Dragon Ball is the first of two Japanese anime series, that were adapted from the manga series of the same name written by Akira Toriyama (the second anime adaptation being the more action-oriented Dragon Ball Z). Produced by Toei Animation, Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z were broadcast in Japan together from 1986 to 1996. Additionally, Toei has developed twenty animated feature films and multiple television specials, as well as two anime sequel series titled Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super, which both take place after the events of Dragon Ball Z.
Dragon Ball premiered in Japan on Fuji Television on February 26, 1986 and ran until April 12, 1989. There are 153 episodes of Dragon Ball and four Dragon Ball movies: "Curse of The Blood Rubies", "Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle", "Mystical Adventure" and "The Path to Power".
The entire series was licensed by FUNimation Entertainment for an English-language release in the United States, although the series was not always dubbed by the same studio. Dragon Ball premiered on Cartoon Network's Toonami block on August 20, 2001 and ran continuously until April 16, 2004, when the block moved from weekday afternoons to Saturday nights. The series also appeared on Toonami: Midnight Run and Toonami: Super Saturday.
The original series follows the adventures of the monkey-tailed protagonist, Son Goku, from his childhood through early adulthood as he trains in martial arts and explores the world in search of the seven mystical orbs known as the Dragon Balls, which can summon a wish-granting dragon when gathered. Along his journey, Goku makes several friends and battles a wide variety of villains, many of whom also seek the Dragon Balls for their own desires. It contains themes of martial arts, science fiction and friendship.
Goku — is a martial artist and the main protagonist of the Dragon Ball series. He is immensely strong, pure of heart and extremely competitive, but fiercely loyal to his friends and loved ones. Due to being raised in the wilderness until the age of 12, Goku can also be quite naive at times about the world around him. When first introduced as a pre-teen boy, Goku sports a prehensile monkey-like tail. Upon meeting Bulma at the beginning of the series, the two embark on an adventure to gather the seven Dragon Balls, while along the way they meet new friends and fierce enemies (several of whom end up becoming Goku's allies as well). As a child, Goku wields the Power Pole (a magic staff that extends and retracts at his command), and he is one of the few who can ride the Flying Nimbus cloud due to his pure heart. He is also easily recognizable by his trademark spiky black hair. Goku's signature energy blast technique is the Kamehameha.
Bulma — is a scientific genius teenage girl, heir to the Capsule Corporation and the inventor of the Dragon Radar, a device that can detect the energy signal emitted by the Dragon Balls. She first meets Goku while searching for the Dragon Balls and ends up recruiting him as a bodyguard while hoping to get his four-star Dragon Ball to grant her wish for a boyfriend. The two soon become close friends and go on many adventures together. Though Bulma has a bit of a vain, selfish and spoiled-brat personality, she learns to become more considerate for others through Goku's influence and in turn helps Goku learn more about the outside world. Bulma has teal colored hair, which changes its style numerous times throughout the series.
Master Roshi — is an old martial arts master that lives alone, with only his sea turtle companion, on a small island. Also known as the "Turtle Hermit", Roshi is the founder of the Turtle School of martial arts. He is also the inventor of the Kamehameha technique, which he teaches to Goku. Though Roshi seems frail, he is a mighty warrior; having trained Goku's deceased grandpa Gohan, Goku himself, Krillin and a few others. Despite his dirty habits and occasional whimsy or foolishness, he is often depicted as wise, cantankerous and perceptive. He is often accompanied by his talking sea turtle companion, who often tries to point out his faulty ways. He is bald, sports a long white beard and wears sunglasses, beach clothes, or martial arts suits. He usually wields a walking stick and, in early appearances, wears a turtle's shell on his back. He also competes in the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament under the disguise and alias of "Jackie Chun" to prevent Goku and Krillin from winning it, in order to teach them that they must always train themselves for stronger opponents.
Turtle — is Master Roshi's friend and long-time companion. The good-natured, talking sea turtle lives at the Kame House with the elderly hermit.
Oolong — is a shapeshifting, anthropomorphic pig that uses his abilities for his own greedy desires. He and Puar went to the same shapeshifting school together, before he was expelled for stealing the teacher's panties. This is the reason he can only change his form for five minutes at a time, requiring a one-minute break inbetween transformations. After a short clash as enemies Oolong joins Goku and Bulma in the search for the Dragon Balls to eventually steal them, but soon abandons this plan. He does however make the first shown wish with the Dragon Balls, wishing for a girl's pair of panties. Oolong often wears a military uniform.
