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Published by VegettoEX
03 October 1999, 12:00 PM EDTComments Off

FUNimation Productions, Inc. will be releasing DragonBall Z on DVD, with the future DVDs including their internally-produced English-dubbed version and its specific music track, as well as an accurately-English-subtitled original Japanese version with its music.

As a part of the new initiative, the third DragonBall movie and fourth DragonBall Z movie are also in the works for release. The announcement from toriyama.org has been included below:

10/01/99: FUNimation Announces Subtitled Dragonball Z DVDs

Over the last few weeks there has been speculation on FUNimation releasing Dragon Ball Z subtitled on DVD, mainly from the interview that a friend of this site, Steve Harmon, conducted with Gen Fukunaga. The staff of toriyama.org has known that FUNimation has been researching this possibility for a while and has actually been doing some research for them in this field. FUNimation had been dedicated to this concept since early last summer but has only recently begun to finalize the whole thing. We had been holding out on giving this information to the public for a while now at the request of our contact at FUNimation (who will be designing the actual discs) but with recent revelations the news is ready for the public.

The biggest news in regards to the DVDs is the fact that the original Japanese audio will be included along with English language subtitles! For anyone wondering how the entire toriyama.org staff has had so much faith in FUNimation this is why. We have known that they have been planning on this for a while now and that they plan to do things right. Some people may be afraid of the possibility of FUNimation using the dubbed scripts as the subtitled tracks but it does not look as if this will happen. Our contact at FUNimation has indicated that she is determined to do what is needed to make sure that this does not happen. In other words, it seems as if anyone who has insulted FUNimation by claiming that they do not really understand what the fans want is being forced to eat crow about now.

As for why FUNimation has decided to do the subtitled version on DVD without a VHS release, the reason is not what most people think. Many people have come under the impression that FUNimation will not do DBZ subbed on VHS because the series has not been released on home media in Japan and, therefore, Toei would not allow FUNimation to do the series on VHS here. Although this has been a very mild factor, the main reason has not been the Japanese market, but rather, problems with the US market. Dragon Ball Z is the most commonly fansubbed anime series in the US. This prompted fear within FUNimation that many fans would not buy subtitled VHS tapes of DBZ because they either had fansubs already or they could get fansubs for less. DVDs with dual language tracks, though, could sell to both fans of the dubbed and original versions of the series. For anyone who owns fansubs and is questioning why they should buy DVDs the answer is simple: Better quality, more accuracy, and extras. Most fansub tapes have very degraded picture and sound, while DVDs have incredibly crisp video quality. Although many people collect fansubs because they think that they tell the story right, most fansubs are very inaccurate and have things altered often (despite what Anime Labs would have most people believe, the Z senshi do not swear often.) The extras on the disc, which have not been fully decided on, should also make the discs worth buying.

The episodes are not the only thing coming to DVD. FUNimation is determined to bring out the rest of the DBZ movies in time. The contracts have already been written for the purchase of DBZ movie 4, “Super Saiyan Goku,” and all that is needed now is Toei of Japan’s signature. (Note: This may no longer be the case, as the contracts could have been handled by now.) The other movies should follow after the release of Z movie 4. Original Dragon Ball movie 3 has been scripted for dubbing, as well, but with how much time DBZ takes up this should not be expected soon.

Of all the things that people are wondering about the upcoming DVDs the biggest question is when will all of this happen. As of right now it looks as if the first bilingual DVD to be released will be the DBZ movie 4: “Super Saiyan Goku” in the spring of 2000. The episode discs should follow soon after. This may seem like a long time, but to quote another webmaster from when he was speaking about issues he had about DBZ censorship a few years ago with the censorship of DBZ, “We waited 10 years for this show.” Well, if we’ve waited that long we can handle half a year (Note: I know that I haven’t waited that long, and if the web master in question has then he’s been watching DBZ since he was two years old.) The reason for the six months wait is that FUNimation has just made the decision to do this and is currently research how to do things. At the current time they have not even purchased the DVD mastering equipment, and once they do they will need to take time to learn how to operate the software to program the menus and such. For the moment fans just need to be patient. There is no longer the question of whether or not FUNimation will give fans of the original series what they want, it’s just a matter of waiting. As of right now few things have been decided in terms of content for the discs, but as things develop we will be posting the most detailed and accurate information available.

