The series begins with a flashback of the Genocide of the Saiyans and the destruction of Planet Vegeta at the hands of Frieza, and the upbringing of Goku on Earth, as depicted in the original Dragon Ball series. Five years have passed since Goku's victory over Piccolo at the World Martial Arts Tournament, and he has since married Chi-Chi. With who he had a son named Gohan who was named after Goku's grandpa, Grandpa Gohan.
Goku and Gohan are heading towards a reunion with Goku's friends at the Kame House. Elsewhere, a space pod crashes on Earth. A man with a Battle Armor emerges from the vessel and flies off to scout out a powerful lifeform. He locates it with the help of a scouter apparatus located on his eye. Piccolo is nearly killed by the stranger, but this is averted when the man leaves to scout out a more powerful lifeform. The other strong lifeform is Goku, who, at Master Roshi's house, introduces his son to Roshi, Krillin, and Bulma. The stranger arrives and speaks to Goku in a familiar manner.
The stranger reveals that his name is Raditz and that he is Goku's older brother. Goku cannot remember this, as he suffers from brain damage caused by a fall when he was a child. Raditz reports that he and Goku are of an alien race called the Saiyans and that he and Goku are among the last four remaining. He then asks Goku to join them in exterminating the population of Earth, taking Gohan hostage when Goku refuses.
Piccolo appears and offers to help him defeat Raditz, Goku accepts his offer and together they follow after Raditz. Goku and Piccolo confront the Saiyan at his space pod's crash site, but Raditz is not impressed and tells them that there are two other Saiyans that are even stronger than him.
Goku and Piccolo challenge Raditz, but the gap between their powers is too great. So, while Goku holds Raditz back, Piccolo fires his new special attack, the Special Beam Cannon. But Raditz manages to dodge it by a hair’s breath! Goku seizes an opportunity to grasp hold of Raditz’s tail, but the cruel Raditz tricks Goku and escapes, and proceeds to torture him.
It’s at this point that Gohan, who had been locked up inside the spaceship, unleashes his dormant power with rage and body slams Raditz!! Astonished, Raditz tries to kill the now instantly powered-down Gohan, but Goku immobilizes him. As Goku says to shoot them both, Piccolo fires the Special Beam Cannon. The beam pierces through their two bodies!! In his death agony, Raditz’s last words are that the two remaining Saiyan out in space will attack Earth in one year. Bulma and the others arrive, having followed behind, and as they watch, Goku passes away as well.
As Kami takes Goku along with his body to the Other World. Bulma takes Raditz's scouter in order to repair it and find Yamcha, Tien Shinhan, and Chiaotzu. Piccolo takes Gohan into his custody and flies off, intending to train the boy in the martial arts. In the afterlife, Kami arranges for Goku to be allowed to travel to King Kai's planet via Snake Way.
While Goku starts his journey along the road, Krillin unsuccessfully attempts to tell Chi-Chi of her husband's death and her son's kidnapping. Meanwhile, Piccolo tells Gohan of his father's fate and demonstrates to Gohan the power that the boy possesses by throwing him at a rock, which Gohan destroys reflexively.
Gohan's training finally begins. After a length of time spent alone on a mountaintop, Gohan sees the moon, which causes him to transform into a Great Ape. Rather than let him rampage unchecked, Piccolo destroys the moon, making any further transformations impossible, and removes his tail, before leaving to begin his own training. Meanwhile, Bulma repairs the scouter, and Yajirobe delivers a summons to Krillin, telling him that the two of them, along with Yamcha, Tien Shinhan, and Chiaotzu, are to report to Kami's Lookout for training.
Six months have passed since Gohan's incident with the full moon, and he has since become much more adept at surviving in the wilderness. Piccolo then decides to begin training the boy personally.
Meanwhile, Goku has arrived at the end of Snake Way. He first sees a monkey on King Kai's planet, which, despite its small size, is ten times Earth's gravity, and he thinks the monkey is King Kai. Goku thought acting like a monkey is part of the training until meeting King Kai. King Kai tells him that monkey is his pet Bubbles, which Goku feels embarrassed about. In order for Goku to train under King Kai's teachings, he must attempt to make the master laugh. After Goku's accomplishment of making him laugh, King Kai tells him to catch his monkey, Bubbles. Having Bubbles run around his planet, Goku must chase after the monkey; a difficult task for him due to the planet's heavy gravity.
After three weeks, Goku succeeds in catching Bubbles. He is then issued his second challenge, to hit Gregory, the flying grasshopper, with a large mallet. After two weeks of trying, Goku succeeds and fully masters the planet's gravity in the process. King Kai then prepares to teach Goku his signature technique; the Kaio-ken. On Earth, Gohan's training with Piccolo comes to a close, while the rest of the Z Fighters finish their training with Kami and go their separate ways.