Yamcha — is first introduced as a bandit, alongside his companion Puar, trying to steal Goku and Bulma's Dragon Balls and wish not to feel nervous when near women. He eventually becomes Goku's ally and begins a relationship with Bulma, and later becomes a pupil of Master Roshi.
Puar — is a soft-spoken blue cat-like creature and the constant companion of Yamcha. Puar's has the ability to shapeshift like Oolong, but can hold his transformation for much longer. He and Oolong went to the same shapeshifting school together, where he was constantly mocked by Oolong. He travels with Yamcha and later Goku, Bulma and Oolong throughout the series.
Krillin — is a bald former monk and one of Goku's best friends. He is a pupil along with Goku under Master Roshi's tutelage. Initially Krillin is Goku's rival but they quickly become friends while training under Master Roshi, and a loyal companion in adventures thereafter.
Launch — is a woman Goku and Krillin rescue and bring to Master Roshi in exchange for his training. She has a strange disorder which makes her personality change from a nice, polite, blue-haired woman into a trigger happy blonde bad girl every time she sneezes. Since her bad form is a known criminal, she decided to stay with Master Roshi and his pupils, becoming their maid. Launch's blonde persona develops an attraction towards Tien Shinhan's fierce attitude.
Tien Shinhan — is a tall bald three-eyed human, having been trained by Master Roshi's rival Master Shen, who initially tries to kill Goku and his fellow-students at the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament. Later, Tien and his friend and fellow student Chiaotzu become their allies after realizing their master's teachings are wrong; holding out against King Piccolo's minions until Goku arrives.
Chiaotzu — is a small human that resembles a doll with white skin, red cheeks, and has one hair under his hat. Chiaotzu is first introduced, having been trained by Master Roshi's rival Master Shen, trying to kill Goku and his fellow-students at the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament. Though he is not physically strong, Chiaotzu is skilled with psychokinesis and telepathy. After his friend and fellow student Tien decides that Master Shen's teachings are wrong, the two leave him and join with Goku and his companions to defeat King Piccolo.
Yajirobe — is an overweight wandering samurai that is often considered to be rude, unmannered, timid, lazy, and cowardly. During their first meeting, Yajirobe gets mad at Goku for stealing his fish, and hates him. However, he has a change of heart and helps Goku after he is defeated by King Piccolo, taking him to Korin's to be healed. Yajirobe continues to support Goku and his companions from then on, though often from the sidelines.
Emperor Pilaf — is a small, blue imp-like creature who craves nothing more than power and dreams of ruling the world. He rules over an empire that consists of his castle in the Mushroom Forest, and his two followers, Mai and Shu. Pilaf wants the Dragon Balls to wish for world domination.
Mai — is Emperor Pilaf's female minion. She always works with Shu and, although she is intelligent, the two of them always manage to fail their objectives. She is a beautiful, calculating enemy who always resorts to weaponry and technology.
Shu — is an anthropomorphic dog and Emperor Pilaf's ninja lackey. He and Mai usually work together to carry out the work of their short-tempered boss.
Monster Carrot — is an anthropomorphic rabbit, and the leader of the Rabbit Mob. Each of his cronies are subject to wearing a pair of false rabbit ears (as well as Bulma, who was at first mistaken as a gangster, as well). Before their downfall at the hands of Goku, the Rabbit Mob was in control of a remote village somewhere in the Diablo Desert.
Commander Red — is the commander-in-chief of the most feared and ruthless militaristic crime organization: the Red Ribbon Army. Commander Red has his forces raid towns and search for the Dragon Balls on a quest for world domination. However, the plan was secretly a ruse, his real plan was to use the power of the Dragon Balls to become taller.
Staff Officer Black — is the right-hand man of Commander Red, he is a tall, soft-spoken, and quick-witted person. Black carries out Commander Red's orders and informs him of the current situations with the remaining Red Ribbon Army officers. He is constantly insulted and disrespected by Commander Red mostly because he feels inferior in comparison to the much taller Black.
