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Akira Toriyama with his pet cat, Koge (1987)

The French dub is the dub that most European dubs of the Dragon Ball franchise are based on.


The series first aired in France on March 16, 1988,[1] making it the first European country (and the second International country after Hong Kong, which aired on merely 1-2 weeks before, February 21, 1988) to dub the series. Dragon Ball GT also first aired in the country in 1999.

Dub history and impact

S.O.F.I., the dubbing studio in charge of the French dubs (pre-Kai), was notorious for childish script adaptation choices, sub-par translations, frequent censorship, and cost-cutting tactics. Unfortunately, the dubs for the various Dragon Ball series were no exceptions. Further compounding the misfortune is that this dub's audio, visual, and script materials were what most other European countries received for their dubs of Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT.

The dub is known for its infamous changes (which the AB Groupe dub, or the "Big Green" dub, heavily draws from), such as Goku always being called Sangoku/Son Goku. Likewise, Gohan and Goten are called Sangohan/Son Gohan and Sangoten/Son Goten 24/7, the Saiyans are renamed to "Space Warriors" (Guerriers de l'espace) and then "Super Warriors" once they go Super Saiyan, Piccolo is renamed "Petit Cœur" (Small Heart), Kami is renamed "Tout Puissant" or "Dieu" (God, the meaning of "Kami") and although Vegeta's name is the same, it's spelled Végéta and pronounced differently (Ve-ji-tuh), hence why the "Big Green" dub decided to name Vegeta that. Goku is never called "Kakarot" (as a result, Vegito is called "Vegeku") and the Androids are accurately called "cyborgs", but just with C's (i.e. C-18). Turles is called "Thales", Trunks' name is pronounced as "Trunk", and Marron is called "Maron" (Maron herself is named "Marlene"). Additionally, Frieza is localized as "Freezer", Majin Buu is called Boubou, and Gotenks is called Gotrunks. Also, the Dragon Balls were called the "Crystal Balls". For some reason, scouters are called "Detectors" (or "Portable computers", as seen in The Tree of Might), something that would carry over through the other European dubs. Also, since French dubbing rates are calculated according to how many lines of dialogue an actor records--and screams/vocal efforts are counted as lines--the French dub would save money by occasionally not dubbing several of the screams of the characters (in effect allowing people who have never watched the Japanese version to hear the voices).

This version is also more emotional than the original Japanese version, as Goku/Bardock calls their sons "son" and Android 16's dying speech before he's killed by Cell is also more sorrowful. Other than that, some lines, such as Goku's "Super Saiyan" speech, make no sense (Goku is even more ruthless in this version, stating that he's a heartless man who only cares about his friends. He also adds "I summon the power of Kaio! Transformation!" during the "I am the Super Saiyan, Son Goku!" portion).

Interestingly, although in the original version of the show, Vegito and Gotenks had two voices, in the French dub, they are both played by one actor. (It made sense for Gotenks, as Goten and Trunks themselves were played by the same actress around this time)

This is also where Cui's infamous "look behind you!" remark to Vegeta originates from.

This version has been used in several European countries such as Germany, Austria, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, Belgium (Wallonia region), Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Poland and Greece (Buu Saga). The French version was also broadcast in Ivory Coast, Senegal, Niger, Burkina Faso, French Polynesia and Canada.

The first half of the Dragon Ball Z was subjected to major and very inconsistent censorship. Many violent scenes got removed altogether, thus messing up the pacing and leading to plot holes. The death of several characters got cut either partially or entirely, though on numerous occasions, episode recaps and flashbacks still showed these scenes unedited. However, none of Gohan's nudity or any references to Hell, religious figures, and talk of death got removed, because these were still seen as suitable for young children, the target audience of the French version. After the Frieza Saga, the censorship radically decreased, and no material was cut from the entirety of the Buu Saga, including gore, sexual references and character's flipping off others. Instead, the dialogue was rewritten to sound more childish and easy to understand, and in particular, Master Roshi's lines were changed to remove all sexual references (even when the animation clearly showed what he was really talking about). The French dub is also notorious for its careless and error-filled translation work and irritating, childish voice acting, which was sadly carried over to all other dubs that used it as a basis.

Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball first aired in France on March 16, 1988 as an programming of the Club Dorothée block with the censored version. The French themes for Dragon Ball was performed by Ariane Carletti. The song is about the fight between good and evil, the search for crystal balls and the characters of Gokor and Bulle and the evil Torak. In 1995, a new version of former Dragon Ball intro was created with Ariane participation. In the new version, the names of the characters have been changed to Goku, Bulma and Tao Pai Pai. Series was later aired on NT1, TMC Monte Carlo, AB1, Mangas, MCM, Game One and Direct Star.

Dragon Ball Z first aired in France on December 24, 1990 and ended in November 23, 1996, also in the same channel and also censored version. The French themes for Dragon Ball Z was also performed by Ariane Carletti. In 1995, Ariane created remix of Dragon Ball Z song which was later used in intro. For some reason, most characters have the same voice actors. It was later aired on several French TV channels and gained a high success, but was censored even more than the first airing on Club Dorothée on TF1.

During Dragon Ball Z's original airing on Club Dorothée, the anime series was the subject of controversy for its violence. This resulted in episode 274 being the last the air, on November 23, 1996, one year before the end of the block. However, the rest of the episodes would be released on VHS.

When Dragon Ball GT aired in France, the unexpected cancellation of Dragon Ball Z there resulted in many confusing continuity errors, with some exceptions, such as Super/Kid Buu being destroyed by Goku's Spirit Bomb being shown as one of the flashbacks in the final episode.

Voice cast

  • Sangoku/Son Goku (bébé/enfant), Sangoku/Son Goku (Adulte; Dragon Ball), Sangohan/Son Gohan (enfant), Sangoten/Son Goten (enfant), Végéta (enfant), Trunks (bébé enfant), Gotenks, Kaio Shin, Chi-Chi (kid; as replacement in Dragon Ball), C-18 (Android 18), Maron (Krillin's daughter), Videl: Brigitte Lecordier
  • Sangoku/Son Goku (Adulte): Thierry Redler (First 10 episodes)
  • Son Goku (Adulte), Végéta (Vegeta) (1st voice), Bardock (Baddack), Zabon, C-16 (Android 16), Jeese (Jeice), Sharpner, Majin Boo, Future Sangohan/Son Gohan, Sangohan/Son Gohan (Present; as teen; one episode): Patrick Borg
  • Végéta/Vegeta, King Vegeta, Yamcha, Mr. Popo, Tsuru Sennin (Crane Hermit), Martial Arts Tournament Announcer, C-16 (Android 16), C-17 (Android 17), Nail, Dende (adult), Vegeto, Sharpner, Tambourine, Sergeant Murasaki: Éric Legrand
  • Sangohan/Son Gohan, Krillin (replacement voice; as children): Jacky Berger
  • Sangohan/Son Gohan (teen and adult/EoZ), Future Trunks/EoZ Trunks: Mark Lesser
  • Sangoten/Son Goten (replacement) Videl (replacement voice) Maron: Annabelle Roux
  • Sangoten/Son Goten (Teen), Oob: David Lesser
  • Trunks (Older; 2nd replacement voice), Mr. Satan, C-16/Android 16 (episode 152 only), Dabra/Dabura: Fredéric Bouraly
  • Petit Cœur (Piccolo), Démon Piccolo (King Piccolo/Piccolo Daimao), Freezer (Freeza), West Kaio, Tenshinhan (Alternate voice), Oolong, Yajirobe, Babidi: Philippe Ariotti
  • Krillin, Dende (child), Little Trunks (replacement), East Kaio, Puerh (Puar), Upa, Mrs. Brief, Lunch/Launch: Claude Chantal)
  • Tenshinhan, Narrator, Nappa, Colonel Black, Shu: Georges Atlas
  • Cell, Dr. Gero, Narrator, Mr. Brief (Dr. Briefs), King Enma (King Yemma), Reacum (Recoome), Gyumao (Ox-King), Turtle,  Colonel Black, Ginyu, Mr. Popo, Tao Pai Pai, General Red (Commander Red), Various Characters: George Lycan
  • C-16 (Android 16), C-17 (Android 17): Thierry Bourdon
  • Chi-Chi, Aralé, Bulma, Chaozu, Master Karin (Korin), Erasa: Céline Monsarrat
  • Commander Blue (General Blue), Commandant White (General White), General Red (Commander Red), Grandpa Gohan, Kams Sennin/Master Roshi, Baba, Kibito, Tout-Puissant (Kami), Piccolo, Old Kaioshin: Pierre Trabaud
  • Oolong (1st voice), C-8 (Android 8), Master Karin (1st voice), Nam, Bacterian, Bola (Bora): Raoul Delfosse
  • Chi-Chi (Kid and adult in Dragon Ball), Mai, Lunch/Launch: Virginie Ledieu
  • Puerh (Dragon Ball): Jacqueline Staup
  • Mai, Lunch/Launch: Laurence Crouzet
  • Raditz, Draculaman: Gérard Surugue
  • Kamé Sennin (Master Roshi: Jean-Louis Costes)
  • Chi-Chi, Bulma (replacement voices): Stéphanie Murat
  • Pan: Julie Turin

