Differences Between Dragon Ball Z & Dragon Ball Z Kai

DBZ (Dragon Ball Z) and DBZ Kai (Dragon Ball Z Kai) are animes that follow the same storyline from a famous Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama. This series is more about the life and adventures of Son Goku during his adulthood with the maturation of his son, Gohan, fighting off villains while searching for seven mystical dragon balls which will summon a dragon that will grant any wishes.

DBZ was the anime sequel to the longest running Dragon Ball. The series started and ended in Japan between 1989 and 1996. After which, the United States acquired a license to air the series there and ran between 1996 and 2003. Although this series was purely based on the manga created by Toriyama, fillers were added nonetheless to pad out the series. The main reason for this is that the anime was running alongside the manga, in which Toriyama was still writing it at the time, and the anime shouldn’t run ahead of the manga. An example for this would be extending fight scenes between characters to more than one episode.

DBZ Kai was the high definition version of DBZ which was done for its 20th anniversary. “Kai”, which means modified, altered, or updated, was reedited and digitally remastered for a more refreshed look. There were new music and sound effects incorporated and reformatted to fit widescreen. Rerecording of dialogues by most of the original Japanese voice cast was done and new artworks were released.

Difference between DBZ and DBZ Kai

As mentioned above, DBZ and DBZ Kai are basically the same anime with the same storyline adapted from the manga by Toriyama. The most significant difference between these two is the fact that DBZ Kai was a recut, remastered, and made for high definition viewing. When compared side by side, the images from DBZ were darker and less clear compared to DBZ Kai images. DBZ used fillers then but DBZ Kai removed all fillers and stuck with the original manga while compressing what were 291 episodes to 100. New and improved sound effects and music were used but most of the original Japanese voices were maintained.

Viewer response to Dragon Ball Z was very impressive. With the pretext of the anime being centered on good conquering evil, love over hate, the bond of family and friends, and unyielding desire to achieve goals, this series won the hearts of children and adults alike all over the world.

Key Takeaways

  • DBZ and DBZ Kai ran on the same storyline based on the manga by Akira Toriyama.
  • Since the anime was running along with the creator still working on the unfinished manga, fillers were put in to extend certain scenes to give time to the creator to finish his work.
  • DBZ Kai was digitally remastered, recut, reedited version of DBZ fit for high definition viewing. Fillers were removed, new sound effects and music were used but original Japanese voice actors were maintained.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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