Dragon Ball

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A logo sometimes used for the Dragon Ball franchise.

Dragon Ball (ドラゴンボール, Doragon Bōru) is a Japanese manga series by Akira Toriyam. It was originally published in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from 1984 to 1995, and the 519 chapters put into 42 volumes. The series follows the main character Son Goku, an alien originally thought to be a human, as he trains in martial arts and explores the world in search of the mysterious Dragon Balls. When the seven Dragon Balls are gathered, one wish will be granted by Shenlong the Dragon. Goku is accompanied by Bulma and trained by Master Roshi while Goku fights a wide variety of villains. Dragon Ball was is separated into two anime series, including two sequels. Spin-offs include a trading card game, several movies, and multiple video games, making the Dragon Ball franchise well known world wide.

Plot[change | change source]

The series begins with a boy named Goku befriending a teenage girl named Bulma, whom he joins to find the seven Dragon Balls, which can summon the dragon Shenlong to grant the user a wish. Their journey takes them to many people like Yamcha, Chi-Chi (Goku mistakenly agrees to marry), and Pilaf, an evil man who seeks the Dragon Balls to grant his desire to rule the world. Goku then must go through intense training by Master Roshi to fight in the Tenkaichi Budōkai, a fighting tournament. A monk named Krillin becomes Goku's best friend and training partner. After the tournament, Goku looks for the Dragon Ball his adoptive grandfather left him and almost single-handedly takes down the Red Ribbon Army and their assassin Taopaipai. Goku reunites with his friends to defeat fortuneteller Baba's fighters to locate the last Dragon Ball to revive a friend killed by Taopaipai.

At the Tenkaichi Budōkai three years later Goku and his friends oppose of Master Roshi's rival Tsuru-Sen'nin and his students Tenshinhan and Chaozu. Krillin is killed after the tournament and Goku tracks down and is defeated by his killer, Piccolo Daimao. The samurai Yajirobe takes Goku to Karin, where he heals and gets a power boost. After the deaths of Master Roshi, Chaozu, and even Shenlong, Goku then kills Piccolo Daimao (who is young again), who, just before dying, spawns his son/reincarnation Piccolo Jr.. Karin takes Goku to Kami, the original creator of the Dragon Balls, to bring back Shenlong and revive his friends. Goku trains with Kami for 3 years, reuniting with his friends at the next Tenkaichi Budōkai where he narrowly wins against Piccolo and leaves with Chi-Chi, marrying her.

Five years later, Goku is a young adult and father to Gohan, when Raditz arrives to Earth, and reveals to Goku that he is part of an alien race called the Saiyans who sent Goku with a mission to take over Earth for them before he suffered a head injury. Goku teams up with Piccolo to defeat Raditz but is also killed. Now dead, Goku trains with King Kai until he is revived to defeat the Saiyans Nappa and Vegeta, but Yamcha, Tenshinhan, Chaozu, and Piccolo are killed. Krillin learns of other Dragon Balls on planet Namek and joins Bulma and Gohan to look for them to revive their friends and bring back Earth's Dragon Balls. The quest leads them to fights with the galactic tyrant Frieza's henchmen, the Ginyu Force, and Vegeta. In the battle with Frieza, Vegeta and Krillin are killed, and the fight ends when Goku transforms into the legendary Super Saiyan and defeats him.

A group of Androids created by Dr. Gero, a former Red Ribbon Army member, appear 3 years later looking for revenge against Goku. During this time, an evil artificial life form called Cell emerges and, after absorbing two of the Androids to transform into his perfect form, holds his own fighting tournament to challenge Goku and his friends. Goku sacrifices his life but Cell survives and Gohan gets revenge on Cell by defeating him. 7 years later, Goku, revived for a day, and his friends must defeat Majin Boo. After a lot of battles, and after the re-creation of Earth, Goku destroys Boo with a Genki-Dama attack and wishes for him to be reincarnated as a good person. 10 years later, at another Tenkaichi Budōkai, Goku meets Boo's human reincarnation Oob and leaves to train Oob to be the new protector of Earth.

