Post Reply A few questions for Dragon Ball fans from an outsider
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Posted 15 days ago
I've been heavily considering getting into the dragon ball franchise ,but I don't really get how it all ties together. There are so many movies and other things that it leaves me a bit confused. I'd like to ask what kind of works here has Toriyama directly been a part of or what he considers canon. Any sequence of what to see first would also be appreciated.
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Posted 15 days ago
I don't this is the proper section for this kind of forum.

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Posted 15 days ago
Dragonball is the first one start there. Dragon Ball Z is the second one, Dragonball GT was the third installment that was rendered non canon.
Dragonball Super takes place after Dragon Ball Z Buu Saga.

So the list goes

Dragonball
Dragonball Z
Dragonball Super

Optional: Dragonball GT
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Posted 15 days ago

Ventus5655 wrote:

I've been heavily considering getting into the dragon ball franchise ,but I don't really get how it all ties together. There are so many movies and other things that it leaves me a bit confused. I'd like to ask what kind of works here has Toriyama directly been a part of or what he considers canon. Any sequence of what to see first would also be appreciated.


Canon timeline is pretty much just:
Dragon Ball
Dragon Ball Z (plus History of Trunks and Bardock the father of Goku OVA's)
Dragon Ball Super

Dragon Ball GT is a non canon, alternate future that takes place after Dragon Ball Z. Some people may or may not prefer watching it to Dragon Ball Super. Both are kind of equally ridiculous though.

All of the rest of the movies are loosely based on whatetever story arcs were occuring in the main series at the times that they were made. So they are very much an alternate reality.
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Posted 15 days ago , edited 15 days ago
One question. Are you mainly a manga reader or an anime viewer? If the former, I would personally read all 520 chapters of Dragon Ball instead. If you're not really into manga, then start w/ Dragon Ball and then watch Dragon Ball Z. Dragon Ball & Dragon Ball Z are the same. I don't know why they bothered w/ splitting up the name for the anime, but hey, they did the same thing for Naruto. All the movies & Dragon Ball GT are non canon, so if you don't care about stuff that wasn't written by Toriyama, avoid those like the plague. Dragon Ball Super is the one you should start watching after you get done w/ the original Dragon Ball. Though in my personal opinion, it's not that great, but it is a canon continuation.

TL;DR

Canon
Dragon Ball (with some fillers)
Dragon Ball Z (with some fillers)
Dragon Ball Super

non-canon
Dragon Ball GT
Dragon Ball movies
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Posted 15 days ago

Ventus5655 wrote:

I've been heavily considering getting into the dragon ball franchise ,but I don't really get how it all ties together. There are so many movies and other things that it leaves me a bit confused. I'd like to ask what kind of works here has Toriyama directly been a part of or what he considers canon. Any sequence of what to see first would also be appreciated.


Well the only undebatably canon thing in the entire franchise is the manga. It's very long but the good news is there are several omnibus releases that give you multiple volumes for a low price. It's even one of the rare few manga to get a full colour re-release, and even rarer, one that is available in America.

Start with the manga if:

You want to get through the story as fast as possible

You want the closest thing possible to Toriyama's original vision.

The manga got an anime adaptation remarkably quick for its time, and the Dragonball anime is a great adaptation, thanks in no small part to the great voice work (in both english and japanese) the great music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BT1Dp69D7q0 sadly it has not aged as well as I would like to say. It's very much an 80s anime. Featuring limited animation, rough outlines and a much slower pace than most modern anime fans will be used to, the series definitely shows its age. The plus side is that it's pretty easily available with funimation's "blue box" collection which gathers the entire series into a few dvd volumes. They're out of print but it isn't too hard to find them in stores still, and even on ebay they command a much lower price than one would expect.

Start with the Dragonball anime if:

Anime is more your style than manga

You want to start the story from the beginning

You want physical copies but you're on a budget.

After the Dragonball anime ended, Toei continued adapting the Dragonball manga with a new anime series: Dragonball Z. Z is much darker than vanilla dragonball and features much more emphasis on fights. It's a very influential series for the shonen battle genre, pioneering things like the use of auras, powering up sequences, powered-up forms etc. It's what most fans outside of Japan and europe think of when you say Dragonball as for many of us it was our first exposure to the franchise. It set the world on fire, and for good reason, it's a great series.

