_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.
The _Dragon Ball_ manga has been adapted into two anime series produced by Toei Animation : _ Dragon Ball _ and _ Dragon Ball Z _, which together were broadcast in Japan from 1986 to 1996. Additionally, the studio has developed 19 animated feature films and three television specials, as well as two anime sequel series titled _ Dragon Ball GT _ (1996–1997) and _ Dragon Ball Super _ (2015–present). From 2009 to 2015, a revised, faster-paced version of _ Dragon Ball Z_ aired in Japan under the title _ Dragon Ball Kai_, in which most of the original version's footage not featured in the manga is removed. 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 a large number of video games . As of November 2014, the franchise generated $5 billion in merchandise, making _Dragon Ball_ one of the most merchandisable anime based media franchises of all time .
Since its release, _Dragon Ball_ has become one of the most successful manga and anime series of all time. The manga's 42 volumes have sold over 156 million copies in Japan and more than 240 million copies worldwide, making it the second best-selling manga series in history. Reviewers have praised the art, characterization, and humor of the story. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest 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 in various countries and was arguably one of the most influential in boosting the popularity of Japanese animation in Western culture.
* 1 Plot summary * 2 Production
* 3 Media
* 3.1 Manga
* 3.1.1 Spin-offs * 3.1.2 Crossovers
* 3.2 Anime series
* 3.3 Films
* 3.3.1 Anime * 3.3.2 Live-action
* 3.4 TV specials and other animations
* 3.4.1 Theme Park attractions
* 3.5 Video games
* 3.6 Merchandise
* 3.6.1 Soundtracks * 3.6.2 Companion books * 3.6.3 Collectible cards
* 4 Reception
* 5 Cultural impact
* 5.1 Unofficial live-action films
* 6 References * 7 External links
See also: List of Dragon Ball characters
The series begins with a monkey-tailed boy named Goku befriending a teenage girl named Bulma , whom he accompanies to find the seven Dragon Balls (ドラゴンボール, _Doragon Bōru_), which summon the dragon Shenlong to grant the user one wish. The journey leads them to the desert bandit Yamcha , who later becomes an ally; Chi-Chi , whom Goku unknowingly agrees to marry; and Pilaf , an impish man who seeks the Dragon Balls to fulfill his desire to rule the world. Goku then undergoes rigorous training regimes under the martial arts master Kame-Sen\'nin in order to fight in the Tenkaichi Budōkai (天下一武道会, "Strongest Under the Heavens Martial Arts Tournament"). A monk named Kuririn becomes his training partner and rival, but they soon become best friends. After the tournament, Goku searches for the Dragon Ball his grandfather left him and almost single-handedly defeats the Red Ribbon Army and their hired assassin Taopaipai . Thereafter Goku reunites with his friends to defeat the fortuneteller Baba Uranai 's fighters and have her locate the last Dragon Ball to revive a friend killed by Taopaipai.
At the Tenkaichi Budōkai three years later Goku and his allies oppose Kame-Sen'nin's rival and Taopaipai's brother, Tsuru-Sen'nin, and his students Tenshinhan and Chaozu . Kuririn is killed after the tournament and Goku tracks down and is defeated by his killer, Piccolo Daimao . The samurai Yajirobe takes Goku to the hermit Karin , where he receives healing and a power boost. Meanwhile, Piccolo fights Kame-Sen'nin and Chaozu, leading to both their deaths, and uses the Dragon Balls to regain his youth before destroying Shenlong. Goku then kills Piccolo Daimao, who, just before dying, spawns his son/reincarnation Piccolo . Karin then directs Goku to Kami-sama , the original creator of the Dragon Balls, to restore Shenlong and revive his slain friends. Goku trains under Kami for the next three years, once again reuniting with his friends at the Tenkaichi Budōkai, where he narrowly wins against Piccolo before leaving with Chi-Chi to keep his promise to marry her.