As King Kai tests Goku's ability to create a Spirit Bomb with a large brick as a target, and Goku destroys it with ease. However, King Kai warns Goku of the potential danger of creating a Spirit Bomb on Earth. So Goku decides to only use it as a last resort. With his training complete, Goku, through King Kai, sends a telepathic message to Master Roshi to use the Dragon Balls to resurrect him. On Earth, Roshi, Bulma, and Oolong summon the eternal dragon, Shenron, and fulfill Goku's wish. Goku then begins the long journey back along Snake Way. The next day, the Saiyans, Nappa and Vegeta, land on Earth to begin their search for the Dragon Balls.
When Vegeta and Nappa emerge from their space pods and Nappa wipes out East City with a single devastating blast. They then fly off towards the island where Piccolo and Gohan are in search of the Dragon Balls. Krillin arrives first, and the three face off with Vegeta and Nappa. Piccolo learns for the first time that he is a Namekian when told by Nappa. At Vegeta's order, Nappa plants seeds in the ground, and six Saibamen are born. Tien Shinhan, Chiaotzu, and then Yamcha fly in to join in the battle. Vegeta suggests they have a game of one-on-one. Tien faces-off first against a Saibaman. Tien overpowers the Saibaman but before he is able to finish it off, Vegeta destroys it as incentive to the remaining five. Next, Yamcha decides to fight in place of Krillin, but the Saibaman latches onto him and self-destructs, killing Yamcha outright.
Enraged by Yamcha's death, Krillin uses the Scattering Bullet technique on the remaining Saibamen. All but one Saibamen survives, and tries to attack Gohan, but Piccolo easily kills it with a mouth blast. In place of the Saibamen, Nappa prepares for battle. Nappa faces off against the Z Fighters and proves to be a formidable opponent. He easily dominates the Z Fighters. During his attack on Tien Shinhan, Tien receives immense pain from losing his left arm. In an act of desperation, Chiaotzu attaches himself to Nappa's back and sacrifices himself using a Kamikaze technique, but Nappa is completely unharmed by it.
Grief-stricken and enraged by Chiaotzu's sacrifice, Tien starts fighting Nappa, blow after blow Tien easily gets beaten. Krillin tries to help his fallen friend, but is easily countered by an Exploding Wave. Tien puts all his strength into one final Tri-Beam at Nappa, but this also fails. Tien dies because he had literally put his life into the Tri-Beam. With the Z Fighters now down to three, the team can do nothing but hope for Goku's arrival. The Saiyans soon learn of their trump card and scoffs at the notion until Krillin informs the duo of Goku's special training. Intrigued by the possibility of Goku's increased strength, Vegeta issues a three-hour reprieve to wait for Goku to arrive.
As they wait for Goku, Krillin'Kuririn's and Piccolo come up with a plan. However when Gohan asks to train Piccolo refuses and tells Gohan to go home. As Gohan walks away Nappa throws a blast at him, however Gohan angrily tells Nappathat he smells. Nappa is shock by this and Vegeta laughs. Once the news reporters try to get closer to the battle field Nappaasks Vegeta if he can kill them. Vegeta agrees and Nappa kills the reporters who try to leave by truck. This makes Bulma and the others shock when they lose the TV signal.
Since Goku fails to arrive within the three-hour reprieve, the battle with the Saiyans recommences much to Krillin's dismay. At that moment however, Goku finally reaches the end of Snake Way, is teleported back to Earth by Kami, and flies straight to the battlefield on the Flying Nimbus. Krillin battles as a decoy, Piccolo grabs his tail. But Gohan charges Nappa hits Piccolo on the head. He then threw a blast at Krillin which makes him stay on the ground with broken bones. As Piccolo and Gohan are left standing Piccolo blasts Nappa's back. This makes Nappa mad but Vegeta hears his scouter. Upon receiving word of Goku's impending arrival on his scouter and discovering that his power level is now far greater than before, Vegeta orders Nappa to kill the remaining Z Fighters, including Piccolo, claiming that they can later go to Namek and use the Namekian Dragon Balls. Nappa fires a Bomber DX at Gohan, but Piccolo jumps in the way at the last second to shield Gohan from the blast.
Lying on the Piccolo speaks to Gohan and thanks him for not seeing him as a monster. Soon after Piccolo dies from Nappa's Bomber DX, resulting in Kami's death and the destruction of the Earth's Dragon Balls. Gohan becomes angry and unleashes Maseko on Nappa but it doesn't hurt the enemy. Gohan then becomes sad as he couldn't avenge Piccolo. Krillin then tells Gohan to run but he refuses. As Nappa is in front of Gohan he decided to step on him. But as Nappa steps on the ground, Gohan was saved by Flying Nimbus. Soon after, Goku finally arrives at the battlefield just in time to save Gohan and Krillin. After healing the two with a Senzu Bean from Korin, Goku engages Nappa in battle. Despite the mighty Nappa's efforts, it quickly becomes clear that he is no match for Goku's new level of power ("It's Over 9000!"). Realizing this, Vegeta finally decides to step into the fight.
