The Dragon Ball Universe is a big monolith to tackle down, but apart from its other contemporaries, One Piece or Naruto it has been separated into various parts for easier watching.
And let me tell you, every part of it has impacted the shounen and anime world for the better. Let’s run down all the parts of Dragon Ball that make it one of the greatest anime franchises of all time, and the places where you can watch every part of it.
The Dragon Ball series is mainly divided into two parts, one is the canon part of it, which had Akira Toriyama as its head and the other is filler or something that Toei Animation greenlit because of Toriyama’s hiatus in writing new material.
1. Dragon Ball
The original run of Akira Toriyama’s famous manga, Dragon Ball. Following the story of a young Goku, the pop culture icon for anime and a youthful batch of his friends including Bulma, the inventor, Yamcha, the rival and many more.
Dragon Ball isn’t your typical shounen or the type of anime that might be related to the Dragon Ball name. It’s funky and comical and often parodies the alien or supernatural aspect of Goku’s power in a world of mortals.
The Red Ribbon Army, Tien and Piccolo make their first appearances as villains in the franchise. Goku’s meeting with Krillin and teaching under Master Roshi to Goku blasting up his first Kamehameha in the series, this is a series that begs another go around.
You can watch all 153 episodes of the original anime run on Crunchyroll in most countries all around the world for a small subscription fee.
2. Dragon Ball Z
The series has been a gateway anime for countless otaku, starting in 1989, follows Goku and the dragon warriors as they battle enemies who threaten the existence of Earth. This series is completely different to Dragon Ball.
Dragon Ball Z is an action-packed emotional series in which we see the growth of Goku and the others through sheer force of strength or motivations for their growth, seen primarily in characters like Gohan or Goku.
With Dragon Ball Z we see another concept of Akira Toriyama, where he explores different planets and alien races. We start the series by finding out that Goku is from an alien species and his race is coming to Earth, to take over the Dragon Balls and destroy the planet.
There have been so many memorable scenes from the catalog of Dragon Ball Z, from Goku turning Super Saiyan for the first time after Krillin’s death to Gohan’s sudden transformation into Super Saiyan 2 to save the planet from Cell.
Akira Toriyama practiced a lot of shounen tropes with Dragon Ball but he perfected the art of battle anime with Dragon Ball Z with some of the most iconic fights coming from Dragon Ball Z, Goku Vs Vegeta, Goku Vs Frieza or Gohan Vs Cell among others.
You can watch all of the four main sagas, Saiyan Saga, Frieza Saga, Android Saga and Majin Buu Saga, consisting of 291 episodes on Crunchyroll.
3. Dragon Ball Super
The newest edition to the Dragon Ball family, Super takes up after the conclusion of Dragon Ball Z when Goku leaves the group. This series explores the world away from Dragon Ball Z’s universe, expanding the cast of characters with Gods and Angels of this world.
In Dragon Ball Super, we explore other universes and see the perspectives of these different universes through the eyes of Goku and Vegeta. Though not so popular among the crowd of today, Dragon Ball Super makes most of its audience feel nostalgic with returning characters and repeated worlds, like Future Trunks and Goku Black.
The other thing that stands out in Dragon Ball Super is the balance between the action and comedy which was lost in Akira Toriyama’s writing since the Dragon Ball times. The action isn’t as refined as Dragon Ball Z but it makes up for it in the exploration of the world of Dragon Ball.
The series is currently on hiatus but will make a comeback sometime in the future, meanwhile, you can catch up on all 131 episodes on Crunchyroll.
Now, let us come to the non-canon parts of Dragon Ball, the parts in which Akira Toriyama has no input whether it be characters, themes or storylines.
4. Dragon Ball GT
The most infamous of the non-canon series, Dragon Ball GT is the foster child of Toei Animation after Akira Toriyama had moved his back on the whole Dragon Ball Franchise, but Toei Animation wanted to squeeze every last bit from the Dragon Ball name.
This was how Dragon Ball GT was born out of this necessity, and as expected it didn’t have any resemblance to the original anime.
That is the reason why people garner so much hate towards Dragon Ball GT, every critic of the show mentions Dragon Ball Z’s action or Dragon Ball’s comedy when explaining why Dragon Ball GT is a bad anime.
