Visual Encyclopedia

Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball (Japanese: ドラゴンボール, Hepburn: Doragon Bōru) is a Japanese media franchise created by Akira Toriyama. The initial manga, written and illustrated by Toriyama, was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1984 to 1995, with the 519 individual chapters collected into 42 tankōbon volumes by its publisher Shueisha. Dragon Ball was initially inspired by the classical Chinese novel Journey to the West. The series follows the adventures of the protagonist, Son Goku, from his childhood through adulthood as he trains in martial arts and explores 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 friends and battles a wide variety of villains, many of whom also seek the Dragon Balls.

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A comic from Dorkly where it depicts scenes that could have made that dragon ball series better.

Contributed by Jax Nemphis

If you want to read interviews from the original Japanese version staff, Japanese voice actors, and Akira Toriyama-sensei himself, here you go! These interviews are translated by fluent Japanese speakers Julian "SaiyaJedi" Grybowski and Jake "Herms" Schutz, who are also staff members of Kanzenshuu, the biggest and most reliable Dragon Ball fansite on the web! Enjoy!

Contributed by Omega Rockman

A lot of people know Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z as two separate series, but don't know that the original Japanese version of the manga was a single entity. In Japan, the manga is just called Dragon Ball from the first chapter until the end of the series (although the North American release of the manga uses the DB to Z name transition). If the manga was Dragon Ball throughout, then why did the anime change from Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball Z? Well, when it was time for the Saiyan arc to be animated, the anime staff wanted to change the name of the series to "freshen it up." As a result, they asked the manga author, Akira Toriyama-sensei, for a suggestion. Toriyama-sensei didn't know why the title needed to be changed, but upon the insistence of the anime staff, he gave in. At the time, Toriyama-sensei was planning to end the manga soon, so he suggested adding "Z" to the title because it's the last letter of the alphabet; it his way of saying "that's all, folks!" Thus, while the manga remained just Dragon Ball, the anime was called Dragon Ball Z from here on out. As we know today, Toriyama-sensei ended up being dead wrong about ending the series soon after the Saiyan arc like he intended: the "Z portion" of the series ended up being longer than what came before it! Source: TV Anime Guide: Son Goku Densestu - Akira Toriyama x Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru Interview Link: www.kanzenshuu.com Thanks to Kanzenshuu's Julian Grybowski for the amazing translation!

Contributed by Omega Rockman

A Q&A panel with the Japanese and American voices of Goku. Thanks to Drabaz Doug for uploading this video!

Contributed by Omega Rockman

Shows like this have impact in more ways than entertainment. This man has gotten people through rough times and illnesses with his voice and his character in a anime show. He taught kids like me and so many others lessons about going beyond limits, developing a family, and bonding with unlikely candidates for heroism and brotherhood. Goku is the reason I feel like I can always do better.

Contributed by Denarius StoLo Trotter

Original Dragon Ball opening

Contributed by Roro Kilanayobamananaysha Kilashata Chan

Goku's initial training

Contributed by Roro Kilanayobamananaysha Kilashata Chan

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