Trivia / Dragonball Kai


  • Actor Allusion: In the English dub of The Final Chapters, the Cell Games Reenactment originally had the fakes being played by members of Team Four Star "reprising" their roles from Dragon Ball Z Abridged, before they were replaced. Notably, the exceptions are the Fake Mr. Satan and Fake Cell. Fake Mr. Satan is played by Curtis Arnott (Takahata101) with his Abridged!Nappa voice rather than Anthony Sardinha (Antfish), while Fake Cell is played by Scott Frerichs (KaiserNeko) rather than Arnott (this itself may also be an Actor Allusion, as Frerichs was originally planned to voice Cell in the abridged series before the role went to Arnott).
  • Author Existence Failure:
    • Daisuke Gori, who was the Japanese voice actor of Gyuumao (Ox King), Lord Enma and Porunga, committed suicide partway through the initial run and his ongoing roles were recast with Ryuzaburo Otomo. Mr. Satan (whom he voiced in the original) was voiced by Unshou Ishizuka.
    • The role of Tenshinhan, whose voice actor (Hirotaka Suzuoki) died of lung cancer in the intervening years between Z and Kai, and was replaced in Kai by Hikaru Midorikawa.
    • Likewise with Dende, Marron, and Bee's voice actress (Tomiko Suzuki), who passed away from a heart attack in 2003; she was replaced by Aya Hirano, Hiroko Ushida and Masami Suzuki, respectively.
    • Takeshi Aono, Kami-sama's Japanese voice actor, suffered a stroke in between the Freiza and Cell sagas, so Bin Shimada took over for his final few appearances. He died in 2012 due to the complications of the stroke.
    • Kenji Utsumi, the voice of Shenlong, passed away from peritoneal cancer in 2013 during the three-year gap between the Cell and Buu sagas. Like with Daisuke Gori above, Ryuzaburo Otomo took over the voice for Shenlong when the series resumed and the Buu Saga began airing.
    • Narrowly averted with Ichirō Nagai. Despite passing away of a heart attack months before the Buu Saga episodes even started airing, Nagai recorded all of his dialogue several months in advance, making this his final role as Karin.
    • In the Latin American Spanish dub, Jorge Roig took over Master Roshi for the first 98 episodes, followed by Miguel Angel Sanróman for The Final Chapters, to replace his original VA Jesús Colín, who had passed away in 2011.
  • Channel Hop:
    • The show was initially licensed by Nickelodeon and aired on Nicktoons with edits for content. After the show was taken off the air, due to Nickelodeon presumably losing the license, Kai moved to [adult swim] and currently airs uncut on the revived Toonami.
    • A minor example for the show's run on broadcast networks. 4Kids Entertainment licensed the show for airing on Toonzai. When Toonzai ended and was replaced by the Saban Brands-run Vortexx, Kai remained as one of the holdovers from Toonzai (and was notably one of the few shows that continued to air on Vortexx until that block was replaced).
  • Creator Couple:
    • In the first 98 episodes of the Latin American Spanish dub of Kai, Master Roshi was voiced by Jorge Roig, the husband of Bulma's voice actress Rocío Garcel.
    • Mariana Ortiz, the first Latin American Spanish voice of Yajirobe in Kai, is the wife of the character's second Latin American Spanish voice Luis Daniel Ramírez.note 
    • Cynthia Eslava Sarli, the translator for the Latin American Spanish dub, is the wife of Armando Coria, Dodoria's Latin American Spanish voice actor.
  • Directed by Cast Member:
    • The Latin American Spanish dub of the first 98 episodes were directed from episodes 1 to 54 by Irwin Daayán, Dende's voice actor, and from episodes 55 to 98 by Patricia Acevedo, who played Chi-Chi (Milk in the Spanish dub) and Chaotzu. For The Final Chapters, Gohan's voice actor Luis Alfonso Mendoza directed the dub.
    • As with most of Z, the original Dragon Ball, and the movies, Chris Sabat returned to direct the English dub.
  • Executive Meddling: In The Final Chapters, Toei forced FUNimation to replace the joke movie that featured Team Four Star's voices with the original dub's audio.note 
  • Fandom Nod:
    • The show included a little Shout-Out to Dragon Ball Z Abridged (the folks behind which are close friends with the Dragon Ball Kai cast) by having Nappa note that he hates the media.
    • Another nod in one episode Vegeta shoots one of Freiza's men and the Wilhelm Scream is used, in Dragon Ball Z Abridged the scream was used in the same scene right after two of Freiza's henchmen were discussing it.
