Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

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Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by MagicBox » Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:31 am

Now that it's finally over, any and all thoughts about Dragon Ball Kai are hindsight. It's officially a thing of the past. I've been sitting here pondering its legacy, and I think we can all agree that nobody's 100% happy with what we got. Whether you like it or not, Kai had its fair share of problems. So I'd like to (try to) end this six-year journey on a high note and celebrate the positive things.

What are some things that "justify" Dragon Ball Kai's existence?

Before you post, keep this in mind. I don't want this to be a "What are things you enjoy in Kai?" thread. I want to go deeper than that. What's something good that can only be attributed to Kai? What did Kai give us that actually had a positive effect on the way we enjoy this franchise? What's something that Kai gave us that we can actually cherish and take with us as we go into the future of Dragon Ball? What's something good that we probably wouldn't have *without* Kai? You can list the dub if you want, but I'll be sticking with the original Japanese version.

1.) Takayoshi Tanimoto

I don't think I'll ever be able to disassociate Takayoshi Tanimoto from his Digimon work, but I'm very grateful for what he gave us with Kai. "Kuu-Zen-Zetsu-Go" has become one of my all-time favorite Dragon Ball songs, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. "Dragon Soul," "Yeah! Break! Care! Break!," and the numerous image / insert songs he performed for the Kai albums are all very enjoyable as well. I love his enthusiasm, and I think he does a great job of giving these songs the energy they need. He was a great "voice" for Kai and a praiseworthy successor to Takahashi and Kageyama. My only complaint is that I wish the composers/lyricists had given him a wider range of songs. He does a great job with "Shōnen excitement," but I would have liked to hear at least one ballad like Kageyama had been given.

2.) Dragon Ball Z In Stereo

With only DBZ movie 13, the 10th anniversary film, the JUMP specials, and the two recent movies, Dragon Ball is pretty new to surround sound. As poorly edited as they were, it was still a joy to hear these episodes mixed in crystal clear stereo. Especially episodes 01-98 with the Kikuchi score. The music placement wasn't always great, but sometimes they would use the exact same cues as the corresponding scenes in DBZ. Whenever that happened, I was watching the iconic Dragon Ball Z I know and love, with the actors I know and love, with the composer I know and love. All without muffled mono. It was a pleasure.

3.) Other Characters Narrating The "Next Episode" Previews

"Yo! Yamcha da!"

"Konnichi wa. Trunks desu."

Oh man, this was cool. Don't get me wrong; I love the whole "Ossu! Ora Goku!" thing that Nozawa is famous for. But hearing Yamcha, Trunks, Piccolo, etc. in the spotlight (with their own introductions!) was a welcome and charming change. We've never had anyone other than Goku or Gohan introduce a preview before, and wondering which character was going to pop up next was a real treat. I especially enjoy the preview for episode 96, where the whole cast gets together to scream that final "Kamehame-Ha!" I really hope we get more of this in Super.

4.) Constantly-Changing Eyecatches

This one explains itself. I don't know if I'd enjoy this all the time, but after getting three Dragon Ball TV shows with only a couple different eyecatches every hundred episodes or so, this was a cute novelty. It was a nice way of giving spotlight to characters who normally wouldn't appear in things like this.

I'll try to think of more, but I'd really like to hear what everyone else thinks!
Last edited by MagicBox on Sun Jun 28, 2015 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by TheAldella » Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:41 am

I find the dis-reputation that Kai has received to be "hive-minded." I adore Kai; from it's remaster, very acceptable cropping, and bumped colors, to its theatrical Kenji Yamamoto score, revitalized sound effects, high quality audio, and brand-new accurate english dub.

I thought it was an incredible experience and it makes the series feel, as self-claimed as possible: Fresh.
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Re: Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by coola » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:26 am

Making Toei realise, that fans want true remake/continuation, not cheap half product, after Kai, we had BoG, F, now Super, and Sailor Moon Crystal, Saint Seiya Soul of Gold...
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Re: Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by Chuquita » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:30 am

We got a new Funi dub voice for Freeza out of it. Even though I tend to watch the show with subs, just finally getting a new, and really good imo, dub Freeza in Chris Ayers is awesome.
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Re: Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by Rocketman » Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:06 pm

Dragonball Z was such a godawful product I can't see how people can honestly claim Kai was inferior.

