|Name:||Dragon Ball (ドラゴンボール Doragon Bōru)|
|Creator:||Akira Toriyama (鳥山 明)|
|Date(s):||1984 – 1995 (manga)|
1986 - 1989 (Dragon Ball anime)
1989 - 1996 (Dragon Ball Z anime)
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
|External Links:||Official Funimation Page (English)|
Official Toei Animation Page (Japanese); en.Wikipedia
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Dragon Ball is a manga series by Akira Toriyama that has been adapted into several popular anime series. Dragon Ball Z, the anime based on volumes 17 to 42 of the Dragon Ball manga, is considered the most popular and has the most fandom activity of the Dragon Ball-related universes.
The English publication of the manga divides Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z into two separate series, like the anime, but the original Japanese manga is released only under the title Dragon Ball. Where Dragon Ball chronicles Goku's adventures as a child growing into his strength, Dragon Ball Z shows his continuing story as an adult and Earth's ultimate warrior as well as revealing his alien origins.
An additional anime sequel called Dragon Ball GT, not based on Toriyama's manga, aired from 1996 to 1997. A re-edited version of Dragon Ball Z aired from 2009 to 2011 as Dragon Ball Z Kai to commemorate the anime's 20th anniversary. The Dragon Ball Z series also released a series of movies, with the newer ones starting from Battle of Gods, this caused questions among fans about GT's place in canon.
In July 2016, a new anime series, Dragon Ball Super, began to air. Akira Toriyama has officially confirmed that Super and all future films are canon, and that GT is officially non-canon.
General Dragon Ball Resources
Dragon Ball Z
Among female fans, fanac for DBZ (primarily?) involves fanfiction and fanart. Discussions often focus on pairings and shipping. Among male fans, the most popular topic of discussion is by far character power levels and who is stronger than who.
Creating original characters is popular among both fans of both genders. The game Ultimate Tenkaichi encourages the fans to do this as the gameplay involves creating a Male Saiyan protagonist, with Xenoverse continuing by creating either a Saiyan, a Namekian, a Majin, an Earthling, or a member of Frieza's unnamed race.
Despite the author Akira Toriyama saying that he did not put much effort into the romance and that it is not a topic of interest for him, shipping is popular in fanfiction, both het and slash/yaoi. Male/male pairings are quite popular, especially with female fans. Much of this relates to the large cast of handsome, and fit males in combined with the lack of female characters. Additionally the het pairings are often underdeveloped and few in number, leaving several male protagonists who expressed an interest in romance still unpaired at the series end.
Popular het ships are Vegeta/Bulma, a canonical couple with very little development and the hint of a tempestuous relationship and Gohan/Videl, a comparatively more developed canonical couple involving Son Goku's teenage son and his love interest he met at Highschool. Other popular het pairings include Goku/Chi-Chi, the once canon Yamcha/Bulma, and the canon Krillin/Android 18. The semi-canonical Tien/Launch which was discontinued in DBZ also exists though is not too popular. The non-canonical Trunks/Pan, Trunks/Marron, and Goten/Bra pairings are popular in the Western Fandom for GT (which contained no real romance). Future Trunks/Android 18, Vegeta/Android 18, and Goku/Bulma also have their fans.
Popular m/m pairings include, Goku/Vegeta, Trunks/Goten Goku/Piccolo, Piccolo/Gohan, Tien/Yamcha and Future Trunks and an older Gohan, either Future Gohan or his Dragon Ball Super counterpart.
Shipping wars are present in segments of the fanfiction community, mainly between fans of Vegeta/Bulma and Yamcha/Bulma. The character Yamcha is often bashed due to being in the way of Vegeta/Bulma in a similar vein to Relena Peacecraft of Gundam Wing. Due to the lack of female characters, Pairing the Spares is uncommon in the fandom.
The Slash fandom appears to contain little ship wars, particularly in comparison to the het community.
Regarding Vegeta, the height rule would ascribe him to the role of uke in most m/m pairings. However, his canonical personality clashes with characteristics stereotypically applied to an uke. Thus, while not as common in Japanese fandom, in English-language fandom he is frequently wrtiten as a seme despite his height.
References to the fan series Dragon Ball Z Abridged are popular in fanfiction. The series is quoted at least once in most fics, and sometimes characters are even changed to match their Abridged counterparts rather than their original versions. These include things such as Abridged Nappa, a canon henchman turned into a wisecracker) Evil Mr. Popo, a Genie with a Blackface appearance that doesn't go well overseas, or the alleged weakness of Krillin, Yamcha, and Raditz(First Villain in Z) in comparison to the saiyan protagonists.
- Dragon Ball AF - Notable fan hoax that fooled many into believing it was an actual series continuing from GT.
- Dragon Ball Multiverse - Popular web comic 20 years after Z where the Z Fighters fight nineteen alternate universes in a tournament.
- Hanviweek - an annual fanweek prompt based dedicated to the Dragon Ball pairing of Gohan/Videl.
Archives & Fansites
- DBZN.net is an American Dragon Ball focused site, though other animes are represented. It houses forums, canon information, fanart, wallpapers etc.
- Planet Namek
- Dragon Ball Z at fanfiction.net
- Dragon Ball Fanon Wiki
- Dragon Ball works at AO3
- Korudo's Dragonball Z Yaoi Fanfiction
- 0-DBZ-FanFiction a fanfiction mailing list
The ドラゴンボール (Dragon Ball) tag on Pixiv yields thousands of results. This is echoed on Deviantart.
- LEGEND - A DRAGON BALL TALE, Archived version by STUDIO STRAY DOG, 2022
Samurai Hair Goku
In Japanese fandom, a common theme found in fanart is samurai hair Goku. So popular is the image of a Super Saiyan Goku with samurai hair, that a union (similar to a fanlisting) was created in celebration of it. The SAMROT UNION, was titled by combining the words samurai and Kakarotto. Kakarotto, or Kakarot in English fandom, was Goku's name at birth. This practice has not crossed over into English fandom.
Super Saiyan forms and fusions
Creating Super Saiyan forms for characters that do not have these forms or creating entirely new Super Saiyan forms is popular in the fandom. This also also applies to crossover characters such as Ichigo of Bleach.
The above also applies to character fusions.
Hentai Doujins are somewhat popular, invariably featuring the character Android 18. There are also shounen ai comics featuring the slash couples mentioned above.
Dragon Ball Z fandom is not particularly active on Livejournal. The first community created for the fandom on LiveJournal rockthedragon was created in 2001 and is still semi-active (averages 8 entries a month) in 2010. There is also:
dbzfans - averages 1-2 entries per month.
dragonballfic - averages 2-3 entries per month.
dragonballyaoi - averages 1-2 entries per month.
dragonballzyaoi - averages 1-2 entries per month.
dragonballicons - averages 1-2 entries per month.
dbzicons - averages 1-2 entries per month.
bulmavegeta - averages 1-2 entries per month.
- dbzbigbang (2010) (Big Bang Challenge)