'Dragon Ball Z Kai' Lets Fans Experience the Excitement of the Show Without the Filler

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author
By

Oct. 3 2022, Published 1:47 p.m. ET

The Dragon Ball franchise is still going strong to this day. The second anime series, Dragon Ball Z, is largely credited for having opened the floodgates for Japanese animation to reach mainstream international audiences in the early 1990s. The franchise has gone on to last for several decades, with new films like Super Hero and games like The Breakers continuing the series' longevity.

Throughout its long and celebrated history, there have been many iterations of the show.

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As an adaptation of Akira Toriyama's original manga, the first Dragon Ball series debuted in 1986. Its landmark successor, Dragon Ball Z, is a direct sequel to the anime that first came out in 1989 and lasted until 1996. Several sequel films and series have been released since then, including the Dragon Ball Super show in 2015.

Though most series are available for streaming, fans are currently wondering where to watch Dragon Ball Z Kai. Let's break down the places you can check out this version of the show.

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Here's where to watch 'Dragon Ball Z Kai'. Can it be streamed?

The initial Dragon Ball Z anime series follows Son Goku as he and a league of fellow "Z-Fighters" defend Earth from a number of extraterrestrial and supernatural threats. More often than not, the Z-Fighters must draw upon the power of the titular Dragon Balls, seven artifacts that, when gathered together, can grant almost any wish.

Though the series is well-remembered for its high-octane fights and memorable characters, it was also infamous for the amount of filler and superfluous visuals made to pad out time. Many still shots and plot points linger for several minutes, resulting in sluggish pacing during pivotal moments of the show.

This is where Dragon Ball Z Kai comes in. This series debuted in 2009 in Japan and 2010 in the U.S.

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Rather than being another separate series, Kai is a remastered version of the original anime. All footage of the show was retooled for HDTV, and many filler episodes and scenes were cut in order to hasten the pacing of the story. The show also features updated theme songs and opening animations.

For many, this series serves as either a definitive way to re-experience Dragon Ball Z or a more digestible entry point for new fans of one of the most popular anime series of all time.

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So where can you watch it? Unfortunately, there aren't many options. Many episodes can be purchased on Amazon through Prime Video for $2.99 an episode or $59.99 for a whole season. You can also purchase the series on physical discs. However, services like Crunchyroll or Hulu currently do not have Kai streaming on their platforms.

If you're a purist who wants to watch Dragon Ball Z in its original form, you can still stream the 1990s version on Crunchyroll and Funimation. Just be prepared to strap in for a lot of lingering close-ups of angry eyes.

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