Dragon Ball Z It remains to this day as one of the most beloved anime by the fan community of this franchise in its animated and printed format. But a curious thing happens among a good part of his fans: everyone locates the original opening of the first saga, although the vast majority do not know what his immortal refrain of “Cha-La Head-Chala” means.
It is a strange but curious story, when it comes to that moment in which an anime prepares its broadcast for Latin America, what is usually done is that a version sung in Spanish of the original intro is recreated, which most of the times seems like a version relatively improvised karaoke without much relationship between its original lyrics and the translation.
On some occasions, as happened with Saint Seiya, the animation may end up having its own theme in Spanish derived from the songs adapted for its transmissions in other countries, this is how Pegasus Fantasy was known to many until the premiere of the OVAS.
But the strangest of all cases is when the song is adapted from Japanese to Spanish and even so some fragments in Japanese are preserved.
That is exactly the same case with the original opening of Dragon Ball Z that we all knew in Latin America.
Cha-La Head-Chala means this in the opening of Dragon Ball Z
The original theme of Dragon Ball Z has the title of Cha-La Head-Cha-La, whose original name is チャラ・ヘッチャラ and pronounced as “Chara Hetchara”, it was released on May 1, 1989.
The song was written by Yukinojo Mori and Chiho Kiyoka, but ended up being covered by singer Hironobu Kageyama for Columbia Records.
It immediately became such a hit that it merged with the anime’s identity. In fact, the theme was used throughout 199 episodes and to this day it remains an obligatory reference when recounting the best anime intros in history:
The curious thing, as we can see, is that in the end the theme in Spanish ended up adapting the name of its original title in Japanese, although phonetically it means nothing in our language. That is why most for decades have thought that it is simply a catchy chant and nothing more.
But as marked from the forums of kanzenshuuthe title itself is a kind of adaptation of the Japanese slang expression “hetchara”, which means more or less “no problem” or “I can handle it”.
The phrase itself perfectly encompasses Goku’s spirit of adventure and anime in general. Now you can think about it every time you hear the song.