The Japanese anime television program Dragon Ball Z is created by Toei Animation. It is a part of the Dragon Ball media universe, a sequel to the 1986 Dragon Ball anime series, and an adaptation of the final 325 chapters of the Akira Toriyama-penned Dragon Ball manga series, which appeared in Weekly Shnen Jump from 1988 to 1995. From April 1989 to January 1996, the series aired on Fuji TV in Japan. It was later dubbed for international distribution in at least 81 countries.
Son Goku’s adult adventures continue in Dragon Ball Z as he defends the Earth with his friends from villains like aliens (Vegeta, Frieza), androids (Cell), and magical creatures. The story and real-life are paralleled at the same time.
The manga chapters that make up the anime’s story were initially published by Viz Media under the Dragon Ball Z moniker due to the anime’s popularity in the United States. Due to the popularity of the anime, a variety of media and merchandise have emerged and have come to make up the majority of the Dragon Ball franchise’s content. Numerous adaptations and re-releases of Dragon Ball Z have helped it to maintain its status as a cultural icon.
1. Dragon Balls: The Secret Of Dragon Balls
What more appropriate place to begin than at the beginning? Here is where we first meet our animated lead character Son Goku, who begins his tale as an orphan living in a mountainous region with exceptional strength. But after a chance meeting with the teenager Bulma, who led the two of them on a search for wish-granting orbs called Dragon Balls, his destiny would be irrevocably altered.
As viewers, we get to know Goku for the first time, discover a little bit about his history, and discover that he was an exuberant individual from the start.
It demonstrates how Goku and Bulma first cross paths at the outset of their protracted, amusing, and ultimately wonderful friendship.
It sets up the lighthearted yet action-packed tone that all
2. The Nimbus Cloud Of Roshi
Goku and Bulma receive a reward from the turtle’s enigmatic owner after saving it. You inquire, “Who is it?” Why, Master Roshi, the one and only “Turtle Hermit”! Roshi rewards them for their misdeeds by giving Bulma the Three-Star Dragon Ball and Goku the Flying Nimbus, a magical cloud that can only be ridden by the pure-hearted. (An odd emperor and his minions also make an appearance at one point, but they won’t be important later.)
The eccentric, filthy old man Master Roshi is introduced to the audience. He’ll eventually teach Goku martial arts and develop into a reliable ally, so there’s more to him than first appears.
The Flying Nimbus, who will soon become one of Goku’s constant companions, is given to him. (*whispers* until the Saiyans show up…)
It provides more information about how Goku thinks.
3. Spirit Bomb Triumphant
(Kid) Buu, it’s time for you to go! Goku uses his Spirit Bomb to destroy the evil Buu once and for all, assisted by his friends, Earth, and Purunga the Namekian Dragon. The Dragon Gang can now unwind and start to heal their planet because all threats have been eliminated. (And perhaps the planet of the Kais as well; yeesh, that’ll be one hell of a clean-up job.)
It effectively ends the Dragon Ball Z anime by ending the final major conflict in the series. Yes, there are some additional episodes, but they serve more as the show’s epilogue.
Goku wishes for Buu to become a dragon even as he destroys his enemy, displaying his kind heart. As viewers finally get to see the Spirit Bomb technique actually beat someone rather than just slightly hurt them, the series stops teasing us.
4. Final Atonement
Vegeta finally acts bravely after spending the majority of the series thus far being a colossal jerk (even after joining the Dragon Gang). He transforms himself into a powerbomb that should kill both himself and Majin Buu in an effort to eliminate Buu and protect his family. Piccolo, a former evildoer, witnesses the battle and supports Vegeta.
Vegeta’s true transformation into a good guy is symbolized by this sacrifice. He had been, at best, bopping around Earth up until this point because he had nowhere else to go and still wanted to beat Goku, but this is real bravery.
That Majin Buu survives the explosion in the subsequent episode while Vegeta’s body disintegrates makes the sacrifice a worthwhile one.
5. The Awakening” – Dragon Ball Z
Well, Cell, you’ve already completed the task! Gohan awakens his latent power to remove Cell’s smug expression after everyone’s favorite bird-loving android suffers a head injury. It is an understatement to say that the latter receives more than he anticipated.
This episode demonstrates the precise moment when Gohan transformed from a timid, sheltered child to a just warrior.
