Gokuu Son is a young boy who lives in the woods all alone—that is, until a girl named Bulma runs into him in her search for a set of magical objects called the "Dragon Balls." Since the artifacts are said to grant one wish to whoever collects all seven, Bulma hopes to gather them and wish for a perfect boyfriend. Gokuu happens to be in possession of a dragon ball, but unfortunately for Bulma, he refuses to part ways with it, so she makes him a deal: he can tag along on her journey if he lets her borrow the dragon ball's power. With that, the two set off on the journey of a lifetime.
They don't go on the journey alone. On the way, they meet the old Muten-Roshi and wannabe disciple Kuririn, with whom Gokuu trains to become a stronger martial artist for the upcoming World Martial Arts Tournament. However, it's not all fun and games; the ability to make any wish come true is a powerful one, and there are others who would do much worse than just wishing for a boyfriend. To stop those who would try to abuse the legendary power, they train to become stronger fighters, using their newfound strength to help the people around them along the way.
Ah, Dragonball. The beginning of one of the longest and arguably most popular anime franchise on both sides of the pacific. Unfortunately, this anime seems to be shunned by a few based on its affiliation with its sequels. That's a shame, really.
One huge reason why this anime holds its own is that the entire franchise is in its infancy. There are no Super Saiya-jin stages to worry about, and the fights aren’t stretched out to their barely tolerable limits. The various quests that the young Z-Senshi embark on are just that: quests. There are no interstellar enemies to fight (early on), and the majority of
the time spent is on the team simply trying to find the dragonballs. The comedic element in Dragonball shines just as brightly and flows smoothly with the story. The characters have such a genuinely portrayed chemisty between each other. Dragonball never seems to take itself too seriously, allowing the viewer to sit back and enjoy the ride.
For a twenty-year-old series, Dragonball looks the part. Time has taken its toll, as the art and animation haven’t aged very well, though by 1980's standards, it's pretty good. On the other hand, the fights are better planned out, particularly during the Tenkaichi Budokai. Instead of the “beat-down-to-the-brink-of-death-only-to-tap-in-to-a-hidden-power-and-win-at-the-last-second” routine, combatants actually have flaws and human weaknesses, including Goku. Some are actually enjoyable with comedic moments placed within them. As the series begins its final arc, however, we begin to sees shades of the future for this franchise. Fights begin to grow longer and longer and the comedy slowly begins to wane.
Like I said earlier, it’s a real shame that this series gets such a bad reputation because of its successors. Sure, it eventually parts into its lackluster sequels, but as the saying goes, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ Dragonball is a fun series that should be worth anyone’s time, be you a newcomer or a seasoned veteran.
This won’t be an in depth review because everyone knows about Dragon Ball and its influence and there are already numerous reviews written about it. This will just give you an idea of whether you should watch it or not, for those who haven’t yet.
Dragon Ball undeservedly doesn’t receive the same attention as its more popular sequel. The Dragon Ball series does receive a lot of flack for being really repetitive and for its unnecessarily long fight sequences but it’s really unfair to compare the franchise to what the shonen genre has become today. Because of this people tend to overlook Dragon Ball.
is divided into multiple story arcs, some longer than others, which are hilariously funny and manage to entertain with fantastic battles. Dragon Ball is gut bustingly hilarious, and it might surprise people how sexual the jokes are and how comfortable Goku is naked but the gags never got stale. The fights were always entertaining and well thought out. It was never just a case of running in, attacking and (if a foe was just too great) tapping into a hidden power. Although the first two thirds of the show are quite funny, the tone grows a lot more serious starting with the last third, a lot like the tone throughout Dragon Ball Z.
Goku might come off as one dimensional since he was one of the first traditional shonen hero archetypes, but the more you watch the show, you’ll realise he isn’t just some stupid and strong fighter. The rest of the cast move the plot along pretty well with some of them playing major roles, which is a shame really because in the sequels they basically serve no meaningful purpose, not in the story or with the fighting.
The animation is dated, but one does get used to it rather quickly. Sometimes the same animated shots are reused but this doesn’t detract from the enjoyment. Characters designs are also exaggerated for comedic slapstick purposes that manage to gain quite a few chuckles.
I saw the dubbed version and all the voice actors fit their roles well, especially Barbara Goodson as Goku and Mike McFarland as Master Roshi. The English OP was really catchy (some may disagree) but the ED was forgettable. The Japanese songs scattered throughout the series were not too shabby but were usually drowned out by the chatter of the characters.
A classic that will forever be in the shadow of its sequel that manages to be fun from start to finish. Despite a few hiccups in the animation, Dragon Ball is truly a remarkable and fun show to watch. It’s long, but it never stops being entertaining. If for some unexplainable reason you have yet to watch the Dragon Ball franchise, this is the perfect place to start.
Oddly enough not alot of people know of the anime that started it all. Yet most of them have probably watched the sequel. Why is this? I catch myself in this thought all the time, because the prequel is strikingly good when compared it to it's Z counterpart.
