Ahh, Dragon Ball Z, the quintessential Shonen experience. I have a special place in my heart for this show, as it is what got me into anime. That being said, I have mixed feelings about Dragon Ball Kai.
The opening and closing animations are quite splendid. They are reminiscent of the Jump Special that was released back in December. Dragon Ball in HD is stunning…
…then the actual show started airing…
I admit that the actual quality isn’t that bad for a show that is knocking on 20 years. It has actually held up pretty well. But some genius decided to redraw certain scenes of the animation. And, quite frankly, they stick out like a sore thumb. Actually, I think it would be more appropriate to say that they stick out like a healthy thumb on a sore hand.
It all seems a bit too jarring and it just makes me a bit upset. They spent who knows how much money making new opening and closing animation, redrawing certain scenes, re-recording all of the voices, and re-framing their Funimation-esque cropping frame-by-frame. Why not go the extra mile (or rather, the extra three feet) and reanimate the whole thing? I will say that the overall video quality of DBZ improves as it goes on, so maybe this will become less of an issue. But, I honestly doubt that the redrawn scenes will stop punching me in the face with their sexiness.
As far as the episode content, it starts with a summary that begins with Freeza killing off Bardock (and the rest of those pesky saiyans) and ends with Chi-chi and Goku getting married. The show then picks up with Gohan/Goku and we soon see our old friend farmer-with-a-shotgun. They didn’t try to pack too much into the first episode, which ends shortly after Raditz introduces Krillin to his tail.
I certainly don’t have a problem with them cutting filler out, but they also cut some canonical material out as well. I’m also not impresed that they decided not to bring Hironobu Kageyama back for the theme song. IT’S NOT DBZ DBK WITHOUT KAGEYAMA!!! The new one sounds nice, but it just seems like a ripoff of Dan Dan Kokoro Hikareteku (GT’s first opening). Listen closely to the chants and whatnot and you will hear it too.
I will definitely be watching every episode, and I will enjoy it, but I’m just a tad bit dissapointed. They weren’t as lazy as Funimation, but lazy nonetheless. This could have been the second coming!