Franchise / Dragon Ball
Dragon Ball is a Japanese media franchise created by Akira Toriyama. It began as a manga that was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from to , chronicling the adventures of a cheerful monkey boy named Son Goku, in a story that was originally based off the Chinese tale Journey to the West (the character Son Goku both was based on and literally named afterSun Wukong, in turn inspired by Hanuman). The manga was soon adapted into one of the most popular anime productions ever made, starting in and ending in
The story follows Goku and a huge cast of friends and enemies as they search for the magical Dragon Balls that can make any wish come true. Of course, no sooner has someone gathered and used the Dragon Balls than they have to be sought out again. On top of all this, Goku is training up to fight in the periodic "Strongest Under the Heavens" tournament. The first third of the original series is generally broken down into six arcs, with Emperor Pilaf, the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament, the Red Ribbon Army, the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament, Demon King Piccolo, and the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, plus a few filler mini-arcs, comprising the originalDragon Ball anime series, for a total of episodes. After defeating these major threats to the world, Goku finally wins the tournament on his third attempt and goes off to get married. This portion of the story introduces and develop Goku's friends and enemies, as well as Goku himself as he discovers his love of fighting and adventure. Many tropes such as enemies becoming allies, facing off against progressively more powerful villains and having to train and power up to defeat them were introduced here, but would not become the regularly repeating tropes the franchise is known for until a bit later
In , the anime experienced a name change to Dragon Ball Z, while the manga continued under Dragon Ball (including all future translations, except English). The reason is that the anime changed showrunner and some of the animation team (and the author thought it would be ending soon, hence the Z). This part of the story continues by revealing that Goku is not simply a freakishly strong boy with a tail but one of the last of an alien race called Saiyans (and a runt of one at that). He was sent into space shortly before the Saiyan planet was destroyed (with shades of Superman, Golden Bat, and Prince of Gamma). Goku and his friends, reinforced by former enemies have to fight progressively more powerful villains with each new adventure, with the villains now becoming a more focal point of each story. Although Goku and his martial arts skills (which let him and his friends fly, throw ki blasts, and occasionally read minds) dominate the battles, the story is also about Goku's son Gohan and how he faces these challenges. Running seven years and nearly episodes, Z can be broken down into the four primary big bads of the series: Vegeta, Freeza (Frieza in the dub), Cell, and Majin Boo (Majin Buu in the dub, or Djinn-Boo in the Viz manga). Both Dragon Ball the manga and Dragon Ball Z the anime comes to a triumphant conclusion after manga chapters and anime episodes (plus two TV specials) after Gohan is married and his own daughter Pan enters the "Strongest Under the Heavens" tournament, with Goku departing to train his new pupil, Oob.
Since the original Dragon Ball saga was a mega-hit, Dragon Ball GT was created as an anime-only continuation by Toei Animation, with some character designs and initial input by Toriyama. GT was not as well received, lasting 64 episodes before cancellation (although this was still much longer than originally intended), bringing the original era of Dragon Ball anime to an end at episodes plus 3 TV specials and many movies along the way. The status of GT as part of the canon has been hotly debated since, with fans on the fence on where it lies and Toei not really acknowleging the subject at all. After the release of new material written by Toriyama himself starting in , GT is now considered an Alternate Continuity. This is because is the year Battle of Gods was released, and it's the first film in the franchise to be canon. Two years later, Resurrection 'F', the direct sequel to Battle of Gods, was released, followed by Dragon Ball Super, which is also canon (although whether this means the anime or the manga is another topic of debate).
And then of course came the dubs. While there have been many in all sorts of languages (and Z providing fertile ground for the fan-sub VHS market in the early 90s), the first English dub was in by Harmony Gold, who did at least the first five episodes and a combined version of the first and third movies in a few test markets. In , Funimation would attempt to dub the first thirteen episodes using the Harmony Gold script as a starting point, which is where names such as Master Roshi, Power Pole, and the Flying Nimbus come from. This too did not take off (once again due to a poor timeslot), so in Funimation skipped ahead to the Z portion, which was seen as being more overtly action-focussed in its early episodes than its predecessor, and they hoped the audience would keep up with all the new characters and plot elements showing up with little-to-no introduction. They did, and the rest is history.
This is quite the contrast when compared to other territories, particularly continental Europe (specially France, Spain and Italy) and all of Spanish-speaking Latin America, where the franchise found its footing way earlier than in the English-speaking world. While the original Dragon Ball part of the story was unable to find an audience at first in the US, Goku as a child took those two territories by storm as early as , becoming an instant hit among its target audience. And of course, when the series reached the Z portion of the story a couple of years later, the franchise's popularity exploded even further. By the time Dragon Ball Z finally got to conquer the United States, Dragon Ball as a whole had been a popular culture juggernaut in Europe and Latin America for almost a decade.
Initially covering the first 67 episodes, cut down into 53, plus the third movie, aired as a 3-part special, Z was at first dubbed using voice actors from The Ocean Group and distributed by Saban Entertainment in syndication, at first to early timeslots, but by the time the second season was underway, it was a huge hit. After Saban parted ways to focus on programming that they produced themselves, Cartoon Network picked the show up for their Toonami block in just after school at 5pm, exposing Z to hundreds of thousands of American kids. Problem was, Funimation had only dubbed those 53 episodes, which ran on repeat for a year. To save money, Funimation fired the Ocean cast and hired local Texas voice actors (some practically off the street) alongside newly-composed music for their first ever in-house dub, which began airing in late And let's be honest, if you're American, this dub is probably why most of you are even here. The in-house cast would become the de-facto English cast for the franchise, with a partial cast shake-up in for the dub of Dragon Ball Z Kai. The dub is infamous among those in the know for heavy alterations, including replacement music, voice actor choices, erasing mystical and Wuxia elements, changing names, "punching up" the dialogue in general, and mis-characterization. Regardless, Z continued to be a massive success in North America; the first anime would eventually be fully dubbed in English in while the Z dub was in the Cell arc. Meanwhile, the UK, Canada, and various English-speaking territories were treated to an alternate dub using much the same scripts as Funimation's dub, but with the Ocean cast, and using a score initially comprised of library tracks Ocean had built up from other productions, but became more and more its own original score as it went on. The alternate dub would then go on to dub the original series and GT, for which it would have its own cast replacement (moving voicework from Vancouver to Calgary), but they also switched to using scripts more faithfully translated from the original Japanese than Funimation's, and used the original Japanese score. They also did a really damn catchy version of the Japanese opening to GT. Though Funimation hit back hard against that with their own version from their "Remastered" DVDs in
The success of Dragon Ball, and its overwhelming influence on not just Japanese but global popular culture, is impossible to dispute. It became one of the biggest hits ever in Japan, and while it was hardly the first anime to be shown and become moderately popular in the west, it was the one that caused an exposure explosion in Europe and America. Americans and Europeans always have an idea of what it is when they hear its title, most Latinos and Americans who grew up during the s have watched it, it's still running on TV internationally, and merchandising is alive and well. It is sometimes derided for being simplistic and for drawn-out multi-episode fights with little story progression (thanks to Filler); however, one must keep in mind that the show is primarily aimed at kids and teens aged 10 to 18, with older adults not really in the picture.
There are many non serial movies (only a few could be wedged into the series' timeline) that were released at least once a year, four set in the Dragon Ball era and thirteen for Dragon Ball Z. Two TV specials were made for Dragon Ball Z as well, with a third being produced for GT (two of which don't fit comfortably in a post-Super world). Toei returned to this well in when they did a special OVA to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Shonen Jump, the first Dragon Ball feature to be entirely digital. It was exhibited at the Jump Super Anime Tour alongside six other specially-produced OVAs. There have also been several other OVAs within the franchise, mostly based on the Dragon Ball Z portion of the story (one was made alongside an NES game in , one was a remake of that in , one was a sequel to one of the original TV specials, released in , one was an interactive quiz in , and there were a couple of safety PSAs — one for traffic, one for fire — released to schools in the '80s).
In the early aughts, the manga was re-released in Japan as the "Kanzenban" or "Perfect Edition," with brand-new covers drawn by Toriyama. This split the chapters across 34 volumes instead of the original release's The Kanzenban also included all of the original color pages, and every other issue included a booklet with a drawing by current, popular Shueisha artists, talking about how much Dragon Ball had influenced them. There were also some other adjustments in the Kanzenban edition; two title pages were redrawn (one featured Bulma smoking a cigarette originally; this was removed in the redraw), one of the members of the Pilaf gang, Shu, had his name fixed (in the manga, he was originally called Soba, but was renamed Shu in one chapter), a sign in chapter saying "WELL COME" was changed to say "WELCOME", Vegeta's power level against Recoome was changed from 30, to 20,, an instance of Goku saying "Ore" instead of "Ora" in Japanese was fixed, the date of the Cell Games was changed from "M 17" to "May 26th", and most critically, two chapters towards the end had some different and additional pages; Kid Boo's death was expanded slightly, with a little aftermath added (after Goku defeats Boo, Vegeta thinks to himself "Phew, took you long enough", then Goku gives him a thumbs up, and he thinks "What's with that goofy look on his face? I seriously can't stand you!" then he loosens up and cracks a smile). Most significantly, however, the chapter included a new, adjusted ending written and drawn by Toriyama, drawing parallels between Goku and Oob as well as highlighting Vegeta's rivalry with him, though Toriyama's original farewell message to the fans from the chapter was removed.
To date, there have been three live-action adaptations: The American-made Dragonball Evolution, which came out in and was the only officially licensed one, the earlier, campier, Taiwanese Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins, and the most loyal Korean-made Dragon Ball: Fight for Victory, Son Goku!. At one point Dragon Ball was turned into an MMORPG by Netmarble, simply titled Dragon Ball Online. It was only released in South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The game had three playable races: Saiyan Hybrids (called "Humans" in-game), Namekian, and Majin. The servers and website for the game were closed in
From , Toei aired Dragon Ball Kai (or Dragon Ball Z Kaioutside Japan), a "refreshing" of Dragon Ball Z initially only covering the material from the Saiyan arc to the Cell Games arc with a lot of filler and paddingremoved. note Though not nearly all of it; Goku rescuing Gohan from the waterfall in episode 1, Ginyu Frog harassing Bulma, Gregory's existence, and various other significant filler additions to the anime were left in, and they actually ADDED some material in the first episode, initially with a scene taken from the first TV special, somewhat spoiling Goku's alien heritage, and adding a recap of the events of Dragon Ball for those who haven't seen it in a while Or those who skipped it entirely, of course. Yet Kai still ends up at half the total episode count of its counterpart run of Z. This initial run would be the prelude to Dragon Ball's return to producing new media in In , Kai resumed but on a much lower budget, with different music, worse picture (notably, it was cropped to widescreen, had a persistent green tint, and had an even softer, less detailed picture than the already-rather-notoriously-blurry first run of Kai), and including a lot more filler than the previous run (to the point that a few fully-filler episodes were left in, exactly as they were in Z).
Dragon Ball also has a Spin-Off manga called Dragon Ball SD in Saikyo Jump by Naho Ooishi which began on December 3, , some 26 years after the first chapter of the original series was first published in Shonen Jump. As of June 21, , there was another spin-off, this time a one-shot, called Episode of Bardock, also by Ooishi; later in the same year the Bardock short received an animated adaptation, and Shueshia started to reprint brand new copies of the original manga, in its original volume glory, although with a differently stylized logo.
In , Toei Animation started reworking on their classic animated adaptations, with brand new productions. Dragon Ball wouldn't be left out of the party, and it was announced that Toei was working on a new movie named Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. Toriyama was directly involved with the writing and it was to be set not long after the defeat of Kid Boo. The movie hit Japanese theaters on March 30, to wild critical acclaim. Two years later, Toriyama worked with Toei again to bring about a direct sequel to Battle of Gods, titled Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F, to a little less acclaim
Later in , 18 years after the end of GT, Toei announced that the franchise was going to get a new TV anime called Dragon Ball Super. Premiering on Fuji TV on July 5, , the series at first simply retold the events of Battle of Gods and Resurrection 'F' before moving on to its own new material.
The franchise's impact on shnen manga is unparalleled, to say the very least. Although not the first to employ the vast number of tropes that it is most associated with, it became the de facto face of them (especially outside its home country where, for many, it was the first anime anyone ever saw and an introduction to both the shnen battle genre and anime in general). To this day, the shnen demographic, and various anime in general that use elements from it, pay homage to, or parody, this series and continue its legacy. For proof, one need only look as far as three series of the Aughts which are often considered the most direct of its spiritual successors: Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach.
- Doctor Slump () - Crossed over in the original series during the Red Ribbon Army arc. The '90s Dr. Slump anime also had its own crossover episode. And Dragon Ball Super had both a cameo by Arale in one episode and a full episode crossover.
