[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dbkai_3820.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[[{{Revival}} They're back]]. [[TwentyPercentMoreAwesome Now with 86% less]] [[ArcFatigue arc fatigue]]!]]

'''''Dragon Ball Kai''''' ('''''Dragon Ball Z Kai''''' outside of Japan) debuted in April 2009 in time for the [[MilestoneCelebration 20th anniversary]] of ''Anime/DragonBallZ''. In a nutshell, ''Kai'' {{recut}}s ''Dragon Ball Z'' for the 21st century; it tells the same-old story of the original show, but with a few new tricks up its sleeve.

Toei recycled animation from ''Dragon Ball Z'' itself, but it also updated the coloring and converted the recut footage to HD. ''Kai'' turns down the amount (and frequency) of [[InactionSequence talk breaks]] and features next-to-no {{filler}} or {{padding}} (except for any that Toei couldn't remove from the ''Dragon Ball Z'' animation). The end result of these changes? A sleeker, faster, more action-packed show than the original series. The original ''Dragon Ball Z'' has 194 episodes from its beginning through the end of the Cell Arc; ''Kai'' has only 98 episodes for that same timeframe. (This gives us a ratio of roughly 1 ''Kai'' episode for every 2 ''Dragon Ball Z'' episodes). Toei announced in 2012 that it would [[http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-11-06/dragon-ball-z-kai-japanese-cast-records-new-episodes produce the Buu Saga for overseas markets]]; these episodes starting airing in Japan on 6 April 2014.

The vast majority of the original Japanese and English voice actors reprised their roles; Creator/MasakoNozawa returns as Goku's Japanese voice, while Creator/SeanSchemmel returned for the English dub. Creator/ChristopherSabat also directed the English dub by [[Creator/{{Funimation}} FUNimation]].

The English dub of ''Kai'' comes considerably closer in terms of accuracy to the Japanese version of the show than the ''Z'' dub since it lacks the character rewrites, replacement scores ([[HomeVersionSoundtrackReplacement though the entire Japanese score ended up replaced around the world with recycled music tracks from DBZ when the composer was found to have infringed upon other artists' work]]), or massive dialogue changes (though a few [[NeverSayDie dialogue alterations]] exist in the [[Creator/{{TheCW4Kids}} TheCW4Kids]][=/=]Creator/{{Toonzai}}[=/=]Creator/{{Vortexx}} broadcast of ''Kai'') for which the ''Z'' dub became (in)famous.

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!! ''Kai'' contains series-exclusive examples of the following tropes:

* AdaptationDistillation: The intent of this recut was to distill the original show into a much faster-paced, action-oriented adventure more akin to the original manga. The efficiency of the recut is up for debate, but it has been largely praised for avoiding the filler, shortening the [[TalkingIsAFreeAction talk breaks]] that plagued the original show, and including ''flashbacks as far as the original Dragon Ball''.
** Prior to [[http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-11-06/dragon-ball-z-kai-japanese-cast-records-new-episodes the Buu Saga announcement]], ''Kai'' only goes to the end of Cell saga. The original ''Dragon Ball Z'' had 194 episodes at that point. ''Kai'' got to the same point in 97 episodes[[note]]The 98th episode mentioned earlier is a bonus episode[[/note]]. For those who don't feel like doing the math, that means exactly ''50%'' of ''Dragon Ball Z'' was able to be cut.
* AlasPoorVillain: Astoundingly, RyuseiNakao manages to make ''Frieza's'' suffering, as he laid dismembered and begging for Goku's help, invoke the pity and sorrow that the latter felt from the audience this time around. Living and breathing the character for ''over twenty years'' helped him bring a genuinely pathetic vulnerability and sincere "humanity" to his performance. Kenji Yamamoto's decision to use a cello score during the recut made the scene a borderline [[TearJerker tearjerker]] (when the score was replaced, the recycled music from ''DBZ'' worked well too, but not quite the same way as Yamamoto's).
* AndZoidberg: King Kai once refers to Bulma as "that other lady" after talking about Gohan, Goku, and Piccolo.
* AnimationBump: Even disregarding the new opening, within the show there are some digital clean-ups alongside other moments of the series that really looks its age.
