Trivia: Dragon Ball Z

  • Adored by the Network: Done three times over in the United States alone:
    • For Toonami, When the show's infamous Ocean dub switched over from broadcast syndication to Toonami's lineup, it brought in ratings the likes of which the block hadn't seen. When the Ocean dub reached its end, FUNimation switched over to producing the dub in-house, and the show remained a favorite all the way to the end. They'd even use any excuse they could to run marathons of the show and movies, with notable examples being DBZ20XL (a week long event where 4 episodes were shown each day, concluding with a movie marathon on the final day), DBZ President's Day Movie Marathon (a movie marathon on President's Day), and Dragon Ball Chronicles (a three-week event meant to celebrate Toonami's move to airing on Saturday nights, where Dragon Ball Z, as well as its prequel and sequel series, took over the block). Even after the show ended, Toonami brought the show back, this time airing the first 67 episodes re-dubbed by FUNimation and completely uncut.
    • Dragon Ball Z Kai had become this for Nicktoons Network, with anywhere from three to six hours worth being shown on any given day in total. This has gotten to such a point that Nicktoons began airing the original Dragon Ball Z movies in an almost completely uncut format, with the only real edit so far being a Hitler scene in Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn getting excised. All blood, violence, and profanity is kept, at a TV-Y7-FV rating no less.
    • For the Toonami revival, Dragon Ball Z Kai has now escalated to this point. The show has a rerunnote  on the regular Adult Swim network at 8:00 PM on Saturdays, becoming the first show of the new Toonami block to accomplish such a feat. On top of that, it leads off the regular block at Midnight on the same day, getting better promotion than even Kill la Kill, and when asked about it, the Toonami crew seemed to imply that it will keep that slot for quite a long time.
    • Italian television channel Italia 1 is very, very fond of Dragon Ball. They aired the three series (Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT) continuously since 1998: after GT's ending, they start over again with the first episode of Dragon Ball, then Z, then GT... As of July 2012, we're reaching the end of the sixth rerun of Z (if this number doesn't impress you, be wary that Italia 1 is a general-purpose channel, not an anime-only, and they air one episode per day... This means that for almost twelve years there wasn't a day without Dragon Ball!).
  • Abridged Series:
  • Banned Episode: The Ocean dub episode, "Escape from Piccolo" was withheld from airing during the original Saban run due to the network taking issue with the theme of kids rebelling against state authority figures. This is why the episode that precedes it, "Princess Snake's Hospitality" ends with a preview of "Showdown in the Past" instead of the actual next episode. It did eventually air on Toonami as a "lost episode."
  • Cash Cow Franchise: For over thirty years and counting.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Turles is voiced by Masako Nozawa.
  • God Never Said That: The age old "Toriyama was original planning to end Dragonball Z at the _____ Arc." The only confirmed potential ending was the original first arc of Dragon Ball.
  • Name's the Same: Son Gokuu is the Japanese pronunciation of Sun Wukong, The Monkey King.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • The Android Saga is a strange example of this since it was Toriyama's former editor Torashima who drove the changes, and as such he wasn't ordering the changes, merely making suggestions. Originally, Toriyama intended Androids #19 and #20 to be the fearsome killers Future Trunks warned everyone about. However, Torashima contacted him and essentially said "These are the villains? An old man and a China doll?" This prompted the creation of Androids #17 and #18, but Torashima thought they were just punks and not at all imposing, which is where Cell comes from.
    • It continued with Cell, too. Toriyama never intended him to change forms, but his then-current editor Kondou complained that Cell's original insectoid appearance was too ugly; when Toriyama had him become Semi-Perfect, Kondou dismissed that form as well, saying he "looked like a moron", which lead to the creation of Perfect Cell.
  • Flashback with the Other Darrin: Occurred in FUNimation's initial dubbing of the series due to the switch from the Ocean Group cast to the in-house FUNimation cast midway through the Frieza saga. Any flashbacks to scenes that took place in the Ocean dub were dubbed/redubbed with the FUNimation cast. Also a case of flashing back with the other network's broadcast standards, as these flashbacks showed scenes that were either cut or censored in the Ocean dub completely unedited.
    • Likewise, the Westwood dub redubbed flashbacks to scenes originally dubbed by the FUNimation cast with the Ocean cast.
