FUNimation Has Not Dubbed Dragon Ball Z Kai

funimation not dubbing dragon ball z kai majin buu arc

Dragon Ball Kai is continuing in Japan with the Majin Buu Arc, but will there be an English dub by FUNimation? To find out I asked Christopher Sabat.

Christopher replied via email on Feb 17:

I’ve seen the article that the DBZ Kai Buu Arc has been announced in Japan and that’s great news. There’s still no word as to whether the dub is happening in the United States or not.

This is a surprise to hear because in April, 2013, Sean Schemmel, the English voice of Goku for FUNimation said in an interview:

“I am about to finish the Buu saga
for DBZ Kai.”

Ever since this information came out alongside the news that the Japanese voice actors were dubbing more Dragon Ball Kai on Nov 6, 2012, fans have presumed the English episodes were in progress or already complete, and just waiting for Toei in Japan to make the first announcement.

email exchange dbz dragon ball kai

I followed up with Christopher about this statement and in a humorous manner he told me Sean is wrong.

Jokes aside, there is still no announcement about Kai in the United States. And I can confirm with you that the Buu Arc has not been recorded.

Fans are twiddling their thumbs and waiting for FUNimation to make an announcement, but there’s no announcement to be made.

Sad as it may be, there is no English Dragon Ball Z Kai in the works for the Buu Arc.

This means the new Dragon Ball Z Blu-ray season sets will be the best bet for fans of the English dub in 2014.

UPDATE: Sean Schemmel, the voice of Goku, has replied by email to say the following.

I’m sorry to say that I cannot comment on the Buu saga at this time.

Here’s a link to my previous DBZ Kai article from April 24, 2013, where Sabat, Schemmel, and Kyle Hebert first stated that they WERE dubbing Kai.


What does this news or non-news mean?

Could it be that Christopher is playing a prank on all of us, the Dragon Ball fans, through The Dao of Dragon Ball site, in order to comply with an NDA? Or perhaps to protect sales of the new Dragon Ball Z Blu-rays?

If Chris has to comply with an NDA, then why confirm twice in the negative, rather than say nothing? It’s one thing to do what Sean did and say that he can’t talk about it, it’s an altogether different thing to say “No,” followed by another “No.”

I followed up with Chris again to mention that everyone on the Internet thinks he is fibbing and that FUNimation has already dubbed the series, but he has not responded.

What tricks does FUNimation have up its sleeves in the year to come?

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  • Michael Tenorio

    A bit of a downer, but not all that surprising. I don’t doubt it’ll be dubbed in the future, but we’ll likely have to wait awhile for it.

    • Yeah, with production times I’d be surprised if it even aired on TV by the end of the year.

      • Michael Tenorio

        If I remember correctly by the time Kai aired here in the states, it was already on it’s way out in Japan. It certainly wasn’t too far from ending, I know that. I’m betting if a dub is done, the earliest we’d see it would be the end of the year or early 2015

        • Love_that_Turles

          When Kai premiered in the US, Japan was just starting the Android saga. So I wouldn’t say that it was really “on its way out”, it still had a year left in it.

          That being said, since they already have deals in place here in the US, the turnaround time for a Buu dub will likely be quite less.

  • Robert

    Sean’s statement leads me to believe that part of the Kai Buu Saga may have been dubbed, “And I can confirm with you that the Buu Arc has not been recorded.” – I think he’s playing with words here in saying that the Buu Saga has not been completely recorded. This way he can allow Funimation to make their official announcement, as well as not look like a total liar when the announcement is made.

    • Hard to say. Chris appeared genuine in his emails, and I trust him. All I can do is let his words speak for themselves, even if there are several voice actors who say otherwise.

      Though I get the feeling that someone is fibbing, somewhere.

  • Richard B.

    My apologies for the repeated links, I didn’t intend for it to be posted like that

    • I don’t see what you’re referring to, Richard. Did you make another comment on this article?

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  • James Herd

    This title is extremely misleading. From what I read, it seems to me that there is no dub NEWS available. They COULD be working on it, but they’re not gonna tell just anyone. To say that they’re NOT working on it, or NOT doing it at all, is a bit too much at the current moment.

    • Fluffer

      It’s a sensationalist headline meant to garner page views. He refused to change it after comments on reddit pointed it out, and even defended it. I’m also surprised the article itself isn’t more objective. Both Schemmel and Hebert have confirmed finishing their lines, but that’s barely touched on (the latter not at all) and brushed aside in favor of taking Sabat’s email response as fact.

      In all likelihood, they probably aren’t supposed to be discussing it. Funimation isn’t going to dub half of the main characters and then throw it in the trash, they probably just want to sell as many blurays as they can before they go on the record.

      • It wasn’t a sensationalist headline. I don’t write for the UK Daily. It’s the simple difference between present tense (is not) and past tense (has not). I prefer to write in the present tense, so I wrote the headline that way without giving it consideration. But to appease the anger of the redditors I have changed it to past tense.

        I also linked to my previous post where the actors said they were working on it, in 2013. Seen here:

        • I wouldn’t worry to much about the opinions of most Redditors.

