Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

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Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by WittyUsername » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:33 pm

It’s as the title says. Yes, we all know that Dragon Ball was made for kids in Japan, and while this was also true for English speaking countries back in the days of the old Toonami, it seems to me like it’s not really the case anymore. Super and TFC aired entirely on Adult Swim in the states, and FUNimation has been much less shy about swearing in their dub, and I don’t just mean that they use words like “damn” and “hell”, because they’ve also used stuff like “son of a bitch” at least a few times in Super.

At this point, is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is currently geared specifically towards an older audience in places like North America?

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by Matches Malone » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:37 pm

Despite Shonen in Japan being aimed at kids, it seems like the standards of what's appropriate for kids in NA are very different from that of Japan.

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by WittyUsername » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:45 pm

Matches Malone wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:37 pm
Despite Shonen in Japan being aimed at kids, it seems like the standards of what's appropriate for kids in NA are very different from that of Japan.
For sure. Stuff like Death Note and Fist of the North Star are also Shonen franchises, even though they’ve certainly never been geared towards kids in English speaking countries. Dragon Ball, on the other hand, was very much marketed towards kids over here for the longest time.

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by Zestanor » Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:35 pm

Matches Malone wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:37 pm
Despite Shonen in Japan being aimed at kids, it seems like the standards of what's appropriate for kids in NA are very different from that of Japan.
Television watching habits were/are different as well. TV as babysitter is an American concept; there is a difference between what is appropriate to watch with and without parental guidance.

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by TheGreatness25 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:51 pm

WittyUsername wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:33 pm
It’s as the title says. Yes, we all know that Dragon Ball was made for kids in Japan, and while this was also true for English speaking countries back in the days of the old Toonami, it seems to me like it’s not really the case anymore. Super and TFC aired entirely on Adult Swim in the states, and FUNimation has been much less shy about swearing in their dub, and I don’t just mean that they use words like “damn” and “hell”, because they’ve also used stuff like “son of a bitch” at least a few times in Super.
... Have they? I don't recall hearing that.

Despite being on "prime time" (for kids) on a very successful children's channel in the US, the original Z dub's single DVDs were sold with a "13+" sticker -- I'm assuming that was done due to the Japanese subtitles using "damn," "hell," and "bastard." Those are the three "adult" words that they use.

I'd say that Dragon Ball Super was marketed for teenagers, if it was really marketed at all. I feel like it's more marketed for those who were already fans of the series because I never saw a big marketing push for Super. It was always kind of like, "You know what this is, so here it is." At least that's the feel I always got from Super. So if it's counting on old fans of the series rather than making new ones, then it's at least targeted for teenagers (kids who watched Kai on NickToons are teens now, right?).

So yeah, I think it's marketed for teens, but more specifically, those who were already interested in its predecessor.

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by dougo13 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 5:00 pm

Depends on who is giving the definition. Many times I have seen people, especially lawmakers define anyone under 18 or 21 as a child (kid). Though nowadays young adult seems to be popular in some circles, like movie franchises. But perhaps under 12 or 14 is listed as youth, though TV ratings also list 7 and up as youth. It's confusing...

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by WittyUsername » Sat Jun 06, 2020 5:06 pm

TheGreatness25 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:51 pm
WittyUsername wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:33 pm
It’s as the title says. Yes, we all know that Dragon Ball was made for kids in Japan, and while this was also true for English speaking countries back in the days of the old Toonami, it seems to me like it’s not really the case anymore. Super and TFC aired entirely on Adult Swim in the states, and FUNimation has been much less shy about swearing in their dub, and I don’t just mean that they use words like “damn” and “hell”, because they’ve also used stuff like “son of a bitch” at least a few times in Super.
... Have they? I don't recall hearing that.
Mai called Zamasu that in episode 67. I also saw a clip from the baseball episode where Vegeta used that phrase.

