Dragon Ball Z Kai ”Yo Son Goku and friends” History

Hello Dragon Ball nation, today I want to talk about Dragon Ball Z Kai and some history along with it. 2008 jump super anime tour gave us the new version of Dragon Ball Z called Yo Son Goku and friends. While it wasn’t really much in the way of the story it was a reunification of the original cast and original story.

Dragon Ball Z Kai
Dragon Ball Z Kai

Also with a new adventure and with new animation. This was purely done to make the fans happy and to remember the Glory Days of Dragon Ball. On the previous edition of Dragon Ball in-depth, I went into detail about the story of the creation of the special. The popularity of the OVA among the hardcore fandom prove that there was interest in New Dragon Ball material.

And that some sort of a Revival of the series could work. However, in 2009 instead of looking to Future Japan had to look to the past to capitalize on the new generation of fans.

That was just being introduced to Dragon Ball, as well as bring people something nostalgic and different.

This way they can experience when Dragon Ball Kai became a thing. If your only exposure to the censored Toonzai version with the blue Mr. Popo.

You’ve not seen the right version and you probably don’t know half the story. Anyways, rest assured, that’s why I’m here and on this edition of Dragon Ball in depth.

We’re going to get into the history of Dragon Ball Kai. What it was, what it meant to the Dragon Ball franchise, why it exists.

We’re going to delve into some secrets that many people may not know. So no matter what your opinion of Dragon Ball Kai is.

Whether you’ve seen a little bit of it, all of it or none of it, I assure you that this edition of Dragon Ball in depth will tell you the truth. 

Dragon Ball Z Kai
Dragon Ball Z Kai

Dragon Ball Z Kai Remake

Logic would tell you that with the success of the 2008 OVA. It proved that Dragon Ball fans wanted new Dragon Ball stories.


It proved that enough time had passed since the end of Dragon Ball GT to where the franchise fatigue has begun to wear off.

Which I outlined in my recent Dragon Ball GT post. In an interview withToriyama’ss original mentor and editor Kazuhiko Torishima.

He reveals that in the late 2000 Bandai of Japan. Japan was having trouble pushing Dragon Ball merchandise because it had been so long since dragon ball been a thing.

As a result of that, Toriyama Fuji TV and Toei were approached about doing a new Dragon Ball series.

To not only Revitalize the franchise, but to present Dragon Ball to a brand new generation of fans.

Obviously, the other companies involved with making Dragon Ball Fuji TV show.

They all want the same thing and that’s money. This time they wanted to proceed with Toriyama being at least more involved.

He wasn’t involved in GT but unfortunately, when it was pitched to Toriyama she was not interested.

So, what would end up becoming Dragon Ball Super in 2015, was being discussed with Toriyama even 7 years before the project actually materialized.

Toriyama would come back to help write the Yo Son Goku OVA. But the commitment to a new Dragonball series is not something he was interested in.

At the time Fuji TV which is the TV station that broadcast Dragon Ball for many years.

Toys of Japan was in desperate need of a new TV show that would be a hit.

This would fill the Sunday morning time slot in Japan as well as celebrate the 20-year anniversary of Dragon Ball Z.

Majin Vegeta
Majin Vegeta

Dragon Ball Z Kai Episodes

Because April of 2009 was the 20-year anniversary of when Dragon Ball Z began in 1989.

So with Toriyama not really being on board with a new series at the time. They chose not to make the series Without Toriyama and instead of going forward they went back to the past.

Now having reruns of Dragon Ball Z in 2009 in the Sunday morning time slot with One Piece.

With One piece at the time that was such a huge hit, wouldn’t have worked out quite as well for various different reasons.

The main one being that technology in 2009 compared to the early 90s was completely different in the early 90s.

99% of people in the world did not have widescreen TVs and high-definition televisions were merely a pipe dream with the exception.

So virtually every TV show was shot in 4 by 3 aspect ratio which is full screen for television movies were still shot in widescreen.

Because they were showing in widescreen movie theaters. In the late 2000 wide-screen televisions and flat screens in HD TVs had become something that was getting bigger.

