Why wasn't DB Kai a completely new animated series?

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SuperSaiyaManZ94
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Re: Why wasn't DB Kai a completely new animated series?

Post by SuperSaiyaManZ94 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:20 pm

We've had hints of what versions of the series' arcs would look like reanimated via some of the video games and such previously, but ultimately they decided just taking the base Z footage and up converting it to HD with the cutting of filler and some edits/re drawn scenes was good enough.

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Re: Why wasn't DB Kai a completely new animated series?

Post by Grand Marshal 1 » Thu May 02, 2019 6:15 am

To be honest, Kai could even be a brand new creation like Super, but I guess that as many pointed out, time, money and staff were needed. Not sure if Toei could afford it at the time. Imagine getting some brand new so many years earlier. I guess thtt it oould be good for old-time DB fans, but in the long run, it would have probably worked out worse than Super. Not that Super is bad of course, I enjoyed it.
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Re: Why wasn't DB Kai a completely new animated series?

Post by Khin » Thu May 02, 2019 3:40 pm

Regarding Yamamuro, it always baffled me how much his art worsened in so little time. His work in the 2008 OVA was halfway decent, which was just roughly a year before Kai.

It would have been very interesting to see a re-animation of the series with the same designs and colors as the JSAT special.

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Re: Why wasn't DB Kai a completely new animated series?

Post by coola » Wed May 08, 2019 8:28 am

I wish we would get another studio to do remake of Dragon Ball, Dororo and Fruits Basket showed that proper remake is possible with competent studio and staff.
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Re: Why wasn't DB Kai a completely new animated series?

Post by Big Boss » Thu May 09, 2019 10:13 am

It would have been too costly and time consuming given the uncertainty of whether or not such a move would even be successful. If you are Toei, and you want to release the series again, you really only have two options:

1. Do a full fledged re-animation project with new semi-new branding

2. Half-heatedly take the original footage and augment it slightly so it looks "better" (lol) on HD TVs.

At the time, it was a no-brainer. The demand for Dragon Ball was there, but maybe not enough to warrant a full budgeted remake. I still ponder if Kai was simply a means of "testing the waters" to dictate the future of the series. If it was successful, great. We'd get new merchandise, and maybe even a new series and movies at some point! And if not, well, it isn't like Toei broke the bank to produce Kai and I'd guess the franchise would be shelved for another x amount of years.

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Re: Why wasn't DB Kai a completely new animated series?

Post by sintzu » Thu May 09, 2019 10:51 am

Big Boss wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 10:13 am
I still ponder if Kai was simply a means of "testing the waters" to dictate the future of the series. If it was successful, great. We'd get new merchandise, and maybe even a new series and movies at some point! And if not, well, it isn't like Toei broke the bank to produce Kai and I'd guess the franchise would be shelved for another x amount of years.
The original plan was to make a full heroes anime but Toriyama wouldn't get involved so they decided to do Kai instead. Kai is my go to version of the Z part of the story so I'm happy things turned out the way they did (even if Kai is a very falwed product).
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Re: Why wasn't DB Kai a completely new animated series?

Post by Big Boss » Thu May 09, 2019 11:47 am

sintzu wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 10:51 am
Big Boss wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 10:13 am
I still ponder if Kai was simply a means of "testing the waters" to dictate the future of the series. If it was successful, great. We'd get new merchandise, and maybe even a new series and movies at some point! And if not, well, it isn't like Toei broke the bank to produce Kai and I'd guess the franchise would be shelved for another x amount of years.
The original plan was to make a full heroes anime but Toriyama wouldn't get involved so they decided to do Kai instead. Kai is my go to version of the Z part of the story so I'm happy things turned out the way they did (even if Kai is a very falwed product).
Interesting. So they still COULD have decided to do a remake of Z given they had plans/budgeting for a Heros style anime, but chose not to. Given the state of Kai from a technical perspective, that is to say not great, I do wish Toei would have shifted their plans over to a full remake, but...the allure of the path of least resistance was too strong I guess.

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Re: Why wasn't DB Kai a completely new animated series?

Post by sintzu » Thu May 09, 2019 12:10 pm

Big Boss wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 11:47 am
sintzu wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 10:51 am
Big Boss wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 10:13 am
I still ponder if Kai was simply a means of "testing the waters" to dictate the future of the series. If it was successful, great. We'd get new merchandise, and maybe even a new series and movies at some point! And if not, well, it isn't like Toei broke the bank to produce Kai and I'd guess the franchise would be shelved for another x amount of years.
The original plan was to make a full heroes anime but Toriyama wouldn't get involved so they decided to do Kai instead. Kai is my go to version of the Z part of the story so I'm happy things turned out the way they did (even if Kai is a very falwed product).
Interesting. So they still COULD have decided to do a remake of Z given they had plans/budgeting for a Heros style anime, but chose not to. Given the state of Kai from a technical perspective, that is to say not great, I do wish Toei would have shifted their plans over to a full remake, but...the allure of the path of least resistance was too strong I guess.
Even with just a remaster they decided to start form the Z part of the manga instead of remastering both DB & Z. Toei wanted the least amount of risks involved.
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Re: Why wasn't DB Kai a completely new animated series?

