Dragon Ball Z Kai

Dragon Ball Z Kai is an anime series in the Dragon Ball franchise
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Dragon Ball Z Kai is a complete reworking and remastering of the Dragon Ball Z anime series to more closely fit Akira Toriyama's original story. Padding and filler content has been removed, massively reducing the amount of episodes. Kai was made to commemorate Dragon Ball's 20th anniversary.


Vegeta recolored in Kai!
Vegeta recolored in Kai!

The original Dragon Ball Z series was infamous for being filled with episode-long power up sequences and a great deal of filler. The main reason for this was that Toei Animation was creating the anime concurrently with the manga and would often catch up to Akira Toriyama. Since there was no way to overtake the manga, the series would extend certain scenes a great deal, or just add filler scenes, such as the infamous driving school episodes. The filler bumped up the series to a paltry 291 episodes, that was released in Japan, fully remastered frame by frame, in a box set known as the Dragonbox. This series was later released in North America as well in its entirety.

Toei Animation then announced that they would be remastering the series once more for high definition. What this entailed was going through the original film prints and cleaning up any dirt or scratches that had accumulated over time as well as fully redrawing some scenes. Other scenes were recolored to become more consistent with the series later on. For example in the first couple of episodes Piccolo's blood was red, where as it was later established that Namekian blood was purple. Another example of this is the awkward coloring of Vegeta prior to his first landing on earth. The biggest difference however was that Kai was to be cut down from 291 episodes to around 100, thus eliminating the extended power up sequences and filler episodes.

Goku censorship!
Goku censorship!

The series received some flak however, when Toei not only cut out filler scenes, but also some scenes that were canonical and in the original manga. The blood and violence was also toned down a noticeable amount. An example of this is when Piccolo shoots a beam through Goku and his brother Raditz, the hole is no longer shown as the beam passes through but instead it more closely resembles a bruise. Certain scenes received other forms of censorship, notably, Goku as an infant was censored so that his private area was no longer visible.

Not only was the video remastered, but so was the audio. The majority of the voice actors returned to reprise their roles, so mistakes with the dialogue were also corrected. An example of this would be during the Vegeta saga, Gohan yelled Kamehameha, when his hand was in fact in the Masenko attack position. The music was also re-scored by composer Kenji Yamamoto.

Aspect Ratio Confusion

The correct aspect ratio for Dragon Ball Z Kai is 4:3.

When the Kai series originally aired on Japanese televisions in was cropped to 16:9 widescreen, which left many wondering why this was done. It was in fact done because widescreen was a requisite for Japanese television stations to air modern anime shows. When the DVDs and Blu-ray discs were released, the DVDs were in the widescreen that aired on television, however the Blu-ray discs contain the original 4:3 version. The Blu-ray discs maintain what Toei considers to be the correct aspect ratio for the series.

North American Release


Not long after it's release in Japan, FUNImation announced that it had picked up the rights to Kai and would be re-dubbing the entire series with a script that more closely resembled the Japanese script. Most voice actors returned and reprised their roles such as Sean Schemmel as Goku (although some voices have changed up). The series was renamed Dragon Ball Z Kai in North America so as to have better brand recognition, and the first DVD and Blu-ray discs were slated for release on May 18th 2010.

Dragon Ball Z Kai began airing on television on the Nicktoons station, and it was also later announced that it would be airing on the CWKIDS station as well.

Dragon Ball Z Kai premiered on August 14, 2010.

Season/Ep# Name Airdate
1 - 59
The Pair Who Don't Leave a Trace! The Artificial Humans Appear
1 - 58
Goku's New Technique, Instant Movement! Special Training Staked on 3 Years From Now
1 - 57
Welcome Back Son Goku! The Confession of the Mysterious Young Boy Trunks
1 - 56
I'll Defeat Freeza! Another Super Saiyan
1 - 55
That's Earth, Papa... Freeza and His Father Strike Back
1 - 54
Goku Vanishes in Space... Return to Life! Super Warriors
1 - 53
The Final Blow, Son Goku... Planet Namek Scatters Throughout Space
1 - 52
Two Remain on a Vanishing Planet! This Is the Final Showdown
1 - 51
Goku's Furious Battle Cry! Make it in Time... The Resurrection Wish!
1 - 50
Freeza's Do-or-Die Full Power! Shenlong, Heed this Wish
1 - 49
Exact Vengeance, Son Goku! The Countdown to the Planet's Collapse
1 - 48
The Angry Super Saiyan! Throw Your Hat in the Ring, Son Goku!
1 - 47
Awaken, Legendary Warrior... Son Goku, the Super Saiyan!
1 - 46
This is the Last Trump Card! Goku's Extra-Large Genki-dama
1 - 45
It's a 20-Fold Kaio-ken! A Kamehameha With Everything on the Line
1 - 44
A Physical War That Exceeds All Limits! Goku and Freeza and Ginyu, Again?!
1 - 43
Son Goku vs Freeza! The Curtain Opens on the Super Decisive Battle!
1 - 42
Defeat Freeza, Son Goku! The Proud Vegeta's Tears
1 - 41
The Moment We've Waited For! Son Goku is Revived
1 - 40
Freeza's Final Super Transformation! The Terror Greater than Hell Starts Now

View all 86 episodes »

Series Credits
Person Name Episode Count
Akira Toriyama

To edit the cast, go to an episode page.

Original US Poster Art

General Information Edit
Name Dragon Ball Z Kai
Name: ドラゴンボール改 「カイ」
Romaji: Doragon Bōru Kai
Publisher Toei Animation
Start Year 2009
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Aliases DBK
DBZ: Kai
Dragon Ball Kai
Dragonball Z Kai
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