      • This most frequently occurred with Goku due to him switching actors a whopping four times during the UK run of the show. The most common actor to invoke this trope while in the role was Kirby Morrow, who had to dub flashbacks to scenes originally done by Ian James Corlett, Peter Kelamis, and Sean Schemmel respectively.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!:
    • Raditz is Bellamy and Yusuke Urameshi. Krillin is Luffy as well.
    • The English Dub originally started out using actors from the Canada-based Ocean Group, and they've continued their own dub of the series outside of the U.S.. Out of all the V As, Raditz's original English actor is probably best known as Randy Disher on Monk.
    • And of course, the Funimation dub. Piccolo is Zoro, and (the newer actress for) Gohan is Luffy.
  • Marth Debuted in Smash Bros.: Hatchiyack's first appearance outside Japan was in Raging Blast 2, where it is both a playable character as well as featuring in the remastered version of Plan To Eradicate The Super Saiyans included in the game.
  • Missing Episode:
    • Material was cut in the original version of Z's Ocean dub of seasons 1 and 2, mostly for violence, but sometimes smaller arcs were too.
    • In Hungary, where Moral Guardians have forced the series off the air in 1999, episodes 137+ were first released officially only in late 2013, although they've been available on video hosting sites since 2009. Episodes 227-231 were still missing until finally being shown in January 2014.
  • Network to the Rescue: Believe it or not, the dub of Dragon Ball Z was originally going to end with its second season note  because it's syndicated run in America wasn't drawing enough interest. It wasn't until Toonami picked up the rights in the late-90s that the show got a second lease on life and became a smash hit in America.
  • Talking to Himself:
    • Veteran voice actress Masako Nozawa voices Goku, as well as both his sons and his deceased father Bardock. Not to mention Tullece/Turles.
    • Sean Schemmel played Adult!Goku, and later played King Kai.
    • In the Latin-American Spanish dub, Laura Torres plays both child!Goku, child!Gohan and child!Goten. Mario Castañeda, who voices teenaged and adult!Goku, voices Bardock and Tullece/Turles.
    • In the FUNimation dub, Chris Sabat plays Vegeta, Piccolo, and Yamcha. While the latter doesn't have too much screen time, it doesn't change the fact that Sabat is talking to himself a majority of the time, especially through most of the Saiyan arrival scenes.
    • Notable that Sabat once said that he wanted to get Scott McNeil to be Piccolo in the dub of Kai, which would've largely averted this trope the second time around. Flying someone all the way over from Canada to Texas for a voice acting job is unfortunately not always feasible...
    • Goten and Videl in the English dub, are both are voiced by Kara Edwards.
    • In the Japanese version, both Pan and Videl are played by Yuko Minaguchi
    • Cooler is voiced by Ryuusei Nakao, same as Freeza. The voice itself is also essentially the same, differing in the delivery rather than timbre.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • As explained, doing all those fight scenes really strains the throat. Goku's Super Saiyan 3 transformation had non-stop screaming for the better part of an episode. And a few seiyuu did die by the time Kai aired.
    • More than a few of the English voice actors did not return for Kai, most notably kid Gohan, Bulma, and Frieza's have different actors. Also, none of the Ginyu Force's voice actors, except Recoome, returned. Some did return for Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods like Android 18, Oolong, and pre-recorded lines for kid Goku and Gohan's actress from Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z were used.
    • Happened with the entire voice cast when FUNimation started making episodes for Toonami in 1999. Due to Cartoon Network giving FUNimation less money to produce the dub than Saban did, they couldn't afford to rehire the original Ocean cast, so they had to assemble their own in-house cast. This cast would dub the remainder of the series, and many of its actors, such as Sean Schemmel, Chris Sabat, and Sonny Strait, continue to dub the series to this day.
      • Happened again with the countries that received the Westwood dub. It was essentially meant that the Ocean cast replaced the FUNimation cast in these areas, but due to a hectic airing schedule, some regions would seemingly switch between the FUNi dub and the Westwood dub almost at random, which meant that this trope was repeatedly invoked.