Post by Desassina » Thu May 09, 2019 12:51 pm

I don't know about you, but I enjoy a good remastering process, and the use of original cels blown up to modern resolutions, cut for the intended viewing experience, because the old remasters did it without reason, is a sound strategy for art that was already so good! In Dragon Ball Kai, there's no excuse for us to have the old with a new coat of paint, because it is a new production with an active selection of scenes, along with a new voice cast and soundtrack, despite the fact that a few aspects backfired on them.

In games, and sometimes, we want graphics that resemble what the old ones would look like, should they be made with better technology, like Sonic Mania and Sonic CD. It helps them feel the same and play faithfully, as opposed to Crash Bandicoot, for example.

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Re: Why wasn't DB Kai a completely new animated series?

Post by ZodaEX » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:15 am

Desassina wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:51 pm
I don't know about you, but I enjoy a good remastering process, and the use of original cels blown up to modern resolutions, cut for the intended viewing experience, because the old remasters did it without reason, is a sound strategy for art that was already so good! In Dragon Ball Kai, there's no excuse for us to have the old with a new coat of paint, because it is a new production with an active selection of scenes, along with a new voice cast and soundtrack, despite the fact that a few aspects backfired on them.

In games, and sometimes, we want graphics that resemble what the old ones would look like, should they be made with better technology, like Sonic Mania and Sonic CD. It helps them feel the same and play faithfully, as opposed to Crash Bandicoot, for example.
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Re: Why wasn't DB Kai a completely new animated series?

Post by Ringworm128 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:25 pm

In hindsight, Kai reusing old animation was probably the best choice. If they did redo it from the ground up, it would have been done on the budget of an old Scooby Doo episode. Also it was visually a nice break from the more glossy look of post 90's DB art.
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Re: Why wasn't DB Kai a completely new animated series?

Post by Ryuji-Otogi » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:02 pm

Desassina wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:51 pm
I don't know about you, but I enjoy a good remastering process, and the use of original cels blown up to modern resolutions, cut for the intended viewing experience, because the old remasters did it without reason, is a sound strategy for art that was already so good! In Dragon Ball Kai, there's no excuse for us to have the old with a new coat of paint, because it is a new production with an active selection of scenes, along with a new voice cast and soundtrack, despite the fact that a few aspects backfired on them.

In games, and sometimes, we want graphics that resemble what the old ones would look like, should they be made with better technology, like Sonic Mania and Sonic CD. It helps them feel the same and play faithfully, as opposed to Crash Bandicoot, for example.
Can you elaborate? The Crash remaster plays very faithfully and looks quite a lot like the original but with better graphics ...

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Re: Why wasn't DB Kai a completely new animated series?

Post by coola » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:52 am

Ryuji-Otogi wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:02 pm
Desassina wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:51 pm
I don't know about you, but I enjoy a good remastering process, and the use of original cels blown up to modern resolutions, cut for the intended viewing experience, because the old remasters did it without reason, is a sound strategy for art that was already so good! In Dragon Ball Kai, there's no excuse for us to have the old with a new coat of paint, because it is a new production with an active selection of scenes, along with a new voice cast and soundtrack, despite the fact that a few aspects backfired on them.

In games, and sometimes, we want graphics that resemble what the old ones would look like, should they be made with better technology, like Sonic Mania and Sonic CD. It helps them feel the same and play faithfully, as opposed to Crash Bandicoot, for example.
Can you elaborate? The Crash remaster plays very faithfully and looks quite a lot like the original but with better graphics ...
Unfortunately, for me at least, they tweaked with physics and made them worse, you can fall into pit much easier now due to smaller hitbox, and i swear hitbox on enemies is all over the place (Especially in CB 2, i ve died so many times jumping on enemies, much more than in original)
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Re: Why wasn't DB Kai a completely new animated series?

Post by Ryuji-Otogi » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:08 pm

coola wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:52 am
Ryuji-Otogi wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:02 pm
Desassina wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:51 pm
I don't know about you, but I enjoy a good remastering process, and the use of original cels blown up to modern resolutions, cut for the intended viewing experience, because the old remasters did it without reason, is a sound strategy for art that was already so good! In Dragon Ball Kai, there's no excuse for us to have the old with a new coat of paint, because it is a new production with an active selection of scenes, along with a new voice cast and soundtrack, despite the fact that a few aspects backfired on them.

In games, and sometimes, we want graphics that resemble what the old ones would look like, should they be made with better technology, like Sonic Mania and Sonic CD. It helps them feel the same and play faithfully, as opposed to Crash Bandicoot, for example.
Can you elaborate? The Crash remaster plays very faithfully and looks quite a lot like the original but with better graphics ...
Unfortunately, for me at least, they tweaked with physics and made them worse, you can fall into pit much easier now due to smaller hitbox, and i swear hitbox on enemies is all over the place (Especially in CB 2, i ve died so many times jumping on enemies, much more than in original)
Ah, thanks for the explanation.

