Toonami Is Holding A Dragon Ball Kai Marathon In Tribute To Akira Toriyama

Image: Toei Animation
Image: Toei Animation

In the wake of Akira Toriyama’s death, thousands of tributes to the legendary creator of the Dragon Ball franchise have been pouring in online. Toonami, the Cartoon Network offshoot now hosted as part of Adult Swim that aired Dragon Ball and its various sequels and spin-offs in its prime, is having its own tribute this week with a marathon of the first eight episodes of Dragon Ball Kai.

If you watched the original series but never watched Dragon Ball Kai, the show is a recut of the original Dragon Ball Z that streamlines the show to a tighter 167 episodes over the original 291. Kai is also remastered in HD and has a new voice track featuring most of the original cast. According to Toonami’s social channels, the marathon will begin on Saturday, March 16, at 2 a.m. Eastern Time and last until 6 a.m.

At this point, I haven’t watched Dragon Ball or its sequel shows in probably over 20 years. Despite having been distanced from the series lately, I couldn’t help but get nostalgic after hearing of Toriyama’s death. So a rewatch might be in order, but I’ve also never watched Kai before, so that might be the best way to go to trim down the time investment. Then maybe I’ll finally get around to watching Dragon Ball Super after experiencing it mostly through memes and viral clips.

While Dragon Ball is easily Toriyama’s best-known work, he also had his hand in quite a few video games over his lifetime. He was responsible for the character designs of classic games like Chrono Trigger and the Dragon Quest series but also did work for some smaller projects like Blue Dragon. Toriyama will have a few posthumous projects, including the upcoming Sand Land RPG and the Dragon Ball Daima anime.

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