During the Toonami industry panel at MomoCon this past weekend in Atlanta, it was announced that Dragon Ball Kai (under the standard international title of Dragon Ball Z Kai) will make the shift to Cartoon Network’s and Adult Swim’s programming block this fall.
The company’s English dub of Dragon Ball Kai, originally announced back in February 2010 (almost a year after its Japanese debut), first aired on Nicktoons followed by a more-heavily-edited version via TheCW4Kids block (now a part of “Vortexx“).
The Majin Buu arc of Dragon Ball Kai, currently airing in Japan and as-of-yet unannounced for the North American market, was not mentioned as a part of this announcement.
FUNimation has released the entirety of the Saiyan, Freeza, and Cell arcs of Dragon Ball Kai in double-disc packs and “season” sets on DVD and Blu-ray. At this point, all in-print home releases contain the replacement score of recycled Shunsuke Kikuchi music (from the original Dragon Ball Z broadcast).
Toonami began as an after-school block of programming on the Cartoon Network cable channel in 1997. Dragon Ball Z joined the lineup in late 1998 with FUNimation’s original dub of the first two “seasons” (previously aired in syndication from 1996-1998), followed by their in-house production of a third “season” in 1999, and onward from there to the end of the series and with subsequent series. Dragon Ball Z made its way to other, related programming blocks on the network such as the “Rising Sun” (with the Garlic Jr. arc) and “Midnight Run” (with the “Ultimate Uncut Edition”) blocks.
Toonami was re-launched as a part of the Adult Swim programming schedule for late Saturday nights / early Sunday mornings back in 2012. The channel recently aired FUNimation’s English dub of the fifth Dragon Ball Z movie with its original Japanese musical score, promoting it as Dragon Ball Z “where it belongs”.
Though Columbia Japan recently updated with cover art for the regular and “Limited Edition” versions of the second Dragon Ball Kai opening theme’s upcoming CD single, the overall contents were still unlisted.
New updates finally reveal not only the b-side for the “Kuu-Zen-Zetsu-Go” CD single, but also the extra bonus features on the “Limited Edition” version!
The b-side is entitled “You Too Must Have Flown in Your Dreams Before” (キミも夢で飛んだことがあるだろう Kimi mo yume de tonda koto ga aru darō), and will also be performed by the group “Dragon Soul” (comprised of Takayoshi Tanimoto and Takafumi Iwasaki). Karaoke versions of both songs will also be completed for four total tracks.
Perhaps most exciting is the “Limited Edition” version’s DVD content, which will include all sorts of Dragon Ball Heroes material such as opening animations and theme songs from the arcade game:
- Dragon Ball Heroes Vol. 1 opening animation
- Dragon Ball Heroes “Galaxy Mission” Vol. 1 opening animation
- Dragon Ball Heroes “Evil Dragon Mission” Vol. 1 opening animation
- Dragon Ball Heroes series theme song
- Dragon Ball Heroes “Galaxy Mission” series theme song
- Dragon Ball Heroes “Evil Dragon Mission” series theme song
The regular edition will retail for ¥1,200 plus tax (¥1,296) while the “Limited Edition” version will go for ¥1,800 plus tax (¥1,944). Both versions of the CD single will be released in Japan 18 June 2014 and are available for pre-order at CDJapan.
The most recent DVD release to heavily feature any Dragon Ball Heroes promotional animation was 2011′s “Special Selection DVD” with the Bardock and Trunks TV specials.
In conjunction with the Japanese television broadcast of the “Majin Buu arc” of Dragon Ball Kai in April 2014 — along with its own upcoming home video releases — Toei will be releasing two large box set collections compiling the previous 98 episodes as originally aired between 2009 and 2011. Via Happinet’s listing:
In commemoration of the broadcast of “Dragon Ball Kai – Majin Buu Arc”, we have collected the “Dragon Ball Kai” series, which started airing episode-by-episode in 2009, and will be selling them at an affordable price!
