Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

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Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by Emiliow » Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:21 pm

Hello all

I want to buy the Dragon Ball Kai blu rays for my collection, though I don't seem to care much for the concept of Kai, I just don't feel my collection would be complete without it. I'd like to have watched everything in my collection but my usual Dragon Ball viewing is with the japanese version and I would likely return to the japanese Z many times still, therefore I thought to myself that watching the dub of Kai might be more interesting for a new experience instead of "just" a condensed version of Z that I am so familiar with. I have no feelings or nostalgia towards the english dub, I usually watch all anime in japanese and my previous experience with Dragon Ball is with the danish translated manga and the japanese anime with subtitles.

I just thought it would be refreshing to watch Dragon Ball Kai in a new way to me but do you guys think it would be a fun experience? The dub of Kai is highly regarded here and though I love the japanese original I think it would be exciting to see it in a new way, but will the dub be any fun to someone with no nostalgia to older dubs and not even a native speaker?

Do you guys think that the english dub of Kai would be any good to an indifferent fan like me or am I better off watching it in japanese? :P

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Re: Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by 8000 Saiyan » Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:38 pm

Yes, it is. The dub has great voice acting, great scriptwriting and great translations.
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Re: Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by OmegaRockman » Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:32 pm

I think it depends on the type of viewer you are. I know you usually watch your anime subbed, but do you seek out dubs for other shows on occasion if they're well regarded? Do you usually like/don't mind watching dubs if you're at a friend's house and they'd prefer to watch something dubbed? If so, I think you may enjoy the Kai dub. There are some holdovers in voices and adaptation choices from the old Funimation dub that may annoy you, though. Kaio is probably the main voice that may irk you while adaptation choices such as Tri-Beam, Special Beam Cannon, and Destructo Disk all pop up at one point or another in even the uncut Kai dub, though they did tend to use the Japanese terms during the Saiyan-Freeza arcs. However, the script is much better in Kai, on the whole better reflecting the Japanese version than the Z dub ever did, and the voice work is equally improved. Now I don't think the Funimation cast has topped the Japanese cast, but I never expected or wanted them to. All I wanted was for the Funimation cast to put out a great dub, and that's exactly what they did. The Kai dub is a really fun way to watch the series, and the only way I'd recommend watching Z if you're a newcomer who prefers dubs. That said, you aren't really missing anything if you aren't really a dubs guy. If all dubs sound kinda meh to you and Z's pacing doesn't really bother you, I'd say you're fine by skipping Kai. However, I would recommend Kai for loaning to friends who want to give the series a shot, regardless of whether they watch subbed or dubbed anime. The Japanese version of Z is definitely superior in presentation, but the pacing can be a bit of a drag for new fans. With that in mind, Kai is a great alternative even if they watch it in Japanese, so having it on-hand for introducing the series to new people wouldn't be a bad idea.

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Re: Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by Baggie_Saiyan » Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:44 pm

I'd say yes the dub has it's own charm it's its own experience while having the spirit of the Japanese. Plus the dub cast are in their prime and the acting is great.
The thing to note though is the dub is not the Japanese it is an adaptation of the Japanese.

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Re: Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by Asura » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:14 pm

The english dub of Kai is amazing. I'm finally getting around to watching The Final Chapters and it's just so much damn better than the original. I actually put the two side by side just to see the difference and it's so astronomical that I don't understand how anyone can think the original DBZ english version sounds better (although I do at least understand the complaints about the soundtrack and music placement but I also feel the new music gives an interesting new take on the series. Somehow it all feels more mature to me.)

Kai is quite faithful to the Japanese version and while it's not a perfect translation (because there's almost no such thing) it still conveys every fact correctly, nothing is inaccurate.

So yes, I highly recommend it. The voice actors do an absolutely amazing job and are easily better than the Jap Kai dub VAs given that there was almost no reason for Kai to even exist in Japan, and many of the VAs are older now and don't show as much effort as compared to the original series. They're a lot better in Super though.

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Re: Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by Duo » Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:09 pm

I could spend the rest of my life exclusively with the Japanese version and be perfectly content, but the English dub of Kai is worth spending time with. Chris Ayers in particular delivers the greatest dub performance in Dragon Ball history.
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Re: Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by sintzu » Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:57 am

Like everyone has said, it's a really good dub and worth watching at least once. If you're viewing is mostly in Japanese you may not prefer it but You'll most likely enjoy and see how far the cast has come over the years.
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Re: Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by Lord Beerus » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:07 pm

Absolutely. If you want a great English dub performance, with a very competent script, and the original Japanese score intact, then Kai is most definitely for you.

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Re: Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by KBABZ » Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:44 pm

As a fan of the original Dragon Ball in the FUNi incarnation, Kai is excellent. It features a stellar cast that, Oolong aside, meshes extremely well with the 2002 DB Dub cast (mostly because almost all of them are the same!). I take slight issue with calling it "condensed". because that kinda has the implication that the manga's story is condensed, which it isn't. It's more removing the stretch and cutting away all the fat and flab so that it doesn't take so many freaking episodes for the story to play out (although places like the Frieza fight still feel a tad too long for me).