With Vegeta ready to enter the fight, Nappa realizes that he has lost, and prepares to attack Gohan and Krillin. Not fast enough to stop the Saiyan brute, Goku unleashes the Kaio-ken technique. Using his new Kaio-ken Finish technique, he paralyzes Nappa. With his partner now useless, Vegeta mercilessly kills Nappa. Goku tells Gohan and Krillin to leave so he can fight Vegeta without any distractions.
After moving to a new battleground, Gizard Wasteland, the last two Saiyans begin their epic battle. The two seem evenly matched for a short time, sparring. However, Vegeta powers up, and Goku is getting badly beating using the regular Kaio-Ken. Realizing the horrible dilemma, Goku prepares the Kaio-Ken x2. Goku managed to have increased his power, but is not enough. Goku soon realizes that even the 2x Kaio-ken isn't enough to defeat his opponent. He then decides to break his promise to King Kai and use the 3x Kaio-ken. Struggling to get his power increase to use, Goku is about to attack Vegeta with his new power boost.
Goku powers up with the Kaio-ken x3 and attacks Vegeta with his increased power and speed, but is suffering extreme pain from using the Kaio-ken x3. After intense minutes of incredible battle, Vegeta is filled with rage as he is now realizing Goku's 24,000 power level exceeds his own 18,000, so he attempts to destroy Earth with his signature Galick Gun technique. Goku counters this with the Kamehameha combined with the Kaio-Ken x3's power.
After many minutes of an even power struggle, Goku overcomes Vegeta's Galick Gun by using the 4x Kaio-ken, putting all of his energy into the Kamehameha and blasting Vegeta into the atmosphere. Yajirobe, who had been hiding for the whole battle, comes out to congratulate Goku, but even a friendly slap from him gives Goku great pain. To Yajirobe's dismay, Goku reveals that Vegeta is still alive, prompting Yajirobe to flee once again.
Meanwhile, Vegeta manages to free himself from Goku's Kaio-ken Kamehameha. Infuriated at his performance against the low-class Saiyan, Vegeta decides to transform into a Great Ape, which will increase his attributes tenfold. He starts searching for the full moon to transform into a Great Ape but much to his confusion, however, the moon is nowhere to be find.
Vegeta realizes that the moon has been destroyed to prevent him and Nappa from turning Great Ape and, thinking up a new plan, he returns to the battlefield. In front of Goku, he blames Goku for destroying the moon but Goku gets confuse by this. Vegeta starts explaining about his plan, which makes Goku more confuse. He releases a Power Ball that replicates the moon's effects on a Saiyan. Although the Power Ball reduces his energy, it proves sufficient to transform Vegeta into a Great Ape. Krillin and Gohan notice the bright the Power Ball from afar, and decide to return to help Goku. As Goku has trouble hiding, he realized that he killed Grandpa Gohan. Goku the apologies to Grandpa Gohan for killing him. As Vegeta finally found him, he charges at Goku and Goku's only hope is the Spirit Bomb now.
Firming his resolve, Goku tries to create a Spirit Bomb, but he is hit by an attack the instant he finishes gathering energy. He manages to wound Great Ape Vegeta's eye in his battered state, but Vegeta begins trying to crush him in his hand. While hiding, Gohan and Krillin watch the fight and try to come up with a plan to cut off Vegeta's tail. They fail, but Yajirobe seizes an opening and severs it with his sword. After returning to his original form, Vegeta angrily bouts with Gohan, who is reluctant at first to fight until he gets support from Goku. While Gohan fights Vegeta, Goku talks to Krillin and entrusts Krillin with the remaining energy from the Spirit Bomb.
As Gohan and Vegeta continue their battle, Krillin continues to aim the Spirit Bomb at Vegeta. Gohan is clearly outmatched, but he manages to hold his own against Vegeta. As Vegeta has Gohan cornered, Krillin suddenly feels Vegeta's evil energy. Yajirobe screams out of nowhere to Krillin if he was going to throw the Spirit Bomb or not. Unfortunately, Vegeta hears this, and when Krillin throws the Spirit Bomb at Vegeta, the Saiyan Prince manages to dodge it at the last second, now heading for Gohan. Following Goku's advice, Gohan rebounds the Spirit Bomb back at Vegeta, though Vegeta survives the hit. He severely injured the Z Fighters with an Explosive Wave.
Suddenly, Gohan's tail grows back and he transforms into a Great Ape. After being thrashed around by the Great Ape, Vegeta cuts Gohan's tail off in mid-air with a Destructo Disk, but Gohan falls on top of him as he lands, crushing the Saiyan Prince to the brink of death. Finally defeated, Vegeta summons his space pod and attempts to escape, but Krillin grabs Yajirobe's katana and prepares to finish him off.