The two collections will follow the previously established story arc split with the first 54 episodes comprising the “Saiyan & Freeza arc” and the remaining 44 episodes comprising the “Artificial Humans & Cell arc”. Each collection will be available in both Blu-ray and DVD formats, although as these are compilation collections, the disc content is noted to be identical to the previous Kai Blu-ray and DVD home video releases, with an identical disc/episode count, differing aspect ratios, and all previously included bonus material.
The “Saiyan & Freeza arc” Blu-ray Box is set to be released 02 December 2014 and will contain 54 episodes on 18 discs. It will carry a ¥38,000 (~$375) retail price point, while its DVD counterpart will come in a little cheaper at ¥32,000 (~$315). The “Artificial Humans & Cell arc” Blu-ray Box will follow a month later on 06 January 2015 and contain the remaining 44 episodes on 15 discs, making it a bit cheaper at ¥28,000 (~$275). Its DVD equivalent will set you back ¥24,000 (~$235). Just how “affordable” these box sets really are to average consumers may be somewhat questionable, but to be fair, in total it is roughly 50% cheaper to purchase these as opposed to picking up all eight of the original box sets or individual discs.
All releases will come packaged with a new exclusive booklet, although possibly with recycled material from previous booklets, and brand new box art. These releases will also feature Shunsuke Kikuchi’s replacement score. Thanks to Jacob for the tip!
The regular edition uses the main piece of key promotional art for the Majin Buu arc of Dragon Ball Kai, while the “Limited Edition” version uses a new artwork collage. Unfortunately, the thumbnail versions are the only ones available so far. We will update this post as the full-sized versions make their way out to other retailer listings.
“Kuu-Zen-Zetsu-Go” is the second opening theme for Dragon Ball Kai and is currently being used for the Majin Buu arc. The song is performed by the group named “Dragon Soul” (comprised of Takayoshi Tanimoto and Takafumi Iwasaki), who also both performed and used their group’s name as the title of the song itself for the first opening theme.
The regular edition will retail for ¥1,200 plus tax (¥1,296) while the “Limited Edition” version (which will also come packed with a DVD) will go for ¥1,800 plus tax (¥1,944). Both versions of the CD single will be released in Japan 18 June 2014 and are available for pre-order at CDJapan.
There is also still no track listing for the disc. The CD single for the first opening theme (“Dragon Soul”) came packed with karaoke versions of the theme song and a bonus image song.
The CD single for the latest Dragon Ball Kai ending theme, “Dear Zarathustra” by the band Good Morning America, was just recently released in three versions.
With the July 2014 issue of V-Jump officially hitting Japanese shelves today, Bandai Namco has opened the official website for the so-called “Dragon Ball New Project” video game, the working title for a new game coming to the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360:
So far, the website simply notes that it is open, the debut information is available in the current issue of V-Jump, a promotional video is coming soon, and the three main screen shots from the magazine are available for viewing:
As soon as any additional information and media are made available, we will be sure to pass it along!
Last month, Toei announced their initial home video release schedule for the Majin Buu arc of Dragon Ball Kai: simultaneous DVD and Blu-ray box sets with ten episodes each. At the time, the first three boxes were announced for 02 September 2014, 02 December 2014, and 03 March 2015 respectively.
As with the three Majin Buu arc sets, the fourth set is listed as widescreen only. In Japan, though the TV broadcast was cropped into widescreen, the first 98 episodes of Dragon Ball Kai (the Saiyan, Freeza, and Cell arcs) were released in its original 4:3 aspect ratio on Blu-ray, while the DVD release was cropped into widescreen. In North America, FUNimation released both the Blu-ray and DVD versions in their original 4:3 aspect ratio.
Toei’s European branch, when announcing localized broadcasts, pegged Dragon Ball Kai‘s Majin Buu arc at 69 episodes (down from 92 in the original version of Dragon Ball Z).