    • I wrote the article to communicate the comments that Christopher Sabat made. “I can confirm with you that the Buu Arc has not been recorded.”

      Don’t you think it’s news for him to say this? It contradicts what the voice actors said.

      Why so many hypothetical’s in your comment? He confirms the negative twice.

      Taking this into consideration, the only possible way that the Buu Arc is done, is being worked on now, or will be in the near future, is if he’s playing a prank on all of us. Otherwise it will be months or longer before a deal like that is ironed out with Toei, the voice actors are hired, brought in to record their lines, and then the episodes air. It’s not misleading for me to have said that FUNimation is not dubbing the series at the present. I didn’t mean to imply that it would never happen.

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  • Rs_ChaosMaster

    It is obvious to me that it has already had some dubbing done to it. Keep in mind that Sean and Kyle are not Employees of Funimation like Chris is regardless I am hoping for a November 2014 release for part 9 at the latest. I am also hopeful that both Toonzai and Nicktoons lose their broadcasting privileges in favor of Adult Swim Toonami it would be so much easier for them as they would not have to produce an edited version 😀 Dragon Ball Z Blu Ray Season Sets will not play a role in the US Release of the Kai Buu Saga. Keep in mind that the US Dragon Boxes were in production during the initial DBZ Kai Release

  • Steven Nguyen

    im not making any accusations here, but how are we supposed to know how legitimate this email actually is. i mean for all we know there probably is no email.

    it’s hard for me to believe that Chris Sabat would reply to a fan email the same day that it was sent regarding an article posted on the same day, that he has apparently already read.

    in fact, i can’t even find a legitimate source for his actual email address aside from the OkraTron 5000 one, which i imagine he doesn’t run personally or at least not for fan mail rather then business enquiries.

    Chris Sabat has stated countless times he is very busy working at both FUNimation as a voice actor & ADR director & OkraTron 5000 as head director. And in most interviews i’ve heard/read Chris doesn’t comment on anything that is unannounced.

    I also find it hard to believe that Sean Schemmel was able to quickly reply as the is also a very busy LA voice actor.

    It doesn’t make any sense if they were both telling the truth. Since they have both been honest in past interviews i have heard/read, I choose to believe they are, which means you, the person who is posting this contradicting information must be the person who is dishonest.

    Sorry, but Sean Schemmel’s interview with Audient seems like a much more legitimate source then a fan email to me.

    But like i said, im not making in accusations, it might not even be their real emails. im just saying based on likelihood and conflicting information it doesn’t seem to make any sense. There doesn’t even seem to be any legitimate source. You didn’t even mention how Sean Schemmel replied. With all of this in mind it really makes me question the how legitimate this article really is.

    • I’ve spent 10 years working on The Dao of Dragon Ball project and it took me that long to establish relationships with them and build trust. I wouldn’t throw 10 years of effort down the drain for an article like this.

      You may be new to my site. Welcome, and please read some of the articles. You’ll see that the trust I’ve built up in the industry has allowed to me get some interviews that other DBZ sites cannot.

      I’m not going to show you their email addresses or take pictures of our correspondence. You either trust what I do or you don’t.

      I agree that “it doesn’t make sense if they were both telling the truth.” One of them is not telling the truth.

      • Steven Nguyen

        it’s still unlikely how quickly this article was posted less then 24 hrs after the Dragon Ball Kai announcement.

        I assume Chris Sabat & Sean Schemmel would be too busy to reply this quickly.

        If this article was posted a few days later, then maybe it would seem more believable.

        After a little looking around on your site i have not seen any interviews or contact with either Chris Sabat or Sean Schemmel.

        I’m not asking you to disclose their personal email addresses to the public, but to confirm your relationship with them.

        One major disadvantage about how you do your interviews is via a written blog. If you were to use audio/video proof at least once to confirm your relationships with these people, then i would trust that you know who you know. i’m not saying record every interview or conversation with someone relevant in the business every time, but if you were to say interview Chris Sabat via audio once, i will believe you have a relationship with them.

        Just simply writing it without any sources doesn’t do anything, cause anyone can do that. Anyone could write this, but without any sources or confirmed relationships with the relevant people then it’s no different to any other article posted by random people.

        Im not trying to make accusations but if they were both telling the truth then the finger has point to someone and that is the author of the particular article.

        And it’s not unheard of, for even the best journalist to sometimes just to make something up or write something off the back of weak rumours or assumptions for a little more publicity or money (in your case ad revenue)

        your profile says you are a freelance journalist, and any journalist would know that the backbone to any article are sources, or that the journalist must have confirmed established relationships with the relevant people for the article to be legitimate.

        I understand you want to protect their privacy by not disclosing their personal emails or phone numbers to the public, but just confirm your relationships with these people by using other media such as audio/video or even pictures with the person, or them following you on facebook or twitter or any other social networking sites

        I hope you don’t take any of this personally. I understand your perspective and i hope you can understand mine when i see someone without a confirmed established reputation post something without legitimate sources.

