A few years back, Dragon Ball Kai was broadcast as a remastered version of the Dragon Ball Z series from the Raditz story arc to the Cell events when production stopped due to the Tohoku Earthquake of 2011. This series boasted more vivid colors, updated music and new voice actors to appeal to a new generation of viewers.

Such changes could be seen as improvement, but surely upset some hardcore fans of the original series with the thinking “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, recently even more casual fans are calling the new series a “corruption” of the original after learning that moves were also made to tone down some of Dragon Ball Z’s violence.

Read on to see which classic scene got “cleaned up.”

Much of the attention has centered around the classic final moments of the battle against Raditz. Young Gohan had heroically put a dent in Raditz’s armor which Piccolo could exploit for a deadly makankosappo blast. However, to get a clear shot Goku holds his brother Raditz from behind. Although everyone knew this would mean the death of Goku as well, Piccolo had no choice but to take the shot.

As can see in the following still frames, the makankosappo leaves both Raditz and Goku with gaping bloody holes in their torsos. Gritty as it is, it teaches children a valuable lessons about channeling their life forces into powerful beams of energy.

At least, that’s how things used to be back when Dragon Ball Z first aired. In Dragon Ball Kai we can see that while they were cleaning up the image quality, they also went ahead and wiped off most of the blood. In addition, Goku’s gaping wound was replaced with little more than a scuff mark.

Only this little cut with Raditz’s bleeding mouth was left in. I guess we can assume he bit his tongue during the blast.

Sure, it was only a few seconds, but that kind of tinkering can really dull down the emotional impact for future viewers. It remains to be seen whether the Dragon Ball Kai Majin Bu story arc which airs on Fuji TV from this April will have any kind of censoring, but rest assured cynical eyes will be watching for it. If there’s one thing aging fans like myself like to do, it’s complain about stuff changing.

Source: Gadget Tsushin (Japanese)
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This video shows both Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Kai scenes after about 18 minutes of video game footage.

And this one shows only the Kai scene in several different languages.