If you grew up without watching Dragon Ball, then your childhood is not complete. Dragon Ball initially started as a Japanese manga but soon inspired anime lovers all around the world. It is one the most watched shows ever. It is one of those cartoons that not only children but also many young adults love.

If you are one of those unfortunate people who have never watched this amazing show, then this article is for you. It will give you a brief introduction about the show and guide you on how you can begin watching it. As for those who have watched this show, this article might serve as a refresher and bring back the nostalgia of their good old days. 

What is Dragon Ball?

To put it simply, Dragon Ball is an anime story based on seven orbs that are called Dragon Balls. This manga was created in 1984 by Akira Toriyama and turned into anime a few years later. It was during the 1990s that it became popular in west and translated versions became widespread around the world.

Mostly it is centered around the life and adventures of Goku, the hero of this show and the main character who leads the battle in defense of the planet. He and his friends fight against villains, many of whom are magical creatures and powerful intergalactic space fighters trying to conquer earth or destroy it.

The original manga on which the show is based was focused on how Goku grew up. The show Dragon Ball Z is a further continuation of his adulthood adventures. Other than Goku, the show also focuses on Goku’s child, Gohan, and many other characters that we will discuss later. It should be noted that many of the characters and scenes in the anime show are not present in the original manga. While the show is mostly based on thrilling encounters between the forces of good and evil, there are many other themes and fair amount of humor is also added to the stories.

Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball
The Beginner’s Guide to Dragon Ball 9

As mentioned earlier, the series starts with the childhood journey of Goku who prefers to live a life of honor even as a child. Goku is shown as a quiet man who loves solitude. However, soon he meets Bulma and is granted the mission to find and collect the seven Dragon Balls. As he progresses in his journey, he makes many new allies as well as enemies.  When he matures into an adult, he dedicates his life to protecting the planet and spends most of his time training and fighting, trying to attain as much power as he can. This latter part is what is commonly known as Dragon Ball Z. 

See also  How to Dress Up in a Sith Costume on a Budget

Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super

After the great success of first two stories mentioned above, another series named Dragon Ball GT was launched few years later. Goku returns to his childhood due to a rogue wish and struggles as a child together with his own granddaughter. Both of them struggle to find a new form of Dragon balls that can help them bring things back to normal. Toriyama deserves the credit for initiating this amazing series and inspiring people to turn it into a show. However, he did not have much of a role in these shows and series that followed. After Dragon Ball GT, another series named Dragon Ball Super was launched and continues the stories that were started in the Dragon Ball Z.

Important Things to Consider Before You Watch

If you are a 90s kid, then you have already missed a lot. While it is ideal to watch it right from the beginning, people can start with the Z series as well. Moreover, the data reveals that watching the show in different languages affects the experience as well. It is totally your choice. It should not be surprising that there many movies as well that are centered around this show. Whether you want to first read the manga or watch the anime, it is all up to you.

What Makes the Show Better than Other Animes?

According to those who love anime, this show is an archetypical shōnen anime. These words find their roots in history of manga and you may have to read up to fully understand what it really means. What makes this show different and more interesting from other shows is that you can rarely predict the plot. Sometimes, it is even difficult to decipher who is the right guy and who is with whom. There are episodes in which you will find Goku allying with some of his worst rivals and enemies. All of this makes the show very exciting to watch and keeps you glued to the screen.


There are many characters that keep appearing in the series. It is not possible to describe all of them in this article for beginners, but we will explore some of them.

 The Crazy Monkey Man, Goku

The Beginner’s Guide to Dragon Ball 10

The best words to describe Goku would be “Saiyan warrior” and the world’s greatest defender. He is a great fighter who can crush almost anyone who tries to harm his people or the planet earth. Since his childhood, Goku is shown to be a highly energetic and enthusiastic boy who is powerful and strong as well as smart and adorable. At times, he proves to be hilarious too.

