Dragon Ball Z Kai, known in Japan as Dragon Ball Kai (lit. "Dragon Ball Revised"), is a Japanese anime series that is a high-definition remastered and recut version of Dragon Ball Z, created for its 20th Anniversary. The series premiered on Fuji TV on April 5, 2009 and ended on March 27, 2011 with 97 episodes aired (with a 98th released direct-to-video). There were initially no plans for Dragon Ball Kai to reach the Majin Buu Saga, but the series returned to Japanese TV from April 6, 2014 to June 28, 2015 with the Majin Buu Saga; bringing the total episode count to 159 (167 for the international versions).

Funimation licensed the series for an English dub release with most of the same cast as their in-house dub of Dragon Ball Z, except for a few re-casts for various reasons. The series aired on Adult Swim's Toonami block from November 8, 2014 to June 23, 2018.[1] The series returned to Toonami for a second run from September 29, 2018[2] to December 15, 2018. The series returned to Toonami for one night only on April 11, 2020, for a 3.5-hour marathon.[3]

Plot[edit | edit source]

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 "Kakarot") 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 Other World with King Kai, in order to save the Earth from the Saiyan prince Vegeta. However, in the battle Yamcha, Chiaotzu, Tien and Piccolo are killed. Due to Piccolo being one with Kami, the Dragon Balls no longer exist, resulting in Gohan, Krillin and Bulma traveling to Piccolo and Kami's 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 Gohan and Krillin to fight the Ginyu Force. After Goku arrives on Namek, the final epic battle with Frieza himself comes to a close after Goku transforms into a legendary Super Saiyan and avenges the lives of billions across the galaxy.

Later story arcs of the series involve Goku and his allies defending Earth from the threats of newer enemies that include the bio-android Cell and the magical creature Majin Buu.

Characters[edit | edit source]

Differences from the original[edit | edit source]

Dragon Ball Z Kai features remastered high definition picture, sound, and special effects as well as a re-recorded voice track by most of the original cast (from both the Japanese and English dub casts). The English dub by Funimation also features a more faithful adaptation of the Japanese dialogue than their previous dub of Dragon Ball Z.

As most of the series' sketches and animation cels had been discarded after the final episode of Dragon Ball Z in 1996, new frames were produced by digitally tracing over still frames from existing footage and filling them with softer colors; thus reducing visible damage to the original animation. Some frames were selectively cropped, while other frames feature new portions added to scenes that were hand drawn to conform to the designated picture ratio.

Much of the filler material from the Dragon Ball Z anime that was not featured in the Dragon Ball manga has been left out in Kai; significantly reducing the total episode count.

English dub re-casts[edit | edit source]

Previous Voice Actor Character(s) New Voice Actor
Kyle Hebert Narrator Doc Morgan
Stephanie Nadolny Kid Gohan
Baby Trunks
Baby/Kid Goku (flashbacks)
Colleen Clinkenbeard
Tiffany Vollmer Bulma Monica Rial
Christopher R. Sabat Mr. Popo
Chris Cason
Zarbon J. Michael Tatum
Moori Barry Yandell
Grand Elder Guru Bill Jenkins
Burter Vic Mignogna
Jeice Jason Liebrecht
Monika Antonelli Chiaotzu
Brina Palencia
Brad Jackson Oolong (pre-Majin Buu Saga only) Bryan Massey
King Cold Jason Douglas
Linda Young Frieza (barring episode 1) Chris Ayres
Chris Forbis Dodoria John Swasey
Dr. Brief Mark Stoddard
Laura Bailey Kid Dende Maxey Whitehead
Bill Townsley Guldo Greg Ayres
Brice Armstrong Captain Ginyu R. Bruce Elliott
Phillip Wilburn Android 19 Todd Haberkorn
Meredith McCoy Android 18 Colleen Clinkenbeard
Melodee Lenz Marron Tia Ballard
Susan Huber Pan Elise Baughman
Megan Woodall Bulla Lauren Landa

  • Several minor characters' voices have also been re-cast by Funimation.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Episodes[edit | edit source]

