I was introduced to the US Dragon Ball Z by a friend of mine who had started watching it on the Cartoon Network when they put it on in their Toonami lineup. At first I was fairly impressed with it, but found some of it childish in comparison to other things in my Anime collection. That's when my buddy pointed me to this site and I learned of the butchering of the American series. At first I was outraged, but now I'm just highly annoyed because the subject matter can be covered for the most part in the time slot given or if need be later on in the day. Well after a couple weeks of watching the American version the same buddy discovered on the International Channel that they show the uncut, unedited Japanese version of Dragon Ball and he started taping them. Well this buddy and I go to school together, but we live on opposite sides of campus and are both busy with class so I don't get to see him all that much except over breaks. Well finally I was over there hanging out and said hey let's throw in the Japanese tapes after reading about them I want to see the difference for myself. Let's just say I was blown away.

The Japanese Series:

Unfortunately the series was past where FUNimation had stopped doing episodes (right in the middle of the Goku Freeza pier six brawl), but there were several key factors that I noticed immediately.

1) And pardon my language those goddamn Hanna Barbera sounds were gone. Man I hate those things they completely remove the severity of the situation. It is much more intense when Freeza and Goku are standing there taunting each other when all you can hear is the wind rustling in the background or sometimes nothing at all. That is what I call effective foley work.

2) In my opinion some of the music is better and some of it is worse. I've never been a big fan of Japanese techno in most Anime series and this one is no different. I'm sorry but the recap music at the beginning of every episode SUCKS big time, but hey to each his own on musical tastes and it's still better than the old She-Ra them song or whatever in the hell they gave the American series.

3) Voices, some are better some are worse in the Japanese series. Tien (shortened so I can spell it) sounds soooo much better as does Freeza, Krillin and Gohan in Japanese. Freeza sounds much more menacing in Japanese and you can hear the contempt and disdain in his voice so much easier (even if I don't know what the hell he is saying.) Now Piccolo and Goku both sound much better in English (once again this is just my opinion, disagree if you like) Piccolo sounds like a former bad guy still fighting with his desires and Goku sounds like a hero. His Japanese voice is way too high in my opinion. Now to answer another opinion( even if I'm not supposed and this will be quick) maybe, just maybe Gohan's voice is high in Japanese because let's see I don't know cause uhm . . .. HE'S A KID!!!! Sorry don't know what that came from. Vegeta: I haven't heard him yet, but my friend finally saw a Japanese episode where Vegeta talks and says that in Japanese he actually sounds evil.

4) And final, the fight scenes are much better in Japanese as I'm sure everyone guess they actually make you go "oh bet that hurt" instead of man he's hitting him so hard that sweats flying off his face to cover the blows.

I guess in conclusion seeing the Japanese version has helped me decide to learn Japanese (something that I always wanted to do and just needed an excuse) so that I may enjoy the richness of the uncut series that much more.

- Dan McFall