Five years later, Goku is a young adult and father to his son Gohan , when Raditz arrives on Earth, identifies Goku as his younger brother 'Kakarrot' and reveals to him that they are members of a nearly extinct extraterrestrial race called the Saiyans (サイヤ人, _Saiya-jin_), who sent Goku to conquer Earth for them, until he suffered a severe head injury and lost all memory of his mission. Goku refuses to continue the mission, sides with Piccolo, and sacrifices his life to defeat Raditz. In the afterlife Goku trains under the North Kaiō until he is revived by the Dragon Balls to save the Earth from the invading Nappa and Vegeta . In the battle Yamcha, Chaozu, Tenshinhan, and Piccolo are killed, and the Dragon Balls cease to exist. Kuririn and the galactic tyrant Freeza learn of another set of Dragon Balls on planet Namek (ナメック星, _Namekku-sei_), whereupon Bulma, Gohan, and Kuririn search for them to revive their friends and subsequently the Earth's Dragon Balls, leading to several battles with Freeza's minions and Vegeta, the latter standing alongside the heroes to fight the Ginyu Force , a team of mercenaries. The long battle with Freeza himself comes to a close when Goku transforms into a Super Saiyan (超サイヤ人, _Sūpā Saiya-jin_) of legends and defeats him, with Namek being destroyed in the process.
A group of Androids (人造人間, _Jinzōningen_, "Artificial Humans") created by a member of the former Red Ribbon Army, Doctor Gero , appear three years later, seeking revenge against Goku. During this time, an evil life form called Cell also emerges and, after absorbing two of the Androids to achieve his "perfect form," holds his own fighting tournament to challenge the protagonists. After Goku sacrifices his own life to no avail, Gohan avenges his father by defeating Cell. Seven years later, Goku, briefly revived for one day, and his allies are drawn into a fight against Majin Boo . After numerous battles, including destruction and re-creation of the Earth, Goku destroys Boo with a _Genki-Dama_ (a sphere of pure energy drawn from all intelligent beings on Earth) and wishes for him to be reincarnated as a "good person." Ten years later, at another Tenkaichi Budōkai, Goku meets Boo's human reincarnation, Oob . Leaving their match unfinished, Goku departs with Oob to train him to be Earth's new guardian.
_ Akira Toriyama , the creator of Dragon Ball_.
Akira Toriyama loosely modeled _Dragon Ball_ on the classic Chinese novel _ Journey to the West _; but also redeveloped it from his 1983 one-shot manga _Dragon Boy_. He has said that the fighting was influenced from movies by famous martial arts actor Jackie Chan , as he wanted to create a story with the basic theme of _Journey to the West_, but with "a little kung fu ." Since it was serialized in a shōnen 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. With Goku being Sun Wukong , Bulma as Xuanzang , Oolong as Zhu Bajie and Yamcha being Sha Wujing , 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. The island where the Tenkaichi Budōkai is held is modeled after Bali , which he, his wife and assistant visited in mid-1985, and for the area around Bobbidi 's spaceship he consulted photos of Africa . _ The Earth of Dragon Ball_, as published in _Daizenshuu 4: World Guide_.
It was when the Tenkaichi Budōkai martial arts tournament 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. He said that Muscle Tower in the Red Ribbon Army storyline was inspired by the video game _Spartan X _, in which enemies tended to appear very fast. 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. Freeza, who forcibly took over planets to resell them, was created around the time of the Japanese economic bubble and was inspired by real estate speculators , 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. He added time travel next, 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 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 screen tone 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 2013, 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 2013, 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 have left nothing behind, as long as they have entertained their readers."
Main article: Dragon Ball (manga) _ Dragon Ball_ debuted in _Weekly Shōnen Jump_ No. 51, on December 3, 1984.