Color Saga Episodes Toonami Premiere Toonami Finale
Saiyan Saga 18 November 8, 2014 April 4, 2015
Frieza Saga 36 April 11, 2015 January 23, 2016
Android Saga 25 January 30, 2016 July 23, 2016
Cell Saga 19 July 30, 2016 December 17, 2016
Majin Buu Saga 42 January 7, 2017 November 18, 2017
Evil Buu Saga 27 December 2, 2017 June 23, 2018

Broadcast History[edit | edit source]

The series premiered in Japan on Fuji TV on April 5, 2009 and initially ended with the Cell Saga on March 27, 2011, with the final episode unaired and later released direct-to-video due to the Tōhoku offshore earthquake and tsunami. The Majin Buu Saga premiered on Fuji TV from April 6, 2014 to June 28, 2015. The series originally aired in the U.S. on Nicktoons from May 24, 2010 to January 1, 2012, in an edited format.[4] The series also aired on The CW's Toonzai block (later renamed Vortexx) in an even more edited format from August 14, 2010 to September 27, 2014.[5]

DBZ Kai began airing uncut on Adult Swim's Toonami block on November 8, 2014.[1] From February 21, 2015 to June 25, 2016, a rerun of the previous week's episode could also be seen each Saturday at 8:00 PM on the regular Adult Swim block.

The Majin Buu Saga of DBZ Kai made its U.S. debut on Adult Swim's Toonami, airing from January 7, 2017 to June 23, 2018 under the title Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters (airing concurrent with Funimation's dub of Dragon Ball Super).[6]

Reruns of the series returned to Toonami from September 29, 2018 to December 15, 2018 at 9:00 PM,[2] and continued to air on Saturday nights at 8:00 PM on the regular Adult Swim block until September 28, 2019. It returned to Adult Swim once again from January 4-25, 2020, airing at 8:00 PM, and returned yet again on March 14, 2020 in a double episode format, airing at 8 and 8:30 PM. Reruns of the series returned to Toonami for one night only from 11:30 PM-3:00 AM on April 11, 2020 for a 3 and a half hour marathon.

  • Japan (Fuji TV) — April 5, 2009[7] - March 27, 2011; April 6, 2014[8] - June 28, 2015
  • United States (Nicktoons) — May 24, 2010[4] - April 13, 2013[9]
  • United States (The CW) — August 14, 2010[5] - September 27, 2014[10]
  • United States (Adult Swim) — November 8, 2014[1] - June 23, 2018; September 29, 2018[2] - September 28, 2019; January 4, 2020 - January 25, 2020; March 14, 2020 - August 8, 2020
  • United Kingdom (Kix!) — December 26-28, 2012[11]; January 5, 2013[12] - 2014
  • Asia (Toonami) — December 1, 2012[13] - March 31, 2018[14]

Toonami Broadcast History[edit | edit source]

In Southeast Asia, Dragon Ball Z Kai was one of the original series aired on Toonami Asia on December 1, 2012[15] and was a mainstay on the channel until it ceased function on March 31, 2018.[16]

In the United States, Dragon Ball Z Kai began airing uncut on Adult Swim's Toonami block on November 8, 2014 at 12:00 AM, replacing Bleach in the lineup.[1] The series moved to the 11:30 PM time slot on July 29, 2017 and on December 2, 2017, the series moved to the 11:00 PM time slot.[17][18] After completing its run on June 23, 2018, the series was replaced in the lineup by Pop Team Epic the following week.[19]

Reruns of the series returned to Toonami for a second run on the block from September 29, 2018 to December 15, 2018 at 9:00 PM.[2] Reruns of the series returned to Toonami for one night only from 11:30 PM to 3:00 AM on April 11, 2020 for a 3 and a half hour marathon.[3]

  • Toonami (Asia) — December 1, 2012[15] - March 31, 2018[16]
  • Toonami (United States) — November 8, 2014[1] - June 23, 2018; September 29, 2018[2] - December 15, 2018; April 11, 2020[3]

Toonami Marathons[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of Toonami marathons in which at least one episode of Dragon Ball Z Kai appeared.

