Tokyo International Anime Fair – “Dragon Ball Kai” Preview
Published by 24 March 2009, 4:51 PM EDT

On March 20th, Fuji TV and Toei Animation held a preview of Dragon Ball Kai as part of the Tokyo International Anime Fair. Saeki Kenji of “Game Watch” was in attendance and has posted up a nice run-down of the event.

Some of our favorite actors were in attendance, including Mayumi Tanaka (Kuririn), Masako Nozawa (Son Goku), and Toshio Furukawa (Piccolo), shown from left to right in the back row:

Also in attendance was Tanimoto Takayoshi, the vocalist for Dragon Ball Kai‘s new opening and ending themes. Fans, dressed up as Piccolo and Goku, even got the opportunity to get up on stage, saying “they got goosebumps hearing the seiyuu’s voices in person”. Although Akira Toriyama was not there in person, he did make an official statement in his typical non-committal way.

I wonder how the Dragon Ball anime will be improved in 2009? I’m looking forward to it!
– Toriyama Akira

The actors eventually talked about their record sessions for Dragon Ball Kai:

  • “This was a performance that swallowed up my life; I remember being stressed when we first started recording.” – Mayumi Tanaka
  • “I’m now a fan of this series myself.” – Toshio Furukawa
  • Though it had been 13 years since they last recorded, “It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long.” – Masako Nozawa
  • “The tempo is very fast, so Goku is already dead by episode 2.” – Mayumi Tanaka

Tanaka’s last statement seems a little strange, considering that the Dragon Ball Kai episode titles revealed in V-Jump suggest that Goku does not die until episode 3 or 4. We are assuming this is simply a mistake on Tanaka’s part, but we will give her pass on this one, since she is now probably very busy recording both Kuririn and Luffy (One Piece). If it turns out she is right, it will make things quite interesting, as the series will be progressing at a much faster rate than anyone had anticipated.

As a special bonus, Toei gave a presentation on the remastering process used for the new series, including a comparison between their own DVD releases (on the left) and their HD remastering of Dragon Ball Kai (on the right). We are not exactly sure what all they talked about, or for that matter how much detail they went into, but I would have loved to been there to ask some questions… or at least have been a fly on the wall.

Here is that same shot of Goku just before he transforms into a Super Saiyan, as taken from episode 95 of the “Dragon Box Z Vol. 1”. The screen shot itself has just been re-sized, with no color correction:

You will notice that HD frame has been extended to the right, so it now shows Goku’s shirt. I am assuming the shot has been re-framed, but it is hard to tell exactly how much has been cut from the top. If anything, it confirms they will at least being going up to Goku’s Super Saiyan transformation… though we pretty much already knew that.

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