Even with the badly redrawn bits, music replacement, aged voice actors and whatever else, Kai has far, far less of this, and therefore still comes out ahead.

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Re: Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by Ajay » Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:50 pm

Dragonball Z was such a godawful product I can't see how people can honestly claim Kai was inferior.
I guess it's important to remember that pacing is not the be-all and end-all of the show. Many people, myself included, find the recasts, the arguably poorer performances, and inconsistency in tone with Dragon Ball to be far more important than tedious filler or extended fights.

You can very easily flip it around and ask, "How on earth can someone honestly claim Z in inferior when Kai destroys moments like this, this, and this?!"

People find value in different things with Dragon Ball. Some find the pacing makes up for its issues, others don't.
TheAldella wrote:I find the dis-reputation that Kai has received to be "hive-minded."
How so? It's easy to dismiss a mass opinion as part of the hivemind when you disagree with it, but I don't think that's very fair. Especially when so many people have taken the time to justify their reasons for preferring one over the other. Kai was met with a mixture of praise and indifference prior to the Boo arc, so if it''s reputation was ever marred, I think it was its own fault for dropping so painfully far in quality, rather than the influence of any hivemind. I'd like to think we're mostly free thinkers on this site.

But back to the topic: I think Kai is an absolute blessing for the English-speaking fandom. It allowed FUNimation to give the series a respectable dub. It may still be tarnished by holdovers from their previous efforts, but it allowed dub fans to experience Dragon Ball properly for the first time (Thank you, oh beautiful, beautiful Chris Ayres). Thankfully the precedent set has made its way into Battle of Gods, and presumably, Revival of 'F'. It's a wonderful feeling to know that the divide in the fandom (the reasonable side, at least) grew a little smaller following its release.

Despite how much I am vehemently against the Boo arc of Kai, I have a real soft spot for its first attempt. Yamamoto's score, plagiarised as it was, is still something I thoroughly enjoy. I think "modern" is an adequate description, as it definitely brings the tone far closer to a contemporary production.

Likewise, the pacing is definitely a plus for newcomers. Though I value the lost aspects of Z far too much, I can appreciate that newcomers (and some fans) find the episode count too intimidating to tackle, or too time consuming to complete. There have been many posts that have thanked Kai's existence for getting them into the series. I definitely can't knock it for that!

Coola makes a great point. I really do think Kai's meager ratings played a big part in pushing them to test the waters with fresh content. Battle of Gods' success undoubtedly sparked this renaissance, and I think the solid theatrical numbers of Revival of 'F' solidified Super's existence.

Lastly, on a personal note, as a huge fan of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, the casting of Unsho Ishizuka as Mr Satan has made rewatches far more entertaining. Oh my god!
Last edited by Ajay on Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by MagicBox » Sun Jun 28, 2015 1:44 pm

I never meant for the thread to be a "Z VS Kai" discussion, so I edited my first post a little bit. I originally spent a little too much time blasting Kai for being "inferior." That's gone now.

While I really don't focus much on the dub anymore, I have to admit that we wouldn't have Chris Ayers without Kai, and I'm incredibly grateful for that. I don't know if I'd say that every aspect of the Kai dub was an improvement (Take episode 21 of Z for instance, which has a much more faithful dub script than episode 08 of Kai). But on the whole, it's an improvement.
Last edited by MagicBox on Sun Jun 28, 2015 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by Big Momma » Sun Jun 28, 2015 1:51 pm

AjayLikesGaming wrote: You can very easily flip it around and ask, "How on earth can someone honestly claim Z in inferior when Kai destroys moments like this, this, and this?!"

People find value in different things with Dragon Ball. Some find the pacing makes up for its issues, others don't.
You've officially made me dislike that piece, thanks :lol:
But back to the topic: I think Kai is an absolute blessing for the English-speaking fandom. It allowed to FUNimation to give the series a respectable dub. It may still be tarnished by holdovers from their previous efforts, but it allowed dub fans to experience Dragon Ball properly for the first time (Thank you, oh beautiful, beautiful Chris Ayres). Thankfully the precedent set has made its way into Battle of Gods, and presumably, Revival of 'F'. It's a wonderful feeling to know that the divide in the fandom (the reasonable side, at least) grew a little smaller following its release.

