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Akira Toriyama with his pet cat, Koge (1987)

The Latin American Spanish dub is a Spanish dub of the Dragon Ball anime series that has been broadcast in several countries such as Mexico, Dominican Republic, South and Central America.

It was based on the Harmony Gold English version for the first Dragon Ball dub; on Japanese version on Fuji TV for the second Dragon Ball dub, as well as the Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT dubs, Funimation's censored version for TV (broadcast on Nicktoons USA) in Dragon Ball Z Kai dub (Until Cell Saga), and international versions (non-Japanese) for Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters (Majin Buu Arc) and Japanese version on DVD for Dragon Ball Super.

Licensing

Zero y el Dragón Mágico was the first Dragon Ball meta series to arrive in Latin America. Initially, it was licensed and distributed by Bandai.

This first attempt to commercialize Dragon Ball in Latin America was a failure. Because of this, in order to not make the same mistake again, and in the interest of producing dubs for the Dragon Ball series that were on par with the Spanish dub of Saint Seiya (considered one of the best Spanish dubs of its time) produced by Cloverway Inc., Bandai decided to transfer license of the Dragon Ball anime series to Cloverway. This meant Cloverway would produce redubbing of Dragon Ball and dubbing the rest of the series, including the dubbing of the following series (Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT). Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT became extremely popular throughout Latin America, and the Spanish dubs for them were extremely well-received, with the dub casts becoming legends within the anime and voice acting community.

In 2005, after the arrival of Toei Animation Inc. in the United States, all licenses of series produced by Toei and that Cloverway was responsible for distribution, were transferred to the new subsidiary of Toei Animation for the continent.

Dragon Ball Z Kai was licensed in 2010 by Toei Animation Inc. for Latin America, and the dub for it was broadcast on Cartoon Network and Televisia. This dub was produced by Candiani Dubbing Studios. But instead of using the original Japanese version, Toei provided the Nicktoons-censored, English-dubbed version to Candiani. As the result of a reduced budget compared to the Cloverway dub of Dragon Ball Z, Candiani was forced to pay their voice actors on a "per-loop" (with a "loop" meaning the typical group of 1-3 sentences at a time that an actor would dub) basis. This was different from the more lucrative "per-episode" rate structure that Cloverway paid the dub cast for the Cloverway dub. This resulted in Candiani failing to come to a pay agreement with original voices of Dragon Ball Z, which included Mario Castañeda (Goku), Carlos Segundo (Piccolo), René García (Vegeta), Laura Torres (Gohan), and Ricardo Hill (King Kai), who therefore did not reprise their respective roles. This was also true for José Luis Castañeda (Nappa and Dr. Gero), Sergio Bonilla (Future Trunks), Jesús Colín (Master Roshi) (the former two had retired from dubbing and Colín died a month after the series' premiere), and the latter was never able to be contacted). Gerardo Reyero (Frieza) also did not return, claiming that he was undergoing personal issues at the time. As a result, most of the cast had to be replaced.

Since this dub was based on the censored Nicktoons airing of FUNimation's English dub, the Spanish dub inherited all of the visual and audio edits of that dub (even including the English episode title cards). Furthermore, the Spanish dub's scripts were adapted from the English dialogue heard in the Nicktoons version rather than the original Japanese dialogue, in effect making the Spanish dub of Dragon Ball Z Kai a "dub of a dub." The director of the dub, Irwin Daayán, decided to use the names and pronunciations of the Spanish dub of Dragon Ball Z whenever possible (so Piccolo was still called "Piccoro," and "Spirit Bomb" was still called "Genki-Dama," for example). This was appreciated by the Spanish fandom, but it only did so much to dissuade their anger over most of the beloved original cast being replaced--and with voice actors who sounded more like the English dub cast than the original Spanish dub cast of DBZ.

Because of all these factors, Dragon Ball Z Kai received very harsh criticism, and was widely rejected and boycotted by the fans. Its reception was so negative that Toei ended the distribution on their own accord, and left the Cell Saga unfinished. When it was confirmed that The Final Chapters would be dubbed, they used almost all of the original cast of the Cloverway dub in order to avoid a repeat of the intense negative criticism they received for the dub of the previous episodes of Kai. Like the previous episodes, the scripts, audio masters, and visual masters of the Spanish dub of The Final Chapters were based on FUNimation's English dub, although this time it was at least uncensored since no censored version of the English dub was produced for The Final Chapters.

When the Spanish dub for Dragon Ball Super was produced, it used almost all of the original cast from the Cloverway dub of Dragon Ball Z. Like the dub of DBZ--and unlike the dub of Kai--this dub was based directly on the original Japanese version, allowing for more accurate script adaptations.

Dub History

Zero y el Dragón Mágico

Zero y el Dragón Mágico was the Dragon Ball first dub. It was dubbed in Video Doblajes. 60 episodes and the first movie were dubbed. It was based on the Harmony Gold English Dub.

Just as in the United States, some names were changed. Goku was Zero, Krillin was Cachito, Bulma was Lena, Yamcha was Zedaki, Oolong was Mao Mao and Tien Shinhan was Shinto.

For the first 5 episodes, the Harmony Gold version was used (who were heavily censored), but, starting with episode 6 until episode 60 the Japanese version was used and dubbed uncut.

Casting
  • Kid Goku: Elsa Covian 
  • Krillin: Ana María Grey
  • Bulma: Laura Ayala
  • Yamcha: Rafael Rivera
  • Oolong: Ricardo Tejedo
  • Master Roshi: Ernesto Casillas
  • Tien Shinhan: Armando Coria

Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT

Cloverway's logo

Intertrack logo

A second Dragon Ball dub was originally licensed, produced, and distributed by Cloverway Inc. (A Toei Animation agent in America).

The first 60 episodes were redubbed using the same script as the previous dub, but at Televisa petition (the TV network that broadcasted the first dub) to Cloverway, some significant dialogues were changed and removing some scenes that weren't censored in Zero y el Dragón Mágico dub, including character names (like Chi-Chi is renamed Milk). Starting with episode 61, the dub was uncut.

The dubbing was done in Producciones Salgado for the first 60 episodes, and moved to Intertrack, starting with episode 61.

Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, the Dragon Ball Z movies (except Battle of Gods), two Dragon Ball Z TV specials, and the Dragon Ball GT TV special were also dubbed on Intertrack.

This is some on the main cast of Cloverway dubbing:

  • Kid Goku/ Young Gohan/Kid Goten/Goku Jr: Laura Torres
  • Goku/Bardock: Mario Castañeda
  • Gohan: Luis Alfonso Mendoza
  • Bulma: Rocío Garcel (Dragon Ball/Early DBZ)/Mónica Manjarrez/Laura Ayala (briefly during the Buu Saga) 
  • Chi-Chi (Milk): Patricia Acevado 
  • Master Roshi: Jesús Colín
  • King Kai/Dr. Briefs: Ricardo Hill
  • Krillin: Rossy Aguirre (kid and adult in Dragon Ball; DBZ until somewhere in Frieza Saga)/Eduardo Garza/Luis Daniel Ramírez (Buu Saga)
  • Tien Shinhan: Ismael Larumbe
  • Yamcha: Ricardo Mendoza
  • Oolong: Ernesto Lamaza/Arturo Mercado (only in Buu Saga)
  • King Piccolo/Mr. Popo/Kami (Piccolo Daimakú/Señor Popó/Kamisama): Carlos Segundo
  • Dende: Irwin Daayán
  • Yajirobe: Araceli de León/Luis Daniel Ramírez/José Arenas
  • Vegeta: René García
  • Frieza: Gerardo Reyero
  • Cell: Ricardo Burst
  • Future Trunks (Trunks del Futuro Alterntaivo)/EoZ Trunks/Trunks (GT): Sergio Bonilla
  • Majin Buu (Majin Boo)/Recoome/Dodoria: Mario Sauret
  • Pilaf: Yamil Atala
  • Videl/Mai: Carola Vázques
  • Kid Trunks (Niño Trunks): Gaby Willer
  • Goten: Victor Ugarte
  • Uub: Luis Daniel Ramírez
  • Pan: Circe Luna
  • Shen Long: Abel Rocha
  • Bra: Isabel Martiñon

Dragon Ball Z Kai

Dragon Ball Z Kai was dubbed on Candiani Dubbing Studios. Some actors redubbed their characters, however, new actors dubbed some main characters as Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, and Piccolo, but some V.A.'s who didn't return as characters for the original Buu Saga came back, like Eduardo Garza as Krillin and Rocío Garcel as Bulma, but Yajirobe is later voiced by Luis Daniel Ramírez. The dub was based on Nicktoons' censored version for TV instead of Japanese version. 

Recast
  • Goku (Gokú): Edson Matus
  • Piccolo: Idzi Dutkiewicz
  • Gohan: Karina Altamirano
  • Vegeta: Andrés Gutiérrez Coto
  • Trunks: Luis Fernando Orozco
  • Master Roshi: Jorge Roig
  • Fortuneteller Baba: Magda Giner
  • Nappa: Héctor Reynoso
  • King Kai: Leonardo García
  • Bubbles: Javier Olguín
  • Kami: César Arias
  • Mr. Popo: Jorge Palafox
  • Frieza (Freezer): Dafnis Fernández
  • Puar: Karen Vallejo
  • Yajirobe (until Frieza Saga): Mariana Ortiz
  • Bardock/Ginyu: Octavio Rojas
  • Burter: José Gilberto Vilchis
  • Recoome/Cell: Salvador Reyes
  • Guldo: Ricardo Mendoza
  • Jeice: José Luis Reza
  • Dodoria: Armando Coria
  • Nail/Android 19: Roberto Mendiola
  • Porunga: Rubén Moya
  • Dr. Gero: Guillermo Coria
  • Android 16 (Androide Número 16): Marco Guerrero
  • Android 17 (Androide Número 17): Rolando de la Fuente
  • Android 18 (Androide Número 18): Jocelyn Robles
  • Mr. Satan: Bardo Miranda

Dragon Ball Z Kai was a failure, because the change of voices of new characters and the censorship of Nicktoons' censored version for TV. In May 19, 2014, Majin Boo Saga was confirmed by Toei Animation.

