“Dragon Ball Kai” Comes to a Close in Japan
Published by 27 March 2011, 3:29 PM EDT

This morning in Japan, Fuji TV broadcast the 97th episode of Dragon Ball Kai. While the “Artificial Humans & Cell arc” had been previously announced by Happinet as ending with episode 98 of the series (which even had an episode title set to go), the TV broadcast was shortened by one week due to delays associated with coverage of the recent earthquake and tsunami. Fuji TV has since updated their schedule to list episode 97 as the new “final episode” (最終回) of the series.

Toriko is still set to debut next week in the 9:00 am time slot previously held by Dragon Ball Kai (and was previewed at the end of this week’s Dragon Ball Kai episode), leaving the 98th episode lost to the ether. There is no word on whether the episode will eventually be broadcast in repeats or possibly included on the home Blu-ray/DVD release. The way in which the episode was re-classified as the final episode and how it used the series’ opening theme (“Dragon Soul”) as an insert song to wrap things up certainly point toward episode 98 being tossed aside for good.

Episode 98 would have likely covered Dragon Ball Z episode 194, where Trunks returns to his future timeline to defeat its own respective #17, #18, and Cell. While this material is indeed canonical to the original manga, episode 97 wrapped things up in a way that it is not necessarily essential to toss into the mix.

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