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U.S.'s Nicktoons TV Adds Dragon Ball Z Kai in May (Update 2)

posted on by Egan Loo
Also on Nicktoons: Voltron Panthera Force

America's Nicktoons television channel has announced that it will run the Dragon Ball Z Kai action anime series starting in May 2010. Nicktoons, a spinoff of Nickelodeon, will also launch Voltron Panthera Force from World Events Productions, Ltd. in conjunction with Kick Start Productions. (The channel did not specify if Voltron Panthera Force is Japanese-animated or not.) Nickelodeon made the announcements in the press summary sheet for its 2010 Upfront Presentation for advertisers on Thursday morning in New York City.

The Dragon Ball Kai television series condenses the 1989-1996 Dragon Ball Z anime series to more closely follow Akira Toriyama's original Dragon Ball manga. In addition to a digital high-definition remastering and a re-recorded soundtrack, Dragon Ball Kai also enhances selected scenes with new effects or re-animated footage. The series premiered under the name Dragon Ball Kai in Japan last April, and it has consistently ranked among the top 10 anime in viewer ratings every week since.

Funimation had licensed the series for North America, and it plans to ship the first part of the series on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on May 18. The distributor already licensed both the Dragon Ball Z television series and the earlier Dragon Ball television series for North America. Funimation reassembled most of its original Dragon Ball Z cast for the English dubbing of Dragon Ball Z Kai, except for four new cast members. Viz Media publishes the original manga in North America.

Nickelodeon has run a number of anime titles in the past, although neither Nicktoons nor Nickelodeon has a Japanese animated program in the current season.

Image © Bird Studio/Shueisha, Fuji TV, Toei Animation

Update: More background information added. Thanks to Gregory Lanson for covering the upfront for ANN.

Update 2: According to Nickelodeon and Nicktoons' press kit, Voltron Panthera Force "follows the exploits of a group of five young cadets brought together under trying circumstances to form a newly appointed Voltron Lion Squad dubbed the 'Panthera Force.'"

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