Some Thoughts On: Dragon Ball Kai (English Dub) Episodes 53-66

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As Goku's fight with Freeza wraps up and the coming of the Artificial Humans begins, the script accuracy begins to falter here and there. In episode 55, there's a scene in which, in Japanese, Bulma wonders if Vegeta has ever worn the type of clothing they (she and other Earthlings) wear. In English, Bulma instead asks if it's possible Vegeta would hold her and her friends hostage to get Goku to return from space. The change irks me for two reasons. One, that's not what Bulma said in the Japanese version, or even close to it. And two, it doesn't make any sense. Vegeta would have to know where Goku is to inform him that he's taken his friends hostage, and she knows he doesn't. The only way Goku would know is if he returned from space, which would negate his need to take hostages. Bulma isn't stupid, and you would have to be to say something like she said in English.

I notice that they put a metallic effect on Freeza's voice while he's on Earth in his cyborg form. It was annoying the first time I heard it but I got used to it. It's strange that Funimation seems to want to do voice effects not included in the original version. The same effect is given to number 19. I wish they would stop pretending to be creative and just do their jobs.

As far as voice acting performances, they continue to be, for the most part, solid. Chris Sabat's Vegeta and Piccolo are both good, both distinct and speak to the characters' personalities without being too "character voice"-ish. Sean Schemmel does a pretty good job at being Goku, though sometimes there's still that grain to his voice I dislike. Clinkenbeard and Rial both continue to shine. Chris Ayres' Freeza is as remarkable as ever. So I have no big complaints for the people still playing who they'd been playing to this point. The quality of voice acting is being maintained there.

Eric Vale returns as Trunks in this tract of episodes, but unfortunately he doesn't sound to well. The voice acting itself is good, but the sound of his voice is grainy and unnatural at times. He sort of settles into the role after 16, 17, and 18 debut. Speaking of the Artificial Humans, Colleen Clinkenbeard is double billed, this time playing 18 in addition to Gohan. I was disappointed when I heard that Meredith McCoy wasn't going to reprise the role of 18, but fortunately Clinkenbeard is excellent in the role. Her delivery is more subtle than McCoy's. Chuck Huber is still solid as 17. Jeremy Inman is still 16, but at least he sounds less stiff this time around.

This group of episodes features Shunsuke Kikuchi's music in the background because the Kenji Yamamoto kerfuffle. Part of me enjoys it and part of me misses Yamamoto's score. But the score is immaterial to the dub's quality since they're using the Japanese music and not making their own.

There's also the second English ED. I think the English version of "Kokoro no Hane" is a good one. It's even similar to the one I made.

Cell is coming!