Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby Dragon Ball Ireland » Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:00 am

Herbert's Gohan isn't that deep, especially when compared to his narrator voice. Its lower than Clinkenbeard's portrayal but its a natural fit for the more mature Gohan.

Schemmel's Goku isn't particularly deep either. To me it sounds like an energetic manchild who loves to fight.

And Dragon Ball's dubs aren't that highly rated, except for the newer ones (with good reason). I never see the pre-Kai dubs talked about seriously in the same light as dubs like Yu Yu Hakusho, Death Note and Cowboy Bebop.

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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby Ripper 30 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:01 pm

8000 Saiyan wrote:
Ripper 30 wrote:Sean Schemmel's Gokū voice just got too deeper in Both Kai 1.0 and TFC and same for Kyle Herbert's Gohan which was again too deep in TFC and by no means a 16 year old kid can sound that deep and at times he overacted a lot, I find Brad Swaile's Gohan to be more fitting than Kyle's.
I personally think FUNimation Dubs of Dragon Ball are very very very very Overrated, there are like tons and tons of Anime Dubs which are better acted than it still they get overlooked.

I don't find Hebert's Gohan voice that deep. Like I told Nitro, there are a lot of people that sound older than their age. You should know that.
I don't think so. The dubs that have better voice acting than Funimation's dubs are not overlooked.


I get what you are saying but Gohan is Gokū's Son after all so he isn't really supposed to sound much deep but more innocent and also he is polite boy so that's why I prefer Brad Swaile's take on his gohan which sounded like an actual high school boy.
Also, if you go on any other social platform then you will see DBZ Dub being mentioned in one the best dub list.

Dragon Ball Ireland wrote:Herbert's Gohan isn't that deep, especially when compared to his narrator voice. Its lower than Clinkenbeard's portrayal but its a natural fit for the more mature Gohan.

Schemmel's Goku isn't particularly deep either. To me it sounds like an energetic manchild who loves to fight.

And Dragon Ball's dubs aren't that highly rated, except for the newer ones (with good reason). I never see the pre-Kai dubs talked about seriously in the same light as dubs like Yu Yu Hakusho, Death Note and Cowboy Bebop.

While I don't agree with everything said in this video I definitely agree with Sean's voice being way deeper in Kai dub then Z Dub and I only find Kyle's Great Saiyaman Voice too deep at times not his normal Gohan voice.

Dragon Ball Dubs are too much overrated Outside kanzenshuu and till this day it's mentioned in One of the Best Dub list and if you watch any sub dub reccomendation on YouTube then you will find that dbz being a show highly recommended in English and in a recent Facebook post I remember some fans shitting on Head Cha La and saying that Rock The Dragon is a legendary opening which is one of the best anime opening and we see Sean Schemmel and Chris Sabat called as Voice acting legends and Masako Nozawa and Jōji Yanami are always insulted by most dub fans.
I prefer Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, DB/Z/GT Movies, Dragon Ball Super and Dragon Ball GT in Japanese.
For DBZ Kai and two new Movies I like both Dub and Sub. I Prefer Shunsuke Kikuchi Soundtracks over All other Composers.
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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby 8000 Saiyan » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:24 pm

Ripper 30 wrote:I get what you are saying but Gohan is Gokū's Son after all so he isn't really supposed to sound much deep but more innocent and also he is polite boy so that's why I prefer Brad Swaile's take on his gohan which sounded like an actual high school boy. Also, if you go on any other social platform then you will see DBZ Dub being mentioned in one the best dub list.

And that is why you should never take those social platforms seriously.
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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby Cure Dragon 255 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:34 pm

Zephyr wrote:
KBABZ wrote:

Oh shit, I missed this! Thanks for reposting it.

It does more to justify it, but "okay sure, whatevs!" is exactly who Goku is. You could later interpret the dub line as such, if you already know who Goku is supposed to be. But if you don't, then the more common sense reading of the scene (Goku being romantic) would shine through instead. I don't think those moments where he demonstrates affection for her warrant that kind of explicit justification. They lived together for five years, I don't need anything else to convince me that he cares for her by now.

KBABZ wrote:
Zephyr wrote:Buy yes, if nothing else, the one thing that Funimation's radical changes inarguably did was irrevocably fuck the NA fanbase beyond repair.

I was more meaning beyond that. The relationship between those who prefer the Japanese original and those who prefer the dub is often hostile, to the point where I've heard of this in Dragon Ball and yet I don't hear about it from, say, the Pokémon community with things like the change from Satoshi to Ash or the jelly doughnut rice balls.

The blatant and, yes it is indeed two-sided, tribalism is definitely bad, but I was getting more at things like a gigantic section of fandom...

- failing to grasp the more mystical and spiritual Wuxia-derived aspects that underpin the mythos of the world itself and the things that the characters do (by way of Funimation downplaying those aspects)
- developing an obnoxious battle power/strength/VS.-match-up obsession (by way of re-running the two arcs that featured Battle Powers ad-nauseam, artificially inflating their supposed importance)
- failing to grasp Toriyama's brand of humor and whimsy and irreverence that makes Dragon Ball a distinct and interesting and endearing piece of Wuxia fiction in the first place (by altering his dialog, altering his characters' personalities, and altering his hilariously meticulous naming puns).

Making their dub of Dragon Ball relatively faithful, while radically upping how "hardcore" Dragon Ball Z is has also done nothing more than fuel the hilariously incorrect misconception that Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z are two distinct stories with two distinct tones, creating the silly myth that everything prior to Raditz' arrival is some Optional Comedic Prequel™.

They've created something that masquerades as Dragon Ball, without a lot of the substance that makes it what it is; the rough sequence of story beats and plot points are left in-tact, but that's simply a skeleton. The bulk of the North American fandom seems to live in a different world, where the name "Dragon Ball" corresponds to a different work entirely. Not to a Mystical Kung Fu Epic told through the lens of a guy who draws poop jokes for cigarettes, but rather to some WWE-styled-melodramatic Western Saturday Morning Cartoon about Earth's Special Forces™.

Granted, Toriyama's distinctive art style is left in-tact, as are the crazy mystical kung fu battles the characters have (even if their existence as such is downplayed), so of course it's still fun, entertaining, and will draw in elementary schoolers and middle schoolers. And it did. The people who claim to have been drawn in exclusively, or predominantly, by Funimation's choice of Voice Actors or their choice of Musical Score Replacement seem like a very vocal minority. Most kids won't care what it sounds like, shit's fucking [i]cool[/i].


I'm kind of dumb so I dont know the intent of this section, but I do have to say the "KEEDS WILL GO CRAZY IF THEY HEAR KIKUCHI. ITS TOO BORING" is a load of bullshit (To be fair I do get that you too hate this sentiment) when FUCKING 4KIDS aired DBZKai on their block with the Kikuchi score it quickly because THE highest rated Saturday Morning Show on The CW with 1.1 million viewers. If it was as "Boring and dull" as everyone said it was it would have sunk like crazy. And keep in mind its kids who watched.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrQwe7oiqAY

The Kai dub ALSO kept the "Goku's Super Saiyan Transformation is supposed to be unsettling and not a good thing" which aired just fine on 4kids.


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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby Hellspawn28 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:22 pm

Super Saiyan Prime wrote:I guess I'm going to be the odd one out and say Dragon Ball needed Funimation. Not because I'm in awe of the business wit of Gen Fukunaga or Barry Watson, but I'm just not sure someone else would've been desperate enough to bother. If you look at the other WSJ hits of the era, how many of them came to North America before Dragon Ball? Fist of the North Star, Saint Seiya, Ultimate Muscle, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Slam Dunk, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Rurouni Kenshin all came after Dragon Ball was on TV.


Fist of the North Star was already on VHS by Streamline and Manga US long before Dragon Ball was on TV. Jojo already had a OVA and Capcom fighting game release in the US before Dragon Ball also. I also recall Slam Dunk being release on DVD in the early 2000's and not on TV from what I can remember correctly. Anime already had uncut home video releases since the early 90's and we would still see anime release in the US without Dragon Ball.
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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby Zephyr » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:20 pm

KBABZ wrote:The stuff where Goku loses the use of almost all of his limbs is brutal, and the destruction of Central City, feels like a Z fight, and oddly reminiscent of Gohan battling Cell now that I think about it.

Yeah, the combat becomes more high-octane and explosive earlier than the Z split. More what I was getting at, though, was the importance of the characters, who in the Saiyan arc are getting effortlessly and mercilessly slaughtered. These are the strongest martial artists in the world, and they're getting annihilated! What Piccolo did in his debut arc wasn't the same; he caught everyone off guard fresh off the heels of a tournament, where Yamcha had a broken leg, Goku was hungry, etc. This time, everyone's had a year to prepare, and they're still getting decimated.

Plus, knowing why these characters are important is crucial to appreciating why they would go all the way to Namek. Further down the line, actually seeing Goku confront the Red Ribbon Army the first time around, while not necessary to understand what's going on, is necessary to getting a full appreciation for what's going on. I think there's an important difference there that often gets taken for granted when people take everything pre-Raditz as optional.

Regarding tone, that begins to shift gradually, after the very first story arc. In the second story arc, Goku is momentarily presumed dead. In the third, someone actually does die, and Goku gets his first real tried-and-true ass beating at the hands of an evil character intent on killing him: Tao Pai Pai. The fourth arc has Tenshinhan break Yamcha's leg in a very unfunny scene, and ends on the cliffhanger of Krillin's death. I could go on, but you get the point. And on the flipside, the humor never goes away. Yajirobe still provides comic relief during the fifth story arc, several of the fights in the sixth story arc contain gags, the seventh story arc has Kaio, the eighth story arc has the Ginyu Force, the ninth story arc has Mr. Satan, and the tenth story arc has the Great Saiyaman, Majin Buu, Gotenks, Piccolo as a reluctant teacher and foil for Gotenks, the Old Kaioshin, and candy Vegetto.

The Z split is seen as important and necessary, with the justification being that the two resultant halves are completely different. This notion of them being completely different is a misconception fueled by the fact that Funimation adapted pre-split and post-split completely differently. It's circular reasoning, through and through. It's true that taken in isolation, on average, pre-split does have more humor, and post-split does have more superpowered battles. But that would be true no matter where that split was made. If you made it after the Red Ribbon Army arc that would be true. If you made that after the 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai that would be true. And so on. It's telling that the reason for the split in the first place was for production reasons on the anime's end, rather than any poignant narrative reasons on Toriyama's end.

It's absolutely maddening that you'll still see people all the time - even around here! - defending the split, and using this enormous family of misconceptions as justification for it. So to reiterate, far be it from Dragon Ball needing Funimation to thrive, it thrived in spite of how badly butchered it was.......but the fanbase has been forever tainted by Funimation's decisions.

KBABZ wrote:I can't really watch shows with subtitles on because I find the subtitles to be distracting and pulling my attention away from the actual footage, but that's a me thing and it also applies to anything in English, be it an anime, movie or video game.

I'm the complete opposite. I prefer to have subtitles on, no matter what it is, or what language it's in. I've always been annoyed when the dialog is more quiet than the action, or when actors slur their words, and I don't know what was actually said. Subtitles allow me to have an assured level of clarity and understanding.

In the case of Dragon Ball, a lot of the scenes play out slow enough that you won't miss a lick of the action by reading a line. :lol:

If you're merely intimidated by getting left behind by the subs, I think it's only a matter of practice. The more often you watch things with them on, the more quickly you'll be able to read them when they're on. Now, I'm not saying "psh, just git gud at reading subs you pussy", but rather, if you ever wanted to become more acclimated to subtitles, I think it's only a matter of practice.

And for what it's worth, I still use certain dub spellings, like Krillin, Babidi, Buu, etc., pretty uniformly. Depending on who I'm talking with outside of the forums, I'll use dub terms, like Special Beam Cannon or Tien or King Kai, for the sake of quick clarity.

KBABZ wrote:music talk

I'm at the point where I associate Kikuchi with all ten arcs of the main story, and Tokunaga for GT. Kikuchi's score works perfectly for the franchise in general, because it sounds like something from a kung fu film. And, the characters are martial artists in martial arts uniforms doing martial arts things, in every story arc. Granted, sure, it gets crazy explosive with ki abilities, but in Wuxia media, that's a common form of high level fantasy martial arts. And even when they go into space and fight robots, they're still martial artists engaging in martial arts battles with aliens on other planets and robots. With Funimation downplaying the spiritual elements, allowing the martial arts-nature of these crazy "superpowers" to get muddled and easily ignored (by calling ki "energy", for instance), the window dressing of the sci-fi elements creates more confusion and misconceptions (not to seemingly constantly rail on Funimation, but the changes they made relate to the thread's general question, and the damage that those changes did is faaaaar reaching). Things like capsules were present in the very first chapter!

But yeah, Yamamoto's score for Kai sounds too much like "badass video game music" to me. Which I like, but I prefer some kung fu music in my kung fu stories. I have largely no love for Sumitomo's scores. His material for Super's first 3 arcs just sounds incredibly bland at best. His stuff for the Black arc was nice, though, and the ToP has shown off some tracks that actually seem fitting for a story about martial artists doing martial artist things.

But with Faulconer, and Yamamoto, they create such a different sound, a much more on-the-nose, action-oriented, hard rock sound, that even if you watch Kai (with the Yamamoto score) after Episode 153 of Dragon Ball, you're being subliminally fed the idea that post-split Dragon Ball is distinctly different. Different composer, different genre. This is made worse when paired with the above family of misconceptions, to create another bit of circular reasoning: since post-split Dragon Ball is different, it warrants a different score. The notion that post-split is different, however, is fueled in large part by the different score in the first place.

Cure Dragon 255 wrote:
Zephyr wrote:The people who claim to have been drawn in exclusively, or predominantly, by Funimation's choice of Voice Actors or their choice of Musical Score Replacement seem like a very vocal minority. Most kids won't care what it sounds like, shit's fucking [i]cool[/i].


I'm kind of dumb so I dont know the intent of this section, but I do have to say the "KEEDS WILL GO CRAZY IF THEY HEAR KIKUCHI. ITS TOO BORING" is a load of bullshit (To be fair I do get that you too hate this sentiment) when FUCKING 4KIDS aired DBZKai on their block with the Kikuchi score it quickly because THE highest rated Saturday Morning Show on The CW with 1.1 million viewers. If it was as "Boring and dull" as everyone said it was it would have sunk like crazy.

Yeah, that's essentially what I'm getting it. I can't remember exactly who or when it was, but semi-recently someone here actually said that it was the Faulconer score in particular that drew them to Dragon Ball, because even as a kid they were a music aficionado. While I don't disbelieve them, even at face value, they seem to be an obvious minority among American children.

Dragon Ball is about people beating the shit out of each other, oftentimes by flying through the air and shooting energy beams at each other, drawn in a really cool art style. It doesn't matter what they're calling their moves, or each other, or what their purported motivations are, or what kind of music is playing in the background. For most kids in general (not just Americans), that cool stuff is going to shine through whatever audible decorations you put over it. Toriyama's a genius of his craft, having made something that's almost inherently engineered to succeed at entertaining and satisfying its audience, even if only on a visual level. That's why it took the rare circumstance of a shitty timeslot for it to actually fail.
Kamiccolo9 wrote:It grinds my gears that people get "outraged" over any of this stuff. It's a fucking cartoon. If you are that determined to be angry about something, get off the internet and make a stand for something that actually matters.

Cipher wrote:When Dragon Ball, a series that largely runs on its style and charm, can't consistently present either style or charm, what's it doing?

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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby 8000 Saiyan » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:06 pm

Ripper 30 wrote:also, we got #18 Recasted and this time she sounded more energetic and like a cocky Teenager in Kai like she was supposed to as Collen used the similar voice she used for Momiji in Good Luck Girl Dub unlike the voice of #18 in DBZ Dub which sounded so boring and bland as if the McCoy wasn't even trying to emote a little.

I don't know, I always liked McCoy's voice. She sounded so sexy. Probably one of the sexiest voices I've ever heard in animation.

And Enuka Okuma is blander than McCoy.
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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby KBABZ » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:58 pm

Decided to split my reply into spoilers since it got so long!












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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby Hellspawn28 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:17 pm

I think Viz or Pioneer would be the most possible choices to pick up Dragon Ball if Funimation didn't exist. I think those two would handle Dragon Ball much better and I think the DB fandom today would be much different. We would probably have sub vs. dub wars, but the dub won't feel like it was some Saturday morning cartoon with bad music replacement, dub errors and bad voice acting in my opinion.