Sadly it isn't very cost effective to collect. It was most widely available through Funimation's "Orange box" sets and they are some of the objectively worst anime dvds you will ever see. In order to make the originally 4:3 series into widescreen Funimation elected to do a conversion using 3rd generation masters of the show. This resulted in the dvds looking ridiculously stretched out, being so zoomed in it often obscures important parts of the frame and having a fidelity so low it's barely above VHS level. Don't even get me started on the audio. Things started to look up not long after when Funimation started releasing the series on blu-ray. These releases kept the original aspect ratio along with the grain and were considered one of the best anime releases on blu-ray ever at the time due to their high quality and low price. Sadly they weren't selling enough and only the first two discs (Level 1.1 and 1.2) were ever released. We later got another blu-ray release (the seasonal sets) from Funimation, but sadly it brought the cropping back, although the stretch and zoom in were much less bad on these. One area in which the blu-rays definitely fuck up, mind you, is the colour. I'm not entirely sure why, but somewhere along the remastering process it was decided that everything in z needed way more bright and so we ended up with this shit where everything is bizarrely bright with colours that now look white and washed out. Kinda hurts my eyes to be honest. Despite this obvious blunder, it remains the best edition for balancing price with value, each season can be had for less than $40 (that's about 1 dollar per episode). If budget isn't an obstacle for you, however, the best way to enjoy dbz is through funimation's Dragon Box dvd box sets. They feature some really awkward cover art but aside from that they have just about everything you could want from an anime dvd. This includes the original aspect ratio, next episode previews (absent from most other releases) and japanese sound/voicetracks with english subs, but the downside is that the japanese audio is only in mono, but you can just switch to english if you want 5.1. Or you can have the english voices with the japanese soundtrack ro vice versa. Oh, and I haven't even talked about the definition. It's wonderful, the best you'll ever get from dbz. I know it's just a dvd but the visual fidelity is honestly better than all the blu-ray releases. It's a dream come true, but it sadly costs a shit ton. You're probably looking at around $80 per box set (which each contain exactly 42 episodes, 7 sets in total) and that is if you get it at a significant discount. It is the best way to watch it though and I highly recommend it if you have the cash.

Start with dbz if:

You want to see it for historical curiosity

You don't mind lower quality discs or higher than average prices

You're in it for the fights

You don't mind missing backstory

There is also Dragonball Kai (marketed internationally as Dragonball Z Kai) which is a re-packaging of dbz that cuts out a lot of anime original filler and content in order to make the anime as close to the manga as possible. I must clarify that it is not a redrawing. Some shots are touched up a bit, but aside from that, and some fixes to colour the animation itself has not changed. What has changed is the aspect ratio. Kai was digitally remastered to 16:9 widescreen and it is by far the best example of the practice shown in the dragonball series so far. For some reason many fans expect it to feature redrawn animation, but this only happens in 5 episodes throughout the entire series and only for very brief moments. It's hard to recommend Kai because it isn't fully available in america yet, missing the last major saga of the story. On the other hand it's episode count is much smaller thanks to the removal of filler so that's a plus, I guess. Naturally with this being a remastering straight from Toei itself, the dvd and blu-ray sets are excellent in terms of sound and animation, and the funimation releases have a respectable amount of bonus features to boot. If you buy them new they'll cost you more than the season set blu-rays, but you'll be buying less episodes so it will be cheaper overall, and you should be able to find them used for about $20 or less without looking too hard.

Start with kai if:

You want to see Toriyama's original vision, but would rather see it animated than drawn.

You just want to get as much of the story out of the way as fast as possible

You want physical copies but really don't have much money

You really hate filler.

I'm going to end with Dragonball GT because this post is already massive and Super hasn't finished airing yet. GT is extremely divisive amongst fans. It only has small creative influence from Akira Toriyama, is confirmed not to be canon, chooses to focus way too much on its main character, Goku, while making every character seem worthless and doesn't even feature very good fights most of the time. That isn't to say that it doesn't have its moments though, because it does. It has some very clever plot points with well thought out themes and not nearly as many ass-pulls as the other parts of the franchise. At the same time it's a hard recommendation to new viewers because the story is largely built off of other parts of the franchise, but it's worth noting that it is the shortest dragonball tv series, with only 64 episodes total. If you want to buy it dvd is your only option, no blu-rays for gt yet. They were originally sold in individual volumes, but those releases are expensive and of poor quality. Thankfully you can get Funimation's remastered "Green Box" sets which offer the show either in two halves or a complete box. These are probably the best of the Funi remasterings. they can be yours for about $50 for the complete series or $20 for the individual sets.

Start with GT if:

Yeah... there's little reason to recommend GT as a jumping on point. Although because it has the fewest number of episodes it'll be the one you get through the fastest if that's what you want.

Hope this helps and sorry for the long post.
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Posted 15 days ago , edited 15 days ago
Here's my opinion if you want to steamroll through the series quickly but still stay true to the source:

Dragon Ball (The tourney arcs are so much fun to watch.)
Dragon Ball Kai (IMO there's only one filler worth watching)
Dragon Ball Super (You might want to even forego the first two arcs and just watch the movies. Their are some minor differences but it's more or less the same with better animation.)

Some of the movies are really good, but yeah, they're not canon.
Very little reason to watch GT at this point since it was booted out of canon. And it wasn't that good anyway.

And I don't know if it's been mentioned yet but dub > sub if you can.
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Posted 15 days ago

zangeif123 wrote:

And I don't know if it's been mentioned yet but dub > sub if you can.


Other than Goku's voice, I feel like everyone else's fits them perfectly in Japanese. Goku's voice fits him a lot better as a kid, but when he grows up, it does feel out of place, lol.
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Posted 15 days ago

Lemontitties wrote:


zangeif123 wrote:

And I don't know if it's been mentioned yet but dub > sub if you can.


Other than Goku's voice, I feel like everyone else's fits them perfectly in Japanese. Goku's voice fits him a lot better as a kid, but when he grows up, it does feel out of place, lol.


I prefer just about everybody's English voice over the Japanese. But I've been watching DBZ for almost 20 years and nostalgia probably plays a big part of it. And everytime I hear Krilian and Yajirobi I think Luffy. It's hard to shake.

And I respect the hell out of Goku's voice actress but not only does she do Goku, but also Gohan, Goten, Bardock & Black.. But mad respect for Masako, she's a legend.
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