General White — is the often over-reactive Russian commander of Muscle Tower, the Red Ribbon Army's northern fortress. While not a gifted strategist, he is observant and draws conclusions with surprising speed, and is the only officer to have ever found out Goku's primary weakness: his tail. Among the forces under General White is the android brute Major Metallitron, the ninja Murasaki, his four identical brothers, Android 8, and the large monster Buyon.
General Blue — is the leader of the Blue Corps and the most powerful member of the Red Ribbon Army. He has special telekinesis abilities, that allow him to paralyze other individuals and can also be used to control objects. He is a neat freak, and, as he does not enjoy Bulma's attempts at seduction, she thinks of him as gay.
Major Metallitron — is an android created by the Red Ribbon Army, and Goku's second challenge in the Muscle Tower. Due to his android functions, Metallitron is very stoic, and follows any order without hesitation, as his duty is to stop anyone from advancing past the third floor of the Muscle Tower, even if it means killing them.
Colonel Silver — is the first member of the Red Ribbon Army to fight Goku. he is shown to be a talented, powerful fighter with a love of weapons, and excellent in marksmanship as well. Colonel Silver's strength is shown to be above that of a regular human. He is also capable of moving at superhuman speed, shocking even Goku when he runs past and swipes the bundle of cloth containing the Dragon Balls and Dragon Radar from Goku's hands.
Captain Yellow — is an anthropomorphic tiger and a Red Ribbon Army operative who tries to find the Dragon Balls for his superior, General Copper. When he starts terrorizing a village in the Sacred Land of Korin with a group of his troops, Goku punches him out of his plane while in midair, killing him.
Captain Dark — is an obese soldier who works for General Blue of the Red Ribbon Army. He carries a whip which he uses to enforce his very strict mannerisms.
Mercenary Tao — is a highly skilled assassin-for-hire, as well as the younger brother of Master Shen. He is very expensive to pay, as he normally charges ten billion Zeni per kill, but gave Commander Red a 20th anniversary discount of five billion Zeni to kill Goku. Tao is shown to be extremely sadistic and evil in his views, taking a lot of joy in killing people. He also has absolutely no qualms in regards to murdering children, as evidenced when, shortly after Upa attempted to avenge his father, Tao stated that Upa should be lucky that he even survived.
Ninja Murasaki — is the second-in-command of Muscle Tower under General White. He is a ninja who wears a purple uniform and wields a sword called "Sasanishiki". Murasaki is one of the Red Ribbon Army members who opposed Goku. He is very confident in his own abilities, thinking nobody can beat his ninja skills. When faced with a serious threat however, Murasaki becomes cowardly, and resorts to desperate tactics.
Master Shen — is the master of the Crane School and Mercenary Tao's older brother. Whilst they both trained at the Mutaito Training Academy, a rivalry quickly grew between Shen and Roshi. Master Shen and Mercenary Tao, likewise, began to fight over the smallest things. Eventually, a simple spilled bowl of rice was enough to break the brothers apart. Goku first meets Master Shen and his pupils Tien Shinhan and Chiaotzu at the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament.
King Piccolo — is the evil half of the Namekian that removed his evil in order to become the guardian of the Earth; this negative energy took on a physical form, becoming a cast-off being. He and the good half, Kami, are linked, so if one dies, the other will as well. After being formed, he designates himself as the Great Demon King and begins to terrorize the world. He is eventually imprisoned by Mutaito, the master of Roshi and Shen, in a rice cooker by the suicidal "Evil Containment Wave" technique. After being released by Pilaf, he attempts to kill anyone that could possibly seal him again and uses the Dragon Balls to restore his youth before destroying Shenron, rendering the Dragon Balls useless. Before dying, he regurgitates the egg containing his reincarnation, Piccolo Jr., in order to pursue his revenge.
Piano — is King Piccolo's first son after his release from the Electric Rice Cooker. He is a very intelligent, pterodactyl-like Namekian, and is the longest living member of King Piccolo's Mutated Namek sons, witnessing his father seemingly kill the young warrior Goku and surviving long enough to see the beginning of the final showdown between his father and Goku. Unlike King Piccolo's other sons, Piano was not a fighter-class instead serving as his father's attendant.
