“Dragon Ball“ (1986-1989)
Creator: Akira Toriyama (original manga)
Director: Daisuke Nishio, Minoru Okazaki, Kazuhisa Takenouhci
Writer: Akira Toriyama (original manga), Yasushi Hirano, Toshiki Inoue, Takao Koyama, Michirru Shimada, Keji Terui
Starring: Masako Nozawa, Joji Yanami, Hiromi Tsuru, Mayumi Tanaka, Toru Furuya, Naoko Watanabe, Kohei Miyauchi, Naoki Tatsuta
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Available on: various VOD platforms (crunchyroll website/app)
"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."
You might like this if you like: Anime, Animation, Martial Arts, Comic Books, Superheroes, Superman, Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Manga
One of my earliest, by far, inspirations to date! Without even knowing it at the time, I was beginning my early interest in manga, comic books and graphic novels! To simplify it, this was my ‘Asian Superman’ equivalent. This was the team of superheroes I grew up with. When I pictured heroes, flying and super strength; my mind went to Goku. I think of this show.
To be honest, I actually watched “Dragon Ball Z” before I got to watch “Dragon Ball”. If there’s anything I can recommend from my mistakes, it’s to start with “Dragon Ball” please. I blame the way it was advertised on TV for not realizing this sooner. I didn’t have the internet or IMDB at the time and whenever I would see books and memorabilia from “Dragon Ball Z” I would see characters I’d never seen before from “Dragon Ball” that I didn’t understand. Regardless, I still was obsessed with the show and it was one of the earliest things I can remember drawing.
Drawing was my big passion as a kid, starting with dinosaurs and animals, I grew to drawing anime figures. It was one of the earliest things I remember getting positive comments from, most memorably at school and felt that was an unexpected way I made some friends. Through my drawings of “Dragon Ball Z” characters I found others my age at my school that were interested in it too. I’ll never forget the day my friend Leif said he was bringing the latest Beckett magazine with the most wonderful pieces of ‘Dragon Ball’ artwork I’d ever seen, to school. That morning I remember me and my friend Duncan huddling outside before class started flipping through the new magazine. It was the issue that featured Trunks on the cover promoting the American release of the Trunks saga post Frieza from ‘Dragonball Z’.
What I loved about ‘Dragonball’ was that it was a true origin story and we got to spend time with this super kid for multiple seasons and frankly, didn’t drag things out as much as ‘Z’ did, and had a lot more comedy to it which just made it all the more fun!
I think if I had watched ‘Dragonball’ first, I would’ve realized how incredibly significant and amazing Bulma’s character truly is. I wish she had a bigger part in ‘Z’, just more women in general, but she was pretty outstanding in the show and stands out as one of my favorite characters.
Maybe this experience is unique to me, but it really made for watching ‘Dragonball’ after ‘Z’, as i fell in love with all of those characters and when I discovered ‘Dragonball’ it was like I got to see all of my favorite characters origins / the best prequel series anyone could hope for! Just knowing the long road in which these character take through ‘Z’ makes ‘Dragonball’ an even more precious story to me. Almost like, before the great war, where innocence was still a thing. Don’t get me wrong, it has its action and violence, but ‘Z’ is an entirely new beast in comparison.
Written by Sam Gall on Aug 16, 2021
CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0
Behind the Scenes: