why is dragon ball z kai bad 1
Avatar of Theo J Ellis

Why Dragon Ball Z Kai Was A MISTAKE

Dragon Ball Z started in 1989, and the ocean dub is known for its high quality, even if there was an issue or two. And the same is true for the Funimation dub for DBZ.

But then came Dragon Ball Z Kai in the 2000s after the major success of DBZ years later. It was a 20-year anniversary project to celebrate the franchise.

It was released in 2009 to be exact (April 5th). A few days short of being an April Fool’s joke.


So why is dragon ball z Kai so bad and hated by many?


It’s true that many have come to love Dragon Ball Z KAI since it was their introduction to DBZ in the late 2000s (they never saw the original), and so some fans do love it.

But, there are a lot of reasons for the hate and why people think it’s bad. And I personally disliked and cringed at DBZ Kai in comparison to the original DBZ.

Here are some reasons why that is.


1. The voices are absolutely atrocious

YouTube video

To say the dubbed voices in the KAI version of DBZ are bad isn’t enough. To say it’s atrocious and enough to make the ears bleed in agony isn’t enough either.

The voices in KAI are subpar and inferior on almost every level.

I say this as someone who grew up watching dubbed anime, dubbed content, and someone who enjoys the English voices of many anime series. Especially Dragon Ball Z.

So that tells you how much I dislike DBZ KAI and why many can’t stand the voices.

It feels like the voices are:

  • Half-assed.
  • Parody in nature.
  • Not to be taken seriously.
  • Lacks effort.

And doesn’t have nearly the same impact as the original Funimation, Ocean, or Bruce Falconer dubs.

The video above shows the difference between the original DBZ voices vs the KAI voices. The differences are staggering and blatant.

The intent was pure, but the end result only sounded good to those who grew up on Kai vs the original since they have no context.


2. The censorship is bad enough

YouTube video

Censorship was a problem back then for certain series and even is still now. But DBZ Kai had clear censorship issues that will make original DBZ fans cringe.

Like removing the blood from Bardock’s face, or stopping the blood dripping from Piccolo’s arm after Radtiz blasted it off during the Saiyan Saga.

Or removing the middle finger in the scene with Gotenks.

The list is extra long.

While both Funimation and ocean dub DID engage in some censorship depending on when you watched DBZ or where the Kai version along with the voices makes it a more terrible product overall when compared piece by piece.

The removal of blood is completely unnecessary and treats the audience as if they’re children who don’t know any better, need coddling, and may become violent if they see violence or blood in a fictional piece of content.


3. Change of colours, art, and many strange inconsistencies

YouTube video

Believe it or not, but for whatever reason, DBZ Kai had issues with hair colours compared to the original version of DBZ. And this is crystal clear as well.

I don’t understand why they went and did this because it makes no sense, but they did it anyway.

For example, Saiyans like Vegeta, Radtiz, etc, have brown hair or hair that’s not characteristically black like the original Saiyan hair is supposed to be.

Worst of all, they switch between black and brown hair, making it inconsistent and outright strange if not flawed over the entire series of KAI.

The only thing they corrected was Vegeta’s red hair during the time when he was on that planet with Nappa before he sets out to Earth to find Kakarot.

Weird correction to make when everything else was inconsistent and even more foolish than it needed to be.


4. It feels too disneyfied

dbz kai art awful namek saga frieza

The original Dragon Ball Z was savage in so many ways, including the original Dragon Ball series that came before DBZ.

You had things like:

  • The famous scene with Goku and Bulma in the original dragon ball.
  • The swearing where it counts.
  • Middle fingers.
  • Wordplay and dialogue (whether it’s Frieza, Vegeta, or whoever).
  • The brutality at times, which even though it’s not the most brutal anime, it had its moments.
  • The art and colours of the original series.
  • The aesthetics and camera angles.
  • The lack of cropping to hide necessary details.

By the time 2009 rolled around with Dragon Ball Z Kai, things had changed a lot. And it was only half a decade away from all the political correctness that was about to follow in the Western world.

Some of this is clear and can be seen in DBZ Kai as a whole when compared to the original Dragon Ball or Dragon Ball Z versions of the same series.

The original felt raw and uncut (no pun intended), while DBZ Kai was clearly disneyfied and a watered-down product to make it appeal to more fans and people of that time who were more sensitive compared to those of the 1980s and 1990s.


Related notes:


Dragon Ball Z Kai actually has an uncut, uncensored version where SOME of these things aren’t an issue. Like for example, blood and what not.

But almost all fans who watched DBZ Kai are unaware of this version and ended up watching the mainstream, most known version of KAI with all the inconsistencies, problems, changes in voices, and other elements.


Why Naruto Will NEVER Be Bigger Than Dragon Ball Z