Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

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Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby Liquir » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:25 am

I've decided to re-watch the Original Dragon Ball Z Franchise, after watching it long time ago, when I was really young. I'm up to Ginyu saga and I realized something is different. After a research I found out there are two Audio Versions. The one I've been watching up until Ginyu saga was the Japanese soundtrack. When I watched the series long time ago, I watched it with Bruce Falconer background music.

The language is English and it's a digitally remastered HD version of the series, but I can choose with Bruce Faulconer ( USA ) or Shunsuke Kikuchi (Japanese ) music background ?

Which do you prefer and which do you advise me to watch for the Rest of the Series ?

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Re: Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby VegettoEX » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:29 am

If you're watching the series in English, it's really a crapshoot. That dub was made with the replacement music in mind, and certain aspects of the script and delivery go hand-in-hand with the music there. At the same time, that script and that tone and that delivery don't necessarily match what was originally there in Japanese, so switching to "the dub" with the original Japanese score can make for a "more authentic" viewing experience on one hand, but one that's simultaneously jarring and completely out-of-time with itself in a gazillion ways.

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Re: Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby Dbzfan94 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:43 am

I prefer Faulconer Productions + dub overall, but I'd say go with Kikuchi with Japanese audio.
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Re: Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby simtek34 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:59 am

Stay with the Japanese score. In my opinion, it fits with Dragon Ball. The US score is good for just average music. But for DB, hell no.

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Re: Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby 90sDBZ » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:55 am

I think the Japanese score definitely has its strengths, but overall the Faucloner score is still my favourite way to watch Z. I'd actually recommend taking the time to try both and decide for yourself which you prefer rather than taking the word of others. The dub was definitely made with the dub score in mind, so if you've already been watching the dub then it might be best to go with its intended score, and then perhaps watch the actual Japanese version in full another time. That way you get both distinct versions exactly as they were intended, instead of being stuck in a middle of the road scenario.

Maybe if you find you prefer Kikuchi but also still prefer the English cast then you could go with the English+Kikuchi combination later, or perhaps try watching English Kai.

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Re: Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby 8000 Saiyan » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:24 pm

Kikuchi is better IMO. Faulconer's score isn't exactly terrible, but it doesn't fit DBZ. It would probably fit better another action show.
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Re: Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby Rukawa11 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:12 pm

Liquir wrote:Which do you prefer and which do you advise me to watch for the Rest of the Series ?


I'm a fan of the original score despite pointing out its many flaws in other threads. Most of us here would probably tell you to go for the Japanese soundtrack, but it really depends entirely on what sort of experience you'd like to have. I'm 100% behind Mike/EX in spreading the Dragonball love but our opinions diverge as far as the ost is concerned. To me, there's no such thing as "watching DBZ the way it was intended to be watched." At least, not when it comes to the music.

Consider these points, and I hope they'll make it easier for you to decide.

- What Kikuchi's ost gives you:
1) Very beautiful and heartwarming music during peaceful scenes. Kikuchi can never go wrong with these.
2) Incredibly sinister and foreboding music that lends the series a much darker air. At times, it even makes villains out of heroes.
3) Real Music: expertly played classical instruments which any musician would salute.
- What Kikuchi's ost doesn't give you:
1) Exciting music that matches the adrenaline rush of the fight scenes.
2) Catchy/ hooky melodies that augment the flashiness of post-Super Saiyan episodes.

What Faulconer's music gives you (pretty much what Kikuchi's doesn't):
1) Upbeat music that (for better or worse) is tailor-made to match every punch, break in the action, and sudden bursts of speed. To me, this is actually distracting, but many fans seem to love it.
2) An almost Linkin Park-era DBZ Music Videos experience. Pieces like "Heroic Trunks," along with the two played during Goku's ssj3 powerup and ssj2 Gohan destroying the Cell Jrs. admittedly have a "Crawling" and "Numb" kind of impact in the sense that they use keyboard cultivated sounds to empower an already hooky melody. But if you're not from the Hybrid Theory/ Meteora era, this point doesn't matter at all.

What Faulconer's music doesn't gives you:
Real Music.

In the end, it doesn't even matter what version you choose because Dragonball has proven enjoyable even with other composers like Tokunaga (DBGT), Sumimoto (Super), and Yamamoto (DBZ insert songs/ games).

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Re: Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby Rukawa11 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:13 pm

Rukawa11 wrote:
Liquir wrote:Which do you prefer and which do you advise me to watch for the Rest of the Series ?


I'm a fan of the original score despite pointing out its many flaws in other threads. Most of us here would probably tell you to go for the Japanese soundtrack, but it depends entirely on what sort of experience you'd like to have. I'm 100% behind Mike/EX in spreading the Dragonball love but our opinions diverge as far as the ost is concerned. To me, there's no such thing as "watching DBZ the way it was intended to be watched." At least, not when it comes to the music.

