|Nice to see you here! This section exists so that I won't have to put explanatory info at the top of each page in the site, but instead, have it all in one place. It makes navigating easier, which is important to an organization freak like myself. It just makes the whole thing more user-friendly.
The first thing I need to clarify is that I have moved on, and this site will no longer be updated. If this is indeed your first visit, sorry you missed the boat. I opened DBZ Uncensored in June of 1998, and my last update was in June of 2001. During those three years, I produced quite a bit of content, almost entirely in written form, so I should emphasize that this is an extremely verbal web site. It is not intended to be just an image gallery (although there is a pretty cool one), or a place to download multimedia files. There are already many great sites for those things, so they are not my concern. I am also assuming that you are already quite familiar with Dragon Ball, or at least know enough about it not to need primers, character guides, or anything like that, which I have not included. This site is intended for established fans, who know the series fairly well.
It exists for several reasons. The first and foremost being that I, and many other, DBZ fans are unsatisfied to one degree or another with the North American dub, and think it's important to keep a record of the alterations the show is undergoing in its English release. If nothing else, it will give those without access to the original Japanese programs a means to know EXACTLY what they're missing. My goal is to present, in as thorough a fashion as practical, the editing and censoring done to DBZ in the US. Since there is a lot of information about the English version, this is an extremely text-heavy site, and not the kind of thing you will want to blow through in one sitting.
When I first opened this site, originally here was a paragraph about my aim and philosophy behind the overall goal, which was to be firm but fair, being very critical, while at the same time respecting FUNimation and their choices. I mentioned wanting to be constructive, balanced, fair etc.
Well, I'll just admit it. I failed on the whole "respect" thing. I proved to be quite a cynical, cocky li'l bastard, and I elaborate on how and why this happened over time in my editorial So, How's it Going? Read it if you want to know where I'm coming from as far as FUNimation is concerned.
However, I still maintain that I am very understanding and more than willing to give constructive criticism and a balanced viewpoint, even if it seems like a whole lot of the content of this site seems to be breaking that rule. I really am a lot more fair and rational than I may sometimes appear. All of the opinions expressed in this site are subject to change with the proper argument, and I am more than ready to hear anyone's.
Another reason for this site is because I have always enjoyed learning about the subtleties of the art of directing in film and in television, and the art of composition in writing. So, it is very interesting for me to observe and compare the reinterpretation and Americanization of a show that I love, and how exactly the individual changes, no matter how small they may seem, can dramatically alter the overall work.
But above and outside all of that, there is a greater and more fundamental reason, which is beyond the fandom, beyond FUNimation, and beyond DBZ itself; it is an exploration of a question that actually has some real significance to the world at large:
Why does FUNimation need to censor in the first place?
What is wrong with American society when what its children watch on TV has become a paranoid, exaggerated obsession rivaling the Salem witch trials? Where does this utter fear of "objectionable material" come from? Why must we implicitly trust television (of all things) with our children, rather than teaching them right and wrong ourselves? And finally, why does this wonderful piece of art have to be the victim of this ridiculous, unfair, and unwarranted nonsense?
I think about these questions, and I am deeply disturbed. And so, each cut, censor, and every other discrepancy listed on this site stands as a testament to the present insanity of American society, and the unfathomable, incredible beliefs of its more "conservative" citizens.
Anyway, enough of that serious stuff. What follows is a brief introduction to each section, and what they are about.
|Editorial||This section is a collection of my writings on the series, commentary on news developments, etc. Quite self-explanatory.
|| The Series||This section, along with "Opinions" are the real meat and potatoes of the site. The information for each episode should be pretty self-explanatory, but I'll go over it anyway.
The episode summaries are usually pretty quick descriptions, rather than detailed synopses. I did this because most of you have probably seen them already, and I didn't want to waste time doing an in-depth rundown when it isn't really necessary. They are basically there so that you will know which episode I'm talking about.
The episode numbers are done the way they are (with images) because the way the editing works can be kind of confusing since episodes don't correspond exactly. For example, let's say Episode 27 of the Japanese version contains the last third of Episode 19 and all of 20 of the English version. That's quite a mouthful, it's clumsy sounding, and it's hard to visualize, but the concept is very easy to get across in an image:
See what I mean?