There is one piece of disappointing news in all of this. Rather than starting DBZ from the start of the series FUNimation will be starting the episode discs at the beginning of “Season 3.” The reason for this is that FUNimation subcontracted the home media releases of the first two seasons of the series to Pioneer entertainment. That means that FUNimation owns the broadcast rights of first fifty-some (or sixty-some, if speaking of the original language versions) and the three movies, but only Pioneer can release videotapes, Laserdiscs, and DVDs of them. Does this mean that we will never see the early episodes of DBZ released subtitled? No, it does not. It just means that Pioneer would have to do the episodes subtitled or FUNimation would have to find a way to regain the episodes from Pioneer. In my personal opinion, though, I do not believe that fans should start pressuring Pioneer to do subbed DVDs yet. The reason for this is that if FUNimation manages to do a better job than Pioneer would with the episode DVDs, then Pioneer would feel the need to emulate them in order to live up to them, and with some of the things that FUNimation is considering I think that that would be a very good thing. If they were to start doing subtitled DVDs before FUNimation, though, they would not have anything to try to beat. Although FUNimation is a small company, I have more faith in them then I have in some of the larger anime companies. Despite what people have been led to believe, FUNimation does listen to what fans say, it’s just that it has taken time to process everything, work with Toei, get enough money together to invest in a project like this, and make a final decision to do it. Expect a lot from FUNimation on this, even more than you would expect from Pioneer or ADVision. This is all of the information I have for now, when I know more you’ll know more.

—Brian Real?
toriyama.org Head of PR and Staff Writer

Published by VegettoEX
07 September 1999, 12:00 PM EDTComments Off

Instead of the first two episodes of the third season being shown last Monday (06 September 1999) as previously announced, the new date for their airing will be the 13th. The first half of the Toonami block will consist of the last two episodes of the third season (dub episodes 52-53), with the last half of the Toonami block consisting of the first two episodes of the third season (dub episodes 54-55).

Published by VegettoEX
13 August 1999, 12:00 PM EDTComments Off

After a long while of being down due to the inappropriate actions of a few fans, the forum at FUNimation’s dragonballz.com is back up and working, again. Users are now required to enter in a login and password to post on it (presumably their new “security” measure).

Published by VegettoEX
13 August 1999, 11:00 AM EDTComments Off

The next two English-dubbed videos (which will make up dubbed episodes 67-72) will be released on 31 August 1999. Pre-orders will be taken for them on FUNimation’s website. As for air dates concerning these episodes, FUNimation and Cartoon Network have officially announced that on 06 September 1999, from 4-5 pm EDT, the final two episodes of the second season will be aired, with a special hour from 5-6 pm EDT airing the first two episodes of the third season (“Ginyu Assault” and “Incredible Force!” — episodes 54 and 55, respectively).

Published by VegettoEX
09 June 1999, 12:00 PM EDTComments Off

The forum area at the new dragonballz.com seems to have been shut down! Why is this you ask?

The Forum is Closed. I’m sick of having to delete all the perverted messages and cuss words. Sorry to anyone who did not cause this. The forum will be back up when content checkers and a password/UserID system are in place.

It is sad to see this type of activity take place, but it sounds like FUNimation is on the case and will bring it back with tighter security measures in the near future.

Published by VegettoEX
01 June 1999, 12:00 PM EDTComments Off

Purchase some videos from FUNimation, and having a little bit of trouble with them? FUNimation has issued a notice concerning three of their videos (“Sleeping Princess in Devil’s Castle,” “Captain Ginyu: Assault,” and “Captain Ginyu: Double Cross”). Problems with a small percentage of these tapes includes tracking problems or shaky video, continuous background noise (we doubt the new background music counts here…), and/or mono audio. Check out FUNimation’s “Warranty” page for more information.

Published by VegettoEX
01 June 1999, 11:00 AM EDTComments Off

Seems that FUNimation’s English dub of DragonBall Z is popping up in TV scheduling guides for airing during the upcoming week. Next Friday would be a good day to actually tune in — that will be the day we see whether or not dubbed episode ten (the now infamous “Escape From Piccolo” episode) will be aired in syndication this time around. If you are new to the series or this particular version of the show, this episode was dubbed back in 1996, but was not shown during the original syndication airing, presumably because FUNimation and/or Saban deemed it to not be in good taste for “free television.” Only time will tell this time around.

Thanks to Adrian Saavedra for the tip.

Published by VegettoEX
01 June 1999, 1:00 AM EDTComments Off

The week of May 24th through May 28th, Cartoon Network held a special DragonBall Z marathon entitled “DBZ20XL.” During their Toonami timeslot (4pm-6pm EST), four half-hour episodes of FUNimation’s English dubbed DragonBall Z were shown. To conclude the marathon, on Saturday, May 29th, starting at noon EST, all three of the DragonBall Z movies that FUNimation had dubbed in English were shown all in a row during the day.

