Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

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Cure Dragon 255
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Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:44 am

BEFORE YOU ANSWER READ THIS.

I know this is a question that has been asked many times and most of the answers people give about this are rooted in Misinformation. Like the much repeated "Dragon Ball Z flopped in Syndication" and more.

-Dragon Ball was a No 1 hit show in Syndication, and was given double airings, thing that was unusual at the time.
-

I think I wanted to make the most complete and extensive opening post yet but I am sorely lacking in expertise. So please help me out Mr Vegetto EX!

So if you have any facts or info on Dragon Ball in Syndication share it NAO!
MyVisionity wrote:
Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:52 pm
It's ill-fitting for me. Dragon Ball is not a bedtime story. And "laid-back old man" is not how I would describe Yanami's narrator. To me he sounds like the kind of uncle that shows up to the birthday party with loads of fruit punch soda and stuffs himself with pizza and ice cream, or takes you out on his boat at the lake in the summer and goes skinny dipping or something.
90sDBZ wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:44 pm
19 years ago I was rushing home from school to watch DBZ on Cartoon Network, and today I've rushed home from work to watch DBS on Pop. I guess it's true the more things change the more they stay the same. :lol:

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Matches Malone » Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:21 am

Not only would it have survived, but I think it would've been successful as well. I think the real question is, would it have been as successful ? It seems like Toonami's marketing played an important role in it becoming as big as it is, not the only role, but an important one.

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by DBZAOTA482 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:51 pm

Probably not considering anime wasn't embraced by American pop culture at the time and Dragon Ball's role in popularizing anime was massive.

It isn't to say Toonami is the sole factor in Dragon Ball becoming a success (which we know for a fact isn't) but it's unlikely any network would be willing to push it as hard as Cartoon Network did.
fadeddreams5 wrote:
DBZGTKOSDH wrote:... Haven't we already gotten these in GT? Goku dies, the DBs go away, and the Namekian DBs most likely won't be used again because of the Evil Dragons.
Goku didn't die in GT. The show sucked him off so much, it was impossible to keep him in the world of the living, so he ascended beyond mortality.
jjgp1112 wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:31 am
I'm just about done with the concept of reboots and making shows that were products of their time and impactful "new and sexy" and in line with modern tastes and sensibilities. Let stuff stay in their era and give today's kids their own shit to watch.

I always side eye the people who say "Now my kids/today's kids can experience what I did as a child!" Nigga, who gives a fuck about your childhood? You're an adult now and it was at least 15 years ago. Let the kids have their own experience instead of picking at a corpse.

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by MasenkoHA » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:06 pm

DBZAOTA482 wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:51 pm
Probably not considering anime wasn't embraced by American pop culture at the time and Dragon Ball's role in popularizing anime was massive.
Anime was being embraced by American Pop Culture long before Z hit Toonami.

Sci Fi had its own anime block in 1995

Akira was getting critical acclaim in the late 80s by the like of Roger Ebert. It was also influential on Batman Beyond whose show runners were definitely not introduced to anime by the likes of DBZ and Sailor Moon

Lion King was met with controversy upon release for being too similar to a certain Japanese cartoon from the 60s something even The Simpsons had fun with.
And even the voice actor for adult Simba mistakenly thought he was involved in a remake of because he grew up with the cartoon.

It isn't to say Toonami is the sole factor in Dragon Ball becoming a success (which we know for a fact isn't) but it's unlikely any network would be willing to push it as hard as Cartoon Network did.
If it hadn’t been picked up by Toonami it likely would have just ended up on Fox Kids or KidsWb I’m sure.

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by nickzambuto » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:59 pm

I believe that if Dragon Ball Z came out of the gate with a killer dub, and premiered on FOX right after the Simpsons, it would have been an even bigger hit and could have gotten more family members to watch.

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by WittyUsername » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:17 pm

The big advantage with DBZ airing on Cartoon Network is that it aired every day each week, instead of once a week on Saturday mornings or whenever, and considering how many episodes of DBZ there are, that was definitely for the best.

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Vijay » Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:34 pm

Dude...AoT won over the world with it's original Jap version. Not CN. DragonBall, particularly Z is no different.

Quality shows thrive. Regardless of the medium or language of exposure.

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Matches Malone » Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:38 am

Vijay wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:34 pm
Dude...AoT won over the world with it's original Jap version. Not CN. DragonBall, particularly Z is no different.

