The Dragon Ball Franchise is one of the biggest anime and manga media to ever come out. The franchise is a phenomenon around the world and, for years, has influenced a number of popular anime and mangas. These newer mangas and anime take at least some amount of inspiration from the series. Created by Akira Toriyama, the first manga originally debuted in 1984, and with the run was later adapted into a number of series, TV specials, shorts, video games, and full-length theatrical movies. Dragon Ball Franchise defined anime as an entertainment medium for people around the world. It garnered praise for the mature and interesting storyline, in-depth character development, and occasional humor inherited in an action-oriented series.
It’s been 37 years for the franchise to exist in one or the other form of medium. ranging to a lot of amazing instances that are noticed or left noticed by the fans. So here we are counting down our favorite and most intriguing facts about the series that makes it such a huge franchise and makes people question more about the series.
Since the franchise is larger than life and consists of a range of mediums as mentioned above. There are some facts already known to audiences but are still worth mentioning. So before we start our top 20, here are some honorable mentions.
- The Hospital in which Goku was hospitalized after his fight with Vegeta was named intelligently as “WuKong” the Chinese name for Goku.
- Cooler, the brother of Frieza, who appeared in the fifth and sixth movie of Dragon Ball Z, actually has larger territory in space than Frieza. He owns roughly 256 planets, whereas Frieza has 79.
- ‘Launch’ was forgotten by Akira Toriyama after Dragon Ball, which led to her disappearance in the following series.
- Piccolo has no gender since Namekians don’t have females and reproduce asexually.
- Chichi and Bulma originally had different hair colors. Chich had blue hair, while Bulma had purple hair originally.
- Broly was born mighty with a power level of 10,000 as equal to a Saiyan at his prime.
20. The Origins Of Future Trunks’ Super Saiyan Form Is Different In Manga & Anime
We were first introduced to Trunks right on the earlier episodes, which were set to initiate the Android saga. He was the second Saiyan to come on screen in the Super Saiyan form. This fact intrigued a lot of fans about the character’s origins and how he was able to quickly attain the Super Saiyan form. Although the episodes did reveal a lot, fans needed more. So, the creators also took the history of the character and portrayed it briefly in the character’s special episode titled “Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks,” which gave the fans a closer glimpse into the character’s life.
What many might not know is that his Super Saiyan origins portrayed in the anime and manga has one major difference. If we take a look at the manga, Trunks was able to turn into Super Saiyan way back before Gohan died. On the other hand, the TV special saw Gohan’s Death becoming the very moment that triggered Trunks’ Super Saiyan Form.
19. The Terminator Connection
Well, if you observe clearly, the Android Saga is a huge nod to the Terminator movies from the West. So, basically, a guy from the future comes to the past to warn the heroes about machines killing humanity. That’s clearly a reference to Terminator. Although fighting robots and cyborgs are common in anime, what further adds to the fact is that Future Trunks is sent back in the past on the 12th of May to warn the earth’s Z fighters about the arrival of Androids. In Terminator Series, it’s the same exact date where T-800 was sent back into the past in order to kill Sarah Connor.
18. A Lost Dragon Ball Z Movie
For Dragon Ball’s collection of 20 movies along with 4 specials and 3 OVA’s, among them was one more movie that is lost now. In this “lost movie”, the Z fighters battle a scientist member of a race that had its hand in wiping out the Saiyan race. This movie has never been released and won’t be either. The video game on which the story was based was also not released.
17. Voice Actors Fainted While Performing
If you remember, the roars we heard when our favorite character’s lost their dear ones. The anger and drive did come out perfectly in those roars catapulting on the character’s sentiments. All thanks to the brilliant performances by the voice actors. But, you may have observed that these roars are sometimes ranging for more than 5 minutes and has caused the voice actors some really great damage. Apart from the voice actors damaging their vocal cords, there are times when they have indeed passed out. Sean Schemmel, who voiced for the English dub of Goku, has noted that he has shouted himself into unconsciousness while dubbing for Goku.
16. Majinn Buu’s Cinderella Connection
Just imagine a little evil side for the Cinderella story. Also, note Majin Buu is not evil at all. He is indeed so cute, to begin with. But his story, like he was created by Babibdi, the evil sorcerer and was brought out of hibernation because of Babidi’s son. Did you get it? or should we say “Bibidi Babidi Buu! Bippity boppity boo”?
