If you’re like me, you probably enjoy watching animes, which is exactly why you must be familiar with the most loved and popular anime out there, one that has been around for over three decades – Dragon Ball. The animation has an amazing and long history, and it’s pretty safe to say that the entire franchise goes past the Saiyans and dangerous brutes.
But, since it has been airing for more than three decades, the entire franchise has gone through multiple stages, and though the initial manga was named “Dragon Ball”, the people behind it decided to break the plot up. Besides that, it has also extended to its second part “Dragon Ball GT”.
Because it has a lot of adaptations and has been lasting for a really long time, you might be wondering – how can I watch the anime in order? Fortunately for all anime enthusiasts that are wondering the same thing, this article can help, so, without further ado, let’s take a look at the 2023 guide below:
Run Time: 1986 to 1989
The very first thing that you should know about this initial anime is that it’s the most interesting one out there! It lasted from 1986 to 1989 and if you choose to view it, you’ll be capable of learning about 6 incredible story arcs and you won’t see any weird or inconsistent filers like the ones you might notice later in the episodes.
An exciting fact that you might not know is that the initial tale named “Dragon Ball” began the transition to “DBZ”, not subsequent to the Budokai, but while it was still happening. In fact, it was the match that signified the DBZ team entrance into the realm of DB.
When talking about pacing, it is a bit slower than anything that occurred earlier, which means that you’ll truly get the most out of every second of the scenes. Although the pacing is a huge problem with the next adaptation, it successfully managed to give the series the gravitas it needed.
“Dragon Ball Z”
Run Time: 1989 to 1996
To be completely clear, DBZ is simply a second part of the original story. In fact, the 1st episode was broadcasted 7 days after the initial adaptation ended, and the pilot was even named Dragon Ball, not DBZ. Nonetheless, the chance to completely rebrand the story, allowed the creators to gain funds, staff, and more importantly, popularity and love by fans.
This particular adaptation opens up with the team’s best attempt to breathe life into the project – The Saiyan. This mesmerizing change reaches the quality of films during the battle between Vegeta and Goku, which allowed the creators to make DBZ so much more than you might have initially thought. Though it covers only 4 story arcs, DBZ would become the longest-streaming anime of all time.
“Dragon Ball GT”
Run Time: From 1996 to 1997
For many fans, DB finished with the Buu story arc, however, but the team still wished to work on the episodes, despite the drop in the fame of the series. Hence, Toei decided he will make one last season – Dragon Ball GT. Now, you should know, this particular season wasn’t about the initial series, instead, it’s a sequel of the initial plot.
We cannot deny, DBGT was, perhaps, one of the most despised and avoided seasons with the supporters, despite the fact that its popularity increased over the last few years. If you’re interested in seeing various articles and guides on DB, you might want to read more information here.
“Dragon Ball Kai”
Run Time: From 2009 to 2011
Toei opted for rebooting the entire franchise on its 20th anniversary and if you watch it, you’ll see that it follows the primary manga quite a lot. Additionally, you’ll notice that there are new, re-edited episodes, the number of them is also lowered, and there is a new soundtrack that you can enjoy.
Although you’ll probably miss the tiny details that made DBZ a great viewing adventure, Kai will offer fans a suitable interpretation of the first 3 story arcs. You should know that the Saiyan arc isn’t satisfying as the previous ones, but the re-editing makes the entire plot better.
“Dragon Ball Kai: The Final Chapter”
Run Time: From 2014 to 2015
I don’t know how you’ll feel when you watch it, but I felt completely disappointed with this follow-up of the aforementioned season. Don’t get me wrong, Kai wasn’t that good, to begin with, especially because of all the features that could have been removed. This can also be said about the Final Chapter as well. If you desire to ensure that you have a fun time watching this season, you might want to opt to watch it in English, instead of the Japanese dub.
“Dragon Ball Super”
Run Time: From 2015 to 2018
If you asked any fan out there, they would tell you that they have never expected DBS to end with the “Tournament of Power”, but it actually did. This season has ended some time ago, however, we have all watched additional content that came in the form of DBS: Broly.
Nonetheless, it does have an interesting twist on the entire story and although most fans felt disappointed at first, the producer managed to pull through by adding a bit of DBZ tension to the episodes, and by the time the competition came around, the anime did take a good shape when talking about the production.
“Super Dragon Ball Heroes”
Run Time: From 2018 to Present
DBS may be over, however, SDBH is here to stay! But, there is a twist – the episodes are only around six minutes long, which means that the concept is very different – they do explain a plot, but fans do feel like it’s an attempt to promote the entire DB world than it is a promotion of the franchise and cast.
Despite that, it does implement some really amazing scenes throughout the episodes and the craziness of the stories makes it interesting to follow and watch. Basically, you can think of it as a series that’ll provide you with fun a lot of fun, but one that can quickly change its story and arcs.
If you’re planning on watching the DB anime, you should know that you’ll need a lot of time. After all, the franchise has lasted for more than 30 years, so, if you desire to ensure that you see it in the appropriate order, you should follow the guide we mentioned in our article above.
So, now that you’re aware of the order you should watch this anime in, you might not want to lose any more of your time. Instead, you should find where you’ll watch the franchise and then start with the initial adaptation we mentioned, which is loved and admired Dragon Ball.