Tambourine — is King Piccolo's second son, a Humanoid gargoyle-like mutated Namekian. He was created to hunt down anyone capable of performing the "Evil Containment Wave". Tambourine's favorite hobby is slaughtering Humans, as he considers them inferior to his kind. Though he defeats Goku in their first confrontation (due to Goku being hungry at the time), Goku later destroys him with the Kamehameha in their second battle.
Cymbal — is King Piccolo's third son, a large, humanoid, dragon-like mutated Namekian, his mutation is related to his apparent specialty: finding Dragon Balls (King Piccolo mutters that it is only fitting that such a spawn resembles a dragon). He ends up being sliced in half by Yajirobe's katana and then cooked for dinner.
Drum — is King Piccolo's fourth son, a large, ogreish, frog-like Namekian. He very much resembles his brother Tambourine in appearance and outfit, with the exception of a more emerald shade of green skin and the lack of wings, as well as being much larger than Tambourine, with his structure being more like his other brother Cymbal. He was created to battle Tien Shinhan, but is ultimately killed by the newly powered-up Goku.
Piccolo Jr. — is the spawn of King Piccolo, created to get revenge on Goku in the wake of his death, subsequently assuming the role as the "evil half" of Kami. He is the final villain of the original Dragon Ball series, meeting Goku in the finals of the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. However, he ends up becoming another one of Goku's allies during Dragon Ball Z.
Chi-Chi — she and Goku first meet as children when her father the Ox-King asked Goku to take her to Master Roshi's house to retrieve the Bancho Fan. In a misunderstanding, Goku promises to marry her. Years later, she confronts him to have him fulfill the promise in the quarter-finals of the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, despite the misunderstanding.
Ox-King — is the King of Fire Mountain, as well as the father of Chi-Chi. He once trained with Goku's adoptive grandfather, Grandpa Gohan, under Master Roshi at the Turtle School. Ox-King is quite large, and is rather barbaric looking.
Grandpa Gohan — is the adoptive grandfather of Goku, whom he found in a crashed spaceship. He teaches Goku martial arts, having originally studied under Master Roshi with Ox-King and also knows the Kamehameha technique. He warns Goku not to look at the full moon, but he disobeys, leading to him being killed by Goku as a rampaging giant ape on a night with a full moon. Gohan is brought back to life for one day by Fortuneteller Baba in order to fight Goku and see his growth as a martial artist. He later appears as an assistant to Annin, the ruler of the "magical furnace". He is only shown in flashbacks afterwards. In Dragon Ball Z, Goku later names his first son Gohan in honor of his beloved grandfather.
Fortuneteller Baba — is an old "witch" and Master Roshi's older sister. She possesses a magic floating crystal ball which she rides on top of, and which she can use to see the location of any lost item. She is also able to travel to the afterlife, where she recruits deceased individuals and brings them back to the living world to fight for her, albeit only for one day. She lives in a big palace located over an oasis in the desert. She normally charges a very high price for her services unless her team of fighters are defeated. Her team of fighters consists of Fangs, a boxing vampire, See-Through, an invisible man who is weak but only advantage is being invisible, Bandages, a mummy with brute strength, and Spike, a devilman whose signature technique the Devilmite Beam can destroy people using the evil in their hearts. During the time Goku and his friends visit in order for her to find the last Dragon Ball after the defeat of the Red Ribbon Army, his adoptive grandfather Gohan was the last of her fighters, temporarily brought back to the real world to see his grandson.
Android 8 — is the eighth Android creation of the Red Ribbon Army. He is designed to serve the Red Ribbon Army, but is seen as faulty because of his good-spirited nature. Android 8 bears heavy resemblance to Frankenstein's monster. After Goku saves "Eighter" from being destroyed for refusing to fight, the two become friends.
Bora & Upa — Bora is a tall, muscular Native American man who resides in the Sacred Land of Korin with his son Upa, in a tepe at the base of the Korin Tower. Bora became a target for the Red Ribbon Army when he found the four star Dragon Ball. After giving Goku the Dragon Ball for saving them, Bora is killed by Mercenary Tao. Bora is eventually wished back to life by Goku using the Dragon Balls.