Published by VegettoEX
15 April 1999, 12:00 PM EDTComments Off

FUNimation’s new VHS volumes for “Season Three” of their English dub of DragonBall Z are ready for pre-order as of today, just as “Agent Mai” had reported. These videos will not, however be shipped until May 15th.

To pre-order these episodes, head on over to FUNimation’s website, and click the link to go to their store. From there, you will need to browse to the very last page of the “DragonBall Z Episode Videos” section to reach the pre-orders for these videos:

Episodes 54-56 — Captain Ginyu: Assault

Ginyu Assault: Burter and Jeice of the fearsome Ginyu Force launch an attack on Goku. But the tables turn as Goku’s new power is way too much for them to handle. After Goku easily defeats Burter, Jeice rushes to retrieve the fiercest of all Ginyu… Captain Ginyu himself. But can their collective force match up to the new Goku?
Incredible Force!: An angry Captain Ginyu initiates a battle with the fearless Goku, as the ruthless mercenary attempts to uncover Goku’s true strength. But Goku cleverly conceals his power level from the militant monster. Finally, at the insistence of the captain, Goku astounds both Jeice and Ginyu by revealing his true power… A power unlike anything they had anticipated.
Frieza Approaches: Captain Ginyu and Jeice face up to Goku only to discover the truth about what they’re up against. Elsewhere, Guru bestows a special gift of healing upon the young Namek, Dende. And Nail returns to defend Guru from the villainous Frieza. But will Nail’s special training be enough?

Episodes 57-60 — Captain Ginyu: Double Cross

Goku is Ginyu & Ginyu is Goku: Frieza battles Nail in an effort to discover the password for the Dragon Balls. But can his skills measure up? Elsewhere, a powerful Goku faces the remaining Ginyu force. But careful Goku! Captain Ginyu has some fiendish trickery in store.
Calling the Eternal Dragon: Vegeta’s plan to recapture the Dragon Balls is put on hold as Gohan and Krillin are first to find the buried treasure. But all three are in for a big shock as Captain Ginyu shows up in Goku’s body.
Gohan Defeat Your Dad!!: Gohan and Krillin battle Captain Ginyu, disguised in Goku’s body. But watch out! Vegeta’s taking action with a strength no one expected! Is Vegeta really a Super Saiyan?
Captain Ginyu… The Frog: An injured Captain Ginyu awaits Vegeta’s onslaught. But the weakened warrior has devious plans up his sleeve. Will he be able to switch bodies with Vegeta the way he managed to switch with Goku? And what will become of Goku, now struggling in Captain Ginyu’s crippled body?

Published by VegettoEX
03 April 1999, 12:00 PM EDTComments Off

Once again, Adrian Saavedra passes on the latest news from “Agent Mai” at FUNimation. Fans and non-fans alike of their English dub works should find some interesting tidbits in this one:

*Hey everbody! It’s that time of the month again. It’s been a while, but here it is. The latest FUNimation Q & A session with Agent Mai. I can’t even remember what number this is. Oh well, enjoy*

03/05/99

Dear Agent Mai,

How are you today? First let me say thank you for your latest response. It was both informative and well thought out. I believe you are a wonderful person to continue this correspondence.

Agent Mai:
I apologize about the long wait for me to reply. It’s a nightmare around here as far as job assignments go.

Adrian:
1. I’ve been informed that 50 episodes are planed for Season 3. Is this true?

Agent Mai:
This is true, there are exactly 50.

Adrian:
2. Since episode 53 ended in the middle of Japanese episode 67, I am guessing that you will continue from that point. Now here is the question. Just how many cuts will you make or will FUNimation keep the English episodes in line with the Japanese ones? What I’m asking is the new fifty would end around Japanese episode 117, which would relate to English episode 103. Is this a correct assumption?

Agent Mai:
We do end at the Japanese 117.

Adrian:
3. Now for part two of the question, if you don’t make any edits, that will mean that English DBZ will end right at the end of the Garlic Jr. saga, and right before the arrival of Trunks. Is this assumption correct?

Agent Mai:
We do begin at the Japanese 68 and end at the Japanese 117. I don’t know exactly where that gets us in the story line.

