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Dragon Ball: 10 Things That Were Changed For American Audiences

Different dubbing companies have made an effort to localize Dragon Ball, meaning that the series had to be edited and censored in many aspects.

The Dragon Ball series has a great history in the West. Ever since this series was introduced and localized for the U.S. it has had a solidified place as the arguably most popular and important anime released stateside. It not only led to a stronger focus on anime dub here but a stronger focus on getting more anime localized in general.

Different dubbing companies have made an effort to localize Dragon Ball since the original series, and much like in the case of many classic anime introduced earlier in the U.S., that meant that the series had to be greatly edited and censored in many aspects.

10. Bulma's Skirt Lift Was Changed

In the original Dragon Ball, one of Bulma's main plans of action was to use her feminine charm and good looks in order to get out of trouble and get what she wants. This genius that has a very important role in the entirety of Dragon Ball had to be edited big time when the series was brought to the U.S.

Bulma's little skirt lift scene where Goku tries to find out if she had a tail was still in the Ocean BLT dub but with her panties colored to match her pink skirt in attempts to somehow censor the panty flash. However, this scene was completely removed from the Toonami airing of the series with the now famous FUNimation dub.

9. Bulma's Other Skirt Lift Was Completely Removed

Whereas the first and more goofy natured panty flash of Bulma was thought to be able to be kept in the Ocean and BLT dub, Bulma's other little panty flash scene was removed in both versions of the Dragon Ball English broadcasts.

In this scene, Bulma lifts her skirt to a young Goku and offers to let him touch her butt in a potential trade for Goku's prized four-star dragon ball, a gift from his late Grandpa Gohan. It's likely that this scene was completely removed in both versions due to it lacking the goofy and innocent child-like nature that the other one at the fault of Goku had present.

8. Blood Was Removed In Certain Dubs

In the case of the Ocean BLT dub, Dragon Ball was edited in attempts to make it a more kid-friendly series which was the case when it came to fighting as well. This meant that blood had to be edited out to keep it less violent than it already was.

This can be noticed as early as the "Nimbus Cloud of Roshi" episode where Goku gets in a fight with the Bear Thief, as the blood originally present is removed.

7. Roshi's Perverted Nature Was Originally Toned Down A Notch

Another change that can be noticed in the "Nimbus Cloud of Roshi" is that Master Roshi's perversion was either edited down or completely edited out of the anime.

In the Ocean BLT dub of the series the scene of Master Roshi getting Bulma to lift her skirt is completely removed with Roshi simply giving her the dragon ball instead. In the case of FUNImation's dub which aired on Toonami, Master Roshi asks to see Bulma's belly button instead of her underwear with the actual skirt lift being removed.

6. Sexual Scenes Were Many Times Taken Out

With Bulma and Roshi adding in a lot of sexual nature to the original Dragon Ball there were of course a lot of adult-oriented scenes in the show. This resulted in many sexual scenes being completely removed.

One example of this is the scene where Oolong is disguised as Bulma and shows his breasts to Master Roshi. This scene was completely removed in both the Ocean BLT and FUNImation's early dub.

5. Any Indication Of Alcohol Was Removed

The alcoholism of anime is typically a part of it that is removed in many cases of American censorship of the genre when broadcasted on children's television. The original Dragon Ball Toonami broadcast took this to the next level.

In "The Grand Finals" episode during Master Roshi's battle against Goku, he uses the attack titled "Drunken Fist." In the Toonami airing, this move was renamed the "Mad Cow Attack" to avoid any mention of alcohol.

4. Homosexual References Were Removed

In the 2002 Toonami airing of "The Pirate Treasure," a very well-remembered scene is one of Bulma and Krillin accusing General Blue of being homosexual.

This scene was edited with the two saying General Blue is scared easily for a big guy and a prude.

3. Religion-Referencing Phrases Were Removed

Much like in the case of many other early anime airings in the West, religious references were completely taken out of Dragon Ball.

As seen in the 2002 Toonami airings during Fangs' reaction to Upa's crossing, the phrases "Oh my God!" and "Jesus Christ!" were removed.

2. Cursing Was Removed

In order to keep the series more kid-friendly and able to air on Toonami's anime block, Dragon Ball's adult language had to be largely toned down.

Scenes where King Piccolo and Tambourine uttering swear words were changed into less offensive lines like "Hardly worth the effort" and "tiny and pathetic."

1. Extreme Gore Was Toned Down

Another noticeable change was the removal of extreme gore in Dragon Ball as noticed with the removal of the scene with the gaping hole in Piccolo's stomach due to Goku's "Penetrate!" ability.

Funny enough, this scene was left in during a Dragon Ball Z flashback scene on Toonami soon after.