The Nicktoons Broadcast of Kai

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The Nicktoons Broadcast of Kai

Post by Dragon Ball Ireland » Thu Jun 20, 2024 6:33 pm


I previously wrote a thread detailing the CW/4Kids broadcasts, and Kix for those of us here in the British Isles, but as a lot of people here followed Kai on Nicktoons I figured why not?

It was a fascinating broadcast for sure. Funimation gets the chance to right the wrongs of their Dragon Ball Z dub, but with tight deadlines from Nicktoons, voice actor's health suffering and a music scandal that no doubt became, as TheBlackPaladin often put it an "organisational nightmare" we have the original American broadcast for the post-Toonami generation.

Kai was announced for Nicktoons in March 2010 with a premiere date for the following May shortly after the first DVD/Blu-Ray release from Funimation.

During Dragon Ball Kai's initial run on Nicktoons episodes premiered Monday-Thursdays at 8pm and new episodes were available to stream on Nicktoon's site 30-60 minutes before TV airings. On its first day Kai became the highest-rated series premiere in the channel's history with double and triple-digit increases over the previous year in its key demographics, which included kids 6-11 (+71%), boys 6-11 (+122%), tweens 9-14 (+150%), boys 9-14 and total viewers (+144%), beating records previously held by Wolverine and The X-Men.

In its early days there were two new debut episodes Monday-Thursday before dropping to one before Monday and Tuesday were dropped. On several occasions fans could expect either one new episode that week or two on whatever day they premiered until Nicktoons got back into somewhat of a rhythm February and March the next year with two more big breaks prior to when the Android arc gets going and Perfect Cell emerges. Towards the end of 2011 in the pre-Christmas period Nicktoons had two more somewhat regular runs of new episodes.
  • Episodes 1-8 : Monday-Thursday (2 premiers per day)
  • Episodes 9-27 : Monday-Thursday (1 premier each day, excluding June Bank holiday)
  • Episodes 28-35 : Wednesday-Thursday (1 premier each day)
  • Episodes 36 : Monday (1 premier on a single day)
  • Episodes 37-46 : Wednesday-Thursday (1 premier each day)
  • Episodes 47-48 : Saturday (2 premiers on a single day)
  • Episodes 49-50 : Thursday (2 premiers on a single day)
  • Episode 51 : Saturday (1 premier on a single day)
  • Episodes 52-58 : Wednesday-Thursday (2 premiers each day)
  • Episodes 59-63 : Tuesday-Thursday first week, Wednesday-Thursday second (1 premier each day)
  • Episode 64 : Monday (1 premier on a single day)
  • Episodes 65-69 : Thursday (1 premier each day)
  • Episodes 70-79 : Wednesday-Thursday (1 premier each day)
  • Episode 80 : Monday (1 premier on a single day)
  • Episodes 81-90 : Wednesday-Thursday (1 premier each day)
  • Episode 91 : Friday (1 premier on a single day)
  • Episodes 92-96 : Monday-Friday (1 premier each day)
  • Episode 97 : Sunday (1 premier on a single day)
  • Episode 98 : Friday (1 premier on a single day)
Following Kai's success it was reported not only was Nicktoons the fastest growing kid's channel but that they formed a partnership with the National Football League to produce a short animated series called Rush Zone: Guardians of the Core. At the time Nicktoons was available to 57 million homes with cable, digital cable and satellite and on various packages like Cablevision, Charter Communications, Comcast Cable, Cox Communications, DirecTV, DISH Network and Time Warner Cable.

Although there was no break between the Saiyan saga and early Namek saga the latter was promoted during the credits of SpongeBob SquarePants, and by early August Nicktoons began to rerun Kai from the first episode.

By July the 8pm Monday-Thursday timeslot remained for the 'Summer Primetime' event but Nicktoons shifted gears to 1 "catch-up" episode Monday and Tuesday and 1 premiere Wednesday and Thursday. As such for July fans could expect 2 repeats and 2 premiers a week, but there was plenty of other times to catch up As Nicktoons aired Kai at various timeslots:
  • Weekdays 7am-8am
  • Monday-Thursday 11am-11:30pm
  • Fridays 12am-1am
  • Saturdays 6pm-7pm
  • Sundays 9am-10am
  • Sundays 8pm-10pm
  • Sundays 12am-1am (no breaks)
Fans first spotted promos on August 23 2010 for new episodes beginning on September 6th, on this day episode 36 premiered at 8:05pm and a rerun of the series started during the 5-6:30pm triple bill.