  • Fan Edit: The author of Dragon Ball Recut, a much-revered reduced-filler edit of the first Dragon Ball anime, is working on an edit of Kai that'll try to remove the pieces of filler that Kai still retained; the author's noted that some scenes, such as those involving Gregory, are too ingrained with the main story to remove, while many others (like the infamous Ginyu/Bulma body switch episode) were quite expendable. A reduced-filler recut of Dragon Ball Z is also in progress from the same guy.
  • Fan Nickname: For the two parts of the series itself. After The Final Chapters came out, there have been several names fans have given both it and the first 98 episodes to distinguish both from each other. For the first 98 episodes, fans either refer to it as Kai, or Kai 1.0, while The Final Chapters gets either the abbreviated TFC, Kai TFC, Kai 2.0, Buu Kai, &/or Boo Kai. None are, technically, incorrect, but which ever you use or see the most will vary from place to place & your own personal preference. The series' narrator, though, in the recaps and leave-offs at the beginnings and end of episodes just refers to both parts as "Dragon Ball Kai," or "Dragon Ball Z: Kai," depending on if you're a dub fan or not, so just referring to the show as a whole as Kai, then pointing out the saga you're talking about, is still as perfectly acceptable as it is for any other of the shows.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • 95 episodes of Dragon Ball Kai with the Kenji Yamamoto score aired from April 5, 2009 to March 6, 2011, before he was fired by Toei Company for plagiarism, mainly of the scores for Avatar and Terminator: Salvation. Reruns of these particular episodes have since replaced it with cues from the Shunsuke Kikuchi score from Dragon Ball Z. On the respective Japanese Blu-ray, Japanese DVD, American television airings, and American DVD/Blu-rays,note  the Yamamoto score was intact on episodes #001-#076, #001-#072, #001-#063, and #001-#052. So your best bet to getting ALL 95 Kai episodes with the Yamamoto score would be to trade with someone who recorded the show off of Fuji Television during the aforementioned period in the run. Episodes #096-#098 were never released with the Yamamoto score, so you would be completely out of luck finding those with the music intact.
    • The Cell Games Reenactment scene with Team Four Star's dialogue isn't featured on the home releases, but is floating around on the internet after a fan saw that their audio was still in a streamed version and quickly recorded it after seeing it, then put it online for all to see.
  • The Original Darrin:
    • Masaharu Satou was the original voice actor for Master Roshi following Kohei Miyauchi's death, but was replaced shortly afterward by Hiroshi Masuoka. Satou returned as Roshi for Kai and has continued to provide his voice since.
    • When the English dub of Dragon Ball Kai was originally recorded, Brad Jackson had temporarily left Funimation during that time period, so Bryan Massey played Oolong for its original run as well as the dub of the first film, Curse of the Blood Rubies. By the time, The Final Chapters was dubbed Jackson had returned to Funimation and resumed his role as Oolong, also playing him in the English dubs of both Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods and Dragon Ball Super.
    • Chris Cason was the original voice of Mr. Popo for Funimation's in-house dub, but left after the Freeza Saga was over, and Christopher Sabat took over when the Android Saga began. Cason resumed his role as Mr. Popo when Dragon Ball Kai was dubbed, 11 years later.
    • In the Latin American Spanish dub, Rocío Garcel and Eduardo Garza, the original and second voice actors for Bulma and Krillin, respectively,note  resumed their roles here after being replaced by Mónica Manjarrez and Luis Daniel Ramírez during the Buu Saga. Likewise, José Lavat returned as the narrator of the series after being also replaced by Joaquín Martal in GT.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Japanese version:
      • Invoked midway due to the suicide of Daisuke Gori; his roles have been filled by Ryuzaburo Ohtomo. Mr. Satan was replaced with Unshou Ishizuka when he appeared. Likewise, Ohtomo took over for Shenlong due to Kenji Utsumi passing away in between the three-year-gap that took place between the Cell and Buu sagas airing.
      • Bin Shimada later replaced Takeshi Aono as Kami-sama during his last appearances in the Android saga following Aono's hospitalization for a stroke. He subsequently passed away from complications caused by it in 2012.
      • Yuko Minaguchi was replaced by Shino Kakinuma as Videl, due to Minaguchi studying abroad at the time.
