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So as I understand there are four versions of Dragonball Z Anime (correct me if I am wrong with this):

  1. Japanese version / Subtitles in English
  2. Funimation version
  3. Ocean Dub
  4. Dragonball Kai

So I am going through rewatching the episodes with my wife for her first time and am watching a version that seems "less censored" than what I remember watching. There is a lot of blood and swearing, which I am actually ok with as it makes it more realistic in my mind but which version would this be? It would not be the one that played on Toonami I am guessing.

My second question is, plot wise are there any major differences between the uncensored one that I am watching vs the more censored one? I just got to the start of the Freiza Saga and noticed that in the Saiyin Saga for example Gohan never mentioned where he wanted to invite Piccolo to his birthday party. This isn't a huge deal in plot but I was wondering if anyone who has watched both versions noticed anything bigger? I would think more or less that the uncensored version = censored version + a bit more. One thing that really shocked me is that in the uncensored version, Goku finds out that he transformed into the Ape form and killed his grandpa when he was little, whereas the uncensored never mentions this. This seems to be a huge deal of him finding out or not!

I do notice that the music is quite different as well and IMO the uncensored music is better than I remember. It sounds like a full orchestra performing it each episode.

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Firstly, there are several more adaptations of the Dragon Ball Z and not just the four you listed. However, the ones. Since that is not the main question, I won't elaborate on that.

To answer your first question, the Japanese version would indeed be the true shonen series and perhaps what Dragon Ball Z is truly intended to be. Being someone who personally dislikes dubbed versions, the Funimation dub is indeed very good and Bruce Faulconer's tracks make it an overall amazing experience. The Funimation dub that aired on Television was obviously heavily censored, however uncensored versions of the dub(Visually) have been released, however in terms of the script, there is censorship.

With regard to your second question, DBZ Kai is different from the main version as it tends to remove filler episodes. Although, as far as Plot goes, there isn't any significant difference. With reference to Goku finding about Gohan, it wasn't really Censored. What is censored is mainly nudity, violence, and random instances like these for example: The word HELL The whole "Kidnapping of Gohan"

The word "HELL" is replaced with "HFIL". Gohan's tears have been removed to make it seem like "Less of a Kidnapping". You can look at a list of censorship in the series here.

  • So really as I understand it (more or less) went Japanese version > Ocean dub (having the same plot just translated) > and then Funimation which had censorship for Toonami > then to Dragonball Kai? I think the Funimaion version is the version that aired on Toonami right? – Eric F Jan 29 at 19:25
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    @EricF No. The Dragon Ball Z Funimation version that aired on Toonami was heavily censored. Then they released an uncensored version which is the dub I recommend you watch(if you're watching the dub). I personally dislike the Ocean Dub. DBZ Kai is also worth watching. However, the filler episodes have been removed from the same(So it comes down to personal preference). – Gary Andrews30 Jan 29 at 20:32

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