* ArtShift:
** An accidental and relatively minor example. Because of the recut of the story, the first episode ends up opening with scenes from n movie made much later in the series' run, then cuts to the original beginning of the series, and the difference in the art is pretty noticeable.
** For that matter, the fact episodes are made of several episodes cut-and-pasted together makes for some obvious shifts when you go from a well-animated episode to a not-so-well-animated one (see Freeza's death).
** Several scenes were also touched up digitally. This is painfully obvious when it happens as it's largely a tracejob, resulting in some hilariously weird proportions.
* AscendedMeme: Goku specifically mentions that [[WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged Mr. Popo is terrifying.]]
* AutoTune: On display in Sean Schemmel's version of "Dragon Soul".
* BigNo: When Goku seems to be stuck on the exploding Namek.
* {{Bowdlerization}}/EditedForSyndication: Three levels:
** Japanese broadcast[[note]](These are present in the "uncut" version.)[[/note]]
*** In ''DBZ'', Piccolo's Makankosappo leaves Goku and Raditz with big bloody holes in their torsos. This is changed to mere burn marks in ''Kai''.
*** Shots of baby Goku's and Gohan's genitals that were shown are covered in ''Kai''.
*** All instances of characters FlippingTheBird have been removed.
** Creator/{{Nicktoons}}
*** Here is a handy in-depth [[http://dbzkedits.3gkai.com/ Nicktoons edit guide]], the following is a basic summarization:
*** The ''Kai'' dub contains a considerable amount of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtzXsyiKxes cursing]] which of course is censored on Nicktoons, often substituting swears such as "damn" with "darn it" much like on Creator/{{Toonami}}.
*** Though, there ''is'' one swear they missed in the "lost episode" (note that this was just Nicktoons; Vortexx cut the line completely):
--->'''Android 18''': Now I'm '''PISSED'''!
*** Naturally, the TV version of the series has edited out heavy violence to accommodate it for younger audiences. [[http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b90/tanookikuribo/Tanooki%202/vlcsnap-2011-01-02-08h56m48s183.png The blood is left in, but it's usually colored brown to resemble dirt.]]
*** Actual mention of the words "death" or "die" as well as "kill" (and even "funeral" at least once) are [[NeverSayDie replaced with "destroy" or "defeat".]] However, there are still occasional instances where the word die and kill are still left in. This is definitely a step up from simply referring to death as "another dimension" like in the Saban/Ocean dub, and a step down from Toonami leaving in nearly ''all'' references to death for DBZ.
** [[Creator/TheCW4Kids TheCW4Kids]][=/=]Creator/{{Toonzai}}[=/=]Creator/{{Vortexx}}
*** Considerably more censored than the Nicktoons version, for example, one of the most confusing and rather pointless edits is the removal of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NVxxYHfdcM Shenron]] from the opening.
*** Took the bullet that the farmer shot at Raditz, and turned it into a blue glowing... [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COqnyplv1YE thing]]. [[HandWave I don't even think they bothered to explain what it was.]]
*** The dead now have a little ball of light over their head, rather than a halo. Later episodes (the ones on Vortexx) just split the difference and just cut the differentiation completely.
*** [[http://twitpic.com/2ni9qm Mr. Popo is blue]], as the block has made it a policy to never show blackface stereotypes uncensored after [[Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Jynx]] caused a stir. Unlike the halo change, this one carried onto Vortexx, albeit leaving the lips red rather than recoloring them a flesh tone as previously done.
*** Two words: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFGUPfgt7UQ Spirit Blast]].
**** Gallick Blast too. Not nearly as bad, though, since Gallick Gun is only used twice in the series.
*** Goku punching Vegeta in the stomach while using the Kaioken is changed to a shot of Vegeta's surprised face and Goku looking constipated. The scene in the opening "Dragon Soul" where Vegeta punches Goku in the face is also cut.
*** Apparently when you explode and die you turn into [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8WLZDtIvJM glitter]].
**** In the same video, all of the dialogue from [[spoiler:Chiaotzu]] is muted, along with shortening one of Tien's lines to fit the edit.
*** Unlike Nicktoons, 4Kids care heavily about death. All references, even vague references to death (for example, sacrificed himself) would be edited (gave himself).