Consider these points, and I hope they'll make it easier for you to decide.

- What Kikuchi's ost gives you:
1) Very beautiful and heartwarming music during peaceful scenes. Kikuchi can never go wrong with these.
2) Incredibly sinister and foreboding music that lends the series a much darker air. At times, it even makes villains out of heroes.
3) Real Music: expertly played classical instruments which any musician would salute.
- What Kikuchi's ost doesn't give you:
1) Exciting music that matches the adrenaline rush of the fight scenes.
2) Catchy/ hooky melodies that augment the flashiness of post-Super Saiyan episodes.

What Faulconer's music gives you (pretty much what Kikuchi's doesn't):
1) Upbeat music that (for better or worse) is tailor-made to match every punch, break in the action, and sudden bursts of speed. To me, this is actually distracting, but many fans seem to love it.
2) An almost Linkin Park-era DBZ Music Videos experience. Pieces like "Heroic Trunks," along with the two played during Goku's ssj3 powerup and ssj2 Gohan destroying the Cell Jrs. admittedly have a "Crawling" and "Numb" kind of impact in the sense that they use keyboard cultivated sounds to empower an already hooky melody. But if you're not from the Hybrid Theory/ Meteora era, this point doesn't matter at all.

What Faulconer's music doesn't give you:
Real Music.


In the end, it doesn't even matter what version you choose because Dragonball has proven enjoyable even with other composers like Tokunaga (DBGT), Sumimoto (Super), and Yamamoto (DBZ insert songs/ games).

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Re: Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby Lord Beerus » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:38 pm

Kikuchi's is awesome. His score provides that grand and epic wuxia nature that Dragon Ball encompasses as a whole. It's rich, diverse and even if you're not into Dragon Ball, it's just great music to listen to on its own. Nobody has been able to reach his level since he bowed out after Z ended. The only real fault I have with Kikuchi is that his track get a bit repetitive in the Majin Boo arc. His musical contributions to Dragon Ball were immense and what made Dragon Ball such a interactive experience. It goes without saying he is a fantastic composer, that captures the true essence of Dragon Ball through every track he has composed. From the comedic moments, to the heartwarming moments, to the sad moments and the intense/awesome moments. It's rich, diverse and even if you're not into Dragon Ball, it's just great music to listen to on its own. The only real fault I have with Kikuchi is that his tracks get a bit repetitive in the Majin Boo arc. But nonetheless, for me, Kikuchi's score is Dragon Ball.

Faulconer has produced a few decent tracks such as. Some specifically that deserve a specific shout-out are the SSJ Theme, Vegeta's SSJ Theme, Gohan Power's Up and the SSJ3 Ascension Theme. But it's overall quality is greatly marred by a plateau of awful, droning, unfitting music that never knew when to shut the fuck up. The score honestly would fit more with a Transformers TV show from the 80s than Dragon Ball.

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Re: Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby Avenant » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:36 pm

Rukawa11 wrote:
In the end, it doesn't even matter ...


I see what you did there :wink:
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Re: Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby Alruneia » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:22 pm

Rukawa11 wrote:What Faulconer's music doesn't give you:
Real Music.

What? It's imaginary music!? The English dub score was in our heads all along!!
If you caught on to "imaginary music" being a maths pun, then well done, my friend
All joking aside, you should try not to fall into the gutter that is trying to call something fake music. Fake music isn't a thing. If there's a melody, it's music, and I'm fairly certain there's no Faulconer track that lacks a melody. And the "proper" definition of music is not as limiting as the one I just gave.

But I have to agree with VegettoEX as far as the topic goes:
If you're watching the series in English, it's really a crapshoot. That dub was made with the replacement music in mind, and certain aspects of the script and delivery go hand-in-hand with the music there. At the same time, that script and that tone and that delivery don't necessarily match what was originally there in Japanese, so switching to "the dub" with the original Japanese score can make for a "more authentic" viewing experience on one hand, but one that's simultaneously jarring and completely out-of-time with itself in a gazillion ways.
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Re: Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby Rukawa11 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:42 pm

Alruneia wrote:All joking aside, you should try not to fall into the gutter that is trying to call something fake music. Fake music isn't a thing. If there's a melody, it's music, and I'm fairly certain there's no Faulconer track that lacks a melody.

Unfortunately, people who define "real music" as songs recorded with live instruments while labeling those who record songs using software and midi keyboards as "technology runaways" are enormous.

Avenant wrote:
Rukawa11 wrote:
In the end, it doesn't even matter ...


I see what you did there :wink:


Then it was worth the trouble! :thumbup:

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Re: Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby DBZAOTA482 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:02 pm

Is this a joke question?

Definitely Shunsuke Kikuchi. Don't get me wrong, Bruce Faulconer's low-budget synthesized music is fine on it's own (with some really memorial tracks) but Kikuchi's fully orchestrated bliss truly captures the essence of Dragon Ball even though he gets kinda lazy in terms of composing new tracks for Z (especially during the Cell Saga).
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DBZGTKOSDH wrote:... Haven't we already gotten these in GT? Goku dies, the DBs go away, and the Namekian DBs most likely won't be used again because of the Evil Dragons.


Goku didn't die in GT. The show sucked him off so much, it was impossible to keep him in the world of the living, so he ascended beyond mortality.


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Re: Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby cRookie_Monster » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:23 pm

If you go with Faulconer Productions, I always thought these had the best sound...but unfortunately the picture is terrible...

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Re: Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby DarkPrince_92 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:31 pm

It's a matter of preference... to be honest. Like most things. :roll:

I used to be a dub head and only loved American DBZ with Faulconer music. It had a lot of character specific moments that the japanese version didn't give me as much. I grew up with it, so I probably won't ever dislike it. I think it worked better in the US, considering non-anime fans loved the show, and an upbeat score that didn't sound "dated", for lack of better term. Also, like someone mentioned, it works better with Funimation's adaptation of the show. Could NOT watch the english version with Kikuchi, it just doesn't work for me.

Watching the original Japanese version later on when I got older, was a different experience altogether. What Faulconer doesn't do is leave breaks in the BGM for important scenes. I thought Kikuchi's score was great, but it was highly repetitive, episode after episode. I felt like the Saiyan through Freeza arc had the same 8-10 recycled tracks throughout and got really dry after a while. Music wise, I love it, some tracks are beautiful start to finish.

Like I said, a matter of preference. DBZ is awesome whichever way. :angel:
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Re: Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby Saikyo no Senshi » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:58 pm

As for my preference, I can't stand dubs and I find them an absolute waste of time - so, the replacement music in a product, actually translation of a product which I find a waste of time is also a waste of time and not worth paying any attention to.

Yeah, the Kikuchi Shunsuke score is the score of Dragon Ball made by Toei Animation. It is the music picked by the creators and I do like it quite a bit.

At the end of the day you're going to do what you want to, so I see no point in giving any advise. Watch what you like. That's all.

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Re: Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby dario03 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:56 am

I'd go with Faulconer if watching the dub. For Kikuchi I would switch to the full Japanese version with subs.

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Re: Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby Ripper 30 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:19 am

Liquir wrote:I've decided to re-watch the Original Dragon Ball Z Franchise, after watching it long time ago, when I was really young. I'm up to Ginyu saga and I realized something is different. After a research I found out there are two Audio Versions. The one I've been watching up until Ginyu saga was the Japanese soundtrack. When I watched the series long time ago, I watched it with Bruce Falconer background music.

The language is English and it's a digitally remastered HD version of the series, but I can choose with Bruce Faulconer ( USA ) or Shunsuke Kikuchi (Japanese ) music background ?

Which do you prefer and which do you advise me to watch for the Rest of the Series ?



Kikuchi by a long shot, its the real Score which was intended when Dragon Ball Z was made by Toei and
I'll give you a detailed answer to this. The Japanese music makes sense when you look at Dragonball as being a whimsical martial arts tale (which it is at the end of the day). It's not that Faulconer's music is bad per se; it's the fact that it doesn't fit with Dragonball at all, with it having this weird sci-fi feel to it. Funimation themselves realized this after their first dub of Dragonball Z and made it a point to get the Japanese music for Dragonball and their later dubs of Dragonball Z/DBZ Kai.

Also, another thing the Japanese music does better is that it has insert songs with vocals for certain moments, such as when Gohan goes Super Saiyan 2 against Cell, which adds a little bit of variety to the soundtrack. Whereas with Faulconer's music, he reuses a lot of tracks/themes for certain scenes far too often and doesn't have as much originality going on. In the Japanese version, the music is constantly changing/adapting with depth and emotion, and even themes that are reused such as Piccolo's theme get reworked to make it feel different.

But again, I'm not hating on Faulconer's soundtrack. It's good for what it is since the original English dub of DBZ was the first thing most Western kids watched of Dragonball, but once I watched the series in Japanese, I understood why the English dub was inferior.
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Re: Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby floofychan333 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:28 pm

Pick Kikuchi. He's infinitely better than all the English composers and kicks Norihito Sumitomo's ass as well.
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Re: Bruce Faulconer or Shunsuke Kikuchi ?

Postby Trickster » Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:49 pm

How can someone prefer Bruce Faulconer's version? It doesn't capture any of the main aspects that makes a "DB BGM", which are the wind instruments (is this right?).
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