Dragon Ball Z Kai (known in Japan as Dragon Ball Kai) is a revised version of the anime series Dragon Ball Z produced in commemoration of the original's twentieth anniversary. It began broadcasting on Fuji Television on April 5, 2009. It features remastered high definition picture, sound, and special effects as well as a re-recorded voice track by the original cast. As most of the series' sketches and animation cels had been discarded since the final episode of Dragon Ball Z in 1996, new frames were produced by digitally tracing over still frames from existing footage and filling them with softer colors; thus reducing visible damage to the original animation. Some frames were selectively cropped, while other frames feature new portions added to scenes that were hand drawn to conform to the designated picture ratio. Much of the material original to the Dragon Ball Z anime, including whole story arcs, will be left out, thus reducing the episode count from 291 episodes to a total of 100.
The series uses three pieces of theme music. The opening theme, titled "Dragon Soul", is performed by Takayoshi Tanimoto, who also performed the first ending theme, titled "Yeah! Break! Care! Break!". Both pieces are part of a unit called Dragon Soul with guitarist and composer Takafumi Iwasaki. The second ending theme, starting from episode 55 onwards, is titled "Kokoro no Hane" (心の羽根, "Wings of the Heart"?) performed by Team Dragon from AKB48, an all-female group composed of members from AKB48. Although the story footage is taken from existing material, the opening and closing sequences were made from scratch using different animation methods. The first DVD and Blu-ray Disc compilation was released on September 18, 2009, with individual volumes releasing monthly as well as Blu-ray box sets.
Funimation Entertainment has licensed the series for release in North America. On March 11, 2010, Nicktoons Network announced that the series would be broadcasting on their channel, and the series later made its U.S. premiere on May 24th, 2010. 4Kids Entertainment announced on April 26, 2010 that it will also be airing Kai on The CW's Toonzai programming block (formerly The CW4Kids) during the 2010 - 2011 season.