- Dragon Boy () - two chapter series the served as a prototype for the series
- The Adventures of Tongpoo () - one-shot that also inspired parts of the series
- Jaco the Galactic Patrolman () - Stealth Prequel set before the first series. The title character would later return for Super. Also part of the Galactic Patrol Series are:
- Sachie-chan Guu!!
- Dragon Ball Minus: The Departure of the Fated Child - one-shot featured in the collected volume covering the time period before Goku was sent to Earth
- Dragon Ball: Alla ricerca delle Sette Sfere ()
- Dragon Ball Z: Il Torneo ()
- Dragonball + Dragonball Z: Il gioco di ruolo ()
- Dragon Ball Z The Anime Adventure Game () - A Tabletop RPG published by R. Talsorian Games using the Fuzion D6 system.
- Yahtzee: Dragon Ball Z ()
- Dragon Ball Z: Final Tournament Strategy Game ()
- Dragon Ball Z CCG ()
- The Heroic Dragon Ball Z Adventure Game ()
- Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Saga Battle Boardgame ()
- Dragon Ball Z: Majin Buu Saga ()
- Dragon Ball Card Game ()
- Dragon Ball GT TCG ()
- Dragon Ball Z TCG ()
- Dragon Ball Collectible Card Game ()
- Dragon Ball Super Card Game () - A relaunch of the original Collectible Card game, adding Super-era elements and characters.
- Dragon Ball Kai: Fight Battle the Dragonball World ()
- Metal Shogi () - A variant of Shgi using dice-driven combat with card based modifiers.
- Monopoly: Dragon Ball Z ()
- Dragon Ball Z: The Miniatures Game ()
- Dragon Ball Z: Road Trip ()
- Dragon Ball Z: Perfect Cell ()
- Dragon Ball Z: Over ()
- Dragon Ball Super: Universe Survival ()
- Dragon Ball Z - Smash Battle: The Miniatures Game ()
Dragon Ball (TV)
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Japan Surveyed on Anime, Manga, Other Cultural Exports(May 20, )
Sakura Con - Day 3(Apr 8, )
Anime Boston - Funimation(Apr 5, )
Seattle's Sakura-Con Hosts Trigun Film Premiere, Staff(Feb 22, )
Male Arrested in Japan for Uploading via Perfect Dark (Update 2)(Jan 27, )
Dragon Ball Actor Daisuke Gouri Passes Away(Jan 18, )
Jakks, Dentsu Develop Japanese-Animated Monsuno for TV(Jan 7, )
Japan's Animation TV Ranking, November December 6(Dec 24, )
Japan's Animation TV Ranking, November (Nov 30, )
14 Anime Singers Record 'Imagine' to Fight World Hunger(Oct 18, )
Weekend Wrapup 4/10 - 10/10(Oct 11, )
HearJapan Adds Live Recordings of Anime-Related Songs(Sep 21, )
WALL-E, Eden of the East, Haruhi-chan Win Anime Kobe Awards(Sep 4, )
Japanese Animation Blu-ray Disc Ranking, July August 2(Aug 7, )
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Supanova Perth - Five minutes with Chris Sabat(Jul 21, )
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Funimation Adds Sengoku Basara TV Anime Series (Update 2)(Jul 4, )
N. America's Anime Market Pegged at US$ Billion (Update 3)(Apr 1, )
Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, March (Mar 17, )
Professor Layton: The First Movie's 2 Teasers Streamed(Mar 7, )
Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, February (Mar 3, )
Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, February (Mar 3, )
Toei Confirms Dragon Ball Kai is Edited to Follow Manga(Mar 2, )
Blue Dragon's 1st Episode Also Posted on Xbox Live for Free(Feb 26, )
Reorganization of Bandai Visual Announced(Feb 12, )
Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, January (Jan 20, )
Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, January (Jan 13, )
Bandai Remakes Complete Dragon Ball Card Set(Jan 4, )
New DB, Tegami Bachi, Romance Dawn Anime DVD Offered(Dec 22, )
Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, December (Dec 16, )
English Dragonball: Evolution Trailer Officially Posted(Dec 10, )
Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, November (Nov 18, )
FUNimation Sues CA Retail Sites over Alleged Bootlegs(Oct 28, )
3 Arrested for Stealing Dragon Ball Vending Machine(Oct 26, )
Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, October (Oct 23, )
Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, September October 14(Oct 16, )
Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, October (Oct 11, )
Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, September 24–30(Oct 6, )
Toonami's Former Creative Directors Interviewed(Sep 26, )
Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, September 17–23(Sep 25, )
Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, September 10–16(Sep 20, )
Cartoon Network to End Toonami on September 20(Sep 20, )
Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, August 13–20(Aug 25, )
Newspaper Profiles Toei Animation Philippines Studio(Aug 21, )
Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, August 6–12(Aug 14, )
Japanese Man Arrested for Pirated Anime DVD Auctions(Aug 5, )
G4 Presents: Comic-Con '08 - Viz Media: Shonen Jump(Jul 25, )
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Funimation Channel Adds MoonPhase, Peach Girl, Suzuka(Mar 3, )
America's Cartoon Network to Run Blue Dragon This Spring(Feb 29, )
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Fox Acknowledges Dragon Ball Film, Stays Mum on Details(Sep 5, )
Japanese Box Office: August , September (Sep 3, )
Funimation's Parent Navarre Posts First Quarter Results(Aug 7, )
Otakon - Funimation Entertainment(Jul 20, )
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Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, May 16–22(May 24, )
Japanese Man Arrested for Bootlegging Dragonball DVDs(May 24, )
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Japanese Anime DVD Ranking, April (Apr 26, )
Heroes' Masi Oka Acknowledges Anime, Manga Influences(Apr 26, )
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Blue Dragon to be Toriyama's Final Anime?(Mar 28, )
Dragon Ball Online (MMO) To Be Released in (Mar 20, )
Voice Actress Haruko Momoi Releases Chiptune Album(Mar 9, )
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Funimation Channel's Pow Wasabi Block Starts Tonight(Jan 29, )
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Dragon Ball Returns to US TV(Nov 12, )
Japan's Favorite TV Anime(Oct 12, )
Madman Panel - Complete Report(Oct 2, )
Toei Targets China(May 19, )
Dragon Ball Box #2 on Oricon(Apr 20, )
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Dragonball Movie Set(Oct 7, )
TV Asahi Top Anime Part 2(Sep 23, )
TV Asahi Top Anime(Sep 23, )
New Shows on YTV(Sep 21, )
Dragonball 20th Anniversary(Aug 10, )
New Japanese Dragonball DVD Releases(Jul 25, )
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Akira Toriyama Car(Jan 31, )
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Yu Yu Hakusho and Dragon Ball Z return to Toonami in January(Dec 15, )
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Dragonball GT on the International Channel(Oct 22, )
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Nobuyuki Takahashi believes North American Anime Market is Strong(Jun 1, )
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More on Live Action Dragonball Movie(Apr 5, )
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Live Action Dragonball(Mar 12, )
Cartoon Network Picks Up Hamtaro (and More Dragon Ball)(Mar 8, )
Planet Namek Shuts Down(Feb 22, )
Saiyanz Rage Closes(Jan 29, )
New Magazine to reprint entire Dragonball series(Jan 25, )
IF Lab Dragonball Figures Images(Jan 11, )
This Week's Anime and Manga Releases(Jan 9, )
Lycos Top Lists of (Dec 20, )
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Shounen Jump Founder and Editor-In-Chief Passes Away(Nov 28, )
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January Viz Manga Releases(Nov 11, )
Upcoming IF Labs Dragon Ball Figures(Oct 26, )
Boston Anime Convention features Mika Akitaka(Oct 18, )
First Look at IF Deluxe Dragon Ball Figures(Oct 12, )
This Week's Anime and Manga Releases(Oct 9, )
Saiyanz Rage Moves to own server(Sep 5, )
Dragon Ball Episode Comparison(Aug 22, )
October Anime Merchandise from Diamond(Aug 21, )
Dragonball on YTV(Aug 15, )
Bid for Power to be released(Aug 9, )
Funimation Release Dates(Aug 8, )
Tokyopop Announcements at Comicon(Jul 19, )
Toonami on Kids WB(Jul 9, )
Anime Figurines & Busts(Jun 28, )
Toonami Schedule(Jun 18, )
Upcoming Toonami Schedules(Jun 16, )
Dragon Ball Delayed (again) on CN(Jun 7, )
Original Dragon Ball Opening/Ending Explained(Jun 6, )
Uncensored DB update(May 16, )
To Redub or not to Redub?(May 12, )
Uncut DBZ tapes to start with Tournament(May 8, )
Dragonball on CN Debut Date Confirmed(May 2, )
Toonami To Lose One Hour(Apr 25, )
Toriyama 1-shot Manga Update(Apr 25, )
Pojo's Pokemon Magazine ends circulation(Apr 15, )
New Manga from Akira Toriyama(Apr 15, )
More Anime Sites Shut Down(Apr 15, )
The new voice for DB's Pilaf is..(Apr 14, )
DBZ FAQ update(Apr 10, )
Daizenshuu EX and other eFront/Anime Network Sites down(Apr 5, )
FUNimation focuses on Dragonball(Apr 4, )
Misc Dragon Ball News(Apr 4, )
Dragon Ball Z VA results(Mar 31, )
Italian Police Seize Bootlegged Anime Toys(Mar 27, )
Vote for Goku's voice for Dragon Ball(Mar 21, )
Rough air date for Dragonball(Mar 9, )
Dragonball Manga to remain Unedited(Mar 9, )
Irwin Toys Sold(Mar 9, )
Lycos Top 50(Mar 8, )
Viz Press Release(Feb 27, )
Goku wins a place with the best(Feb 25, )
Cartoon Network New Shows update(Feb 23, )
Dragon Ball Z Tidbits(Feb 23, )
Cartoon Network announces new Shows(Feb 22, )
New online anime store: ZStore(Feb 14, )
DBZ Killed by Love(Feb 14, )
Dragonball Unedited Manga still up in air(Jan 18, )
3rd Dragonball Movie announced on DVD(Jan 18, )
Animage Top Anime Listing(Jan 15, )
Dragon Ball #1 Lycos top 50(Jan 9, )
Viz April Releases(Dec 22, )
Dragon Ball Z #1 Fad(Dec 21, )
5th Tezuka Osamu Bunka-sho awards(Nov 21, )
Regarding Unedited Dragonball Manga(Nov 1, )
YTV Programming news(Oct 31, )
YTV Anime News(Sep 13, )
Gundam Tops Anime Poll(Sep 12, )
Viz explains censorship in Dragonball Manga(Aug 22, )
Canadian TV Anime News(Aug 12, )
DBZ Subtitling article(Jul 28, )
The real Planet Namek?(Jun 27, )
YTV Fall Lineup(Jun 22, )
Urban Vision Announces(Apr 17, )
Viz announces products for 7/99 release(Apr 3, )
Coming Soon in Japan(Feb 28, )
Viz announces 5/99 releases(Jan 14, )
Viz announces March '99 releases(Dec 3, )
Pokemon manga gets second printing(Dec 1, )
Ani-Mag announces Chroma-Cels of Sailor Moon, DBZ(Nov 30, )
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The Dragon Ball films are animated and live-action films made based on the Dragon Ball manga and its four animated TV series, Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Super, and Dragon Ball GT.
All Dragon Ball movies were originally released in theaters in Japan, typically when the vast majority of Japanese school children are on spring and summer vacations in March and July, although it pairs up with a Dr. Slump movie, usually 60 minutes long. All of the movies have been released in the United States, and are usually released under a shorter title. Akira Toriyama, the artist who created the franchise, had little to do with the movies past some of the character designs.[citationneeded] However, he is listed as the creator of the movies in the credits. In Daizenshuu 6 (released in ), Akira Toriyama stated that he considers the movies to be stories in a "different dimension" than the main story of the manga he created.Daizenshuu 7 lists only Dead Zone and Cooler's Revenge in the main timeline.
Movie 1: Curse of the Blood Rubies
Japanese title: "The Legend of Shen Long"
FUNimation title: "Curse of the Blood Rubies"
UK Title: "The Legend Of Shenron"
Premiering on December 20, , this film features an alternate scenario to the Emperor Pilaf Saga, set in a parallel world.
Movie 2: Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle
Japanese title: "Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle"
FUNimation title: "Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle"
UK Title: "Sleeping Beauty in Devil Castle"
Premiering on July 18, , this film features an extended version of the story of how Goku and Krillin began their training with Master Roshi.
Movie 3: Mystical Adventure
Japanese title: "Mystical Great Adventure"
FUNimation title: "Mystical Adventure"
UK title: "Mystical Adventure"
Premiering on July 9, , this film features an alternate scenario to the Tien Shinhan Saga, set in a parallel world.
