When did Dragon Ball come out?

Dragon Ball is one of the most beloved animes! It’s a beloved anime that many of us grew to love through TV. However, all things have to start somewhere. When did Dragon Ball first appear?

December 3, 1984, was the first day of the original manga series. The anime’s first episode was released on February 26, 1986. 

Dragon Ball Z was then released, based on the same manga, but with a cool name on April 26, 1989. Dragon Ball GT was released on February 7, 1996, and 19 years later Dragon Ball Super was on July 5, 2015.

Dragon Ball Manga: 1984-1995

A 1983 series called “Dragon Boy” featured a young boy who learned kung fu and was accompanied by a princess (sound familiar?) Akira Toriyama, a 29-year old, set about creating Dragon Ball. 

Dragon Ball was first published in the Japanese magazine Weekly Shonen Jump on December 3, 1984. It lasted 519 chapters. 

These first publications were published in stunning color, but they were also available as separate volumes from September 10, 1985, to August 4, 1995, in less spectacular black and white. 

The original Shonen Jump-colored mangas weren’t published in full color until December 4, 2002.

Dragon Ball TV Series: 1986-1989

The Dragon Ball Manga was so popular and with Toriyama’s experience with making Dr. Slump an anime, it came as no surprise that the anime came out 2 years after the manga. 

Dragon Ball would concentrate on the 194 first chapters of the original manga. After several unsuccessful attempts, it wouldn’t receive its first English Dub until 2001

It is for this reason that most westers have fond memories of Dragon Ball Z as a child. The show had its most successful run with Cartoon Network in the late 90s.

Dragon Ball Z TV Series: 1989-1996

The original manga follows Goku from boy to man, but the anime is a longer series. The series lost its steam around halfway through the Dragon Ball Manga. 

Toriyama decided to make the show more mature and hired a new producer. Z was born. 

Although the original run began on April 26, 1989, the Funimation dub that most of us love and know came to the US in 1996.

However, it was not until Toonami, Cartoon Network’s Toonami, that it found its true home.

Dragon Ball GT 1996 – 1997

All good things must end, and Dragon Ball Z’s ending coincided with the original Dragon Ball manga. 

Toei Animation had no Toriyama source material, so they continued the story with the highly decisive Dragon Ball GT

It was first released on February 7, 1996, but it would be darkening our Western screens in 2003-2004.

Dragon Ball Super 2015-2018

On July 5, 2015, we were blessed with more episodes. It has been almost 30 years since the original Dragon Ball manga was published. 

The plot of this new anime was inspired by Battle of Gods, RessurectionF, and 2 films Toriyama. 

This anime also had a very similar release date for the East and West. The dub was released just a few months after the sub.

There you have it. This is the answer to when most of Dragon Ball and all its branches came out. 

We haven’t included the films because there are too many. But here’s a list from the Dragon Ball Wiki.

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About the Author

Hiroshi Tanaka

Hey, I'm Hiroshi Tanaka from Tokyo! I've been hooked on Dragon Ball, One Piece, and Naruto since I can remember. Growing up in the anime capital of the world, I've soaked in the essence of these series like a sponge. Now, I love sharing my passion and Japanese insights with fans worldwide. Let's dive into the anime magic together!

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