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

TV Series  |  TV-Y7  |   |  Animation, Action, Adventure
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.7/10 from 23,446 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.

Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

10 Best Action Heroes

We consulted IMDb's Highest-Rated Action-Family Films to came up with 10 scene-stealing action figures your kids can relate to, look up to, and be inspired by.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

Related News

'Dragonball' movie set to roll
| The Hollywood Reporter

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 37 titles
created 31 Mar 2011
a list of 34 titles
created 19 Feb 2012
a list of 38 titles
created 29 Oct 2013
a list of 27 titles
created 8 months ago
a list of 21 titles
created 3 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Dragon Ball" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Dragon Ball (1986–1989)

Dragon Ball (1986–1989) on IMDb 8.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Dragon Ball.

User Polls




5   4   3   2   1  
1989   1988   1987   1986  
Top 250 TV #79 | See the Top 250 TV as voted by our users.



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Dragon Ball (1999–2003)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

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 »

Stars: Brice Armstrong, Victor Atelevich, Andrea Kwan
Dragon Ball Z (1989–1996)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

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.

Stars: Jôji Yanami, Masako Nozawa, Mayumi Tanaka
Dragon Ball Z (1996–2003)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

After learning that he is from another planet, a warrior named Goku and his friends are prompted to defend it from an onslaught of extraterrestrial enemies.

Stars: Masako Nozawa, Sean Schemmel, Christopher Sabat
Dragon Ball Z Kai (2009–2015)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

The February of 2009, Toei Animation announces that as honor to 20 years of Dragon Ball Z will begin the production of a renewed DragonBall Z, named DragonBall Kai. This new anime ... See full summary »

Stars: Masako Nozawa, Jôji Yanami, Mayumi Tanaka
Dragon Ball GT (1996–1997)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After Goku is made a kid again by the black star dragon balls, he goes on a journey to get back to his old self.

Stars: Stephanie Nadolny, Elise Baughman, Andrew Chandler
Animation | Short | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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 »

Director: Daisuke Nishio
Stars: Masako Nozawa, Toshio Furukawa, Hiromi Tsuru
Animation | Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Paragus tricks Vegeta into coming to a counterfeit planet called New Vegeta. Little does he know, he comes to realize that Broly is the legendary super saiyan that Goku (Kakarot) tries to warn him off.

Director: Shigeyasu Yamauchi
Stars: Bin Shimada, Masako Nozawa, Ryô Horikawa
Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Cooler has resurrected himself as a robot and is enslaving the people of New Namek. Goku and the gang must help.

Director: Daisuke Nishio
Stars: Sean Schemmel, Andrew Chandler, Stephanie Nadolny
Animation | Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The universe is thrown into dimensional chaos as the dead come back to life. Now Goku and Vegeta must track down the cause of this uproar.

Director: Shigeyasu Yamauchi
Stars: Masako Nozawa, Ryô Horikawa, Takeshi Kusao
Animation | Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The Z-Fighters must contend with Lord Beerus, the God of Destruction, but only a God can fight a God, and none of them are Gods. However with the creation of the Super Saiyan God, will the Z-Fighters be able to defeat Lord Beerus?

Director: Masahiro Hosoda
Stars: Masako Nozawa, Hiromi Tsuru, Ryô Horikawa
Animation | Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The death of Dr. Gero at the hands of Androids 17 and 18 prompts the activation of Androids 13, 14, and 15. They try to kill Goku, who fights them with the help of Trunks, Piccolo, Vegeta, Krillin, and Gohan.

Director: Daisuke Nishio
Stars: Sean Schemmel, Stephanie Nadolny, Christopher Sabat
Animation | Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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 »

Director: Mitsuo Hashimoto
Stars: Masako Nozawa, Takeshi Kusao, Mayumi Tanaka


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?


In the General Blue Saga, Goku and Blue visit Penguin Village. This town and all the characters in it are taken directly from Dr. Slump, the anime/manga series Toriyama created prior to Dragon Ball. See more »


Goku escapes from the pirate robot's electric shock tail attack by breaking the tail off. In all subsequent scenes the robot's tail is back. See more »


[English closing song]
Singer: Be as free as you can be, a childlike love of fantasy / The world is a mystery for you and me / A miracle, an adventure too, a single wish waits for you, / The beating of your heart will see you through / When you think you can't go on, give it another try / The power of your youth is strong, and as big as the sky / Search over the valleys, and mountains and you'll see / believing in yourself sets you free! / Come on, I'll give you romance! Come on, I'll give you paradise!...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Anime Abandon: Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I actually liked it after giving it a second chance.
3 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I never had an interest in this series or the one that followed it. But after hearing so many good things about it. I decided to watch for myself. I read this is the first series that started it all. So here's what I learn from seeing all 153 episodes.

Dragonball takes place in an alternate earth that's nothing like ours. The humans live like we do, only they're accompany by dinosaurs, talking animals, and aliens. And most of the technology is years ahead of us. The whole plot focuses on Goku, a monkey tail boy who doesn't know he'll make a difference in the world. He encounters a teenage girl name Bulma, who is hunting down 7 dragon balls. Goku owns a dragon ball himself, which was once own by his grandfather. Goku didn't know what was so special about the balls, so Bulma told him what the story to it is.

The 7 Legendary shinny balls, known as Dragonballs have the ability to summon the eternal dragon when all of them are gathered together. The person who summons the dragon can get any wish he or she desires, and one wish only. Bulma has her own wish plan when she gets all 7 of the dragon balls, while Goku is interested in tagging along with Bulma on her journey. Because Bulma finds Goku to be of some use due to his inhuman strength.

During their quest, Goku & Bulma will meet new friends and allies. As well crossing paths with many enemies and those who plan to use the dragon balls for evil purposes. Later on Goku will hope to become stronger than he already is. In order to do so he does some difficult training in martial arts from Master Roshi(his grandfather's friend). Goku is already a born fighter which is yet to be unleashed once he passes the limits of a normal human, and compete in the following "World Martial Arts Tournament" to gain the title of World Champion. Goku is about to experience a journey that unpredictable to anyone.

I gotta admit, I actually do like Dragonball now, after seeing this whole series. Even though this is lighter than the following series. But I wanted know the characters, story, and locations more by seeing the beginning than the middle. I was entirely confused with this one and DragonBall Z(the series that follows). Which is probably because I was a little kid who didn't consider anime as worthy as American cartoons.

Unlike today, where I do consider anime a pleasure to behold. I regret not getting into Dragonball from the very beginning, but it's never too late to become a fan of a franchise that's been around way before I was born.

Enough of my lecturing there. Overrall Dragonball has originality, character development, humor, drama, and suspense that really kept it going. As well as a collection of movie parodies, Chinese related locations/themes, and the whole idea of Sci-Fi combined with Fantasy & Action. I can see why Eiichiro Oda of One Piece was so influenced by this series. Since he and the creator Akira Toriyama are best of friends.

After spending 3 months on this series, I'm gonna get started on DragonBall Z which succeeded even greater than it's proceeder.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
When did they dub it in mexico? cobrall_stinger
all episodes rt807
Season Sets BatFlyer
When Does Goku Turn into an Adult? alexoneill1469
following the story geldart_8-1
List of countries that showed the anime series? Chivito_83
Discuss Dragon Ball (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: