Evolution of Dragon Ball from 1985 to now

Evolution of Dragon Ball from 1985 to now

Chrystian Wimberly, Staff Writer

Dragon Ball is a series that has gained a very large following. The series was created by Akira Toriyama, and the Dragon Ball manga was created by Toyotaro. The Dragon Ball original series was created in 1986 and ended in 1989. It was followed the very fondly loved Dragon Ball Z in 1989, which lasted until 1996.

Also, what fans consider non-canon or not connected to the main story of the Dragon Ball franchise, Dragon Ball GT in 1996 lasted till 1997.

Next came the rerun of Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Z Kai or Dragon Ball Kai, which lasted from 2009 to 2011. Then a reboot followed from 2014 to 2015. 

After this came the real continuation to Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Ball Super.  Fans think this added the most transformations out of the franchise as a whole. Dragon Ball Super lasted from 2015 to 2018.

Finally, there is a promotional anime called Dragon Ball Heroes, which started in 2018 and is still airing on YouTube.

The First Dragon Ball Series

The Original Dragon Ball series was made in 1986 had a three-year run. There is Dragon Ball manga and anime. According to Wikipedia, the manga Dragon Ball did very well in Japanese, reaching over 160 million sales, while in America it reached over 2.185 million sales. According to Dragon Ball Fandom, Dragon Ball got an average rating of 21.2%.

The plot for Dragon Ball was a kid named Kakarot (or Kakarotto in Japanese) came to earth and was found by Grandpa Gohan and was named Goku. Dragon Ball goes through the younger years of Goku and him growing up and meeting Bulma Briefs and others.

Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z was made in 1989 and lasted seven years. Dragon Ball Z was probably the series that brought a lot of fans to Dragon Ball as a whole. Dragon Ball Z introduced more villains from Frieza to later friends of Goku like Vegeta or Piccolo, and it introduced the popular Super Saiyan Transformations. Dragon Ball Z continued the story of Goku and his friends’ adventures through the Frieza.  Cell, Buu Sagas, and even more characters helped Goku like Goten, Trunks, and others. From the Forms Super Saiyan 1 to Super Saiyan 3, there is are entertaining fight scenes and amazing animation quality. The average rating for Dragon Ball Z was 20.5%.

Dragon Ball GT

Dragon Ball GT is widely considered non-canon. It lasted only one year. Dragon Ball GT brought in the two transformations of Super Saiyan 4 and Super Saiyan 4 Full Power plus Golden Great Ape. It also introduced the heavily hated Baby Saga and the Super Android 17 Saga. Dragon Ball GT had the average rating of 14.6%.

Dragon Ball Z Kai

Dragon Ball Z Kai is a remastered version of Dragon Ball Z. It started in 2009 and ended 2011 but was then rebooted in 2014. Dragon Ball Z Kai is often called Dragon Ball Kai because the “Z” was added by Funimation and its dub of the series. Dragon Ball Kai had a average rating of 9.4%.

Dragon Ball Super

Dragon Ball Super for fans was the true continuation to Dragon Ball Z and one of the best series. Dragon Ball Super introduced Beerus God of Destruction and Whis The Angel.  Plus it introduced Super Saiyan God, Super Saiyan Blue, Super Blue Kaioken x20, Super Saiyan Blue Evolution, and of course the famed Ultra Instinct and Mastered Ultra Instinct. This series also introduced Zeno which in the series is meant to represent the fans of Dragon Ball because they can erase and create things. According to Rotten Tomatoes, Dragon Ball Super’s rating usually averaged 87% on the tomatometer and 67% on the audience score. This series satisfied fans itching to see more Dragon Ball.


Super Dragon Ball Heroes

Super Dragon Ball Heroes is a promotional anime made in 2018 that is still airing on YouTube. Super Dragon Ball Heroes combines all the series and all the transformations. Super Dragon Ball Heroes has Super Saiyan 1 – Blue Evolution and Ultra Instinct plus the introduction to new characters like Fu, Cunber, and Jack of Hearts. Super Dragon Ball Heroes gets an average of over one million views per video.  This series has yet to end and looks like it is not stopping soon based on subscribers.



With the January release of Dragon Ball Super Broly, it is the perfect opportunity to look back on the previous Dragon Ball series. With many loyal fans, it is likely that Dragon Ball will continue in the years to come.