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Re: Why wasn't DB Kai a completely new animated series?

Post by JulieYBM » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:19 pm

I imagine it was due to a reluctance to dedicate resources, i.e. gathering staff to direct and animate the series.
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Re: Why wasn't DB Kai a completely new animated series?

Post by Yuli Ban » Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:01 pm

Khin wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 3:40 pm
Regarding Yamamuro, it always baffled me how much his art worsened in so little time. His work in the 2008 OVA was halfway decent, which was just roughly a year before Kai.

It would have been very interesting to see a re-animation of the series with the same designs and colors as the JSAT special.
Actually, I have a hypothesis: the art & animation style he's now infamous for (i.e. glossy, plastic, stiff, uniform line thickness, and overly bright and flat colors) was meant for video games. You see similar designs in Dragon Ball Z: Sagas' intro animation, and that was fairly well-received for being new animation (compared to the rest of the game especially) after almost a decade of Dragon Ball being finished. And when fans didn't immediately like the look of Yo! Son Goku, they could always fall back on 'Well, it's just a one-off special.' Because around that same time, we also got the reanimated Plan to Eradicate the Super Saiyans special as well as the Bardock special not long after, and both of these were quite well-received due to being packed in with their respective video games— Raging Blast 2 and Ultimate Tenkaichi, which also had its fair share of redone animation that fans appreciated. With Heroes, we also got new animation of these characters in new situations rather than just redone drawings, and after so long without any new Dragon Ball material alongside Dragon Ball Z Kai not being reanimated save for a tiny few scenes here and there, fans were greatly accepting of Yamamuro's plastic style because we appreciated that we were getting new animation at all when Toei otherwise couldn't be arsed.

But that right there is the issue. Fans appreciated the new animation. Fans liked seeing scenes either redrawn or created for the first time so long after Dragon Ball ended. Fans didn't necessarily like what this new animation looked like; just that we had it. And this continued with Battle of Gods and Resurrection F. Fans would often talk about how plastic and overly glossy the art style itself was, but thanks to the higher budgets of the movies and the fact the other animated pieces were just short cutscenes or specials released only for video games (barring the OVA), the animation quality usually made up for it and, again, new Dragon Ball animation. There was no new series and it didn't look like there ever would be one (Dragon Ball AF and Dragon Ball Hoshi alike were alive and well as rumors as late as April 2015), so fans took whatever they would get and Yamamuro didn't have to work constantly on this series compared to other anime. Win win!

Until Super happened. Seeing this lifeless artstyle week after week was depressing, especially when the animation quality was extraordinarily questionable. People keep pointing to individual arcs as to when the animation improved, whether it got better after the Resurrection F arc or after the U6 Tournament arc. Honestly, it was poor (though average for broadcast TV anime) right up until the start of the Tournament of Power. Not the arc itself, I mean the actual Tournament.

It's one reason why I'm glad DBZ Kai wasn't animated if Yamamuro was the series director. The series itself was in a big rut financially, and there was less of a budget to put to a new series. We barely got maybe 40+ good looking episodes out of the 131 episodes of Super, most of them in the last quarter of the series, and that was after two blockbuster movies and big-selling games like Xenoverse and Dokkan Battle. Reanimating Z in about as many episodes (159, IIRC) in the early 2010s with a fraction of the budget?

Oh thank GOD we avoided that trainwreck. Imagine every fight in Z losing all sense of power and weight, with shaky-cam thrown in for good measure, and characters either rigidly on-model to the point of looking stiff or looking deformed more than not, with the color contrast thrown out the wazoo, not even following the colors of the manga but more or less the video games.
Imagine if Dragon Ball Z looked like Dragon Ball Heroes. Yeah, I'd still watch it, but I'd be that proverbial seething fan threatening to stop watching every week as I pore over every mistake.


But at the same time, it wasn't set in stone that this was the way forward. Kai started, as you said, in 2009. This was before the "Yamamuro look" had become established in the games. If Yamamuro was brought on for a reanimation of Z, it likely would've resembled Yo! Son Goku because that was their template look for an actual TV product. It was the popularity of Yamamuro's video game work between 2009-2013 and the success of the two theatrical movies that gave us Plastic Goku.
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Re: Why wasn't DB Kai a completely new animated series?

Post by JulieYBM » Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:22 pm

Yamamuro Tadayoshi has seniority and was basically connected to the hip of the franchise. Word from the inside is that a certain veteran was causing production delays for Dragon Ball Super early on due to their interference, so I wouldn't be surprised if that's another reason why Yamamuro has been able to stick with the franchise for so long. His character models are so ingrained in the merchandise side of the franchise that getting rid of him was probably an incredibly difficult task. It also doesn't help that his skill as an animator and director was so bad, too.
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