    • In the Latin American dub, nearly every voice actor was replaced in Kai, but the original VA's were brought back for Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods
    • Goku during the show's initial English airing was one of the most frequent examples of this trope. Goku was initially voiced by Ian James Corlett during the original Saban dub. After he quit Ocean due to a pay dispute, he was replaced with Peter Kelamis for the remainder of the Saban dub and the three Pioneer movies. FUNimation then used their own in-house cast for the Toonami episodes, which featured Sean Schemmel in the role. Schemmel continued to voice Goku for the remainder of the series and every subsequent DBZ iteration in the States since. Over in the regions that got the Westwood dub, however, Schemmel was replaced by a returning Peter Kelamis starting with the Trunks saga. Finally, about midway through the Cell saga, Kelamis left the cast to focus on his stand-up career, and Kirby Morrow played Goku for the rest of the Westwood dub.
      • The only other character to top Goku in number of actor changes during the original airing was Master Roshi, who went through four actors during the American run (Ian Corlett for the Saiyan and early Namek episodes of the Saban dub, Peter Kelamis for the remaining Saban episodes, Don Brown for the Pioneer dub of World's Strongest, and Mike McFarland for the in-house FUNi episodes) and five during the Westwood run (all of the actors listed previously, plus Terry Klassen for the Westwood episodes.)
    • The Big Green dub recast many of its characters in-between movies:
      • When Vegeta/Vejituh first appears in the Return of Cooler dub, he's voiced by the actor that would most famously voice Broly in his first movie. In every other movie after that, he's voiced by the actor most commonly referred to by the fandom as "Old Bastard."
      • In the Bardock special, a flashforward to Goku and Vegeta's battle on Earth infamously has Vegeta being voiced by "Clearin"'s voice actor. This is because he voices Kid Vegeta in the dub, and for some reason, he uses the same voice to play Adult Vegeta.
      • The same thing happened to Cooler. In Cooler's Revenge, he's voiced by the Broly actor, but in The Return of Cooler, he's voiced by Old Bastard.
      • In Tree of Might, Tien is infamously given a very alien like voice by the Broly actor. When Tien reappears in Bojack Unbound, he's given a more normal-sounding voice.
    • The German dub replaced Santiago Ziesmer with Oliver Siebeck as Vegeta. The fans preferred Siebeck.
  • Truth in Television: At the beginning of the series, a plot point of the fight against Raditz is that when Goku and Piccolo's energy techniques raise their maximum power by concentrating that power into a single point. In real life, techniques in martial arts really do work this way, having the concentration of an attack aimed at a very small area to maximize the attack power of the striking area; with follow-through and the striking motion being concentrated in order to create no wasted motion. This concentration of energy and power onto a single point is how martial artists are able to strike through concrete and wood.
  • What Could Have Been: In the scriptwriter's original treatment, Beerus was supposed to be The Virus (hence his name) and responsible for turning the Saiyan race evil in the first place, giving the Super Saiyan God subplot an immediacy and relevance to the God of Destruction besides him just wanting to fight someone strong. He would have even turned Goku's friends against him, forcing him to reflect on "what makes a hero" and so on. This idea was too dark for the series' creator, however, and Akira Toriyama reworked the plot into something much more lighthearted, with the goofy, fun-loving, purple cat-god we now know.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants:
    • Toriyama experienced this during the Android and Cell Saga due to Executive Meddling. Originally, Dr. Gero and Android 19 were intended to be the Androids from Trunks' future and the Big Bad of the arc, but his Editor did not like their designs. This led to the creations of Android 16, 17, and 18. His editor was still not satisfied. This led to the creation of Cell. The editor liked the character but hated the design, so this led to the Second and Perfect forms.
    • Toriyama in general is known for this. He rarely if ever planned ahead and tended not to do his work until the last minute, some time the day before his issue was due. This is partly why Dragon Ball has a few plot holes and retcons.

Miscellaneous Trivia:

  • According to a one-off line in the FUNimation dub, Vegeta wears a size 9 boot.
    • According to the Westwood version of the same scene, Vegeta wears a 34" uniform.
  • Along with Fairy Tail, Toriko, and Attack on Titan, Dragon Ball Z is currently one of the most requested shows for Toonami on [adult swim], mostly due to it being one of the block's more famous shows when it was still on Cartoon Network. Unfortunately, the chances of it airing are slim to none due to Nicktoons holding the cable broadcast rights to the show note .
    • Ironically enough, Dragon Ball Z (as well as Dragon Ball Z Kai) technically did make it on the new Toonami… over in Asia.
    • Cooler's Revenge is set to air on May 24th, in celebration of the 2nd anniversary of Toonami's revival on [adult swim]. Still no word on the show itself, however.
    • Announced May 2014, Dragon Ball Z Kai will be returning home.