Movie 4: The Path to Power
Japanese title: "The Path to Ultimate Strength"
FUNimation title: "The Path to Power"
Premiering on March 4, , this film is an altered re-telling of the Red Ribbon Army Saga.
Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies
Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies
Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies
Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle
Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle
Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure
Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure
Dragon Ball: The Path to Power
Dragon Ball: The Path to Power
Dragon Ball: The Path to Power
Dragon Ball: The Path to Power
Dragon Ball: The Path to Power
Dragon Ball Z
Movie 1: Dead Zone
Japanese title: "Dragon Ball Z"
FUNimation title: "Dead Zone"
UK title: "In Pursuit of Garlic"
Premiering on July 15, , taking place after the end of Dragon Ball but before the start of Dragon Ball Z, this movie introduces the antagonistic Makyan race led by Garlic Jr. - who would return in the fillerGarlic Jr. Saga.
Movie 2: The World's Strongest
Japanese title: "The World's Strongest Guy"
FUNimation title: "The World's Strongest"
UK title: "The Strongest Guy in the World"
Premiering on March 10, , taking place after the Attack of the Saiyans but before the Battle on Planet Namek, this film featured Dr. Wheelo attempting to obtain Goku's body for himself.
Movie 3: The Tree of Might
Japanese title: "Super Showdown for the Whole Earth"
FUNimation title: "The Tree of Might"
UK title: "Super Battle in the World"
Premiering on July 7, , set during the Battle on Planet Namek, this movie featured the renegade Saiyan Turles attempting to use Earth to grow the Tree of Might, so he could eat its fruit and become the strongest in the universe.
Movie 4: Lord Slug
Japanese title: "Super Saiyan Son Gokū"
FUNimation title: "Lord Slug"
UK title: "Super Saiya Son Goku"
Premiering on March 9, , and also set during the Battle on Planet Namek, this movie featured the evil Super NamekianLord Slug, who aimed to reclaim his youth and convert Earth into a vehicle.
Movie 5: Cooler's Revenge
Japanese title: "The Incredible Mightiest vs. Mightiest"
FUNimation title: "Cooler's Revenge"
UK title: "Super Rivals"
Premiering on July 20, , set after the Battle on Planet Namek but before the Android conflict. This movie debuted Frieza's brother Cooler, who attacked Earth to try and get revenge for his brother's death.
Movie 6: The Return of Cooler
Japanese title: "Clash!! 10 Billion Power Warriors"
FUNimation title: "The Return of Cooler"
UK title: "Fight! 10 Billion Power Warriors"
Premiering on March 7, , set after the Battle on Planet Namek but before the Android conflict. Cooler returns after having merged with the Big Gete Star and attacks New Namek.
Movie 7: Super Android 13!
Japanese title: "Extreme Battle!! The Three Great Super Saiyans"
FUNimation title: "Super Android 13!"
UK title: "Super Battle of the Three Super Saiyans"
Premiering on July 11, , set during the Android conflict in a parallel world this movie sees the debut of three androids who were destroyed in the main timeline as they attempt to fulfill their objective of killing Goku.
Movie 8: Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan
Japanese title: "Burn Up!! Hot Fight! Fierce Fight! Super Violent Fight!"
FUNimation title: "Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan"
UK title: "The Burning Battles"
Premiering on March 6, , set during the break before the Cell Games, this movie introduced Broly the Legendary Super Saiyan and the Z Fighters first conflict with him.
Movie 9: Bojack Unbound
Japanese title: "The Galaxy at the Brink!! The Super Incredible Guy"
FUNimation title: "Bojack Unbound"
UK title: "Super Guy in the Galaxy"
Premiering on July 10, , set shortly after the Cell Games, this movie features the Galaxy Soldiers attacking Earth, with Goku dead, it is up to Gohan to step up and stop them.
Movie Broly - Second Coming
Japanese title: "The Dangerous Duo! Super-Warriors Can Not Rest"
FUNimation title: "Broly - Second Coming"
Premiering on March 12, , set early during the Majin Buu Conflict, this film features Broly appearing once more and battling the Z Fighters again.
Japanese title: "Super-Warrior Defeat!! I'm the One who'll Win"
FUNimation title: "Bio-Broly"
Premiering on July 9, , set during the Majin Buu Conflict, this film features the clone of Broly: Bio-Broly, who is encountered by Goten and Trunks
Movie Fusion Reborn
Japanese title: "The Rebirth of Fusion!! Goku and Vegeta"
FUNimation title: "Fusion Reborn"
Premiering on March 4, , set during the Majin Buu Conflict, this film introduces Goku and Vegeta's Fusion Dance self: Gogeta to defeat Janemba - who has been causing trouble in the Other World.
Movie Wrath of the Dragon
Japanese title: "Dragon Fist Explosion!! If Goku Won't Do It, Who Will?"
FUNimation title: "Wrath of the Dragon"
Premiering on July 15, , set after the Majin Buu Conflict, this film shows the conflict between Tapion and Hirudegarn, with the Z Fighters aiding in bringing it to a close.
Movie Battle of Gods
Japanese title: "Kami to Kami"
FUNimation title: "Battle of Gods"
Premiering on March 30, and effectively jump-starting a new era of Dragon Ball, this film is one of the two which make up the Gods of the Universe Saga. The movie introduces God of DestructionBeerus, whom Goku must become a Super Saiyan God to battle. It was later adapted into the God of Destruction Beerus Saga.
Movie Resurrection ‘F’
Japanese title: "Fukkatsu no F"
FUNimation title: "Resurrection ‘F’"
Premiering on February 21, as the second part of the Gods of the Universe Saga, this movie features the return of Frieza, who attacks Earth as Golden Frieza and battles Goku and Vegeta in their new Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan forms. It was later adapted into the Golden Frieza Saga.
Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone
Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest
Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might
Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug
Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge
Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler
Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13!
Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan
Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound
Dragon Ball Z: Broly - Second Coming
Dragon Ball Z: Bio-Broly
Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn
Dragon Ball (ドラゴンボール,Doragon Bōru) is an adaptation of the first portion of Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball manga. It is composed of episodes around minutes long and ran on Fuji TV from February 26, to April 12, The series average rating was %, with its maximum being % (Episode 47) and its minimum being % (Episode ). Despite its success, Dragon Ball was overshadowed by its more action-oriented sequel series, Dragon Ball Z. Dragon Ball depicted Goku's childhood, while Dragon Ball Z depicted his adulthood. Both are adapted from the same manga.
Dragon Ball started off as a manga series called Dragon Boy. The story depicted a young boy named Tanton and his quest to return a princess to her homeland. The series was a loose adaptation of the Chinese legend Journey to the West, depicting monkey king Sun Wukong. Due to the series' unpopularity, Toriyama re-wrote Dragon Boy, adapting it as Dragon Ball. All the character's personalities were changed except for Goku. The re-adaptation named Dragon Ball became a hit, and was later made into an anime.
Two initial attempts at releasing Dragon Ball to American audiences failed. The first attempt was in from Harmony Gold USA (the company that previously dubbed Robotech). It featured strange name changes for nearly all the characters, such as changing Goku to "Zero" and Korin to "Whiskers the Wonder Cat". It was test-marketed in several cities, but was never broadcast to the general public and has since been referred to as "The Lost Dub" by fans.
The second and more well-known attempt was in with only the first 13 episodes dubbed and aired in first-run syndication. This release was a joint-production between Funimation, Seagull Entertainment, and BLT Productions, with a dubbing voice cast similar to Funimation's initial dub of Dragon Ball Z. These original 13 dubbed episodes were later released to home video by KidMark as "Dragon Ball: The Saga of Goku."
After Dragon Ball Z became immensely popular on Cartoon Network's Toonami block, Dragon Ball was re-dubbedin English by Funimation's in-house ADR studio for redistribution in the U.S. The complete original series aired on Cartoon Network's Toonami from August 20, to December 1, Unlike the theme songs for Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT, Funimation made English versions of the original Japanese opening (OP) and ending (ED) themes for these episodes and left in the original background music (which they would later also do with their dubs of Dragon Ball Z Kai and Dragon Ball Super). Some insert (IN) songs were taken out or have talking over them.
The U.S. version of Dragon Ball that was aired on Cartoon Network (before that, it was aired in syndication and on NBC in select cities) had many edits done to it. Most of the edits were digital cosmetic changes, which were done to remove nudity and blood, and dialogue edits. Sometimes, some scenes were deleted altogether, either to save time or cut out strong violence.
For example, when Goku dives into the water naked to kick a fish he catches for dinner, a digital water splash was added on his groin; on other occasions when he is naked, he has some digital underwear added. Also, references to alcohol and drugs were removed, for example, when Jackie Chun uses Drunken Fist in the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament, Funimation called it the "Mad Cow Attack" (coincidentally, there was a real life Mad Cow epidemic shortly after the episode aired). Also, the famous "No Balls!" scene was deleted from episode 2, and when Bulma puts panties on the fishing hook to get Oolong (in fish form), they digitally painted away the panties and replaced it with some money. Also, a number of creative changes were made to the dialogue. For example, when Puar says why Oolong was expelled from school, instead of saying that he stole the teacher's panties, they say that he stole the teacher's "papers."
A lot of older fans hated these changes, because they felt it was butchering the original show's humor and dumbing it down. These edits, however, were necessary in order to have the show aired on TV. The DVDs do not contain these edits.
Aside from censorship-related reasons, FUNimation also sometimes alters dialogue in an attempt to make a scene more humorous in nature. A notable example of this was with General Blue during his fight with Krillin where his banter with the latter was altered to have him make references to Girl Scouts, the Mona Lisa, and also insulting Krillin with "diaper man".
Original author of the manga, Akira Toriyama, held a great deal of respect for the Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z animes and those that developed them. Toriyama also admired the fact that the anime hadoriginal stories created by the animation team, and stated that he considered the Dragon Ball anime to be equal in importance to the Dragon Ball manga.
- Toei sagas
- Son Gokū (Episodes 1–28) (2/26/–9/3/)
- Red Ribbon Army (Episodes 29–68) (9/10/–7/1/)
- 22nd Tenka'ichi Budōkai (Episodes 69–) (7/8/–2/17/)
- Piccolo Daimaō (Episodes –) (2/24/–11/2/)
- 23rd Tenka'ichi Budōkai (Episodes –) (11/9/–4/19/)
- Funimation sagas
- Emperor Pilaf Saga (Episodes 1–13; originally The Saga of Goku)
- Tournament Saga (Episodes 14–28)
- Red Ribbon Army Saga (Episodes 29–45)
- General Blue Saga (Episodes 46–57)
- Commander Red Saga (Episodes 58–67)
- Fortuneteller Baba Saga (Episodes 68–83)
- Tien Shinhan Saga (Episodes 84–)
- King Piccolo Saga (Episodes –)
- Piccolo Jr. Saga (Episodes –)
Movies and other
- Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies
- Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle
- Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure
- Dragon Ball: The Path to Power (10th Anniversary Special)
Public service videos
- "Goku's Traffic Safety"
- "Goku's Fire Brigade"
Dragon Ball ( Korean film)
Main article: Dragon Ball: Ssawora Son Goku, Igyeora Son Goku
Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins
Main article: Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins A live-action version of the popular Japanese animated series. An evil king has been stealing the mystical "Dragon Pearls" in an attempt to possess them all. When all but one of the pearls has been stolen, the former guardians of the magic jewels decide to band together and take action. Led by a pig-headed wizard and a half-turtle martial arts master, the team takes on the king's army in a desperate bid to stop him from gaining control of the pearls.
Made in Taiwan and released in , this feature has actually been released in the US as Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins (originally titled Xin Qi long zhu Shen long de chuan shuo, or New Dragon Ball: The Legend of Shenlong). While this movie does not follow Toriyama's concept exactly, it is a lot closer to it than it is to any traditional Chinese legends.
Main article: Dragonball Evolution A live-action version of the series, made in the United States. The movie retains the basic notion of Dragon Ball, but there are several major changes in the story and characters. The movie depicts Goku's training and his confrontation with Lord Piccolo.
Funimation Remastered Season and Movie Sets
Main article: Funimation Remastered Box Sets In , after the release of the Remastered Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT Season DVD Boxsets, Funimation announced that they would begin releasing Dragon Ball in Remastered Format beginning September later that year. They are presented in their Original Aspect Ratio and are presented in a 5 Disc Boxset. Unlike the Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT Sets, the Dragon Ball Sets only include a English Voice Track with Original Japanese Background Audio and Original Japanese Mono as Dragon Ball had never had an American Soundtrack.
On December 28, , Funimation released Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies to DVD and Blu-ray uncut and re-dubbed with their Dragon Ball Z Kai voice cast to Region 1 DVD. A complete box set containing all four Dragon Ball Movies was released in February  All movies retain their original Funimation dub with the exception of Curse of the Blood Rubies.
