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Description: Dragon Ball Z Kai, known in Japan as Dragon Ball Kai (ドラゴンボール改「カイ」, Doragon Boru Kai; lit...
Dragon Ball Z Kai . known in Japan as Dragon Ball Kai (ドラゴンボール改「カイ」, Doragon Boru Kai ; lit. "Dragon Ball Revised"), is an anime series that is a high-definition remastered and recut of Dragon Ball Z . done for its 20th Anniversary. It premiered on Fuji TV on April 5, 2009 at 9:00am just before One Piece and ended initially on March 27, 2011 with 97 episodes (a 98th episode was later released straight-to-video), and the two shows were marketed together as "Dream 9", which refers to the hour in which they both aired. The series average rating was 9.4%, with its maximum being 12.3% (Episode 47 ) and its minimum being 6.4% (Episode 18 ). Dragon Ball Kai returned to Japanese TV on April 6, 2014, with the Majin Buu Saga. and ended its run for the second and last time on June 28, 2015 with 61 episodes while the original uncut international version would go on to have 69 episodes (bringing the total episode count of the series to 159 for the original Japanese broadcast and 167 for the extended International broadcast). 
The "Kai" (改「かい」) in the series' name means "updated," "modified," or "altered."  Two issues of Shonen JUMP have included some primary information about the series.  Interestingly, despite the series being only a director's cut of Dragon Ball Z. the Z has been completely removed from the title (at least in the original Japanese version).
FUNimation Entertainment has been dubbing Dragon Ball Kai into English for a North American release, under the release title of Dragon Ball Z Kai (more information can be viewed below). The series premiered on the Nicktoons network on May 24, 2010.  This was quite a change, as all the Dragon Ball series have almost always appeared on Cartoon Network in the United States. On August 14, 2010, the series premiered on The CW 's Toonzai block.  It was shown on Kix in the United Kingdom.
After episode 97, there were initially no plans for Dragon Ball Kai to reach the Majin Buu Saga. A new anime series based on the Toriko manga debuted in April 2011, taking over the Dragon Ball Kai time slot at 9 AM on Sunday mornings before the One Piece anime series. The 97th episode of the series was broadcast on March 27, 2011 in Japan, and January 1, 2012 in America. The series was in syndication in Japan for exactly two years. Despite this, the series has been one of the top 10 rated anime series every week since syndication began in April 2009. The 98th episode of the series, which recapped the entire series and provided some closure, was released to DVD/Blu-ray on August 2, 2011 in Japan and was aired on Nicktoons in the U.S. on February 8, 2013.   In November 2012, it was confirmed that production of Dragon Ball Z Kai will continue and air outside of Japan.  Mayumi Tanaka (the Japanese voice of Krillin in the series) posted news on her blog confirming that Dragon Ball Kai will be continuing, as voice work was already under way for the early stages of the Majin Buu story arc. Her post goes on to specify that the series revival is for the overseas market, and as of the time of her post there are no plans to air the new episodes in Dragon Ball' s home country of Japan.  In April 2013, Sean Schemmel and Kyle Hebert (the FUNimation dub voice actors for Goku and Gohan ) confirmed they were recording their lines for the FUNimation dub of the Buu Saga. In November 2013, when questioned about it on their Facebook page, it was stated by Australian anime distributor Madman Entertainment that the Buu Saga of Dragon Ball Z Kai should be released on November, 8 2014 on Cartoon Network, as they are just waiting on dubs to be finished. 
Dragon Ball Kai returned with the Majin Buu arc to Japanese TV on April 6, 2014, taking over the time slot previously occupied by Toriko.  This story arc was comprised of 61 episodes for the Japanese version, and 69 episodes for the International version, raising the total episode count for the entire Kai series to 159 episodes for the Japanese version and 167 episodes for the International version.
Comparison of aspect ratios from Dragon Ball Z Kai (left) and Dragon Ball Z (right). Click to enlarge
The series was extensively "refreshed" for Japanese television. This is not a new animation, but rather a remastered edit that runs through certain events of Dragon Ball Z. Part of this is reformatting and extending the picture to 16:9 Widescreen. Through digital processing, the image was made vibrant. All the music, damage and noise remaining on the Dragon Ball Z film is removed, making the image much clearer in high-definition.