But when taken into account as a separate entity, Dragon Ball GT presents a different charm than its predecessor. With some of the most intuitive character writing and bizarre storylines, Dragon Ball GT is the only series in the franchise which bolsters experimentation in its making.
You can watch the whole series of 64 episodes on Crunchyroll, in the dub and sub of the anime.
5. Dragon Ball Heroes
If we are talking about experimentation, nothing comes close to what Dragon Ball Heroes is doing currently. What started as a show to sell more merchandise for the Dragon Ball name, is now infamous for introducing more and more bizarre transformations.
They took the Dragon Ball cliche of transformations and dialled it up to 100, now we have transformations like Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Controlled Berserk, Godslayer and many more.
You can watch this bizarre multiverse of attempts to sell figures and toys on Crunchyroll.
Dragon Ball Movies in Order
Over the years there have been many movies with the title Dragon Ball, some arrived when the anime was in the Dragon Ball Z period, and some are part of the Dragon Ball Super period, but one thing is for sure all of these are must-watch for any Dragon Ball fan.
1. Curse of the Blood Rubies
Set in a parallel world, where the Emperor Pilaf saga turns into something more sinister than what happens in the original anime.
2. Sleeping Princess in Devil’s Castle
The complete story of how Goku and Krillin began their historic friendship and iconic training under Master Roshi.
3. Mystical Adventure
Another one of the alternate versions of the story of Dragon Ball during the Tien Shinhan Saga.
4. The Path to Power
A retelling of the Red-Ribbon Army with some scenes shifted here and there for the movie.
Dragon Ball Z Movies in Order
1. Dead Zone
A prequel to the start of Dragon Ball Z, a story about the Makyan species who are under Garlic Jr.’s rule.
2. The World’s Strongest
Dr Wheelo wants the body of the world’s strongest and he hunts for the body of Goku to become the best fighter in the world.
3. The Tree of Might
Forgetting Frieza for a minute, Goku and friends stop a Goku duplicate in Turles, who wants to eat the fruit that the whole world creates, making him the strongest in the universe.
4. Lord Slug
Turning the planet into an entire machine, Lord Slug wants to end the whole world while Goku and Piccolo defeat him at the brink of their life.
5. Cooler’s Revenge
In the aftermath of the Frieza Saga, the brother of Frieza comes back to finish what the great emperor could not against the legendary Super Saiyan.
6. The Return of Cooler
Cooler isn’t done and comes back just like his brother, trying to one-up his brother, Cooler goes after the New Namek while Goku and Vegeta stop him.
7. Super Android 13!
The wrath of the androids isn’t going away with No. 16, 17, or 18 but three new androids are here to pummel down the three Super Saiyans, Goku, Vegeta and Trunks.
8. Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan
The fated Super Saiyan meets Goku, the first-ever Super Saiyan, now it is a clash of the Saiyans in an epic movie.
9. Bojack Unbound
There is no Goku around when an intergalactic criminal runs loose and it’s on Gohan to defend Earth with his father on Heaven’s duty.
10. Broly – Second Coming
Even the galaxy couldn’t keep the monster known as Broly apart from getting his revenge on the Z Warriors.
Broly’s visit to Earth didn’t just bring chaos but his cells brought to life a mutant Bio-Broly and it’s up to Goten and Trunks to shut this thing down.
12. Fusion Reborn
It’s the fusion that everyone waited for, after Vegito, it’s Gogeta’s turn to fix the error in Heaven because of Janemba.
13. Wrath of the Dragon
Tapion and Hirudegarn fight for the sake of the planet as the Z Warriors aid him in his venture to vanquish evil.
14. Battle of Gods
It’s the first sight of Goku and there’s a party to celebrate his return but it seems like the God of Destruction wants to crash the party as well as the planet.
15. Resurrection ‘F’
The biggest menace of the universe is now back and all he wants to do is a little training to put Goku and Vegeta in their place.
Dragon Ball Super in Order
The revival of the story with the Legendary Super Saiyan and its canon now, along with a hell of a fight that crashed box office records for Japan.
2. Super Hero
The newest offering after a long hiatus from the Dragon Ball Super anime, it’s always a delight to see new faces in this universe.
Along with these, there is so much more to see including all the TV specials from the original Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball Super as well as OVA episodes involving the father of Goku and the story of Future Trunks.