Despite how much I am vehemently against the Boo arc of Kai, I have a real soft spot for its first attempt. Yamamoto's score, plagiarised as it was, is still something I thoroughly enjoy. I think "modern" is an adequate description, as it definitely brings the tone far closer to a contemporary production.

Likewise, the pacing is definitely a plus for newcomers. Though I value the lost aspects of Z far too much, I can appreciate that newcomers (and some fans) find the episode count too intimidating to tackle, or too time consuming to complete. There have been many posts that have thanked Kai's existence for getting them into the series. I definitely can't knock it for that!
I agree with all of this. A new, faithful, dub is really the only reason I even follow Kai.
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Re: Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by LuckyCat » Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:18 pm

I agree with the OP's justifications but I wanted to add an important one.

Directing

Kai was able to retime episodes so that manga chapters and pages actually fit inside a single episode. One of the best examples (and Z's worst offenders) of this comes from episode 60 where Goku gets his viral heart disease. (Kai version)

Now compare that to the original part 1, part 2. (You need to watch both Z episodes to see the scene.)

This scene is taken from a few pages from one chapter, yet somehow it spans two episodes in Z. Furthermore, Z reminds us of Goku's disease in the previous episode only to have Piccolo flashback to having the exact same revelation in the following episode. This is plain sloppy. The Z directors have forgotten that the audience heard Trunks' warning only a few episodes ago, but even if they hadn't Gohan's words alone should be enough. Yet Z decides to tell us about the heart diease three times with the same material! This isn't even counting the episode recap.

Personally I love Z, but Kai deserves credit for having better directors for scenes like this. It might have been that Z was constrained by the manga's slow pace, but the result often led to a lull in action which was thankfully removed in Kai.
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Re: Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:30 pm

MagicBox wrote:1.) Takayoshi Tanimoto

I don't think I'll ever be able to disassociate Takayoshi Tanimoto from his Digimon work, but I'm very grateful for what he gave us with Kai. "Kuu-Zen-Zetsu-Go" has become one of my all-time favorite Dragon Ball songs, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. "Dragon Soul," "Yeah! Break! Care! Break!," and the numerous image / insert songs he performed for the Kai albums are all very enjoyable as well. I love his enthusiasm, and I think he does a great job of giving these songs the energy they need. He was a great "voice" for Kai and a praiseworthy successor to Takahashi and Kageyama. My only complaint is that I wish the composers/lyricists had given him a wider range of songs. He does a great job with "Shōnen excitement," but I would have liked to hear at least one ballad like Kageyama had been given.
I agree with most of what MagicBox wrote, but this is something that I'll have to respectfully disagree with. I didn't really feel much enthusiasm from Tanimoto...quite the opposite, it sounded to me like he was kind of phoning it in. I think Masatoshi Ono (who sang "Fight It Out!" and "Let It Burn!") has been the closest to a Kageyama heir that we've had thus far. That guy's singing, to me, was enthusiasm in spades. Doesn't sound like either of them will be involved with Super, though.
AjayLikesGaming wrote:But back to the topic: I think Kai is an absolute blessing for the English-speaking fandom. It allowed to FUNimation to give the series a respectable dub. It may still be tarnished by holdovers from their previous efforts, but it allowed dub fans to experience Dragon Ball properly for the first time (Thank you, oh beautiful, beautiful Chris Ayres). Thankfully the precedent set has made its way into Battle of Gods, and presumably, Revival of 'F'. It's a wonderful feeling to know that the divide in the fandom (the reasonable side, at least) grew a little smaller following its release.
THIS. Oh, this. So much this.

I apologize for people who've read my sentiments before and may think I'm repeating myself, but for me, the dub is what made Kai worth it, so much so that I've come to mentally think of Kai as an English-speaking show even though that's not technically true. When I hear the word Kai, in my head what I hear is, "The English version that's actually, consistently good."
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Re: Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by coola » Sun Jun 28, 2015 5:33 pm

I can agree with that, while Japanese version is meh in my opinion, i love English dub.
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Re: Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by funrush » Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:11 pm

We got a great dub out of it, and eyecatches. The pacing is still kinda slow at times but now at least I can recommend it to friends. Its laziness nearly killed the franchise, but miraculously BoG happened, so that's cool.