People forget that anime dubs after the 80's try to be more faithful to the Japanese scripts and kept them uncut unlike the English dubs & adaptions that we got of Macross, GoLion, Captain Harlock, Dallos, Gatchaman, Speed Racer, Galaxy Express 999, Crusher Joe, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Dagger of Kamui and several others that we got in the 60's, 70's and 80's. It was anime aim to kids in the 90's and 2000's that got really bad dubs that try to be Americanize.

While TV was my gate way to anime (Thanks to Sci-Fi's Saturday anime block in 1996), it was never the only way to watch anime in the past as Kunzait said before. I think we would still have Cruchyroll today without Funimation's help. There has been a big market for anime for the last 25 years. They won't release titles on home video if there was like 5 something people that like them. Dragon Ball would have found a home and still be popular in the US by Viz, Pionner or whoever they may be.

I think most people where not born before Toonami and Pokemon came out or where too young to remember it. It's probably the whole "I was not there when it happen. So it does not count" ego that most people have these days.
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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby 8000 Saiyan » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:27 pm

Hellspawn28 wrote:I think Viz or Pioneer would be the most possible choices to pick up Dragon Ball if Funimation didn't exist. I think those two would handle Dragon Ball much better and I think the DB fandom today would be much different. We would probably have sub vs. dub wars, but the dub won't feel like it was some Saturday morning cartoon with bad music replacement, dub errors and bad voice acting in my opinion.

People forget that anime dubs after the 80's try to be more faithful to the Japanese scripts and kept them uncut unlike the English dubs & adaptions that we got of Macross, GoLion, Captain Harlock, Dallos, Gatchaman, Speed Racer, Galaxy Express 999, Crusher Joe, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Dagger of Kamui and several others that we got in the 60's, 70's and 80's. It was anime aim to kids in the 90's and 2000's that got really bad dubs that try to be Americanize.

While TV was my gate way to anime (Thanks to Sci-Fi's Saturday anime block in 1996), it was never the only way to watch anime in the past as Kunzait said before. I think we would still have Cruchyroll today without Funimation's help. There has been a big market for anime for the last 25 years. They won't release titles on home video if there was like 5 something people that like them. Dragon Ball would have found a home and still be popular in the US by Viz, Pionner or whoever they may be.

I think most people where not born before Toonami and Pokemon came out or where too young to remember it. It's probably the whole "I was not there when it happen. So it does not count" ego that most people have these days.

Didn't that edited Galaxy Express 999 dub have Peter Cullen in the cast?
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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby Kunzait_83 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:35 pm

KBABZ wrote:Well as I stated earlier, my taste in Dragon Ball music is rather warped and unique. In a way I kinda like having the music change like that because it gives each arc its own flavour; just when you get tired of hearing Yamamoto's action cues for the thirteen billionth time, Kikuche swoops in with a completely "new" score. After that gets used up, switch to TFC for yet another fun new take. The time skips probably help with this. But I fully acknowledge that this is not the intended way for the music to experienced.


I think the fact that you're apparently going primarily by Kai here is crucial. When just going off of original DB and then Z straight through in their original Japanese, its all Kikuchi all the way through with no "shifts". Nevermind just the Wuxia aspect (which is centrally critical in itself), but the consistent nature of that score for the whole duration and how fitting it seamlessly is with the material essentially renders it as indispensable to Dragon Ball's identity as something like a John Williams score is to Star Wars. You just couldn't fathom one without the other, they're so made for one another. I'm not exaggerating in the least when I say that the presence of Kikuchi's music is maybe only a notch or two (if that even) below the presence of Goku himself in terms of key elements of relative importance to Dragon Ball being Dragon Ball. Its basically another main character in the series.
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Zephyr wrote:And that's to say nothing of how pretty much impossible it is to capture what made the original run of the series so great. I'm in the generation of fans that started with Toonami, so I totally empathize with the feeling of having "missed the party", experiencing disappointment, and wanting to experience it myself. But I can't, that's how life is. Time is a bitch. The party is over. Kageyama, Kikuchi, and Maeda are off the sauce now; Yanami almost OD'd; Yamamoto got arrested; Toriyama's not going to light trash cans on fire and hang from the chandelier anymore. We can't get the band back together, and even if we could, everyone's either old, in poor health, or calmed way the fuck down. Best we're going to get, and are getting, is a party that's almost entirely devoid of the magic that made the original one so awesome that we even want more.


Kamiccolo9 wrote:It grinds my gears that people get "outraged" over any of this stuff. It's a fucking cartoon. If you are that determined to be angry about something, get off the internet and make a stand for something that actually matters.

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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby KBABZ » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:07 am

Kunzait_83 wrote:I think the fact that you're apparently going primarily by Kai here is crucial. When just going off of original DB and then Z straight through in their original Japanese, its all Kikuchi all the way through with no "shifts". Nevermind just the Wuxia aspect (which is centrally critical in itself), but the consistent nature of that score for the whole duration and how fitting it seamlessly is with the material essentially renders it as indispensable to Dragon Ball's identity as something like a John Williams score is to Star Wars. You just couldn't fathom one without the other, they're so made for one another. I'm not exaggerating in the least when I say that the presence of Kikuchi's music is maybe only a notch or two (if that even) below the presence of Goku himself in terms of key elements of relative importance to Dragon Ball being Dragon Ball. Its basically another main character in the series.

I don't doubt it, 'specially after hearing this opinion stated incredibly frequently. As I said though I have a warped sense of Dragon Ball music and I recognise that this isn't the normal way of doing it. It's just a shame that it wasn't more properly implemented for Kai, or used at all for The Final Chapters. Has there ever been a fan project to restore the music selections from Z into Kai? Sounds like a fun endeavor for me after I finish The First Chapters!

