How to watch Dragon Ball in order
PostedAt: Sat, Jul 17, 2021 9:16 AM
Dragon Ball is one of the most popular, not to mention extensive, anime franchises of all time.Take your time and enjoy watching the Dragon Ball anime series in order. We suggest you start with Dragon Ball, then move to Dragon Ball Z, followed by Dragon Ball GT, catch some of the Dragon Ball Films, and lastly finish with Dragon Ball Super.Here is a guide to watching all the series and films from the long-running anime franchise in the correct order.
Things to note before we begin:
how to watch dragon ball in order
- Dragon Ball GT isn’t a canon series. It was intended to be canon at one point, but it ended up not being.
- Dragon Ball Z Kai is simply a remake of Dragon Ball Z that removes all the filler. You have to pick only 1. For example, if you don’t want filler, then pick Dragon Ball Z Kai. If you want filler, pick the original Dragon Ball Z.
- Dragon Ball Super is a series that exists and—yes—it’s a canon series. From the question you asked, you don’t seem to know that it exists, or that it’s canon.
- If you’re planning on watching in the English dub, I fully advise watching in the English sub instead. You may prefer the English dub, but, if you give the English sub a chance, you’ll grow to prefer it light years more than the English dub. Even if you still don’t like it, know that the English dubs have many inconsistencies in the script, resulting in a lot of confusion and weirdness. Just watch the sub.
More will be explained later on. Now, let’s get right into the news!
PART 1 - FULL, CANON SERIES
You’ll want to start off with the original Dragon Ball.
This is the very first series in the franchise. It has a total of 153 episodes. It is usually regarded as the best series out of all 3 of them.
Dragon Ball is the story of Goku as a kid, exploring, training, meeting new characters, and chasing after the Dragon Balls. The series—especially in the first saga—starts off as a gag comedy anime. However, as the series progresses, it gets a lot more serious. It still keeps the humor, though; the action and intensity is simply amped up. This is especially apparent whe you start the last 3 sagas of the series, the Tenshinhan Saga, the Piccolo Daimao Saga, and the Piccolo Jr. Saga.
This series isn’t necessarily required, but it will give a lot—I repeat, a LOT—of background for Dragon Ball Z. I don’t suggest, in any way, shape, or form, to skip it.
Speaking of Dragon Ball Z, that’s what comes next.
This is the next series. It comes right after Dragon Ball. The series has a total of 291 episodes. The first few sagas in this series are generally regarded as some of the best sagas the franchise has to offer.
Dragon Ball Z shows Goku as an adult, training, fighting, and gradually getting stronger. The world is in constant threat of danger from the powerful villians that Goku has to face off against. This series is where the franchise significantly amps up the action and seriousness. There is still humor, but action is the driving force of the series at this point.
This is the head honcho of the whole franchise. This is the main body of the Dragon Ball franchise.
Lastly, Dragon Ball Super comes into the fray.
Note that this isn’t really a sequel to Dragon Ball Z. This series takes place between the last 2 sagas of Dragon Ball Z, which is the Kid Buu Saga and the Peaceful World Saga. There is a 10-year gap between the sagas, and Dragon Ball Super takes place 6 months after the Kid Buu Saga. Don’t concern yourself with watching the Peaceful World Saga, by the way. That saga, which is the ending of Dragon Ball Z, will probably be retconned, meaning that it will be abandoned from the canon story. Dragon Ball Super has a total of 131 episodes.
Dragon Ball Super is about Goku’s journey into godhood. He becomes a ludicrously multi-universal level figher and fights other ludicrously strong fighters from other universes. Goku meets deities that rule over their multiverses to train. Of course, the other characters get ridiculous boosts in power, as well. Some people don’t like the ridicoulously dramatic rise in power level, though.
What comes after Dragon Ball Super? Well, it’s Dragon Ball Super: Broly.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly is about the fight between Goku and Vegeta against Broly. Broly is the third saiyan that survived and became an incredibly force to be reckoned with. See as Goku and Vegeta, our 2 heroes, attempt to take on the one and only, Broly.
