Dragon Ball (1986–1989)
"Dragon Ball: Doragon bôru" (original title)

TV Series  |  TV-Y7  |   |  Animation, Action, Adventure
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 23,421 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 4 critic

Son Gokû, a fighter with a monkey tail, goes on a quest with an assortment of odd characters in search of the Dragon Balls, a set of crystals that can give its bearer anything they desire.

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Series cast summary:
Masako Nozawa ...
 Son Gokû (153 episodes, 1986-1989)
Jôji Yanami ...
 Narrator / ... (153 episodes, 1986-1989)
Doug Parker ...
 Beast Oolong / ... (133 episodes, 1986-1989)
Hiromi Tsuru ...
 Bulma (114 episodes, 1986-1989)
Mayumi Tanaka ...
 Kuririn / ... (105 episodes, 1986-1989)
Tôru Furuya ...
 Yamcha (101 episodes, 1986-1989)
Naoko Watanabe ...
 Puar / ... (101 episodes, 1986-1989)
Kôhei Miyauchi ...
 Kamesennin Muten Roshi / ... (100 episodes, 1986-1989)
Naoki Tatsuta ...
 Oolong / ... (91 episodes, 1986-1989)
Mami Koyama ...
 Lunch / ... (78 episodes, 1986-1989)
Kenji Utsumi ...
 Announcer / ... (71 episodes, 1986-1989)
Hirotaka Suzuoki ...
 Tenshinhan (64 episodes, 1987-1989)


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 <micabob@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-Y7 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

26 February 1986 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Dragon Ball  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(153 episodes)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Goku is based on the Monkey King, a Chinese monkey god; like the Monkey King, he has a flying cloud used for transportation and a magic staff that can extend when he wants. Also the Monkey King's name (when in Chinese characters, but read in Japanese) spells "Son Goku". See more »


When the Red Ribbon Army opens fire in Suno's house, they destroy the "toilet" sign on the bathroom door. Yet in all subsequent scenes after Goku has defeated this division of the army, the sign is restored. See more »


[Japanese opening song]
Singer: Grab them in the hands! Dragon Ball! / One of the world's most thrilling secrets / Hunt those down! Dragon Ball! / One of the world's most pleasant miracles / This world is a huge treasure island / That's right, right now, Adventure! / The chest is tightened excitedly in love, dreaming lots of various colors / Somewhere in this world it's glowing / Let's go and find those, boy, striking out the ghosts and goblins / We'll also fly on the cloud machine today / Let's try, ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits are a montage of images based on covers from the "Dragon Ball" manga. See more »


Alternate-language version of Dragon Ball Z (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Dragonball matches up quite well with Z.
5 November 2010 | by See all my reviews

I do not know if my tastes have changed over the years, but once I used to say by far the best incarnation of Dragonball was Z. However, upon watching this entire series on DVD uncut I now have to say that this one is equal or maybe a notch or two above Z. Though I can still say quite easily that GT is the worst of the bunch as while this one needed a continuation, Z did not. This one follows the young boy Goku as it chronicles his friendships and adventures while finding the mythical dragonballs that number seven and when gathered together summon the dragon, Shenron to grant one wish. The show started out as more of a comedy, a comedy with at times quite perverted humor in it. As the show progressed though it would more and more rely on action to the point that near the end of the show it closely resembled Z, most of the pervert nature of the show would be gone near the end. Why? I have no idea, but it would make a reappearance here and there near the end, but nothing like it was in the beginning. In fact, Z and GT would see virtually no humor of this type with the exception of Master Roshii. This show is sort of made up of three adventures involving the dragonballs. After each of these adventures there was a world martial arts tournament story. The first adventure involves a plucky teen named Bulma finding Goku and the two end up going on an adventure to find the dragonballs. They meet Yamcha here as well as Oolong and Puar. They also meet the nefarious Emperor Pilaf who has to be the funniest villain in the dragonball universe. This story would become Goku training under Master Roshii and meeting Krillan during the world martial arts phase. Then the Red Ribbon Army would be next as would be the meeting of Goku and Tien. Finally, Goku would have to face off against the evil King Piccolo in both the adventure and the tournament. Then for some reason the show keeps going on about five more episodes than it really needed to. Still, this one was fun and the fighting would become really cool near the end.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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