Unlike most rabid DBZ fans, I got my start watching the series through the Dub a while ago, back in either '97 or '98, I can't tell which. I was over at my friend's house watching Saturday Morning Cartoons (hey, can't a DBZ fan be 12?) when we switched it to this odd-looking show which I had heard of before and thought was stupid. Yep, you guessed it, this was the US Dub of Dragonball Z. My friend was intent on watching, while I attempted not too. I saw a fat blue guy with glasses and antennae (which I now know to be Kaio- sama) and a bunch of people running around chasing a monkey (Tenshinhan, Chaozu, Yamucha). There was also an odd green guy wearing a turban who didn't do anything except sit around (Piccolo). Then, in August of '98, I was channel surfing and came upon Cartoon Network just in time to see Radditz arrive on Kame-sennin's island. I was actually interested! Then I missed the rest of the show, not knowing when it was on, until the Princess Snake episode. Then I started watching more and more and eventually became a fan. I also discovered that my friend was also a fan, so we both began watching it.

Then, all of a sudden, one day my friend found an import anime and videogames store. He rented a fansubbed video of the three episodes with Trunks's appearance and the death of King Cold and Freezer. At first, I despised the original show, being in a B quality version as opposed to the high quality dub. But shortly, I heard more and more of the Japanese version, and then I started to give in. I downloaded MP2s from Suushinchuu (may its blessed HTML code rest in peace) and heard more of the BGM. Then I heard about the International Channel's Sunday airings of DBZ. I started watching just in time for Episode 2 of Goku vs. Freezer. Then I learned the word "Fansub". By January '99 I had three fansubbed videos, containing the Radditz Saga, the Nappa+Vegeta Saga Part 1, and the Goku goes Super Saiyajin Level 1 Saga.

Nowadays I shout and foam at the mouth whenever I watch the NA Dub and hear that horrendous music (especially when Nappa is powering up, I then retreat to my D quality fansub and listen to the glorious BGM). I don't have very much money, and Fansubs can cost quite a lot ($18 for 3 videos in B-D quality). Even though the music makes me want to regurgitate food on myself, I also consider the voices a major problem with the dub.

Goku sounds terrible with Ian Corlett (that's right, I prefer Peter Kelamis), with the kameyamaya, kayoken, and "bully" terms (it's not just the dialogue, I think that Goku IS a high-voiced person) Saffron Henderson gets on my nerves with the raspy voice. Gohan needs to sound like a normal kid, not one with a throat infection. As for Kuririn, Terry Klassen makes me want to toss the TV against the wall. Kuririn sounds better with the low, ACTOR voice of Mayumi Tanaka than the nasal voice of a person who Ocean Studios dares to call "voice talent". Kuririn only sounds good in the uncut dub of "The Tree of Might", "The World's Strongest", and "Dead Zone". If you ask me, I agree with others when I say that Ted Cole is a good voice for Yamucha. However, he rarely appears on the Dub, so I can't raise an issue. Tenshinhan sounds fine, but the name "Tien" makes me rather angry. It's bad enough that "Kame-sennin Mutenroshi" had to be changed to Master Roshi, but if you ask me, FUNimation and Saban, leave the name untouched. Tenshinhan's OK, but his dialogue sucks. Chaozu's great, leave Cathy Wiseluck there. If you listen to the sound of the NA Dub Chaozu when Nappa powers up, Chaozu's scream before surrounding himself with blue energy sounds almost exactly like the Japanese voice! However, once again, Chaozu rarely appears in the NA Dub (even in the original Japanese version), so I won't go any further. Piccolo is abseloutely PERFECT! Scott McNeill has that great demonic sound to the voice. However, his only downside is that he doesn't have that "sound" when he says attack names. The "sound" that belongs is Toshio Furukawa. Don't get me wrong, Scott McNeill does a great job. Vegeta is great in either version. Ryo Horikawa has the great baritone voice, while Brian Drummond has that arrogant, sneery sound to Vegeta that fits him. No problems with Vegeta. Lalania Lindbjerg is NOT Bulma. The only true Bulma is Hiromi Tsuru. Lalania tries to sound too bitchy for Bulma. Hiromi Tsuru, although having the bitchy sound to her voice, doesn't sound like she's always angry. Kame-sennin sounded fine the first time as Ian Corlett, and Dave Ward sounds HORRENDOUS. Kaio-sama sounds terrible period. I think that Doc Harris just is NOT the narrator. Joji Yamaya is and always will be. As for Yajirobe, either version is fine. DONE.

Even though now I despise most of the dub, it has some rather funny scenes which we were deprived of in the original. I think that the scene where Yajirobe is being interviewed by the news reporters and saying "it was my destiny" is pretty damn funny. I also find the scene with Yamucha running to fight with the baseball players funny. Also, I find "Home for Infinite Losers" funnier than "HELL". Even though the Dub is horrible, I would never have gotten to love anime without it. So, I must conclude with one final statement; "The Dub Ain't So Bad." I now copyright that phrase as mine, "Mimick's."


- "Mimick"