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (Dragon Ball Z: La Batalla de Los Dioses)

Only a few months after the Japanese release, Battle of Gods was screening on theaters across Latin America. Most of Cloverway cast returned in this film, including Eduardo Garza (Krilin) and Rocío Garcel (Bulma) except Kame Sennin voice who died in 2011, and Laura Torres who was replaced with an unknown actress. The dub was done in New Art Dub and the movie was licensed to Diamond Films. The insert song and ending was left in English.

New Characters Voices
  • Beerus (Bills): Jose Luis Orozco
  • Whis (Wiss): Arturo Castañeda
  • Kid Mai: Susana Moreno
  • Kid Shu: Miguel Angel Leal
  • Oracle Fish: Alondra Hidalgo
Recast
  • Kibito Kai: José Gilberto Vilchis
  • Old Kai: Ernesto Lezama
  • Master Roshi (Maestro Roshi): Miguel Ángel Sanromán
  • King Kai (Kaiosama): Héctor Lee
  • Dende: Javier Olguín
  • King Vegeta (Rey Vegeta): Arturo Casanova
  • Goten: Unknown actress

Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ''F'' (Dragon Ball Z: La Resurrección de Freezer)

2 months after its launch in Japan, this movie is released in Latin America and like the previous film had the most original voices, the dub was done in Laboprime Dubbing Producers and the movie was licensed to 20th Century Fox, The insert song and ending was left in Japanese unlike the previous film.

New Characters Voices
  • Jaco: Bruno Coronel
  • Sorbet: Pedro D'Aguillón Jr
  • Tagoma: Ricardo Tejedo
  • Shisami: Miguel Ángel Ghigliazza

Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters

In October 2015, it was confirmed that a dub was being produced by Candiani Dubbing Studios, unlike previous episodes this arc brought back most of the original voices to avoid repeating another failure, also return Laura Torres (Goten), Irwin Daayán (Dende), Ricardo Hill (King Kai and Dr. Briefs) and Genaro Vásquez (Supreme Kai, Kibito Kai and Android 17) but some characters voices changed since their original actor was not available at that time.

Recast
  • Android 18: Mónica Villaseñor
  • Kibito: Humberto Solórzano
  • Majin Buu: Marcos Patiño
  • Ox King: Enrique Cervantes
  • World Tournament Announcer: Pedro D'Aguillón Jr

Dragon Ball Super

Dragon Ball Super's dub started on February 23, 2017 with the most original voices and was broadcast by Cartoon Network and then on Canal 5 Mexico. Unlike others dub in Latin America, the opening was dubbed however it was criticized by many fans because they didn't like the way that it was sung and even the singer was attacked by fans on his YouTube channel and Twitter account. The same happened to the second opening with a different performer; in this case, the singer stated that the lack of time and staff were the cause of the low quality the song ended up having.

Episodes 130 and 131 were live streamed in various cities across Latin American countries including Mexico, El Salvador, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua for free in public venues in 2018. The public screenings drew large record audiences, which included filling stadiums in Mexico and other Latin American countries, with each screening drawing audiences numbering in the thousands to the tens of thousands.

Trivia

  • The Mexican dub of Dragon Ball Z were also aired on Telemundo in the US until the Cell saga, where it was then taken off. This might have had to do with NBC buying the network and removing all acquired programming.
  • Son Goku is named Goku, similar to how his name sounded in the English dubs. In Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods dubbing, Whis refers to him by his full name: Son Goku and Dragon Ball Super sometimes Goku and others Son Goku.
  • In some episodes, Dr. Gero's full name was supposed as Dr. Maki Gero; because at the beginning Gloria Rocha (the ex-director of the dub) didn't like "Gero" that's why she changed to Maki however Cloverway got angry for that and Gloria decided to change "Maki Gero" to unify.
  • The Dragon Balls were literally translated as "Dragon Spheres" (Esferas del Dragón), probably to avoid vulgarity towards the word "balls".
  • Cartoon Network is the only to broadcast Dragon Ball Z Kai on two language tracks through SAP. Spanish (audio 1) and English (audio 2) FUNimation dub.
    • Despite Toei Animation Inc. (helped by FUNimation) replacing the Kenji Yamamoto score from episode 18 and previous episodes to both language tracks, between 55-65 episodes in the English track is still used Yamamoto score despite constant reruns of the series on Cartoon Network.
  • This dub was later used in Greece and Romania during the Cell Saga.
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