Spanish Fandom Revolt over “Dragon Ball Kai”
Published by 05 September 2010, 9:46 AM EDT

Voice actor and director Irwin Daayan (who previously played Dende in the Mexican dub of Dragon Ball Z) recently started up a Twitter account to announce an exciting new project: their new dub for Dragon Ball Kai (English translations of the originally-Spanish tweets courtesy of Roddy):

Hello everyone. I hope that you have been well. My name is Irwin Daayan. I am an announcer, actor and director, involved with Spanish dubbing. The reason that I have decided to open this account is because I want to inform you all that I have been handed a project that I think is important for anime fans. (link)

It is Dragonball Kai. I will be directing the dubbing of this project and in some form, I want you all involved in this. I would like to read your comments, and I hope that I can support (the accuracy) with certain terms, names of characters and names of attacks that were in the saga of Dragonball. (link)

Things went on from there with Daayan confirming different types of name spellings with fans (such as “Shenron” versus “Shenlong”). A couple tweets in particular sent fans over the edge, and Daayan on the defensive:

Today I begin casting for the characters of Goku, Vegeta and Kuririn (link)

I understand your point of view friends, and believe me when I say that I would have loved the to have the same actors more than anyone. (link)

Unfortunately, I could not arrive at an arrangement with the actors, client and company. Believe me, I am very sorry. (link)

From the sounds of it, at least a good portion of the main voice pool was being re-cast from the original dub from many years back. Daayan’s reasoning was pretty simple on the surface, and something we have been seeing pop up even with the original Japanese version of Kai, in that many of these voice actors have become much more popular over the years and therefore more expensive to hire.

At some point, FUNimation’s name came up in the discussion between Daayan and his fans, saying “The DVDs come with FUNimation’s name”. It sounded like video masters for the series may have been coming from FUNimation (instead of directly from Toei), but it was not clear.

That was enough for fans, though. FUNimation’s Facebook page was overtaken by irate Spanish fans for several days, all wishing for the original cast (led by Mario Castañeda as Goku) to be reinstated:

Things seem to have calmed down, and possibly because the Spanish fanbase has learned what Marc noted on this week’s podcast episode: other than possibly providing the video masters to Mexico, FUNimation indeed has nothing to do with the production of the Spanish dub.

It was a fascinating spectacle for a few days, and an equally fascinating way to have the Spanish dub of Kai confirmed.

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