Difference Between DBZ and DBZ Kai (with Table)

TV series and anime have been a great source of entertainment for not only kids but also adults. There have been many instances where a book has been adapted to series or movies, the most popular example being the Harry Potter series.

One major adaption was seen when the then on-going manga of Dragon Ball was adapted as a Japanese TV series or anime in the name of Dragon Ball Z which was also later adapted to Dragon Ball Z Kai. But many fail to notice the difference between the two because they are adapted to the same manga.

DBZ vs DBZ Kai

The difference between DBZ and DBZ Kai is that DBZ was an on-going manga as the author was still writing the plot, so one can witness many filler episodes in the series. But this is not seen in the case of DBZ Kai as it includes only the main plot and is much shorter than the original anime.

Dragon Ball Z or DBZ is the original adaptive series of the manga that was adapted by Akira Toriyama. It began airing on 25 April 1985 in Fuji TV of Japan and gained popularity in a few countries like Japan, Korea and India.

Dragon Ball Z Kai or DBZ Kaiis the adaptation of the original series and had 98 episodes when it completed broadcast. It had begun airing on 05 April 2009 on Fuji TV in Japan. But unlike DBZ, it reached the greater international scale to the point that it had incomes from not only the viewers but also merchandise.

Comparison Table Between DBZ and DBZ Kai

Parameters of ComparisonDBZDBZ Kai
Abbreviation ofDragon Ball ZDragon Ball Z Kai
Origin25 April 198505 April 2009
Number of episodes32598
MusicHad copywritten songs of artists that were allowed to be released as a separate soloHas its original intro music
PlotSince it was on-going manga, it had funny filler episodesFollows original plot without the fillers
International scaleWas not recognized beyond a few countriesGained a large international scale recognition
QualityIs darker since it has low saturationHas more contrast and brightness

What is DBZ?

DBZ or Dragon Ball Z is a Japanese anime series that was adapted from a manga by Akira Toriyama.

 It was first aired on 25 April 1983 on Fuji TV in Japan and continued being broadcasted till 31 January 1996.

Since it was an on-going manga then, the directors had to give time for the author to come up with the next plot but cannot leave without airing an episode as scheduled. Therefore it can be seen to have many humorous filler episodes.

It did not receive the amount of attention and popularity that DBZ Kai received.

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What is DBZ Kai?

DBZ Kai or Dragon Ball Z Kai is the adapted version of the original series DBZ.

It was first aired on 5 April 2009 on Fuji TV as well and the 98 episodes were broadcasted till 25 August 2011.

Since it was the adapted version and the original series was meant for adults, this series has all the necessary censorships for child viewers comfort. It is also brighter and has more contrast than DBZ.

It received a tremendous amount of recognition on an international scale and they had income not only from views but also from the merchandise.

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Main Differences Between DBZ and DBZ Kai

  1. DBZ stands for the famous Japanese anime show named Dragon Ball Z or simply known as Dragon Ball. DBZ Kai or Dragon Ball Z Kai is the adapted modern anime series of the original DBZ.
  2. Since DBZ is the older series it was first broadcasted on Fuji Television in Japan on 25 April 1985 but DBZ Kai was released much later. It was first released on 5 April 2009 on Fuji TV itself.
  3. DBZ was the series made from the on-going manga series and only the last 325 chapters were adapted as episodes in the series. So it had 325 episodes whereas DBZ Kai had only 98 episodes.
  4. The intro music for both was contrastingly different. This is owed to the fact that while DBZ had other artists solo songs, DBZ Kai had their song produced by a Japanese band. It was copywritten only for the series and could not release otherwise.
  5. During the airing of DBZ, since it was an adaptation of an on-going manga it had many filler episodes but these episodes were funny. DBZ Kai on the other hand focused only on the main plot and did not adopt the funny filler chapter from the TV series.
  6. Even though DBZ did get a huge recognition from all around the world, it did not the international scale that DBZ Kai reached. DBZ gained popularity in only a few countries, unlike Kai.
  7. The important difference between the two is also the picture quality of the two series. The original series was darker due to lack of saturation whereas the adaptive series or Kai is brighter and has better contrast as compared to that.


Over the years we have all seen many famous books being or novels being adapted to series and movies, Harry Potter series being the most popular ones. One such case was observed when DBZ or Dragon Ball Z series was released as a Japanese anime, shortly followed by DBZ Kai. But it was hard to differentiate between them.

DBZ or Dragon Ball Z is a Japanese anime that was adapted from the on-going manga named Dragon Ball. It was aired from 25 April 1985 to 31 January 1996. We can find many filler episodes in the series.

DBZ Kai or Dragon Ball Z Kai is the adaptation of the original DBZ series after completion. It was aired from 05 April 2009 to 25 August 2011 and had 98 episodes. It was brighter and had more resolution than the original one.

The drastic difference between the two series is that while DBZ had used other artist’s solo songs for intro and music, DBZ Kai had their band and copywritten songs for theirs.


  1. https://worddisk.com/wiki/Dragon_Ball/
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1746847713519386

Last update on 2021-12-05 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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