Season Set release dates
Movie Set release dates
Dragon Ball Movie 1
Dragon Ball Movie 4 Pack
Funimation's original "Saga of Goku" boxset, by Kidmark
Dragon Ball Volume 1
Dragon Ball Volume 2
Dragon Ball Volume 3
Dragon Ball Volume 4
Dragon Ball Volume
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Every Single Dragon Ball Movie (In Chronological Order)
It may be more than 30 years old as of this writing, but no anime (except maybe One Piece) has succeeded in accomplishing what Dragon Ballhas. Not only is Akira Toriyama’s magnum opus a long-running series with many spin-off materials, but it’s practically an institution in the world of anime.
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In its decades-long lifespan, the epic adventures and fights of Son Goku have been seen and read in manga, video games, and lots of movies. With more than 20 movies to its name, Dragon Ball has a large enough cinematic franchise that can go toe-to-toe with the likes of James Bondin terms of scale, popularity, and influence. From TV movies to theatrical releases to live-action adaptations, here’s every Dragon Ball movie ever released in chronological order.
26 Dragon Ball: Curse Of The Blood Rubies ()
The very first Dragon Ball movie also started the series’ trend of setting stories in alternate continuities. Curse of the Blood Rubies (or The Legend of Shenlong) is a condensation of the manga’s introductory arc, where Goku meets the likes of Bulma and Master Roshi for the first time, but with some changes.
A major difference between this movie and the original arc is that the antagonist Emperor Pilaf is replaced with the movie-only character King Gurumes, who never appears in any other Dragon Ball material after his debut.
25 Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess In Devil’s Castle ()
Often referred to as Sleeping Beauty by fans, the second Dragon Ball movie is essentially a retelling of the classic fairy tale. Only now it has super-powered martial arts and a literal devil named Count Lucifer.
Once again, this is a cinematic retelling of key events in Goku’s life, such as meeting Krillin for the first time and becoming Master Roshi’s student. Clocking in at less than an hour, Sleeping Princess in Devil’s Castle is a fun, if disposable watch for Dragon Ball completionists.
24 Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure ()
After completing their year of training under Master Roshi, Goku and Krillin participate in the World Martial Arts Tournament, only to find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that involves a plot against Emperor Chiaotzu and the legendary Dragon Balls.
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Compared to the previous movies, Mystical Adventures takes even more liberties with its story by including characters from different arcs and giving them new roles and motivations. This movie also offers alternate versions of certain events in the manga, giving fans something new to look out for here.
23 Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone ()
Dead Zone is the first movie to bear the Dragon Ball Z name while also serving as its prequel. Here, an alien named Garlic Jr. seeks to avenge his father, who he feels was disgraced when Kami was chosen as God of Earth over the elder Garlic.
Despite a generic plot, the fourth Dragon Ball movie was so popular that Garlic Jr. returned in a full-blown Dragon Ball Z arc. The Garlic Jr. Saga takes place between the Namek and Android Arcs, making Dead Zone the only Dragon Ball movie to be acknowledged by the anime.
22 Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest ()
When a pair of mad scientists break out of their icy prison, Goku and company have to put a stop to their plans of world domination. Meanwhile, the disembodied brain that is Dr. Urio (or Dr. Wheelo in English dubs) plots to steal the body of the world’s strongest man – i.e. Goku – so that he can escape his current robotic shell.
Notably more action-packed than its predecessors, The World’s Strongest was criticized for its thin plot but praised for its energetic and well-animated fights – a sentiment that would become the series’ staple as time went on.
21 Dragon Ball Z: The Tree Of Might ()
Also known as Super Battle in the World, the third Dragon Ball Z movie features Turles and his space-pirates when they land on Earth to plant the Tree of Might, which will give them unimaginable power after it drains the planet’s life-force. Obviously, Goku won’t go down without a fight.
Tree of Might presents one of the most intriguing rivalries in all of Dragon Ball, with Turles being Goku’s evil counterpart. Problem is, the necessary backstories can only be found in the guidebooks. Additionally, Tree of Might has the most English dubs among all Dragon Ball media.
20 Dragon Ball Z: Bardock – The Father Of Goku ()
Serving as a prequel to the entire Dragon Ball franchise, Bardock – The Father of Goku reveals where and how the rivalry between the Saiyans and Frieza began. After gaining strange premonitions, Bardock realizes that his life’s mission is to protect his son if the Saiyans are to have a chance at stopping Frieza.
Though it was a TV special that aired alongside the Frieza Saga, Bardock’s emotionally-charged prequel proved to be so well-received and popular that Toriyama integrated the formerly anime-only character into the official canon.
19 Dragon Ball: Fight For Victory, Son Goku! ()
The popularity of Dragon Ball was so immense that different countries remade it into live-action features, albeit without legal permission. The first of these attempts came from Korea in the form of the B-grade gem Fight for Victory, Son Goku! or, as the Korean title’s literal English translation reads, Fight Son Goku, Win Son Goku.
It may not have the recognition of its American counterpart, but Fight for Victory, Son Goku! has the twin distinction of being the highest-rated live-action Dragon Ball movie on IMDB while also being the most faithful of the three live-action adaptations.
18 Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug ()
Earth is once again threatened when the titular Lord Slug, a space pirate intent on wiping out all life on the planet, arrives and is challenged by Goku. Lord Slug is often forgotten due to its incredibly generic plot and its one-dimensional villain, which is saying something when taking every single Dragon Ball installment into account.
The fact that this entry bore a lot of similarities to The Tree of Might didn’t help its case. The fights, however, are just as entertaining as expected of a Dragon Ball movie.
17 Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge ()
Known as Dragon Ball Z: The Greatest Rivals in different countries, Cooler’s Revenge is the direct follow-up to Goku’s fight with Frieza. The powerful alien Cooler sets a warpath towards Earth to exact violent vengeance on Goku for killing his brother, Frieza.
Though it follows a by-the-numbers revenge plot, Cooler’s Revenge expands the lore behind one of the franchise’s most iconic villains while adding some memorably explosive fights between a vengeful Cooler and Goku. Its impact, however, was somewhat reduced by its sequel The Return of Cooler.
16 Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins ()
Taiwan is responsible for the second unofficial attempt at bringing Dragon Ball to life, and it’s as fun as any B-movie find can get. The Magic Begins is an almost shot-for-shot remake of Curse of the Blood Rubies with some cosmetic changes, such as renaming the Dragon Balls to Dragon Pearls and calling the antagonist King Horn.
As low-budgeted and overacted as it is, this remake has an undeniable so-bad-it’s-good charm that gives it some ironic appeal – which is still better than anything that the third live-action Dragon Ball movie committed.
15 Dragon Ball Z: The Return Of Cooler ()
Alternatively titled Clash!! 10,,, Power Warriors, the sequel to Cooler’s Revenge pits Goku and Cooler against each other when Frieza’s brother is resurrected by the ominous Big Gete Star.
Return of Cooler is known for accomplishing some firsts among Dragon Ball movies. Not only is it a direct sequel to a previous entry, but it breaks from the usual formula to introduce grander science-fiction themes while also featuring the cinematic debut of the fan-favorite Vegeta. It’s for these reasons (minus Vegeta) that Cooler’s comeback is polarizing among fans.
14 Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13! ()
Following Dr. Gero’s murder by Androids 17 and 18, Androids 13, 14, and 15 are activated as a fail-safe. The three head out to kill Goku, who is backed up by his usual roster of allies.
Super Android 13! is one of the most straightforward Dragon Ball movies, immediately cutting to the intense fights fans love. This entry also features the series’ first time where Goku, Vegeta, and Future Trunks fight together. Super Android 13! also contains the scene where Goku suffers a groin attack so powerful that it knocks him out of Super Saiyan mode.
13 Dragon Ball Z: The History Of Trunks ()
The backstory of the android-slaying and time-traveling Future Trunks is revealed in his very own TV special, which takes place in a dark future where Dr. Gero’s powerful Androids successfully subjugated the world.
Notable for sharing the bleakness of The Terminator instead of the adventurous feel of the series, The History of Trunks is praised for its unapologetically grim setting and tone. It may feel different and jarringly depressing when compared to every other Dragon Ball movie or special, and this distinction alone makes it worth seeking out.
12 Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan ()
Vegeta goes to the planet New Vegeta in the hopes of becoming the king of the last remaining Saiyan survivors. But upon arriving, he discovers their true plans of universal conquest that are being spearheaded by the legendary Saiyan warrior Broly.
Thanks to its compelling story, feature-length run time, breakout villain, and (of course) epic fights, The Legendary Super Saiyan is often considered to be the best Dragon Ball movie. Broly’s recent revival in Dragon Ball Super is a testament to his enduring popularity, even if his Dragon Ball Z sequels didn’t give him the justice he deserved.
11 Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound ()
After many world-ending fights, Bojack Unbound returns to the series’ roots with a good old-fashioned tournament arc. As per franchise tradition, the tournament is interrupted by evil-doers and it’s up to Gohan and company to save the day.
For the first time in the movie series, Goku isn’t the protagonist after sacrificing himself to stop Cell, with the movie now focusing on his son Gohan. This movie also serves as a throwback, not only because of the tournament arc but because of Toriyama’s direct involvement in story and design, making Bojack Unbound a beloved blast from the past.
10 Dragon Ball Z: Broly – Second Coming ()
Seven years after his defeat, Broly returns with vengeance against Goku in mind. Problem is, Goku’s dead and the legendary Saiyan is forced to face Gohan, Goten, Trunks, and Videl instead.
The first Broly sequel isn’t well-regarded for many reasons, chief among them being the feared Saiyan’s character devolution. From a tragic villain, Broly has been reduced to an angry brute who just wants to murder Goku. The fact that Second Coming is child-friendlier than previous entries doesn’t improve matters, though its sequel makes Broly’s initial return look like a masterpiece.
9 Dragon Ball Z: Bio-Broly ()
The finale to the Broly trilogy features Goten, Trunks, Android 18, and Mr. Satan discovering an experiment where Broly’s DNA was used to create bio-warriors. Released less than half a year after Second Coming, Bio-Broly (aka Super-Warrior Defeat!! I’m the One Who’ll Win) is rightfully deemed the worst Dragon Ball movie.
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Broly’s characterization is now at its lowest, with the legendary Saiyan reduced to an unintelligible pile of sludge that looks like Swamp Thing. Goten and Trunks’ antics only make things more insufferable, and even fan-favorite Android 18 plus comic relief extraordinaire Mr. Satan can’t save the day.
8 Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn ()
Living and dead heroes and villains converge in Fusion Reborn, an ambitious crossover that happens after the dim-witted but dangerous Janemba breaks the border between the mortal realm and the afterlife. Loaded with fan-service and spectacular fights, Fusion Reborn is more of a celebration of all things Dragon Ball than a rumination of the plot’s morbid implications.
Fusion Reborn may also be the most notorious Dragon Ball movie around due its inclusion of a character referred to as “The Dictator,” whose scenes were omitted in French, German, and Hebrew cuts of the movie for obvious Nazi-related reasons.
7 Dragon Ball Z: Wrath Of The Dragon ()
Titled Dragon Fist Explosion!! If Goku Can’t Do It, Who Will? in Japan, Wrath of the Dragon is set after Majin Buu’s defeat. Goku and friends learn that another threat looms in the horizon in the form of the unstoppable Hirudegarn, and they enlist the legendary hero Tapion to save the day.
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Despite his dedicated following, Tapion is never seen in Dragon Ball after his debut. This is what keeps the movie from becoming a classic for some fans, despite the stellar fights and Goku’s unexplained yet awesome ability to summon a Kaiju-sized dragon.
6 Dragon Ball: The Path To Power ()
Functioning more as a soft reboot, The Path to Power marked the franchise’s 10th anniversary. To commemorate this event, the movie goes back to the beginning by retelling Goku’s origins and his initial battle with the Red Ribbon Army.
The Path to Power is the longest original Dragon Ball movie, and it uses its run time to indulge in a decade’s worth of nostalgia. While the condensed story is literally nothing new and is told considerably better in the anime, The Path to Power is a celebration of Dragon Ball’s simple beginnings.
5 Dragon Ball GT: A Hero’s Legacy ()
Hoping to save his dying grandmother, Son Goku Jr. searches for the Dragon Ball so his wish can be granted. Unlike his great-grandfather, Goku Jr. is not a brave fighter but he must become one to succeed.
A Hero’s Legacy isn’t a traditional Dragon Ball story, but it’s regarded as an improvement over the polarizing series it’s a part of: Dragon BallGT. This is due to it feeling like a proper distillation of what GT attempted but failed to do, making it a forgettable yet sincere and charming watch. This is also the only special that GT spawned.
4 Dragonball Evolution ()
American anime adaptations don’t have the most stellar of reputations, but none are as infamous as Hollywood’s take on Dragon Ball. Saying Dragonball Evolution disrespected its source material is an understatement, and it deserves its status as the worst thing that Hollywood did to Japan – including the atrocious Godzilla remake.