Quality shows thrive. Regardless of the medium or language of exposure.
This is only partly true, as you're forgetting the time frame in which AOT released in. AOT released during a time when anime was not only acceptable in the US, but also thriving, making it easier for something like AOT to take off. That's not to take anything away from its success, but I think the time frame is worth mentioning.

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by DBZAOTA482 » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:57 am

MasenkoHA wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:06 pm
DBZAOTA482 wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:51 pm
Probably not considering anime wasn't embraced by American pop culture at the time and Dragon Ball's role in popularizing anime was massive.
Anime was being embraced by American Pop Culture long before Z hit Toonami.

Sci Fi had its own anime block in 1995

Akira was getting critical acclaim in the late 80s by the like of Roger Ebert. It was also influential on Batman Beyond whose show runners were definitely not introduced to anime by the likes of DBZ and Sailor Moon

Lion King was met with controversy upon release for being too similar to a certain Japanese cartoon from the 60s something even The Simpsons had fun with.
And even the voice actor for adult Simba mistakenly thought he was involved in a remake of because he grew up with the cartoon.
The Sci-Fi anime block aired mostly hyper-violent edgy anime which doesn't exactly lend itself to mainstream appeal.

Akira was a cult film that had an extremely limited showing so it isn't surprising someone as media savvy as Roger Ebert would acknowledge it.

The news of Lion King resembling Kimba the White Lion wasn't exactly making major headlines. It was just a handful of people that noticed similarities.
fadeddreams5 wrote:
DBZGTKOSDH wrote:... Haven't we already gotten these in GT? Goku dies, the DBs go away, and the Namekian DBs most likely won't be used again because of the Evil Dragons.
Goku didn't die in GT. The show sucked him off so much, it was impossible to keep him in the world of the living, so he ascended beyond mortality.
jjgp1112 wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:31 am
I'm just about done with the concept of reboots and making shows that were products of their time and impactful "new and sexy" and in line with modern tastes and sensibilities. Let stuff stay in their era and give today's kids their own shit to watch.

I always side eye the people who say "Now my kids/today's kids can experience what I did as a child!" Nigga, who gives a fuck about your childhood? You're an adult now and it was at least 15 years ago. Let the kids have their own experience instead of picking at a corpse.

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by dario03 » Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:03 am

WittyUsername wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:17 pm
The big advantage with DBZ airing on Cartoon Network is that it aired every day each week, instead of once a week on Saturday mornings or whenever, and considering how many episodes of DBZ there are, that was definitely for the best.
Maybe, I could see that helping though it might of caught on anyways at some point since some other shows did and once a week was how it was in Japan. Though it had aired on Saturday mornings before and I don't think it did great there, or at least from what I seen it didn't seem like it did since it didn't last or got moved around. However it did air on weekdays on other channels before Cartoon Network and plenty of other animated shows had regular weekday slots on other channels. Consistent or at least nearly consistent airtime and days shortly after school for a lot of people was probably a big help, I recall some other channel that aired it on weekdays but it was at 6 in the morning so it wasn't as well known (also not sure if they were airing before CN or not).

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Yuli Ban » Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:33 am

DBZAOTA482 wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:51 pm
Probably not considering anime wasn't embraced by American pop culture at the time and Dragon Ball's role in popularizing anime was massive.
Dragon Ball was indeed quite popular, but anime was mainstream in the USA for at least a decade by the point it first came over.
Don't fret; I used to suffer the same misconception you seem to have, that it was DBZ, Sailor Moon, and Toonami in general that made anime mainstream in the USA.
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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by GreatSaiyaJeff » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:32 pm

I think it's a mix between both. Yeah it would have done well, but the constant reruns and the heavy promotion of the series from CN definitely helped boost it.

Now I first saw the series on Saturday morning block, and the first episodes I watched were the Ginyu Force showing up. However that was only when I was at my grandparents house. So I didn't get a chance to watch much of it. So when it came to Toonami, I was excited to watch the series from the beginning. That was my personal experience anyways.
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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by ABED » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:37 pm

Yuli Ban wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:33 am
DBZAOTA482 wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:51 pm
Probably not considering anime wasn't embraced by American pop culture at the time and Dragon Ball's role in popularizing anime was massive.
Dragon Ball was indeed quite popular, but anime was mainstream in the USA for at least a decade by the point it first came over.
Don't fret; I used to suffer the same misconception you seem to have, that it was DBZ, Sailor Moon, and Toonami in general that made anime mainstream in the USA.
What were the mainstream anime before then?