Before Krillin deals the final blow to kill Vegeta, Goku intercedes. He asks Krillin to let Vegeta live, as he wishes to train harder and challenge him again. Krillin reluctantly agrees and Vegeta leaves Earth. Master Roshi, Bulma, Chi-Chi, and Korin fly to where Goku, Gohan, and Krillin are. They gather the bodies of their deceased friends and set off to Wukong Hospital. Krillin informs them that Kami is a Namekian, and that the planet Namek should have more inhabitants able to create Dragon Balls. After brainstorming on how to get there in a reasonable amount of time, they realize that Nappa's space pod is still a working vessel. Bulma decides to run it through some tests and see if it is still viable.
As Goku, Krillin, and Gohan are in the Wukong Hospital, recovering from the battle with Vegeta. Their friends and family come to visit. Krillin remarks to Goku that he looks like a mummy who forgot to wrap his face. Bulma bursts in and when the television is turned on, they see a report about Nappa's space pod. Bulma, thinking she has pressed the button that will have it fly towards them, instead self-destructs the pod.
Before everyone gives up hope, Mr. Popo arrives, and tells them that he knows of another spaceship. It is the Namekian ship that Kami used to come to Earth when he was a boy. Bulma reluctantly agrees to inspect it up in Yunzabit Heights with him, an abandoned chain of islands where Kami spent his childhood until his mid-thirties. They realize the craft is voice-activated in the native Namekian language, with the word "Piccolo" as the entrance code. Bulma converts the Namekian language to language used on Earth a few weeks later. Gohan and Krillin decide to accompany her on her journey to Namek in search for the Dragon Balls. As the three bid farewell to Chi-Chi, Roshi and the Ox King. Bulma, Gohan, Krillin enjoy their time on the spaceship after Bulma changes her clothes.
While on their journey to Namek, Gohan and Krillin practice image training. Meanwhile, Vegeta has landed on Planet Frieza 79, badly injured, and, after being revived, heads to Namek to collect the Namekian Dragon Balls once Cui tells him Frieza is already there. After 30 days aboard Kami's old spaceship, Bulma, Krillin, and Gohan finally arrive on Namek. Bulma uses her Dragon Radar and notices that four of the seven Dragon Balls are together already. Gohan senses evil ki, but Bulma reassures them that the Namekians are the sensed people and that they are probably the ones who have them. They notice Vegeta's spacepod fly overhead and land in the distance, along with a second spacepod holding Cui shortly after. Vegeta isn't too thrilled to find out that Zarbon and Dodoria are also accompanying Frieza.
Frieza continues to collect the Namekian Dragon Balls while Vegeta slaughters Cui. Meanwhile, Krillin and Gohan battle two of Frieza's minions, but not before they destroy the spaceship they used to reach Namek. Back on Earth, Yajirobe delivers Korin's new batch of Senzu Beans to Goku at the hospital, because everyone attacked and killed Goku. Goku immediately eats one of the beans, making a complete recovery from his injuries in the process, and then prepares to journey towards the planet Namek.
Goku arrives at Capsule Corporation, where Dr. Brief has prepared a spaceship for him to travel to Namek in six days, as well as train. As he takes off for Namek, Goku begins to train at 20G (20 times the normal gravity of Earth).
Meanwhile, the Namekians begin to fight back against Frieza's men, however Zarbon proves too powerful for them to handle. Discovering that his people are being located via their scouters, Moori destroys the scouters. Filled with rage, Dodoria rushes into the fray to make the locals regret the day they ever crossed Frieza.
As Dodoria tries to Moori, Frieza orders him to stop. The young Namekians fight with Dodoria, but are defeated. Krillin and Gohan save a young Namekian boy named Dende from Dodoria's attack. The three fly away and manage to hide from the pursuing Dodoria thanks to Krillin's Solar Flare. Dodoria is soon after attacked by Vegeta.
The two fight briefly. Dodoria begs for his life, offering to tell Vegeta the true story of his home planet's destruction. Vegeta releases Dodoria from his grip, and Dodoria reveals that it was Frieza who destroyed Planet Vegeta out of fear from the Saiyan race's potential. Vegeta is furious at being lied to and being used by Frieza, and kills the fleeing Dodoria.
Zarbon wonders why Dodoria has not returned, but Frieza is unconcerned. Vegeta, using his new earthbound abilities, senses Gohan, Krillin, and Dende in the distance. Gohan and Krillin lower their ki enough to avoid being detected further, but Dende does not know how to. Before Vegeta can home in on Dende's power, a giant Namekian fish appears, giving Vegeta the thought that the fish was the source of the ki he detected. He later comes across a village of 20 or so Namekians, and demands to be given the Dragon Ball. When the elder Namekian of the village denies him the Dragon Ball, Vegeta slays all the Namekians and finds the Dragon Ball in one of the huts. He then proceeds to throw it in a nearby lake so that Frieza and his men cannot find it. Meanwhile, Dende takes Krillin with him to see the Grand Elder of Namek.
