In the U.S., the series initially aired in first-run syndication from September 13, 1996 to May 23, 1998. On August 31, 1998 episodes began airing on Cartoon Network's weekday-afternoon programming block, Toonami, where the series received much more popularity. The first previously syndicated and heavily edited 53 (originally 67) episodes aired in 1998. In 1999 new less edited episodes began to air and the series completed its first run on Toonami in 2003. In the summer of 2005, the first 67 episodes were re-dubbed by Funimation and shown uncut on Toonami. The series also appeared on the Midnight Run, Rising Sun, and Super Saturday. The edited version was rated TV-Y7-FV, while the uncut version was rated TV-PG-LV.
Dragon Ball Z was marketed to appeal to a wide range of viewers from all ages, and contains crude humor and occasional excesses of violence which are commonly seen as inappropriate for younger audiences by American standards. When it was marketed in the US, the distribution company FUNimation Entertainment, along with Saban Entertainment, decided to initially focus exclusively on the young children's market, because the anime market was still small compared to the much larger children's cartoon market. This censorship often had unintentionally humorous results, such as changing all references to death, so the dead characters were merely going to "another dimension," and digitally altering two ogres' shirts to read "HFIL" instead of "HELL."
Starting with the Captain Ginyu Saga on Cartoon Network, censorship was reduced due to fewer restrictions on cable programming. FUNimation handled the dubbing on their own this time, using their own voice actors. In 2004, FUNimation began to redub the first two sagas of Dragon Ball Z, to remove the problems that were caused by their previous partnership with Saban.
However, the show still retained some level of censorship, not out of FCC laws, but out of choice by FUNimation, so as to cater to the possible sensitivity of western audiences. For example, Mr. Satan was renamed "Hercule" to avoid any religious slurs; his daughter's name, Videl, was an anagram of the word "Devil," but FUNimation felt that the connection was obscure enough to not worry about.
Five years after the events of Dragon Ball, now a young adult and father to son Gohan, Goku meets his older brother Raditz, who reveals to him that they are members of a nearly extinct extraterrestrial race called the Saiyans. The Saiyans had sent Goku (originally named "Kakarrot") to Earth as an infant to conquer the planet for them, but he suffered a head injury soon after his arrival and lost all memory of his mission, as well as his blood-thirsty Saiyan nature. Goku refuses to help Raditz continue the mission and has to team up with Piccolo, and sacrifice his life, in order to defeat him. However, Goku is revived a year later by the Dragon Balls, after training in the afterlife with King Kai, in order to save the Earth from the Saiyan prince Vegeta. However, in the battle Yamcha, Chaotzu, Tien and Piccolo are killed. Due to Piccolo being one with Kami, the Dragon Balls no longer exist, resulting in a group traveling to their home planet, Namek, in order to use the balls there to revive their friends. However, the galactic tyrant Frieza is already there doing the same, leading to several battles with his minions and Vegeta, the latter of which teams up with the heroes to fight the Ginyu Force. After Goku arrives, the final long battle with Freeza himself comes to a close after Goku transform into a legendary Super Saiyan and avenges the lives of billions across the galaxy.
- For full list of filler material see: Dragonball.wikia.com
Filler is used to pad out a series for many reasons; in the case of Dragon Ball Z, more often than not, it was because the anime was running alongside the manga, and there was no way for the anime to run ahead of the manga (since Toriyama was still writing it, at the same time).
The company behind the anime, Toei Animation, would create side stories to use as filler as either a way to expand on the plot or to extend the series, or it could be as simple as adding extra attacks into a fight. One example of filler occurs during the Frieza Saga. Frieza initiates the destruction of planet Namek to occur after five minutes, but the final fight with Frieza lasted several episodes. (This can also be attributed to the idea that Namek took longer to explode than Frieza had expected.) Some filler also took the form of extra footage that occurred during the battle with Frieza.