*** They also cut out the scene where Android 18 forces a kiss onto Krillin, probably because it felt pretty rapey to them. A surprising aversion to an often used [[DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale double standard.]] Still, it creates a rather noticeable plot hole when he's trying to destroy her; the kiss was a huge part of his decision against it.
*** In one episode, Trunks cries out "Damn it!" (this one was later rectified in reruns). The very same episode cut out ''every'' scene that showed #18 being absorbed into Cell.
*** Speaking of which, for whatever reason, Cell's crotch is digitally recolored in all forms, albeit inconsistently.
* CurbStompBattle: The same as the original, but more apparent because some footage is cut out and the fights are shorter.
* CutShort: The initial Japanese airing ended after the Cell Games. Due in part to the Earthquake and Tsunami in Sendai, the episodes were delayed by a week. Since they didn't have broadcast space to add an episode, the final episode (98) was delayed until August 2011 in Japan. It's available on {{DVD}} and [[BluRay Blu-ray]] as a bonus episode.
* DoItYourselfThemeTune: In the first volume DVD, Creator/SeanSchemmel, the voice actor of Goku, sang the opening [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkWdCU6m71A theme]] (with an unfortunate amount of auto tune).
** Each successive volume has its own singer (Creator/JustinCook for the 2nd volume, Creator/VicMignogna for the 3rd volume and in the Nicktoons version, Creator/GregAyres for the 4th volume, Creator/SonnyStrait for the 5th volume, and Creator/BrinaPalencia for the 6th volume).
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: In the uncut version, Roshi attempts to squeeze Bulma's boobs.
** He also reads porn magazines and utters, "Naughty, naughty girls, hee hee hee."
** Yes, even present in the edited version... this line here.
--->'''Trunks''': (to Goku) Please don't say anything, especially [Bulma and Vegeta getting together]! If things end up getting weird between the two of them, [[GrandfatherParadox I might blip out of existence]], because they won't have... well, they won't... you know!
* GoodNewsBadNews: The good news is Frieza wants his fight with Goku to last a bit longer. The bad news is that Goku will spend his remaining time in excruciating pain.
* HomeVersionSoundtrackReplacement: Due to the copyright infringements made by Kenji Yamamoto's compositions (as noted below), the show's soundtrack has since been replaced with Shunsuke Kikuchi's compositions from the original ''DBZ''.
* HostileShowTakeover: During the OnTheNext segment after Captain Ginyu uses his Body Change technique on Goku, he declares that ''he'' should be the star from now on and the show should be called "Ginyu Force Kai."
* InactionSequence: Very much absent this time around.
** Even acknowledged/lampshaded by 18:
--->(Piccolo and 17 are staring at each other after a round of attacks)
--->'''18''': Hey! Stop staring at him like a fool! Or do I have to come up there myself?
* InJoke: In the English dub; while King Kai searches his address book for the planet Namek's exact coordinates, he mutters, "This thing might as well be written in Japanese."
* ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne
-->'''Gohan''': You're stupid and ugly and -- you SMELL!
-->'''Nappa''' (genuinely horrified): Augh! I smell? Why you - it's not my fault! I've been cooped up in a space pod for a year, what do you expect?!
* LateArrivalSpoiler: The first five minutes of the first episode reveals that [[spoiler:Goku is an alien, and that Frieza destroyed the planet Vegeta.]] Both of these are plot twists in the original series, and treated as such in ''Kai'' itself when they come up again.
* LighterAndSofter: Editing laws in Japan have gotten much stricter since ''Dragon Ball Z'''s original run; some of the blood and nudity had to be cut out.
* MarketBasedTitle: The series is marketed internationally as ''Dragon Ball Z Kai''. This is likely to lessen confusion about which series this actually is.
* MilestoneCelebration: The series celebrates the 20th anniversary of ''Dragon Ball Z''.
* MyNameIsInigoMontoya:
-->'''Goku:''' "I'm a proud Saiyan who calls Earth home, and I'm here to defeat you. I am the warrior you've heard of in legends, pure of heart, and awakened by fury. That's what I am. '''I AM THE SUPER SAIYAN, SON GOKU!!!'''"
* NeverSayDie: Either played straight or averted with the edited dub; it uses "gone" and such usually, with mentions of "death" being rare but very much present and/or implied. A huge step up from the very first dub which sent the death concept into another dimension.
