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Dragon Ball (ドラゴンボール) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama. It was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1984 to 1995; later the 519 individual chapters were published into 42 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. The 42 tankōbon have been adapted into two anime series produced by Toei Animation: Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, which together were broadcast in Japan from 1986 to 1996. Additionally, Toei has developed seventeen animated feature films and three television specials, as well as an anime sequel titled Dragon Ball GT, which takes place after the events of the manga.
The series follows the adventures of the protagonist Goku from his childhood through 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.
In late 1984, the first issue of Dragon Ball appeared in Weekly Shonen Jump. The series was then published weekly and on a very tight schedule (14 pages per week, plus title page) for nearly eleven years, ending in May 1995. In total, 519 regular chapters and one bonus chapter were published. Part 1 of the series featured quests to gather the titular objects and stop various villains, alternating with tournament arcs where characters competed in “the Strongest Under the Heavens” World martial arts tournaments. Part 2, which became known as Dragon Ball Z in the west, had four major arcs named for their main villains: Vegeta saga, Frieza, Cell saga, and Buu saga. Dragon Ball became the best-selling manga of all time, before being overtaken by One Piece.
A year and a half into the story of Dragon Ball, Akira Toriyama included an issue that had cameos by some of the characters and locations from his previous popular manga, Dr. Slump.
Within a short time after the first publication of the manga, it had reached a level of popularity in Japan that convinced the people of Toei Animation to produce both an anime series and a feature film based on the characters. The anime series premiered in February 1986 on Fuji Television, running weekly and in prime time with new episodes every Wednesday night. It ended in 1989, with the even more popular Dragon Ball Z picking up where in left off. Dragon Ball Z ran until 1995. Several movies and OVAs were also made over the years.
The first time the anime was dubbed for the USA was in 1989, but saw limited release and was cancelled. Funimation obtained the license to distribute the anime in 1995. Dragon Ball was aired first, but soon cancelled due to low rating. Dragon Ball Z began airing in 1996, but was cancelled after two seasons. Re-runs of DBZ on Cartoon Network’s Toonami were popular enough that Funimation decided to re-dub and broadcast the series. It ran on Cartoon Network from 1999-2003, becoming one of the most popular anime series in the West, as well as in Japan. It’s predecessor, Dragon Ball, was re-dubbed and run from 2001-2003.
Recently, a full length movie titled Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods was announced. It will be released in Japanese theaters on March 30, 2013. The movie takes place after Dragon Ball Z and is co-written by series creator Akira Toriyama.
Both the anime and manga are among the most popular ever made. Dragon Ball has received mostly positive reviews from critics, though some have criticized the anime’s lengthly arcs and it’s use of filler..
Dragon Ball was extremely influential on Shonen manga and anime that followed it. Popular series such as Naruto, One Piece, and Yu Yu Hakusho owe some inspiration to Dragon Ball.
DragonBall, like many popular anime series, has an active fandom online.
It’s Over 9000!
It’s Over 9000! is a catchphrase from the DBZ character Vegeta, typically used as an innumerable quantifier to describe a large number of something like “several”, “lots”, “butt loads” and even the metric “ass tonne”.
Bitch, I Look Like Goku
Bitch I Look Like Goku is an exploitable catchphrase and lyrical reference to Soulja Boy’s 2010 hip hop single “Goku,” a musical tribute to the protagonist character in the popular Japanese manga / anime series Dragon Ball Z.
Shoop Da Whoop / I’M A’ FIRIN’ MAH LAZER!!
Shoop Da Whoop or I’M A’ FIRIN’ MAH LAZER!! is an exploitable image from the face of Semi-Perfect Cell. It shows a blackface mouth and eyes suddenly shooting a powerful stream of laser.
Yamcha’s Death Pose
Yamcha’s Death Pose is an image exploitable series based on a stillshot of Dragon Ball character Yamcha fallen on the ground after suffering a fatal injury in the battle against Saibaman, a relatively weak villain character. The images depict Yamcha or other anime character lying inside the crater and they are typically used to indicate failure or weakness.
The Balls are Inert
The Balls are Inert is catchphrase from an scene from Dragon Ball Z, that were parodied in some videos.
Daily Dose / Piccolo Dick
Daily Dose (or Piccolo Dick) it’s a meme consisted in to post two pixels – Green and Purple in order to make a person think about the image of Piccolo anally raping Vegeta whenever they see something Green and Purple.
Super Saiyans are Real
Super Saiyans are Real is a YouTube video of a teenager named Jalen discussing the possibility of becoming a Super Saiyan, the transcendent state of being assumed by the warring members of the Saiyan race.