Goku’s insane idea to have his 11-year-old son battle a psychopath who could wipe out the planet actually came to fruition!
For Cell, it’s the end. (Yes, Cell recovers from self-destruction stronger, but Gohan’s Kamehameha Wave still ends his life.)
6. The Kamehameha Wave
When Goku is unable to extinguish the fire on Fire Mountain with the Bansho fan, Master Roshi makes the decision to use the Kamehameha Wave method on his own to do so. Unfortunately, as you can see from the video above, things don’t go as planned, but the Ox-King still gives Bulma the Seven-Star Dragon Ball. Furthermore, despite Roshi taking fifty years to master the Kamehameha Wave himself, Goku succeeds in doing so.
When Roshi Hulks Out and executes the Kamehameha Wave, the episode reveals the depths to which he is capable. How much of a doofus he is when he beefs it up, too.
It reveals how Goku acquired the technique that would become his distinguishing fighting style.
Trying to make things explode with energy blasts became a popular pastime for countless kids in late 1990s America.
7. A Wish To The Eternal Dragon
Pilaf sentences our heroes to death after becoming enraged that his wish was denied by an underwear joke that hasn’t held up well over time. But just when all hope seems lost, Goku looks at the full moon and transforms into a giant ape creature! Then, as is customary for ape monsters, he immediately goes ape shit (couldn’t resist).
The Eternal Dragon Shenron, the Dragon Balls’ wish-granter, makes his debut in this scene. In the series, he will continue to bring the thunder, as well as clouds, lightning, and other things.
In addition to his tail, it gives the audience a hint that Goku might not be a human.
A humorous King Kong tribute, it provides that hint.
ALSO READ:Best Fanservice Animes To Watch In 2022!
8. His Name Is Cell
Trunks, who traveled through time, was unaware of Androids 19 and 20, that Androids 17 and 18 in this timeline are more powerful than those in his own timeline, or that Android 16 was a prototype created by Gero. What else might go awry? The residents of Ginger Town were murdered by an unknown entity, leaving only their worn-out clothing behind. Piccolo, who has just been dubbed “Super Namekian,” is on the case, but what he learns is much more disturbing than he had anticipated.
The introduction of the titular “Cell” is made all the more unsettling by the episode’s strong sci-fi horror influences, especially Alien.
• Who is the person Cell is holding when he first encounters Piccolo? The poor man is literally reduced to skin and bones after Cell, uh, “drinks” him.
9. The Mysterious Youth
The lucky son-of-a-gun, who survived Namek’s explosion, is eagerly anticipated by Goku’s friends upon his return from space. The same is regrettably true of Frieza, who comes to Earth as an ill-shaped cyborg determined to exact revenge. However, before he can react, a mysterious teen approaches him, transforms into a Super Saiyan, and quickly mutilates him.
When this episode first aired, the introduction of the stranger was a real “wham” moment, coming out of the left field.
Cyborg/Mechanical The design of Frieza is hysterically funny. It amplifies how fervently the Frieza army sought to prevent his demise.
It’s also funny how easily the stranger defeated Frieza. (Goku must have really been gentle with Frieza if his strength is comparable to Goku’s.)
10. Transformed At Last
Due to Goku’s Spirit Bomb, Frieza appears to be out for the count. But before anyone can rejoice, Frieza reappears and blows up Krillin to prank everyone. Let’s just say that this move doesn’t sit well with Goku because it allows him to access a power that most people believed to be a myth: the “Super Saiyan” form.
The Super Saiyan, the most well-known transformation in the Dragon Ball canon, makes its debut. As the series goes on, subsequent power-ups get stronger than it, but they continue to be influenced by this glorious, shining figure. In order to defend his people, Goku battles Frieza while reconciling with his Saiyan heritage. Given that a person can only be revived once using Earth’s Dragon Balls and that Namek’s Dragon Balls are no longer present, Krillin’s death appears to be irreversible.
11. Goku Vs. Vegeta…A Saiyan Duel
With the help of his new Kaio-Ken technique (thanks to King Kai! ), Goku is able to hold his own as the Saiyan elite Vegeta challenges him in the first round of combat. Goku responds with his own Kaio-Ken-powered Kamehameha Wave to Vegeta’s attempt to blow up Earth with his Galick Gun after he snaps and loses his cool. Despite his victory, Vegeta’s transformation into a Great Ape must then be faced by Goku.
