The animated version of the manga Dragon Ball was censored several times in the USA, but also in France. Racism, violence, nudity: the reasons are numerous and have sometimes led to at least unusual changes. In fact, the program could end in the middle of a child’s timeframe, which turned out to be unsuitable to say the least, if it is a job that draws its essence from combat!
Master Roshi, the border crosser
Master Roshi, also known as Brilliant Turtle, has never hidden his fondness for beautiful women. He also spends most of his free time reading erotic magazines. The latter were censored in the American version, in which they were replaced by generic magazines.
On several occasions, scenes have shown the old man touching the breasts or buttocks of female protagonists such as Bulma or even C-18. The desire of the Japanese to do a real hentai – perverse – obviously didn’t like the United States. In fact, these scenes are similar to sexual harassment and have been edited accordingly.
THE FALL OF MONSIEUR POPO
Mr. Popo is probably the most controversial character in the entire series. Indeed, his features are coarse, suggesting a caricature of black people, when ignorance and stupidity led many people to consider them an “inferior race”.
The picture speaks for itself. Black petroleum skin and big red lips: everything is there and reminds of the practice of blackface. In the American version of the anime, his character was therefore colored blue, which fixes the racist problem, but not that of ridicule! The very similar Lippoutou Pokémon had also undergone a color change from black to purple.
Violence, yes, but no blood
Despite the extreme violence of some fight scenes, it was common practice in the American versions of Dragon Ball to remove the blood or stain it, which could lead to surprising results to say the least. Ultra-muscular warriors dripping with sweat (or plasma, it all depends on your perspective) make you want to go!
Alcohol is water
When this happens relatively infrequently, it happens to our dear colleagues on the Z-Team to enjoy a good pint of blonde with friends between two planetary bailouts.
Beer in the children’s program? You know the rest: Immediate censorship, the precious golden liquid has therefore been replaced by blue.
The hole in Goku’s chest
At the end of the first arc of Dragon Ball Z, Goku has to hold back his brother Raditz while Piccolo prepares his famous Makankosappo. After the overwhelmed laser went through both of them, Goku had a gaping hole in his chest.
The particularly violent injury failed the test of American censorship. Would the young audience have appreciated this terrible scene? Nothing is less certain …
The massacre of the innocent: Nappa et Vegeta, Dodoria
Prior to their clash with Goku, the former vicious duo took great pleasure in destroying multiple cities, killing many innocent citizens in the process.
Instead of this outbreak of violence, the Americans have instead opted for dialogues that mention the evacuation of one city and the alleged desertion of another “because it was a Sunday”. We will have found more convincing! Likewise, the scene in which Dodoria literally stabs a poor Namek in the plexus has been replaced with a simple slap in the back.
Recoomes middle finger
Even a trivial gesture can prove to be subject to censorship. This is the case with this middle finger of the Ginyu team member destined for Goku! Too much did you say
Mr. Satan’s name has been changed
Everything is in the title. Lord Satan has therefore been renamed Hercules!
Trunks shows her bum, not nudity
Vegeta’s son is definitely an incorrigible rascal. Even in the face of overwhelmed enemies like the legendary Sayajin Broly, he doesn’t hesitate to drop his pants to anger her.
To solve the problem, the parade consisted of enlarging the face of small tribes. In the same genre, all the nude scenes have been modified and sometimes decorative elements such as plants have been added.
dead yes, but no body!
When Team Z faces a multitude of enemies who are stronger than the others, it happens that some don’t survive long. This brings us to iconic deaths like yamchas, the source of many memes.
Unfortunately, it was not possible for Americans to participate in this famous Yamcha-style PLS. Instead, an empty crater was left behind. When we die, we disappear.
Trip to hell
When Goku dies, he can be seen in “heaven”, a kind of parallel world in which he is forced to run a marathon on a cloudy road. Once accidentally fallen – despite numerous warnings – our hero finds himself in hell in the company of demons with large muscles.
The demons in question wore tank tops marked with a single “HELL”. It took no less to censor: Inhabitants of Hell “dragonballesque” ended up wearing tank tops with the stamp “HFIL”, which supposedly meant “Home For Infinite Loosers”!
During the opening of the gates of hell, many bad guys were allowed to return to earth. Among them was Hitler himself! Depending on the version, it could be found without certain distinguishing features (including the swastika) or completely absent in the episodes.
no halo on the head
Officially deceased characters can reappear on Earth, with a halo indicating their “guest” status. In the United States, these were replaced by simple flares.
Dragon Ball Super and French censorship
After a little tour of the “best” American censors of Dragon Ball Z, it’s time to get interested in Dragon Ball Super. This new anime was released by the Toonami channel in 2017 and has usually not escaped. Among the censors listed: a small sequence in which blood is erased, the battle of the tribes “shortened” to a minimum, the scene from Tortoise Géniale in which the latter asks “if it is possible to buy videos of busty young girls “.
The fights between Beerus and Goku weren’t spared either, as evidenced by several censored scenes from episode 11, such as the “cartoon brawl” (see image above) or the huge ball of energy that Goku owes. Hold back with your hands. In total, almost thirty passages were censored by the station, only between episodes 1 and 12.
The latter defended themselves by appealing to the youth of the public, but broadcast the consequences in their original version following complaints from the community. Scolding is good sometimes!