** Even the [=TheCW4Kids=]/Toonzai/Vortexx version lets people die. But with [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8WLZDtIvJM added sparkles]] and/or agonizing breathing beforehand.
** Granted, the world of the dead is still referred to as "Other-World"[[note]]a literal translation of the Japanese ''Ano Yo''[[/note]], but King Yemma does specifically mention "heaven" when he first meets Goku, and while it's a pretty generic term, it still has some minor religious overtones.
** Note, the line is clipped out of the Toonzai/Vortexx version, merely having Yemma state that Goku is a "shoe-in".
** All references to death on [=TheCW4Kids=]/Toonzai/Vortexx get wiped out. For example:
---> '''Piccolo''': Your father gave himself.
---> ''Compared to:''
---> '''Piccolo''': Your father sacrificed himself.
** The Yemma scene is highly edited too.
---> '''King Yemma''': So even though (Goku) is a shoe-in, he still wants to risk training to meet with King Kai.
---> '''Goku''' (to Kami): So this is the place everyone goes when they... you know, right?
---> '''Kami''': Yes. Every being, human or not, gets judged to see where they will spend their time.
---> '''Goku''' (to Yemma): Yo! Did a big guy named Raditz come here?
---> '''King Yemma''': Yeah. He went, go figure.
---> '''Goku''': And he didn't give you any trouble? Hey, maybe I oughta stick around with this big guy here!
---> '''Kami''': Oh, no. King Kai is much stronger then him.
---> '''King Yemma''': What was that, Kami? Maybe you need a demonstration of just how strong I am!
---> '''Kami''': Oh no, sir. You must have the demon's own ears, the demon himself!
---> ''Compared to:''
---> '''King Yemma''': So even though (Goku) is a shoe-in to go to Heaven, he still wants to risk training to meet with King Kai.
---> '''Goku''' (to Kami): So this is the place everyone goes when they get killed, right?
---> '''Kami''': Yes. Every being, human or not, gets judged to see where they will spend their afterlife- heaven, or down below.
---> '''Goku''' (to Yemma): Yo! Did a big guy named Raditz come here?
---> '''King Yemma''': Yeah. He went, go figure.
---> '''Goku''': And he didn't give you any trouble? Hey, maybe I oughta stick around with this big guy here!
---> '''Kami''': Oh, no. King Kai is much stronger then him.
---> '''King Yemma''': What was that, Kami? Maybe you need a demonstration of just how strong I am!
---> '''Kami''': Oh no, sir. You must have the devil's own ears, the devil himself!
** When Vegeta is fighting 18 and a semi gets thrown off the mountain, the tension is broken by an off-screen shout:
--->'''Driver:''' Dude! My truck!
* OffModel: The openings, outside of a few scenes, tend to forget that Krillin has six spots on his forehead.
* OminousLatinChanting: Frieza's {{leitmotif}} contains ominous Japanese chanting.
** And during the moments before 2nd form Frieza guts Krillin, we actually hear this song in the English dub.
** Also present as Krillin, Gohan and Piccolo are attempting to fight Frieza's final form. Mind you, in the Nicktoons version, as well the [=TheCW4Kids=]/Toonzai/Vortexx version, simply plays the instrumental.
* PowerLevels: Same as before involving the scouters, but they seem to have adjusted some bits of dialogue and how the whole process works to highlight the need for strategy along with their "combat rating." It was implied that although Goku had a higher power level than Nappa, if he actually focused, he could give Goku a good fight.
** Particular {{lampshade hanging}} here comes from Vegeta in his CurbStompBattle with Jeice:
---> “Anyone ever tell you you fools put ''way'' too much stock in those silly little gadgets!? I think fighting these Earthlings would have taught you that by now!”
* {{Recut}}
* RetCon: At the end of the Cell Saga, [[spoiler: King Kai, Bubbles, and Gregory were revived along with everyone else wished back by the Dragon Balls in the ''Kai'' series finale. This is contrary to both the original anime where the wish only covered ''just'' the people on Earth and the manga where King Kai declined revival largely so that he could guide Goku around in Other World]].
* RoleReprisal: Quite a few. For some, ''Dragon Ball Z'' was their first voice acting role before becoming major players in the industry.
