There are many urban legends of satanic verses hidden in popular music to subconsciously corrupt our children. While those claims may not always be true, there are definitely a lot of songs out there that feature backmasked messages (hidden messages revealed only when you play the piece backwards). So what could possibly be hiding behind the cutesy, bouncy Dragon Ball Z ending song?!
For anyone who’s wondered about the gobbledygook words at the start of the first ending song for Dragonball Z, the mystery has now been solved! The theme song in question is “Detekoi Tobikiri Zenkai Power!” performed by MANNA, and it was used for the first 194 episodes after the series began airing in 1989.
▼ In this video you can first hear the song played normally, then backwards.
Fortunately we’re not faced with any dark and disturbing Satanic incantations. What we do hear is list of names followed by the phrase ‘ganbattannda!’, which is basically saying that all these guys worked really hard. It seems like a sweet way to give these people a little extra credit for the work they did on this popular show.
“Shimizu Kenji (Fuji TV producer), Ike Takeshi (an anime song writer active in the late 1980s who has produced over 2,000 songs), Tokieda Tatsuhiro, Uchida Takashi, Yamamoto Kenji, Yanagi Hanae (?), Nomura Takashi, ganbattannda, ganbattannda!”
Ike Takeshi explained the deal when he wrote the following on his official website:
“We finished the recording of vocalist MANNA’s cute and charming vocals and after she’d gone home I inserted the overdub chorus parts and background chatter (shouts/cheers) myself. I wanted to make the song even more interesting so I hit upon the idea of having meaningless words in the intro and interlude. I remembered hearing that for the alien language in the bar scene in the movie Star Wars (Mos Eisley Cantina scene) they used words from the languages of minority peoples played backwards with extra effects added on top, so I cheekily decided to use their method too.
I listed the names of the people in the studio and the staff who worked on the program then read them out and recorded it onto 6 millimetre tape. Then I played the tape backwards, shifted the pitch, and overlayed it onto the multitrack intro and interlude. It fit perfectly. I’d like those with the know-how to try playing the intro and interlude parts backwards. I think you should be able to hear the names of some people. It’s my way of saying these guys made this song!”
So there you have it. It might not be anything shocking or controversial, but it’s always satisfying to find out about these little secrets and feel like you’re really in the know.
▼Here’s the full ending song played normally so that you can enjoy your daily dose of nineties nostalgia.