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'Dragon Ball Z Kai' to join Toonami lineup this fall

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On May 24, Anime News Network reported that during their Saturday panel at Momocon, FUNimation Entertainment announced that the latest incarnation of the "Dragon Ball" franchise, "Dragon Ball Z Kai," would be joining Adult Swim's Toonami lineup later this fall. This marks the first time that a "Dragon Ball" series has aired on Cartoon Network in nearly six years, following the first cancellation of Toonami in 2008.

"Dragon Ball Z Kai" is a re-telling of the classic animé, "Dragon Ball Z," which made its' American debut in 1996. The series features digitally restored animation, a brand new re-orchestrated soundtrack, and various scenes feature new effects or re-animated footage. While the English dub features the return of well known DBZ voice actors, including Sean Schemmel (Goku), Christopher Sabat (Piccolo, Vegeta), and Sonny Strait (Krillin), several major characters in the series were recast with new actors. Such characters include Goku's son, Gohan (Colleen Clickenbeard), his childhood friend, Bulma Briefs (Monica Rial), and his most memorable enemy, Frieza (Christopher Ayers).

The first ninety-eight episodes of the English dub, originally airing on Nickelodeon's all-animation network, Nicktoons in 2010, covered the Saiyan Saga through the Cell Games Saga of the original "Dragon Ball Z" anime. However, because "Kai" is a condensed version of the original series, a lot of side storylines were cut out from the remake to focus primarily on the main battles and key events that made up each saga. An example of a shortened battle would be Goku's first battle with Vegeta during the Saiyan Saga. In the original anime, the battle stretched out to over eight episodes, but in "Kai," the battle concludes in just three episodes.

Along with this announcement at their panel, FUNimation also announced that "Cowboy Bebop" would also be returning to Toonami programming, but no specific date has been announced for both shows.


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