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What Is Dragon Ball Kai? Part II: How to Watch Kai in America


In part one of What is Dragon Ball Kai?, the origins and details of the series were explained. Today, we will discuss its recent home video release and imminent premiere on U.S. television.

Kai on Home Video

After the announcement of the re-titled ‘Dragon Ball Z Kai‘ FUNimation quickly launched their official website and solicited ‘Dragon Ball Z Kai Part One’ for a May 18, 2010 release on both Blu-ray (MSRP $54.98) and DVD (MSRP $49.98). At thirteen episodes, both the Blu-ray and standard definition DVD release contain the original and uncropped 4:3 aspect ratio of the series with an English dub mixed in 5.1 and the original Japanese audio in 2.0 Stereo. The only missing material is the original untranslated opening and ending credits and title cards (replaced by English versions without the option to view an alternate angle with the original Japanese text and logo).

On February 14, 2010 FUNimation announced that their English Dragon Ball cast (as originally cast in 1999) would see some changes. Son Gohan would no longer be voiced by Stephanie Nadolny, but rather Colleen Clinkenbeard; Tiffany Vollmer’s Bulma would be replaced by Monica Rial, and Chaozu and Pu-erh would leave Monika Antonelli’s hands for Brina Palencia. Doc Morgan was also announced as the series narrator (continuing FUNimation’s trend of having a new narrator for each series) while home video credits revealed Christopher Sabat had given his previous roles of Mr. Popo and Umigame (Sea Turtle) up to Chris Cason.  

Television & Streaming

On March 11, 2010 the Nicktoons Network announced their acquisition of ‘Dragon Ball Z Kai‘ at their 2010 Upfront. Soon after, clips of the dub were added to Nicktoons’ website showcasing the extent of the edits to be made to the series. The two most notable visual edits were the removal of blood from Bardock (with his signature cheek scar also wiped away), and the digital recoloring of Muten Rôshi’s alcohol from brown to white (pictured below).

The painting of alcohol to a different color is similar to the broadcast edit done for Saban Entertainment’s syndication run of Dragon Ball Z in 1996. Dialogue changes between the two versions of the ‘Z Kai‘ dub became apparent when the home video releases were confirmed to have cursing and use of Piccolo’s attack’s original name, ‘Makankô-sappô’. Both versions of the dub continue to call Tenshinhan by the name ‘Tien’ and his signature technique Kiko-Hô by the name ‘Tri-Beam’. Nicktoons has scheduled double premieres of the series beginning May 24, 2010 at 8PM on Monday through Thursdays. 

Shocking fans (and even non-fans), 4Kids Entertainment announced on April 26, 2010 that ‘Dragon Ball Z Kai‘ would be coming to The CW4Kids (soon to be renamed ‘Toonzai’) for the 2010-2011 broadcast season. Sneak peeks are to be aired over the summer. 4Kids will also stream episodes on their streaming sites, 4Kids.TV and 4Kidstv.com. How this affects Nicktoons’ broadcasting and streaming rights is unknown.

You now know what Dragon Ball Kai is and how to watch it, but one question remains. How Kai line up with the Dragon Ball Z ‘remastered season sets’ and ‘Dragon Boxes’ you see on the shelves? What’s the difference between the three? That, we can explain…in Part III!

Special thanks to our friend and forum member Sean ‘Kaboom’ Gallagher for providing us with the uncut version screen shot of Muten Rôshi’s beer.