Written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama, _Dragon Ball_ was serialized in the manga anthology _ Weekly Shōnen Jump _ from December 3, 1984 to June 5, 1995, when Toriyama grew exhausted and felt he needed a break from drawing. The 519 individual chapters were published into 42 _tankōbon _ volumes by Shueisha from September 10, 1985 through August 4, 1995. Between December 4, 2002 and April 2, 2004, 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 2013 issue of _ V Jump _, which was released in December 2012, announced that parts of the manga will be fully colored and re-released in 2013. Twenty volumes, beginning from chapter 195 and grouped by story arcs, were released between February 4, 2013 and July 4, 2014. Twelve volumes covering the first 194 chapters were published between January 4 and March 4, 2016. 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, 2016 and January 13, 2017.
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 2011.
The final chapter of Toriyama's 2013 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 2016, 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 _ (1999–2005), that became a self-parody of _Dragon Ball_. In 2006, 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_.
The _Dragon Ball_ manga has received two direct adaptations into anime: _ Dragon Ball (DB)_ and _ Dragon Ball Z (DBZ)_. As well as a sequel anime titled _ Dragon Ball Super (DBS)_, which is in an unique position of being the original work, and as such, instead of being a direct adaptation from the manga as was the case _DB_ and _DBZ_, in the case of _Super_ is the other way around, in that the episodes from the anime are the ones that are directly adapted into a manga. While there's also an anime called _ Dragon Ball GT (DBGT)_, it is not considered canonical because _Dragon Ball_ creator Akira Toriyama was not involved in its writing, and the introduction of the _Super Saiyan God_ transformation in _DBS_, has already contradicted its existence.
Toei Animation produced an anime television series based on the first 194 manga chapters, also titled _Dragon Ball_. The series premiered in Japan on Fuji Television on February 26, 1986 and ran until April 12, 1989, lasting 153 episodes.
_ Dragon Ball Z_
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 325 chapters of the manga. It premiered in Japan on Fuji Television on April 26, 1989, taking over its predecessor's time slot, and ran for 291 episodes until its conclusion on January 31, 1996.
* _DRAGON BALL Z KAI_
In February 2009, _ Dragon Ball Z_ celebrated its 20th anniversary, with Toei Animation announcing that it would broadcast a re-edited and remastered version 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 more faster-moving, and focused story. The episodes 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, 2009, the series premiered in Japan airing in Fuji TV. _ Dragon Ball Z Kai_ reduced the episode count to 159 episodes (167 episodes internationally), from the original footage of 291 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 GT_
_ 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 2, 1996 and ran until November 19, 1997 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.
_ Dragon Ball Super_
On April 28, 2015, 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 will run as a weekly series at 9:00 am on Fuji TV on Sundays. Masako Nozawa reprised her roles as Goku, Gohan, and Goten. Most of the original cast reprise their roles as well. Kouichi Yamadera and Masakazu Morita also reprise their roles, as Beerus and Whis, respectively. The story of the anime is set four years after the defeat of Majin Boo, when the Earth has become peaceful once again. Akira Toriyama is credited as the original creator, as well for "original story these being the first movies to have original creator Akira Toriyama deeply involved in their production. As such, they are considered to have a greater sense of continuity with the series than the older films, especially since they have been adapted into the first two story arcs of the new _ Dragon Ball Super_ anime.
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 2002, previous to the film, two unofficial live-action films have been produced decades prior. The film was directed by James Wong and produced by Stephen Chow , it was released in the United States on April 10, 2009. The film was meant to lead into sequels, which were cancelled, after the film released 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 were he admitted to have written the film "chasing for a payday" instead of "as a fan of the franchise".
TV SPECIALS AND OTHER ANIMATIONS
See also: List of Dragon Ball films
Three television specials based on the series were aired on Fuji TV in Japan. The first, _The One True Final Battle ~The Z Warrior Who Challenged Freeza -- Son Goku's Father~_, renamed _Bardock – The Father of Goku _ by Funimation, was shown on October 17, 1990. The second special, _The Hopeless Resistance!! Gohan and Trunks -- The Two Remaining Super Warriors_, renamed _The History of Trunks _ by Funimation, is based on a special chapter of the original manga and aired on March 24, 1993. _ Goku Side Story! The Four Star Ball is a Badge of Courage_, renamed _A Hero\'s Legacy _ by Funimation, aired on March 26, 1997. A two-part hour-long crossover special between _Dragon Ball Z_, _ One Piece _ and _ Toriko _, referred to as _Dream 9 Toriko & One Piece ">'s 40th anniversary, and debuted on November 24, 2008. A short animated adaptation of Naho Ōishi's Bardock spinoff manga, _Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock _, was shown on December 17–18, 2011 at the Jump Festa 2012 event.
A two-episode original video animation (OVA) titled _ Dragon Ball Z Side Story: Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans _ was created in 1993 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 360 video game _Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2 _, which was released on November 11, 2010.
Theme Park Attractions
" Dragon Ball Z: The Real 4D" debuted at Universal Studios Japan during Summer 2016. 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: Super Tenkaichi Budokai" debuted at Universal Studios Japan during Summer 2017.
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 1997. 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 360 . _ 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 2013. 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.
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 1985 and _Dragon Ball: Complete Song Collection _ in 1991, although they were reissued in 2007 and 2003, 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, 1989 to March 20, 1996 the show's entire lifespan. On September 20, 2006 Columbia re-released the Hit Song Collection on their Animex 1300 series. Other CDs released are compilations, video games and films soundtracks as well as music from the English versions.
_ Cover of Dragon Ball: The Complete Illustrations_.
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 1995, is the only one that was released in English, being printed in 2008 by Viz Media. It contains all 264 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, 2013, 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 1997 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 2006 (accompanying the Japanese DVD release of _ Dragon Ball GT_) and this edition is still in print.
Coinciding with the 34-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 2003 and 2004. _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 2009, 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 2010, 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. 2010 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 2003 to 2006, as well as the Blu-ray boxed sets of _ Dragon Ball Kai_, released 2009 to 2011, 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 2009 to 2011.
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 2008.
_Dragon Ball_ is one of the most popular manga series of all time, and it continues to enjoy high readership today. By 2000, more than 126 million copies of its _tankōbon _ volumes had been sold in Japan alone. By 2016, this number had grown to pass 156 million in Japan and 240 million worldwide, making it the second best-selling _Weekly Shōnen Jump_ manga of all time. _Dragon Ball_ is credited as one of the main reasons for the period when manga circulation was at its highest in the mid-1980s and mid-1990s. For the 10th anniversary of the Japan Media Arts Festival in 2006, Japanese fans voted _Dragon Ball_ the third greatest manga of all time.
In a survey conducted by Oricon in 2007 among 1,000 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 2011 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 United States. In November 1999, 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 2001, after releasing three volumes censored, Viz announced _Dragon Ball_ would be uncensored and reprinted due to fan reactions. In October 2009, 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."
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 2000, satellite TV channel Animax together with _Brutus _, a men's lifestyle magazine, and Tsutaya , Japan's largest video rental chain, conducted a poll among 200,000 fans on the top anime series, with _Dragon Ball_ coming in fourth. TV Asahi conducted two polls in 2005 on the Top 100 Anime, _Dragon Ball_ came in second in the nationwide survey conducted with multiple age-groups and in third in the online poll. On several occasions the _Dragon Ball_ anime has topped Japan's DVD sales.
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 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 100 Animated Series, and was also listed as the 50th greatest cartoon in _Wizard_ magazine 's Top 100 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 11.3, 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.
UNOFFICIAL LIVE-ACTION FILMS
An unofficial live-action Mandarin Chinese film adaptation of the series, _Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins _, was released in Taiwan in 1989. In December 1990, the unofficial live-action Korean film _Dragon Ball: Ssawora Son Goku, Igyeora Son Goku _ was released.
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Dragon Ball_ films and TV specials
ANIMATED (_DRAGON BALL_)
* _Curse of the Blood Rubies _ * _Sleeping Princess in Devil\'s Castle _ * _Mystical Adventure _ * _The Path to Power _
ANIMATED (_DRAGON BALL Z_)
* _Dead Zone _ * _The World\'s Strongest _ * _The Tree