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by SupremeKai25 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 5:10 pm

TheGreatness25 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:51 pm
WittyUsername wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:33 pm
It’s as the title says. Yes, we all know that Dragon Ball was made for kids in Japan, and while this was also true for English speaking countries back in the days of the old Toonami, it seems to me like it’s not really the case anymore. Super and TFC aired entirely on Adult Swim in the states, and FUNimation has been much less shy about swearing in their dub, and I don’t just mean that they use words like “damn” and “hell”, because they’ve also used stuff like “son of a bitch” at least a few times in Super.
... Have they? I don't recall hearing that.

Despite being on "prime time" (for kids) on a very successful children's channel in the US, the original Z dub's single DVDs were sold with a "13+" sticker -- I'm assuming that was done due to the Japanese subtitles using "damn," "hell," and "bastard." Those are the three "adult" words that they use.

I'd say that Dragon Ball Super was marketed for teenagers, if it was really marketed at all. I feel like it's more marketed for those who were already fans of the series because I never saw a big marketing push for Super. It was always kind of like, "You know what this is, so here it is." At least that's the feel I always got from Super. So if it's counting on old fans of the series rather than making new ones, then it's at least targeted for teenagers (kids who watched Kai on NickToons are teens now, right?).

So yeah, I think it's marketed for teens, but more specifically, those who were already interested in its predecessor.
It was used twice in the Future Trunks arc:

- Vegeta uses it in ep. 65 after Fused Zamasu was left unscathed by the father-son galick gun.
- Mai uses it in ep. 67 when she angrily shoots at Infinite Zamasu.
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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by TheGreatness25 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:57 pm

Hm, interesting. That seems a bit more "TV-14" than their usual.

I watched Super all the way through kind of half-assed where most of the time, it was on in the background while I was doing something else. Usually these things would at least grab my attention. I guess I missed them.

One that grabbed me was Champa screaming at... er... Kale...? Where he was screaming about something and used the term "you're mucking it up!" At least I think that's what he said. It grabbed my attention because it sounded awfully close to an F-bomb.

It's kind of like in the original Z dub during the Other World Budokai, where North Kaio screams at West Kaio and calls him a "fast-talking half pint." That one grabbed my attention because in my young mind, it sounded like he said "fat fucking half pint."

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by WittyUsername » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:21 pm

TheGreatness25 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:57 pm
Hm, interesting. That seems a bit more "TV-14" than their usual.

I watched Super all the way through kind of half-assed where most of the time, it was on in the background while I was doing something else. Usually these things would at least grab my attention. I guess I missed them.

One that grabbed me was Champa screaming at... er... Kale...? Where he was screaming about something and used the term "you're mucking it up!" At least I think that's what he said. It grabbed my attention because it sounded awfully close to an F-bomb.

It's kind of like in the original Z dub during the Other World Budokai, where North Kaio screams at West Kaio and calls him a "fast-talking half pint." That one grabbed my attention because in my young mind, it sounded like he said "fat fucking half pint."
I’m not super familiar with anime in general, but I do know that FUNimation’s dub of Yu Yu Hakusho didn’t exactly shy away from using basically any crude word that was short of an f-bomb, and like Dragon Ball, that was also geared towards kids in Japan. Still, I certainly don’t recall words like “bitch” ever being uttered in FUNimation’s version of Dragon Ball before Super came along.

Frankly, I’m not really a fan of that. I’m fine with words like “damn”, “hell” and even “bastard” on occasion, but “son of a bitch” seems a bit much for Dragon Ball. Then again, the word “shit” was used at one point in the dub of Kai, but wasn’t that improvised or something?

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by JulieYBM » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:37 pm

Dragon Ball's pretty much aimed at the Hot Topic* crowd right now. I'm not seeing anything aimed younger than twelve.