Simply put, Evolution Americanized Goku’s story to the point where it felt more like an 80s teen movie than a sprawling battle epic. It was so bad that creator Akira Toriyama came out of semi-retirement to make more Dragon Ball just to undo this movie’s damage.
3 Dragon Ball Z: Battle Of Gods ()
The peace that Goku and friends have been enjoying is interrupted when the ancient God of Destruction Beerus reawakens. Beerus attacks, in search of the Super Saiyan God, and Goku learns of a new Saiyan form he has to achieve to defeat the god.
Being the first official Dragon Ball movie in a decade, Battle of Gods was regarded as an event. Though it felt more like a lead-in to the new series Dragon Ball Super, the movie was received well by long-time fans who were desperate to wipe away the bad aftertaste that Evolution left.
2 Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ ()
After his remaining loyalists successfully collect and use the Dragon Balls, Frieza returns stronger than ever in Resurrection ‘F.’ Now in a more powerful form, the alien tyrant attacks Earth with the goal of killing all the Saiyans.
Resurrection ‘F’ is more focused on fan-service and epic clashes when compared to Battle of Gods, which is a given since it centers on the comeback of the franchise’s fan-favorite villain. Loaded with some of the series’ biggest fights, the latest Dragon Ball Z movie is sometimes derided for its conventional plot but is highly lauded for its raw entertainment value.
1 Dragon Ball Super: Broly ()
After surviving Frieza’s attacks, Goku and Vegeta continue to train in case a powerful being challenges them. Their fears are realized through a legendary Super Saiyan named Broly, Frieza’s newfound ally.
The first movie under the Dragon Ball Super banner not only brings back the series’ breakout antagonist but completely rewrites him, giving Broly a new backstory and motivation. The end result is a more fleshed-out and tragic character, who becomes the center of the series’ strongest entry to date. Filled with spectacular fights and surprising amounts of pathos, Broly is simply Dragon Ball at its best.
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10 Dragon Ball Games That Retell The Story Better Than Kakarot
By no means unexpected, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot was not able to live up to its hype. It promised a full-on adaptation of Dragon Ball Z, even filling in the blanks from the manga, but what we ultimately got was an average action RPG with below-average combat mechanics and a story that cut far more than it needed to, often for little to no discernible reason.
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Kakarot is still one of the better narrative adaptations of Dragon Ball, but it’s not the best retelling– far from it. It certainly earns points when it comes to presentation, but Kakarot fails not only to understand most of its cast, but it romanticizes the events of Dragon Ball Z far too much.
10 Origins 1 & 2 (NDS)
Frankly, Kakarot’s biggest mistake is adapting Dragon Ball Z instead of just the original Dragon Ball. The original Dragon Ball actually has a consistent point of view character in just about every single episode and chapter. Grounded combat would allow for actual mechanical depth, and Goku would be able to gradually unlock access to Ki.
Origins 1 & 2 only end up covering up to the Red Ribbon Army arc, but these two games very carefully flesh out the series’ first three story arcs. Better yet, both Origins titles are actually in the style of a traditional overhead Zelda. Unlike most Dragon Ball games, these are actually good games too.
9 Advanced Adventure (GBA)
Before there was the Origins duology, there was Advanced Adventure on the Game Boy Advance. Covering everything from the very start of the series to Goku killing Demon King Piccolo, Advanced Adventure is more gameplay heavy than it is story, but its action-platformer approach to things keeps the experience fresh throughout.
What cutscenes there are tend to be taken word for word from the manga as well, ensuring that all moments of the story are at least accurately rooted in Dragon Ball’s history. Even then, for as minimal the narrative is, Advanced Adventure conveys the spirit of Goku’s journey through gameplay wonderfully.
8 Attack Of The Saiyans (NDS)
Adapting an abridged version of the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai and the Saiyan arc in full (and in-depth,) Attack of the Saiyans is a traditional turn-based RPG and probably the best Dragon Ball Z RPG as far as pure gameplay goes. With Paper Mario style blocking in play, Attack of the Saiyans ends up very engaging.
Narratively, it’s as comprehension an adaptation as any of the Dragon Ball games get. There’s plenty of filler to fill in details, everyone’s training is expanded upon, and the story adapts every single page of the manga. This often results in the game moving at a slow pace, but the novelty is still worth it.
7 Legend Of The Super Saiyan (SNES)
Legend of the Super Saiyan is a familiar game for those who grew up amidst SNES piracy in the early s. An adaptation of the Saiyan and Namek arcs, Legend of the Super Saiyan actually allows the player to make changes to the story. Only Piccolo has to die during the fight against Nappa, for instance. Everyone else can survive and be brought to Namek.
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Of course, those brought to Namek can also permanently die at any point, with character deaths during the fight with Freeza even triggering his Super Saiyan transformation (something players can outright miss if no one dies during the final boss.) The game gets very grindy once Gohan lands on Namek, but it’s worth pushing through just to experience the story in such a unique way.
6 Gekishin Freeza (NES)
A rare video game adaptation of just the Namek arc, Gekishin Freeza is a Famicom RPG that covers everything up to right before Goku turns into a Super Saiyan. It’s a very strange cutting off point, but this is a very good game that adapts the story in a comparatively primitive, but very charming manner.
Interestingly, Gekishin Freeza takes place in a scenario where only Piccolo died fighting the Saiyans. Like with Legend of the Super Saiyan, party members can permanently die on Namek, though they can be brought back to life with the Dragon Balls before the final boss.
5 Super Butoden 2 (SNES)
Rather than adapting the entire Cell arc, Super Butoden 2 hones in on a very specific portion of the series: the end of the Cell Games, but before the start of the Buu arc. That very brief period in Dragon Ball history where Gohan was the definitive main character, Goku was truly gone, and the series was to fall in his hands.
Super Butouden 2 also operates as a choose your own adventure game. You can play as Gohan, Piccolo, Trunks, or Vegeta starting from right before the Cell Games only to then head into adaptations of Bojack Unbound and Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan, complete with multiple endings and branching paths.
4 The Legacy Of Goku II (GBA)
Here we have a Cell arc adaptation that actually covers the entire arc in question. Arguably the best Dragon Ball Z RPG, The Legacy of Goku II mainly shoves Goku into the background– a rarity for Dragon Ball games. He’s only playable for a very brief portion of the game, and then he’s permanently removed from the party for the post-game.
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Legacy of Goku II does use Funimation’s script, which does lead to inconsistencies and just flat out wrong characterization or information, but their Cell arc was at least better than their Namek. If nothing else, the story is recognizable and even potentially nostalgic for those who grew up watching DBZ on Toonami.
3 Buu’s Fury (GBA)
The Legacy of Goku II’s immediate sequel, Buu’s Fury doesn’t share its predecessor’s name, but the heart of the RPG is the same. This time around, however, there are even more traditional JRPG conventions, complete with equipment and stat customization for all five party members: Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, Goten, and Trunks.
This is one of the few games to not only adapt the Buu arc but actually adapt it well. By this point in the series, Funimation was still operating with their mistakes, but their translation for the final saga of DBZ is the best of the original lot. That isn’t saying much, but it does lend itself well to Buu’s Fury. If nothing else, this game actually features DBZ’s real ending. Looking at you, Kakarot.
2 Budokai 3 (PS2)
More often than not, Dragon Ball fighting games never tend to adapt important character moments. Deaths and transformations, yes, but actual moments of development independent of the action are ignored. That’s just the nature of the fighting game genre, but Budokai 3 gets around this by making every member of the Dragon Team the hero of their own story.
This isn’t a case of What-Ifs, either. While replaying campaigns can lead to alternate endings and secret scenarios, Budokai 3 generally has each character going through as much of DBZ’s story as possible from their perspective, usually capping off the Earthlings when they die or run out of fights. It’s a very fresh approach to adapting the story that helps fill in little character beats.
1 Budokai Tenkaichi 2 (PS2/Wii)
Like Budokai 3 before it, Budokai Tenkaichi 2 just can’t compete with Kakarot when it comes to presentation. It also can’t quite compete to Budokai 3’s character-specific approach, but what Budokai Tenkaichi 2 offers instead is a rather fully-fledged adaptation of as much of the Dragon Ball anime as humanly possible, covering the entirety of Z in detail and even some GT.As is the case with the majority of Dragon Ball fighting games, the story mode mainly only focuses on the big battles with moments of development in the background, but Budokai Tenkaichi’s attempt at covering every single fight actually ends up ensuring very little isn’t covered as far as the Z-era goes. As a result, it does a much better job with its story than Kakarot.
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Japanese media franchise created by Akira Toriyama
This article is about the media franchise in general. For other uses, see Dragon Ball (disambiguation).
Dragon Ball (Japanese: ドラゴンボール, Hepburn: Doragon Bōru) is a Japanese media franchise created by Akira Toriyama in The initial manga, written and illustrated by Toriyama, was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from to , with the individual chapters collected into 42 tankōbon volumes by its publisher Shueisha. Dragon Ball was originally inspired by the classical 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West, combined with elements of Hong Kong martial arts films. The series follows the adventures of protagonist Son Goku from his childhood through adulthood as he trains in martial arts. He spends his childhood far from civilization until he meets a teen girl named Bulma, who encourages him to join her quest in exploring the world in search of the seven orbs known as the Dragon Balls, which summon a wish-granting dragon when gathered. Along his journey, Goku makes several other friends, becomes a family man, discovers his alien heritage, and battles a wide variety of villains, many of whom also seek the Dragon Balls.
Toriyama's manga was adapted and divided into two anime series produced by Toei Animation: Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, which together were broadcast in Japan from to Additionally, the studio has developed 20 animated feature films and three television specials, as well as two anime sequel series titled Dragon Ball GT (–) and Dragon Ball Super (–). From to , a revised version of Dragon Ball Z aired in Japan under the title Dragon Ball Kai, as a recut that follows the manga's story more faithfully by removing most of the material featured exclusively in the anime. Several companies have developed various types of merchandising based on the series leading to a large media franchise that includes films, both animated and live-action, collectible trading card games, numerous action figures, along with several collections of soundtracks and numerous video games. Dragon Ball has become one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.
Since its release, Dragon Ball has become one of the most successful manga and anime series of all time, with the manga sold in over 40countries and the anime broadcast in more than 80countries. The manga's 42 collected tankōbon volumes have sold over million copies in Japan, and are estimated to have sold more than –million copies worldwide, making it two best-selling manga series in history. Reviewers have praised the art, characterization, and humour of the story. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential manga series ever made, with many manga artists citing Dragon Ball as a source of inspiration for their own now-popular works. The anime, particularly Dragon Ball Z, is also highly popular across the world and is considered one of the most influential in boosting the popularity of Japanese animation in Western culture. It has had a considerable impact on global popular culture, referenced by and inspiring numerous artists, athletes, celebrities, filmmakers, musicians and writers across the world.
See also: List of Dragon Ball characters
Earth, known as the Dragon World (ドラゴンワールド) and designated as "Planet " by the celestial hierarchy, is the main setting for the entire Dragon Ball series, as well as related media such as Dr. Slump, Nekomajin, and Jaco the Galactic Patrolman. It is mainly inhabited by Earthlings (地球人, Chikyūjin), a term used inclusively to refer to all of the intelligent races native to the planet, including humans, anthropomorphic beings, and monsters. Starting from the Dragon Ball Z series, various extraterrestrial species such as the Saiyans (サイヤ人, Saiya-jin) and Namekians (ナメック星人, Namekku-seijin) have played a more prominent role in franchise media.
The narrative of Dragon Ball predominantly follows the adventures of Goku; upon meeting Bulma at the beginning of the series, the two then embark on an adventure to gather the seven Dragon Balls.[ch.1] Goku later receives martial arts training from Master Roshi, meets his lifelong friend Krillin, and enters the World Martial Arts Tournament to fight the strongest warriors on the planet. When the evil King Piccolo, and later his offspring Piccolo, tries to conquer the planet, Goku receives training from Earth's deities to defeat them. Goku later sacrifices his life to save the planet from his estranged brother Raditz,[ch.] but later trains in the afterlife under the tutelage of King Kai, to save it from the other incoming Saiyans Nappa and Vegeta. He later becomes a Super Saiyan and defeats the powerful tyrant Frieza. This sets the tone of the rest of the series, with each enemy the characters face becoming stronger than the last, requiring them to attain further training.