        • First, to appease your skepticism, which I feel is unwarranted, I have added a screen capture of our email exchange. Notice the time signatures and face.

          I have established a working relationship with Chris and Sean, and I will not jump through hoops to make you believe me.

          Second, I understand you’re talking about journalistic standards, but this isn’t The Epoch Times or one of my books. It’s a blog about Dragon Ball, and I don’t have to kill myself as much to write at the highest standards. People in the Dragon Ball community know that I tell the truth. I’m sorry that you’re such a skeptic.

          You may have noticed that I don’t run advertising on the site. I just sell my books and occasionally add a link to Amazon when it’s relevant, but they don’t generate much revenue. So it’s not about getting visitors.

          I’ve been meaning to upload some of the audio from my interviews to YouTube and add them to the articles. Thanks for the reminder. Been busy writing my next book and the blog always takes a backseat until I have something like this to share.

          • Graham Polley

            For blog posts you don’t need any proof if you’re of a certain stature. Of which Derek is.

          • Thank you for saying so, Graham.

          • Graham Polley

            Yw. It’s a blog, not a journalistic article. Any lies in a blog would soon unravel anyway, so you have to cross check articles! 😛 I’m no writer, but I at least know that.

          • Steven Nguyen

            First of all, i am not asking you to jump through hoops. All im asking is to confirm your relationships with the relevant people. Just say something like “I had worked with at _______” or “i know him personally through” or provide audio/video. It’s not that hard.

            You are good journalist when it comes to analysing, opinions, research etc.
            But when it comes to reporting news your blogs lack substance.

            It doesn’t matter it’s a blog or not, when reporting what you claim to be factual information journalistic standards still apply.

            When your article lacks substance, then skepticism is to be expected.

            Im am not accusing you or anyone of being dishonest as i can easily accuse Sabat also. It is clear that due to the conflicting information clearly someone is being dishonest. Im just saying due the lack of substance in this article you, it could potentially be you also, because everyone seems to be accusing Sabat of lying where there is also reason to accuse you.

          • I accept your constructive criticism and will try to improve on my weaknesses, just as Goku would. There is always a higher level.

          • Graham Polley

            Unless you’re vegeta. Sorry had to say it. lol. & I’m pretty sure Sabat is just protecting an NDA.

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  • Marianne

    Thank you, Derek for this news. Although this is sad, there’s still the Japanese dubbed of Dragon Ball Kai which I hope will be streamed on-line sometime next year.

    Your articles are informative especially when you talk about the Chinese origins of Goku (That reminds me, your book is almost 70 % complete, right?). Though I have been following this blog only since March 2013, any Dragon Ball fan who reads one of your articles will be “hooked” to read more of your works.

    I know I was enticed by this blog when I first found this Web site by searching digital paintings of Son Goku. However, the first article that really caught my attention was when I read “Kame Sennine and Kume Sennin”, For a blog, that article was very long but it clearly gave me a scholarly perspective how Naruto can be related to a classical show like Dragon Ball.

    After reading that article, I know I had to scan around this blog and read other articles that offers more or less the same intelligent perspective about a cartoon show — a show which I first saw when I was a child back in 1998. “The Room of Spirit and Time” and “Ossu! Ora Goku!” are two articles I enjoyed reading because they offer cultural perspectives about the show’s father-and-son-team. When I have questions regarding Dragon Ball, this Web site will be my one of my first destinations because you’re one of the people who will not miss exciting updates about the show.

    I’m also impressed how you professionally and calmly expressed yourself despite the sceptical comments below. This show had such an extraordinary impact on your life that its morals must have shaped your attitude and personality strongly. I think you are very successful when you chose the career path that you’re in now. You’re love for journalism, computers, and the show go hand in hand as you create the articles, the books, and influence the Dragon Ball community.

    Even just from reading your articles for 11 months, I know I can rely on this Web site for legitimate sources about the show. On behalf of the Dragon Ball community, we appreciate every effort that you contribute to make this Web site successful.



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  • BellamyFanboy How Derek must feel right now.

  • VSVoidSpartan

    Ah…ouch. Sad news indeed, but at least we got that confusion taken care of. Thanks for updating as always Derek. At least we get to watch the Japanese Kai Buu Saga while we wait.

  • Supermcawsomevill

    I just hope that there is going to be an English dub

  • Rickie Ward

    The Buu Saga is being recorded over seas for english dubbed.

  • Darion Thrush

    Actually, DBZ Kai has no English dub, I know cause I checked on kissanime and every other anime watching site and, and the Majin Buu arc hasn’t even started in english dub

  • tornupheart2

    few years later and still nothing 🙁 have they said they will not release it or something, just finished all the rest for the first time and i need more

    • There’s good news! Sean Schemmel recently announced on Twitter that he has finished recording his roles for the Majin Buu Arc of Dragon Ball Z Kai. There’s no word on when the episodes will premiere, but they’re at least in progress.

      • tornupheart2

        this make me very happy

  • Patrick M

    is there any news about dragon ball z kai majin buu saga being aired in the US?

    • No, but the voice actors have recorded their lines in the studio, so it’s only a matter of time until it premieres.