    • English version:
      • Most notable is Frieza's English voice. In the original Ocean dub and the early Funimation dubs, female voice actress provided his voice.note  This, along with Frieza's character design and effeminate personality, led to Viewer Gender Confusion among Western viewers. In Dragon Ball Z Kai, a male voice actor, (Chris Ayres), was selected to voice Frieza.note  The reason for this being that they apparently had Young start to record the series as Frieza, but when they realized she wouldn't most likely be able to talk as fast as the animation and scripts needed, they recasted Frieza to Ayres.
      • Stephanie Nadolny and Meredith McCoy's respective roles of young Gohan and Android 18 were taken over by Colleen Clinkenbeard. Although McCoy was supposedly contacted to reprise her role, Clinkenbeard was brought in anyway as a last minute substitute.note  Even when McCoy started voicing 18 again in the later films, Dragon Ball Super, and video games, unlike Brad Jackson, they had Clinkenbeard voice her in The Final Chapters to maintain consistency.
      • Monica Rial replaced Tiffany Vollmer as the voice of Bulma.
      • Todd Haberkorn, the voice of Allen Walker in D.Gray-Man, took over duties as Android 19, sounding even more robotic than the original dub voice.
      • Doc Morgan replaced Kyle Hebert as the voice of the narrator. Hebert would reprise his role as Gohan in The Final Chapters, however.
      • Alexis Tipton, who started voicing Trunks in Super, is his character's half of Gotenks' voice for some reason. Additionally, Tipton also took over the role of Erasa, a classmate of Gohan and Videl's, from Laura Bailey.
      • The broadcast dub uses Vic Mignogna as the singer for the shortened opening, while the Part DVD and Blu-ray sets switched the singers for the first six between Sean Schemmel, Justin Cook, Vic Mignogna, Greg Ayres, Sonny Strait, and Brina Palencia, while the last two feature a few different mixes of the voices switching off lines.
      • While Dameon Clarke (Cell's original English voice actor) would reprise his role as The Original Darrin, for Cell's lines in one of the Hell scenes in The Final Chapters, as seen here, he's voiced by Jim Foronda instead, who doesn't even remotely sound anything like him.note 
      • For the first 98 episodes, Oolong was voiced by Bryan Massey. In The Final Chapters, Brad Jackson was finally brought back to reprise his role.
      • In an odd case, that's more of The Other Marty, it was shown in a preview that several members of Team Four Star recorded the voice parts of the actors in the "reenactment" scene of the fight with Cell that were dressed as the characters they play in Dragon Ball Z: Abridged with their Abridged voices. However, once the episode with the scene aired, their dialogue was replaced with a mix of the original Z dub's dialogue from the same scene.
    • Latin American Spanish version:
      • For the first 98 episodes, aside from Eduardo Garza and Rocío Garcel reprising their roles as The Original Darrins for Krillin and Bulma, most of the main characters were recast for financial reasons, including Goku, who was voiced by Edson Matus. Makes sense with Yajirobe, whose original voice actor Araceli de León died of a heart attack;note  as well as Master Roshi, whose voice actor Jesús Colín retired and subsequently passed away in 2011. The fiasco surrounding the financial issues caused Toei to re-organize its Latin American division.
      • By the time The Final Chapters premiered in Latin America, most of the original Latin American Spanish cast, including Mario Castañeda, René García, and Gerardo Reyero, returned to reprise their roles that were previously re-cast. Majin Boo and Ox-King, however, were, respectively, re-cast with Marcos Patiño and Enrique Cervantes,note  and Mr. Satan, Cell, and the Budokai announcer retain their voices from the previous dub of Kai. As a bonus, Garza, Garcel and the actors voicing secondary characters who had reprised their roles stayed with the cast for the series.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Thanks to this promo, it's clear that Fake Goku and Fake Vegeta were voiced by Lawrence Simpson (Masako X) and Nick Landis (Lanipator) of Dragon Ball Z Abridged. Though this was left out of the broadcast version for whatever reason, the lines were still recorded and released online.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Cynthia Eslava Sarli, the translator of the Latin American Spanish dub, is the older sister of Irwin Daayán (Dende's Latin American Spanish voice actor).
    • Nayeli Mendoza Adame (the Latin American Spanish voice actress of Bee) is the daughter of Luis Alfonso Mendoza (Gohan's Latin American Spanish voice actor and the dubbing director for The Final Chapters) and the niece of Ricardo Mendoza (the Latin American Spanish voice actor for Yamcha and Guldo).
    • Guillermo and Armando Coria (the Latin American Spanish voice actors for Dr. Gero and Dodoria, respectively) are uncle-and-nephew in real life.
