Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Dragonball Kai

Go To

  • Americans Hate Tingle: Up to Eleven in Latin America, to the point that fans reportedly boycotted the series. The reasons? The massive censorship that the series had,note  but especially Toei Animation's changing most of the original cast of the dub. The fallout from this also caused Toei to restructure their Latin American division and they would eventually bring back most of the original cast for The Final Chapters to the fans' rejoice.
  • Advertisement:
  • Arc Fatigue: Even in Kai's heavily edited form, the Namek Saga still drags on quite a bit. It’s actually significantly shorter than both the Android and Majin Buu Sagas, but it’s much less varied, making it feel monotonous as a result. It doesn’t help that it has one of the few filler plots that's retained.note  It’s still much, much better than what it was like on the original, unedited version of the series.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • For FUNimation, a point of contention for many fans is that the English dub of Dragon Ball Z is very polarizing. This series gave the company another crack at it and it shows.
    • As noted elsewhere, the French dub is more faithful, as the dubbing team acknowledged that the dub of DBZ was a mistake.note 
    • Advertisement:
    • The Latin American Spanish dub of the first 98 episodes had a very negative reception due to the censorship and, most importantly, the fact that none of the voice actors who dubbed the main characters was in the dub. In The Final Chapters, where possible, all characters are dubbed by their original voice actors, and those that didn't (either by retirement or Author Existence Failure) get the voice actors that reprise them in Super. The negative reception mellowed out after this, but how the dub was before The Final Chapters can be seen as Never Live It Down to some.
    • The series in general helps with much of the Archive Panic that ensues for latecomers who attempt to watch the original DBZ, due to the latter's length and large amounts of filler.
    • The Final Chapters is one, as some people were wondering why Toei didn't have the Buu Saga cut down too. Unfortunately, while it's perfectly watchable, it has aspects that make it feel half-hearted on Toei's part.
  • Advertisement:
  • Awesome Music: "Dragon Soul" and "Sanjou!! Ginyu Tokusentai!!" for the first half. For the second, there's the Engrish "Fight it Out" and the Japanese theme, "Kuu Zen Zetsu Go." Which one's better usually depends on personal preference.
  • Broken Base:
    • Some hardcore DBZ fans have denounced Kai as dishonoring the original series by removing much of the character inherent in the extended stories, while others enjoy the much faster-paced plot, due to most of the filler padding out fights and other scenes to a near crawl.
    • The casting changes for some of the characters in the English dub. Some fans like it because they feel that the new voice actors did a very good job and that their voices suit the characters better. Others hate the changes because they prefer the original voice actors, as they grew up listening to them when DBZ was on the air. And then there's a third group who compare the voices, with not a lot of attachment to either actor, and say which ones they thought were better.
    • Kenji Yamamoto's score split the fandom between those who thought it helped give Dragon Ball a fresh look for a newer generation and those who preferred Shunsuke Kikuchi's score for one of a variety of reasons.note  When Yamamoto was revealed to have plagiarized most of his songs from Western artists and his score was subsequently replaced with Kikuchi's, the fandom was broken up again as to whether Yamamoto's actions were plagiarism that deserved to be punished or were inspirations/homages that fall under fair use.note 
    • Aya Hirano as Dende. Some are fine with it, but others feel like her voice didn't fit the character. Some also feel that she was only cast simply because she was a big name at the time.
    • The use of Team Four Star for the Cell Games Reenactment. Some fans are sad/mad that their audio was cut before the episode aired, thinking that their performances should have been left intact, since it's their usual shtick of making fun of the series, just turned Up to Eleven, and they enjoy the self parody the dub team tried to sneak in. Others are glad, however, because they are tired of the references of them and Dragon Ball Z Abridged, or just don't like their shtick.