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Re: Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by Lord Beerus » Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:17 pm

As AjayLikesGaming noted, the dub of Kai provided all the people may have previously watched Dragon Ball in the past with a much more full experience, as opposed to the watered down script and acting that people go when they watched the original DBZ anime. The dub really is what made Kai worthwhile and provided such a fresh context for how people can judge the dub for Dragon Ball.

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Re: Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by Metalwario64 » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:36 pm

Hell, wasn't the French dub supposed to be a huge improvement as well?

At the very least, it provided other countries a chance to redub the series on an effective budget. Of course, some countries blew that chance.
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Re: Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by sintzu » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:43 pm

Cutting out nearly 50% of the filler and giving us an accurate English dub.
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Re: Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:55 pm

Metalwario64 wrote:Hell, wasn't the French dub supposed to be a huge improvement as well?

At the very least, it provided other countries a chance to redub the series on an effective budget. Of course, some countries blew that chance.
That's also true, the U.S. was not alone. Several countries that had not-that-great, or...even....well, bad...dubs of DBZ got a chance to redeem themselves, and the French dub is yet another example of that. Uncut, better scripts, better acting from the returning actors and great-sounding recasts...there were a lot of parallels to our dub of Kai, actually.

...As well as, unfortunately, some dubs that were worse. Although to be fair, it sounds like the dubs that were worse this time around were suffering from budget problems, not unlike how Kai had budget problems even back in Japan. For example, the Latino Spanish dub recast a lot of actors because the producers couldn't afford the original actors, but the original actors were brought back for Battle of Gods and Resurrection F. With that in mind, it'll be interesting to see which cast they bring back for the Buu arc of Kai, and which cast they bring back for the inevitable Latino Spanish dub of Super.
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Re: Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by Doctor. » Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:32 pm

Frankly, I get the complaints that Kai ruined Z from the japanese side of things, and that's kind of true when it comes to voice acting. Many iconic moments were almost "ruined" by the new score (which wasn't at all bad, just not as good) and delivery from the voice actors (especially Nozawa, whose "granny voice" is now way too noticeable fr me. Luckily, she's fine in the new movies). But, I also feel like many moments got significantly better with Kai. Here's an example I always point people to.

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Re: Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by dbzfan7 » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:30 pm

For me it's the dub and cutting of filler. I have no idea how anyone can sit down and watch all 291 episodes. The pacing is horrendous. It's practically a deal breaker by itself. I'm better off reading the manga. The english dub is also miles better than what came before. The Yamamoto soundtrack is something I really really enjoy, but unfortunately it is something I can't condone. I love it a lot, especially the newer tracks it was bringing in, but the plagiarism killed it. It's too bad Sumimoto couldn't do a good soundtrack himself. I honestly think most of his work is completely forgettable.
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Re: Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by ShaneisMC » Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:52 am

sintzu wrote:Cutting out nearly 50% of the filler and giving us an accurate English dub.
This ends the discussion pretty much. If you are a Japanese only fan, well then it makes sense why you may be upset. But honestly I get fairly irritated with so many people running around screaming about how awful Kai is. While yeah there are certainly some issues otherwise regardless of what language you watch the series in, if you are an international type of viewer ESPECIALLY a Funimation fan then Kai is without question a much better version of the series. My personal preference for viewing the series for language while also taking into account overall quality of the respective audio and visual qualities would go Funi Kai>Original Japanese>Japanese Kai>>>>>>Original English. Honestly i love/like the first 3 just fine. Its only the original english that is unbearable to me.

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Re: Things That "Justify" Dragon Ball Kai

Post by Fulicer » Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:00 am

In regards to point #2 of the original OP: The original Dragon Ball Z sounded muffled in mono because of the masters they used for the DVDs. There are clips of the original broadcasts that sound very good. Also the Dragon Box the movies sound great too. Being in stereo has nothing to do with audio fidelity.

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