Characters[change | change source]

Main characters[change | change source]

  • Goku: Goku is the main hero. He is a Saiyan with large, black, pointy hair. His deadly attack is the Kamehameha. His wife is Chi-Chi, and his two sons are Gohan and Goten.
  • Bulma: Goku's lifelong friend and wife of Vegeta, and mother of Trunks and Bra.
  • Gohan: He is the oldest son of Goku and Chi-Chi, and father of Pan.
  • Goten: The youngest son of Goku and Chi-Chi. Goten plays a very important role, and is the youngest Super Saiyan in history.
  • Trunks: He is the son of Vegeta and Bulma. Both his future, and present day characters play key roles.
  • Krillin (called "Kuririn" in the Japanese version): Goku's lifelong best friend and eventually marries Android 18 and has a daughter. He is one of the strongest humans.
  • Vegeta: Vegeta is the rival of Goku. He also became a Super Saiyan and is the husband of Bulma, and father to Trunks and Bra.
  • Piccolo: King Piccolo's last son; he is also one of Gohan's favorite teachers; Piccolo used to be evil. His deadly attack is Makannkousappou.His body is green.He can reproduct his body if his head is not damaged.

Recurring characters[change | change source]

  • Chi-Chi: Chi-Chi is the wife of Goku, and mother of Gohan and Goten.
  • Bra (also known as "Bulla"): She is the daughter of Vegeta and Bulma and sister of Trunks
  • Videl: She is Gohan's girlfriend (later wife) and Pan's mother.
  • Uub: (also known as Oob) Uub is the reincarnation of Kid Buu.
  • Majin Buu (also known as Majin Boo)
  • Hercule (also known as Mr. Satan)
  • Tenshinhan
  • Chaozu
  • Yamcha
  • Yajirobe
  • Chauzu
  • Korin
  • Dende
  • Mr. Popo
  • Master Roshi (Goku's Master)
  • Marron: Daughter of Krillin and Android 18
  • Androids (mainly 17, 18,8 and 16)
  • Kami: The guardian of Earth before Dende
  • Bardock: Father of Goku

Frieza's force[change | change source]

Frieza is the first major villain in Dragon Ball Z. He is often seen with a group of other fighters who help him.

  • King Cold
  • Cui
  • Dodoria
  • Zarbon
  • Captain Ginyu: leader of the Ginyu Force, a group of mercenaries for Frieza.
  • Nappa: A Saiyan and Vegeta's old partner)
  • Raditz: Goku's Saiyan brother who is killed by Piccolo.
  • Saibamen

Androids[change | change source]

Androids are a group of human-machine hybrids created by Dr. Gero, appearing in the Androids and Cell sagas. A few are:

  • Android 8
  • Android 16
  • Android 17
  • Android 18
  • Android 19
  • Android 20 (Dr. Gero)
  • Cell, the second major villain in Dragon Ball Z.

Saiyans[change | change source]

Saiyans are a race of endangered aliens. They are naturally aggressive warriors who have great powers and technology. Most Saiyans travel from planet to planet destroying the people who live there so that they can sell the planet and worked for Frieza. Most Saiyans can be easily noticed by their tail but some have lost their tails. Saiyans without tails include Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, Trunks, Goten and Bra. The Saiyans lived on the planet Vegeta which was later destroyed by Frieza.

Super Saiyans[change | change source]

Some Saiyans can become Super Saiyans, including half-Saiyan hybrids like Gohan and Goten. A Super Saiyan is a transformation a Saiyan can go through and makes them stronger and changes their hair to blonde. Only a few Saiyans have the potential to become Super Saiyans. The legend goes, once every 1,000 years a Super Saiyan emerges. Saiyans play a very important role once it is revealed that Goku is one.

Only a few Saiyan characters have been able to become Super Saiyans:

  • The Original Super Saiyan
  • Son Goku
  • Son Gohan
  • Son Goten
  • Vegeta
  • Trunks
  • Bardock
  • Cabba
  • Kale
  • Caulifla

Cell is not able to go Super Saiyan, even with the cells from Goku and Vegeta.

There are now two female Saiyans that can go Super Saiyan, Kale and Caulifla. So it is now known that female Saiyans can transform into Super Saiyans.

Other Media[change | change source]

The Dragon Ball manga has been adapted into two anime. Dragon Ball is based the first 194 chapters of the manga, while Dragon Ball Z is based on the last 325 chapters and last 26 volumes of the Dragon Ball manga. It basically begins where Dragon Ball left off. In 1996, a sequel show to Dragon Ball Z showed called Dragon Ball GT and ended in 1997. Dragon Ball Super is the newest in the Dragon Ball franchise and first showed in 2015 and still continuing.