Multiple Versions of “Dragon Ball Kai” Majin Boo arc in Production
Published by 17 June 2014, 10:52 AM EDT

The recent Korean television broadcast of the Majin Boo arc for Dragon Ball Kai finally gives solid confirmation on something we at Kanzenshuu have also been able to independently confirm for elsewhere in the world: there are multiple versions of the arc being produced within Japan.

The surprising reveal of the Boo arc’s existence in Kai-form came via voice actress Mayumi Tanaka all the way back in November 2012. The blog post detailed that the final arc of the “refreshed” version of Dragon Ball Z would not be aired in Japan, “…but overseas, Dragon Ball Kai is continuing.”

Things were left at that with the occasional extra tease from other Japanese voice actors as well as confirmations from North American voice actors that would then go on to either be deleted, retracted, silenced, or some combination of all of the above.

It was clear that the Majin Boo arc of Dragon Ball Kai was coming, but the extent of its perhaps turbulent production is only just coming to light.

The “refreshed” series did ultimately make its way back to Japanese television, unlike what Tanaka’s original statement implied. With a new musical composer and a cropped video presentation, the series has been plugging away on Fuji TV for about three months now.

While the on-going analysis from fandom is obviously all just subjective observations, there is a consensus that something is clearly “off” about what has been airing on Fuji TV. From the green tint to the rather haphazard editing, it cannot just be the removal of Q-TEC from the video remastering process that is affecting things.

Additionally, there have been massive contradictions in episode titles: promotions in issues of Weekly Shōnen Jump and V-Jump list one set of titles, and by the time the episodes make their way to television, the final broadcast either has adjusted titles or entirely new titles for certain episodes.

For example, in late May an issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump printed upcoming episode titles, but the broadcast title for episode 108 was never mentioned; this episode title was also overlooked in the respective issue of Saikyō Jump. Until the next episode preview was shown earlier this month, that specific title had never appeared anywhere, and the episode before that (107) had its title halfway rewritten for the broadcast (removing the first sentence, swapping the second sentence up to the first, and writing a new second sentence).

Original Printed Episode 107 Title:
“A Slithering Conspiracy!! Secrets of the Terrible Majin”

Actual Broadcast Episode 107 Title:
恐ろしき魔人の秘密 黒幕出現!!
“Secrets of the Terrible Majin — The Man Behind the Curtain Appears!!”

If the Majin Boo arc of Dragon Ball Kai has been in production since at least late 2012, it is baffling to think that episodes are being re-titled this late into the game, especially with episode titles already simply being adaptations of prior Z-proper titles. It is clear that that Toei has been adjusting things just prior to broadcast, and has not bothered to keep Shueisha in the loop.

We knew that international dubs would be coming (under the subtitle of “The Final Chapters”), but it is finally now with the Korean broadcast of Dragon Ball Kai that everything starts to add up. There is simply more footage in this “international” version, with — for example — three (extended) episodes in the Korean version of the Great Saiyaman arc covering what was reduced down to only two episodes in the Japanese television broadcast.


Toei’s English-language announcement of 69 episodes seemed to be at odds with the pace set by the Japanese broadcast, and while that could always be adjusted down the line, it was setting the stage for episodes eventually being straight-up adaptations of Z-proper episodes on a 1:1 ratio, essentially defeating the entire purpose of making Dragon Ball Kai. If there are two “versions” in production, this at least starts to make a little more sense.

The question is: which is the “original” version of the Majin Boo arc of Dragon Ball Kai…? All signs point to the “international” version (“The Final Chapters”) with its perhaps extended episode count being the “first” version, and then Toei’s and Fuji TV’s current broadcast version in Japan being the “adaptation”.

Of course, once you ask that question, more come to mind. Which version of the show will pop up on Japan’s own home release? How long will the Japanese broadcast truly go for? Why is it being edited down in the first place? At whose discretion or request was this edit-of-an-edit made? How do international broadcasts, and specifically the announcement of Dragon Ball Kai coming to Toonami in North America, tie in to its production?

We do not have the answers to all of these questions yet, but rest assured that we will continue to document the Dragon Ball Kai production process every step of the way as we always have! Thanks as always to our various community members for going above and beyond with their own analysis and research which contributed to our being able to tell the full story.

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