UPDATE: Idecided to update my review cause the anime is done airing now (April 2012). I will clearly point the updates. Also tried to correct many errors I have done (sorry but this review was done in the old version of Review Editor and it lagged like shit so many letters are omitted an it was frustating to correct all this back then).
Well this is going to be hard like steel. I always believed reviewing great movies or series is something wrong. It's like playing GOD with clones or even worse:) Since DB (the whole franchise) has become one of the greatest anime (and manga) ever, it is like playing God.
But after watching the newest release of the DBZ I just need to share my opinion.
I'm not going to review the story. Wanna know why? It's pointless since the story has not changed at all. Only fillers and long talks have been omitted so we are not missing any story neither the story has been redone. If I had to say it's good or bad I would say...I don't know. It depends, whether you were amused by the fillers and long dramatic talks or just bored by them. Personally I think the show runs a lot faster and it is fun. But I still don't belive they will fit in 100 eps. Come on... it's 31st episode now and we still have not seen frieeza fights. I hope they won't cut all the androids and buu saga in 10 eps:P
UPDATED: Ok so the series ended at 97th episode. And where does it ends? Gohan kills Cell and they live happily every after. WTF MATE? Yeah they realy did end on Cell saga, for me Buu saga was the best (we got SSJ3, Majin Vegeta, Goku vs Vegeta, Fusions, Budokai.. all the best stuff is back). Right after the "last" episode ppl on the internets started talking about second season and stuff. What i have read (from forums and news sites) there will possibly be a second season with all the Buu stuff. IMHO, if they gonna make the same crap as the first season they better leave this alone.
Animation and artwork is one of the elements that was going to be greatly redone so I'm gonna talk a little more about it.
BIG BIG BIG dissapointment...
When we all heard about DB KAI we've gone ape shit!! (at least I did..) Boyyy what a let down it was when we saw the first episode.Great opening, MY GODDDDDD!! When i saw Goku and Vegeta fighting in the opening with all these new animation cells I thought "WOW THAT'S GREAT, IT LOOKS AWESOME!!". Then the real show starts.
What the hell is this shit?
That must be some joke.. I must find another link on the net...
OK. I got link from a great site it must be a good one now.
WHAT HAVE THEY DONE!!!!!!???
Ok, enough jokes. To sum my jokes up: the animation is a disaster. It looks nothing like the "redone animation cleaned up and perfected for your joy" description we saw in the ad. I agree I can pinpoint some good redone scenes where the artwork is redone. But still I would not call it GOOD JOB. For me it looks worse than one of the many Remasterd Editions. Yes that is correct, I prefer old Remsterd versions. The art was darker and less "pokemonic" (no offense). In KAI it all loks nice but too colorfull. They just fucked up the job. All the creators wanted was money, there is no other explanation. If they would make the whole series like the opening and ending it would be great. Instead they only redone the whole voice acting. If they said A they should say B!!!
What is worse the production faggots have not released any pics durring production so we all hoped it's going to be great animation.
UPDATED: I realy hoped DBKAI vs DBZ will look like FMA Brotherhood compared to original FMA anime. If they are going to "redo" the artwork they should realy redo it not just clean the cells and put some new colors. They went great lenghts with re-recording the voice acting and they were too lazy to make a whole new anime? Perhaps they are trying to exploit DB as much as possible: after converting all the DBZ Remastered and DB KAI Remastered to BluRay they will finally make a real conversion like FMA.
But let's talk about the animation right to the end of this "season". Maybe it's hard to believe but it's worse than in the first episodes. Why and how you may ask? It's very easy to explain (at least i hope so): DBKAI is just a retouched DBZ animations and cells BUT sometimes they lack a cell/animation they needed (for example a shot from a peculiar angle or sth); so what they did? they draw a new animation/cell in the old style but it looks like it's done in MS Paint. In other words it looks like a crappy disaster, the colors are TOO MUCH vivid, completly different and strokes and lines are screwed up. The more the show went on the more and more they used this kind of new "redone" animations and cells. Producers of DBKAI said they were going to fix things like different animation styles and colors that occur in the original DBZ series. Unfortunately they did the same mistake. They tried to fix those mistakes by makin their own mistakes and ruining the show.
All the voices were rerecorded as I mentioned before. And they all sound great. I just can't point the which one is which when I hear old DBZ and new DBK voices. The actors (seiyus) done great job. Although.. I must admit I still love the french dub! In my country we had french release of the DB and DBZ and I think the french actors are great and some characters voices are even better than the japanese ones!! Check it yourself, Krillan, Picollo and Vegeta in french are great! (BTW I also recommend BLACK HAWK DOWN in french dub, funny like hell).
They have not changed the sound effects of the hits and all the "jingels" (thank you God) but they changed the whole score. Ok maybe they thought that adding new music will refresh the whole show. I can agree with that. But they fucked it all up again... The old music was great, it helped build the story and everytime I heard "Vegeta theme" I got excited like little kid. Instead, now we have some crappy orchestra music totally ruining the vibe. I like orchestra music and similiar stuff, I like it a lot. But the one used in KAI is horrible, not in performance but it just does not fit. Now it sound like playing old Final Fantasy game. I can't belive they picked the music so WRONGGG!! I assume they wanted to give the scenes a little bit of dramatic effect but with orchestra music it's just plain STUPID. But that's only my opinion maybe you have your own? Maybe you DO agree it makes the scene more "powerful" more dramatic? Well I don't! Also about the opening and ending, they changed the songs there also. Now they are more childish to me :) They colored the artwork now they add childish ending and opening? Maybe I'm too harsh. I just don't like the songs. They are not appealing and I always try to skip them, also because of the opening artwork which angers me more when I see how good it looks :) But to be fair I wasn't a big fan of "head cha la!!!" but I still think it was better.
Still the music/sound was redone better than animation/art that is why I gave it a higher score.
UPDATED: I already said that the new "orchestra-kind" music is not my style. But the last 2 or 3 episodes have THE OLD MUSIC... what were they thinking???!! They wasted so much money on this new music and at the end of the show they realised "hey, the old music was so much better that this shit we have done let's go back to that"? They only pissed me off cause after 94 episodes of crappy music they remind the original score which was amazing and breathtaking????? They need to fix sth in their heads.
Also, I have to say that I was raised on the french dubbed DBZ and after many years of my life has passed and many episodes and movies of DB have been watch I still want to point at the french dub as the best actors ever for this anime. EVEN BETTER than the original jap dub. You heard me right, goku, piccolo and everyone else were wayyyyy better in the french dub. HECK even Vegeta was WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY WAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY BETTER in french if you dont believe me plz do yourself a favour and go watch a french dub.
No changes here. No new characters, only some minor ones have been cut off.
Why won't they just redo the whole work? Are they too lazy? I think this is it. Laziness!!! Full Metal Alchemist was redone, Hellsing was Redone and they look amazing. Hellsing OVA is one of my favourites when we talk about art and animation. I can watch single scenes from it for hours. The new FMA also is great although the changes are not that big. Please some force the guys in Japan to remake the DB. We have been fucked twice this year due to DB. First time was when we recieved the DB KAI, the second one was DB EVOLUTION (I cried when I watched it, I literally cried out loud in despair). If they want money so much I AM sure that when they will make the DBZ OVA series they will get money like hell! Every DB fan would buy this.
Just imagine.. newly drawn and painted Dragon Ball...just like in the opening of KAI, only more darker less childish...That is a world in which I want to live...
And I still belive they can make it..and they wil...
I just can't get my hands on the uncut versions that they sell in the stores but I DO like Kai because it doesn't have all the ridiculous filler episodes. It's cut clean to the fights and the main story, however I don't like how much editting has been done, and it's been done VERY half hazardly.
I actually stopped watching Dragonball Z during the Freiza saga because I got so tired of them stretching the show out. However I was a fan of the series at one time so I always intended to finish it.
So when I heard about Dragonball Kai and how it's intention was to edit out the filler and endless battle scenes with no plot, I realized my time to finish the series was here.
STORY- Not really Dragonball Z's strong point to begin with, but filler aside, it was interesting enough to keep peoples interest. The elimination of the long dull spots helps keep the story more manageable.
ANIMATION- This remastered cut lookes real bright and clean, and for the shows time the animation was pretty good. Nothing epic, but very solid and unique.
SOUND- The entire series has been redone with voice acting, music and sound effects. So that is a definite standout.
CHARACTERS- Not necesarilly deep characters, but everyone likes them. They all have a different vibe and are memorable.
OVERALL- Well it is a rehash, so I wouldn't get carried away with the score. However, for those who didn't care for some of the endless filler and droned on battle scenes of the original, this edited version is the perfect solution. Also, for those with some nostalgia, this is a great way to relive the series without torturing ones self through the entire 300~ episodes.
In my eyes, this cut was a great idea, and so far it is being executed quite nicely.
After watching this Dragon ball kai serie, I have just one thing to say :
What a waste!
Take dragon ball Z except we cut the long part repeating something like "Bukkorosu!" ten times, or 15 episodes to see Goku finally arriving at the end of the snake way and you get Dragon Ball kai...I'd like to say that but they changed one thing more the music and it's really bad :/
The previous music were great, the new ones are just not right.
except for the new opening, the animation is a copy-paste frome the original dragon ball Z serie.
To conclude, Dragon ball kai answer positive to all the codes of the shonen and in a great way. But I'm confuse, dragon ball kai cut the long part to keep the essential ( we can't really feel anything in the story is missing from the original) and that is great but the new music is ruining the anime :/
I have already made a review about DBZ where I mention everything I liked and not, so this review is only going to focus on the differences between those shows.
ART SECTION: DBZ: 7/10, DBKai: 7/10 (same as before)
I was really disappointed when I saw the so-called new version of the show. The hype was about Kai being with super new awesome visuals and yet it was the same old stuff with better resolution. So ok, they also fixed some colors; big deal. It is the same old animation from the 90’s with its occasionally lazy drawings and cheesy visual effects. I mean, just look at the new intro. This is how good it COULD have been but all we were offered is the exact same picnic basket but with a ribbon. I refuse to consider the animation better than the original and I don’t care if it looks better on home cinema or if the colors are brighter. I never had home cinema and even if I had I wouldn’t be watching such a show on it. I care more about the artwork than the brightness and to its core it is still the same thing.
SOUND SECTION: DBZ: 7/10, DBKai: 8/10 (more variety)
The sound part is slightly better in overall for the simple reason there is more variety in the BGM. I can’t say if the new songs or the new dub were better; I personally had no problem with the originals. Too bad that eventually took out all the new songs and sold Kai with the old soundtrack. There was a scandal around plagiarism and the copyrights demanded for the official releaces to be even more like the olded version. So kids, go pirate the damn thing.
STORY SECTION: DBZ: 5/10, DBKai: 4/10 (less than before and not better enjoyed)
This is the part that gets most of the attention from me. As we all know, Kai was supposed to be a “better” version because it wouldn’t have filler scenes in it. In theory that is indeed positive but in practice it ain’t. You see, there are good fillers and there are bad fillers and Kai took out both, thus it is not really more enjoyable. I mean if you take out 30 nice scenes along with 30 bad ones, it is still the same thing and it just takes less time to happen.
Some say just because it takes less time automatically means it’s better but I disagree. Some things take time to work and to be completely honest with you, the stretched battles and the constant pausing was what was making the original show so exciting. Your frustration was so high that when the outcome came along after so many episodes, you were finally feeling like it all mattered. Oh sure, that feeling only worked the first time and during the rerun of the show the slow pace would actually work against you because you already knew the outcome. I too was using the fast forward button to get over the boring parts. That doesn’t mean the dragging didn’t have its purpose the FIRST time.
The thing that is in effect the MOST disappointing is none other than the actual cover per cent of the story. In the beginning they claimed that Kai would cover the entire show in just a 100 episodes. And guess what, it lasted 97 and left out the last fourth of the story, which is the entire Buu saga. I don’t care if some claim the Buu saga is bad and that the original should have stopped at Cell and thus Kai is better. Going by this logic, I say the show would be better if it ended in Namek. And it’s not like the manga ends in Cell and Buu is something extra in the anime version only. It is part of the original story as well. Kai was supposed to cover ALL the Z series in a 100 episodes and it didn’t; meaning, they lied to us. Ok, that doesn’t sound like too much of a bad thing but they did prepare us to see the WHOLE story. What are the old fans supposed to do now? Finish Kai and switch back to the old Z? Is that really an answer?
Thus I say the Kai version has LESS story and deserves a lower score. It is that simple.
CHARACTER SECTION: DBZ: 5/10, DBKai: 4/10 (the same but less colorful)
This section would seem like it should get the same score since the characters are the exact same as before. But it’s not true; they are less interesting here. Not because of the new voice over; I don’t care about that at all. It is exactly because they took out all those so-called “useless filler scenes”. Believe it or not, those very boring scenes were the thing that made the characters so likable and colorful. For example, the Kai version took out all the episodes where Gohan trains with Piccolo and Goku runs in the Snake Road. Sure, they were boring and they weren’t in the manga version so why not take them out? Well I’m sorry, in this version Goku crossed the incredibly long road and Gohan turned from a wimp to a warrior in less than an episode. Where is the fun in that? Where is the challenge if the super-long road is crossed in 10 minutes or the poor little kid turns into a macho warrior in 10 minutes? They also took out the Arlia episode where the Saiyans destroy that planet. Where is the lampshade of their cruelty if we don’t see that? See what I mean?
That is the major mistake Kai did. It treated its characters as blunt fighting brutes by taking out those scenes. And I am not saying they are not; I am saying the Z version made them far more humane and likable by exactly adding those scenes. So what if we already have seen the original and probably skip those very scenes in the rerun? They served their purpose, didn’t they?
Thus once more, the characters are dryer in this version and get a lower score.
VALUE SECTION: DBZ: 9/10, DBKai:1/10 (none of its own; it appeals to the old version)
Oh there is value in this show all right. The milking kind. They created a slightly different version and expected from the fans to buy it. It is otherwise dryer and just a rehash of an older famous title. It doesn’t get any value today because it isn’t even a different show or a remake. I am sure it means a lot less to the old fans, since they grew up with the Z version and Kai is just trying to appeal to their Z memories and NOT on its own. As for any new fans who didn’t watch the original and Kai is their first, chances are they won’t like it as much as any current shonen anime because of the visuals. And even if they do like it, they will still have seen only a part of the true joy that is Z. So no value; it is nothing but a crude cashcow.
ENJOYMENT SECTION: DBZ: 5/10, DBKai: 1/10 (watch the original instead)
I would gladly enjoy it if it was a remake, like Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, if it was the exact same story but with REALLY remade visuals, or if they had left all the scenes intact and just made them last less time. But this? This is a chicken I liked as a kid, they took it, they plucked it, they painted it red and then gave it back to me. Plus, they chopped off the head because they ran out of red paint before they get to the head. And they dare claim it is the same chicken I liked as a kid… but better???
No it ain’t. It is a beheaded plucked chicken painted red. I liked it when it was … just a chicken.
VERDICT: DBZ: 6.5/10, DBKai: 4/10