is the long-running sequel to the anime Dragon Ball. Produced by Toei Animation, Dragon Ball Z is adapted from the final twenty-six volumes by of the original Dragon Ball manga written by Akira Toriyama. It premiered in Japan on Fuji Television on April 26, 1989, taking over its predecessor's time slot, and ran for 291 episodes until its conclusion on January 31, 1996.
In 1995, FUNimation Entertainment licensed Dragon Ball Z for an English language release in North America. They contracted Saban Entertainment to help finance the project, Geneon Universal Entertainment to handle home video distribution, and Ocean Productions to dub the series. This dub of Dragon Ball Z was heavily edited for content, as well as length, reducing the first 67 episodes into 53. The series premiered in the United States on September 13, 1996 in first-run syndication television networks, but was cancelled after two seasons, due to low ratings. On August 31, 1998, however, the same 53 episodes began airing on Cartoon Network as part of the channel's new Toonami programming block, where the series received much more popularity. Soon after, Funimation, having dissolved their partnership with Saban and Geneon, continued dubbing and distributing the series by themselves, now using their own in-house voice cast, a new musical score, and less editing due to fewer restrictions on cable programming. Dragon Ball Z was now in full production in the United States and the new dub of the series was broadcast on Cartoon Network from September 13, 1999 to April 7, 2003.
The Funimation dubbed episodes also aired in Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand. However, beginning with episode 108, Westwood Media (in association with Ocean Productions) produced an alternate English dub. The alternate English dub was broadcast in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Canada, while Funimation's in-house dub continued to air in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. In the countries that received the Westwood dub, the broadcasting companies would sometimes switch back and forth between the two dubs. In 2003, Geneon lost its distribution rights to the first 53/67 episodes of Dragon Ball Z, allowing Funimation to re-dub them with their in-house voice cast and restore the removed content. These re-dubbed episodes aired in the United States on Cartoon Network during the summer of 2005. In 2006, Funimation remastered the episodes, and then began re-releasing the series in nine individual season box sets. The first set was released on February 6, 2007; the final set on May 19, 2009.
In 2009, Funimation announced that they would be re-releasing Dragon Ball Z in a new seven-volume set called "Dragon Box Z", which was previously released in Japan as a two-volume set. Based on the original series masters with frame-by-frame restoration, the first set was released on November 10, 2009, the second set on February 16, 2010, the third set on May 4, 2010, and the fourth set on September 21, 2010.
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