(Footnote* Did you notice what Mai said. She said that the new episodes start at Japanese episode 68. Therefore, since English episode 53 ended right in the middle of 67, FUNimation decided not to bother with the rest of what happens in 67 and just skip to 68. This means that perhaps FUNimation may go back and re-dub the 53 English (67 Japanese) DBZ episodes in the future)

Adrian:
4. Just out of curiosity, how far is FUNimation along with the new episodes? If they’re not to far ahead, then perhaps you could skip the Garlic stuff, and just get to the Trunks section where he finishes Frieza and his Dad for good, but before the Androids arrive. This would make for a better cliffhanger. Having left season two where it ended, is probably the biggest reason people were outraged. It was in the middle of the story, and since DBZ is a cartoon soap opera, it made many angry with DBZ withdrawal.

Agent Mai:
We are working on several at once, the scripts are written while others are being recorded and others are being mixed. We are just at the beginning, though. We will release them to video as they are finished, so you’ll be able to keep up with how far along we are. We don’t have any intention of skipping episodes, especially now that we are releasing them uncut and trying to keep the censorship down to a minimum.

Adrian:
5. Is your deal with Pioneer over? Was that it for them? 17 volumes of the TV show, and the first 3 DBZ movies.

6. If not, a while back you told me Pioneer had permission to subtitle DBZ. Is this still true? Or is this only true for the 53 (67 Japanese) they already have? Either way, what I am asking, is whether Pioneer cansubtitle DBZ? Even if they can only do the episodes already released.

7. Here’s the problem, if FUNimation doesn’t attempt to subtitle the series, will you let Pioneer at least have the subtitling privileges. It would save you the time and money, if you put Pioneer in charge of subbing DB and DBZ.

Agent Mai: (Answer to 5, 6 & 7)
We’ve had some legal problems with Pioneer. I have no idea where we stand with them now, or whether we’ll have any dealings with them in the future.

Adrian:
8. Last question, how does FUNimation feel about subtitling DB and DBZ? I’m just curious, because, while I enjoyed the second DB movie in all its unedited glory, I was slightly disappointed that FUNimation made no attempt to release a subbed version.

Agent Mai:
There are no plans to subtitle.

Adrian:
9. One last suggestion, most people are in no hurry to see DBGT. It’s the least popular of the three series, mainly because Akira Toriyama didn’t write it. I would hope that FUNimation gets through DB and DBZ before evenattempting the TOEI spawn called DBGT.

Agent Mai:
We have no plans to do DBGT. We are open to lots more DB and DBZ.

Once again, thank you for everything. I hope to hear from you soon. Takecare and good luck on FUNimation’s newest revival.

Sincerely,
Adrian Saavedra

====================================
*Now for my second email interview*
====================================

03/26/99

Dear Agent Mai,

It’s been a while. I pressume that things are still going well and that you are to busy too answer my questions. No pressure, but if you find the time could you answer them? Thank you.I have some more questions to add to the previous ones. When you can, I would appreciate it if you could answer these with the previous ones.

Adrian:
1. When do you expect the new episodes to come out?

Agent Mai:
We still do not know an air date on Cartoon Network, but the first uncut/uncensorred video will be released April 15th. The video will at first only be available on our website because it takes time to distribute it to stores. We will continue to release them as the episodes are completed.

Adrian:
2. When will the new Dragon Ball movie come out?

Agent Mai:
I’m confused about this one. If you are asking about the Sleeping Princess movie, it is working it’s way into retail stores now. If you are talking about Mystical Adventure, we are currently paused on that because the DBZ episodes are taking up all of our time.

Adrian:
3. What other future plans does FUNimation have for DB and DBZ? (DB episodes? More DB & DBZ movies? DB & DBZ on DVD?)

Agent Mai:
We hope to do as much as we can as the demand grows. We are up to doing anything with DB and DBZ as far as more episodes and movies go. I don’t think we are planning the DBZ eps to be on DVD, but maybe a licensee will step in and want to do it, who knows. There are more and more requests for Dragon Ball, maybe we will show it again if the hype keeps going up. We would like to show it now, but we don’t have any interested TV stations.

So there you have it. I look forward to hearing from you when you can.Thank you for everthing. Good luck.

Sincerely,
Adrian Saavedra

*Okay. There it is. This is the most recent news I’ve received. I hope you all enjoyed it.*

**remember–I’m open to any questions from you all. Just be honest. I’d like it if you gave me your real name and age or whether you are male or female because I’m sure Mai and her fellow colleagues would be interested in the fan demographics of DBZ. Also, kid questions for some reason get more love than questions from adults. So send your questions to adriansaavedra@hotmail.com instead of my University email account**

-The End?-