Dragon Ball Super establishes that the franchise is set in a multiverse composed of twelve[N 1] numbered universes, each ruled by a number of benevolent and malevolent deities, respectively called Supreme Kais and Gods of Destruction who are appointed by a higher being called the Grand Zeno, who watches over the multiverse along with the Grand Priest, the father of all the Angels. Almost all of the Dragon Ball series, except for parts of Dragon Ball Super, takes place in Universe 7. Years in the timeline are called "Ages", with most of the story occurring between Age and Age Universe 7 contains several planets, including a fictionalized Earth, where humans reside, and Planet Vegeta, the home world of the Saiyans, a powerful and destructive race. Many other races also inhabit Universe 7, including Angels, Demons, Androids, Tuffles and Namekians. Humans are among the weakest races in the universe. The protagonist Goku is raised as a human on Earth but finds out that he is actually a Saiyan from Planet Vegeta.
See also: List of Dragon Ball characters and Dragon Ball (manga) §Production
Akira Toriyama was a fan of Hong Kong martial arts films, particularly Bruce Lee films such as Enter the Dragon () and Jackie Chan films such as Drunken Master (), and wanted to create a manga inspired by martial arts films. This led to Toriyama creating the one-shot manga Dragon Boy, which he later redeveloped into Dragon Ball. Toriyama loosely modeled the plot and characters of Dragon Ball on the classic Chinese novelJourney to the West, with Goku being Sun Wukong ("Son Goku" in Japanese), Bulma as Tang Sanzang, Oolong as Zhu Bajie, and Yamcha being Sha Wujing. Toriyama wanted to create a story with the basic theme of Journey to the West, but with "a little kung fu" by combining the novel with elements from the kung fu films of Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. The title Dragon Ball was inspired by Enter the Dragon and later Bruceploitation knockoff kung fu films which frequently had the word "Dragon" in the title, and the fighting scenes were influenced by Jackie Chan movies. Since it was serialized in a shōnenmanga magazine, he added the idea of the Dragon Balls to give it a game-like activity of gathering something, without thinking of what the characters would wish for. His concept of the Dragon Balls was inspired by the epic Japanese novelNansō Satomi Hakkenden (–), which involves the heroes collecting eight Buddhistprayer beads, which Toriyama adapted into collecting seven Dragon Balls.
He originally thought it would last about a year or end once the Dragon Balls were collected. Toriyama stated that although the stories are purposefully easy to understand, he specifically aimed Dragon Ball at readers older than those of his previous serial Dr. Slump. He also wanted to break from the Western influences common in Dr. Slump, deliberately going for Chinese scenery, referencing Chinese buildings and photographs of China his wife had bought. Toriyama wanted to set Dragon Ball in a fictional world largely based on Asia, taking inspiration from several Asian cultures including Japanese, Chinese, South Asian, Central Asian, Arabic and Indonesian cultures. The island where the Tenkaichi Budōkai (天下一武道会, lit. "Strongest Under the Heavens Martial Arts Tournament") is held is modeled after Bali (in Indonesia), which he, his wife and assistant visited in mid, and for the area around Bobbidi's spaceship he consulted photos of Africa. Toriyama was also inspired by the jinn (genies) from The Arabian Nights.
During the early chapters of the manga, Toriyama's editor, Kazuhiko Torishima, commented that Goku looked rather plain, so to combat this he added several characters like Kame-Sen'nin and Kuririn, and created the Tenkaichi Budōkai martial arts tournament to focus the storyline on fighting. It was when the first Tenkaichi Budōkai began that Dragon Ball truly became popular, having recalled the races and tournaments in Dr. Slump. Anticipating that readers would expect Goku to win the tournaments, Toriyama had him lose the first two while planning an eventual victory. This allowed for more character growth as the manga progressed. He said that Muscle Tower in the Red Ribbon Army storyline was inspired by the video game Spartan X (called Kung-Fu Master in the West), in which enemies appear very fast as the player ascends a tower (the game was in turn inspired by Jackie Chan's Wheels on Meals and Bruce Lee's Game of Death). He then created Piccolo Daimao as a truly evil villain, and as a result called that arc the most interesting to draw.
Once Goku and company had become the strongest on Earth, they turned to extraterrestrial opponents including the Saiyans (サイヤ人, Saiya-jin); and Goku himself was retconned from an Earthling to a Saiyan who was sent to Earth as a baby.Freeza, who forcibly took over planets to resell them, was created around the time of the Japanese economic bubble and was inspired by real estatespeculators, whom Toriyama called the "worst kind of people." Finding the escalating enemies difficult, he created the Ginyu Force to add more balance to the series. When Toriyama created the Super Saiyan (サイヤ人, Sūpā Saiya-jin) transformation during the Freeza arc, he was initially concerned that Goku's facial expressions as a Super Saiyan made him look like a villain, but decided it was acceptable since the transformation was brought about by anger. Goku's Super Saiyan form has blonde hair because it was easier to draw for Toriyama's assistant (who spent a lot of time blacking in Goku's hair), and has piercing eyes based on Bruce Lee's paralyzing glare.Dragon Ball Z anime character designer Tadayoshi Yamamuro also used Bruce Lee as a reference for Goku's Super Saiyan form, stating that, when he "first becomes a Super Saiyan, his slanting pose with that scowling look in his eyes is all Bruce Lee." Toriyama later added time travel during the Cell arc, but said he had a hard time with it, only thinking of what to do that week and having to discuss it with his second editor Yu Kondo. After Cell's death, Toriyama intended for Gohan to replace Goku as the series' protagonist, but later felt the character was not suited for the role and changed his mind.
Going against the normal convention that the strongest characters should be the largest in terms of physical size, he designed many of Dragon Ball's most powerful characters with small statures, including the protagonist, Goku. Toriyama later explained that he had Goku grow up as a means to make drawing fight scenes easier, even though his first editor Kazuhiko Torishima was initially against it because it was rare to have the main character of a manga series change drastically. When including fights in the manga, Toriyama had the characters go to uninhabited locations to avoid difficulties in drawing residents and destroyed buildings. Toriyama said that he did not plan the details of the story, resulting in strange occurrences and discrepancies later in the series, including changing the colors of the characters mid-story and few characters having screentone because he found it difficult to use. Since the completion of Dragon Ball, Toriyama has continued to add to its story, mostly background information on its universe, through guidebooks published by Shueisha.
During the second half of the series, Toriyama has said that he had become more interested in coming up with the story than actually drawing it, and that the battles became more intense with him simplifying the lines. In , he stated that because Dragon Ball is an action manga the most important aspect is the sense of speed, so he did not draw very elaborate, going so far as to suggest one could say that he was not interested in the art. He also once said that his goal for the series was to tell an "unconventional and contradictory" story. In , commenting on Dragon Ball's global success, Toriyama said, "Frankly, I don't quite understand why it happened. While the manga was being serialized, the only thing I wanted as I kept drawing was to make Japanese boys happy.", "The role of my manga is to be a work of entertainment through and through. I dare say I don't care even if [my works] have left nothing behind, as long as they have entertained their readers."
Main article: Dragon Ball (manga)
Written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball was serialized in the manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 3, to June 5, , when Toriyama grew exhausted and felt he needed a break from drawing. The individual chapters were published into 42 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha from September 10, through August 4,  Between December 4, and April 2, , the chapters were re-released in a collection of 34 kanzenban volumes, which included a slightly rewritten ending, new covers, and color artwork from its Weekly Shōnen Jump run. The February issue of V Jump, which was released in December , announced that parts of the manga will be fully colored and re-released in  Twenty volumes, beginning from chapter and grouped by story arcs, were released between February 4, and July 4,  Twelve volumes covering the first chapters were published between January 4 and March 4,  A sōshūhen edition that aims to recreate the manga as it was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump with color pages, promotional text, and next chapter previews, was published in eighteen volumes between May 13, and January 13, 
Another manga penned by Ōishi, the three-chapter Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock that revolves around Bardock, Goku's father, was published in the monthly magazine V Jump from August and October 
The final chapter of Toriyama's manga series Jaco the Galactic Patrolman revealed that it is set before Dragon Ball, with several characters making appearances.Jaco's collected volumes contain a bonus Dragon Ball chapter depicting Goku's mother.
In December , a spin-off manga titled Dragon Ball Side Story: The Case of Being Reincarnated as Yamcha began in Shueisha's Shōnen Jump+ digital magazine. Written and illustrated by Dragon Garow Lee, it is about a high school boy who after an accident wakes up in the body of Yamcha in the Dragon Ball manga.
Toriyama also created a short series, Neko Majin (–), that became a self-parody of Dragon Ball. In , a crossover between Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo (or Kochikame) and Dragon Ball by Toriyama and Kochikame author Osamu Akimoto appeared in the Super Kochikame (超こち亀, Chō Kochikame) manga. That same year, Toriyama teamed up with Eiichiro Oda to create a crossover chapter of Dragon Ball and One Piece titled Cross Epoch.
|Market(s)||Publisher||Volume sales||As of||Ref|
|South Korea||Seoul Cultural Publishers||20,,+[c]|||
|China||China Children's Press & Publication Group||10,,+[b]|||
|United States||Viz Media||2,,+|||
|Poland||Japonica Polonica Fantastica||,+|||
|United Kingdom||Gollancz / Viz Media||78,|||
|Vietnam||Kim Đồng Publishing House||60,+[e]|||
Further information: Dragon Ball (manga) §Reception
See also: Weekly Shōnen Jump §Circulation figures
Dragon Ball is one of the most popular manga series of all time, and it continues to enjoy high readership today. Dragon Ball is credited as one of the main reasons manga circulation was at its highest between the mids and mids. During Dragon Ball's initial run in Weekly Shōnen Jump, the manga magazine reached an average circulation of million weekly sales, the highest in its history. During Dragon Ball's serialisation between and , Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine had a total circulation of over billion copies,[g] with those issues generating an estimated ¥ billion ($ billion) in sales revenue.[g]
Dragon Ball also sold a record number of collected tankōbon volumes for its time. By , more than million tankōbon copies had been sold in Japan alone. It sold over million copies in Japan by , making it the best-selling manga ever at the time. By , its sales in Japan had grown to pass million, making it the second best-selling Weekly Shōnen Jump manga of all time, behind One Piece.Dragon Ball's tankobon volumes sold million copies in Japan by February , and have sold over million copies in Japan as of 
The manga is similarly popular overseas, having been translated and released in over 40countries worldwide. Estimates for the total number of tankōbon volumes sold worldwide range from more than million copies to more than million copies, not including unofficial pirated copies; when including pirated copies, an estimated total of over million official and unofficial copies have been sold worldwide.[f][b][c]
For the 10th anniversary of the Japan Media Arts Festival in , Japanese fans voted Dragon Ball the third greatest manga of all time. In a survey conducted by Oricon in among 1, people, Son Goku, the main character of the franchise, ranked first place as the "Strongest Manga Character of All Time." Goku's journey and his ever-growing strength resulted in the character winning "the admiration of young boys everywhere". Manga artists, such as One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda and Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto, have stated that Goku inspired their series' main protagonists as well as series structure.
Manga critic Jason Thompson stated in that "Dragon Ball is by far the most influential shonen manga of the last 30 years, and today, almost every Shonen Jump artist lists it as one of their favorites and lifts from it in various ways." He says the series "turns from a gag/adventure manga to an nearly-pure fighting manga", and its basic formula of "lots of martial arts, lots of training sequences, a few jokes" became the model for other shōnen series, such as Naruto. Thompson also called Toriyama's art influential and cited it as a reason for the series' popularity. James S. Yadao, author of The Rough Guide to Manga, claims that the first several chapters of Dragon Ball "play out much like Saiyuki with Dr. Slump-like humour built in" and that Dr. Slump, Toriyama's previous manga, has a clear early influence on the series. He feels the series "established its unique identity" after the first occasion when Goku's group disbands and he trains under Kame-sen'nin, when the story develops "a far more action-packed, sinister tone" with "wilder" battles with aerial and spiritual elements and an increased death count, while humor still makes an occasional appearance. Yadao claims that an art shift occurs when the characters "lose the rounded, innocent look that he established in Dr. Slump and gain sharper angles that leap off the page with their energy and intensity."
Animerica felt the series had "worldwide appeal", using dramatic pacing and over-the-top martial arts action to "maintain tension levels and keep a crippler crossface hold on the audience's attention spans". In Little Boy: The Art of Japan's Exploding Subculture, Takashi Murakami commented that Dragon Ball's "never-ending cyclical narrative moves forward plausibly, seamlessly, and with great finesse." Ridwan Khan from Animefringe.com commented that the manga had a "chubby" art style, but as the series continued the characters got more refined, leaner, and more muscular. Khan prefers the manga over the slow pacing of the anime counterparts. Allen Divers of Anime News Network praised the story and humor of the manga as being very good at conveying all of the characters' personalities. Divers also called Viz's translation one of the best of all the English editions of the series due to its faithfulness to the original Japanese. D. Aviva Rothschild of Rationalmagic.com remarked the first manga volume as "a superior humor title". They praised Goku's innocence and Bulma's insistence as one of the funniest parts of the series.
