Well, most of us (all of us) have been waiting long enough! After much speculation as to whether or not Funimation actually had the rights to the Majin Buu Arc of Dragon Ball Z Kai, we now have confirmation. Earlier today Funimation announced that Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters will be premiering on January 7, 2017 at midnight EST on Toonami’s Adult Swim in North America!
Seven years have passed since Cell’s defeat, and the Z Fighters have returned to normal life. Goku has continued his training in the Other World, Krillin has gotten married, and Gohan has his hands full attempting to navigate the pitfalls of high school. But with the new World Martial Arts Tournament about to begin, it’s time for Goku and the Z Fighters to reunite and face off against the greatest warriors on Earth!
Meanwhile, the evil wizard Babidi has traveled across the galaxy on a quest for revenge, hoping to fulfill his father’s thwarted dreams of universal domination. The Supreme Kai has come to enlist the aid of the Z Fighters in his effort to prevent Babidi from awakening a monster of unimaginable terror—Majin Buu!
Dragon Ball (Z) Kai was a “refreshed” cut of the original DBZ anime beginning its broadcast on April 5th, 2009 (as a birthday present for Toriyama, who was born on the 4th, and for the series’ near 20th anniversary), lasting until March 27. 2011, having to stop broadcasting one episode early due to the Touhoku earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11 of the same year. This series was meant to bring the show closer to the manga, calling itself the “Toriyama Akira Original Cut Version” of DBZ. It was also made to “bring Dragon Ball into the Digital Age”. The show uses the same footage as the old series, remastered for high-definition. Only some scenes were reanimated; usually to fix an animation error present in the original, such as Piccolo’s blood being shown red; to censor certain material, such as Gohan’s genitals; or to fix a scene with too many broken frames on the old film. (Remember, DBZ was an analogue show from the 80’s stored in 16mm film!)
This series condensed about 194 episodes of footage to a total of 97 episodes, plus the unaired episode 98, which Toei calls the “Special Episode”. This unaired episode was later released on Japanese and American DVD.
This series contains four variations of the opening theme “Dragon Soul“, and two ending themes: “Yeah! Break!Care! Break!” and “Kokoro no Hane”.
Dragon Ball Kai was cut short at the end of the Cell arc due to a variety of reasons, including low DVD sales, low television ratings, and the Kenji Yamamoto musical score scandal.
However, beginning on April 6, 2014, the Majin Buu arc of Kai finally began its broadcast in Japan. Unknown to fans at the time, the version shown on Fuji TV is not the original version that was revealed years prior to its broadcast (initially hinted on Mayumi Tanaka’s, the voice of Krillin, Twitter), but rather an edited-for-time version with different music placement and even some visual edits that would fill up the 9:00 AM Sunday time slot for a year.
The at first “International (exclusive) Version”, known as “Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters”, first began broadcasting in Korea. Toonami will begin the English broadcast in America on January 7, 2017.