Seriously, folks. Can you really watch this crap? I love anime, but I see this show as the bottom of the fucking pit. Dragonball Z is the absolute worst thing to ever come out of Japan (that I've seen anyway). Why?

IT LOOKS LIKE A FUCKING SHITTY AMERICAN CARTOON THAT'S TRYING TO JUMP ON THE ANIME BANDWAGON!

Woah. Need to calm down. What I don't understand is that there are beautiful shows out there like Evangelion and Tenchi Muyo and other such shows that actually show the style and grace of anime without resorting to retardedly mindless special effects that fuel a shit story.

I'm sorry, but it's just so bad.

I found this comment interesting: "IT LOOKS LIKE A FUCKING SHITTY AMERICAN CARTOON THAT'S TRYING TO JUMP ON THE ANIME BANDWAGON!" Why? Because it basically is. The japanese cartoons are much different. Blood, murder, bad words. If you see Goku drinking some "health drink" or something in the Americanized cartoon, chances are it was beer in the original.
They basically took a show for the general population, and edited out a crapload of it to make it a kid's show.
I found a web site once which had basically a list of every difference between the japanese and american versions. There were a lot of minor modifications: blood removed, "the next dimension" instead of letting anyone frickin' DIE, beer becomes soda, etc. There were also large portions simply removed so the show would fit the different time schedule.

On another note, I find the cartoon fairly boring. A million episodes "preparing" for the big fight, then a million episodes "powering up" during the big fight. When stuff happens, it's cool. But that's unfortunately rare.

I do, however, enjoy the original Dragonball. The americanized comic book seems to be totally uncensored, as it has a lot of perverted jokes. The characters are good, stuff actually happens, and it's funny.

Do not rent the American movie "Dragonball". I hear it's Americanized even worse than the Dragonball Z kid's show.
While I know it doesn't stand up to other japanimation titles out there in terms of the quality of the artwork, but there is something about DragonBall Z that I like. It's something different to watch on TV than episodes of Scooby-Doo or Bugs Bunny that I'd already seen a million times over, or worse true crap like Top Cat. Boy do I miss the days of Robotech and Star Blazers. That's when they knew how to do americanized versions of japanimation properly. Since then it's been a long time since any US TV station has aired any anime. The Sci-Fi Channel grew some balls a couple years back and put on Vampire Hunter D and a couple of other cool anime titles to bring anime back into the light. I'm sure you are all aware of the differences between Dragonball Z as it aired in Japan, and what's being forced down our throats these days. The american version is shit. It has to be sanitized because the majority of the population of the US is not mature enough to handle the animated violence. Funimation could NOT put the show on the air uncensored because of the bullshit regulations they have to follow. Don't call the show shitty, when all you get to see is the weak version meant to protect the fragile minds of this country's youth. Parents these days are too busy to raise their children themselves, so they sit them in front of a TV and force the politicians to draft rules and regulations governing what can and cannot be broadcast in the US.

I personally think Dragonball Z has a great storyline compared to some of the other crap that's on TV with real actors or animated. The entire Dragonball series and most of Dragonball Z started out as a show for japan's younger crowd. Apparently there was enough of a following of older folks griping about the lack of good content, meaning fight sequences and they switched gears towards the end of the Frieza saga. The change is noticeable in the shitty american version. The fights got better and lasted twice as long as previously. They even aired the episode where Krillin was blown to bits by Frieza and Goku got mad and got even.

I was upset with how badly that scene was hacked. I got over it quickly because I'd already seen an import version. Do yourself a favor, rent the UNCUT dubbed or subtitled version of Dragonball Z. Don't stop there, do that with all the anime that's currently airing on TV these days. You'll see a much better product all around.

Having watched every single episode of this series (In Japanese, even!), I feel qualified to make an unwavering statement. "Dragonball Z" is neither the best nor the worst cartoon ever made.

If you believe, as does Sarcasmo, that "Dragonball Z" is "the worst thing to come out of Japan," you're nuts. I'll keep my comparisons to the realm of animation, because "Dragonball Z" is not exactly on the same plane as the Rape of Nanking. There's more to Japanese animation than the same five shows every fan on the Internet has seen. If you dislike "Dragonball Z," you'll find "Cooking Master Boy," "Naruto," or "Grenadier" unbearable. Have you seen "Pokémon?" "Digimon?" "Beyblade?" If you are about to contact me to inform me that the Japanese versions of those shows are works of genius worthy of the Bard himself, please return to masturbating to that picture of Nurse Joy and the six Pikachu you found on the Internet this afternoon.

The primary flaw in criticisms of "Dragonball Z" is a misunderstanding of its intended audience. Many Westerners suppose a show with violence and nudity like "Dragonball Z" must be intended for an older audience. Not true. Not by a longshot. Anime is cartoons. Generally, Japanese do not take them seriously, unless they are eight years old. "Intellectual" (This node is not the place for that debate) stuff like "Neon Genesis Evangelion" is not the norm. The Japanese are just a little less uptight about what their kids see on TV. With that in mind it's easy to figure bawdiness doesn't indicate an adult audience—in fact, if you remember your younger years, you'll remember that anything related to several systems of the body was riotously funny to you.

So "Dragonball Z" does what it sets out to do. It is a diverting program for an audience roughly congruous with that of "X-Men the Animated Series." It has exciting fights; super powers; passable, if dated, animation; a simple but mostly logical story; and a "timeless" fable sort of feel (This is one of the unfortunate deficiencies of FUNimation's localization). If you're like me, that's enough. If you are an eight-year-old boy, this may be, to you, the best program ever televised.

However, don't go believing that the Japanese version is vastly superior. The Japanese voices may be slightly better, or worse, but if you hate the English-dubbed version, you will hate the original Japanese version, and vice versa. Diehard fans like those of the DBZOA will tell you the censorship totally ruins the show. These are people who call themselves by a word generally used to describe obsessive murderers. Don't listen to them. The show is not funnier when you see Goku's penis. The plot is not more profound when Freezer graphically gores Kurillin on his horn. The dialogue is not thoughtful and well-written because they actually say "die" and your fifteenth-generation VHS fansub uses the f-word sixty times. Dress it up any way you want—"Dragonball Z" is an action-oriented show for kids with a basic plot, basic dialogue, lots of time-filler, and cost-cutting in its animation obvious to anyone who's paying attention. It's not "Hamlet." It's not "Othello." It's not even The Matrix.

"But wait! I cried when Gohan reached Super Saiyan 2!"

There are two answers to this objection. The snarkier one goes: Have you ever touched a girl? Would you like to?

The more meaningful one goes like this: Come on. Come on. It was a well-animated, well-put-together scene. "Spirit vs. Spirit" is a good song. But was it really that touching? The Dragonballs, dei ex machinis that negate the permanence of death, rob the scene of practically all of its potential impact.

So, I'm sure that, having read this, you'll agree. "Dragonball Z" is a children's cartoon that is absolutely, positively, unequivocally, one-hundred percent neither brilliant nor terrible.

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