Goku’s character resembles the Monkey King from the Chinese novel Journey to the West. Other than having great strength and magical powers, he also has a kind heart. He never hesitates from putting his own life in danger to protect the world. He is a brave person who always ensures that his friends and family are safe. He takes even the smallest of threats very seriously.

The Prince Vegeta

Prince Vegeta
The Beginner’s Guide to Dragon Ball 11

While at first you make think of him as an enemy and hate him for being an opponent of Goku at times, Vegeta is not that bad in reality. Unless you are obsessed with Goku, you should be able to appreciate the great warrior prince and his dedication. Although his destiny has been altered by Frieza’s evils, there are times when you will see Vegeta playing the role of a good guy.

He is the most unpredictable character in the entire series, and you will find him transforming into different personalities as he grows. This might be a big spoiler but you can imagine his greatness by the fact that he eventually kills himself while protecting his family from Buu (Buu is one of the most evil creatures you will come across in the show).

Nothing looks better than watching him train alongside Goku soon after they become allies in the mission to save the planet. Vegeta is a born warrior and you will never find him afraid of even the most dangerous battles. 

The Stoic Piccolo

Stoic Piccolo
The Beginner’s Guide to Dragon Ball 12

Other than powerful warriors, Goku also needs wise friends and one of them is Piccolo. Although he is not that strong physically, but you will find him there with his allies in almost every major event. When Goku died, he was the one who took care of his Gohan and ensured that Goku’s legacy continues until he returns. Like Vegeta, he also started as an evil man and an enemy of Goku, but then completely transformed into one of the best allies Goku could have. He has a heart of gold and his wisdom is as necessary as the strength of other warriors on the team.

The Dedicated Krillin

The Beginner’s Guide to Dragon Ball 13

Krillin is among the closest friends of Goku. He is not as powerful as Goku and Vegeta, but he is dedicated to protecting the planet neverthless. You will often be finding him suffering, losing battles and even dying multiple times. Despite all his failures and losses, you cannot help but love him for his sincerity and love for his friends. Only a man who is warrior at heart can risk his life over and over again despite knowing that he is weak.

See also  Disney Cosplay Expert’s Take on Fashion's Princess Moment

Frieza, The Master of All Evils

Master of All Evils
The Beginner’s Guide to Dragon Ball 14

It would not be fair if we only discuss the good guys in the show. One of the most evil characters that you will come across in this show is Frieza. He has only one desire and that is to conquer and destroy the planet Earth. He is responsible for the destruction of many other worlds and has the blood of millions on his hands. The merciless and heartless character never thinks twice before committing a genocide. It was because of him that the world of Saiyans, Planet Vegeta, was completely destroyed.

The Giant Broly

Giant Broly
The Beginner’s Guide to Dragon Ball 15

Not all villains in the show are ugly. Bruly is one of the most strongest as well charismatic villains that you may not hate as much as you hate the others. He is capable of wiping out entire populations alone and is certainly one of those characters that Goku and his team are really afraid of. Even after suffering defeat so many times, Broly never gives up and keeps fighting back.

The Merciless Buu

Merciless Buu
The Beginner’s Guide to Dragon Ball 16

As mentioned earlier, Buu is one of the most evil characters who tried to attack and kill Vegeta’s wife and son. There are different forms of this evil creature. The most stupid form of Buu is the fat Buu whom you will find craving chocolates in the middle of the most serious battles. During the show, he goes through several transformations. His best form was Super Buu that eventually transformed again into the Kid Buu. You will see Buu giving Goku’s team a very tough time until Goku gathers power of all other people of the planet to kill him. This hungry and merciless enemy is certainly one of those evil characters that will keep your heart beating out of fear.


In this beginner’s guide, we have tried to summarize the plot and introduce you to some of the most interesting characters in the show. Whether you want to begin with manga or watch these thrilling episodes, Dragon Ball is one show that you certainly don’t want to miss.