Dragon Ball GT

Dragon Ball GTwas to be broadcast on the same channel as previous one from 1997. Bernard Minet even created an intro but unfortunately, the series was not aired there. Dragon Ball GT was first aired in France in 1999 with the same intro as the Japanese one. The series was broadcast on NT1, TMC Monte Carlo, RTL9, Mangas, MCM, Game One. Judging from the sounds, it sounds like most of the screams in this version are dubbed, unlike the French versions of DB and DBZ. However, most of the actors from Dragon Ball Z only returned for 1 or 2 episodes (Goten even had a new voice actor who only voiced him for 1 or 2 episodes). Most of the cast have been replaced except for Brigitte Lecordier, Céline Monsarrat, Thierry Redler (Goku for the 1st 10 episodes of DBZ) and Julie Turin (Pan). Gérard Surugue (Dracula Man and Shu in Dragon Ball, and Raditz in Dragon Ball Z) is also present, but voiced Master Roshi and Frieza. Other than those, no other voice actor from the French dub of Dragon Ball Z reprised their roles except for Eric Legrand and Mark Lesser, but only for the first three episodes, and the first near the end of the series. Antoine Nouel, who sometimes voiced Android 17, now voices Trunks and Mr. Satan.

Voice cast

  • Sangoku/Son Goku, Giru, C-18/Android 18, Videl, Sangoku/Son Goku Jr.: Brigitte Lecordier
  • Adult Goku (1st episode), Giru (1st voice), Baby: Thierry Redler
  • Adult/SS4 Goku, Krillin, Dr. Gero: Thierry Mercier
  • Pan: Julie Turin
  • Trunks, Mr. Satan, Pilaf, General Rildo: Antoine Nouel
  • Vegeta (1st 2 episodes), Vegeta Jr,: Eric Legrand
  • Vegeta: Luke Boulad
  • Sangohan/Son Gohan, Oob: Mark Lesser (1st 2 episodes), Sébastien Desjours
  • Sangoten/Son Goten (1st 2 episodes), Master Kaio (King Kai), Majin Boo, Petit Cœur/Piccolo: Marc Bretonnière
  • Sangoten/Son Goten, Android 17, Kibitokai: Vincent Barazzoni
  • Bra (Bulla), Mai, Palace/Valese (Goten's girlfriend): Naïke Fauveau
  • Chi-Chi, Bulma: Céline Monsarrat
  • Tortue Géniale (Master Roshi), Freezer: Gérard Surugue
  • Shenlong/Shenron, Narrator: Serge Bourrier
  • Narrator, Professor Myu (Dr. Myu)
  • Palace/Valese: Joëlle Guigui (Baby Saga only)
  • Mr. Popo: Claude Dasset

Movies and TV Specials

Movies and TV Specials have been also distributed in France. Many of them were exported to other countries just like the series. They were also the basis for the creation of Big Green Dub.