What I've always found weird is that most people praise his contributions to Z, but from what I've seen so far few seem to talk about his pre-Z work, where he's able to create character themes like with Blue and Tao Pai-Pai, and weave the opening theme into the score so profoundly that it was probably one of the reasons why Funimation didn't replace it in the 2002 dub (aside from the costs of doing so, obviously). For me Kikuche's score is intrinsic to Kid Goku's adventures especially.

On that subject, isn't it pretty remarkable that Kikuche was able to score something like Z, considering that he was brought on originally to score Dr. Slump? If the transition was from Slump to Raditz, I don't think he would have been kept, but instead he was able to grow along with Dragon Ball and step up to the plate for the later action-oriented arcs.

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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby Cure Dragon 255 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:23 am

I like that you praise him, but I dont like the implication that he was at a total loss before "Growing up with Dragon Ball,especially Z" he was a very talented composer even before then. If anything it was Dragon Ball improving and maturing that allowed for his talents to show. People in Japan loved his music before and after Dragon Ball and he composed for dramatic anime too.

I know you probably didnt intend this interpretation of your post and thus didnt mean any harm but I still needed to say this.


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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby KBABZ » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:12 am

Cure Dragon 255 wrote:I like that you praise him, but I dont like the implication that he was at a total loss before "Growing up with Dragon Ball,especially Z" he was a very talented composer even before then. If anything it was Dragon Ball improving and maturing that allowed for his talents to show. People in Japan loved his music before and after Dragon Ball and he composed for dramatic anime too.

I know you probably didnt intend this interpretation of your post and thus didnt mean any harm but I still needed to say this.

Not what I meant at all! I was more praising that, for a guy that came from the stylings of Dr. Slump and the Pilaf arc, it's pretty incredible that he was also able to compose for thinks like Vegeta, Frieza and Cell, and compose them well. Was there anything he had done prior to Slump that was like Z? I don't really know what his full discography is because it's never been brought up!

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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby Cure Dragon 255 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:06 am

I'm glad you think so highly of him. He's awesome.


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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby KBABZ » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:16 am

Cure Dragon 255 wrote:I'm glad you think so highly of him. He's awesome.

It's almost entirely from the masterful Dragon Ball music that I'm so familiar with, as well as the pieces that showed up in Kai during the Cell arc and the re-used Dr. Slump music used for the Penguin Village episodes (fantastic idea to reuse that, it really gives the sense of "Nimbus, I have a feeling we're not on Mount Paoz anymore!"). The Dragon Ball stuff really gives that sense of adventure and outdoors, such as with Setting Out, Dragon Ball of Mystery, Great Wilderness (skip to 1:40), Boy of the Wild, and a track I can only describe as "Last time on Dragon Ball!" (skip to 1:21). Not to mention the Flying Nimbus theme, oh!

Next to Kid Goku being replaced by Clickenbeard, Kikuche's score is one of the main reasons why I prefer to make my own Kai-ification of Dragon Ball over Toei and Funimation making an official one.

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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby Kunzait_83 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:22 am

KBABZ wrote:Not what I meant at all! I was more praising that, for a guy that came from the stylings of Dr. Slump and the Pilaf arc, it's pretty incredible that he was also able to compose for thinks like Vegeta, Frieza and Cell, and compose them well. Was there anything he had done prior to Slump that was like Z? I don't really know what his full discography is because it's never been brought up!


If anything, Kikuchi's work in Dr. Slump and Pilaf-era Dragon Ball are somewhat closer to the odd examples out in his previous resume. A vast chunk of his pre-Slump and DB work is fairly non-comedic. Anime-wise, there's a lot of Shonen Henshin hero and Super Robot stuff (Casshan, Babel II, Hurricane Polymer, Getter Robo, Gaiking, Danguard Ace, etc) most of which is on the relatively more dramatic side of things, though he also did Sakigate!! Otokojuku, a martial arts series that has far more in common with Fist of the North Star and various Bosozoku/Delinquent series than it does DB, as well as Tiger Mask (an iconic wrestling/martial arts series that's as influential a Shonen property as they get).

Live action-wise, he's done a fair amount of legendary Tokusatsu work, including most of the original Gamera films and the classic run of Kamen Rider, as well as decidedly non-child aimed films like Goke: Body Snatcher From Hell, the rape/revenge classic Female Prisoner Scorpion 701 (which is as far a cry away from anything most people will ever talk about on this forum as it gets), and one of the latter Sonny Chiba Street Fighter films (more martial arts).

The closest comparisons to Slump/early-DB in his earlier CV are Sinbad's Adventures (an very vague anime take on some Arabian Nights stories aimed more at toddlers) as well as none other than Doraemon, which is one of the rare few Japanese mass merchandising juggernauts for tots that can probably stand up to Pokemon in terms of cultural ubiquity and impact over there. Though he's done his share of similar fare after Slump and DB as well.

All in all... the dude A) has utterly INSANE range and has covered everything from superheroes, to cheesy monster movies, martial arts epics, hardcore grindhouse sleaze, and culturally iconic touchstones almost universally known and regarded in their homeland, and B) is easily and without the slightest question the single most accomplished composer who's ever worked on Dragon Ball, with a back catelogue consisting of some of the most significant titles in 70s and 80s anime and Japanese film.