Goku’s battle with Vegeta would mark the beginning of an intriguing, years-long rivalry between the two that continues to this day in the franchise.
One of the series’ most tense and action-packed scenes features Vegeta’s Galick Gun versus Goku’s Kamehameha Wave. Many fans experienced goosebumps while first viewing it.
Goku was more stretched in this battle than in any other.
12. The Return Of Goku
Piccolo, who had been driven to the limit by the Saiyan Nappa, perishes while giving his life to save Gohan. To make matters worse, Kami and the Dragon Balls are both destroyed as a result of this terrible incident. Only after this tragic event does Goku show up to save the day, having just been recently revived by said orbs.
By making his sacrifice, Piccolo took a significant step toward becoming Goku’s ally and a long-term Dragon Gang member.
Goku immediately demonstrates the benefits of his training with King Kai by destroying Nappa.
It is the source of the wonderful meme
13. The Arrival Of Raditz
The 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament took place five years ago. Goku decides to visit Kame House with his son Gohan to reconnect with old friends on a whim. Unfortunately, the good times come to an end when a strange man named Raditz shows up and startles everyone with information that puts the planet Earth in danger! (He, er, kidnaps Gohan as well.)
The Dragon Ball Z franchise has made a significant shift toward science fiction with this three-part premiere.
It proves that Goku is actually an alien called a Saiyan, a nearly extinct race, rather than a human.
Sadly, Goku passes away. It’s not his actual death that makes it awesome, but rather the fact that it introduces us to the Dragon Ball universe’s afterlife
14. Goku Hangs On
Piccolo Jr., the reincarnation of an evil slug-man (it’s a long story), and Goku square off in the championship match of the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. They have a tough battle, and just as Piccolo appears to have prevailed, Goku finally manages to headbutt him out of the (destroyed) ring! And with that, Goku becomes the first person in history to hold the title of “World’s Strongest Earthling”!
Some of the first foreshadowings of the destructive fights that will occur in later Dragon Ball films can be seen in this fight between Goku and Piccolo (and prompts Flying Nimbus to count the days till his retirement).
It effectively brings the original Dragon Ball anime to a close on
15. The Grand Finals
Goku has advanced to the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament championship round thanks to Master Roshi’s guidance! His rival, however, is the enigmatic Jackie Chun, who resembles a well-known hermit in a suspicious way. Nobody can predict what will happen during their fight — will Goku prevail or will Chun turn the tables on him.
Despite Master Roshi’s disguise, Goku engages in his first significant battle with him without realizing it. Roshi demonstrates his sincere desire to develop his student to the fullest by being willing to take legal and personal risks to achieve this goal. He also has a cool wig.
16 Video Is Crushed
In the competition, Spopovich’s consistently amazing combos completely destroy Videl. Now Spopovich is the type of guy who doesn’t take Videl’s gender lightly. The audience wants to witness a female protagonist being brutally butchered by an unhinged, musclebound lunatic who doesn’t relent in his heinous assault. Never before have stomach and face punches been combined with such precision… and the kneeing is done with such mastery, it’s unmatched. When it came to being a tough psycho, Spopovich stole the show and defined this saga’s battles.
17. Escape From Dodoria
After killing the Namek child with a mouth blast and trying to butcher Dende, Dodoria brutally dispatches the Namekian elder by snapping his neck. She is then attacked by Gohan. The deadly brute pursues Gohan and Krillin as they flee from Dodoria while picking up Dende. Dodoria fires numerous blasts in their direction. They eventually run away from Dodoria, who then unleashes a blast to level the entire vicinity. He departs, believing he has killed his escaping enemies.
18. A Heavy Burden
Zarbon encounters Vegeta once more along with Bulma and Krillin. Zarbon is caught between a rock and a hard place because Vegeta’s strength has grown. He wouldn’t be able to get the Dragon Balls back if he lost to Vegeta, and he would suffer fatal consequences if he went back to Frieza. Zarbon quickly realizes that he must once again assume his beastly form due to the overwhelming situation. Zarbon is still unable to overcome the Saiyan’s increased strength, even after transforming into the ruthless demon. Zarbon is struck by Vegeta from behind and knocked to the ground as he unleashes a devastating series of blasts that also remove Zarbon’s armor.