Dragonball Evolution hit theaters on April 1, 2009.

Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball movies appeared in the edited version in 1990 and the normal version in 1995.

Dragon Ball Z

The intros used by Dragon Ball Z movies are very different like a DBZ anime intro with the same song but re-recorded, also by Ariane, original Cha-La Head-Cha-La, French remix song Kamehameha or We Gotta Power.

Dragon Ball GT

Dragon Ball Z Kai

In 2011, Dragon Ball Z Kai first aired in France on Nickelodeon, like how the U.S first aired it on Nicktoons, but since it's a kids' channel, it was censored, but in January 2012, the uncensored dub aired on a channel called Game One and even aired Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters and the last episode aired on February 3, 2016. This version aired the Kikuchi music due to this dub airing after the Yamamoto lawsuit.

Dub fixes

This French dub is more accurate than the original DBZ dub, as the scripts are more faithful to the original. Several of the characters' names are fixed too; such as Goku is called "Goku" on several occasions instead of "Sangoku" (same thing with Gohan and Goten, who went from Sangohan/Sangoten to Gohan and Goten). Kami is still called "Tout-Puissant", however, this is because it means "Almighty", Piccolo is called "Piccolo" instead of "Petit Cœur", the Saiyans go from being called "Space Warriors" to "Sayens" (pronounced "Sai-yen"), probably based on the international name (Saiyan), but more accurate than "Space Warriors". Trunks' name is now pronounced correctly. Vegeta now calls Goku "Kakarot" instead of "Son Goku". The actors now dub their screams as well. Majin Buu is simply called "Boo". It even sounds like the Dragon Balls are called the Dragon Balls instead of the Crystal Balls, and Shenron is called "Shenlong" like in the original Japanese version.

Cast changes

Unlike GT, most of the cast for Dragon Ball Z reprised their roles, but there are some actors who didn't. For example, Georges Atlas (Tien Shinhan, the Narrator for the first 34 episodes and more) died in 1996, Georges Lycan (the Narrator, Cell and more) died in 2006, Pierre Trabaud (who also voiced Kamé Sennin/Master Roshi, Master Kaio/King Kai and others) died in 2005, and Claude Chantal did not return as Krillin. However, there were certain actors that returned, but chose not to voice certain characters. For example, Céline Monsarrat went from voicing Chi-Chi and Erasa to Bulma, Brigitte Lecordier reprises her roles as Goku (Kid), Gohan (Kid), Goten (Kid), C-18 and Infant Trunks, but she did not voice Videl and Kid Trunks, and Philippe Arroti reprises his roles as Piccolo, Oolong and Frieza, but not Yajirobe, and Mark Lesser voices Future Trunks and Adult (in the End of 'Z' Saga) Gohan but not Adult Trunks, he is voiced by Antoine Nouel, who voiced him in GT. It's unknown why this is, as both Trunks look exactly the same. Also, some reason, Goten is still voiced by Lecordier in the End of 'Z' Saga, instead of a male actor like David Lesser (Goten and Uub), but Bulla and Erasa are also now voiced by Lecordier. Antoine Nouel also voices Zarbon instead of Patrick Borg. The voice of Shin also is no longer done by Lecordier. Most of the cast changes that didn't involve death were probably due to wanting the expand the cast and not make the cast look so small. For the fusion characters, Vegito and Gotenks, they used one actor, but a double echo effect to make it sound like two characters.

