We’re exploring the phenomenon of Dragon Ball and why it has become ever more popular with each passing generation.
The Dragon Ball anime series is one of the most expansive in the history of animation, with arcs and characters that seem to stretch as far as the imagination’s eye can see.
Personalities are depicted, and friendships constricted, by opinions of who is, was, and should be considered the most powerful of all Saiyans.
Whether you love to root for or against him, Goku is one of the most galvanizing characters in all of nerd-dom.
His allies, many of whom were former antagonists who turned protagonist somewhere in the annals of the Z fighter lore, are always reliant upon his abilities and look to him when things are coming to a head.
Though it is clear that Goku’s lineage is the one from which all things Dragon Ball would emanate, there are still a significant number who readily argue that Vegeta is the strongest Saiyan there is and would have beaten Goku on several occasions if not for some timely misfortune or serendipity
Produced by Toei Animation and created by Akira Toriyama, the Dragon Ball universe was birthed on the Weekly Shonen Jump starting in 1988.
Dragon Ball Z, the sequel series to the original Dragon Ball, aired from April 1989 to January 1996, but were later dubbed in the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, India, and Latin America.
The original Dragon Ball showed adolescent Goku wandering around, making friends, picking fights and eating up everybody’s food. The stories were lighthearted, moral based and generally ended happily. With the maturity of the character came the ever-increasing stakes of adulthood; which often included pain, loss and even death.
The happy-go-lucky saiyan would power up to historically unheard of levels over this span, but the abilities of his enemies would increase along the same power arc. Cell, Frieza, Majin Buu were demonstrably more sinister than anything they had childlike Goku face in the original series.
But, just as in real life human circumstances, the protagonist saw constant and unforeseen change seemingly every other episode. An adult son, Gohan, and rivals turned allies in Piccolo and Vegeta, are symbolic of the changes this character took us through.
To date, the Dragon Ball universe has around 20 movies and 148 video games, many of them being only released in Japan, and a host of soundtracks stemming from this material. Dragon Ball Z remains a cultural icon through numerous adaptations, including a more recent remastered broadcast titled Dragon Ball Kai.
There have also been two sequel series; Dragon Ball GT (1996–1997) and Dragon Ball Super (2015–2018).
At this point, the Dragon Ball mythos is so deeply intertwined with that of those who grew up on it and has left an indelible mark on our society as a whole.
From Hip-Hop to the NFL and beyond, the Dragon Ball lexicon is a medium through which a great number of people can communicate.
For some, like myself, the Dragon Ball universe was introduced to me right while I stood at the cusp of childhood and teenage-dom, but others are far deeper than that. For some, all they’ll ever know is the comforting shrill of a character going Super Saiyan.
From Chief Keef and Chance the Rapper to J. Cole and Rich Home Quan and beyond, hip-hop’s infatuation with Dragon Ball Z cannot be understated as one of the underlying reasons the content remains extremely popular in the United States.
Here’s a brief catalog of some of the people who proudly pay homage at the alter of Dragon Ball Z.
Childish Gambino, RZA, DeMarcus Cousins, Brook Lopez, Joel Embiid, Miles Plumlee, De’Aaron Fox, Michael B. Jordan and scores of other individuals in the public eye are patiently awaiting a chance to see what the new movie Dragon Ball Super: Broly is going to be about.
Who is Broly?
To the uninformed, Broly was one of the last survivors of the destruction of Planet Vegeta. The events of the new movie take place immediately following the events of Universe Survival Saga depicted in the Dragon Ball Super series.
Broly has actually appeared in the DBZ films before and this will be his fourth coming.
However, unlike Dragon Ball Z: Broly-The Legendary Super Saiyan, Second Coming, and Bio Broly, this version is a reworked compilation of the other versions of the character, with this being the only one to be officially a part of the continuity written by Akira Toriyama himself.
As was the case in other renditions, Broly is bigger, faster and stronger than Goku and Vegeta, but those are the types of odds fans love to see.
At this point, the Dragon Ball universe continues to grow exponentially as fans, young and old, flock to its storylines and characters with each episode.
With themes of courage against all odds, love against all slights and sacrifice for the innocent, Dragon Ball continues to show why it has always been more than just a cartoon with each new generation of fans.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly is currently in theaters nationwide.