In the past, animated series have been edited for content. An example of this would be the Warner Brothers series of Looney Tunes cartoons. In the 70s, the Road Runner / Coyote cartoons had many scenes edited for reasons of "extreme violence (Fanton, 1983)."
The extreme violence in the Road Runner / Coyote cartoons seems quite tame in comparison to the Dragonball series. One of the main problems cited in the Road Runner case was the Coyote, the villain of the series, being dropped off a cliff and being able to simply get up and walk away (Fanton, 1983).
The Dragonball series contains many "super-powered" martial arts scenes. While there is humor in the series, these scenes are the main crux of the plot. The scenes contain the expected punching and kicking of a martial arts fight, but many of them end with graphic violence and even death.
As examples: during the original fight with Vegita, Yamcha, Chao-Tzu, Tien and Piccolo were killed. During the battle, Tien lost his left arm (Toryama-l, 1989).
Piccolo is also no stranger to limb removal. He has lost his left arm in the battle with Radditz (Toryama-m, 1989). He also lost his right arm and the right side of his chest in the battle with Cell (Toryama-n, 1992).
Both characters did regain their limbs. Namekians are able to regenerate their limbs similar to reptiles (Toryama-o, 1989). Tien's arm simply reappeared in the afterlife with no explanation given (Toryama-p, 1990).
The villains also had some parts removed. Frieza was killed twice in the series. The first time he was cut into four pieces (Toryama-q, 1991). After being reassembled, he was cut into 10 pieces, each of which was blown up. Frieza's second death was edited in the English version, only showing him cut in half before being blown up (Toryama-k, 2000).