Dragon Ball is one of the most popular anime franchises out there and has influenced other anime shows. The Dragon Ball manga was adapted into three main anime: Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super. The series follows the main protagonist, Son Goku from childhood to adulthood as he goes on adventures and fights the strongest villains in the universe. As the show has progressed they have introduced other main characters such as Vegeta, Son Gohan, and Piccolo.
Overall, the entire Dragon Ball series is action-packed and completely over the top. It depicts astonishing battles on a massive scale and even shows Gods fighting each other. Today you and I are going to be going over the three biggest things that Dragon Ball did for the anime industry in the West.
Dragon Ball Introduced Many of Us to Anime
For many people, Dragon Ball was their first anime.
As kids we would run home from school as fast as our legs could carry us, switch on the TV and put on our favorite cartoon channel, only to notice that there was a new show called Dragon Ball. We thought to ourselves, “Hmm, what could this be?” Then we were pleasantly shocked at what we witnessed, people with insane power, constant screaming, ridiculously awesome looking hair, and fights that would just serve to blow away the landscape.
Every day we would turn the TV volume up and scream the epic Dragon Ball intro music, watch Master Roshi be a lovable perv, and remember that everything will be okay as long as we had a Sensu bean. For many of us, the Dragon Ball series shaped our childhood and it introduced to us an entire genre called anime.
Over the Top Power-Ups
This had to be our favorite thing about the Dragon Ball series. Even though, Dragon Ball was not the first show to introduce the anime industry to power-ups, it did put a whole new spin on them. Typically, the power-ups in shows airing before Dragon Ball were actually kinda dopey in comparison. Dragon Ball transformations took things to the extreme.
The best example is Goku going Super Saiyan for the first time. An evil villain named Frieza was slaughtering everyone on Planet Namek. Eventually, Frieza blows up Krillin (Goku’s best friend). Then the insane transformation began.The waves get harsher, lighting strikes everywhere, and rocks tremble upwards. Goku’s hair changes little by little. Suddenly Goku snaps and screams from the top of his lungs, completing the transformation.
Age Appropriate Stories with Lessons
In the 90s when anime was on the rise around the world, most of its audience outside of Japan were children. Many western parents deemed anime to be unacceptable. Since a lot of anime was filled with blood, gore, and nudity. Anime like Ninja Scrolls and Berserk showed unthinkable scenes on TV. Japan’s culture could, of course, understand the intense amount of gore. Anime wasn’t simply for kids, it was also for mature audiences. This was not a good first impression since in other parts of the world; people considered animated TV shows to always be oriented towards children.
Dragon Ball removed all of the negatives and misconceptions about anime, making it a thrilling and action-packed, something that appealed heavily towards a younger audience. Sure, it had that perv Master Roshi and blood splatter, but these were censored outside of Japan.
The most memorable life lesson from Dragon Ball came from a human character named Tien. In the Cell ark, Tien fought an opponent much stronger than himself and it wasn’t the typical “hero will win no matter what” cliché we always see. Tien taught us as children to train to be your best, not the best, a lesson from Dragon Ball that we still find useful as adults today.
Wrapping It Up
Overall, Dragon Ball has become incredibly popular all across the world and has spawned many fans. Due to the success of the show, creators have been able to give back to the fans with collectibles like action figures, life-size Dragon Balls, video games and beautiful cosplay apparel. Creators in the anime industry in various interviews have expressed their love for the series and how they incorporated some of its elements into their shows.
Written by: Kess, a 19-year-old introvert who has a deep love for anime and video games. I want to travel the world and go to places like Japan for the culture and of course, food! Most of my time is spent creating content for geek blogs and YouTube channels.