Korin — is a cat that lives at the top of the extremely high Korin Tower below Kami's Lookout. He trained Master Roshi at one point in the past for three years and gave him the Flying Nimbus and the Power Pole, both of which later get passed on to Goku. Korin trains Goku after his defeat to Mercenary Tao and, later, gives him Sacred Water from the Gods to make him strong enough to beat King Piccolo. He is also the one in charge of deeming people worthy of meeting the Guardian of Earth (Kami); Goku being the first human he has ever deemed worthy.
Kami — is the guardian residing over Earth, and creator of the Earth's Dragon Balls. Originally he and King Piccolo were one being, but in order to become Earth's God he had to expel the evil inside him. The evil half, King Piccolo, then went on to terrorize Earth until being sealed away by Master Roshi's master, Mutaito. Because they are one, if either Kami or King Piccolo dies, then the other will as well and the Dragon Balls cease to exist. After King Piccolo is unleashed and killed by Goku, he spawns a much stronger reincarnation, Piccolo Jr., who takes over these same traits. Kami decides to attempt to seal away the new Piccolo himself using the same technique as Mutaito, which sacrifices the user's own life, and enters the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, possessing a human named Hero as a guise. But Piccolo has learned to reverse the technique and traps Kami in a water jug instead and swallows it, later being released thanks to Goku.
Mr. Popo — is a genie-like entity who serves as the caretaker to "God", Kami. When he first appears, he easily gets the best of Goku in a skirmish. He then assists Kami in training Goku for three years in preparation for his battle against Piccolo at the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament.
Nam — is an Indian-looking warrior from a desert village that competed in the World Martial Arts Tournament in order to get money for water for his village. He ultimately loses to Goku but Master Roshi, disguised as Jackie Chun, gives him an empty capsule which can be filled with enough water for his entire village. In return he impersonates Master Roshi in the crowd of Goku and Master Roshi's match to throw suspicion off Jackie Chun.
World Tournament Announcer — is the man who hosts every World Martial Arts Tournament from the beginning of Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball GT. Along with commentating, he sometimes acts as a referee for tournament matches other than the preliminary matches, usually counting when a contestant is down.
The first attempt at an English dub of the series came in 1989 from Harmony Gold USA (the company that had previously dubbed Robotech). It featured strange name changes for nearly all the characters, such as changing Goku to "Zero" and Korin to "Whiskers the Wonder Cat". It was test-marketed in several cities, but was never broadcast to the general public and is thus referred to as "The Lost Dub" by fans.
The second and more well-known attempt was in 1995 with only the first 13 episodes dubbed and aired in first-run syndication. This release was a joint production between FUNimation, Seagull Entertainment and Josanne B. Lovick Productions (then known as BLT Productions). These original 13 dubbed episodes were later released to DVD by KidMark as "Dragon Ball: The Saga of Goku."
After Dragon Ball Z became immensely popular on Cartoon Network's Toonami block, the entire original series was dubbed into English by FUNimation's in-house cast for redistribution in the U.S. beginning in 2001.
While FUNimation's in-house dub of the original Dragon Ball series aired in the U.S. (along with Australia and New Zealand), an alternate English dub produced by AB Groupe and Blue Water Studios (who also produced an alternate English dub of Dragon Ball GT) aired in Canada and Europe.