The content of the manga has been controversial in the United States. In November , Toys "R" Us removed Viz's Dragon Ball from their stores nationwide when a Dallas parent complained the series had "borderline soft porn" after he bought them for his four-year-old son. Commenting on the issue, Susan J. Napier explained it as a difference in culture. After the ban, Viz reluctantly began to censor the series to keep wide distribution. However, in , after releasing three volumes censored, Viz announced Dragon Ball would be uncensored and reprinted due to fan reactions. In October , Wicomico County Public Schools in Maryland banned the Dragon Ball manga from their school district because it "depicts nudity, sexual contact between children and sexual innuendo among adults and children."
Main article: List of Dragon Ball anime
Main article: Dragon Ball (TV series)
Further information: List of Dragon Ball episodes
Toei Animation produced an anime television series based on the first manga chapters, also titled Dragon Ball. The series premiered in Japan on Fuji Television on February 26, and ran until April 19, , lasting episodes. It is broadcast in 81countries worldwide.
Dragon Ball Z
Main article: Dragon Ball Z
Further information: List of Dragon Ball Z episodes
Instead of continuing the anime as Dragon Ball, Toei Animation decided to carry on with their adaptation under a new name and asked Akira Toriyama to come up with the title. Dragon Ball Z (ドラゴンボールZ(ゼット), Doragon Bōru Zetto, commonly abbreviated as DBZ) picks up five years after the first series left off and adapts the final chapters of the manga. It premiered in Japan on Fuji Television on April 26, , taking over its predecessor's time slot, and ran for episodes until its conclusion on January 31,  Two television specials based on the Z series were aired on Fuji TV in Japan. The first, The One True Final Battle ~The Z Warrior Who Challenged Frieza – Son Goku's Father~, renamed Bardock – The Father of Goku by Funimation, was shown on October 17, The second special, Defiance in the Face of Despair!! The Remaining Super-Warriors: Gohan and Trunks, renamed The History of Trunks by Funimation, is based on a special chapter of the original manga and aired on February 24,
Dragon Ball GT
Main article: Dragon Ball GT
Further information: List of Dragon Ball GT episodes
Dragon Ball GT (ドラゴンボールGT(ジーティー), Doragon Bōru Jī Tī, G(rand) T(ouring)) premiered on Fuji TV on February 7, and ran until November 19, for 64 episodes. Unlike the first two anime series, it is not based on Akira Toriyama's original Dragon Ball manga, being created by Toei Animation as a sequel to the series or as Toriyama called it, a "grand side story of the original Dragon Ball." Toriyama designed the main cast, the spaceship used in the show, the design of three planets, and came up with the title and logo. In addition to this, Toriyama also oversaw production of the series, just as he had for the Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z anime. The television special episode, Goku's Side Story! The Proof of his Courage is the Four-Star Ball, or A Hero's Legacy as Funimation titled it for their dub, aired on March 26, , between episodes 41 and 42, serving as a kind of precursor to the epilogue to the series shown at the end of episode
Dragon Ball Z Kai
Main article: List of Dragon Ball Z Kai episodes
In February , Dragon Ball Z celebrated its 20th anniversary, with Toei Animation announcing that it would broadcast a re-edited and remastered version of the Dragon Ball Z anime under the name Dragon Ball Kai (ドラゴンボール改, Doragon Bōru Kai, lit. "Dragon Ball Revised"). The footage would be re-edited to follow the manga more closely, eliminating scenes and episodes which were not featured in the original manga, resulting in a more faithful adaptation, as well as in a faster-moving, and more focused story. The episodes were remastered for HDTV, with rerecording of the vocal tracks by most of the original cast, and featuring updated opening and ending sequences. On April 5, , the series premiered in Japan airing in Fuji TV.Dragon Ball Z Kai reduced the episode count to episodes ( episodes internationally), from the original footage of episodes. Damaged frames were removed, resulting in some minor shots being remade from scratch in order to fix cropping, and others to address continuity issues. The majority of the international versions, including Funimation Entertainment's English dub, are titled Dragon Ball Z Kai.
Dragon Ball Super
Main article: Dragon Ball Super
Further information: List of Dragon Ball Super episodes
On April 28, , Toei Animation announced Dragon Ball Super (ドラゴンボール超, Doragon Bōru Sūpā), the first all-new Dragon Ball television series to be released in 18 years. It debuted on July 5 and ran as a weekly series at am on Fuji TV on Sundays until its series finale on March 25, after episodes.Masako Nozawa reprises her roles as Goku, Gohan, and Goten. Most of the original cast reprise their roles as well.Koichi Yamadera and Masakazu Morita also reprise their roles, as Beerus and Whis, respectively.
The story of the anime is set several years after the defeat of Majin Buu, when the Earth has become peaceful once again. Akira Toriyama is credited as the original creator, as well for "original story & character design concepts." It is also being adapted into a parallel manga.
Super Dragon Ball Heroes
Main article: Super Dragon Ball Heroes (anime)
Further information: List of Super Dragon Ball Heroes episodes and Dragon Ball Heroes
In , an anime to promote the Super Dragon Ball Heroes card and video game series was announced with a July 1 premiere. The series' announcement included a brief synopsis:
Trunks returns from the future to train with Goku and Vegeta. However, he abruptly vanishes. The mysterious man "Fu" suddenly appears, telling them that Trunks has been locked up on the "Prison Planet", a mysterious facility in an unknown location between universes. The group searches for the Dragon Balls to free Trunks, but an unending super battle awaits them! Will Goku and the others manage to rescue Trunks and escape the Prison Planet?
The short film Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!! was created for the Jump Super Anime Tour, which celebrated Weekly Shōnen Jump's 40th anniversary, and debuted on September 21, A short animated adaptation of Naho Ōishi's Bardock spinoff manga, Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock, was shown on December 17–18, at the Jump Festa event.
A two-episode original video animation (OVA) titled Dragon Ball Z Side Story: Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans was created in as strategy guides for the Famicom video game of the same name. A remake titled Dragon Ball: Plan to Eradicate the Super Saiyans was created as a bonus feature for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox video game Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2, which was released on November 11, 
A two-part hour-long crossover special between Dragon Ball Z, One Piece and Toriko, referred to as Dream 9 Toriko & One Piece & Dragon Ball Z Super Collaboration Special!! aired on April 7, 
The anime adaptations have also been very well-received and are better known in the Western world than the manga, with Anime News Network saying, "Few anime series have mainstreamed it the way Dragon Ball Z has. To a certain generation of television consumers its characters are as well known as any in the animated realm, and for many it was the first step into the wilderness of anime fandom." In , satellite TV channel Animax together with Brutus, a men's lifestyle magazine, and Tsutaya, Japan's largest video rental chain, conducted a poll among , fans on the top anime series, with Dragon Ball coming in fourth.TV Asahi conducted two polls in on the Top Anime, Dragon Ball came in second in the nationwide survey conducted with multiple age-groups and in third in the online poll.
Dragon Ball is one of the most successful franchises in animation history. The anime series is broadcast in more than 80countries worldwide. In Japan, the first sixteen anime films up until Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon () sold 50million tickets and grossed over ¥40 billion ($ million) at the box office, in addition to selling over , home video units, by  Later DVD releases of the Dragon Ball anime series have topped Japan's sales charts on several occasions. In the United States, the anime series sold over 25million DVD units by January , and has sold more than 30million DVD and Blu-ray units as of  In Latin America, public screenings of the Dragon Ball Super finale in filled public spaces and stadiums in cities across the region, including stadiums holding tens of thousands of spectators.
Carl Kimlinger of Anime News Network summed up Dragon Ball as "an action-packed tale told with rare humor and something even rarer—a genuine sense of adventure." Both Kimlinger and colleague Theron Martin noted Funimation's reputation for drastic alterations of the script, but praised the dub. However, some critics and most fans of the Japanese version have been more critical with Funimation's English dub and script of Dragon Ball Z over the years. Jeffrey Harris of IGN criticized the voices, including how Freeza's appearance combined with the feminine English voice left fans confused about Freeza's gender. Carlos Ross of T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews considered the series' characters to be different from stereotypical stock characters and noted that they undergo much more development. Despite praising Dragon Ball Z for its cast of characters, they criticized it for having long and repetitive fights.
Dragon Ball Z is well-known, and often criticized, for its long, repetitive, dragged-out fights that span several episodes, with Martin commenting "DBZ practically turned drawing out fights into an art form." However, Jason Thompson of io9 explained that this comes from the fact that the anime was being created alongside the manga.Dragon Ball Z was listed as the 78th best animated show in IGN's Top Animated Series, and was also listed as the 50th greatest cartoon in Wizard magazine's Top Greatest Cartoons list.
Harris commented that Dragon Ball GT "is downright repellent", mentioning that the material and characters had lost their novelty and fun. He also criticized the GT character designs of Trunks and Vegeta as being goofy. Zac Bertschy of Anime News Network also gave negative comments about GT, mentioning that the fights from the series were "a very simple childish exercise" and that many other anime were superior. The plot of Dragon Ball GT has also been criticized for giving a formula that was already used in its predecessors.
The first episode of Dragon Ball Z Kai earned a viewer ratings percentage of , ahead of One Piece and behind Crayon Shin-chan. Although following episodes had lower ratings, Kai was among the top 10 anime in viewer ratings every week in Japan for most of its run.
See also: List of Dragon Ball films
Twenty animated theatrical films based on the Dragon Ball series have been released in Japan. The three most recent films, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (), Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' () and Dragon Ball Super: Broly (), were produced as full-length feature films and were given stand-alone theatrical releases in Japan (as well as limited theatrical releases in the U.S.). They're also the first movies to have original creator Akira Toriyama deeply involved in their production; Battle of Gods and Resurrection 'F' were remade into the first and second arcs of the Dragon Ball Super anime, which told the same stories as the two films in expanded detail. The feature film, Dragon Ball: The Path to Power, was also a full-length theatrical release with a running time of 80 minutes, and was produced to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the anime as a re-imagining of the first few arcs of the series.
All previous films were mostly below feature length (around 45–60 minutes each), making them only slightly longer than one or two episodes of the TV series; this is due to them being originally shown as back-to-back presentations alongside other Toei film productions. These films are also mostly alternate re-tellings of certain story arcs (like The Path to Power), or extra side-stories that do not correlate with the continuity of the series. The first three films, along with The Path to Power, are based on the original Dragon Ball anime series. The remaining thirteen older films are based on Dragon Ball Z. The first five films were shown at the Toei Manga Festival (東映まんがまつり, Tōei Manga Matsuri), while the sixth through seventeenth films were shown at the Toei Anime Fair (東映アニメフェア, Toei Anime Fea).
An American live-action film titled Dragonball Evolution was produced by 20th Century Fox after it acquired the feature film rights to the Dragon Ball franchise in March Previous to the film, two unofficial live-action films had been produced decades prior. The first was a Taiwanese film titled Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins, which was also dubbed in English, while the second was a Korean film titled Dragon Ball: Fight, Son Goku! Win, Son Goku!. The film was directed by James Wong and produced by Stephen Chow, it was released in the United States on April 10,  The film was meant to lead into sequels, which were cancelled, after the film flopped at the box office and became universally heralded as one of the worst adaptations of all time, being considered by the fans as being unfaithful to the source material. Franchise creator Akira Toriyama also criticized the film adding he was completely left out of the creative process, despite having himself offered to help, going as far as saying: "the result was a movie, I couldn't even call Dragon Ball". Years after its release, the writer of the film, Ben Ramsey, released a public apology in which he admitted to have written the film "chasing for a payday" instead of "as a fan of the franchise".
With the news of 20th Century Fox selling itself, its assets; which include the film rights to the Dragon Ball franchise, will now be owned by its purchaser, The Walt Disney Company.Jackie Chan had openly expressed interest in adapting the series into a live action movie.
Theme park attractions
"Dragon Ball Z: The Real 4D" debuted at Universal Studios Japan in the summer of It features a battle between Goku and Freeza. Unlike most Dragon Ball animation, the attraction is animated with CGI. A second attraction titled "Dragon Ball Z: The Real 4-D at Super Tenkaichi Budokai" debuted at Universal Studios Japan in the summer of , which featured a battle between the heroes and Broly.
See also: List of Dragon Ball video games
The Dragon Ball franchise has spawned multiple video games across various genres and platforms. Earlier games of the series included a system of card battling and were released for the Famicom following the storyline of the series. Starting with the Super Famicom and Mega Drive, most of the games were from the fighting genre or RPG (Role Playing Game), such as the Super Butoden series. The first Dragon Ball game to be released in the United States was Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout for the PlayStation in  For the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable games the characters were redone in 3D cel-shaded graphics. These games included the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai series and the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi series.Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit was the first game of the franchise developed for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox Dragon Ball Xenoverse was the first game of the franchise developed for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. A massively multiplayer online role-playing game called Dragon Ball Online was available in Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan until the servers were shut down in  A few years later fans started recreating the game. Today, "Dragon Ball Online Global" is a new, European version of Dragon Ball Online and it is being developed, while open beta server is running.