There are also more influences of the Japanese version such as Kikoho, Kienzan, and Goku using the Son in his name during a pivotal moment, which is great to see. And as others mentioned, Kai is really more appropriate for the US audience due to the chance it gave to redo the script and the performances overall. For that reason I honestly think of it as the definitive US version over the previous Z dubs. It feels less relevant for the Japanese, where a simple filler edit of Z ala DBZ Recut would have been more appropriate, but that may not have been as easy due to the loss of the original audio.

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Re: Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by simtek34 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:40 pm

KBABZ wrote:There are also more influences of the Japanese version such as Kikoho, Kienzan, and Goku using the Son in his name during a pivotal moment,
FUNimation never used Ki-Ko-Ho. They used Makankosappo, along with Tayo-Ken though.
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Re: Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by KBABZ » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:44 pm

simtek34 wrote:
KBABZ wrote:There are also more influences of the Japanese version such as Kikoho, Kienzan, and Goku using the Son in his name during a pivotal moment,
FUNimation never used Ki-Ko-Ho. They used Makankosappo, along with Tayo-Ken though.
Dammit! Forgot that Kikoho was the flying thing. Makankosappo is so cool to shout out.

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Re: Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by Ripper 30 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:31 am

DBZ Kai English dub > Old FUNi Z dub
Original Japanese Z > Japanese Kai. 
Overall : Japanese Z > all. 
Sure it has all the fillers, but the main story segments were still faithful to the manga dialogue besides a slight changes here and there.
Plus you can't tell me that you think Kai's Japanese performances are better acted than the original Japanese.
Original Japanese Z is honestly the most beautiful way to watch the show. That is when the Japanese (Not English actors) actors were in their prime. I adore DBZ Kai's English dub. But some of the redrawn scenes look over the top cartoony. The Japanese seiyuu are literally very old now, or a lot of them have passed away.
So my conclusion. If you want to get a hardcore experience from the English dub, faithful to the Japanese version/Manga, watch DBZ Kai.
If you want to get a hardcore experience from the Japanese version, which was already manga dialogue faithful in the first place. Watch DBZ.
I prefer Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, DB/Z/GT Movies, Dragon Ball Super and Dragon Ball GT in Japanese.
For DBZ Kai and two new Movies I like both Dub and Sub. I Prefer Shunsuke Kikuchi Soundtracks over All other Composers.
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Re: Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by KBABZ » Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:47 am

Ripper 30 wrote:some of the redrawn scenes look over the top cartoony.
If I had any major critique of Kai (outside of the repetitive Frieza music) it would be the fact that anything that was added to the show from a visual standpoint makes absolutely no attempt to appear as aged as the original footage. While the intro, title cards, credits and eyecatches can sorta get away with it, the redrawn shots really stand out because of the digital lineart, the more saturated colours that bear more resemblance to the promo art than the footage they're trying to mimic, and a lot of the time I feel like the actual quality of the shots don't even match the quality standard of the original show, this being anime made in the 2009 industry.*
Ripper 30 wrote:So my conclusion. If you want to get a hardcore experience from the English dub, faithful to the Japanese version/Manga, watch DBZ Kai.
If you want to get a hardcore experience from the Japanese version, which was already manga dialogue faithful in the first place. Watch DBZ.
Sounds like the general consensus is "Japanese? Z. English? Kai"!


*Another T1C spiel: this is something I kept a very close eye on when making T1C. When I redo the title cards, add in the T1C logo, and put in new English credits, I go out of my way to blur, desaturate and alter the white balance to make it look as old as the show itself is, to make it all less jarring and blend together better.

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Re: Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by Ripper 30 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:36 pm

KBABZ wrote:
Ripper 30 wrote:some of the redrawn scenes look over the top cartoony.
If I had any major critique of Kai (outside of the repetitive Frieza music) it would be the fact that anything that was added to the show from a visual standpoint makes absolutely no attempt to appear as aged as the original footage. While the intro, title cards, credits and eyecatches can sorta get away with it, the redrawn shots really stand out because of the digital lineart, the more saturated colours that bear more resemblance to the promo art than the footage they're trying to mimic, and a lot of the time I feel like the actual quality of the shots don't even match the quality standard of the original show, this being anime made in the 2009 industry.*

The 2008 JSAT Special is how they should have animated DB Kai.

KBABZ wrote: Sounds like the general consensus is "Japanese? Z. English? Kai"!
My issue with the japanese cast with Kai is not so much that they sucked(though that opinion certainly seems popular), but it's just they were so damn good the first time around, and their all older now, some of the performances didn't have the same punch as in Original Z. But thanks to Kai's dub, that hardly concerns me. for Original Z we have Japanese---Kai in English. That's the best of both worlds.