15. Sonic The Hedgehog Sees Dragon Ball As A Huge Inspiration
Yes, there are plenty of things to point out but let’s keep the spiky hair and change of colors aside. Still, many fans claim that the plot of Sonic The Hedgehog resembles Dragon Ball a lot. I mean, look at it, the seven chaos emeralds that Sonic and his friends hunt along in the whole series, much like Goku and his friends hunting the seven dragon balls in the earlier episodes of Dragon Ball.
14. Goku Has Only Killed Twice In The Whole Series
Goku, as we know of, is quite a kind-natured guy. We have seen him for giving his opponents, letting them go, making friends out of them, and often giving them Senzu beans, which don’t work out well for everyone. We feel you, Krillin. So, killing someone off is a very rare deed for the kindhearted Goku, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t done it at all. According to the series, it was only twice when Goku Killed someone despite having battles with monsters that were bent on killing him in an instant.
First was Yakon, one of Babidi’s minions who appeared in the earlier episodes of the Majinn Buu saga. The monster clearly had the upper hand in the initial stages of the fight with Goku. Due to the fact, Yakon was able to absorb energy and take the super Saiyan power away, it was a mess in the beginning. Until Goku used Yakon’s energy to his own use by loading him with all the energy. This led Yakon to explode and die right away.
The second individual killed off by Goku was none other than the last villain of the Dragon Ball Z series Kid Buu. The evil nature of Kid Buu, accompanied by mystical strength, was unmatched for Goku, even with Vegeta by his side. In the end, it took a Spirit Bomb made from the energy of individuals across the universe that Goku used to replenish the evil being.
13. Dragon Ball Z Kai Was Made To Follow Manga Closely
While many people hate Dragon Ball Z Kai for not living up to the original series, editing good parts out, and lack of character development, the series indeed was recreated to follow the manga closely. As a classic fan, you might not like it, but Kai removed a number of fillers that were added to the original and followed manga to the point. So, Dragon Ball Z kai was made up of 100 episodes rather than the original 291 episodes.
12. Piccolo And Gohan Are Close When It Comes To Age
Yes, they are pretty much close. Despite Piccolo being a father figure to Gohan, both the characters are just 4 years apart. Namekians grow faster than humans, with ages ranging from their bodies. Piccolo was indeed three years old when he fought Goku in the tournament.
11. Toei Animation Added Fake Stories
As mentioned in the above fact, there were a lot of spoilers that were part of the Dragon Ball series. During the run of Dragon Ball Z, to keep the pace going and waiting for the manga to catch-up, Toei Animation was forced to create a lot of fake stories revolving around the series. These stories included the fake “Namek” storyline and then the Garlic Jr. Saga, and the Afterlife Tournament which was not part of the manga but made for the anime run.
10. The Meme “Over 9000” Was Actually A Mistake
Haha, this meme would still give you a smile on your face no longer how many times it appears. Yeah, it’s quite funny to use as a template but is it over 9000? or over 8000? So, what many people might or might not know is that it was a dubbing mistake. The Japanese version originally had over 8000 as the original dialogue, but the Ocean dub accidentally used 9000. The internet made it so popular that even Funimation decided to keep it 9000 for the meme reference.
9. The Series Takes Cues From Journey To The West
Journey To The West tells the story of Tang Dynasty Buddhist Monk, Xuanzang and his journey through the Western regions on a quest for obtaining legendary Buddhist texts. Although there is slightly no connection to the Dragon Ball series, the characters of the anime pretty much come from there. For example, the main character himself, Goku, pretty much adores the characteristics of Monkey King by being playful, having a monkey tail, and extending poles. We can also see Goku being joined by the likes of Oolong and Krillin. Xuanzang was also accompanied by the monkey king and an anthropomorphic pig. Apart from this, Dragon Ball later pretty much found its own essence to stand out as an original story.
8. Frieza Has Been Defeated The Most In Series
Despite being the first biggest and strongest threat and the evilest individual in the series and sometimes as a whole in the anime industry, Frieza has been defeated most of the time pretty much successfully. Sad for the ones who were scared by him long before Frieza met Goku. But how is the strongest fearsome evil being defeated so many times? Indeed he is defeated six times throughout the series.