A comparison with the original video side-by-side shows considerable cropping to achieve the 16:9 aspect ratio. However, it seems carefully done to avoid missing anything important. The original image is not stretched, just cut where it would be more appropriate, being a "tilt and scan" or "reverse pan and scan" of the original Dragon Ball Z footage.
New ending credits with new animations of Dodoria and Zarbon (top left), the Ginyu Force (top right), Frieza (center left), Raditz (center right), and Nappa and Vegeta (bottom left)
Dragon Ball Kai includes a complete re-recording of the dialog by most of the original Japanese voice cast, as well as completely new sound design with updated sound effects. The opening and ending themes are completely new. Takayoshi Tanimoto performs the series' opening themes "Dragon Soul " and "Kuu-Zen-Zetsu-Go ", and the closing theme "Yeah! Break! Care! Break! " This new opening and closing credits have newly animated appearances by most of the main cast. as well as for the villains, such as Raditz. Nappa. Vegeta. Frieza. Zarbon. Dodoria. and the Ginyu Force. There's also a new artwork clip after every intermission, such as one of Cui and Vegeta in episode 19. Unlike the original Dragon Ball Z. which only had two sets of eye-catches for the entire series, in Dragon Ball Kai. it changes every few episodes to feature an appropriate character ensemble/situation.
The Garlic Jr. Saga does not air in Dragon Ball Kai. Originally lasting from episodes 108 to 117, the saga featured the return of Garlic Jr.. the main villain from the first DBZ movie. The saga was completely filler and Garlic Jr. or any of his henchmen did not appear in the original manga. Because Kai stays truer to the manga, this saga has been completely cut out.
Among other things, Vegeta's unique palette while on an unnamed planet in the beginning of the series has been altered; however, Nappa's armor is still different from the armor he wears on Earth. Piccolo's blood in the Raditz fight has also been recolored to purple (in DB and in this fight in DBZ. Piccolo was drawn with red blood, but purple blood in the rest of the DBZ series). However, when Raditz is explaining to Goku about the Saiyans, Vegeta has his original palette.
Confirmed episodes of Dragon Ball Kai to have new animation inserted include: 16. 21. 22. and 24 through 54. Episode 16 is the first episode in the series that includes several instances of completely new animation spliced in with the original. More than likely, this was done to bridge gaps left behind when filler material was removed, so as to keep the length and pace of the episode intact. It is also possible that this was done to replace damaged frames. This is seen again in episode 21 at time indexes 14:25 through 14:50 and again numerous times, interlaced with the original animation, starting at 18:44 and lasting until 21:44 (the end of the episode). The style of the animation should be considered "neo-classic" for it is designed to blend in seamlessly with the existing animation. However, when the Majin Buu saga aired, the show started using recolored old animation instead of the neo-classic animation.
For the Androids Saga. the animation in the opening scene and closing credits has been altered a bit to fit the current storyline. New animations of Dr. Gero. Android 19. Android 17. Android 18. Android 16. and Cell appear, as well as the Super Saiyan appearances of Goku, Vegeta, Future Trunks. and Gohan. The new intro also showcases battles taking place within the saga, such as Vegeta vs. #18, Piccolo vs. #17, #16 vs. Cell, Goku vs. Cell, and ends showing a sequence of the Z Fighters standing together with their Cell Saga appearances. The ending credits are also different, showcasing Goku flying with Shenron as the faces of the main cast appear. He proceeds to transform into a Super Saiyan and the cast joins him in flight. The sequences ends with the Z Fighters standing in front of the Earth. with Shenron and Porunga in the backdrop.
Toei released the first set on DVD and Blu-ray in September, 2009 in 4:3 aspect ratio, which is said that is how it was originally created and was only 16:9 ratio before because it was cropped for HD TV. [citation needed ] The refreshed series also spawned a stage play named Dragon Ball Kai: Super Battle Stage .
