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History of Dragon Ball

History of Dragon Ball
The Siliconreview
14 October, 2020

Just like any other story, history is very important. You grew up watching all the episodes but you asked yourself who are the people behind it? Who’s the heart and the brain of this amazing saga? Dragon Ball is a no brainer for an introduction since it's a well-known anime series of all times.

But when did it all start? How does this series introduce Japanese anime to the world? Let’s take a trip down memory lane with a bit of history of Dragon Ball.

Manga Origin

Akira Toriyama, wrote and illustrated Dragon Ball, which was first introduced and published as Japanese manga. It was an original series in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine during the year 1984 to 1995. The 519 individual chapters were printed by the publisher Shueisha in 42 tankobon volumes. Journey to the West and the Hongkong martial arts films were the two Chinese novels that inspired the making of the Dragon Ball. The story was about the adventure of Son Goku, who trains martial arts in the quest of searching the seven amazing Dragon Balls. Once he completes the search, these seven Dragon Balls will summon an ancient dragon and will grant just about any wish. Goku will make several friends and enemies along his quest who has the same mission as him.

TV Adaptation

Toie animation produces two anime series that inspired the adaptation of the manga. In the year 1986 to 1996, Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. Bother were broadcasted in the whole of Japan. Akira Taroyama’s Dragon Ball manga has 153 episodes that have a long run on Fuji TV for around 20 minutes from February 26, 1986 up to April 12 of 1989.

The genre of Dragon Ball consists of martial arts, adventure, and comic fantasy. The epic Japanese novel Nanso Satomi Hakkenden was the inspiration for the concept of the Dragon Ball, in which the heroes will be involved in collecting eight Buddhist Prayer Beads. Toriyama then changed it and adapted to seven Dragon Balls.

Originally, Dragon Ball’s working title is Dragon Boy, which tells the story of a young boy adventure in rescuing a princess. But this manga series did not manage to get interest from the publisher that is Toriyama they changed it to the Dragon Ball we know today.

From the soundtracks, action figures, collectible cards, and video games, Dragon Ball surely has it. Dragon Ball also gained an English language license to be released in the United Kingdom and in North America under Viz Media, and Madman Entertainment in New Zealand and Australia. Eventually, they separated the manga series Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z so it will match the series.

With over 160 million copies in Japan and an estimate of 250-300 million copies worldwide, Dragon Ball became one of the most successful manga of all time. In the United States, the English language has to edit and remove some of the nudity and other contents since it receives a lot of complaints from the parents. They also deleted some scenes to cut time or due to strong violence.

Story brief

The story begins with Son Goku, a son of Bardock with the saiyan name, “kakarot”. He came all the way from Planet Vegeta, something very different from the planet earth. 

Goku was sent on earth when he was still a baby together with other low-class saiyan with a mission to destroy it. Growing up Goku meets Bulma, a teenage girl who is one of the reasons why the quest for the seven Dragon Balls even started. The seven Dragon Balls which when collected can summon a dragon named Shenlong and can grant the user any wish he/ she desires. Along his journey, he met Chi-Chi, who eventually became his wife.

As Goku trains his martial arts skills under arts master Master Roshi to fight in the Tenkaichi Budokai, he then meets Krillin who is a monk and practices martial arts. Krillin also serves as Goku’s initial rival and training partner and soon becomes best friends. After the tournament, Goku continues his quest in search of the seven Dragon Balls. His deceased grandfather lets him fight an organization called Red Ribbon Army, whose leader also wants to collect the Dragon Balls so he can gain height.

To no surprise, Goku single-handedly defeated the army of Red Ribbon and also Mercenary Taopaipai, their hired assassin whom he lost originally. Goku together with his friends, they reunite to defeat Fortuneteller Baba’s fighters and locate the last Dragon Ball so they can revive their friend who was killed by Tao.

After 3 years they all reunite at the World Martial Arts Tournament where they meet Master Shen, Tao’s Brother, together with Tien Shinhan and Chiaotzu who wants revenge for Tao’s death caused by Goku. King Piccolo murdered Krillin after the tournament then Goku tracked him down but was defeated. Goku was sent to Korin by a samurai named Yajirobe where Goku receives his power boost and healing.

After Piccolo kills both Master Roshi and Chiaotzu, he uses the Seven Dragon Balls to give him eternal youth before he can destroy Shenron that leads to the destruction of the Dragon Balls. Piccolo was preparing to destroy the west city but Tien Shinhan arrived but eventually was defeated and almost killed. As Goku arrives to save Tien Shinhan and kills Piccolo as he throws a blasting hole to his chest, another piccolo has spawn Piccolo Junior, his final son.

Kami who is the original creator of the Dragon Ball might be able to restore Shenron according to Korin as he tells this to Goku so he can wish to return his fallen friends back to life. And so, it happened. As he trained and stayed with Kami for Three years, he was able to be with his friends Budokai and Tenkaichi together also with chi-chi who is then a teenaged girl and the revived Mercenary Tao. In the tournament where Piccolo Junior enters, he wants to avenge his father King Piccolo, and defeat Goku. Piccolo was barely defeated during the fight. Goku leaves with Chi-Chi and builds his own family. That story will lead to the next series, Dragon Ball Z.

Many series of Dragon Ball has passed but it is essential to know the history of every story. Obviously, Dragon Ball was not created overnight dragon ball even released merchandise such as dragon ball figures, shirts, games and movies. It was a contribution of ideas, knowledge, skills, and time of all the people behind it. The reason why it is successful is because of all the hard work of the people. To reach its great success they should start from the bottom. As they rose to popularity in the early 90s and 2000s, many teens are still watching this series and enjoying the quest in search of the Dragon Balls.