I think so. DBZ did well whereever it aired and gained enough of a following that it caught the attention of CN. Surely some network would've picked it up had CN not.
Akira was getting critical acclaim in the late 80s by the like of Roger Ebert.
What an overrated movie. Good animation but a convoluted "story" and no compelling characters. Anyway, it was a one off film and hardly indicative of anime being mainstream. Besides Ebert was a film critic and historian. He didn't just review the most popular movies you'd find at the local multiplex. And plenty of stories are influenced by stories that aren't mainstream. Batman Beyond taking some cues from a particular film doesn't prove it was mainstream much less prove Anime as a whole was mainstream.
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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by MasenkoHA » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:48 pm

ABED wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:37 pm
What were the mainstream anime before then?
Astro Boy, Speed Racer, Gatchaman (under all its localized names) Kimba the White Lion, Voltron, and Robotech were all mainstream kids broadcast tv anime that proceeded Dragon Ball

I think so. DBZ did well whereever it aired and gained enough of a following that it caught the attention of CN. Surely some network would've picked it up had CN not.
It’s no coincidence that CN started to air the show a mere 3 months after season 2 had wrapped up and Saban pulled out of the syndication business. The gap between Saban effectively cancelling the show and a deal being made with Cartoon Network to air the episodes, with the potential of producing more, is probably a lot smaller than people think.

It almost definitely would have ended up on another network the show was a big enough hit even before Toonami’s heavy promoting and choice after school time slots made it explode

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by ABED » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:58 pm

Speed Racer and Voltron, sure, something occasionally breaks through, but I wouldn't consider Gatchaman mainstream. And it's all relative. Despite their popularity, I wouldn't even consider American Superhero comics to really be mainstream until maybe the late 80s, early 90s. A few blockbuster titles isn't what I would consider mainstream.

I'm of the mind that DBZ only needed to be on a network people watched at a time when people watched and it was always going to draw an audience.
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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Kid Buu » Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:19 pm

Animes always had a limited audience in the Anglosphere, before and after DBZ.

To answer the OPs question, I think so. After all Kai was completely fine on Nicktoons.
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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by MasenkoHA » Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:47 pm

I wonder why people think ONLY Toonami/Cartoon Network could have made the show a big hit. Kidswb had success with Pokemon and Fox Kids had success with Power Rangers and Digimon (the former being something Funimation/Saban tried to turn the show into)

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by MyVisionity » Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:30 pm

MasenkoHA wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:47 pm
I wonder why people think ONLY Toonami/Cartoon Network could have made the show a big hit. Kidswb had success with Pokemon and Fox Kids had success with Power Rangers and Digimon (the former being something Funimation/Saban tried to turn the show into)
The Saturday morning and weekday afternoon children's blocks airing on broadcast television were already on their way out by the millennium. If the show was going to become as big as it did, a cable network was probably the only way for that to happen at that point. If not Cartoon Network, then some other cable channel.

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by AlexSketchy04 » Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:08 pm

I could see KidsWB, or Fox Kids pick up the show if we are talking about broadcast TV.

Cable, the only one i could see picking up the show could have been Nickelodeon, i'm not sure if Disney (Either the main channel or Toon Disney) could have picked it up

Another option in cable could have been the USANetwork

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Hellspawn28 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:26 am

DBZAOTA482 wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:57 am

The Sci-Fi anime block aired mostly hyper-violent edgy anime which doesn't exactly lend itself to mainstream appeal.
Hyper violent edgy stuff is what was big and popular during the 90s. Look at the movies, comics, video games that came out at the time like Pulp Fiction and Mortal Kombat. Anime was already big in America before DBZ and Pokemon. That's how anime became big in the first place because people wanted to watch cartoons that was not made for kids. In the west, you barely have serious adult animation.

It's true that Cartoon Network did help introduced anime to kids, but you already had an anime industry in America before 1998-1999. Anime being released on VHS and late night TV was never aim to the kids who watch kids shows and movies. Even back in 1998-2000, most anime that was being put out on home video was still not aim to kids. I doubt people that were selling titles like Kite, Space Adventure Cobra, Blue Seed, Perfect Blue, etc. back in 1998-2000 to kids that were watching DBZ, Pokemon, Digimon, etc.

Back on topic, I think Dragon Ball would have found a home without Cartoon Network back in 1998. I think some other network could have pick it up and aired it because they will see how popular the brand is. I bet Fox Kids or Toon Disney would probably have picked it up instead.
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