Beginning in 1984, the Dragon Ball series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump.
The original series ran until 1995 with 42 volumes; 519 individual chapters and two anime series that ran internationally: Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z.
The Dragon Ball anime covers the first 194 manga chapters, and the second anime, Dragon Ball Z continued to trace the manga.
Commonly abbreviated DBZ, the series picks up after five years have passed from its previous installment.
This popular manga/anime series is being promoted on Xbox Video, and you can download the first season of Dragon Ball Z for free using an Xbox Live account.
DBZ begins with showing the development made by fan-favorite characters such as Goku’s and his newfound domestic life with his wife Chi-Chi and son Gohan. Piccolo, a Namekian alien who was previously a central antagonist, develops a more compassionate outlook on Earth and its inhabitants as the season progresses.
The series return also brings Tien, Yamcha, Bulma, Chaozu, and more. The arrival of Saiyans, a powerful and violent race of people from space, spells Goku’s death as he sacrifices himself to ensure the death of one of the invaders.
Before the Saiyan meets his end, he prophesied the arrival of two even stronger visitors in exactly a year’s time. The earthlings begin training in preparation, and so does Goku while in the afterlife.
Using the power of the dragon balls, Goku is wished back to life in order to fight the threat on Earth with his improved powers, along side of his friends.
The Dragon Ball series also houses movies, several spin-off series, three television specials, a third installment of the anime developed by Toei called Dragon Ball GT and various merchandise that is still sold and re-printed today.
While this series was intended to be geared towards children, the show doesn’t have a feeling of being “dumbed-down”. The combat sequences are well choreographed, the villains are interesting and the humor in the show is relatable even to older generations.
If nothing else, it’s quite the trip down memory lane for those who had watched the show in their youth.