School Library Journal has an interview with Traci Todd, editor of the Viz Kids line. There is a good amount of discussion regarding the marketplace and using Dragon Ball and Naruto as springboards to create an entirely new market using existing franchises and “reversioning” them down to a lower target age group.
GC4K: Are you afraid that if you do have to do write-arounds for some of the titles, you might get the kind of backlash other companies have faced when they’ve done those kinds of edits?
TT: I think there is more tolerance for that kind of thing with kids titles, because the expectation is that these books have to be squeaky clean. Therefore, there’s more understanding. But I will say that we try not to choose things that we have to write around.
While this is all cute and interesting for now, we are only four volumes into this “Chapter Book” format for the Dragon Ball series and have no idea how far Viz plans to take it. With such a checkered release history for the series in both anime and manga form, we are particularly hesitant to support this release style at all. It has been a constant struggle to get the series appreciated for what it is, rather than dumbing it down even further (because, after all, it already is a franchise for children) — we have seen the censored version of the franchise affect the so-called “uncut” version far too many times.