Counting down, first obviously by Goku on Planet Namek, second, killed off by Future Trunks, third defeated even in the afterlife by Pikkon, fourth by Gohan when he was sent back to hell in the movie Fusion Reborn, and in Dragon Ball GT was froze by Goku before being smashed to pieces. Most the latest in Dragon Ball Super, with Golden Frieza being defeated by Vegeta this time.
7. Vegeta Was Initially A One Off Character
Well, Vegeta is a huge fan-favorite, and the series can’t be imagined without him being as the poster guy along with Goku. This would have been a huge heartbreak, but yes, Akira Toriyama intended to end Vegeta’s story from a single arc itself. Vegeta was set to be killed off quickly and fairly without a single mention in the future. But the popularity of the character and a huge demand from fans saw the Prince of All Saiyans stay. So, the producers decided to bring a much softer side to his character by adding in Bulma and Trunks.
6. Jiren Was Set To Be Introduce In Initial Episodes Of TOP Arc
Yes, we were supposed to see Jiren in the very Zen Exhibition Match that saw Universe 7’s top 3 fighters going in against Univers 9’s top 3 fighters. Although we saw a few glimpses of him in trailers and teasers standing right beside Belmod, the god of destruction of Universe 11, he was later replaced by Toppo in the original episode 82 and made his debut later in episode 85.
5. Goku Vs. Frieza: The Longest Fight In Anime History
Many people know this, but this is a fact that can’t be left out. Initially, Dragon Ball saw lengthy segments, episodes, and sagas that were pretty much filled with fillers rather than the original manga chapters. This saw long battles ranging for a number of episodes. One of them is Goku Vs. Frieza, which is one of the most iconic battles in Anime history where we also saw Goku turning the iconic Super Saiyan for the first time. But it was also one of the longest battles in Anime history. The whole fight was close to four hours of screentime. LAter the anime adapted to fast, hard-hitting battles that turned a lot of heads.
4. The Lack Of Female Super Saiyans In Earlier Series
Sorry female fans, we understand you, but this not sexism from Akira Toriyama for not introducing any female Saiyan with the Super Saiyan abilities at the beginning of the series. Toriyama admitted that he didn’t introduce any female Super Saiyans initially due to the fact that he thought they might look quite identical to the male Super Saiyans.
The female fans were granted their wishes with two really strong female Super Saiyans in the recent Dragon Ball Super with Kale and Caulifla from Universe 6. They are indistinguishably strong, especially Kale, who very much resembles Universe 7’s Broly. When these two fuse, they can go toe to toe with the likes of Super Saiyan Blue.
3. Gohan Is More Violent In Anime Compared To Manga
Yes, office going Mama’s boy Gohan never intended to grow up as Warrior protecting the earth. He was destined to be a family man as her mother intended to him. People believe that Gohan has indeed become very less interesting and far much boring and not effective as a fighter. But what not many people know is the fact that Gohan is indeed more violent in Anime if we compare him to his manga counterpart. In the manga, Gohan has killed off a number of eight enemies in total, whereas, in anime, he has killed 15 enemies in total.
2. The First Canonical Power-Up After 20 Years
Dragon Ball Super showcased the very first cannon power-ups after almost twenty years, where we saw all of the Z fighters powering up to their new potential. Especially the credit goes to the Tournament Of Power that saw many of them pushing to their limits. Let’s begin with our main character Goku who received Super Saiyan God, Super Saiyan Blue, and of course Ultra Instinct, then there was Vegeta, who received Super Saiyan Blue as well with his own form of limit breaking and also Frieza in his new Golden Form making him even stronger than Goku and Vegeta.
There were other characters who were way stronger than before. Android 17 to start with who is speculated to be as strong as SSB, Gohan and Piccolo trained to outmatch their previous levels along with Master Roshi, Krillin, and Tien having their levels turned up to a certain degree. Even Yamcha reached a level of million in the series.
1. Dragon Ball: Evolution Made Toriyama Write Again
Dragon Ball: Evolution, for some fans, what the mess was that? Seriously it’s probably the most hated form of series to come out of the Dragon Ball franchise. On the other hand, it’s the worst. It makes us question everything about Dragon Ball. Akira Toriyama had left the story a long time ago thinking that he told the story he wanted to, and it’s good in someone else’s hands. But a movie like Dragon Ball: Evolution could change almost anyone’s mind. The same happened with Toriyama, who went back to continue the story with Dragon Ball Super being the latest addition to the franchise.