Announced as part of the 32nd International Comic Fair in Barcelona this last weekend, Planeta DeAgostini will be bringing the “Full Color” edition of the Dragon Ball manga to Spain in Castilian and Catalan. Additionally, the “Film Anime Comic” for Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods will also see a release.
A teaser video of upcoming releases showcases both Dragon Ball announcements:
Thanks to MrKaytos for the heads-up.
GungHo Online Entertainment confirmed on its official website that their popular mobile game Puzzle & Dragons will see a collaboration with Dragon Ball Kai in the near future.
First of all, the ban’s been lifted on information about the Dragon Ball collaboration! I wanted to say it for so long, so I’m happy. o(^▽^)o We’ll announce more information at the Puzzle & Dragons fan-thank-you festival on May 25th!
Previous collaborations with other franchises — such as Hunter x Hunter and Evangelion — have included special dungeons featuring the characters from their respective series.
While most Dragon Ball gaming experiences have been for the franchise by itself, Dragon Ball Heroes lent its “Galaxy Mission Series Theme Song” to the Taiko Drum Master arcade game in 2012.
This week’s upcoming July 2014 issue of V-Jump in Japan — officially hitting store shelves 21 May 2014 — will announce a new Dragon Ball game for the PlayStation 4. The game, for now simply going under the working title of “Dragon Ball New Project”, will also come to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
The Xbox One is not yet available in Japan. It is set for an official release in September 2014.
While little is known about the game yet besides the visuals shown on the page, the magazine does draw attention to a mysterious figure watching the first battle between Goku and Vegeta from the shadows. With red hair, a scouter, and the Capsule Corporation logo on his sleeve, his identity is not made clear. The magazine poses the question to the reader as to who he is and what this means. Two cities of unclear nature are also showcased, with one in a Namek-like environment sporting a temple with a tree in the middle of what looks like a birdcage, and the other a “high-tech city” with which apparently has some sort of connection to “that machine”. Further details are, as always, expected in subsequent issues of the magazine.
No release date is listed as part of the game’s reveal. Over the past decade or so, most new Dragon Ball games are announced either in April or May with a release date in October or November later that same year. With Battle of Z just releasing earlier this same calendar year, it is certainly possible for this trend to shake up a bit.
There have not been any truly “split-generation” Dragon Ball games like this before. When Burst Limit brought the series into high-definition on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2008, Infinite World was still on the horizon to wrap things up on the PlayStation 2.
Let the cycle begin anew.
Bandai Namco Holdings has posted a ¥25 billion (approximately $247 million) profit for the fiscal 2014 year.
Dragon Ball has rebounded enough to warrant another inclusion on the top-performing list of franchises for the fiscal year, jumping up to ¥11.4 billion in net sales over last fiscal year’s ¥8.9 billion. The last five or so years seem to be following a rather steady cycle.
|Net Sales||¥17.8 bil.||¥15.8 bil.||¥12.5 bil.||¥8.3 bil.||¥11.8 bil.||¥8.9 bil.||¥11.4 bil.|
The company is forecasting total net sales of ¥12.3 billion for the Dragon Ball franchise in fiscal 2015.
As for individual video games, the company shipped 620,000 copies of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z worldwide, behind 700,000 copies of God Eater 2 and 1.2 million copies of Dark Souls II.
In terms of general toys and hobby merchandise (non-video games), the franchise jumped from ¥4.8 billion last fiscal year to ¥6.4 billion this year. Namco-Bandai is forecasting a slight drop to ¥5.5 billion for next year.
The easy analysis — without necessarily confusing correlation with causation — was watching merchandise sales for the franchise start to tank when Dragon Ball Kai was on TV in Japan, and watching sales immediately climb back up when the show went on hiatus. It will be interesting to see if a similar trend happens now that the “refreshed” show is back on TV for the Majin Buu arc, or if the continued success of Dragon Ball Heroes and such keep it steady.
Thanks to Super Saiyan Prime for the reminder!