I'll get it out of the way- I was turned on to anime by Sailor Moon and am still a (tolerant) fan. What can I say? I take the whole show with a grain of salt. Thank the PTBs that nobody in DBZ has ever gotten as shrill or whining as Usagi (although Gohan comes close in the battle with Nappa- granted he's like, six and it's extremely forgivable, but it still grated on my nerves) And I'm apparently one of the "huddled masses yearning to breathe free", for I have never seen the original anime -possibly because I don't read or speak an iota of Japanese. So since the FUNimation dub is all I've got, it'll be all I love until I can get access to some originals.

First, I'd like to address those views of mine that will probably make you want to hunt me down and kill me (incidentally, please don't). The music issue- I have no basis for comparison on this one. Cartoon Network's Toonami is where I'm getting my DBZ fix, and they don't show opening titles, only instrumental ending credits. However, if the guitar music on the ending credits is that "Rock the Dragon" you're so agitated about, you're doing it an injustice. It may not be what you've been used to, but it certianly has a very adrenal charm. I think it communicates a sort of exuberant, irrepresible attitude of "I'm going to have fun no matter WHO tries to take over the entire known universe, dammit!" God knows it gets into my blood. However, I have taken a look at the comparitive lyrics, and I can't think of words to describe those puppies. Abysmally puerile springs to mind. I mean "Dragon, Dragon, Rock the Dragon, Come Get Me, Ha!" for God's sake? Couldn't SOMEONE have taken pride in their work and slipped in a teensy bit of relevance to the show?

My other main divergence is the issue of Vegeta's voice. Although I heartily agree with you on Freeza- I thought he was a female for the longest time (and rejoiced at the thought of a major character with estrogen or some alien counterpart thereof), and a female with a serious chain smoking problem at that- and Zarbon- who I also thought was female, though judging only by his appearance. Doesn't he just have the most velvety rumble?- I am simply in strict opposition on the Vegeta thing. I think I've developed a crush on him, height difference notwithstanding (I'm six feet, and even with his hair he'd probably only reach to my chin), and a major factor in that was his voice. I'm only a novice, but that biting, smoky sound of his seems very fitting for the character. His sarcasm and arrogance are very well served by his rasp, and the change in vocal patterns when he's injured or under stress is nicely subtle due to the fact that the inherently harsh sound of his voice doesn't need to modify very much to convey the appropriate condition. And, well, it's just plain sexy! And on the vocal issue, what's with this American thing of "Let's have funny sounding women play juvenile male VO's!" First Babe the pig, now Gohan? It kind of suggests we have some issues about "boys will be boys", 'cause apparently they... won't.

Hey, what's with the guy who does Krillin and his bizarre vocal slides? You know what I mean. He always sounds like Toni Braxton when she's doing one of those I'm-searching-for-the-right-note-bear-with- me-guys-I'll-find-it-any-second-now-hey-there-it-is things. Like he can't get the word out.

The Announcer has a great voice, but nobody is ever going to be able to say things like "...the surly sproutheads would have none of it..." (referring to the Saibamen) with any degree of dignity. Don't get me wrong, I laughed until I thought I'd collapse, but that's SOOOO Batman in the 60's. (Note: I used to watch that a lot, too.)

Anyway. I support the Tien/Tenshinhan thing too. He's a character with tons of room to develop, and great comic potential 'cause he just does not get it, ever, and the relationship between him and Chaozu just needs to be explored. He's this big bundle of exploitable plot and character depth, still waters and all that, and he never gets touched! It's sad. He could be really likable. And the same goes for Yamcha. What's with those great scars? How does he really feel about Bulma? These are wells of possible emotionality left to stagnate, and that's simply a waste of good water. (I know, dumb metaphor. What do you want? I'm seventeen and it's really, really late.)

I'm not even going to begin on the "other dimension." It's an excreble, pandering attempt to placate parents and a condesencion to kids' intelligence. You find me a kid who doesn't know that death happens and I'll thank you politely and make arrangements to ensure that he never breeds.

So- Digital Painting. Huge Yellow Inkblots. Sudden Big White Dustclouds Which Seem To Follow The Little Four-Eyed Guy Around. Egad. I understand FUNimation's fear of a rabid mob of parents demanding that their show be taken off the air. I live in Utah (not by choice) and am VERY well aquainted with the damage an overly conservative attitude can cause. When the theaters edit out not only Titanic's nude scene, but the window/handprint thing, it's out of control. Nobody could get away with the scenes that have been cut in this state. But it's just getting "pairfectly redeecluous". the sheer unnecessary bulk of what seems to have been cut. I, for one, would definitely have appreciated an absence of ambulatory bath towels or the strategically placed and apparently migratory shrub.

Wow. I really feel better having vented. Thanks! I still adore my lowly NA dub.

- Bennett Cousins