It cannot be stressed that between the production and vocal talent that went into the Dragon Ball anime that Toei at that point in time really spared no expense in what craft was poured into the series (meaning they really believed in Toriyama at that point, which considering the level of success that Slump had is completely understandable). Ironic in that the voices and music are some of the most divisive, scrutinized, and heavily derided aspects of the original series among North American fans despite consisting of talent whose collective bodies of work soundly speak for themselves, as opposed to their FUNimation equivalents to many of whom by way of direct comparison... the less said of which the better, particularly with regards to Faulconer.

KBABZ wrote:For me Kikuche's score is intrinsic to Kid Goku's adventures especially.


Again, there's nothing really that's Kid Goku-centric about the score in particular. The score is reflective of Dragon Ball's whole genre, and by extension all of its core narrative themes. A lot of people with no experience with Wuxia tend to think "kinda odd and whimsical sound, plus FUNi didn't replace it, hence its reflective of child Goku's quirky, upbeat nature" when reality is, its just a traditional martial arts film score (done remarkably, remarkably well granted) and the cultural roots that come with that go much, much deeper (classical Chinese arrangements to compliment the Peking Opera roots of so many 18th and 19th century Wuxia stage plays that all of the earliest decades worth of Wuxia films took much of their influence from).

KBABZ wrote:On that subject, isn't it pretty remarkable that Kikuche was able to score something like Z, considering that he was brought on originally to score Dr. Slump? If the transition was from Slump to Raditz, I don't think he would have been kept, but instead he was able to grow along with Dragon Ball and step up to the plate for the later action-oriented arcs.


There's somewhat less of DB's tone that is inherently Toriyama-centric than even a lot of people on this site tend to assume: the weird tonal dissonance (goofball comedy, high stakes drama, goofball comedy, high stakes drama, all on a dime) that a lot of people associate with Dragon Ball (original Japanese DB in particular) is just as much a crucial, defining aspect of Wuxia as it is with what Toriyama's specific style of humor itself brings to the table, and the classic style of scores most often used throughout the genre tend to be reflective of that.

By that same token, I'm gonna delve back a page to an earlier post and add to this:

KBABZ wrote:[Agreed, particularly due to the fact that (as far as I can tell) Shonen doesn't work based on logical math in the grander scheme of things and prefers to ignore that in service of simply showing "Ohhh look how strong he is how're they gonna win??!?", but of course most people in the dub fandom has no idea what Shonen even is, let alone what its tropes are. They see DBZ as a US product that comes from Japan, if that makes sense. Kid Goku Dragon Ball is by far and away my favourite portion of the series because it's more focused on adventure and fun and occasional humour than it is with the next big arc villain and how they'll defeat him.


I've said this a bunch of times here, but will reiterate it again: Shonen doesn't have any "tropes" because Shonen isn't a genre. Shonen is little more or less than a demographic group (little boys age 5 to 13 or so). Virtually ANY genre can be Shonen, provided its targeted as such. Everything from Dragon Ball (wuxia) to Doraemon (toddler's animal mascot) to Area 88 (war drama) to Barefoot Gen (historical fiction) to Rokudenashi Blues (coming of age with street gangs) to One Piece (pirate adventures) to Devilman (horror/vague Henshin hero-ish hybrid) to City Hunter (detective noir/romantic comedy) to Kenshin (Chanbara) to Naruto (ninjas) to Dr. Slump (nonsense humor) to fucking Fist of the North Star (Mad Max post-apocalypse + wuxia) and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (a thoroughly random concoction of pure "WTF?!") are all uniformly Shonen, many of which above were serialized alongside DB at the exact same readership.

What people on sites like this classify as "Shonen" or "Battle Shonen" (which is a made-up genre that doesn't actually exist) are most often little else other than a select handful of Shonen titles made in the wake of Dragon Ball that took varying degrees of influence from it (Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, Toriko, etc) and thus share only the most shallow of similarities to it (namely copying a bunch of its skeletal narrative beats and patterns, as well as shamelessly apeing - no pun intended - Goku's character type for their main characters, particularly Goku as a kid).

They mimic aspects of Dragon Ball, namely its "formula", and try to replicate vague aspects of its themes, but share none of the context that gives those themes any weight or make much sense or resonate strongly. They're rendered as less "themes" in those works than they are hazy scraps of emotions that they know you're supposed to feel when you get to the appropriate segments in Dragon Ball, but don't understand WHY it is that you're made to feel them there (challenge, train, overcome, etc). That's not a genre, that's what most would generally term less charitably as a "knockoff".

Shonen is a target demographic, and thus what it dictates most often is the tone and intellectual level that its usually written to: which in Japan is culturally a helluva a lot broader ranging for their children than it often is in America, which leads a lot of American fans under the mistaken belief that Shonen is aimed at a much higher age group than it actually is. Again, Shonen is literally translated as "Young Boys", not "Teenagers" or "Young Adults" or whatever. Stuff for elementary school children below 13.

A genre is something that actually DOES contain tropes and dictates what KIND of story you're reading/watching. Dragon Ball's genre thusly is Wuxia, which is FAR more specific than just a vague and non-descript "action/adventure" classification that so many will often tag it as. Wuxia does of course contain equal doses of action and adventure, but again embodies something much more specific: namely supernatural martial arts/kung fu fantasy culled from ancient Chinese myths and folklore (yet is popular all across Asia and throughout the world beyond just China where it originated).