While Goku continues training on his way to Namek, King Kai tells him his fallen friends from the Saiyan threat are with him even Chiaotzu. Goku then fills King Kai in on the situation on Namek. King Kai realizes Frieza is there and orders Goku to stay away from his evil might. However Piccolo assures Goku he'll train hard so when he's revived they will take Frieza down. After talking to his friends in Other World, Goku continues his training at 50x gravity. Meanwhile, Krillin and Dende head to Guru's home for the remaining Dragon Ball. Vegeta senses Zarbon and confronts him to fight. At first Vegeta proves a match for Zarbon then he transforms into his more repulsive but stronger form. He defeats Vegeta with ease who passes out from exhaustion.
The series is being extensively "refreshed" for Japanese television. This is not a new animation, but rather a remastered edit that runs through certain events of Dragon Ball Z. Part of this is reformatting and extending the picture to 16:9 Widescreen. Through digital processing, the image is made vibrant. All the music, damage and noise remaining on the Dragon Ball Z film is removed, making the image much clearer in high-definition.
A comparison with the original video side-by-side shows considerable cropping to achieve the 16:9 aspect ratio. However, it seems carefully done to avoid missing anything important. The original image is not stretched, just cut where it would be more appropriate, being a "tilt and scan" or "reverse pan and scan" of the original Dragon Ball Z footage.
Dragon Ball Kai includes a complete re-recording of the dialog by most of the original Japanese voice cast, as well as completely new sound design with updated sound effects. The opening and ending themes are completely new. Takayoshi Tanimoto performs the series' opening themes "Dragon Soul" and "Kuu-Zen-Zetsu-Go", and the closing theme "Yeah! Break! Care! Break!" This new opening and closing credits have newly animated appearances by most of the main cast, as well as for the villains, such as Raditz, Nappa, Vegeta, Frieza, Zarbon, Dodoria, and the Ginyu Force. There's also a new artwork clip after every intermission, such as one of Cui and Vegeta in episode 19. Unlike the original Dragon Ball Z, which only had two sets of eye-catches for the entire series, in Dragon Ball Kai, it changes every few episodes to feature an appropriate character ensemble/situation.
The Garlic Jr. Saga does not air in Dragon Ball Kai. Originally lasting from episodes 108 to 117, the saga featured the return of Garlic Jr., the main villain from the first DBZ movie. The saga was completely filler and Garlic Jr. or any of his henchmen did not appear in the original manga. Because Kai stays truer to the manga, this saga has been completely cut out.
Among other things, Vegeta's unique palette while on an unnamed planet in the beginning of the series has been altered, however, Nappa's armor is still different from the armor he wears on Earth. Piccolo's blood in the Raditz fight has also been recolored to purple (in DB and in this fight in DBZ, Piccolo was drawn with red blood, but purple blood in the rest of the DBZ series). However, when Raditz is explaining to Goku about the Saiyans, Vegeta has his original palette.
Confirmed episodes of Dragon Ball Kai to have new animation inserted include: 16, 21, 22, and 24 through 54. Episode 16 is the first episode in the series that includes several instances of completely new animation spliced in with the original. More than likely, this was done to bridge gaps left behind when filler material was removed, so as to keep the length and pace of the episode intact. It is also possible that this was done to replace damaged frames. This is seen again in episode 21 at time indexes 14:25 through 14:50 and again numerous times, interlaced with the original animation, starting at 18:44 and lasting until 21:44 (the end of the episode). The style of the animation should be considered "neo-classic" for it is designed to blend in seamlessly with the existing animation.
For the Androids Saga, the animation in the opening scene and closing credits has been altered a bit to fit the current storyline. New animations of Dr. Gero, Android 19, Android 17, Android 18, Android 16, and Cell appear, as well as the Super Saiyan appearances of Goku, Vegeta, Future Trunks, and Gohan. The new intro also showcases battles taking place within the saga, such as Vegeta vs. #18, Piccolo vs. #17, #16 vs. Cell, Goku vs. Cell, and ends showing a sequence of the Z Fighters standing together with their Cell Saga appearances. The ending credits are also different, showcasing Goku flying with Shenron as the faces of the main cast appear. He proceeds to transform into a Super Saiyan and the cast joins him in flight. The sequences ends with the Z Fighters standing in front of the Earth, with Shenron and Porunga in the backdrop.
Navarre revealed during its Q3 2010 earnings conference call, on February 2, 2010, that its North American anime distributor FUNimation had licensed the Dragon Ball Kai series for release in the "latter part of the upcoming fiscal year." However, it was re-titled Dragon Ball Z Kai. FUNimation later confirmed the license with AnimeNewsNetwork.com. Dragon Ball Z Kai Part one was released on May 18, 2010. The cast for Dragon Ball Z Kai was mostly the same as Z except for a few re-casts for various reasons. The English dub for the series is produced by Okatron 5000 in Dallas, TX, US at the same recording studio used for the video games of the Dragon Ball franchise, with Christopher R. Sabat as one of the primary voice directors. Cartoon Network, broadcaster of all original Dragon Ball media, passed on the rights to show Dragon Ball Z Kai. Instead, Nicktoons aired Dragon Ball Z Kai from May 24, 2010 until January 1, 2012.
