A Fond Farewell to Dragon Ball Z Abridged
As I type this, I’m listening to Takahata101’s rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” as Cell and remembering the good times. For you see, Dragon Ball Z Abridged, the web-based parody that helped to revitalize the Dragon Ball Franchise, has come to its end. A few days ago, Team Four Star announced they had made the difficult decision to end their famous series. After hearing them promise to make a Season 4, this news came as a shock to many fans, myself included.
In a post on Patreon and a recently uploaded YouTube video, Lanipator and KaiserNeko explained their reasons for ending the series. First, they’re feeling the burn out after Season Three, and they refuse to Simpsons their beloved creation. Second, they felt they reached the ending they wanted with the Cell Saga. Finally, they still have to deal with those pesky copyright rules, and getting their channel taken down several times in the past interferes with their ability to make money off of it.
I, like many fans of the series, am so unbelievably bummed out by this news. However, I will respect their decision to end it on a high note. After all, this is the series that helped breathe new life into Dragon Ball.
The Impact of DBZ Abridged
In 2008, Dragon Ball had been off the air for several years. Kept alive only by the memories of the fans and video games, the franchise was in danger of being forgotten. Then a group of fans in Texas and Canada got together to join the abridged series craze that was going on. Thus, Dragon Ball Z Abridged was born.
From the outset, the series set itself apart from other abridged series. It didn’t just parody the show; it celebrated everything about the beloved anime, faults and all. In some ways, I think it improved on the base that the anime set up. As a result, the series became a hit in the fledgling YouTube community, and propelled Team Four Star to success.
The series success did not go unnoticed, either. Cast members from the original series admitted they loved DBZ Abridged. Some of the voice actors got to do lines in the Xenoverse games. Then we got this on Toonami:
Toei wouldn’t let it air again due to copyrights.
The point is, Dragon Ball Z Abridged helped rekindle interest in the popular franchise. As a result, the series got a second wind with Battle of Gods, Ressurection F, and Dragon Ball Super. As for DBZ Abridged, it kept getting better and better.
By the time the Season Three Finale aired in 2018, I think it’s safe to say that Dragon Ball Z Abridged was no longer a mere parody. It had risen above to become a dub in its own right. Which makes it all the more depressing to know that the series is now finished.
Do I think that Dragon Ball Z Abridged is gone for good? Maybe, maybe not. I wouldn’t be surprised if, a few years from now, Team Four Star decided to pick the series back up. I know many fans would be very happy to hear that. However, if they decide to end it here, then I’ll understand. Ironically, the Cell Saga was where Toriyama wanted to end Dragon Ball. Thus, in a way, Team Four Star is fulfilling Toriyama’s original intentions.
So, farewell for now, Dragon Ball Z Abridged. It’s been a long road, and I’m glad I got to get on the ride before the end. I’ll drink a Hetap in your honor. You did it your way.
Click here to read my FANDOM article on which characters DBZ Abridged did better.
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