As the anime series was forced to expand 12 pages of manga text into 25 minutes of animation footage, these changes were introduced to kill time or to allow the (anime) writers to explore some other aspect of the series' universe. The Garlic Jr. Saga (Garlic Jr.'s return from the Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone movie) between the Frieza Saga and Trunks Saga, and the Other World Tournament between the Cell Games Saga and the Majin Buu Saga are both good examples of this.
|Son Goku||Masako Nozawa|| Ian Corlett (1-37)|
Peter Kelamis (38-53)
|Son Gohan||Masako Nozawa|| Saffron Henderson|
Jillian Michaels (preteen)
Brad Swaile (teen & adult)
| Stephanie Nadolny (child & preteen)|
Kyle Hebert (teen & adult)
|Son Goten||Masako Nozawa||Jillian Michaels||Kara Edwards|
|Piccolo||Toshio Furukawa||Scott McNeil||Christopher R. Sabat|
|Vegeta||Ryō Horikawa||Brian Drummond||Christopher R. Sabat|
|Bulma||Hiromi Tsuru||Lalainia Lindbjerg||Tiffany Vollmer|
|Trunks||Takeshi Kusao||Cathy Weseluck||Laura Bailey|
|Future Trunks||Takeshi Kusao||Alistair Abell||Eric Vale|
|Krillin||Mayumi Tanaka||Terry Klassen||Sonny Strait|
|Yamcha||Toru Furuya||Ted Cole||Christopher R. Sabat|
|Pu'ar||Naoko Watanabe||Cathy Weseluck||Monika Antonelli|
|Tien Shinhan||Hirotaka Suzuoki||Matt Smith|| Chris Cason (54-92)|
John Burgmeier (onwards)
|Chiaotzu||Hiroko Emori||Cathy Weseluck||Monika Antonelli|
|Chi-Chi|| Mayumi Sho (1-66)|
|Laara Sadiq||Cynthia Cranz|
|Ox-King|| Daisuke Gōri|
|Dave Ward|| Mark Britten|
|Master Roshi|| Kōhei Miyauchi|
| Ian Corlett (1-37)|
Peter Kelamis (38-53)
|Turtle||Daisuke Gōri||Don Brown||Christopher R. Sabat|
|Launch||Mami Koyama||Teryl Rothery||Meredith McCoy|
|Oolong||Naoki Tatsuta||Doug Parker|| Mark Britten (54-92)|
Bradford Jackson (onwards)
|Kami||Takeshi Aono||Dale Wilson||Christopher R. Sabat|
|Mr. Popo||Yasuhiko Kawazu||Alvin Sanders|| Chris Cason (54-92)|
Christopher R. Sabat (onwards)
|King Kai||Jōji Yanami||Don Brown||Sean Schemmel|
|Bubbles||Naoki Tatsuta||Doug Parker||Christopher R. Sabat|
|Gregory||Yūji Mitsuya||Doug Parker||John Burgmeier|
|Yajirobe||Mayumi Tanaka||Brian Drummond||Mike McFarland|
|Korin|| Ichirō Nagai (26-192)|
|Doug Parker||Christopher R. Sabat|
|Dende||Tomiko Suzuki||Tabitha St. Germain|| Ceyli Delgadillo (child)|
Justin Cook (teen)
|Hercule||Daisuke Gōri||Don Brown||Chris Rager|
|Videl||Yūko Minaguchi||Moneca Stori||Kara Edwards|
|Pan||Yūko Minaguchi||Brenna O'Brien||Susan Huber|
|Pikkon||Hikaru Midorikawa||Brian Drummond||Kyle Hebert|
|West Kai||Bin Shimada||Terry Klassen||Kyle Hebert|
|South Kai||Kazuyuki Sogabe||Scott McNeil||Dameon Clarke|
|East Kai||Keiko Yamamoto||Cathy Weseluck||Stephanie Nadolny|
|Grand Kai||Mahito Tsujimura||Michael Dobson||Mark Britten|
|Old Kai||Reizō Nomoto||Scott McNeil||Kent Williams|
|Eastern Supreme Kai||Yūji Mitsuya||Michael Dobson||Kent Williams|
|Southern Supreme Kai||Kazuyuki Sogabe||Scott McNeil||Chris Rager|
|Western Supreme Kai||Hiromi Tsuru||—||Stephanie Nadolny|
|Northern Supreme Kai||Yukitoshi Hori||Terry Klassen||Jeff Muenstermann|
|Kibito||Shin Aomori||Don Brown||Chuck Huber|
|Marron||Tomiko Suzuki||Melodee Lenz||Laura Bailey|
