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

TV Series  -   -  Animation | Action | Adventure
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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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Title: Dragon Ball (1986–1989)

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1989   1988   1987   1986  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Masako Nozawa ...
 Son Gokû / ... (142 episodes, 1986-1989)
Jôji Yanami ...
 Narrator (141 episodes, 1986-1989)
Doug Parker ...
 Beast Oolong / ... (140 episodes, 1986-1989)
Mayumi Tanaka ...
 Kuririn / ... (105 episodes, 1986-1989)
Hiromi Tsuru ...
 Bulma (103 episodes, 1986-1989)
Kôhei Miyauchi ...
 Kamesennin Muten Roshi (96 episodes, 1986-1989)
Tôru Furuya ...
 Yamcha (93 episodes, 1986-1989)
Naoko Watanabe ...
 Puar / ... (93 episodes, 1986-1989)
Naoki Tatsuta ...
 Oolong / ... (82 episodes, 1986-1989)
Mami Koyama ...
 Lunch / ... (78 episodes, 1986-1989)
Kenji Utsumi ...
 Announcer / ... (70 episodes, 1986-1989)
Hirotaka Suzuoki ...
 Tenshinhan (64 episodes, 1987-1989)
Edit

Storyline

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


Certificate:

TV-Y7 | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

20 August 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dragon Ball  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(153 episodes)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Goku is 12 years old at the beginning of Dragon Ball. He tells Bulma he is 14 but later confesses he didn't know how to count properly at first. See more »

Goofs

At the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, one spectator's shirt misspells Budokai as Budoukai. See more »

Quotes

Son Gokû: Well, this blows.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

Makafushigi Adobenchâ!
(Mysterious Adventure!)
Performed by Hiroki Takahashi
Lyrics by Yuriko Mori
Music by Takeshi Ike
Arrangement by Kôhei Tanaka
(Opening theme)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Not a kids show
2 March 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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...


9 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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