Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot comes out this week, and it promises nostalgia galore. The visuals have come a long way since Goku and friends were first put to screen, but Kakarot is being billed as a true DBZ experience. As part of its effort to prove Kakarot‘s authenticity, Bandai Namco has been showing off the game’s music. It will have everything from the anime’s original opening theme to orchestral versions of the iconic Japanese soundtrack. But you know what would be awesome? Some dragon rock.
Those who grew up with the original Japanese version of the anime recall “Cha-La Head-Cha-La” as the opening song. Viewers of the English dub got “Rock the Dragon.” The songs were very different in tone, and this difference extended to each dub’s overall audio direction. The Japanese version was mostly scored by Shunsuke Kikuchi, who lent a sweeping, epic feel to the show. The English dub’s soundtrack was done by Bruce Faulconer and had a very hard rock feel to it.
Preview footage of Kakarot has centered around showing iconic scenes. Observant fans have noticed that they include new orchestrated versions of Kikuchi’s score. It’s also been confirmed that Kakarot‘s opening will be a shot-for-shot remake of the original Japanese anime opening set to “Cha-La Head-Cha-La.”
It’s a sensible choice overall. Dragon Ball is made in Japan, so of course the Japanese version is seen as the “true” version. Since Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is meant to be a faithful retelling of the anime, it makes sense to adhere to that true, original version. That said, it would be a treat for many fans to see the famous English dub included in some way.
Kakarot, like many anime games, will have options for both an English dub and the original Japanese audio with subtitles. Aside from making the game more accessible, this choice is meant to appease both sides of the “sub vs. dub” debate. Both sides are especially passionate when it comes to Dragon Ball. While the Japanese voice actors made the characters who they are, the English dub is cemented in the minds of many Western anime fans. Goku, in particular, just sounds bizarre if you go from years of English dub to the Japanese dub. Likewise, that rocking English soundtrack is burned into many brains.
We can’t expect the game to be re-scored to include the English soundtrack. But perhaps there can be an option to play some of the English songs as background music during exploration or side battles. Maybe there can even be a hidden unlockable version of the opening based on “Rock the Dragon.” If none of that is possible since the game already shipped, it would be a great idea for DLC. Even a small downloadable music pack including some of the English songs would be appreciated. Just let us rock with the dragon please.
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