|Raditz||Shigeru Chiba|| Jason Gray-Stanford (Episodes 1-53)|
Doug Parker (Episode 182)
|Nappa||Shōzō Iizuka||Michael Dobson||Phil Parsons|
|Frieza||Ryūsei Nakao||Pauline Newstone||Linda Young|
|Dodoria||Yukitoshi Hori||Ward Perry||Chris Forbis|
|Zarbon||Shō Hayami||Paul Dobson||Christopher R. Sabat|
|Captain Ginyu||Hideyuki Hori||Richard Newman||Dale Kelly|
|Recoome||Kenji Utsumi||David Kaye||Christopher R. Sabat|
|Guldo||Kōzō Shioya||Terry Klassen||Dylan Thompson|
|Jeice||Kazumi Tanaka||Scott McNeil||Christopher R. Sabat|
|Burter||Yukimasa Kishino||Alec Willows||Mark Britten|
|Garlic Jr.||Shigeru Chiba||Don Brown||Chuck Huber|
|Spice||Hikaru Midorikawa||Richard Cox||Bart Myer|
|Vinegar||Daisuke Gōri||Dave Ward||John Freeman|
|Mustard||Masaharu Satō||Mark Oliver||Mark Britten|
|Salt||Tetsuo Mizutori||Don Brown||Dylan Thompson|
|King Cold|| Daisuke Gōri|
Masaharu Satō (episode 195)
|Adam Henderson||Brad Jackson|
|No. 19||Yukitoshi Hori||Patricia Drake||Phillip Wilburn|
|Dr. Gero/No. 20||Kōji Yada||Brian Dobson||Kent Williams|
|No. 16||Hikaru Midorikawa||Scott McNeil||Jeremy Inman|
|No. 17||Shigeru Nakahara||Ted Cole||Chuck Huber|
|No. 18||Miki Itō||Enuka Okuma||Meredith McCoy|
|Cell||Norio Wakamoto||Dale Wilson||Dameon Clarke|
|Babidi||Jōji Yanami||Terry Klassen||Duncan Brannan|
|Dabura||Ryūzaburō Ōtomo||Scott McNeil||Rick Robertson|
|Pui Pui||Tomohisa Asō||Ted Cole||Mike McFarland|
|Yakon||Yoshiyuki Kono||Michael Kopsa||Paul LeBlanc|
|Spopovich||Hisao Egawa||Michael Dobson||Andrew Chandler|
|Yamu||Naoki Tatsuta||Brian Drummond||John Burgmeier|
|Majin Buu||Kōzō Shioya||Scott McNeil||Josh Martin|
|Evil Buu||Kōzō Shioya||Brian Dobson||Justin Cook|
|Super Buu||Kōzō Shioya||Brian Dobson||Justin Cook|
|Kid Buu||Kōzō Shioya||Ward Perry||Josh Martin|
|World Tournament Announcer||Hirotaka Suzuoki||—||Eric Vale|
|Shenron||Kenji Utsumi||Don Brown||Christopher R. Sabat|
|Porunga||Daisuke Gōri||Richard Newman||Christopher R. Sabat|
|Narrator||Jōji Yanami||Doc Harris|| Dale Kelly (54-180)|
Kyle Hebert (onwards)
|Color||Saga||Episodes||U.S. Season Premiere||U.S. Season Finale|
|Saiyan Saga||35||September 13, 1996||May 24, 1997|
|Namek Saga||32||September 13, 1997||May 23, 1998|
|Captain Ginyu Saga||07||September 13, 1999||September 20, 1999|
|Frieza Saga||33||September 21, 1999||November 3, 1999|
|Garlic Jr. Saga||10||April 8, 2000||September 1, 2000|
|Trunks Saga||08||September 4, 2000||September 13, 2000|
|Android Saga||14||September 14, 2000||October 3, 2000|
|Imperfect Cell Saga||13||October 4, 2000||October 20, 2000|
|Perfect Cell Saga||13||October 23, 2000||November 8, 2000|
|Cell Games Saga||29||November 9, 2000||December 29, 2000|
|Great Saiyaman Saga||15||September 10, 2001||September 27, 2001|
|World Tournament Saga||10||September 28, 2001||October 12, 2001|
|Babidi Saga||12||October 15, 2001||November 1, 2001|
|Majin Buu Saga||22||November 5, 2001||October 10, 2002|
|Fusion Saga||22||October 14, 2002||November 18, 2002|
|Kid Buu Saga||16||November 19, 2002||April 7, 2003|
Dragon Ball Z is a 291 episode Japanese anime series that premiered in Japan on Fuji Television on April 26, 1989 and ran until its end on January 31, 1996.