  • Ear Worm: DOKKAN! DOKKAN! TSUITERU!note 
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The series was much more successful overseas than it was in Japan, where it was seen as a pointless edited re-release of the far more beloved DBZ. It was only because of its success in the West that The Final Chapters was made. This likely has to do with the West's lower tolerance for Padding compared to Japan, making Kai a much more appealing proposition. The English dub also helped in this regard in terms of the acclaim it received. In comparison, the Japanese version was seen as a step down due to how much the voice cast had aged.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The stunt Christopher Sabat tried to pull by having Team Four Star dub over the Cell Games Reenactment was found out by Toei before the episode aired. As a result, this caused the four members of the team in the dub; Scott Frerichs, Nick Landis, Curtis Arnott, and Lawrence Simpson, to be "greylisted" from working at FUNimation for a while, as Landis revealed in a livestream.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Colleen Clinkenbeard was often mistaken as the voice of Gohan due to her role as Monkey D. Luffy. No guesses as to who she voices in Kai.
    • Toei removing Team Four Star's audio from their scene can be this when you take into account that several other alternate language dubs of The Final Chapters based their scripts and translations off of the English dub, notably the Latin American Spanish dub, which included the rewritten script for that scene. Effectively, those dubs have a reference to translation errors they never had.
  • Narm: Sure, Gohan's screams are properly full of emotion. However, some of them carry on so long that it loses the intended effect.
  • Narm Charm: The Ginyu Force's entrance. No matter what language it's in, the poses and song that accompanies them are so cheesy that it can't help but be entertaining.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Kai is sometimes thought to be heavily censored. However, this isn't the case. While the original version does have some censorship, it's largely negligible. This assumption can be largely attributed to the original broadcasts on Nicktoons and Toonzai, which were heavily censored.
    • In Spanish-speaking Latin America, the first 98 episodes of Kai tend to be best remembered as "the ones where most of the original were replaced."
  • Seasonal Rot: The Final Chapters is considered this, due to the forced 16:9 cropping, the degraded picture quality, and less of the filler getting cut out.
  • Superlative Dubbing:
    • The English dub is close to flawless, since most of the voice actors have been voicing these characters for over a decade, on top of the scripting and translating being more accurate. The uncensored version in particular served as a template for subsequent dubs in the franchise.
    • The French dub team acknowledged that the dub of DBZ was a mistake and delivered a dub very close to the original.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: This ended up being so widespread in composer Kenji Yamamoto's work that Toei actually kicked him off the show towards the end of its initial run, and the music for the series, except for the eyecatch and opening/closing themes. The most blatant example: the track "The Ebb and the Flow" is a very blatant ripoff of "War" from the Avatar soundtrack. It is an almost note for note copy.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: This is some fans' reaction to the series' second ending, "Kokoro no Hane."
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Many fans who grew up watching FUNimation's original DBZ dub decry Kai's change of dialogue,note  the changes in voices,note  and the loss of Bruce Faulconer's music.note  For most fans, part of the hostility comes from the loss of some of the voice actors that was a part of the DBZ dub, such as young Gohan, Bulma, Frieza, and Android 18.note 
    • If you are a fan of Dragon Ball Z Abridged, chances are, you will be disappointed to find out this clip was removed from the broadcast version.
    • In Latin America, the fans' dislike for the replacement of most of the original cast during Kai's original 98-episode run became infamous.
  • Tough Act to Follow: A specific example with the English dub of the opening, "Dragon Soul". It is generally considered an excellent and catchy localized Anime Theme Song to the point of Superlative Dubbing for some people, and subsequent English-dubbed Dragon Ball opening and ending songs haven't been able to live up to it for many fans, either due to awkward translation and lyrics (if dubbed by American artists) or for awkward, narmful Engrish (if dubbed by the original Japanese singers).
  • Vindicated by History: Due to the Vocal Evolution of the English cast, as well as the later dubs of Battle of Gods, Resurrection 'F', and Super, this series helped some fans who disliked the DBZ dub to look at them in a more positive light.
  • Woolseyism:
    • The first half of the first 98 episodes' English dub scripts were adapted faithfully yet cleverly by J. Michael Tatum, and it's almost always mentioned as a plus when discussing the dub. The second half lacked his involvement and it shows.
    • Team Four Star's dub of the Cell Games Reenactment lampshades this in spades and lovingly pokes fun at them to HFIL and back, with many references to the past dubs of Dragon Ball, both shows and games, in their two minutes of screentime.
    • The already kickass "Dragon Soul" was dubbed in English by various members of the voice cast. The first version of the song was sung by Sean Schemmel, which makes it come across as an Image Song for Goku.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: