Dragon Ball Fan Unearths Rare Copies of Anime's Very First English Dub

Dragon Ball has approved dozens of dubs during its time, but some like the Harmony Gold version didn't meet the anime's standards. Way back in the 1980s, the show did pursue a dub long before the Ocean or Funimation recordings were planned. These proto dubs known as the Harmony Gold recordings barely hit five episodes before wrapping, and it seems these dubs have resurfaced out of nowhere.

Over the weekend, Dragon Ball fans were stunned when part of the fandom announced the discovery of the Harmony Gold dub. In the past, snippets of the seldom-seen dub have hit the Internet, but all five episodes of the recording have now gone live.

Over on Archive, a user known as Joseph Pasteris uploaded the episodes in full for fans to watch. "Thanks to a long time fan and one of the hosts of Anime Hell, I was able to acquire not one, but five Harmony Gold dubbed episodes of Dragon Ball off of a tape received in 1991 and sitting in storage for almost 30 years," the user shared.

"As far as I know, this is all that was dubbed by them. VHS is in not the best of shape, probably due to sitting there for 30 years, but it is what it is. Enjoy!"


If you take a look at these dubs, you will see there are some major changes between it and the Ocean dub which cameo after. This English recording not only renames Goku as Zero, but it heavily features Yajirobe and one boisterous narrator. For fans of Dragon Ball's modern dubs, this version will be strange to listen to, but the Harmony Gold discovery marks a major win for historians. This dub attempt marks Dragon Ball's first big attempt to enter the Western market, and it didn't take long after for the show to take over the globe.

Are you surprised by this dub's unexpected comeback? Did you peep this long-forgotten Dragon Ball dub when it debuted way back? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!

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