In 1995, Funimation Productions licensed Dragon Ball Z for an English-language release in North America. They contracted Saban Entertainment to help finance and distribute the series to television, and Pioneer Entertainment to handle home video distribution. Saban hired the Vancouver-based Ocean Studios to dub the anime, and Ron Wasserman (Saban's in-house musician) to compose an American background score and theme song (also known as "Rock the Dragon!"). However, Shuki Levy is credited as being the composer due to contract reasons so that he and Haim Saban (the owner of Saban Entertainment) could gain royalties for the music. Wasserman later came out and said that Levy had nothing to do with the score. This dub of Dragon Ball Z had mandated cuts to content and length, which reduced the first 67 episodes to 53. The series premiered in the U.S. on September 13, 1996 in first-run syndication, but was cancelled after two seasons due to a lack of interest from syndication companies. Pioneer also ceased its home video release of the series at volume 17 (the end of this dub) and retained the rights to produce an uncut subtitled version, but did not do so. Instead, Pioneer produced a bilingual uncut home video release of the series' first three movies, also dubbed by Ocean Studios.
Reruns of the first 53 episodes then began airing on Cartoon Network and, due to the success of these reruns, Funimation resumed production on the series' English dub by themselves, but could no longer afford the services of Ocean Studios without Saban's financial assistance. This led to Funimation creating its own in-house voice cast at their Texas-based studio, as well as a new background score composed by Bruce Faulconer. This new dub featured less censorship due to fewer restrictions on cable programming.
In 2004, Pioneer lost its distribution rights to the first 53/67 episodes of Dragon Ball Z (as well as the first three movies), allowing Funimation to re-dub them with their in-house voice cast and restore the removed content. This dub's background score was composed by Nathan Johnson. Funimation's later remastered DVDs of the series saw minor changes made to their in-house dub for quality and consistency, mostly after the episode 67 gap, and had the option to play the entire series' dub with both the American and Japanese background music.
Dragon Ball Z aired in Japan on Fuji Television from April 26, 1989 to January 31, 1996. The English language dub produced by Ocean Studios premiered in the U.S. on September 13, 1996 in first-run syndication, but was cancelled after two seasons due to a lack of interest from syndication companies. The series then aired on Cartoon Network from August 31, 1998 to March 22, 2008. The series also aired in Canada on YTV from 1996 to 2003.
In the United Kingdom, the series first aired on the British Comedy Network from 1998 until 2000, when the series was picked up by Cartoon Network. In 2002, the series was moved from Cartoon Network to CNX, a sister network under the Turner Entertainment umbrella. In 2003, the CNX network was rebranded "Toonami" and Dragon Ball Z continued to air on the network until 2006.
In Australia, the series first aired on Cartoon Network from 1997 to 1999, when the series was picked up by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, where it aired until 2004. The series also aired in Latin America from August 23, 1999 to 2004.
- Japan (Fuji Television) — April 26, 1989 - January 31, 1996
- United States (Syndication) — September 13, 1996 - May 1998
- United States (Cartoon Network) — August 31, 1998 - March 22, 2008
- United States (Kids WB) — 2001
- Canada (YTV) — 1996 - 2003
- United Kingdom (British Comedy Network) — Fall 1998 - 2000
- United Kingdom (Cartoon Network) — March 6, 2000 - 2002
- United Kingdom (CNX/Toonami) — 2002 - 2006
- Australia (Cartoon Network) — 1997 - 1999
- Australia (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) — 1999 - 2004
- Latin America (Cartoon Network) — August 23, 1999 - 2004
Toonami Broadcast HistoryEdit
On August 31, 1998, re-runs of the dubbed first 53 episodes of Dragon Ball Z began airing on Cartoon Network as part of the channel's weekday afternoon programming block Toonami. The rest of the series premiered on Toonami from September 13, 1999 to April 7, 2003, continuing in re-runs through 2008. Including the premiere of Funimation's uncut dub of the first 67 episodes which aired on Cartoon Network during the summer of 2005 at 10:30 PM, due to the unedited content. Kids' WB also briefly ran Dragon Ball Z in 2001 on its short-lived Toonami block.