Voice cast

  • Goku, Bardock, Boo: Patrick Borg
  • Vegeta, Yamcha, Mr. Popo, Cell Games Cameraman, Martial Arts Tournament Announcer, Vegeto: Éric Legrand
  • Goku (Kid), Gohan (Kid), Cyborg-18, Goten (Kid and Teen), Gotenks, Erasa, Bra: Brigitte Lecordier
  • Trunks (Kid): Anouck Hautbois
  • Future Trunks, Teen and Adult/EoZ Gohan: Mark Lesser
  • EoZ Trunks, Cyborg-19, Shenron, Gregory, Raditz, Zarbon, Dabra: Antoine Nouel
  • Cyborg-17: Thierry Bourdon
  • Piccolo, Freezer, Oolong, Babidi: Philippe Arroti
  • Krillin: Monique Nevers
  • Tenshinhan, Yajirobe, Cyborg-16, Dr. Brief, Guymaoh (Gyumao/Ox-King), Nail, Enma/King Yemma, Bora, Mighty Mask, Ottokoski, Pintar, Spopovich, Additional Voices: Marc Bretonnière
  • Chi-Chi, Puar, Videl: Jennifer Fauveau
  • Bulma, Chaozu, Baba, Master Karin: Céline Monsarrat
  • Master Kaio/King Kai, Tortue Géniale (Master Roshi), Burter, Guldo, Cyborg-8, Mokekko, Old Kaio-Shin: Gilbert Levy
  • Dende, Bulma's Mom, Pizza (Ms. Piiza): Marie Millet
  • Cell, Cyborg-20: Julien Kramer
  • Mr. Satan: Frédéric Bouraly
  • Ginyu: Emmanuel Karsen
  • Nappa, Dodoria, Grandpa Gohan: Eric Peter
  • Narrator, Tout-Puissant (Kami): Michel Ruhl
  • Reecom: Thierry Mercier
  • Cyborg-17 (episode 163), Kaio Shin, Sharpner, Upa: Vincent de Bouard
  • Pui Pui: Renaud Durand
  • Idasa: Philippe Siboulet
  • Killar: Franck Sportis
  • Jeece: Benoît Dupac
  • Additional Voices: Brigitte Virtudes

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods

The French dub of this movie was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on February 11, 2015, like in the English dub, the cast is mostly the same from Kai, with Beerus and Whis as new characters, as well as the Pilaf Gang as kids.

New characters

  • Beerus: Bruno Magne
  • Whis: Bruno Méyère
  • Pilaf: Benjamin Pascal
  • Mai: Joséphine Ropion
  • Shu: Stéphane Marais

Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’

This movie first came out on June 29, 2015. The cast is the same as in Battle of Gods, but introduces Jaco into the Dragon Ball world as well as some of Frieza's minions.

New characters

  • Jaco: Benjamin Pascal
  • Sorbet: Antoine Nouel
  • Tagoma: Stéphane Marais
  • Shisami: Marc Bretonnière

Dragon Ball Super

Dragon Ball Super has been licensed in Toei Animation Europe as of January 17, 2017 and both censored and uncensored version (in PAL speedup version) airs on Toonami France, and then on NT1 in NTSC uncut version. The cast is mostly the same from Kai and the recent movies, but Bikini is now voiced by Marie Giraudon instead of Marie Millet.

As of October 2019, all episodes were dubbed and aired in France.

Recasts/New characters

  • Champa, Piroshki: Marc Brettonière


  • In 1995, Bernard Minet performed a song about Dragon Ball Z called Dragon Ball et Dragon Ball Z.
  • The scenes with The Dictator were completely removed in the French dub of Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn.
  • According to an interview with Japan Expo 2008, Patrick Borg (the French voice of Adult Goku) confirmed that he was not called in to voice Adult Goku in GT.
  • For some reason, Goku is still voiced by Brigitte Lecordier (his child voice actress) by the end of Dragon Ball, rumors say it's because the script editors or dub directors didn't know Goku had grown up.
    • Or perhaps they wanted Adult Goku to sound like his Japanese self.
  • Similarly, in Dragon Ball Z Kai, by the "End of Z" (Ep. 166), Goten, a 17-year old teenager is still voiced by Brigitte Lecordier (again, his voice actress as a child), it's unknown why this decision was made, as he was voiced by a male VA, David Lesser in the original Z dub.
  • It is also unknown why EoZ Trunks in Kai and Trunks in GT are voiced by Antoine Nouel instead of Mark Lesser (GT episodes 2/3 to be more specific), seeing although they're from different futures, as they look almost identical.
  • The voice actress of Pan reprised her role for GT.