Team Four Star has just finished wrapping up abridging the best season of Dragon Ball Z (The Cell Saga) and pretty much established the web series as the best way to really watch the Dragon Ball Z series for both newcomers and fans of the original dub.
Now, this doesn’t mean I’m poo-poo-ing on Christopher Sabat or Sean Schemmel, who have done an awesome job bringing the characters to life for most of my childhood. However, now when I think of Goku’s voice, I don’t just think of Schemmel, but I also hear MasakoX/ Lawrence Simpson as well. They have both become my Goku, just as Lanipator/Nick Landis have been dueling with Sabat and it’s not because one is better, it’s because of the writing.
Team Four Star gets Dragon Ball in the ways only people who genuinely love the show, character, and universe can. Hearing Vegeta scream, “MY BABY BOY” when Trunks is killed by Cell is one of the most glorious things. The Krillin counter, the Piccolo/Gohan relationship, Mr. Popo being the evilest creature in the universe, and Cell just being so deliciously extra.
As someone who genuinely cries over Vegeta’s character journey in the series, it is often hard to get new people into DBZ because it is both notorious for being long, having filler and being so well known that people think they get all of it without having to watch the series.
What DBZ Abridged does is give you the best crash course into the franchise by having a very character driven narrative with a lot of jokes and a real Rick & Morty sense of talking about the universe. The humor is based around DBZ fandom thoughts and meta that have been circulating around the franchise for decades, so much of it is public domain information.
In this current season with Cell, it hits all the important moments of Gohan’s emotional journey, which I’ve talked about before, but also the subtle ways that Goku really cares about his son, despite his denseness being played up slightly more than canon. Slightly. It gets the universal and emotional stories that the original wants to tell and tells them. Plus, with the series being decades old at this point, they are able to really cut out filler in a way that only a fan could.
DBZA is a labor of love, and you see that with every joke, the voice acting, and the time taken to make each edit work seamlessly into the next. It is a triumph of storytelling and modernizes the series for viewers today.
If you want to get your friends into Dragon Ball Z, after the manga itself, this is the #1 way to go.
Let us know your favorite DB/DBZ/DBZA moments down below. We know we have quite a few.
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