When a worker at King Yemma's spiritual check-in station is accidentally covered in spiritual waste, he is transformed into a powerful monster named Janempa, who destroys the barrier ... See full summary »
Follows the adventures of an extraordinarily strong young boy named Goku as he searches for the seven dragon balls. These balls, when combined, can grant the owner any one wish he desires. ... See full summary »
The adventures of Earth's martial arts defender Son Goku continue with a new family and the revelation of his alien origin. Now Goku and his allies must defend the planet from an onslaught of new extraterrestrial enemies.
In order to wish for immortality and avenge his father, Garlic Jr. collects the dragon balls, kidnapping Goku's son Gohan in the process. Goku, Kami, Piccolo, and Krillin unite to rescue ... See full summary »
After destroying Frieza on Namek, Goku returns to a peaceful life on Earth. When informed his brother has been killed by a Saiyan, Cooler is hell bent on killing Goku, and making him pay ... See full summary »
The evil Dr. Kochin uses the dragon balls to resurrect his mentor, Dr. Wheelo, in an effort to take over the world. Dr. Wheelo, his body having been destroyed by the avalanche that killed ... See full summary »
A mysterious being named Hoy arrives on Earth and asks the Z Warriors to use the dragon balls to help him release Tapion. Tapion, an ancient warrior imprisoned in a music box, and Hoy needs... See full summary »
The Z Fighters compete in an intergalactic martial arts tournament, but when the tournament is taken over by Bojack, an evil demon who escaped the imprisonment placed upon him by the four ... See full summary »
What starts off as a bizarre re-telling of the Chinese legend "Journey to the West" quickly transforms into pure madness. On a twisted version of Earth, the ridiculously strong child-fighter Son Gokû is joined by several companions in the quest for the seven "dragon balls", which, when assembled, will summon the Grand Dragon, who will grant the bearer of the balls one single wish. The problem is, the Grand Dragon can only be invoked once a year, and villains battle Gokuu and friends constantly for possession of the Dragon Balls. Written by
Mike Toole <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In Japan, Dragonball came first, then came Dragonball Z, and then came Dragonball GT. So why did Cartoon Network decide to air Dragonball Z first? The reason is this: The original Dragonball contained so many adult situations, it would have been impossible to censor; so they simply cut to the tamer Dragonball Z.
Dragonball Z turned out to be a huge success in the United States. Occasionally, the characters of Dragonball Z would refer to events from the original Dragonball; and, naturally, viewers were curious and demand to see the original series increased. This led to attempt to censor Dragonball for a kid audience (a task equally as daunting as an attempt to censor `South Park' down to a `G' rating).
The result? A highly offensive, specifically `adult' show now airs at 4:30 in the afternoon. The censors did what they could, but elements of the original adult show still remain. For example, in the Japanese version, old Master Roshi asks to see young Bulma's panties. She agrees as part of bargain, and lifts up her long shirt, only to reveal that she is not wearing anything underneath. In the English version, Roshi explains to Bulma he has a bellybutton fetish. She lifts up her shirt, and the screen is cropped so you can only see above her waistline.
Semi-censorship like this occurs throughout the series. Oolong fantasizes about harems; a girl in the fighting tournament removes her shirt to distract her opponent; Goku urinates in one episode; and every adult male character is obsessed with girly magazines. Somehow, the censors let all this slide (perhaps because the language and nudity, at least, were omitted).
Nonetheless, this show does contain some entertaining elements (the stuff that made DBZ so popular): superpowers, occasional clean humor, and some compelling characters. Although Dragonball started out badly (most of the first season is based around Roshi's obsession with girly mags), the show does get better, slowly gravitating to clean humor and interesting conflicts.
To a DBZ fan like myself, this is a great background story. If you've never seen either series before, though, DB just might scare you off (either for being bizarre or for being offensive). For that reason, I suggest watching Dragonball Z first; then watch Dragonball. You might find yourself thinking that flying cats and talking turtles are quite normal after a while...
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