Dragon Ball Kai used a new background musical score by Kenji Yamamoto. composer of the Dragon Ball video games. His score was used regularly for all releases of episodes 1-95, however, he was given a layoff notice from Toei Animation after it was discovered that he was infringing his music off of other artists and eventually resigned. The last few episodes of Dragon Ball Kai. as well as Japanese reruns of past episodes, made use of music recycled from Dragon Ball Z by Shunsuke Kikuchi (although the Dragon Ball Kai theme songs remained intact), however, the placing of the music differed from the original series. It is unconfirmed if the original matching of the tracks with the scenes as the original series will ever be released.
The American broadcast of Dragon Ball Z Kai was affected as well. The 5th American DVD/Blu-ray volume was delayed twice, due to FUNimation replacing Yamamoto's score with the original Dragon Ball Z background score for the remainder of the English release of Dragon Ball Z Kai. for the DVDs/Blu-rays (all episodes) and the TV Version (all episodes). The re-released Dragon Ball Kai collections including episodes 1-26 and episodes 27-52 have included the random placement of the original tracks. It is possible, though, that FUNimation has not disposed of the original masters as Toonami mistakenly aired the Yamamoto score for the first episode.
Navarre revealed during its Q3 2010 earnings conference call, on February 2, 2010, that its North American anime distributor FUNimation had licensed the Dragon Ball Kai series for release in the "latter part of the upcoming fiscal year." However, it was re-titled Dragon Ball Z Kai. FUNimation later confirmed the license with AnimeNewsNetwork.com. Dragon Ball Z Kai Part one was released on May 18, 2010. The cast for Dragon Ball Z Kai was mostly the same as Z except for a few re-casts for various reasons. The English dub for the series is produced by Okatron 5000 in Dallas, TX, US at the same recording studio used for the video games of the Dragon Ball franchise. with Christopher Sabat as one of the primary voice directors. Cartoon Network, broadcaster of all previous Dragon Ball media, passed on the rights to show Dragon Ball Z Kai. Instead, Kai premiered on Nicktoons in the U.S. on May 24, 2010. 
A comparison of the opening scene in Dragon Ball Kai. The shot on the left is the original uncut scene, and the right being the one that appeared on Nicktoons. It is clear to see all traces of blood have been removed from Bardock 's face
The series is edited on Nicktoons to fit the intended audience, and occasionally contains different verbiage than the home release, which is entirely unedited. Some character attacks regain their correct and untranslated-proper-noun announcements in the unedited dub (i.e. "Makankōsappō" instead of Special Beam Cannon. "Kienzan" instead of Destructo Disk. etc.), although some of the official English names for the attacks are retained for the broadcast version. Most other names used in the English dub remain the same (i.e. Krillin and Tien Shinhan instead of "Kuririn" and "Tenshinhan"). Less liberty is taken with the script, and episode titles are mostly literal translations of their original Japanese versions. Nicktoons' broadcast originally used Kenji Yamamoto's musical score, however it changed to Shunsuke Kikkuichi's cues after the music plagiarism incident (see "Music" above). The opening theme was retained, although shortened to allow time for more commercials. The broadcast uses Vic Mignogna 's version of the theme song for the full run, even though his complete version was only used for Episodes 27 - 39 on the official home video release. The ending theme is usually cut, and the credits are shown in split screen, although a shorter version of the ending has been used on occasion.
The Toonzai kids block on The CW also aired FUNimation's English dub of Dragon Ball Z Kai. Their broadcast contained most of the edits of the Nicktoons version, as well as extra editing to fit the stricter broadcast standards. The broadcast has been notorious for it's questionable editing practices such as erasing Shenron from the opening credits in some episodes, colorizing Mr. Popo blue, changing halos into shining spheres, adding sparkles to Chiaotzu 's fatal explosion, drawing an eye over Gohan's swollen face, and replacing dialogue considered objectionable with sound-a-like voices. Like the Nicktoons' broadcast, the Toonzai broadcast featured the Kenji Yamamoto score before being replaced with the Shunsuke Kikuchi score. Aside from the Shenron edit, the opening and closing also remained the same as the Nicktoons broadcast.
Edited episodes are also available for streaming in the United States on both Nicktoons' and Toonzai's respective websites.
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