The alteration lists work in the following way:
A very important note: NOT EVERY CUT IS ADDED TO THESE LISTS! As I was going through these episodes, watching American and Japanese side by side looking for the differences, I noticed that the tapes would constantly get out of synchronization with each other. On closer inspection, I realized what was going on. There were dozens and dozens of miniscule snippets being removed every few seconds, small, almost unnoticeable edits. For a while I recorded them all, but it started to become way too much work, to take up way too much space, and it seemed a little pointless to be getting that precise. There are probably many of you wondering how FUNimation is able to crunch two episodes into one and make it look like nothing is missing. Well, these little micro-snippets are how they do it. By shortening lines of dialogue by a few seconds here and there, editing a few quick shots, and speeding up the film as the camera pans across a mountain (for example), a lot of time can be saved in the long run. These snippets actually make up the majority of the editing in the series.
As far as I'm concerned, spreading out the cuts like this is a great way to edit, rather than taking big, noticeable hunks out all at once. I applaud FUNimation for their clever and economic use of editing, because even though it makes watching the episodes a real pain in the butt for me, it allows important scenes to stay in. The only drawback to this is that it can really screw up the dramatic pacing of certain scenes.
For you to read (and for me to record) all of these little cuts would be incredibly tedious and time-consuming, and I don't think either of us have the time or the interest to waste on them. Therefore, only the cuts that have content that has been taken out for the purposes of censoring "questionable material", or interesting scenes longer than 1-2 minutes or so, will be noted.
And finally, at the bottom of each episode there will be a percentage of the total amount of footage retained in the English version, which will be fairly accurate generally speaking, but not precise. If you notice that, for example, 50% of an episode has been retained, yet there is only about a minute worth of cuts reported, you can assume that most of the editing was just minor snippets of the type described above. Also, the opening and ending, commercials/eyecatches, "Last Time on Dragon Ball Z" and the preview for the next episode are NOT counted as part of the timing, in either version. In other words, the episode begins when the episode title disappears, and ends as it is going to the last commercial break.
From the beginning ot the third season (Japanese episode 67 1/2 , English 54) onward, the episode comparisons change significantly. Since the show no longer airs in syndication, but on Cartoon Network exclusively, Saban's editing/censoring policies are now gone. The result of this is far fewer cuts and censors. Such changes are, in fact, a rarity as of the third season. Also, beginning with Japanese 72 (English 58) the episodes correspond exactly, one Japanese to one English, with very little removal of material. For this reason, I have done away with the episode number comparison images, as well as the "Total Retained" percentage, since both are irrelevant. There is one more episode that has been cut entirely for content (Japanese 79), and following that, the English episode numbers remain locked at exactly 15 behind the Japanese numbers for the remainder of the series. This is useful to know when looking at the complete episode list, because it is now easy to tell when a given Japanese episode's English counterpart will air. For example, Goku turns Super Saiya-jin in Japanese 95, subtract fifteen to get English 80.
At this point you may be asking "So without the alterations Chris, why did you continue to do the comparisons?" Because, despite the fact that the cutting and censoring was drastically reduced, the show is still altered significantly through the writing, performances and music. For the first two seasons, I opted to concentrate more on what was being cut and censored than on dialogue mistranslations, dubbing, and music. But as of the third season, the comparisons are heavily focused on those things since they are the last "problem" elements that still needed to be worked out.
In any case, the comparisons get noticeably shorter for season 3, which I take as a good sign. Less to complain about means that more is being done right. The comparisons also stop here, because that's when I quit working on the site. I only ended up doing less than half the series, but in a way I feel that's all that truly needed to be done. Again, the early episodes were FAR more heavily altered than the later ones, and as of this writing, there is still no (legal) way to obtain uncut versions of them on video. So this site is in a sense the only option if you want to know what was altered. But the later seasons CAN be purchased uncut on video/DVD, so if you want to know what was changed for the broadcast versions, I suggest you check them out and see for yourself.