The series is edited on Nicktoons to fit the intended audience, and occasionally contains different verbiage than the home release, which is entirely unedited. Some character attacks regain their correct and untranslated-proper-noun announcements in the unedited dub (i.e. "Makankōsappō" instead of Special Beam Cannon, "Kienzan" instead of Destructo Disk, etc.), although some of the official English names for the attacks are retained for the broadcast version. Most other names used in the English dub remain the same (i.e. Krillin and Tien Shinhan instead of "Kuririn" and "Tenshinhan"). Less liberty is taken with the script, and episode titles are mostly literal translations of their original Japanese versions. Nicktoons' broadcast originally used Kenji Yamamoto's musical score, however it changed to Shunsuke Kikkuichi's cues after the music plagiarism incident (see "Music" above). The opening theme was retained, although shortened to allow time for more commercials. The broadcast uses Vic Mignogna's version of the theme song for the full run, even though his complete version was only used for Episodes 27 - 39 on the official home video release. The ending theme is usually cut, and the credits are shown in split screen, although a shorter version of the ending has been used on occasion.
The Toonzai kids block on The CW also broadcasts FUNimation's English dub of Dragon Ball Z Kai. Their broadcast contains most of the edits of the Nicktoons version, as well as extra editing to fit the stricter broadcast standards. Like the Nicktoons' broadcast, the Toonzai broadcast featured the Kenji Yamamoto score before being replaced with the Shunsuke Kikuchi score. Aside from the Shenron edit, the opening and closing also remain the same as the Nicktoons broadcast.
The title screen translations are far more similar this time around, but are changed to fit properly into English. Edits have been made to the version appearing on Nicktoons, these include the removal of blood (which sometimes is replaced with black grayish liquid where the blood is supposed to be), overly violent moments, profanity, and others. The CW's Toonzai airings, however, are edited even more so than the Nicktoons version, due to tighter restrictions on broadcast programming. These edits include recoloring Mr. Popo's skin from black to blue, replacing dead characters' halos with glowing orbs, removing virtually all references to death in both dialogue and episode titles and renaming certain special techniques (i.e. Goku's Spirit Bomb renamed as the "Spirit Blast" and Vegeta's Galick Gun as the "Galick Blast"). Also in the beginning of the intro song, Toonzai has edited out Shenron and replaced him with a green colored sky. On Nicktoons, the series aired from May 24, 2010 to February 8, 2013.
On May 25, 2014, FUNimation and Adult Swim announced that the English dub Dragon Ball Z Kai would air uncut on Adult Swim's Toonami block starting in fall 2014. The show began airing at 12:00 AM on November 8, 2014, replacing Bleach. Starting on February 21, 2015, a rerun of the previous weeks episode began airing at 8:00 PM on Saturdays outside of the Toonami block, with a new episode at its 12:00 AM time slot as part of Toonami.
- 159 (total)
- "Dragon Soul" version 1: Ep. 1 to 29
- "Dragon Soul" version 2: Ep. 30 to 54
- "Dragon Soul" version 3: Ep. 55 to 68
- "Dragon Soul" version 4: Ep. 69 to 98
- "Fight it out" (performed by Masatoshi Ono, with the musical composition by Yo Yamazaki and lyrics by Hiroshi Yamada): Ep. 99 to 159 (international version)
- "Airy First and Absolute Last": Ep. 99 to 159 (Japanese version)
- "Yeah! Break! Care! Break!: Ep. 1 to 54
- "Wings of the Heart": Ep. 55 to 98
- "Never give up!!!" by Junear: Ep. 99 to 159 (international version)
- "Dear Zarathustra": Ep. 99 to 111 (Japanese version)
- "Pure Heart": Ep. 112 to 124 (Japanese version)
- "Oh Yeah!!!!!!!": Ep. 125 to 137 (Japanese version)
- "GALAXY": Ep. 138 to 148 (Japanese version)
- "Don't Let Me Down": Ep. 149 to 159 (Japanese version)
- Masako Nozawa as Son Goku, Son Gohan, Son Goten, Bardock, Gotenks & Vegito
- Mayumi Tanaka as Kuririn, Fortuneteller Baba, & Yajirobe
- Hikaru Midorikawa as Tien & Android 16
