I've lectured about music before. I said I knew a thing or two about music. I really do - I play seven instruments and I am a member of one of the oldest youth orchestras in Ohio. Take it from a serious musician - one who knows music a hell of a lot better then most of you - the American music doesn't stink. Sorry, don't take me as snooty - but this is one place that I feel I know I lot about, and it seriously pisses me off that people can ramble on and on about music without having ever picked up an instrument.

I said before that it took away the feeling from the show. It does, but not as much as I originally thought. After studying the way the characters acted, and whatever was happening along with the choice of music played in that background, I realised that it didn't take away nearly as much as I thought. It doesn't add much of anything, true - but it is MUCH better then other background music I've heard.

The original Japanese music, written by Shunsuke Kikuchi, I believe, is completely different from the 1st and 2nd season music (more on the 3rd season music later), written by Kossa Mahehi and Shuki Levy. They are written in two different styles - therefore you CANNOT BEGIN TO COMPARE THEM IN AN INTELLIGENT WAY. It can't be done without making yourself sound completely idiotic to someone you actually knows music - such as myself. There are probably a few other people out there who know I'm talking about, but I have yet to come across an essay from one of them.

Let's face it - the Japanese music is close to genius for modern classical. It's got a clear climax and ending. But let's face another fact - Shunsuke Kikuchi is no Beethoven, Chopin, Prokofiev, or Haydn. The music isn't perfect. Even beautiful music has flaws. Probably my biggest pet peeve are the little synthesizer beeps. The only two scenes I can think of off the top of my head that most of you people have seen are - one from Movie Two (The World's Strongest [Guy]), the scene where Gokou is busting through Misokatsun (the big fat yellow guy), and the other scene in Movie Three (Tree of Might), the scene where Gohan and Higher Dragon are playing together. Those little synthesized beeps completely take away from the meaning of the music, and they're too out of place.

"But Krissy," you whine, "The American music is COMPLETELY synthesized." That's exactly it - the American music is completely synthesized and SOUNDS synthesized - it works together. The classical sounding music (still not sure if it's real instruments or synthesizers... I'm working on it) with occasional beeps just doesn't sound right to my ears.

Other than the annoying beeps, the Japanese music is one of the most beautiful modern compositions in the world, and it makes Shunsuke Kikuchi rank up there with Danny Elfman - the guy who wrote the Batman movie and cartoon music (also the Simpsons - but I can't STAND that show anymore since it's the same thing over and over) - and John Williams - you better know what he wrote, or else I'll have to knock some sense into you.

And now for the American music. It's far from perfect, but I've heard much more annoying background music - like just about every show on FOX. I definitely prefer the original music, but I'm not constantly complaining about everything I can. In my opinion, the people who complain about the music (excluding the opening theme) are just the people who can't accept change. You see the rest of the show is ruined, so you just NEED to find one more thing to complain about.

The American themes are not something I go around humming like I do with the original music. They aren't my favorite American background themes, but they aren't horrible. If you say the American music stinks just by comparing it to the Japanese music, refer to one of my above statements. It says something like "you cannot begin to compare them in an intelligent way." The American themes are well thought out - listen to one "instrument" in a theme, all the way through a theme, then rewind and listen to a different "instrument" in the same theme. It's very well composed. They each have got a clear beginning, climax, and ending - something rare in background music.

As to the opening themes - "Rock the Dragon" ain't half bad, if you ignore the vocals." It's no CHA-LA HEAD CHA-LA... but here's something that may come as a shock to you. I prefer it, even WITH the vocals to "We Gotta Power." I can't STAND "We Gotta Power." It's too generic sounding, and it seems to go on for ever. What is with the frigging FANFARE at the beginning?? Ewww. While I'm talking about themes, I'll have to say my favorite song in all the Dragon Ball universe in "Blue Velvet," one of the ending themes from GT (which is kinda funny, considering I don't like GT that much).

Can't compare the Japanese image songs... since there's nothing to compare to.

American Third Season - I haven't had a change to study this much, so not much of what I'll say can be legit. So I won't say much. It's not good - not as good as the "original" American music had, but it's still not awful. Some of it is a little bit annoying, though.

But of course, music isn't everything. There are the characters - how they're developed and portrayed. There are the actual plots (always a biggie). There are the little bits of humor that I so much enjoy. All this added up, Dragon Ball Z isn't even my favorite series - Dragon Ball is (also kinda funny, considering Vegiita and Bardock - my two favorite characters - aren't even IN Dragon Ball).

I think we fans need to accept something - American DBZ will NEVER be Japanese DBZ, even if it's dubbed with the original music, even if we find voices who sound EXACTLY like the original voices, even if it's translated perfectly (which is IMPOSSIBLE). There will always be assholes to complain. "He didn't get the right tone... he didn't speak on the exact pitch!" So SHADDUP.

- Kristina Brannan