Wuxia is characterized by dedicated kung fu warriors with their own code of honor/ethics engaging in fantastical martial arts battles and rivalries, most often with competitive self-improvement for their personal strength and fighting arts acting as their core motivation, as well as soap operatic vendettas and revenge against other rival martial arts warriors and clans/schools. They reside most often in a fantasy world setting that is depicted as an idealized vision of ancient China (with modern and even futuristic sci fi trappings thrown in in later works) and ancient Chinese myths and is thus home to mythical demons and creatures and heavenly gods as well as men, and features kingdoms, royalty, villages, thieves, and peasants similar to Western fantasy (Wuxia as a whole is basically the direct Chinese martial arts equivalent to European Arthurian/Tolkien-esque medieval fantasy), with martial arts masters acting as the roguish knight errants. The martial arts themselves are depicted via supernatural feats of Taoist Chi/Ki mastery, which can most often include flight/levitation, radiating body auras, superhuman feats of speed and strength, and the ability to project one's own inner spiritual power as bolts of explosive light fired from the palms, the mouth, etc.

As Wuxia is a genre that is popular and well loved worldwide but particularly in Asian territories, any number of classic and well known Japanese manga and anime have partaken in it, and include titles like Yu Yu Hakusho, Fist of the North Star, The Peacock King, Saiyuki, virtually anything ever written or drawn by Takeshi Maekawa, and Dragon Ball of course. Even Western works ranging from Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Korra to Mortal Kombat to The Matrix owe their existences to the genre.

Most Dragon Ball fans of the last 17 some-odd years tend to be folks who have virtually no experience with the broader genre itself nor even know or understand that it is a thing that even exits. One of the biggest derailments of modern Dragon Ball fandom (spurred on by the FUNimation dub and its changes/marketing) is that it has so often confused Dragon Ball's target demographic with its genre. I've made this comparison a lot, but this would be akin to a group of die-hard Dungeons & Dragons fans who had somehow never heard of medieval fantasy as a genre nor have ever explored the works of Tolkien, Arthurian myths, or any other example of European high fantasy outside of just D&D and other pen & paper RPGs (and that's not to say that creators don't get heavy doses of inspiration and influence from genres outside of the ones their working in all the damn time, but you get the idea).

So rather than look to other examples of high flying kung fu fantasy like the works of luminaries like Jin Yong, King Hu, or more contemporary stuff more closely tied to DB's era like Tsui Hark's films and the more off the wall entries in the Shaw Brothers' oeuvre (though we've at the very least given Journey to the West its proper due), fandom has instead averted its gaze towards stuff like Soul Eater, Hunter x Hunter, and Fullmetal Alchemist; stuff who's sole real concrete connection to Dragon Ball in any way is that they're aimed at Japanese 4th grade kids.

One of the biggest underlying fallacies of modern Dragon Ball fandom's understanding of the series, beyond even the dub/sub divide and FUNimation's tinkering, is the notion that "any manga targeted at 8 year old Japanese boys" are all somehow lumped within the same exact genre and thus creative DNA ladder as Dragon Ball because they all somehow universally share the same rough set of tropes (I dare anyone to paint an artistic connection between Dragon Ball and something like Drifting Classroom: go ahead, I mean they're both Shonen, so its all the same "genre" right?). And this fallacy stems from the fact that most Dragon Ball fandom explores very little of anime and manga outside of heavily mainstream Weekly Shonen Jump properties or stuff aired on Cartoon Network within the last couple decades, and moreover that it explores very little of any creative media whatsoever outside of stuff aimed solely at children in general.
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Kunzait's Wuxia Thread

Zephyr wrote:And that's to say nothing of how pretty much impossible it is to capture what made the original run of the series so great. I'm in the generation of fans that started with Toonami, so I totally empathize with the feeling of having "missed the party", experiencing disappointment, and wanting to experience it myself. But I can't, that's how life is. Time is a bitch. The party is over. Kageyama, Kikuchi, and Maeda are off the sauce now; Yanami almost OD'd; Yamamoto got arrested; Toriyama's not going to light trash cans on fire and hang from the chandelier anymore. We can't get the band back together, and even if we could, everyone's either old, in poor health, or calmed way the fuck down. Best we're going to get, and are getting, is a party that's almost entirely devoid of the magic that made the original one so awesome that we even want more.


Kamiccolo9 wrote:It grinds my gears that people get "outraged" over any of this stuff. It's a fucking cartoon. If you are that determined to be angry about something, get off the internet and make a stand for something that actually matters.

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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby Super Sayian Prime » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:16 am

Kunzait_83 wrote:1) Fist of the North Star, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Kenshin had all had relatively high profile licensed North American releases in the United States well long before Dragon Ball ever did. Not on kids TV obviously, but kids TV was certainly never the barometer for success with North American anime at that time, as most North American anime back then didn't even aim to be on children's TV in the first place. That was never considered "the big time" until the Toonami era hit. Hell, Fist of the North Star has to date NEVER reared its exploding head on kids TV of any sort, ever (for obvious reasons, granted).


Hellspawn28 wrote:Fist of the North Star was already on VHS by Streamline and Manga US long before Dragon Ball was on TV. Jojo already had a OVA and Capcom fighting game release in the US before Dragon Ball also. I also recall Slam Dunk being release on DVD in the early 2000's and not on TV from what I can remember correctly. Anime already had uncut home video releases since the early 90's and we would still see anime release in the US without Dragon Ball.


I'm excluding merch (video games, toys, colouring books, backpacks, whatever) because any of the early stuff that came over was largely marketed on its own merits and not as a product tie-in to a property no one heard of. The success of the MUSCLE toyline didn't exactly mean people were aware of Kinnukiman/Ultimate Muscle.

The Fist of the North Star anime was licensed in 1999. Viz released a small handful of manga issues between 1989 and 1997. Streamline did a one-shot release of the first movie in 1991. Only the most relevant part to the conversation was after Dragon Ball was on TV.

