Winter 1986

Dragon Ball

Toei Animation
153 episodes · TV Completed

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.

The Anime Critic: “Dragon Ball” Review

In the madcap world of Dragon Ball—an imaginative powerhouse from the legendary pen of Akira Toriyama—we meet our protagonist Goku, an alien boy with a monkey tail possessing superb strength. Found by the elderly and kind-hearted Grandpa Gohan in a remote mountain area, Goku is cared for and taught martial arts. Later meeting Bulma, a tech-savvy city girl searching for mythical Dragon Balls that grants any wish when all seven are gathered, their fantastic journey begins.

Unfolding episodically, the series introduces a plethora of vibrant characters—for example, the shape-shifting Puar, cunning Yamcha, pig Roshi, the flying Nimbus cloud, and more. The Dragon Ball universe is a place where technology and magic coexist, punctuated by extraordinary fights, hilarious moments, and classic villain showdowns. Bulma and Goku’s journey to find the Dragon Balls uncovers a world rich in adventure, mystery, and extraordinary beings.

Storyline and Pacing

Dragon Ball is, without a doubt, one of the most influential anime. Its intriguing story of raw adventure, mixed with intense battles and hilarious comedy, makes it a complete package. Akira Toriyama’s storytelling is genius—he masterfully combines light-hearted humour, heartfelt emotion, and breathtaking action seamlessly.

Animation and Sound

With the animation taking us back to the mid-80s, the retro feel could come as a surprise, but it holds up impressively well. Its fight scenes are wonderfully animated, and the unique character designs are often mimicked today. The original soundtracks, ranging from the spirited opening theme “Makafushigi Adventure!” to the powerful numbers during battles, are still lodged in the hearts of many anime fans.

Characters and Development

Dragon Ball sets the foundation for the spectacular character development seen in subsequent series. Beginning with Goku’s innocent charm, Bulma’s ambitious nature, and Roshi’s comedic perversion, we see organic growth in their personalities and abilities. The relationships among characters are interlaced with humor, serious undertones, and a deep sense of camaraderie that makes Dragon Ball an unforgettable experience.

Wrap Up

If you’re new to anime or a seasoned otaku looking for a classic to enjoy, Dragon Ball is a must-see. Despite its age, its animation holds up well, and the overarching storyline sets a solid foundation in anime lore. This isn’t just an anime—it’s the birthplace of many tropes and a cornerstone of Japanese pop culture. Whether to rent, stream, or buy, Dragon Ball is certainly worthy of your time and money.

Final Rating: 4.5/5

Dragon Ball
7.96 / 10 Reviewer
{{ reviewsOverall }} / 10 Users (0 votes)
Dragon Ball sets itself apart with gripping storylines, distinctive characters, and exciting fight sequences. Its combination of humor, action, adventure and unique art style provides audiences with a thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience.
The pacing of the storyline can be frustratingly slow at times with redundant arcs that detract from the overall plot. The character development is inconsistent and often reduced to simplistic power-ups rather than nuanced growth, limiting the depth of the series.
Embark on the thrilling journey of Goku in Dragon Ball, a classic anime that set the standard for fantastical fighting sequences and character growth. This anime combines martial arts, sci-fi elements, and adventure with engaging storytelling. It's a must-watch for fans of action-filled anime, promising heart-pounding battles and memorable characters.
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