- Hiroko Emori as Chaozu & Idasam
- Toru Furuya as Yamcha
- Toshio Furukawa as Piccolo
- Ryo Horikawa as Vegeta
- Shino Kakinuma as Videl & Pan
- Takeshi Kusao as Future Trunks & Trunks
- the late Hiromi Tsuru as Bulma, Baby Trunks, Future Bulma & Bra
- Naoko Watanabe as Chi-Chi & Puar
- Masaharu Sato as Master Roshi & Mr. Musuka
- Naoki Tatsuta as Oolong
- Kozo Shioya as Majin Buu, Super Buu & Kid Buu
- Unsho Ishizuka as Mr. Satan
- Aya Hirano as Dende (Young & older)
- the late Daisuke Gori as King Yemma, the Ox King & Porunga
- Hiroko Ushida as Marron
- Joji Yanami as Dr. Brief, King Kai & the Narrator
- Shigeru Nakahara as Android 17
- Miki Ito as Android 18
- the late Ichiro Nagai as Korin
- Yasuhiko Kawazu as Mr. Popo
- the late Takeshi Aono as Kami (until Ep. 66) & Demon King Piccolo
- Yoko Kawanami as Mrs. Brief
- Takahiro Fujimoto as the Turtle
- Yusuke Numata as Gregory
- the late Junpei Takiguchi as the Grand Elder
- Ryoichi Tanaka as Elder Muri & Old Kai
- Taiten Kusunoki as Nail
- the late Kenji Utsumi as Shen Long
- Kumiko Nishihara as Piza
- Kazunari Tanaka as Caroni
- Hisao Egawa as Pirozhki
- Mitsuaki Madono as Sharpner
- Yusuke Numata as Jewel
- Hiroshi Naka as the South Kai
- Yuji Mitsuya as Kibito Kai
- Shin Aomori as Kibito
- Tamotsu Nishiwaki as the world tournament announcer
- Masami Suzuki as Bee (Buu's dog)
- Megumi Urawa as Erasa & Uub
- Shigeru Chiba as Grandpa Son Gohan & Raditz
- Takahiro Fujimoto as Bubbles & Cell Junior
- Tetsu Inada as Nappa
- Ryusei Nakao as Frieza
- Hiroaki Miura as Zarbon
- Takashi Nagasako as Dodoria
- Takahiro Yoshimizu as Appule
- Naoki Imamura as Kui
- Katsuyuki Konishi as Captain Ginyu
- Seiji Sasaki as Recoome
- Masaya Onosaka as Burter
- Daisuke Kishio as Jeice
- Yasuhiro Takato as Guldo
- the late Koji Yada as Dr. Gero
- Yukitoshi Hori as Android 19
- Norio Wakamoto as Cell
- Bin Shimada as Kami & Babidi
- Ryuzaburo Otomo as Porunga, King Cold, Dabura, including the Ox King & King Yemma (Buu saga)
- Sean Schemmel as adult Goku, King Kai, Nail & Vegito
- Colleen Clinkenbeard as Goku (Baby & Child), Young Gohan, Android 18 & Baby Trunks
- Sonny Strait as Kuririn & Bardock
- Christopher Sabat as Grandpa Gohan, Piccolo, Vegeta, Yamcha, Kami, Korin, Porunga, Shenlong, Bubbles, Recoome & Vegito
- John Burgmeier as Tien, Caroni & Gregory
- Brina Palencia as Chaozu & Puar
- Eric Vale as Future Trunks, the world tournament announcer & Trunks (older)
- Mike McFarland as Master Roshi, Yajirobe & Kibito Kai
- Cynthia Cranz as Chi-Chi & Mrs. Briefs
- Monica Rial as Bulma & Future Bulma
- Bryan Massey as Oolong (until the Cell Game Saga)
- Brad Jackson as Oolong (The Final Chapters)
- Kyle Hebert as Gohan (older), the Ox King, Appule & Pirozhki
- Laura Bailey as Young Vegeta, Kid Trunks & Gotenks
- Kara Edwards as Young Goten, Videl & Gotenks
- Robert McCollum as Jewel & Goten (older)
- Linda Young as Frieza (Ep. 1 only), Fortuneteller Baba & Miss Piza
- Mark Stoddard as Dr. Brief
- Maxey Whitehead as Dende
- Chris Cason as Mr. Popo & the Turtle
- Chris Rager as King Yemma & Mr. Satan
- Barry Yandell as Moori
- Bill Jenkins as Grand Elder
- Chuck Huber as Android 17 , Future Android 17 & Kibito
- Jeremy Inman as Android 16
- Jamie Marchi as Idasam
- Duncan Brannan as Sharpner & Babidi
- Tia Ballard as Marron
- Alexis Tipton as Erasa
- Josh Martin as Majin Buu & Kid Buu
- Christopher Bevins as Bee (Buu's dog)
- Susan Huber as Pan
- Megan Woodall as Bulla
- Sean Teague as Uub
- Phil Parsons as Nappa
- Justin Cook as Raditz, Dende (older) & Super Buu
- Chris Ayres as Frieza
- John Swasey as Dodoria
- J. Michael Tatum as Zarbon & Mr. Musuka
- Bill Townsley as Kui
- Robert Bruce Elliot as Captain Ginyu
- Jason Liebrecht as Jeice
- Vic Mignogna as Burter
- Greg Ayres as Guldo
- Jason Douglas as King Cold & the South Kai
- Kent Williams as Dr. Gero & Old Kai
- Todd Haberkorn as Android 19
- Dameon Clarke as Cell
- Rick Robertson as Dabura
- Doc Morgan as the Narrator
- The only series that Sean Schemmel likes voicing Goku because this series dialogue follows the Japanese version overall. He also admires how Masako Nozawa plays the character, Ironically the two met at Comic Con when the series start to air in the U.S.A.
