Dragon Ball Z Opening Song Dubs In Different Languages

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Dragon Ball World in Review

There aren't many things in this world that get translated into so many languages and reach people on a scale that's usually reserved for the Christian Bible, American foreign policy hatemails, and Paris Hilton' snatch. One of these few other things is Dragonball, a Japanese cartoon which hit the shores of my country 14 years ago, changing the way kids imagine epic fights (with huge auras and blasts that almost feel like freudan compensation) and porn.

Apparently our country wasn't the only place where dragonball spread out, and in order to cater better to the audience, voices and songs were redubbed into different languages - for better or worse. Here are some versions we found floating in youtube, along with my first impressions.

If you are unfamiliar with the song, here is the original Japanese version:

Sung by Hironobu Kageyama in 1989, this song has since become the defining anthem of his career, which is kinda awesome in a way that he's done something that will last for a very long time and sucks at the same time since the childish nature of the song prevented him from doing death metal where his voice could have been more appreciated.

That said, here are the rest of the world's versions:


First in our list is Spanish. Even though the actual instrumental layers have been changed, this version actually boasts very close resemblance to the original song, I mean, if Ricky Martin was singing it anyway. The bouncy feeling is retained and it's overall very much presentable.


Mexico's version uses a minus one for their recording, which is understandable. For a country that boasts a lot of Japanese music cover bands in youtube (tube it if you don't believe me) I can't help but think they could've chosen somebody better could've sung the song. In any case, the song is like it's Spanish counterpart (actually they sound almost alike) and sticks very close to the original. Good show.


If Mexico and Spain made sure they stuck to the original, Hungary made it a point to show more creativity by creating their own jingle. Jingle, because I feel that this song isn't really fitting for the animation about violent fights and bald men but rather something you'd expect from a children's show like Doraemon or My Little Pony (xtreme)


The French, with a reputation of discarding the rules in the interest of following their own sense of aesthetics, predictably did their own song rather than redub the original. The end product turns out to be over-cheery but I guess it's understandable seeing this song comes from a nation where they like to describe their capital 'gay'. Good song, but rather inappropriate.


This video came from a time when the Philippines was still undecided as to whether they should dub all Japanese animations in English or in the native Filipino. If you're wondering why they had to do their own version when there's already the American one, this actually came 2 years before Dragonball Z came out in America. Soundtrack is original, and the singer stuck close to the original albeit he sounded too soft, as though he's romancing instead of singing out of joy.


This was the best I could find. Not really good English speakers, but big fans of the Japanese animation scene, they just put a short notice at the beginning and played the original Japanese. It's not really being lazy, I guess rather than fuck up the song, they just offered the audience the raw form, which works just fine (ask any anime nerd)


Village people, do you know it? Anyway aside from the intro that sounded like Goku became an indian and piccolo turned policeofficer, the song is actually awesome. Even as an original, it captures the challenging sound of the Japanese version. This is actually one of my favorites. I guess there's still some magic left in the country that revolutionized operas and noodles.


To be honest, I really think Korean is not the best language for singing, that's why I can really appreciate this opening song. It's actually listenable, and you can see the effort done to stay real close to the Japanese version. Nothing much to say about this version.


Dragonball gets its inspiration from the Chinese opera called the Legend of the Monkey King so in a way, this is just like returning to the roots. Original soundtrack is used, but I can't help but notice the additional guitar track placed with the dub. Is this to compensate for the over twangy accent of the Cantonese language?


Okay, to be honest here, I don't even know why there's Valenciano when there's already Spanish. It sounds like the Spanish version, and it's probably played for the same people. (and yes I'm too lazy to google, but I do know it's a dialect of sorts.


The German tongue is naturally sharp and strong-accented, and since this song also follows the Japanese original, it's one of the best close-rendition versions. The only way that I can think this can be improved is if Germany wised up and asked another group to do the cover, like you know, Rammstein. Now THAT would rock even harder than the original Japanese.


The Arabic version (I don't really know which country it comes from) sounds really traditional, and you know the guys who did it had a song sense of culture. That's both the best and worst characteristic of this version. On one hand, it's nice to see localization that actually feels local, on the other, well, to be fair the only Arabic videos with music that I've seen in internet streaming videos are those propaganda Mujahadeen videos. I better stop now before I say something blatantly racist.


Momo said...


I love the Gino Padilla version!

weremanok said...

you have too much time in your hands boy hahaha :D

redkinoko said...

haha matagal ko rin sinulat to no! half day!

itachi said...

hi! I'm Mexican, and sorry but the video you posted as mexican it isn't the right one, I found the real one in youtube is this one



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