|Character||Japanese Voice Actor||English (FUNimation 1995) Voice Actor||English (FUNimation 2001) Voice Actor||English (AB Groupe) Voice Actor|
|Goku||Masako Nozawa||Saffron Henderson||Stephanie Nadolny (child)
Sean Schemmel (teen)
|Zoe Slusar (child)|
Jeffrey Watson (teen)
|Bulma||Hiromi Tsuru||Lalainia Lindbjerg||Tiffany Vollmer||Leda Davies|
|Master Roshi||Kouhei Miyauchi||Michael Donovan (episode 3)
Ian James Corlett (episodes 7-8)
|Mike McFarland||Dean Galloway|
|Turtle||Daisuke Gōri||Don Brown||Christopher R. Sabat||Dave Pettitt|
|Oolong||Naoki Tatsuta||Alec Willows||Brad Jackson||Corby Proctor|
|Yamcha||Tōru Furuya||Ted Cole||Christopher R. Sabat||Victor Atelevich|
|Puar||Naoko Watanabe||Kathy Morse||Monika Antonelli||Kris Simms|
|Ox-King||Daisuke Gōri||Dave "Squatch" Ward||Kyle Hebert||Dave Pettitt|
|Chi-Chi||Mayumi Shō||Andrea Libman||Laura Bailey (child)
Cynthia Cranz (teen)
|Krillin||Mayumi Tanaka||N/A||Laurie Steele (child)
Sonny Strait (teen)
|Launch||Mami Koyama||N/A||Meredith McCoy||Kris Rundle|
|Korin||Ichirō Nagai||N/A||Christopher R. Sabat||Roger Rhodes|
|Fortuneteller Baba||Junpei Takiguchi||N/A||Linda Young||Corby Proctor|
|Tien Shinhan||Hirotaka Suzuoki||N/A||John Burgmeier||Brendan Hunter|
|Chiaotzu||Hiroko Emori||N/A||Monika Antonelli||Sean Broadhurst|
|Yajirobe||Mayumi Tanaka||N/A||Mike McFarland||Lucas Gilbertson|
|Mr. Popo||Toku Nishio||N/A||Christopher R. Sabat||Dave Pettitt|
|Kami||Takeshi Aono||N/A||Christopher R. Sabat||Mike Shepherd|
|Emperor Pilaf||Shigeru Chiba||Don Brown||Chuck Huber||Dean Galloway|
|Commander Red||Kenji Utsumi||N/A||Josh Martin||Noah Umholtz|
|Mercenary Tao||Chikao Ōtsuka||N/A||Kent Williams||Doug McKeag|
|Master Shen||Ichirō Nagai||N/A||Chuck Huber||Clark Robertson|
|King Piccolo||Takeshi Aono||N/A||Christopher R. Sabat||Mike Shepherd|
|Piccolo Jr.||Toshio Furukawa||N/A||Christopher R. Sabat||Ethan Cole|
|Shenron||Kenji Utsumi||Doug Parker||Christopher R. Sabat||Dave Pettitt|
|Narrator||Jōji Yanami||Jim Conrad||Brice Armstrong||Steve Olson|
|Color||Saga||Episodes||U.S. Season Premiere||U.S. Season Finale|
|Emperor Pilaf Saga||13||September 9, 1995||December 2, 1995|
|Tournament Saga||15||September 6, 2001||September 26, 2001|
|Red Ribbon Army Saga||17||February 11, 2002||March 5, 2002|
|General Blue Saga||12||March 6, 2002||October 24, 2002|
|Commander Red Saga||10||October 28, 2002||November 12, 2002|
|Fortuneteller Baba Saga||16||November 13, 2002||December 4, 2002|
|Tien Shinhan Saga||18||December 5, 2002||December 31, 2002|
|King Piccolo Saga||21||September 1, 2003||October 6, 2003|
|Piccolo Jr. Saga||31||October 7, 2003||December 1, 2003|
Dragon Ball is the first of several anime adaptations of the Dragon Ball manga series created by Akira Toriyama. Produced by Toei Animation, the series spans 153 episodes (Episode 140 was delayed by the death of Emperor Shōwa in 1989), and covers the first 194 chapters of the 519 chapter manga series. It is followed by Dragon Ball Z, which covers the remainder of the manga, and Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super, the plots of which were created solely for the anime (though Dragon Ball Super has its own manga adaptation).
The entire series has been released to home video in North America by FUNimation Entertainment. They were initially unable to release their in-house dub of the first 13 episodes to DVD due to Lionsgate Entertainment retaining the rights to these episodes from FUNimation's earlier dub (having acquired them from Trimark Pictures) until their license expired in 2009.
The series premiered in Japan on Fuji Television on February 26, 1986, and ran until April 12, 1989. Harmony Gold USA licensed the series for an English-language release in North America in the late 1980s. In the voice dubbing of the series, Harmony Gold renamed almost all of the characters, including the protagonist Goku, who was renamed "Zero." This dub, consisting of 5 episodes and 2 edited-together movies, was cancelled shortly after being test marketed in several US cities and was never broadcast to the general public, thus earning the fan-coined term "The Lost Dub."
