I am one of those unfortunate people who was exposed to the American version of DBZ and love it. Let's face it. When you live in a place like Tampa, the chances you'll find uncensored DBZ is next to nothing. And when you do, they want to charge you nearly as much as the crisp clean quality of Pioneer's censored versions.

I've noticed that on your opinion page, some people are pro-censored DBZ and others are anti-censored DBZ. I'm neither for or against FUNimation's DBZ. What I am against is FUNimation's inconsistency in their own efforts toward DBZ. So without further ado, I bring you a "Funimation Commentary".

The Funimation Commentary

Has anyone seen FUNimation's Dragon Ball show? They only made thirteen episodes, but what was most interesting is how relaxed they were with censorship. Sure the perverted jokes and sick minds of Oolong and the Turtle Hermit were downplayed, but other things remained intact.

Let's look at nudity censorship. In Dragon Ball Goku's butt was showed all over the place. Both with a tail (Bulma giving him a bath) and without one (after Puar cut off his tail). If Goku's butt can be shown in Dragon Ball, why can't Gohan's be shown in DBZ? It's not like I like looking at cartoon butts, but give me a break. Show some consistency Funimation. Be true to yourselves and your fans. My second point on nudity is with Bulma. We see her in a bath, then Goku walks in. This was a funny scene. Later in the desert, she is taking a shower and Yamcha peeks through the bathroom window and freaks out at having seen the nude Bulma. Now it is true that Funimation's magic paint bucket was used in some parts of Dragon Ball, but it was kept to a minimine, and only hid those parts (that moving flower in front of Goku's crotch after he turns back into a boy or that streak in that bathroom window that covers Bulma's breasts) that would be unexceptable even by "The Simpsons" standards. Continuing on this point of nudity censorship in DBZ. By going through countless websites, such as yours, I've read some interesting points on this subject. In the Frieza saga, it seems that scenes with Bulma taking baths were completely edited out, and others such as Bulma in her underwear, were edited to make it look as if she was wearing boxer shorts. Again I have to question Funimation's tactics. Why is it okay to show a 16 year old girl in bathtubs and showers in Dragon Ball, but not okay to show a grown woman (who happens to be the same character) in these same situations in DBZ?

Here is my second point on Funimation's inconsistency. In Dragon Ball (which was aimed at little kids) the terms die, kill, I'm going to kill them, eat human flesh, bones crunching, murder, etc.) seem to be acceptable. Even in the first four episodes of DBZ terms such as "are you going to sacrifice your life for these earth dogs" and "hurry my ribs are broken" were quite common. It seems that after Goku and Raditz die, all future episodes revolve around using the term "new dimension", "next dimension", "another dimension", or "(insert word here) dimension". Also, pain and broken limbs were downplayed. Are we to believe that Emperor Pilaf was going to kill little Goku, his teenage pal Bulma, and the rest; and all Mr. Nappa and Mr. Vegeta were going to do is send a group of adult warriors to the "next dimension". Please, Funimation. Give your viewers some credit. Americans are not that dumb. No offense Funimation, but Emperor Pilaf scares me more. He might actually "kill" me, whereas, I might just be sent to the "next dimension" by Vegeta and see Nappa waiting there at a "bus stop".

My third point on Funimation's inconsistency is that of blood. In Dragon Ball, Chi-Chi chops the head off of a T-rex. Blood splurts all over the place, then Chi-Chi freaks out and zaps the T-rex to ashes. In DBZ, Gohan pulls this stick out of a Brontosaurus, and the stick has blood all over it. And where the stick was, is a gaping wound. Why can Dragon Ball and DBZ show cruelty to animals, but not to people? Are we to believe that only animals bleed. At least when Piccolo had his arm blasted off, it dripped green blood. I'm not saying that we want to see Tien's stump splurt blood all over the place like the T-rex did, I'm saying show something, anything. Show a blood stain, something. Once again Funimation assumes that Americans are idiots. Funimation have you even talked to kids and interviewed them? If you did you would know that they might even be more intelligent than the censor on your staff. This brings me to my final point.

Funimation's biggest mistake was changing their censorship tactics. I bet most of you didn't realize that most censorship is not from the government, but from the individual production companies that follow governments guidelines to what they think is best. This probably explains why Dragon Ball and the first four episodes of DBZ seem to differ in censorship compared to the rest of DBZ. Or why Robotech shows blood and people dying all the time (and this show was done in the supposedly conservative 80's). If anyone has read or seen the issue of Animerica where they interview Funimation and even ask them the question about the "other dimension", you learn that Funimation is a self censoring company. All censorship is decided by that one woman in the article and what she feels is appropiate for American children. Either she has become more conservative, or she replaced the original censor (who in my opinion did a better job). Also, I believe that Saban probably pressured Funimation to be stricter after the first four episodes of DBZ. With that in mind, why didn't Funimation stand their ground? They were given a second chance with the Frieza Saga. Why didn't they go back to being more relaxed?

Once again I want to point out that I don't hate American DBZ. I hate Funimation for being inconsistent with themselves and for not trusting in the intelligence of Americans. It's one thing to censor a show so that it fits American standards, not Japanese standards, but it is entirely different when you compromise not only your own standards but those standards of consistency and quality. It is consistency and quality that made Coca-Cola and Disney well respected companies and products.

- Adrian Saavedra