Japanese “Dragon Ball Kai” DVD Music Replacement Info
Published by 05 May 2011, 4:39 PM EDT

When two of the individual DVD releases of Dragon Ball Kai were delayed in Japan last month, without ever being stated that it was due to the music fiasco (a result of “multiple suspicious musical pieces which may infringe on the rights of third parties” as announced by Toei a month prior to that), it was obvious to everyone nonetheless.

Volumes 7 and 8 of the “Artificial Humans & Cell arc” of Dragon Ball Kai (overall volumes 25 and 26 of the series) were delayed one month from 02 April 2011 to just this week on 03 May 2011, while the subsequent two volumes (also set for that same date in May) kept their release date, resulting in all four volumes being released this week.

It was confirmed for us that Shunsuke Kikuchi is indeed listed on the packaging for these four discs as the composer for the series, and the replacement score (itself music from the original version of Dragon Ball Z) is present on these four DVD volumes.

This leaves the home release of the series in quite an interesting situation.

This past February, the second Blu-ray set of the “Artificial Humans & Cell arc” was released in Japan, comprising episodes 66-76 of Dragon Ball Kai, with its original broadcast score composed by Kenji Yamamoto.

This week’s individual DVD releases cover some of these episodes and beyond, with the four discs going from episode 73 to 84 of Dragon Ball Kai.

This means that Dragon Ball Kai episodes 77 through 95 will likely only ever be released in Japan with the replacement score of Shunsuke Kikuchi’s original BGM, and never as they were originally seen on Fuji TV during their initial broadcast. It should be noted that episodes 96 and 97 originally aired after the debacle went down with the replacement score, so while those two perhaps had music selections from the Yamamoto score done and ready to go, they never aired that way.

This all strangely leaves a four-episode span of 73 to 76 that are available on Blu-ray with their original (Kenji Yamamoto) broadcast score, and on DVD with their replacement (Shunsuke Kikuchi) score.

When the third Blu-ray set of the “Artificial Humans & Cell arc” is released in Japan next month (after having been delayed itself), it will likely also contain the replacement score for episodes 88 through 90.

Most international releases are being hit by this musical shift, as well. From what fans continue to post around our community and elsewhere, depending on which edit of the English dub you are watching on television (Nicktoons versus TheCW4Kids) and how many times it has been repeated, you could end up with either musical score — it is likely that FUNimation’s “Part Five” home release was delayed due to the music, as well. As it stands right now, the four existing releases (covering episodes 1 through 52) all contain the original Kenji Yamamoto broadcast score.

Some other foreign airings already in-progress have yet to make the musical shift, while others (such as the French subtitled version that began this week) have gone with the Kikuchi score directly from the first episode.

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