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DRAGON BALL #3 -- Retro Review

The good days of dubs?

It’s amusing to realize that Emperor Pilaf is actually the first in a lineage of DRAGON BALL big bads which will eventually include the likes of Cell and Broly, et al. I see him in his little frock, and I can’t help but feel like I’m watching a SOUTH PARK episode…

(Though, it sounds like the exact same voice that’ll eventually be used for Babidi. Am I right?)

FUNimation hit on some special magic with the crew of voice actors they assembled in the mid 90’s. I only have to listen to a few choice exchanges of banter between Bulma and Goku to feel a special tingling. And that part of my brain really hasn’t gotten tickled like that since I was watching Saturday Morning cartoons. The actors seem like they’re just having so much fun, and - - as was the case with YU YU HAKUSHO and DBZ itself - - there’s an added level of entertainment in how they’re goofing on the material at the same time they’re staying on message.

Honestly, that’s become one of my bigger pet diatribes; after writing up however many hundred episodes of this stuff. I don’t think ‘localization’ is a bad word, and I think it’s unfortunate that lot of these translation teams gradually started listening to purists to the point that you don't see this kind of creative license being taken any more. Say what you will about original intent, but there are cultural idioms that unavoidably need to be finessed, especially when you’re dealing with humor...

Of course, that subject also raises the question again of why DRAGON BALL failed to catch on, while DBZ ended up doing so swimmingly. I think it really came down to cultural differences on what’s acceptable for kids entertainment. Master Roshi giggling about catching Bulma’s panties might be seen as harmless fun in Japan but, even in this dub, it’s still… pretty weird. And there really is not way to cut around that.

Watch "The Nimbus Cloud of Roshi" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode.

Kino88on June 9, 2014 at 3:03 p.m.
one word "classic", I personally always thought Dragon Ball Was actually better than DBZ, it was a simple fun adventure story Were all of Toriyam's off beat humor and one of a kind Art style really got to shine, Also my guess as to why DBZ did better here than its Predasseor was probably because Dragon Ball was thought Too childish, were as DBZ had all the action and was thought to be "More cool" or something like that, also master Roshi was always A perve, the man lives on an island five feet in diamiter with a turtle as His only company, give the guy a break Lol,
YotaruVegetaon June 9, 2014 at 5:32 p.m.

Dragonball didn't catch on because, well, it was the 80s. Also, because 90s was the decade of EXTREME, and DBZ fit in with that perfectly.

I think action-adventure is better than just action, because the traveling fleshes out the world, and you meet new and interesting characters.

Dig Deeper into Dragon Ball

Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball franchise is about the adventures of Goku and his friends from his early childhood to his death and beyond. It begins with a young Saiyan boy named Goku after falling of a cliff and losing his memory, and leads on to an adventure of a lifetime!

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