This was in most homes not just in Japan but all over the world. So something had to be done about that but that’s not the only situation that they had.

The original audio Masters for Dragon Ball Z with the original voice recordings had been discarded years ago.

Which is why the original broadcast audio has been so coveted by so many of the super hardcore fan.

Toei themselves dispose of the audio Masters. Like I said late 2000 more expensive and more expensive home audio setups and home theater setups have become a thing.

Dragon Ball Z Kai Tv Airing

So airing Dragon Ball Z with the audio tapes that Toei animation had in their Library just wouldn’t have sounded clear and crisp. 

Compared with the new technology.taking all of this into consideration one of the biggest complaints or criticisms of Dragon Ball Z is.

It’s too long and has too much filler. So, the idea kind of came to Toei animation and Bujee TV airing old episodes of Dragon Ball Z.

Just wouldn’t be special enough for what they had in mind. Doing a completely new animation reanimating everything from scratch would probably be a bit too costly at the time.

Plus, for what they were trying to do for the story that’s so long had already been told.

So, the idea for Dragon Ball Kai kind of came into fruition that Kaai would be a recut of Dragon Ball Z.

It would be referred to as a refreshed version to celebrate the 20th anniversary and what they would do is.

They would take the original animation Sell the original animation production from the late 80s and early 90s of DBZ.

Then update it with new technology. They would digitally remaster the original footage for high-definition television.

But also in addition to that, we discovered from Community member Wasted Wisher in January of 2009.

That Toei animation would, in fact, be touching up and redrawing portions of the original animation. to make it a little bit cleaner.

Also, because of the fact that it will be broadcasted widescreen rather than just chop off the top and bottom for widescreen.

Which would be a problem. Dragon Ball Kai went through a reframing process where somebody would go in and actually set up the frames.

Dragon Ball Z Kai Full Episode

So that thing wasn’t chopped off. So, they put it a little bit higher a little bit lower to really give you the experience of it being a new show versus one from 20 years earlier.

That’s just being recut. Some have called this process reformatting but no matter what you call it.

They did have access to better digital technology at the time. Now, in earlier I mentioned filler and with this new Dragon Ball Z remastering or recut.

It was referred to as the original Akira Toriyama cut, but that’s not entirely true.

When Dragon Ball Z Kai was being promoted all over the world. Even in the United States, a lot of folks refer to it as all action no filler.

And that’s wrong there is still filler from Dragon Ball Z original run that was still in Kai.

For example, The character of Gregory was not in the manga. But editing Gregory out of every frame that Kaiosama and Goku were in, it would take an incredibly long amount of time.

It would not even be worth it considering that Gregory doesn’t really impact the story too much.

However,  things like that were left into the Dragon Ball Kai version. So, no Dragon Ball Kai still has filler but the filler has been significantly cut down.

Furthermore, it’s not just that they cut out scenes and move them around. It’s also that certain scenes were sped up so the series moves at a quicker Pace than Dragon Ball Z ever was.

Tire filler arcs cut like the Garlic Jr. Saga, the fake Namek version of the Namek Saga, the other World Tournament all these things were cut from the Dragon Ball Kai Run.

Dragon Ball Z Kai Filler

This way did not only to hear more of Toriyama’s original manga. It was to adhere more to the fact that kids in 2009 patch shorter attention spans.

Therefore, the action had to be quicker and faster paced. Now as I mentioned earlier when it came to the audio.

Dragon Ball Kai had to be completely overhauled from Dragon Ball Z. The original cast of Dragon Ball Z would have to come back and rerecord everything over again for Dragon Ball Kai.

With some lines being changed and things like that, and unfortunately, the entire cast could not come back.

Because some of them had passed away, some of them had retired, but still, the majority of the original cast came back like Masicka Nozawa.

There would be renewed sound effects and sound mastering.  On March 29th there was a special event called the Coal Festival.

The world of Dragon Ball Strikes Back at the Tokyo international anime Fair, where we found out that Kai would have new intro and outro music.

Written by Gregory

Hello, my name is Gregory, I am a huge fan of Dragon Ball and I hope you like it here. If you have any questions feel free to contact me via Email Cheers!

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