Anime

Team Four Star reveal why they're “done” with DBZ Abridged YouTube series

by Isaac McIntyre
Toei Animation / TeamFourStar

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Popular YouTube content creators TeamFourStar have confirmed they won’t be returning to their flagship comedy show Dragon Ball Z Abridged, and added the series was absolutely “done” despite fans calling for a comeback.

The internet-famous Dragon Ball Z Abridged series was first started by TeamFourStar in 2008, and drew on many of the original anime’s characters and plot lines to poke fun at the super-serious science-fiction fighting series.

During its heyday, DBZA was one of the most popular comedy series of YouTube, with the first episodes of the show all clocking up more than 20 million views each. Across its ten year run, TeamFourStar climbed to 3.57m subscribers.

Twitter: TeamFourStar
TeamFourStar began building their comedy empire with Dragon Ball Z Abridged back in 2008.

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TeamFourStar has “no plans” to return to DBZA

According to Scott ‘KaiserNeko’ Frerichs in a Patreon update on February 7, however, the content team has “no plans” to return to the flagship series that first founded their comedy empire, despite promising a fourth season in 2018.

“There's been a lot of talk about what the future of DragonBall Z Abridged is, and while we've tried to update people, we've failed at making things crystal clear,” Kaiser said. “We currently have no plans on continuing with the Buu Saga.”

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Kaiser admitted this was something the entire TeamFourStar roster had decided together in October of last year, and added that there were a number of contributing factors that slotted together to help them realize they were “done.”

One key factor was the fact that the team felt they had closed out the series with the Season 3 ending, and that they “didn’t want to end up like The Simpsons, Dexter, Scrubs M.D,” in outstaying their popularity and welcome.

He also added they were “burned out” with the project after 11 years of producing, and suggested the way they went about creating episodes—which they have now made 60 of in the past 11 years—was “oppressive” and “scary.”

Toei Animation
TeamFourStar's flagship abridged series was based around the early seasons of Toei Animation's fighting anime Dragon Ball Z.

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Copyright strikes create make-or-break moment

Finally, the TFS founder revealed that the copyright strikes against their channel for running the DBZA series using footage from Bird Studio’s Dragon Ball anime series, had made things “very difficult” for them moving forward.

“Copyright claims have put us at risk of losing our channel, and put our livelihoods in jeopardy. We have our employees to look out for, and doing right by them by striving to create original content is undeniably important,” he continued.

“We've thought about hosting DBZA on other sites, but nowhere has been safe, and worse, it would serve to draw attention away from our hub, which ultimately could lead to fewer views, and either the scaling back or collapse of our company.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nYozPLpJRE

Where next for TeamFourStar?

While abridged Dragon Ball Z content may not have a home within TeamFourStar’s roster anymore, that doesn’t mean they’re quitting comedy series for good. FF7MA is set to continue, Kaiser confirmed, as is the Talkcast Podshow.

TFS’ similar flagship series, Final Fantasy 7: Machinabridged, recently aired its 31st-episode in a season finale, and netted more than 300,000 views. Frerichs revealed that FF7MA’s next season should arrive “sometime soon.”

He also added that if Patreon supporters were only donating to see more DBZA, they should “ceasing your patronage” moving forward considering there would be no more content from that direction, at least for a very long time.