Dragon Ball Z: Kai Part Eight

| June 9, 2012

Over the years, Dragon Ball Z has had many re-releases, both on VHS, and DVD, with Blu-ray dropping into the scene more recently. Most of those releases featured the same content repackaged again and again, but Dragon Ball Z: Kai is unique, presenting the entire DBZ series remastered and re-edited to exclude any filler. Although this filler made the original DBZ memorable and fleshed out the characters, it bloated the series to a staggering 291 episodes, which can turn away many casual viewers.

FUNimation’s Dragon Ball Z: Kai Part Eight collects the final nine episodes of the series, which wraps up with the “Cell Games Saga,” an arc which many argue is the best in the series. Here we see Z Fighter Gohan at his best. Not only must he fight an extremely powerful foe, but he also battles his own reluctance to give in to the anger that gives him power. In this, he contrasts his father, Goku, who has always enjoyed fighting. Only after seeing his friends defeated by Cell’s minions does Gohan learn that there are some foes who just cannot be reasoned with and that its okay to fight for justice.

With much provocation by Cell, Gohan explodes with rage and awakens within him a new level of Super Saiyan power. Throughout the course of the battle, and even more so during the final four episodes, there are hints that this may have been intended to be the final arc in the series. Although it’s still just a rumor, many fans within the DBZ fan community have argued that Akira Toriyama originally intended the series to end with the Cell Games. The characters’ inability to revive Goku coupled with the final farewells of all the Z fighters makes it hard to think otherwise. Personally, I’m glad that Dragon Ball Z: Kai ends with the Cell Games, and, from what I’ve read, the creators of Kai have no future plans to incorporate the rest of the series.

Visually, DBZ: Kai looks great, with a few exceptions. There were a few scenes, for example, that strangely looked as if they had been cut out of a flash animation. For fans who have seen Dragon Ball Z: Kai air on television, all the censored material has been restored for the Blu-ray release, which means no dots where halos should be and Mr. Popo is back to his original color. While FUNimation’s release of Part Eight is lacking in special features, there’s an interesting web interview with director Christopher Sabat, also known for voicing both Piccolo and Vegeta, and Sean Schemmel, the voice of adult Goku. Both men express their love of the DBZ series as a whole and their enjoyment of DBZ: Kai.

Dragon Ball Z Kai is an amazing addition to the DBZ re-releases but it’s clearly meant for those who are new to the series, and only newcomers or diehard DBZ collectors should consider making this purchase. Everyone else will be better off purchasing the FUNimation Remastered Box Sets or waiting until the Blu-ray releases of the unedited DBZ are taken off FUNimation’s back burner.


About the Author:

Ken is an up and coming writer from Chicago, Illinois with an affinity for anime. When he's not watching, or arguing about the latest series over a message board, he can usually be found playing the newest console game or MMO. He is currently studying C.I.S at Wilbur Wright College.

3 Comments on "Dragon Ball Z: Kai Part Eight"

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  1. Ryumoau23 Ryumoau23 says:

    i was a huge fan of the Dragonball series when they first appeared on Toonami years ago. i have also seen a couple of Funimation remastered dvds, but it felt like they kept milking the series with different iterations (suchas dbz uncut and dbz remastered).
    i was initially very excited when Kai was announced years ago and went out of my way to watch the episodes that aired on 4kids, even if it may have been edited.
    While i applaud the idea of Kai cleaning up the animation, excluding filler, and ending on a decent story arc (though i think Freiza saga is the pinnacle of the series a better ending); i didn’t find Kai as memorable as the original Toonami run. It may be nostalgia playing a big part, but i enjoy Bruce Faulkner’s music for the american dub far more than the new Kai music. i also realised how much i missed some of the filler, because the story had a ‘rushed’ feeling in Kai and i didn’t get as many character moments. i love Gohan’s new voice and although i loved Linda Young’s original take as Freiza, the new Freiza voice is amazing.
    All in all, Kai was a great idea but i think it actually lasted a season too long for me and the new music isn’t memorable at all.
    great review of the final dvd of the series. can’t wait to read more. ^ ^

  2. Ken Wright says:

    I think everyone who grew up watching DBZ on Toonami will agree with you, It sucks Toei Animation had to replace some of the songs because of copyright infringement, those politics, man. I really appreciate the constructive feed back too, you even gave me some ideas for my next review. 😀

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