External Links[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "11/8 TOONAMI LINE UP ANNOUNCEMENT ". toonami.tumblr.com. October 24, 2014. http://toonami.tumblr.com/post/100836673118/11-8-toonami-line-up-announcement. Retrieved on October 25, 2014. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Toonami’s starting earlier and giving you even more! ". facebook.com/Toonami. September 11, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/Toonami/photos/a.1442483259375850/2003721813251989/?type=3&theater. Retrieved on September 11, 2018. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "To help you all get through staying at home ". facebook.com/TOONAMI. March 26, 2020. https://www.facebook.com/Toonami/photos/a.1442483259375850/2392726284351538/. Retrieved on March 26, 2020. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 ""Top-Ranked Nickelodeon Announces Its 2010-11 Season Programming Slate at Annual Upfront Presentation" ". animenewsnetwork.com. March 11, 2010. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/press-release/2010-03-11/top-ranked-nickelodeon-announces-its-2010-11-season-programming-slate-at-annual-upfront-presentation. Retrieved on May 24, 2014. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 ""Dragon Ball Z Kai to Air on TheCW4Kids on Saturdays" ". animenewsnetwork.com. April 26, 2010. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-04-26/dragon-ball-z-kai-to-air-on-thecw4kids-on-saturdays. Retrieved on May 24, 2014. 
  6. "Dragon Ball Z Kai's Buu Saga to Air on Toonami ". . December 7, 2016. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2016-12-07/dragon-ball-z-kai-buu-saga-to-air-on-toonami/.109619. Retrieved on December 8, 2016. 
  7. "Japan's Remastered DBZ to Be Called Dragon Ball Kai ". animenewsnetwork.com. February 19, 2009. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2009-02-19/japan-remastered-dbz-to-be-called-dragon-ball-kai. Retrieved on May 6, 2016. 
  8. "New Dragon Ball Z Kai Anime Series to Premiere on April 6 ". animenewsnetwork.com. February 17, 2014. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2014-02-17/new-dragon-ball-kai-anime-to-premiere-on-april-6. Retrieved on May 6, 2016. 
  9. "Dragon Ball Z Kai, GT Removed from Nicktoons Schedule ". animenewsnetwork.com. April 17, 2013. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2013-04-17/dragon-ball-z-kai-gt-removed-from-nicktoons-schedule. Retrieved on May 6, 2016. 
  10. Sullivan, Gail (September 30, 2014). "Saturday morning cartoons are no more ". washingtonpost.com. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/09/30/saturday-morning-cartoons-are-no-more/. Retrieved on May 6, 2016. 
  11. "Dragon Ball Z Kai TV Screenings on Kix! December 26 to 28 ". animenewsnetwork.com. December 24, 2012. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-12-24/dragon-ball-z-kai-tv-screenings-on-kix-december-26-to-28. Retrieved on May 6, 2016. 
  12. "Dragon Ball Z Kai Begins on Kix! on Saturday ". animenewsnetwork.com. January 2, 2013. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2013-01-02/dragon-ball-z-kai-begins-on-kix-on-saturday. Retrieved on May 6, 2016. 
  13. Dickson, Jeremy (November 27, 2012). "Toonami and Cartoonist to bow in Asia December 1 ". kidscreen.com. http://kidscreen.com/2012/11/27/toonami-and-cartoonito-to-bow-in-asia-december-1/. Retrieved on May 6, 2016. 
  14. "Toonami Asia shutting down notice ". ToonamiAsia Twitter. March 12, 2018. https://twitter.com/ToonamiAsia/status/973099478201716736. Retrieved on March 12, 2018. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 Dickson, Jeremy (November 27, 2012). "Toonami and Cartoonist to bow in Asia December 1 ". kidscreen.com. http://kidscreen.com/2012/11/27/toonami-and-cartoonito-to-bow-in-asia-december-1/. Retrieved on May 6, 2016. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Toonami Asia shutting down notice ". ToonamiAsia Twitter. March 12, 2018. https://twitter.com/ToonamiAsia/status/973099478201716736. Retrieved on March 12, 2018. 
  17. "Time to update your calendars! ". facebook.com/TOONAMI. July 25, 2017. https://www.facebook.com/Toonami/photos/a.1442483259375850.1073741828.1440408039583372/1787160801574759/?type=3&theater. Retrieved on August 3, 2017. 
  18. "Want more Toonami? You’re in luck! ". facebook.com/toonami. November 17, 2017. https://www.facebook.com/Toonami/photos/a.1442483259375850.1073741828.1440408039583372/1830317907259048/?type=3&theater. Retrieved on November 18, 2017. 
  19. "You might just feel a little déjà vu with the newest show joining our line-up. ". facebook.com/TOONAMI. June 15, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/Toonami/photos/a.1442483259375850.1073741828.1440408039583372/1923922477898590/?type=3&theater. Retrieved on June 15, 2018. 
Toonami Series

