Dragon Ball fans feud over Kai vs original DBZ dub as Toonami honors Toriyama

Michael Gwilliam
ssj goku fighting vegeta in dragon ball z

On March 16, Toonami will be honoring Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama with a special marathon of Dragon Ball Z Kai, but some fans are upset the network isn’t airing the original dub instead.

Dragon Ball Z is one of the most iconic anime of all time. The industry paid tribute to the show’s creator after learning he died on March 1.

The Dragon Ball manga spawned many anime adaptations and movies, with Kai serving as a remaster of DBZ for the series’ 20th anniversary in 2009. Kai notably trimmed a lot of Z’s filler, airing just 159 episodes compared to the original’s 291.

However, as fans continue to mourn the loss of Toriyama, a debate has arisen in the community about whether Kai or the original 1989 anime and its English dub is superior.

Dragon Ball Z Vegito vs Super Buu
Dragon Ball fans are debating if Kai is better than the original DBZ.

Dragon Ball fans wage war over Kai vs DBZ debate

Following news that Toonami would be airing a four-hour Dragon Ball Z Kai marathon from 2 AM – 6 AM on March 16, the fandom was immediately at odds.

While some welcomed the tribute, others believed that the original dub would be better, as it’s what they were first introduced to in the West.

“OG dub gets better as it goes and Kai gets worse. It’s extra noticeable with Buu and Majin Vegetas speech. It’s terrible in Kai,” YouTuber Chris Ray Gun argued.

Many others felt that Kai being closer to the magna gave it an edge over the original run, but some felt both had their flaws.

“DBZ Kai is closest to Toriyama’s intent. Old dub is iconic but not appropriate to honor him,” another chimed in.

“The original English dub did NOT even try to honor Toriyama’s vision at all. Why would you want that?” dismissed someone else.

“You’re never going to convince the other side which is better. It’s subjective. One is closer to the source material. The other is the version that the West got introduced to. Both have valid reasons as to why they are loved,” another remarked with a more neutral stance.

Dragon Ball YouTuber Geekdom101 also shared his take, recommending that viewers instead read the manga in honor of the series’ creator.

“There are pros and cons to both versions, but what I will say, there’s no time like the present to read the original manga. I’m hoping more people will do that in these times,” he said.

Regardless of whichever version fans prefer, one thing everyone seems to agree on is that Akira Toriyama will be missed. Following his passing, 30,000 fans gathered in Argentina for a huge tribute and had everyone from WWE superstars to other anime artists honoring his life and legacy.

Sign up to Dexerto for free and receive:
Fewer Ads|Dark Mode|Deals in Gaming, TV and Movies, and Tech