The mobile gameDragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle () has received over million downloads worldwide, as of [update]. A notable recent release is Dragon Ball FighterZ (), a fighting game developed by Arc System Works. The game received massive fan and critical acclaim for its fast paced frantic 3v3 battles and great visuals, also winning Best Fighting Game of at The Game Awards and many other awards and other nominations. It also has a large eSports scene, where it is one of the most popular fighting games. It also did very well commercially, selling 4 million units across all platforms.
|to||$5 billion||Dragon Ball Z merchandise|||
|January to March||¥ billion ($34 million)||Bandai Namco toys only|||
|April to March||¥ billion ($60 million)||Bandai Namco toys only|||
|April to March||¥ billion ($66 million)|
|April to March||¥ billion ($55 million)||Bandai Namco toys only|||
|April to March||¥ billion ($ million)||Bandai Namco toys only|||
|April to December||¥ billion ($ million)||Bandai Namco toys only|||
|$ billion+||Licensed merchandise|||
|January to December||¥15 billion ($ million)||Bandai Namco toys only|||
|Total known sales||$ billion+|
In , the licensee Bandai earned $ million annually from sales of licensed Dragon Ball toys, video games and other character goods in Japan. In , Dragon Ball Z grossed $ billion in merchandise sales worldwide. Bandai sold over 2billion Dragon BallCarddass cards in Japan by , and over 1million Dragon Stars figurines in the Americas and Europe as of  In , Burger King sponsored a toy promotion to distribute 20 millionDragon Ball Z figurines across North America. By , the franchise had generated $5 billion in merchandise sales. In , the franchise grossed ¥ billion ($ million) from licensed merchandise sales in Japan.
See also: List of Dragon Ball soundtracks
Myriad soundtracks were released in the anime, movies and the games. The music for the first two anime Dragon Ball and Z and its films was composed by Shunsuke Kikuchi, while the music from GT was composed by Akihito Tokunaga and the music from Kai was composed by Kenji Yamamoto and Norihito Sumitomo. For the first anime, the soundtracks released were Dragon Ball: Music Collection in and Dragon Ball: Complete Song Collection in , although they were reissued in and , respectively. For the second anime, the soundtrack series released were Dragon Ball Z Hit Song Collection Series. It was produced and released by Columbia Records of Japan from July 21, to March 20, the show's entire lifespan. On September 20, Columbia re-released the Hit Song Collection on their Animex series. Other CDs released are compilations, video games and films soundtracks as well as music from the English versions.
There have been numerous companion books to the Dragon Ball franchise. Chief among these are the Daizenshuu (大全集) series, comprising seven hardback main volumes and three supplemental softcover volumes, covering the manga and the first two anime series and their theatrical films. The first of these, Dragon Ball: The Complete Illustrations (Daizenshuu volume 1), first published in Japan in , is the only one that was released in English, being printed in by Viz Media. It contains all colored illustrations Akira Toriyama drew for the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazines' covers, bonus giveaways and specials, and all the covers for the 42 tankōbon. It also includes an interview with Toriyama on his work process. The remainder have never been released in English, and all are now out of print in Japan. From February 4 to May 9, , condensed versions of the Daizenshuu with some updated information were released as the four-volume Chōzenshū (超全集) series. For Dragon Ball GT, the Dragon Ball GT Perfect Files were released in May and December by Shueisha's Jump Comics Selection imprint. They include series information, illustration galleries, behind-the-scenes information, and more. They were out of print for many years, but were re-released in April (accompanying the Japanese DVD release of Dragon Ball GT) and this edition is still in print.
Coinciding with the volume kanzenban re-release of the manga, and the release of the entire series on DVD for the first time in Japan, four new guidebooks were released in and Dragon Ball Landmark and Dragon Ball Forever cover the manga, using volume numbers for story points that reference the kanzenban release, while Dragon Ball: Tenkaichi Densetsu (ドラゴンボール 天下一伝説) and Dragon Ball Z: Son Goku Densetsu (ドラゴンボールZ 孫悟空伝説) cover the Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z anime, respectively. Much of the material in these books is reused from the earlier Daizenshuu volumes, but they include new textual material including substantial interviews with the creator, cast and production staff of the series. Son Goku Densetsu in particular showcases previously-unpublished design sketches of Goku's father Bardock, drawn by character designer Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru prior to creator Akira Toriyama's revisions that resulted in the final version.
Following the release of Dragon Ball Kai in Japan, four new guidebooks were released: the two-volume Dragon Ball: Super Exciting Guide (ドラゴンボール 超エキサイティングガイド) in , covering the manga, and two-volume Dragon Ball: Extreme Battle Collection (ドラゴンボール 極限バトルコレクション) in , covering the anime series. Despite the TV series airing during this time being Kai, the Extreme Battle Collection books reference the earlier Z series in content and episode numbers. These books also include new question-and-answer sessions with Akira Toriyama, revealing a few new details about the world and characters of the series. also saw the release of a new artbook, Dragon Ball: Anime Illustrations Guide – The Golden Warrior (ドラゴンボール アニメイラスト集 「黄金の戦士」); a sort of anime-counterpart to the manga-oriented Complete Illustrations, it showcases anime-original illustrations and includes interviews with the three principal character designers for the anime. Each of the Japanese "Dragon Box" DVD releases of the series and movies, which were released from to , as well as the Blu-ray boxed sets of Dragon Ball Kai, released to , come with a Dragon Book guide that contains details about the content therein. Each also contains a new interview with a member of the cast or staff of the series. These books have been reproduced textually for Funimation's release of the Dragon Ball Z Dragon Box sets from to
See also: Dragon Ball Collectible Card Game
Collectible cards based on the Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT series have been released by Bandai. These cards feature various scenes from the manga and anime stills, plus exclusive artwork from all three series. Bandai released the first set in the United States in July 
Tabletop role-playing game
Since its debut, Dragon Ball has had a considerable impact on global popular culture. Estimates for the franchise's lifetime revenue range from $23 billion to $30 billion. In , the Japan Anniversary Association officially declared May 9 as "Goku Day" (悟空の日, Gokū no Hi); in Japanese, the numbers five and nine can be pronounced as "Go" and "Ku". It is similarly influential in international popular culture across other parts of the world.Dragon Ball is widely referenced in American popular culture, from television and music to celebrities and athletes, and the show has been celebrated with Goku making an appearance at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and with Dragon Ballmurals appearing in cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Kansas City and Denver.
Dragon Ball is also immensely popular in other regions of the world, such as Latin America, where public screenings of the Dragon Ball Super finale in filled public spaces and stadiums in cities across the region, including stadiums holding tens of thousands of spectators.Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama was decorated a Chevalier or "Knight" of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in May for his contributions to the arts, particularly for Dragon Ball which has been credited with popularizing manga in France.
Vegeta's quote "It's Over !" from the Saiyan Saga in the English dub of Dragon Ball Z is a popular internet meme. Goku has been identified as a superhero, as well as Gohan with his Great Saiyaman persona.Motorola's Freescale DragonBall and DragonBall EZ/VZ microcontroller processors, released in , are named after Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, respectively.
Comics and animation
Dragon Ball has been cited as inspiration across various different media. Dragon Ball is credited with setting trends for popular shōnen manga and anime since the s, with manga critic Jason Thompson in calling it "by far the most influential shōnen manga of the last 30 years." Successful shōnen manga authors such as Eiichiro Oda (One Piece), Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto), Tite Kubo (Bleach), Hiro Mashima (Fairy Tail) and Kentaro Yabuki (Black Cat) have cited Dragon Ball as an influence on their own now popular works. According to Thompson, "almost every Shonen Jump artist lists it as one of their favorites and lifts from it in various ways."
Ian Jones-Quartey, a producer of the American animated series Steven Universe, is a fan of Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump, and uses Toriyama's vehicle designs as a reference for his own. He also stated that "We're all big Toriyama fans on [Steven Universe], which kind of shows a bit."Comic book artist André Lima Araújo cited Dragon Ball, along with several other manga and anime, as a major influence on his work, which includes Marvel comics such as Age of Ultron, Avengers A.I., Spider-Verse and The Inhumans. Filipino comic artist Dexter Soy, who has worked on Marvel and DC comics such as Captain America, cited Dragon Ball as a major inspiration.Tony Stark: Iron Man #11 () makes references to Dragon Ball Z, including Miles Morales as Spider-Man referencing the Super Saiyan transformation.
An unofficial live-action Mandarin Chinese film adaptation of the series, Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins, was released in Taiwan in  In December , the unofficial live-action Korean film Dragon Ball: Ssawora Son Goku, Igyeora Son Goku was released. Action film star Jackie Chan is a fan of the franchise, and said Goku is his favorite Dragon Ball character. In , Chan had expressed some interest in adapting Dragon Ball into a film, but said it would require "a lot of amazing special effects and an enormous budget." Later in , Toriyama said his ideal live-action Goku would have been a young Jackie Chan, stating that "nobody could play Goku but him."
The Matrix franchise echoes Dragon Ball Z in several action scenes, including the climactic fights of the films Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions. Filino-American film storyboard artist Jay Oliva has cited Dragon Ball as a major inspiration on his work, particularly the action scenes of Superman filmMan of Steel, which launched the DC Extended Universe. Several films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have also been visually influenced by Dragon Ball Z. Erik Killmonger's battle armour in Black Panther () bears a resemblance to Vegeta's battle armour, which actor Michael B. Jordan (himself a Dragon Ball fan) said may have inspired Killmonger's battle armor. The fiery look of Carol Danvers' Binary powers in Captain Marvel () also drew some influence from Dragon Ball Z. In Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (), Katy refers to one of Shang-Chi's techniques as a "Kamehameha fireball"; the film's director Destin Daniel Cretton cited Dragon Ball Z as an inspiration behind the film's climactic fight scene.
Music and sports
Dragon Ball has been channeled and referenced by numerous musicians. It is popular in the hip hop community, and has been referenced in numerous hip hop songs by rappers and artists such as Chris Brown, Chance the Rapper, Big Sean, Lil Uzi Vert, G-Mo Skee, The Weeknd, Childish Gambino,Thundercat, B.o.B, Soulja Boy,Drake,Frank Ocean, and Sese. Mark Sammut of TheGamer notes that Gohan occasionally performs the dab move (as The Great Saiyaman), decades before it became a popular hip-hop dance move in American popular culture.
Numerous athletes have also channeled and referenced Dragon Ball, including NBAbasketball players such as Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox, Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen, Golden State Warriors player Jordan Bell, and Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, American footballNFL stars such as Cleveland Browns players Darren Fells and David Njoku, mixed martial artistRonda Rousey, and WWE wrestlers such as The New Day. Additionally, Canadian mixed martial artist Carlos Newton dubbed his fighting style "Dragon Ball Jiu-Jitsu" in tribute to the series. Other mixed martial artists inspired by Dragon Ball include Yushin Okami, Yoshihiro Akiyama and Yuya Wakamatsu. The French group Yamakasi cited Dragon Ball as an influence on their development of parkour, inspired by how the heroes attain extraordinary abilities through hard work.
The producer of the Tekken video game series, Katsuhiro Harada, said that Dragon Ball was one of the first works to visually depict chi and thereby influenced numerous Japanese video games, especially fighting games such as Tekken and Street Fighter. Masaaki Ishikawa, art director of the video game Arms, said that its art style was largely influenced by Dragon Ball and Akira. French video game designer Éric Chahi also cited Dragon Ball as an influence on his cinematic platformerAnother World. Other video game industry veterans who were inspired by Dragon Ball include Suda51, SWERY, Insomniac Games, Nina Freeman, Heart Machine, Iron Galaxy, and Mega
- ^Tankōbon volume sales of original Dragon Ball manga, not including Dragon Ball Super.
- ^ abcdAdditionally, more than million unofficial pirated copies are estimated to have been sold in China, as of 
- ^ abcdAdditionally, more than 30million unofficial pirated copies are estimated to have been sold in South Korea, as of 
- ^Tally does not include unofficial pirated copies. When including the over million unofficial pirated copies sold in China and South Korea,[b][c] an estimated total of approximately million official and unofficial copies have been sold overseas.
- ^60, copies sold annually in Vietnam, as of 
- ^ abTally does not include unofficial pirated copies. When including the over million unofficial pirated copies sold in China and South Korea,[b][c] an estimated total of over million official and unofficial copies have been sold worldwide.
- ^ abSee Weekly Shōnen Jump §Circulation figures
- ^Originally there were eighteen universes, but six of them were since erased by Zeno, a supreme deity.
- ^SOS from the Future: A Dark New Enemy Appears!, Funimation dub
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