It's a sad day for us all in DBZ Land. With heads hung low and of red, we gnash our teeth and spit at the very name of FUNimation. What I would like to share with you is my own personal experience with Season 3.

About a month and a half ago, I got my hands on some RealPlayer fansubs of all the DBZ episodes. As I sat there watching, I actually noticed something: I was enthralled with the series for the first time. Sure, I loved watching the American shows because that was the only version I had ready access to, but this made me a whole other animal. I heard the original background music, I heard how the characters were supposed to sound, and I saw how the series was supposed be seen.

After sitting through an entire week of several-hour sessions of fansubs at my computer in the dark, I thought of a few things...

The characters in the original version were BELIEVABLE. I could actually feel Gohan's rage at the death of Piccolo. I could see the fear in the Namek's eyes when Vegeta wreaked havoc on their villages. I actually almost cried seeing all of the Nameks dead on the ground. The one shot of the adult Namek with the Namek children beside made me almost cry a river. I could feel the very tense sense of suspense (heh...) encompassing the battle between Goku and Freeza. I felt the awe of seeing Goku turn Super Saiya-jin for the first time. That's what was missing from the American version: the sense of reality.

The new episodes for Season 3 have totally thrashed whatever beauty the series had. I was actually hopping up and down when I got my video in the mail. The mail guy looked at me strange, but he didn't understand. So, as I placed the tape in the VCR, I squealed with girlish glee! I couldn't WAIT! ... But then... My mouth dropped to the floor. The room started spinning... Everything was getting dark... (Just let me know if I'm overreacting, okay? :D) When I heard the music for the first time I actually wished for the other seasons' music to be put back in its place! At least that music had a gist of emotion in it, as a sad part would play for advancement to "another dimension", happy-go-lucky music would play for comedic times, and there was a lame attempt at tense music for fierce battles. But NO, FUNimation had to put some Track-1-set-to-loop-generic-electric-guitar crap in the mix. Combine that with bad voices (Bulma's almost made me PUKE it was so Valley Girl), bad dialog (I remember something along the lines of Baata asking Goku how he became so fast and Goku replied with something like, "It's because I eat wholesome foods!"... ::shudder:: ), and bad comedic inserts and you've got a sure-fire rating-killer.

I will say this now and every day afterwards until FUNimation either cleans up their act (::coughcoughyeahrightcoughcough:: ) or the rights to DBZ in America get placed into more capable hands, like ADV Films (Hey, you gotta admit: the dub of Neon Genesis Evangelion was actually done VERY well...): I will NEVER buy another video from FUNimation EVER AGAIN.

Okay, people, here's our chance. We gotta blast FUNimation off the MAP with hate mail! We've got to let them know how slanderous their "adaptation" of a great series has angered us!!! Oh, and Chris, DON'T GIVE UP AND SHUT DOWN THE SITE!!! Your words of wisdom, insight, and clever witticisms keep us laughing and keep the dream of a pure DBZ alive. Don't give up yet when our goal is so clear-cut!

So, to everyone out there, I want to suggest an idea. I'd like to suggest that we start a petition (actually, a hate list) of all the people who are disgusted with the light air DBZ in the states has been taken with. This "Oh, it's only a cartoon!" mentality needs to be snuffed, and what better way to start the ball rolling than with a direct assault on FUNimation! Perhaps THEN other companies (certain exceptions do apply [ I LOVE YOU, ADV FILMS!!! :D ] ) would get the hint and take anime for what it really is: art.

- Scott L. Bailey