FUNimation Continues Dragon Ball Kai Dub

dragon ball kai majin buu saga funimation dub

Dragon Ball voice actors have confirmed that the Majin Buu arc of Dragon Ball Kai is in production at FUNimation. Sean Schemmel and Kyle Hebert made the announcement through social media.

Christopher Sabat said the Majin Buu arc will be 66 episodes long.

New music will be composed for the episodes, replacing both the original Shunsuke Kikuchi score from DBZ and the Kenji Yamamoto score from Kai. But the composer has yet to be announced.

No other voice actors have confirmed their roles.

There are no release or broadcast dates.

The Whole Kai Story

On November 6, 2011, it was announced in Japan that Dragon Ball Kai would continue through the Buu Saga. The Japanese dub would be a Japanese export only, meaning that it wasn’t going to air in Japan and other countries would license and record their own dub.

Since then there had been no official news.

Christopher Sabat confirmed at IchibanCon (January 11 – 13, 2013) that he was aware of the Buu arc of Kai being in production, and stated:

It is true that Dragon Ball Z Kai has been planned for going all the way through the Buu saga. I think it’s awesome. That’s very exciting for us, too. I like to see all the Dragon Ball Z people. After working with those guys for like, 10 years, I’m friends with most of them.”

Then at Oz ComicCon in Adelaide, Australia on March 16 – 14, 2013, Christopher answered a fans question and said, “FUNimation have just licensed 66 more episodes of Kai.”

Fans were excited about his answer, but neither the licensing or the 66 episodes were confirmed by an official statement.

On March 26, FUNimation denied it on their official Facebook page.

“It is not true. He probably said that he would agree to be part of the project if we did, which is what he’s said at other conventions.

Well that’s a bit odd, since Christopher is the lead voice actor, voice director and producer of Dragon Ball Kai.

Maybe Christopher answered the question before FUNimation wanted him to, and so they denied it outright. Although lying to your fan base isn’t a good thing to do.

In any case, on April 22, Sean Schemmel (the voice of Goku) tweeted that he had been in a new interview on an audiophile website.


In addition to talking about his love of audio equipment, Sean said the following.

“The Dragon Ball series has a special place for me in my heart. … And I am about to finish the Buu saga for DBZ Kai.”

Kyle Hebert (Adult Gohan) then posted similar news on his Facebook page, on April 23.

Just got the blessing to announce I will be returning as Gohan for the Buu Saga of Dragonball Z Kai. … Pretty psyched to return to the role that began my VO career. Recording in a few weeks.

What Does This Mean for Fans?

dragon ball kai majin buu saga funimation dub dbz

Since Sean said he is about to finish recording, and Kyle says he will be recording in a few weeks, we can gather that the dub is in production and it’s only a matter of months until it’s complete.

The original Majin Buu arc was 92 episodes (200 – 291) including Great Saiyaman and Other World Tournament (200 – 219), so if Kai is 66 episodes long, that really isn’t much of a reduction by Kai standards. They did the rest of DBZ up to this point in 97 episodes.

In terms of production timeline it’s also logical to conclude that FUNimation wants to capitalize on the current Dragon Ball fever that is sweeping the world with the release of Battle of Gods. So it’s possible that the series will air on TV or be published on DVD or Blu-ray in the Fall or Winter of 2013.

In somewhat related news, Norihito Sumitomo, the composer for Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, said on his official website (in 3.29 news) that the film is planned for screening “in 40-plus countries around the world.” If he’s right, then that is BIG news.

With Christopher Sabat, Kyle Hebert and Eric Vale attending Anime Expo as Guests of Honor from July 4 – July 7 it’s likely that an announcement will be made. And I’ll be there to find out.

This is not a new Dragon Ball series and it is not Battle of Gods, but in some ways we’re getting exactly what we wanted. The voice acting will be fresh and the quality of the audio and video will be high.

Are you excited to see Goten, Mister Satan, Videl and all your favorite characters again? Do you want the entire cast of voice actors to reprise their roles, or would you like new talent to take over?



18 responses to “FUNimation Continues Dragon Ball Kai Dub”

  1. Frankly, I’m very excited about everything being refreshed for the Buu saga. I think there’ll be one or two minor changes for some characters, but I doubt they’ll be that big of a deal. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing the updated and uncut script used, particularly for the battle between Vegeta and Goku.
    The international screening could be monumental if that is the case. If it does come here to the states, then I’ll definitely be in line to surrender my money to see it.

    • DerekPadula says:

      Me too. If they’re able to convey the original script’s sensitivity with all of their new acting talent in tow, it may result in the definitive version.

      • Be it new talent, or refined, I have full confidence that they’ll give nothing but their best effort. Funimation is the house that Dragon Ball built. They’d no better than to mistreat their baby. I think certain scenes will pack a much bigger impact both in terms of action and emotion. They did wonders with Goku’s sacrifice and I trust they’ll do the same when the time comes for Vegeta to go out in a blaze of glory.

  2. Crono A7X says:

    Hmm…nice picture at top.