- Toonami (United States) — August 31, 1998 - September 26, 2003; January 5, 2004 - April 16, 2004; October 15, 2005 - June 3, 2006; April 7, 2007 - March 22, 2008
- Midnight Run — July 10, 1999 - July 20, 2001; August 27, 2001 - November 1, 2002
- Rising Sun — April 15, 2000 - March 3, 2001
- Super Saturday — October 20, 2001 - February 22, 2003
- Toonami (Latin America) — 1999 - 2004
- Toonami (United Kingdom) — March 6, 2000 - 2006
The following is a list of Toonami marathons in which at least one episode of Dragon Ball Z appeared. As it was the most successful and popular series during Toonami's weekday run on Cartoon Network, it appeared in a large number of marathons during that time.
- DBZ President's Day Movie Marathon
- Toonami: Full Cycle
- New Year's Evil
- Villaintine's Day
- A Night of New Year's Eve-il
- Toonami 5 Year Anniversary
- DBZ: Best of Buu
- DBZ Movies
- Dragonball Chronicles
- Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone
- Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest
- Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might
- Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge
- Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler
- Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku
- Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks
- Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug
- Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn
- Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon
- Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "Dragon Ball Z Toonami Premiere ". funimation.com. 2014. http://www.funimation.com/p/20th. Retrieved on July 3, 2015.
- ↑ "Tonari no Dragon Ball! ". saveoursailors.org. http://www.saveoursailors.org/db.html. Retrieved on July 3, 2015.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 "This is the end, beautiful friend ". toonzone.net. September 21, 2003. http://www.toonzone.net/forums/threads/this-is-the-end-beautiful-friend.3447311/. Retrieved on July 3, 2015.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 "Yu Yu Hakusho and Dragon Ball Z return to Toonami in January ". animenewsnetwork.com. December 15, 2003. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2003-12-15/yu-yu-hakusho-and-dragon-ball-z-return-to-toonami-in-january. Retrieved on July 3, 2015.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 "DBZ Uncut Promo ". toonzone.net. October 15, 2005. http://www.toonzone.net/forums/threads/dbz-uncut-promo.3989971/. Retrieved on July 3, 2015.
- ↑ "Dragonball Z Uncut: "The New Threat" Talkback ". toonzone.net. October 15, 2005. http://www.toonzone.net/forums/threads/dragonball-z-uncut-the-new-threat-talkback-spoilers.3989801/. Retrieved on July 3, 2015.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 "Dragonball Z Returns to Toonami ". toonzone.net. March 29, 2007. http://www.toonzone.net/forums/threads/dragonball-z-returns-to-toonami.4316061//. Retrieved on July 3, 2015.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 "Dragonball Z "The Fight is Over" Talkback ". toonzone.net. March 22, 2008. http://www.toonzone.net/forums/threads/dragonball-z-the-fight-is-over-talkback-spoilers.4510521/. Retrieved on July 3, 2015.
- ↑ "News Briefs ". animenewsnetwork.com. February 28, 1999. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/1999-02-28/news-briefs. Retrieved on July 3, 2015.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Pioneer announces last Dragonball Z release ". Anime News Network. November 14, 1998. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/1998-11-14/pioneer-announces-last-dragonball-z-release. Retrieved on August 25, 2014.
- ↑ De La Cruz, Edwin (2003). ""Dragon Ball Z keeps up the momentum." ". HighBeam Research. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-111035918.html. Retrieved on August 25, 2014.
- ↑ "Previously Unreleased Dragon Ball Z DVDs! ". ICV2. http://www.icv2.com/articles/home/6049.html. Retrieved on August 25, 2014.
- ↑ "Funimation 2005 Plans ". Anime News Network. December 31, 2004. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2004-12-31/funimation-2005-plans. Retrieved on August 25, 2014.
- ↑ "New Dragon Ball Episodes On Cartoon Network ". animenewsservice.com. September 7, 1999. http://web.archive.org/web/20000818011017/http://www.animenewsservice.com/archives/asept4.htm. Retrieved on December 14, 2014.
- ↑ "DBZ uncut on Cartoon Network ". Anime News Network. June 9, 2005. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2005-06-09/dbz-uncut-on-cartoon-network. Retrieved on August 25, 2014.