Sometime in October 2010 Nicktoons gave fans a chance to catch up on the first 36 episodes when they were airing 12 episodes a day from midday Saturday-Monday with the tagline "Z it all weekend". The next two episodes, which aired on Wednesday and Thursday got their own promo as did 41.

Promos for new episodes premiering on October 20th said "episodes" leading fans to believe it would be more than one. At the time Nicktoon's site listed two new episodes premiering on October 20th and 21st as fans noted. For the Freeza saga, which began October 20th Nicktoons reverted back to airing 2 new episodes a week Wednesdays and Thursdays. For these promos most of Freeza's forms were shown. At the time Nicktoon's site listed two new episodes premiering on October 20th and 21st as fans noted.

Around this time they were advertising Thanksgiving weekend marathon of Avatar, DBKai, and that Zevo show as 'leading up to premieres'. To celebrate Thanksgiving Kai featured as part of an All-Heroes Weekend marathon on November 27 2010 kicking off at 9am with episode 23 (Vegeta's Covert Maneuvers! A Tragic Assault on the Namekians!) and after a brief airing of NFL Rush Zone the two new premier episodes 47 (Awaken, Legendary Warrior! Goku the Super Saiyan!) and 48 (The Angry Super Saiyan! Goku Throws Down the Gauntlet!) had their debuts at 9:05pm and 9:30pm respectively.

Toonzone threads and TV spots at the time indicated new episodes would premier on December 16th, which fans corroborated through sites like these.

On January 22, 2011 Nicktoons teased new episodes in a tweet and 4 days later began to advertise them on the credits of previously released episodes for a February 9th release with images of Trunks and King Cold. Shortly after a promo was shown.

On March 12, 2011 fans could vote for either Kai or Avatar in Clash of the Nicktoons. Ironically while Nicktoons premiered Kai before the CW the latter was premiering episodes with Kikuchi around this time likely because Nicktoons was using masters they already had and the CW was getting new materials as Kai was being shown in reruns on Nicktoons around this time.

On May 30 2011 Nicktoons had an 11-hour marathon promising to lead into the final arc as part of their "Summer Blast-Off" commencing at 10am with episode 44 (A Boundary-Pushing Brawl! Goku, Frieza, and Ginyu Again?) and ending with the 8pm premiere of episode 64 (Number 17 and Number 18! The Androids Awaken!) the only new episode that day. That June the following 5 episodes all premiered on the Thursdays at 8pm.

That summer new episodes of the Android saga premiered on wednesdays at 8pm.

Around mid-July 2011 Nicktoons aired new episodes of Kai with clips of Kung Fu Panda Legends of Awesomeness for the 6pm airing titled Kung Fu Crew. Kai was also part of Nicktoon's Marathon-A-Thon event where each day the channel gave a select show a 24-hour marathon each day of that week. Kai's marathon began September 2nd at 6am with episode 13 and ended the morning after with episode 60 (The Unbeatable Enemy Within! Goku vs. Android 19!).

For Columbus Day, which was October 10 2011 Nicktoons held an 11-hour marathon from 10am-9pm rerunning every episode from 58 (Goku's New Move, Instant Transmission! The Three-Year Training Session Begins!) to 79 (The Battle Turns for the Worst! Cell Attacks Android 18!) and then the premiere of 80 (The Tables Are Turned! Witness the Power of Perfection!). The episode after that premiered over a week later on October 19 2011.

Another marathon followed on November 11th from 9am-8pm with no new premiers.

By late November Nicktoons still aired episodes 53-63 with the Yamamoto score, these were of course the only episodes in English-speaking territories were the score was exclusive to the TV broadcasts as the home releases never got further than episode 52.

Kai was part of the “Feast of Fury Week” where it was scheduled for a 12-8pm marathon beginning with episode 75 Power Unknown! Android 16 Breaks His Silence! and ending with episode 90 The Opening Round is Concluded! Goku's Moment of Decision!. The following episode Get Angry, Gohan! Release Your Hidden Power! premiered at 9pm.