The JJBA OVAs started in 2001 in North America. Viz allegedly was interested in publishing the manga in the 1990s, but cancelled it before release over fears it wouldn't sell. Viz finally started a short lived run in 2005, before reviving it fairly recently. All after Dragon Ball was on TV.

The Yu Yu Hakusho TV anime was also in 2001. No one touched the manga until 2003. CPM dumped a movie one shot in 1998. Media Blasters did the same with another YYH movie that same year. All after Dragon Ball was on TV.

Sony tried to sell the Rurouni Kenshin anime to US TV in 1999. No one cared. Media Blasters started releasing the TV anime in 2000. That same year ADV put out some of the OVAs. Viz started publishing the manga in 2003. All after Dragon Ball was on TV.

Toei Animation US and Geneon tried releasing Slam Dunk on DVD in 2005. No one cared. Gutsoon tried publishing the manga in 2002. No one cared. Viz tried again in 2008. Someone cared. All after Dragon Ball was on TV.

I didn't really appreciate having to go through nearly 20-year-old web links to find out I only tripped over Fist of the North Star. Even then, only a trip. 44 chapters of the manga and a one-and-done film release aren't exactly strong indicators of a thirst for WSJ material. The risk of bringing that over is nowhere near that of bringing over a TV show, which is what Funimation did. Besides, we only started getting the Dragon Ball manga after the anime was on TV. No one touched the films for direct-to-video releases pre-Funimation. Admittedly, most of the Dragon Ball movies are garbage that requires you to have some knowledge of the franchise's lore, but even then there's the odd feature that's enjoyable on its own.

Kunzait_83 wrote:3) Pioneer DID "want to touch it", because they were in the process of securing a deal for it before Fukanaga swept it up from under them (their doing the video distribution and having a hand in the dubbing for the movies was their consolation prize). DB was one of the holy grail titles of every other anime licensing company in the industry at that time for many years, many of whom spent the bulk of the early 90s squabbling amongst one another trying to secure it.


Do you have a source for Pioneer's interest in Dragon Ball pre-Funimation? Preferably not an unverified Usenet reply or something.
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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby KBABZ » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:22 am

I see you've had a lot of time to think about this subject! Thanks for the information, I feel enlightened. The mix of traditional Chinese (which you've identified for me as Wuxia, I think? Did I understand that correctly?) with futuristic themes like capsules and hoverplanes and spherical buildings is for me one of the cornerstones of Dragon Ball, and my favourite arcs tend to be the ones set on Earth where we get to explore and discover that world; even the Android arc and the pre-Perfect Cell stuff had this stuff going on. Namek is cool and all, but the singular, empty environment does get boring and is little more than an open battlefield for which the fights take place, at least to me.

When I said that Kikuche is an intrinsic part of the Kid Goku stories, I was also meaning to my own experiences; being someone mainly interested in the dub side of the franchise (but the lore of the original japanese side), I simply haven't had the exposure to the rest of his work, and can only go off of what was imprinted on my when I watched the show when I was twelve back in 2002. And for me music like what I linked you to is inseperable from the show because goshdangit, that's what I listened to for those stories all these years!

Regardless, it definitely sounds like Kikuche has an enormous range. It's fascinating to learn about this stuff, and it now makes a lot of sense why, after doing both serious stuff and Dr. Slump, that he'd be picked for Dragon Ball; when the anime was announced the manga was wrapping up the 21st WMAT, and by that point there was a fair amount of both silly and serious (or rather, dramatic?), so sticking with Kikuche along with the rest of the crew was an obvious no-brainer. I wonder why his past work is never brought up or discussed? I would have totally expected there to be a Kanzenshuu podcast detailing the Discography of Kikuche by this point, right?

Another question then: what did Kikuche do after the Buu saga finished and they chose another composer for GT? Did he do anything else since, or did he retire from making music? Reminds me a lot of David Bergeaud in the R&C series; he's widely considered the best and fans clamour for him to return with each new game that's released, yet he hasn't composed any music since 2011 and is all but retired.

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Re: Did Dragon Ball REALLY need Funimation to thrive?

Postby Hellspawn28 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:01 pm

Super Saiyan Prime wrote:I'm excluding merch (video games, toys, colouring books, backpacks, whatever) because any of the early stuff that came over was largely marketed on its own merits and not as a product tie-in to a property no one heard of. The success of the MUSCLE toyline didn't exactly mean people were aware of Kinnukiman/Ultimate Muscle.

The Fist of the North Star anime was licensed in 1999. Viz released a small handful of manga issues between 1989 and 1997. Streamline did a one-shot release of the first movie in 1991. Only the most relevant part to the conversation was after Dragon Ball was on TV.


Manga Entertainment US release Fist of the North Star on VHS in 1999 and later aired on Starz a few years later. I doubt it was release on home video to cash in on Dragon Ball given that it was aim to a different audience and I doubt most kids watching Toonami at the time had no idea what Fist of the North Star was. Fist of the North Star had a big fan following for years long before 1999 and fans wanted the original TV show on home video seeing how the movie was the only FONS anime release in the US (Not counting fan subs).

Same thing with the Jojo OVAs because those where not aim to the kids watching Toonami and most of them didn't know what Jojo was until many years later. Same thing with Rurouni Kenshin when they release the two movies under "Samurai X" . I do think Naruto, One Piece, Rave Master, Inuyasha, Yu Yu Hakusho and a few others did get dubbed because of Dragon Ball (I remember hearing that Funimation got YYH because of DBZ doing well on TV). FOTNS, Jojo and Kenshin had big fanbases before the year 2000. They would get release on home video even if Funimation never exist.
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