Uncut refers to certain English dubbed episodes of Dragon Ball Z which were not heavily edited for content. This can refer to episodes in either one of two dubs: The first dub this can refer to are the episodes of the Ocean Group dubs including and after episode 108 (equivalent to episode 123 of the original Japanese dub; see below for clarification). The second dub this can refer to is the entire Funimation dub if including its broadcast of the 67 uncut episodes in 2005.
Main article: Ocean Group dubs
The cut episodes
The Canadian Ocean Productions was the first company to dub an English track of the Dragon Ball Z series in North America and Europe. When the series first began broadcast in 1996, Ocean Productions was hired by Funimation and Saban Entertainment to dub the first two seasons of the show in English. In Japan, the first two seasons of the show consisted of 67 episodes. However, due to broadcasting laws, and in an attempt to gain a younger audience, these first two seasons were heavily edited to cut out extreme violence and references to death. The first two seasons were so heavily edited for content that the original 67 episodes were edited down to 53 episodes. Thus, the first 53 episodes of the series by the Saban/Ocean dub were considered to be the edited or cut episodes. However, due to poor marketing and an inconsistent audience base, the show was canceled in 1998.
Production of the uncut
In the same year, reruns of the show found a consistent audience on Cartoon Network's Toonami. With new popularity, the show was revived and was being produced and dubbed by the American Funimation company and was being shown in North America. However, due to Canadian broadcasting laws which limited the use of non-Canadian programing, the Canadian and European distributor of Dragon Ball Z, the AB Groupe, contacted Westwood Media to make an alternate English dub produced using the original Vancouver Ocean Productions actors. The alternate dub began broadcast in Europe in 2000 at episode 108 (equivalent to 123 in Japan), which was consistent with the Funimation dub, and finished at the series finale, episode 276 (equivalent to 291 in Japan). Unlike the Saban/Ocean dub, the Westwood/Ocean dub episodes were not heavily edited, and followed the same script as the Funimation dub, with only some minor changes. Thus, these episodes are considered to be uncut.
The Westwood/Ocean dub was broadcast in the United Kingdom (CN:UK then CNX) and the Netherlands (CN:NL then Yorin) for episodes 108-276 (equivalent to 123-291 in Japan). Strangely, Canada did not receive the Westwood/Ocean dub until 59 episodes after the European countries, at episode 166 (equivalent to 181 in Japan). The Westwood/Ocean dub never saw broadcast in the US.
Main article: Funimation dub After the initial cancellation of the series in 1998, the series found a new audience when reruns were shown on Cartoon Network's Toonami. Due to its popularity, Funimation wanted to continue production of the series. However, Funimation and Saban Entertainment had parted ways. Without Saban's financial assistance, Funimation could no longer afford Ocean Productions to dub the anime. Instead, Funimation formed their own studio and began dubbing with their own Texas-based in-house talent.
Dubbing continued from where the Saban/Ocean dub left off, at episode 54 (which was equivalent to the 68th episode in Japan). Unlike the Saban/Ocean dub, the Funimation dub did not heavily edit or censor the series, thus deeming episodes 54-276 (equivalent to 68-291 in Japan) of the Funimation dub to be uncut. In 2004, one year after the end of the series, Funimation acquired the rights to the first 53 (originally 67) episodes of the series. In 2005, Funimation redubbed the original 67 episodes with its own in house talent for consistency, thus completing the entire uncut series in English.
- In 2005, Toonami began airing the uncut version of Dragon Ball Z, starting with episodes 1-67. This version is known as Dragon Ball Z Uncut, and was referred to as DBZ Uncut by TOM.