* SeeYouInHell: Super Saiyan Goku yells "See you in hell, Frieza!" while firing a Kamehameha.
* SeriesContinuityError: One conversation between Zarbon and Frieza before the former's death reveals that they knew about Goku and Gohan (that they are Saiyans, they live on Earth, and are father and son). But later, before Frieza's final transformation, he seems genuinely surprised that Gohan is a Saiyan from Earth, and also wonders who the father could be before settling on Raditz.
** The broadcast version had a minor case of this where Piccolo's attack name is "Special Beam Cannon" to accommodate the original dub name but then becomes the "Makkankosappo" in a flashback, which the DVD version uses.
** During the Vegeta saga on the Nicktoons airing, Krillin uses the Destructo Disc attack, but calls out the attack name by the original Japanese name, Kienzan. Krillin calls it "Destructo Disc" in later uses in the Nicktoons airings.
** Just before he escapes the Z Fighters, Cell tells them he knows the Kaio-ken technique. This, of course, raises the question of why he didn't use it when he was clearly outmatched against Vegeta, and later, Gohan.
** After the defeat of Cell and our heroes making the wish, Goku notes that King Kai was brought back to life as well. In the next episode, he can be clearly seen with a halo still on his head.
* ToiletHumor: When Goku first meets King Kai, the latter lists off benefits of his home planet, ending with being able to "pee for distance!" The edited version appears to have erased the urine streams.
** In the uncut version, Master Roshi was taking a crap. It was taken out in the Nicktoons version.
* TruerToTheText: It serves as a remastered AdaptationDistillation of the first ''Dragon Ball Z'' anime, with most of the filler removed, greatly reducing the original show's infamous abuse of [[TalkingIsAFreeAction talking is a free action]].
** This is exemplified even more by the dub accurately translating the script, [[CutAndPasteTranslation as opposed to what happened to the original]] ''Dragon Ball Z''.
* VocalEvolution: Compare the Japanese/English voices from the original series in 1989/1999, and compare them to the voices now. Playing the same role for over 10-20 years works wonders. Even [[TheOtherDarrin those assigned new roles]] seem to fit in.
** For example, compare Christoper Sabat's Vegeta when [=FUNimation=] just started dubbing ''DBZ'''s season 3 in-house in 1999 (when they finally broke away from Saban) to his performance in ''Kai''. In 1999, Sabat was simply trying to imitate Brian Drummond's Vegeta. Only a few episodes later in the same dub, Sabat gave Vegeta his current deeper voice but gained a strange accent along the way (although Sabat later redubbed all of this for the Remastered boxsets with a voice fairly resembling his ''Kai'' voice). Sabat's ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZkT8ugTz8Y Kai]]'' Vegeta compared to his [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdGa-2BSFiI 1999]] Vegeta is worlds better.
** Compare Sean Schemmel's Goku voice & screams in ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrW2QFhBD-s Kai]]'' to that of Schemmel's voice back in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYZ2tkluZR4 1999]].
*** Hell, compare the original [=FUNimation=] dub of Goku's first transformation into a Super Saiyan to ''Kai''.
---->'''Goku (original dub):''' I... won't let you... get away... with this! I won't... let you...!
---->'''Goku (''Kai'' uncut):''' You, you ruthless... heartless... bastard! I will... make you... suffer!
---->'''Goku (''Kai'' edited):''' You, you ruthless... heartless... monster! You're going... to pay... for that...
** Also Sabat greatly improved his voice for Piccolo, whom in the original series had quite a hoarse and harsh sounding voice but in ''Kai'' sounds much cleaner, (it's somehow wiser due to that fact), and it's actually a lot closer to his natural speaking voice.
** Dameon Clarke's performance as Cell has also improved, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzlYcFtzaew The original]] and ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KJKUl7yPso Kai]]'' versions of Imperfect Cell; [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ce6vKDZUmQ original]] and ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6pNhwK0SP8 Kai]]'' versions of Semi-Perfect Cell and finally [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4bgd8WY4pI original]] and ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lpMxQpyWgY Kai]]'' versions of Perfect Cell.

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''How many Saiyans does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Just one. And nowadays, they are actually doing it rather... efficiently.''