19. Another Super Saiyan
Trunks appear and effortlessly cuts Frieza in half, then into pieces! He destroys whatever fragments of Frieza are still floating in the air, and Frieza has been the deadly antagonist dreaded for more than a hundred episodes at this point. King Cold makes an unsuccessful attempt to convince the young Saiyan to join him. After stealing Trunks’ sword, King Cold asserts that Trunks could not have triumphed without it. He made a mistake because he was completely destroyed by a blast sent through Trunks’ arm and into the mountain. The Earth’s warriors are astounded by Trunks’ prowess as he approaches them after destroying Frieza’s ship and saluting them.
20. Ginyu Assault
When Jeice and Burter attack Goku with a series of combo moves, they find themselves up against a huge enemy wall. Goku’s assault is stronger than all of their devastating attacks. Goku easily dislodges Jeice’s potent Crusher Ball, appears behind Burter, and demonstrates that he is not only faster but also stronger by performing two bone-cracking maneuvers that render Burter helpless. Vegeta uses the opportunity to break Burter’s neck and launch a blast at the already-dead Recoome, killing him as well, as Goku throws down Burter’s knocked-out body. What a jaw-dropping episode this was.
21. Might Blast Of Rage
Even after Goku sacrificed some of his energy to save Frieza’s life, Frieza continues to try to attack Goku. Goku launches his final assault, which causes a powerful explosion that burns Frieza. Then he makes an effort to flee the destruction of Namek.
Frieza can breathe in space, so he survives. After being picked up by King Cold and powered to become Cyborg Frieza, the severely injured Frieza floats. Goku does succeed in escaping the destruction of the planet, arriving on Yardrat, and discovering a brand-new trick: the instant transmission.
After spending some time inside the Rejuvenation Chamber, Goku is finally healed and rushes to help his friends. Frieza is brutally beating Vegeta as he tortures the Saiyan prince by grabbing his hair and using him like a stick.
22. Another Transformation
Gohan’s enraged hands unleash a powerful barrage of blasts on Frieza’s third form. In the meantime, Vegeta devises a scheme in which Krillin injures him so that he can recover and become a Super Saiyan. Dende declines to heal Vegeta as his scheme is put into action. Dende is persuaded to treat Vegeta by the others. Frieza further declares that he will take on his final form so that everyone can witness the height of his essence. However, nobody is aware that Frieza witnessed Dende treat them, and when the smoke clears, this will be fatal for the young Namekian.
23. Pay To Win
Gohan and Dabura start fighting. Gohan barely manages to remove the glove before the magic spreads to his body and the glove turns to stone as Dabura tries to spit on it. Dabura then draws his deadly sword and attacks Gohan. Dabura keeps a close eye on Vegeta as this fight goes on he shows his extreme annoyance. He realizes that Vegeta’s heart is not pure and that Babidi’s schemes can benefit more from the evil and darkness. Vegeta practices in a gravitational field that is roughly 400 times stronger than earth. Due to the admirable tenacity and fortitude, the Saiyan prince has demonstrated, Bulma starts to feel affection for Vegeta.
24. Final Atonement
In this Majin Buu saga episode, Vegeta, the prince of the exterminated Saiyan race, needs more time to regain his strength after his fight with Majin Buu, and Trunks’ attack on their adversary gives him that opportunity. Piccolo cuts Babadi in half during a different conflict, leaving him dead.
Vegeta, in a slight departure from his usual persona, decides to give his life in order to defeat Majin Buu because he realizes that he must do something to change the outcome of the conflict.
Vegeta orders Piccolo, Trunks, and Goten to flee for their lives before setting off an explosion that kills both of them and Buu and seals his doom: an eternity in Hell where his soul will be purified of all evil.
25. Goku’s End
Goku attempts to flee Namek by flying to Frieza’s spaceship in one of the best Dragon Ball Z episodes. Goku manages to escape the falling ship before it plunges into a lava pool, but when he tries to start the engine, he discovers that the ship is irreparably damaged.
Goku dies as a result of the planet exploding.
King Kai, Yamcha, and Bulma are devastated, but Bulma is unconcerned because she knows they can resurrect Goku using the strength of the Namekian Dragon Balls. However, they soon realize that this can only be done by going back to the scene of Goku’s death, where they will undoubtedly perish from a lack of oxygen.