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by TheGreatness25 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:38 pm

"Shit" was used in Kai? What? Lol My God, I must really have not paid much attention to the dialog lol

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by WittyUsername » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:40 pm

TheGreatness25 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:38 pm
"Shit" was used in Kai? What? Lol My God, I must really have not paid much attention to the dialog lol
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoAWFT3nHJ0

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by TheGreatness25 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:24 pm

WittyUsername wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:40 pm
TheGreatness25 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:38 pm
"Shit" was used in Kai? What? Lol My God, I must really have not paid much attention to the dialog lol
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoAWFT3nHJ0
Err. Kinda stretching it. I put it on my Hulu to get the subtitles. It had the Adult Swim logo on it, but here still says the exact same thing. The subtitles read, "Shaa...! Time to bust out my secret weapon!"

I tried taking a screenshot, but it came out as a black screen with only the subtitles visible. Sneaky Hulu lol

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by ArmenianPepsi » Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:10 am

What you propose in the title is probably true. The last time DB was really targeted at kids in NA was when Kai came out. After all it was aired on Nicktoons Network, and had a Saturday morning time slot on the CW like other kids shows of the time. (Though obviously the dialogue was a toned down from uncut-Kai, and the visuals were censored further to meet network standards)

Now a lot of the kids who grew up with Kai are now watching Super, so maybe the marketing kind of matured along with that new generation of DB fans that Kai brought in? But that's just my theory :lol:
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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by DrBriefsCat » Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:49 pm

TheGreatness25 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:24 pm
WittyUsername wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:40 pm
TheGreatness25 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:38 pm
"Shit" was used in Kai? What? Lol My God, I must really have not paid much attention to the dialog lol
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoAWFT3nHJ0
Err. Kinda stretching it. I put it on my Hulu to get the subtitles. It had the Adult Swim logo on it, but here still says the exact same thing. The subtitles read, "Shaa...! Time to bust out my secret weapon!"

I tried taking a screenshot, but it came out as a black screen with only the subtitles visible. Sneaky Hulu lol
To me, it sounds like he's saying "Shiiiiiiii-" as if he's about to start speaking Japanese before powering up.

Kind of reminds me of that episode of Dragon Ball Z's dub where people thought King Kai said "fat fucking half-pint", where to me it sounds like he's saying "fast talking" in a New York accent.

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by MyVisionity » Sun Jun 07, 2020 7:11 pm

I didn't think that children even watched cartoons anymore. I figured any remaining cartoons would mostly be marketed towards teenagers and adults.

The age of children's cartoons appears to be over. Especially in this streaming era.

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by Super Sonic » Sun Jun 07, 2020 7:12 pm

ArmenianPepsi wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:10 am
Now a lot of the kids who grew up with Kai are now watching Super, so maybe the marketing kind of matured along with that new generation of DB fans that Kai brought in? But that's just my theory :lol:
Used to joke about that when Funimation started to do a lot of fanservice shows. Said the kids who watched DBZ on Toonami (and it was mainly kids back then) grew up and discovered girls were pretty.

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by JulieYBM » Sun Jun 07, 2020 7:17 pm

MyVisionity wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 7:11 pm
I didn't think that children even watched cartoons anymore. I figured any remaining cartoons would mostly be marketed towards teenagers and adults.

The age of children's cartoons appears to be over. Especially in this streaming era.
They watch cartoons through streaming now. Merchandise still gets sold, my nieces are proof of that.
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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by Baggie_Saiyan » Mon Jun 08, 2020 4:14 am

Dragon Ball isn't aimed at kids peroid anymore. Hence why Toei don't have to put a show on air to make DB relevant anymore they have established fans that aren't going anywhere. Back in Kai days more or less all the merch was aimed at kids but nowadays it's all aimed at the adult fans, heck the one release (Wafer Stickers) that Bandai actually made for kids became so popular amongst the adult collectors that Bandai begun making merch of the stickers for them ie figures, straps and what not.

Probably why Kai failed & why modern DB was so successful. Instead of trying to get a new generation into DB they should have been using the established fans they had.

(It's also crazy how when BoG came out there was basically no merch for it that year... it came out in March! Now with no show on air and the recent movie almost 2 years old DB somehow still manages to outsell most properties. Craziness)

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