  • Role-Ending Misdemeanor:
    • Kenji Yamamoto was the first composer for Kai. However, Yamamoto was fired by Toei in 2011 after it was revealed he'd been plagiarizing tracks going as far back as 1991. This resulted in Yamamoto's score for Kai being replaced by the original Shunsuke Kikuchi score from DBZ, both in later episodes and in DVD releases.
    • Team Four Star, specifically Scott Frerichs, Nick Landis, Curtis Arnott, and maybe Lawrence Simpson, who lives in his home country of the UK, got "greylisted" from working at FUNimation for a while as a result of Toei finding out that Chris Sabat tried to sneak them into the dub of The Final Chapters.
  • Schedule Slip: For the Buu Saga English dub. Back in 2012, Mayumi Tanaka, Krillin's Japanese voice actress, announced that the rest of the series was being put together specifically for overseas broadcasts. However, it wasn't until December 7, 2016 when it was finally announced that the Buu Saga would be airing in January 2017 back to back with Super, under its overseas title, The Final Chapters. It was during this time that FUNimation released new Z Blu-rays, dubbed Battle of Gods and Resurrection 'F', the latter in less time than they did the former, and announced that they were going to dub Super.
  • Stunt Casting:
    • Aya Hirano as Dende. His recast English voice actress Maxey Whitehead could count given her breakout role of Alphonse Elric, but she'd already developed a niche for voicing young boys by then.
    • Team Four Star's casting for the Cell Games Reenactment was pretty brilliant on Sabat's part, since they'd become the most well-known abridging group on the internet to both Dragon Ball fans and non-fans alike, and had been voice actors at FUNimation for several years by then, doing tertiary and secondary voices in several of their properties.
  • Talking to Himself:
    • Japanese version:
      • Masako Nozawa as Goku, Gohan, and Goten.
    • English version:
      • Sean Schemmel as Goku and King Kai.
      • Christopher Sabat as Yamcha, Piccolo, and Vegeta.
      • Colleen Clinkenbeard as Gohan and Android 18.
      • Kara Edwards as Goten and Videl.
  • Throw It In!: One can tell from this clip that all of the lines in the Cell Games Reenactment were entirely made up. Given that this was Team Four Star's doing, it's par for the course with their comedy and writing.
  • Un-Canceled: The show was cancelled in Japan after the end of the Cell arc, presumably due to low merchandise sales. Due to the show's overseas popularity, more episodes were produced for the international market. However, despite initial word being that it was specifically for the international market, Kai actually returned to Japanese TV on April 6, 2014 following the cancellation of Toriko.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda:
    • A rumor apparently going around on some forums indicates that Chris Sabat wanted Scott McNeil, Piccolo's Ocean voice actor, to take over for the official FUNimation dub actor for him. This has never been confirmed by Sabat himself, and doesn't really make much sense, since he's been his official American English actor since 1999. This most likely stems from him giving up a lot of his secondary and tertiary roles in this series from Z to other actors to lighten his work load, but still keeping the important ones; Vegeta, Piccolo, Yamcha, Kami, Shenron, Porunga, and a few others. It might also come from the fact that McNeil voiced Shiki in the dub of One Piece: Strong World, and the episodes of the show that he appeared in, in 2012, two years after the Kai dub started production.
    • Among the fiasco of the Latin American Spanish dub, there was a rumor that the reason Irwin Daayán, Dende's voice actor and director of the first 54 episodes of Kai in that dub, quit directing Kai after episode 54 and subsequently didn't reprise his role as Dende in Battle of Gods and Super was because of the backlash Kai received in the region. While the circumstances behind him not reprising his role in Battle of Gods and Super are unknown and may have to do with the backlash, he has gone on record as saying that he actually quit directing because of financial reasons.
  • What Could Have Been: At one point, Sean Schemmel and Chris Sabat briefly discussed the show getting an alternate English dub like most every other show in the franchise through the Ocean cast and studios. Kirby Morrow, Goku's third Ocean dub voice, then discussed the dub sometime later and said that casting was underway and that he sounded "too cool" to reprise the role. Many other Canadian voice actors, some that were a part of the Ocean Z dub, have also mentioned being a part of it. Then, in Geekdom101's video interview with Brian Drummond, Drummond mentioned that he had recorded all of his lines as Vegeta for the dub some time ago. Then Kix, a UK kid's network, started airing their own edit of the FUNimation dub instead of the Ocean dub, leading many confused and speculating over the reasons, with the leading theory being that a lack of interest from Canadian broadcasters is the reason why the dub hasn't surfaced in Canada at least. So, the recordings are most likely sitting on a hard drive somewhere in Canada going to waste.


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