*Another T1C spiel: this is something I kept a very close eye on when making T1C. When I redo the title cards, add in the T1C logo, and put in new English credits, I go out of my way to blur, desaturate and alter the white balance to make it look as old as the show itself is, to make it all less jarring and blend together better.[/quote]
I prefer Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, DB/Z/GT Movies, Dragon Ball Super and Dragon Ball GT in Japanese.
For DBZ Kai and two new Movies I like both Dub and Sub. I Prefer Shunsuke Kikuchi Soundtracks over All other Composers.
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Re: Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by Emiliow » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:36 pm

Also I must emphasize that I already have watched japanese Z and I am a fan of it as it's my usual viewing of the series. I simply ask this question to inspire me to either watch Kai in japanese or english, it's not a Kai vs. Z discussion. I am curious if I would enjoy the english version of Kai, I have no attachment to the older funimation dub and therefore no prior point of reference to the improvements in accuracy. Simply, would a fan of japanese Z find enjoyment in english Kai or ought I just stick with japanese Kai? I imagine it would be refreshing to watch the english dub of Kai and I would then be able to follow it while doing something else in the background.

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Re: Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by KBABZ » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:48 pm

Ripper 30 wrote:The 2008 JSAT Special is how they should have animated DB Kai.
Well the thing is that Kai is not a "new" show, despite having new intros and stuff. It's actually an edit of an existing show, and IMO treating Kai as being a different series on the level of Transformers G1 vs Animated is misguided. Kai uses footage from Z 90% of the time, SFX from Z 100% of the time, voice actors from Z 70% of the time, and music from Z either 0% or 100% of the time (depending on the version you're watching). It isn't the same thing as something like Sailor Moon Crystal, right?
Emiliow wrote:Also I must emphasize that I already have watched japanese Z and I am a fan of it as it's my usual viewing of the series. I simply ask this question to inspire me to either watch Kai in japanese or english, it's not a Kai vs. Z discussion. I am curious if I would enjoy the english version of Kai, I have no attachment to the older funimation dub and therefore no prior point of reference to the improvements in accuracy. Simply, would a fan of japanese Z find enjoyment in english Kai or ought I just stick with japanese Kai? I imagine it would be refreshing to watch the english dub of Kai and I would then be able to follow it while doing something else in the background.
Hmm, okay. IMO Kai really shines as a product for fans who want to watch the show in English with a more faithful script, but if you're not a fan of the Dub voices then I don't think you'll get much out of it unless you really want to see what the edits are.

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Re: Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by Ripper 30 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:17 am

KBABZ wrote:
Ripper 30 wrote:The 2008 JSAT Special is how they should have animated DB Kai.
Well the thing is that Kai is not a "new" show, despite having new intros and stuff. It's actually an edit of an existing show, and IMO treating Kai as being a different series on the level of Transformers G1 vs Animated is misguided. Kai uses footage from Z 90% of the time, SFX from Z 100% of the time, voice actors from Z 70% of the time, and music from Z either 0% or 100% of the time (depending on the version you're watching). It isn't the same thing as something like Sailor Moon Crystal, right?

Agreed, from Japanese point of view it's a degradation of the product and them reusing old footage makes Kai look like a cheap Cash grab.
Emiliow wrote:Also I must emphasize that I already have watched japanese Z and I am a fan of it as it's my usual viewing of the series. I simply ask this question to inspire me to either watch Kai in japanese or english, it's not a Kai vs. Z discussion. I am curious if I would enjoy the english version of Kai, I have no attachment to the older funimation dub and therefore no prior point of reference to the improvements in accuracy. Simply, would a fan of japanese Z find enjoyment in english Kai or ought I just stick with japanese Kai? I imagine it would be refreshing to watch the english dub of Kai and I would then be able to follow it while doing something else in the background.
Hmm, okay. IMO Kai really shines as a product for fans who want to watch the show in English with a more faithful script, but if you're not a fan of the Dub voices then I don't think you'll get much out of it unless you really want to see what the edits are.
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Re: Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by KBABZ » Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:14 am

Ripper 30 wrote:Agreed, from Japanese point of view it's a degradation of the product and them reusing old footage makes Kai look like a cheap Cash grab.
Which is why I think Funimation's name of Dragon Ball Z Kai makes more sense, as it's much clearer that it's an edit of the old show rather than "OMG YOU GUYS IT'S BACK!!" like with Super or Crystal.

To be perfectly frank, with the exception of the redrawn shots, I think I prefer the Kai approach because animation standards (that is to say, the actual movement of things) tends to be better in older anime compared to modern anime. It also allows it to take advantage of footage from other portions of the show that it didn't/wasn't able to before, such as the recap of Dragon Ball and the useage of footage from the Bardock and Trunks specials to help accentuate the story.

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Re: Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by DBZAOTA482 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:12 am

The original Kai is definitely worth it. The 2014 Kai dub brought back a lot of the bad practices from their earlier dubs.
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Re: Is the dub of Kai worth a shot for an indifferent fan?

Post by SuperCyan2 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:35 pm

The Funimation English dub of Kai is really good though I'd recommend watching it with the original Kai score by Yamamoto.

I don't get why people on here just write "Kai dub" as if the English (Funimation) dub is the only one that exists.
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