"All of my kind are DEAD. And now you two will join them!!"

Believe it or not... that quote is from a kid's show, given the same TV rating (Y7) as Dragon Ball Z. The show is called Gargoyles, a favorite of mine. Dragon Ball Z is right behind it, and that's why I'm outraged at what they did to the show.

I was introduced to DBZ by FUNimation, unfortunately. I first saw it after a pulling an all-night sleepover with a friend of mine - it aired at 5:30 in the morning at that time. I saw a weird looking green guy and a short boy whose voice reminded me of Lisa Simpson with a cold - in other words, I had no clue what was going on. So I stopped watching it, and forgot about it.

I found it again when Cartoon Network began airing it on Toonami. I began watching regularly after a bunch of my friends from school began saying I would really like the character Vegeta. About the second show I saw, I figured something wasn't quite right - what the hell is a "next dimension?" Sounds like something from Star Trek - I, at only 15 (at that time 14), was smart enough to figure out all these people were really dying. And I'll be... an 7-year-old neighbor was smart enough, too!!

The censors probabaly know we're smart enough to figure it out.

Since I started watching DBZ a lot, I started hunting around on the Internet. I wasn't surprised to find a ton of people's site stating how pissed they were at how much Funimation destroyed the show. I managed to get my hands on some original episodes, and I LOVED them. And while before I simply sneering at the American DBZ, I was now downright disgusted with it. Gross.

The simplest way for me to explain this is to compare it to Gargoyles, another "kid's" show. My point that I'm trying to prove is that even for a kid's show, DBZ is outrageously edited.

Blood - Okay, I understand them cutting out gushing blood and big gaping wounds, but they needn't cut out every single drop. Fights as big as the ones they have look pretty ridiculous with no blood (as do severed limbs... but that's a different story).

In Gargoyles, they have no problem showing blood. In the first episode, Goliath (big main character type guy) gets a sword hurled at him by a Viking, and he catches it in his hand, and a drop of blood rolls down his hand. This isn't even one of those scenes where you have to put it on slow-mo to catch - it's made a big point. A few episodes later, one of the main characters gets shot, and is shown lying in a pool of her own blood. Later in the episode, another character is taking her to the hospital, and he gasps at her blood coming off on his hand. Next season, Goliath gets punched in the mouth, and (it's hard to catch, but it's there) blood flies out of his mouth. I don't think anybody got particularly grossed out by these scenes.

Dialogue - CORNY!!!

Euck!! What the hell happened THERE???

I can understand cutting out swear words... but what is with the stupid insults? Where is the wit? WE DON'T WANT JOKES THAT WERE FUNNY IN THE SIXTIES!!!

"Have a nice swim... 'cuz you're all washed up, HA-HA!!" Yes, yes, very funny. That was said by Recoome (Rikuum) to Vegeta (Vegiita, Vegita, whatever) in the American DBZ. I know Rikuum is supposed to be a tad clueless... but that "humor" is stupid, pointless, and makes me groan just thinking about it.

Gargoyles has spit out a ton of funny and inspirational quotes - "Immortality isn't about living forever; it's about what you do with the time you have," "Humans are our enemies, Goliath. I thought you learned that a millenium ago," etc, etc. I can think of NO American DBZ dialogue that offers inspiration, wit, intelligence, or interest.

Death - Ah, the accursed "next dimension" shit.

Um... WHAT?!

Must be one crowded dimension.

The is a TON of death in Gargoyles. In the introductory episodes (the first five eps), there is an entire clan of gargoyles killed during the day. There's no blood, no exact bodies, only stones left behind (you have to understand the show to get what I'm talking about). This much death affects the few survivors of the slaughter, and it's very emotional - much more then being sucked into another dimension or whatever (I think it's actually more emotional than the original deaths in DBZ... considering there's no chance of being brought back to life).

Gargoyles even had most of the main cast die in one of the episodes - this was nothing like I had ever seen in American television. It did, of course, turn out to be a dream... but they still showed the characters' deaths.

Music - Uh... I kind of LIKE the American music. *covers her head and ducks*

Hold on!! Just because I like it, doesn't mean I think it fits the series. It doesn't. I'm a pretty musical person, and I think it's a decent arrangement, but it takes away the feeling of the show. It has no sense of urgency to it, and doesn't make you sit on the edge of your seat like BGM is supposed to.

The Gargoyles music, written by Carl Johnson, is outstanding. It really fits the show, and adds to the already amazing performances. The music, in fact, was what made me fall in love with the show. The first show, at the very end, shows Goliath standing over what he thinks to be the remains of his "Angel of the Night" (his girlfriend/mate), and he lets out a terrifying roar. That sound, plus the music in the background leading up to that point, sent chills down my spine the first time I saw it. The original DBZ does this as well, and I think the American DBZ should do it, too.

An interesting thing about the American music, however, is that most of the BGMs are variations on the opening theme (I like the American opening theme... and I WOULD love it if they cut out the vocals). Not many shows do this successfully. Most try, but they come out sounding exactly the same as the theme (X-Files and Sailor Moon, for example). You need perfect pitch to pick up some of them, but they're there.

Anyway, the instrumentals/synthesizers/whatever work well together, but they work against the mood of the show. The only BGM that actually works (IMHO) is the synthesized violins... now I'm going to babble trying to describe it... just go find your tapes if you've got 'em... or wait for the next airing on Cartoon Network of "No Refuge From Recoome." It's plain and clear - it's the scene where Goku is almost to Namek - he's standing at the window, looking determined, right before a commercial break. Dunno why, but I like it.

Vegeta/Vegiita's Voices - Since I was introduced to Vegeta through Brian Drummond, the American voice, I still find Ryo Horikawa's voice unusual for his character. It seems a bit too deep for such a short guy... but I still like it. Both actors give Vegeta/Vegiita a sense of "royal" dignity, and I think Brian (although he sounds nothing like the original) did a fantastic job. Of course, since the writing STUNK, there wasn't much dimension to the character, which is one reason that I believe so many people don't like him as Vegiita.

And for my final thought (no relation to Jerry Springer... considering I've never sat through an entire show)... I'm looking forward to the rest of the Furiza series. Perhaps somebody got through the FUNmation to edit less, as somebody apparently did with the 17 episodes of Sailor Moon (which were much closer to the original then the other 65).


That's it... seeyas!!

- Kristina "Krystiana" Brannan