Dragon Ball Full Timeline:
Dragon Ball → Dragon Ball Z (Ep. 1 - 288) → Dragon Ball Super → Dragon Ball Super: Broly → Dragon Ball Z (Ep. 289 - 291)
PART 2 - SERIES SHORTCUTS
However, you do have options. Firstly, you can replace Dragon Ball Z with Dragon Ball Z Kai.
Dragon Ball Z Kai is a version of Dragon Ball Z that removes all the filler. Why does Dragon Ball have filler? Well, see, the anime and manga are made side-by-side. The manga is made first, then the anime follows in its footsteps. However, manga is made slower than anime; however, the manga has to keep ahead of the anime. So, to fix this problem, the anime adds in filler content so that the manga can have more time.
This series removes all the filler, though. Whilst Dragon Ball Z has a total of 291 episodes, Dragon Ball Z Kai has only 159 episodes.
Timeline w/ Kai:
Dragon Ball → Dragon Ball Z Kai (Ep. 1 - 157) → Dragon Ball Super → Dragon Ball Super: Broly → Dragon Ball Z Kai (Ep. 158 - 159)
If you want to, you can replace the first 2 sagas of Dragon Ball Super, the God of Destruction Beerus Saga and the Golden Frieza Saga, with the 2 movies, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods and Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’.
To explain—before Dragon Ball Super was a thing, these 2 movies were created to attempt to show what happened in that 10-year time skip I mentioned earlier. However, once Dragon Ball Super became a thing, those movies were adapted into the series and turned into the first 2 sagas of Dragon Ball Super.
Why should you watch these movies over their respective Dragon Ball Super sagas? There’s 2 reasons.
- The movies are much shorter than the sagas, and you could save a lot of time. The 2 sagas combined contain 27 episodes, which would last about 13.5 hours, give or take. However, if you decide to watch the movies, it will only last 3 hours in total.
- Those sagas are considered pretty bad. However, these movies are given a lot of praise by the community.
Timeline w/ Movies:
Dragon Ball → Dragon Ball Z (Ep. 1 - 288) → Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods → Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ → Dragon Ball Super (Ep. 28 - End) → Dragon Ball Super: Broly → Dragon Ball Z (Ep. 289 - 291)
Timeline w/ Kai & Movies:
Dragon Ball → Dragon Ball Z Kai (Ep. 1 - Ep. 157) → Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods → Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ → Dragon Ball Super (Ep. 28 - End) → Dragon Ball Super: Broly
PART 3 - MANGA ROUTE
If you want to, you can ditch the anime for the manga.
The manga is often said to be better than the anime for its pacing. The pacing in the Dragon Ball manga is much faster and more realistic. However, the pacing in the anime is very sluggish and runs, a lot of the time, at a snail’s pace. This is because the anime is full of filler, which I talked about earlier.
However, the anime is still definitely worth watching. So, if you are accustomed to the anime, just ignore the manga. Here are 2 things to know about the manga.
- There is no “Dragon Ball Z manga”. Besides the Dragon Ball Super manga, the Dragon Ball manga series is one whole series. “Dragon Ball Z” in the manga starts on chapter 195.
- The manga is already a saga ahead of the anime. However, it isn’t anything to really worry about. That saga will eventually be adapted into anime. Again, if you’re already accustomed to the anime, just stick with it and forget about the manga.
PART 4 - THE LONG-LOST LOSER SERIES
Dragon Ball GT is regarded by the comunity as a failure.
Dragon Ball GT was supposed to take place after Dragon Ball Z. However, the canon-ness of it was forgotten, and now it’s just a half-forgotten, non-canon spin-off surrounded by severe hate. It lasts for 64 episodes.
If you want to visit the long-lost loser series, check out this series. However, who knows? You may actually like it. This series is pretty depressing in my opinion, and there’s discussion in the community on whether we should give it a second chance or not.
Well, that’s all I have to say, Hopefully, after this long read, you are informed about most of the Dragon Ball franchise. Enjoy the Dragon Ball franchise, because it’s a journey that is definitely worth taking.