In 1995, FUNimation acquired the license for the distribution of Dragon Ball in the United States. They collaborated with Seagull Entertainment and contracted Josanne B. Lovick Productions to create an English version for the anime and first movie at Dick & Roger's Sound Studio in Vancouver, Canada. The dubbed episodes were also edited for content. Thirteen episodes aired in first-run syndication during the fall of 1995 before FUNimation canceled the project due to low ratings. In March 2001, FUNimation announced the return of Dragon Ball to American television, featuring a new English version produced in-house with slightly less editing for broadcast (though the episodes remained uncut for home video releases), and they notably left the original background music intact, which was met with delight from fans (they would later do the same for their dubs of Dragon Ball Z Kai and Dragon Ball Super).
The re-dubbed episodes premiered on Cartoon Network's Toonami block from August 20, 2001 to December 1, 2003, with reruns airing on the block until April 15, 2004. FUNimation also broadcast the series on Colours TV and their own FUNimation Channel starting in 2006. This English dub was also broadcast in Australia and New Zealand. In Canada and Europe, an alternative dubbed version was produced by AB Groupe (in association with Blue Water Studios) and was aired in those territories instead of the FUNimation version.
- Japan (Fuji Television) — February 26, 1986 - April 12, 1989
- Spain (Canal Sur Iberia) — 1989 - 1990
- Spain (TV3 Catalonia) — 1990 - 1991
- United States (first-run syndication) — Fall 1995
- United States (Cartoon Network) — August 20, 2001 - April 15, 2004
- United States (Colours TV) — November 13, 2006 - 2008
- United States (Funimation Channel) — December 2006 - 2008
- Australia (Cartoon Network) — Fall 2002 - December 2006
- United Kingdom (Toonami UK) — Fall 2003 - 2005
- Canada (YTV) — Fall 2003 - 2005
- Spain (Cartoon Network) — 2004
- Latin America (Cartoon Network) — May 30, 2006 - 2007
Toonami Broadcast History
Dragon Ball premiered on Cartoon Network's Toonami programming block on August 20, 2001, replacing Outlaw Star in the 5:30 PM time slot. On September 11th, the decision was made to pull Mobile Suit Gundam from the lineup due to events in the series resembling the September 11th attacks that occurred earlier in the day. To fill the time slot, a second episode of Dragon Ball was added to the lineup. After Mobile Suit Gundam returned to the 5:00 PM time slot the following day, the decision was made that the Gundam series would be permanently removed going forward. So the hour of Dragon Ball returned from September 13-28, 2001.
Dragon Ball relinquished the 5:00 PM time slot to another Gundam series, Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team on October 1, 2001, but retained its 5:30 PM time slot. After the November 29, 2001 broadcast, Dragon Ball was removed from the lineup and subsequently replaced by a second airing of Dragon Ball Z. However, on December 31, 2001, it reclaimed the 5:30 PM time slot, where it remained through May 31, 2002. On the following Monday (June 3rd) Toonami expanded to 3-hours and Dragon Ball moved to the 6:00 PM time slot.
On January 20, 2003, the series moved to the 5:00 PM time slot. After the February 28, 2003 broadcast, Toonami lost an hour of programming and once again began airing from 5:00-7:00 PM. Due to this cut, Dragon Ball was removed from the lineup. The series didn't return to the lineup until September 1, 2003, when it replaced Yu Yu Hakusho in the 6:30 PM time slot. In March of 2004, Cartoon Network decided to move Toonami from weekday afternoons to Saturday nights. However, before the move, a special lineup titled Dragonball Chronicles aired from March 29, 2004 to April 16, 2004. During this lineup Dragon Ball took over the 5:00 PM time slot Monday-Thursday. The series aired on Toonami for the final time on Thursday, April 15, 2004.
- Toonami (United States) — August 20, 2001 - November 29, 2001; December 31, 2001 - February 28, 2003; September 1, 2003 - April 15, 2004
- Toonami (Australia) — Fall 2002 - August 4, 2006
- Toonami (United Kingdom) — 2003 - 2005
- Toonami (Spain) — 2004
- Toonami (Latin America) — May 30, 2006 - 2007
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- "Monday, December 31, 2001 ". toonzone.net. December 31, 2001. https://web.archive.org/web/20040820155336/http://www.toonzone.net/shows/cnschedules/2001-12/31.html. Retrieved on March 20, 2017.
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- "The Lost 80s Dragonball Dub ". Temple O'Trunks. http://www.templeotrunks.com/media/lost_dub/. Retrieved on 2013-10-23.
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