Also in the "Series" section, a complete DBZ episode list, Japanese to English name/episode conversion, and last but certainly not least: "The Stuff They Didn't Show You," a photo collection of scenes that have been cut and censored. You can read more about this in the section itself. The galleries are linked to extensively in the early episode comparisons, although I ultimately didn't get very far. My video capture card died, and like I said, I've moved on from the site.
This section is set up in two categories, one, Opinions From the Fans, and two, Opinions From the Powers-that-Be, namely, FUNimation executives, the voice actors, and anyone else who has any bearing on the production of the DBZ dub.
||This hasn't always been here, but I decided over a year and a half after opening the site that it was finally time for a new section. The seven main areas have served their purpose well, but a problem arose that needed to be addressed. Over time, every once in a while I would either think of or come across something that would be great for the site, but too often these little tidbits don't quite fit into any of the existing sections. So naturally, a "Miscellaneous" section was in order since, by definition, anything can go in there.
I suppose I could go on about it, but it's pretty self-explanatory.
| Links||All I have to say at this point is that many of these links are or will be dead. An abandoned site is going to end up with broken links, and I'm not coming back to fix them. So do with these what you will.
||For the first three months of this site's existence, I updated every Sunday. Then, after getting through all the episodes from Seasons 1 and 2, I took it easy for about nine months, only updating about once a month. The next year's updates were irregular at best, and my work piled up as Season 3 aired on Cartoon Network. In August 2000, I decided to "catch up" by shooting through the Freeza episodes at the rate of one a day. That nearly killed me, and after that, updates became a rare and magical event that surprised the hell out of people. In June 2001, I finally called it quits once and for all, and you can read why in this essay.
So, this site is over and done with. It is an archive, nothing more. Yes, it is incomplete, but I had to move on. Enjoy what's here, nonetheless.
|Read my E-mail guidelines by clicking on Chaozu on the front page. I'd put them here, but it would be just too damned easy for you to miss. This way, you'll have no excuse for "overlooking" what I have to say. Judging by the e-mail that I continue to receive, just about nobody is reading this section, but oh well. I guess I'm cursed to be asked "where did you get/can I get tapes of Japanese DBZ tapes?" until the day I die, no matter how loudly I beg people to stop. But if this section keeps just one annoying e-mail from finding its way into my inbox, it will have been worth it.|| Translation/Name Romanization, etc.
||This is, of course, a matter of concern to a lot of people, and I have decided to simply go with my
preferences and what I think is the best possible interpretation. For example, I prefer the romanization "Goku" over "Gokuu," "Gokou," "Gokuh" etc., "Buruma" over the more common "Bulma", "Kuririn" over the dozens of romanizations people have come up with for his name, the list could go on. The fact is, romanizing from Japanese to English is a tricky business because of the nature of both languages, and most of the time, there really isn't a right or wrong answer. Suffice it to say, I have my reasons for interpreting the names the way I have, and I could waste time talking about it, but most of you probably don't care. If, however, you want to discuss the issue, I would be more than happy to do so through e-mail. (I've actually got some pretty good arguments for most of my choices, so be ready!) Those of you only familiar
with the English version should have no trouble figuring out who's who, because most of the names haven't been changed significantly (One of the few things, by the way, I truly appreciate about the English version.)
The episode titles are also my own translations, so they may be slightly different than those you see elsewhere, (Daimao's episode guide, fansubs, etc.) My Japanese is not very good, so if you are a little more fluent, and you see that my translations are way off, I'd like to know about it. Basically, I'm working from a dictionary for the most part, my (admittedly elementary) knowledge of Japanese grammar and sentence structure, and my very limited vocabulary. So please, don't e-mail me saying that I should have used the word "mighty" instead of "strong" or something like that. Only big mistakes, not style choices.
And finally, I want to mention that accuracy of information is VERY important to me, and I try my very best to make sure there are no mistakes or omissions. When dealing with an environment like the Web, you never know how reliable information is, but I try my very hardest to keep the facts straight. I am disgustingly anal retentive and obsessive compulsive, and you'll find out soon enough that I need some serious psychiatric help. In fact, I'm sure there's a lot of people out there who are going to see this whole site is a hideous display of perfectionism and nitpicking. Yeah, I'm a freak, and I know it.