    • DerekPadula says:

      Yep, found it on Google images. The two pictures on this page are pretty much the only high quality ones out there.

      • Crono A7X says:

        You sure? Used this exact same image on my post when I initially reported this…yesterday 😉 Thats cool about BoG being released in over 40 theaters though, cant wait!

        • DerekPadula says:

          Yep, you beat me to it, and your post did inspire this one, so I see where you’re coming from, but I wasn’t trying to gank it. Do a search for “dragon ball kai majin buu saga” and you’ll see these two pictures are the first ones. I downloaded both high res files, edited them for my site, and did some slight color correction.

          I gathered most of the facts from the Kanzenshuu forum last night but wasn’t able to finish the post until now.

          And yes, that is awesome news.

  3. Kakarroto says:

    I want the old Bulma back and want Sabat as Piccolo again!

    Thank God we got a new Gohan!…err Well the bad ass old one! Thank you Kyle Herbert!

    I couldn’t stand Colleen Clinkenbeard making him sound so lame in the Cell Saga, at least when Stephanie Nadolny said “Daddy” every other word and Gohan was way too old to be saying that he still sounded like a dude and not a girl desperately trying to resemble the mere semblance of a boy…my word she was terrible completely ruins Kai! Every time i see Gohan I wanna turn the sound off…bleh!

    I mean literally Gohan sounds like an effeminate basket case in Kai, but given all the deep seated daddy issues he would have pent up considering his father prefers death to spending time with him it is mildly understandable.

    All that being said if they change Babidi or any of the Buus forget it! They butchered Gohan and Bulma this way they can redeem themselves. Seriously, why the hell do we have a different Gohan, Bulma and not Sabat as Piccolo!? If they change Mr. Satan that would be the biggest mistake ever almost as bad as not having Sabat as Piccolo or scrapping all the glorious Bruce Faulconer music ARG!

    I can already here the boos from the purists in the background whatevs

    Great blog btw!

    • DerekPadula says:

      Are you telling me that you like the squeaky Fat Buu voice? Because if that’s true, then I don’t think we can be friends anymore, haha. 🙂

      I doubt they’ll go with Faulconer again. My bet is it will be the Battle of Gods composer since they already have all that great music lying around. When the original DBZ films were released they recycled Shinsuke Kikuchi’s music, and I can see it working in reverse as well. If not him, then I have no idea who it could be.

      • Kakarroto says:

        Oh the Faulconer stuff was really more of a joke, considering our previous discussions x-D. I have enjoyed the pace of kai and the score. I am sure that the other music will be equally good. I first read the Boo arc before I saw it and in my head and so I imagined Fat Boo’s voice would change when he expelled all the evil within him…so for me I think, despite complaining about her earlier, that Colleen Clinkenbeard could do a good Innocent Boo because her Gohan didn’t sound like a little boy or totally female so it would be good for innocent fat boo. I just really enjoyed the other speaking Boos, they just felt evil (excluding fat boo you’re tottally right). Yeah squeaky Boo “Mmmm Yummy”…nooot so much, but I felt like it fit with the over the top voices in the American dub. Kai is far more reserved so it would feel out of place.

    • Mousey says:

      Sabat is still Piccolo in their dub of Kai though…? His acting has just improved since then (thank the stars) so he sounds entirely different. Same with his Vegeta, really.

  4. Kakarroto says:

    One problem with Kai is they also scrap bad ass fight scenes under the heading of “filler”…I fear that the Majin Vegeta versus Goku fight may meet the same fate in favor of having the full 18 versus Mr. Satan match go on through its entirety…and we can pretty much count on Pikon being dead (no pun intended)

    • DerekPadula says:

      True. I think fans across the world all have great expectations for the Majin Vegeta versus Goku fight. Let’s hope the editors in Japan understand its importance.

  5. Kera says:

    Oh yeah! I’m excited! I doubt it will be as good as the original but still, I’m happy. 🙂

  6. Greggy says:

    I never saw Kai, I always wanted to wait until the entire series was completed, heh.

    Luckily I bought the dvd’s with the original music before they got pulled, or rather, before they sold out after being discounted to avoid a messy buyback of inventory.

    Though, with only 1/3 of stuff being cut, to be honest it barely sounds worthwhile. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be very happy to see that “parasites in MB’s stomach” episode gone, but things like the nightmare characters fight or MB going all Jesus on the blind thing I’ll miss. Most of MB really wasn’t bad at all I thought.

    Is this really a case of “improving on how Kai was handled” or more a case of “more episodes = more money”?

  7. djh1991 says:

    I want them to reprise their roles for the MajinBuu saga. I wonder who is going to be voicing babidi, bibidi, kibito, supreme Kaiser and the rest of the characters from the Buusaga? Anyway I’ve already seen the Buusaga from the original DBZ back in 2002-2003 when I watch it on Toonami and saw it on the computer. But I cannot wait to see it again on dbzkai!

  8. Topher Mowry says:

    I had heard that the Japanese voice actors had started recording. Glad to hear the U.S. team is getting back to work also. DBK/DBZK is a great project.

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