.hack//SIGNAkame Ga Kill!Assassination ClassroomAstro Boy (1963)Astro Boy (2003)
Attack on TitanBakugan Battle BrawlersBallmastrz: 9009Batman BeyondThe Batman
Batman: The Animated SeriesBen 10: Alien ForceBeware the BatmanThe Big O
Black CloverBlack LagoonBlade Runner: Black LotusBleachBlue DragonBlue Exorcist
Blue Submarine No. 6Bobobo-bo Bo-boboBoruto: Naruto Next GenerationsCardcaptors
Cartoon RouletteCasshern SinsCowboy BebopCyborg 009D.I.C.E.Dai-Guard
Deadman WonderlandDemon SlayerDimension WDr. StoneDragon BallDragon Ball GT
Dragon Ball SuperDragon Ball ZDBZ KaiDuel MastersEureka SevenEyeshield 21
Fantastic Four: World's Greatest HeroesFena: Pirate PrincessFire ForceFLCL
FLCL AlternativeFLCL ProgressiveFood Wars!FMA: BrotherhoodG GundamG-Force
G.I. JoeGemusetto: Death Beat(s)gen:LOCKGhost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIGGigantorGundam 0080Gundam SEED
Gundam WingGurren LagannHamtaroHarlock SagaHellsing Ultimate
He-Man and the Masters of the UniverseHikaru no GoHunter x HunterIGPXInuYasha
InuYasha: The Final ActJackie Chan AdventuresJoJo's Bizarre Adventure
Jonny Quest: The Real AdventuresJustice LeagueJustice League UnlimitedKiba
Kill la KillKing Star KingKorgoth of BarbariaLupin the Third: Part IV
Lupin the Third: Part V

MÄR: Märchen Awakens RomanceMartian Successor NadesicoMegalo Box
Megaman Star ForceMegas XLRMichiko & HatchinMobile Suit Gundam
Mobile Suit Gundam: The OriginMobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded OrphansMobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team
Mob Psycho 100My Hero AcademiaNarutoNaruto ShippudenNeon Genesis Evangelion
One PieceOne Punch ManOutlaw StarParanoia AgentParasyte -the maxim-Patlabor
PokémonPokémon ChroniclesPop Team EpicThe Powerpuff GirlsThe Prince of Tennis
The Promised NeverlandRave MasterReBootRecord of Lodoss WarRobotech
Ronin WarriorsRurouni KenshinSailor MoonSamurai 7Samurai Champloo
Samurai JackSand Whale and MeSD GundamShenmueSoul EaterSpace Dandy
Star BlazersStar Wars: Clone WarsStar Wars: The Clone WarsStorm Hawks
Super FriendsSuperman: The Animated SeriesSword Art OnlineSword Art Online II
Sword Art Online: AlicizationSym-Bionic TitanTeen TitansTenchi in TokyoTenchi Muyo!
Tenchi Muyo! GXPTenchi UniverseThunderCats (1985)ThunderCats (2011)Tokyo Ghoul
Transformers AnimatedTransformers: ArmadaTransformers: Beast Wars
Transformers: CybertronTransformers: EnergonTrigunUzumakiVoltronWulin Warriors
Yu Yu HakushoYu-Gi-Oh!Yu-Gi-Oh! GXZatch Bell!Zoids: Chaotic Century
Zoids: New Century

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