This anime succeeds despite it's shortcomings in my book. This is simply because it know's it's a goofy fighting anime and thus dosen't try to be anything else. The focus is therefore put on fighting, cracking jokes and gags, and last but certainly not least: The journey that Goku goes on in itself.
The story in here is very
simple; finding the Dragonballs. At least that's what the gang spends a large bulk of the series doing. Due to the length of this series it's obvious that there will be fillers. However the fillers do more than just fill in the time where we aren't fed the canon story. The fillers generally retain the quality of the canon episodes, and there aren't that many of them either. his is largely due to the fact that the humour in Dragonball is fantastic and feels naturally woven in with all the characters and the story. This also applies to the fillers.
Some viewers may criticize Dragonball for the reptitive nature of the story, saying that it's the exact same thing over and over again. And to a certain extent they're correct. But this leads back to what i was previously talking about; a "proper" story would do more bad than good here. It would leave less freedom to make this anime as goofy and hilarious as it is. And you shouldn't be watching a fighting shounen for the story.
The characters in Dragonball are all lovable. No matter the size of their role in the story. They are all fleshed out over time and you will either love or hate them. Goku in particular is very fun to watch, because the majority of Dragonball viewers saw Z first, which may have left you wanting to see what Goku was like during his early years. He is truly a treat to watch, and is quite clearly the staple for all other shounen protagonists.
The fights are the main driving points of this anime along with the comedy aspects. Thankfully they don't make the fights ludicrously long in an attempt to make them exciting. The pacing of the fights is well done the fights well thought out. Strategy plays an integral role in the majority of the fights earlier on the series, and as the series progresses it slowly reaches the point Z is at.
The anime is old and you can easily tell by the art and the visuals. (hehe penises.) No, but seriously. The animation and art are average for their time, which means that it obivously pales in comparison to modern standards. But if you look at it through a more objective scope it has suprisingly aged quite well. Remaking this series with updated visuals would be mistake because I feel there is a charm in the old art style. The magic of the show would certainly go lost along with the old feel of it.
Dragonball is an anime that cannot be missed. Do not let the length or the visuals of this anime discourage you. It's truly worth your time.
Join Goku in his mystical adventure for the Dragonballs!
Influenced heavily by Journey to the West, Dragonball follows the journey of the world's most popular anime and manga character of all time: Son Goku, the innocent yet powerful hero we follow on his adventures as he and his friends explore the mysterious world in search of the seven Dragonballs.
Contrary to common believe, Dragonball is not all about fighting. No, it is about much, much more than that. Dragonball is story of great adventure, friendship, pain and suffering and love. Most of today's seemingly generic morals in series such as "protecting nakama" or "never giving up" are derived from Toriyama's brilliance in this series.
In my eyes, Dragonball will always be the number 1 undisputed anime and manga series. It was the first of its kind to feature such a strong cast and plot in the shounen genre that it became an ambassadorial series to the world, creating conditions under which modern day series such as One Piece, Naruto and many, many others of all genres could thrive under.
As said previously, Dragonball has a strong adventurous plot and cast of characters, all of whom are very interesting and relevant to the story (an unfortunate lacking in the DB's sequel: DBZ). However, Dragonball's greatest charm is its setting, which greatly compliments the adventurous and rather ambitous plot written by Toriyama.
Dragonball takes place in a mysterious world filled with mysterious places and creatures and cohesions of real life cultures. Goku visits a great many strange and unusual places inhabited by strange and unusual people on his journies to collect the Dragonballs at first and later to become the Strongest Under the Heavens. For example, in one of the earlier episodes of Dragonball, Goku visits a village populated by cowboys and Indians (I should say Native Americans), a rather interesting and humurous occurence considering the world of Dragonball being quite futuristic over all, if not in most places. It is this unusualness, this incredible sense of awe and adventure that have made people love the series and its main character and thus made it easy for them to follow Goku's journey, during which we met creatures like Oolong and Puar and animals that could walk on their hind legs and speak the human tongue, and vampires, mermaids and zombies, mummies and androids and aliens. I could go on, but I believe I've already sketched you a painting of what it is I'm trying to convey.
Dragonball sets not limitations on the imagination of the viewers. It is truly a unparallled masterpiece in a league of its own. This is reflected in the fact that Dragonball, 30 years later, remains the highest selling manga series of all time with 300 million world wide sales to Once Piece's 228 million sales and Naruto 180-odd million sales.
I recommend all appreciators of manga and anime, new and otherwise, to at least make the effort of trying this great and wonderful series. Once you have watched this masterpiece, you will forever have a different view on manga and anime in general as this series immense influence becomes apparent.
Dragonball, without a doubt in my mind, is the greatest series of all time and deserves all the recognition it has been given and more.
Martial arts are an expression of power, showcasing the potential of the human body when pushed to its physical limit. It also makes for exciting anime, and allows animators and directors to showcase their prowess as things get heated.