Dragon Ball (ドラゴンボール Doragon Bōru) is a Japanese manga series written, and illustrated by Akira Toriyama. It was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1984 through 1995; later the 519 individual chapters were published into 42 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. Dragon Ball was inspired by the Chinese folk novel, Journey to the West. It follows the adventures of Son Goku from his childhood through adulthood as he trains in martial arts, and explores the world in search of the seven mystical objects known as the Dragon Balls, which can 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 for their own desires.
The 42 tankōbon have been adapted into two anime series produced by Toei Animation: Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, which together were broadcast in Japan from 1986 through 1996. Additionally, Toei has developed seventeen animated feature films, and three television specials, as well as a short-lived third anime sequel titled, Dragon Ball GT, which takes place after the events of the manga. In 2009, Toei began broadcasting a revised, faster-paced version of Dragon Ball Z under the name of 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 such as a collectible trading card game, and a large number of video games.
The manga series was licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media, in the United Kingdom by Gollancz Manga, and in Australia, and New Zealand by Chuang Yi. The anime series was licensed by Funimation Entertainment for an English language release worldwide, although the series has been dubbed several times by various studios. In China, a live-action film adaptation was produced in 1989. In 2002, 20th Century Fox acquired the rights to produce an American-made live-action film, which was released on April 10, 2009. Since its release, Dragon Ball has become one of the most popular manga, and anime series of its time in both Japan, and North America. The manga's 42 volumes have sold over 152 million copies in Japan, and over 300 million copies worldwide. Reviewers have praised the art, characterization, and humor of the story. Several manga artists have noted that the series was the inspiration for their own now popular works, including One Piece, and Naruto.
The 3 Anime Story ArcsEdit
There are 3 story arcs within the anime. The first is Dragon Ball, which was produced by Toei Animation, and aired by Fuji Television, from February 26, 1986, and ran until April 1, 1989, lasting 153 episodes. This was based off the original manga.
This arc mainly focuses on Goku during his childhood, teenage years, and the adventures he embarks on during that time. Over the course of the series, he meets Bulma, Master Roshi, Krillin, Oolong, Yamcha, Tien, Chiaotzu, Piccolo (son of Demon King Piccolo), Arale, Chi-Chi, Ox King, and more. Also over the course of the series, he battles The Red Ribbon Army, Demon King Piccolo, and Piccolo, Yamcha, Tien, and more.
Dragon Ball Z/ KaiEdit
This is the second story arc. This picks up where the first arc, Dragon Ball, left off. It premiered in Japan on Fuji Television, April 26, 1989, and lasted for 291 episodes, until it's conclusion on January 31, 1996. This was also based off the original manga.
This arc focuses on the Z Fighters trying to defend the Earth from alien threats. Goku learns about his Saiyan heritage, and past. Along the way, the Z Fighters fight against Vegeta, Frieza, Cell, Broly, Bojack, Cooler, and Majin Buu.
There is a remake of Dragon Ball Z, called Dragon Ball Z Kai. 'Kai is edited to be faster than Z, by taking away most of the scenes that do not have to do with fighting. Kai is a part of the series' 20 anniversary. It began in February of 2009, and is still running.
Dragon Ball GTEdit
This is the third, and last arc of the Dragon Ball story. It premiered on February 2, 1996, on Fuji TV, and ran until November 19, 1997. Unlike the first two series, it was not based on the original manga. The arc lasted 64 episodes.
It centers around Goku being a child again, and being forced to search the galaxy for the Black Star Dragon Balls. The major enemies he faces are Baby, Super Android 17, and Syn/ Omega Shenron.