AnimationFUNimation Entertainment
Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's RevengeN/A1991Mitsuo HashimotoToei AnimationFUNimation Entertainment
Dragon Ball Z: Return of CoolerN/A1992Daisuke NishioToei AnimationFUNimation Entertainment
Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13N/A1992Kazuhito KikuchiToei AnimationFUNimation Entertainment
Dragon Ball Z: Broly the Legendary Super SaiyanN/A1993Shigeyasu YamauchiToei AnimationFUNimation Entertainment
Dragon Ball Z: Bojack UnboundN/A1993Yoshihiro UedaToei AnimationFUNimation Entertainment
Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks11993Daisuke NishioToei AnimationFUNimation Entertainment
Dragon Ball Z: Plan to Destroy the Saiyajin11993Shigeyasu YamauchiToei AnimationN/A
Dragon Ball Z: Broly Second ComingN/A1994Shigeyasu YamauchiToei AnimationFUNimation Entertainment
Dragon Ball Z: Bio-BrolyN/A1994Yoshihiro UedaToei AnimationFUNimation Entertainment
Dragon Ball Z: Fusion RebornN/A1995Shigeyasu YamauchiToei AnimationFUNimation Entertainment
Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the DragonN/A1995Mitsuo HashimotoToei AnimationFUNimation Entertainment
Dragon Ball: Yo! The Return of Son Goku and Friends!!12008Yoshihiro UedaToei AnimationN/A
Dragon Ball Z Kai972009-2011Yasuhiro NowatariToei AnimationFUNimation Entertainment
Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock12011Yoshihiro UedaToei AnimationN/A
Dragon Ball Z: Plan to Eradicate the Super SaiyansN/A2011Yoshihiro UedaToei AnimationN/A
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of GodsN/A2013Masahiro HosodaToei AnimationN/A
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Dragon Ball History in Japan
Dragon Ball History in the United States
Dragon Ball Z Season One Box Set
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Content copyright © 2014 by Lesley Aeschliman. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lesley Aeschliman. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Brenda Chen for details.

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