- In the 1st ending credits ("Yeah! Break! Care! Break!"), Launch is shown along with the rest of the cast while all the scenes from Dragon Ball Z she was in were filler that have been cut out from Kai.
- Some (but not all) of the gory moments have been edited to a degree along with nudity. In Dragon Ball Z, when Piccolo fires his Special Beam Cannon at Raditz and Goku, he creates a hole through both of them and a heavy amount of blood is shown. Whereas in Dragon Ball Kai, no blood is seen at all, save for the holes that Piccolo creates in the centers of their bodies. More recently, in the scene where Krillin blasts a hole through Vegeta, only blood stains are seen in Kai while in Dragon Ball Z, there is blood coming out of the hole. Similarly, when Vegeta is executed by Frieza, the beam is not shown when it penetrates his chest. Nudity is notably edited as well such as in the first episode of Dragon Ball Kai, whenever Goku (as a baby) is shown, his genitals are covered up by making objects that he is sitting on appear to be covering his genitals. In a similar manner in episode 4 of Kai, Gohan's genitals are edited as well by using his tail to cover him when he is shrinking from his Great Ape state to his normal self. All these edits are made quite possibly because Japan's television broadcasting laws have become stricter since Dragon Ball Z was first aired.
- In the 48th episode, "The Angry Super Saiyan! Goku Throws Down the Gauntlet!", Goku announces in front of Frieza "I am the Super Saiyan, Son Goku!" This marks the first time in the history of the English version series that Goku has addressed himself by his full name (in Japanese order), "Son Goku".
- The first time where Mayumi Tanaka plays Fortuneteller Baba in this series.
- The first time where Masaharu Sato plays Master Roshi in this series, because Roshi's original voice actor Kohei Miyauchi died on June 2, 1995 after completing his dialogue for DBZ episode 260.
- The first time Yuko Minaguchi doesn't do Videl or Pan because she was living in America at the time DBZ Kai aired in Japan. Due to this Shino Kakinuma had to fill in her. The reason why is because Yugi was learning how to speak English for 15 years.
- The first time where Hikaru Midorikawa plays Tien in this series because Tien's original voice actor Hirotaka Suzuoki died on August 6, 2006. However Hikaru Midorikawa is also known for playing Android 16.
- Daisuke Gori's final role in a Dragon Ball related anime. Because he die on January 17, 2010. Gori committed sucicide three weeks short of his 58th birthday. He did this by sliting his wrists and had bled to death. This was most likely due to diabetes causing retinal detachment, therefore causing his eyesight to deteriorate. Thus, without being about to watch animations and match his voice to how characters spoke. In North America, the voices are recorded prior to animation, but with most animes the animation is done prior to any voice recording. Without sight, Gori was unable to voice act and continue his passion and love in life, resulting in his tragic death. He was well known for playing the Ox-King, Mr. Satan, King Yemma, the turtle, Shenlong & Porunga.
- The first Dragon Ball related anime to not include Brice Armstrong, Meredith McCoy, Monika Antonelli, Phillip Wilburn, Stephanie Nadolny and Tiffany Vollmer in the English version. However McCoy does reprise her role as Android 18 in DBZ movie 14 & 15. Whereas Nadolny reprises her role as Kid Goku and Kid Gohan in DBZ movie 14.
- Even though she inherited the roles of Puar and Chiaotzu in the games, this is Brina Palencia's first time being involved in a Dragon Ball related anime.
- Bill Jenkins, Bryan Massey, Charles Campbell, Chris Ayres, Greg Ayres, Josh Grelle, Kaytha Coker, Mark Orvik, Mark Stoddard, Maxey Whitehead, Monica Passley, John Swasey, Samantha Inoue-Harte and Viktor Walker's first involvement in a Dragon Ball anime.
- This marks the first time that Chris Cason has done the voice of Mr. Popo in the English version of the series since the Frieza Saga episodes of Dragon Ball Z back in 1999.
- Dameon Clarke's first anime involvement in 4 years.
- This marks the first time Frieza has been voiced by a man in the English version since the arcade game DragonBall GT Final Bout.
- Much like Brina Palencia, Todd Haberkorn had already done voice work for the Dragon Ball video games taking over the role of Android 19 beginning with 2009's Dragon Ball: Raging Blast, however, this is the first time he has actually been involved in a Dragon Ball anime.
- Before Dameon Clarke was officially annouced to repraise his role as Cell, Travis Willingham was going to do the voice of the character as he did for the previous video game adaptions.
all information on the Dragon Ball Kai (Anime) came from http://dragonball.wikia.com/wiki/Dragon_Ball_Z_Kai