Prior to wrapping up Kai Nicktoons began a complete rerun titled "Super Saiyan Saga" where from December 5 2011 and for two weeks Monday-Friday at 6pm inclusive they aired 9 episodes a day until December 19th with the premiere of episode 92 (Tears for an Android! Gohan's Inner Rage Bursts Forth!) at 8pm. From that point there was a new episode at the same timeslot until Friday that week. Every night of this run fans got a new code to unlock sneak peaks and exclusive access to a never-before-seen episode on the final night on

The final episode of Kai (until 98 and The Final Chapters) premiered on January 1, 2012 on Nicktoons, although it was not until mid March that they began to rerun the series from episode 1 again. For the rest of the year the hype for Kai began to die down in the US, Nicktoons picked up GT, likely because they thought it would be the only follow-up option they would ever have. It was only in November that news about the Boo arc being dubbed first leaked.

Nonetheless Nicktoons opened 2013 with a full 24-hour marathon of Kai beginning with episode 37 (A Nightmare Transformation! Frieza's Power Level: One-Million?!) and going all the way to 84 (Training Complete! Goku Sizes Up the Competition!) and Kai remained in reruns with two double bills Monday-Friday at 3pm and 6pm and weekends at 2am (at this time GT aired 1:30pm and 3:30am), and the show returned to earlier timeslots.

The final episode Peace for the Future! The Spirit of Goku is Forever! premiered February 8 2013 at 10pm fittingly straight after History of Trunks, amusingly marketed as "the lost episode", and from here the end was near. Kai and GT were both pulled from Nicktoon's schedule the week of April 17 2013, but it was a well loved broadcast and many are nostalgic for it today.

Heres some interesting trivia about Kai we learned prior to the Funimation dub's production and over the course of the Nicktoons airings:
  • Fan once asked Sabat how they would handle "Over 8,000" vs "Over 9,000" and he teased "Let's just say, everyone wins."
  • Sabat told a fan on Facebook dubbing was delayed by a week, possibly explaining dialogue errors slipping in
  • Sabat said on Facebook he delayed production for as long as he could, but ultimately had to go back to voicing his characters before his doctor's recommended rest period was over due to deadlines with Nicktoons. I don't know at what point in Kai they were when this happened, though, partially because the episodes got dubbed WAY in advance of their actual release. By the time "Season 1, Part 1" was released, for example, they were well into Namek
  • Krillin said Destructo Disc, twice, even though he's said Kienzan more than once in previous episodes
  • There were different variations of the Kienzan pronunciation, although Destructo Disc was consistent:
    • Kienzen
    • Kienzan
  • TheBlackPaladin said "Tri-Beam" was still in the show instead of "Kiko-ho." Somebody asked Sabat on his Facebook page what was up with it and his response was, "Sorry, I don't know what happened with the Tri-Beam thing."
  • TheBlackPaladin's other theory was all of the attack names that haven't been translated back to their real names have, so far, have been used as part of an episode title. It's possible that FUNimation simply didn't bother to create alternate episode titles--an "uncut" title and an "edited' title
  • Despite the inconsistency in pronunciations and names Episode guides often defaulted to Japanese terminology.
  • Chuck Huber suffered heart attack but also recovered and did all of #17's lines
  • Dende mentions having brothers and sisters, before then saying there's only one type of Namekian, which Sabat said on Facebook they caught and would try fix for the home release. It didn't happen
  • Episodes 1-5 had no retroactive uncensoring
  • The Nicktoons Kikuchi mix of episodes 22 and 24 contained lines not heard before on the channel
  • The original "writer," J. Michael Tatum, wasn't working on as many Kai episodes in the second half as he was in the first.
  • On July 22nd uncut line "Ugly as it is, in this form I'm capable of snapping your neck like a twig" slipped into episode 24
  • Episode 74's description on the Nicktoons site at the time said "Room of Spirit and Time"
And some comments from the voice actors at the time:
Did anyone watch Kai on Nicktoons? Would love to hear your stories.
Do you have any info about international non-English broadcasts about the Dragon Ball anime or manga translations/editions? Please message me. Researching for a future book with Dragon Ball scholar Derek Padula :thumbup: