Dragon Ball, one of the most loved animes on the planet! Many of us grew up with it on TV, and so it seems like it’s been around forever and ever. But all things must have a start date so when did dragon ball come out?
The original manga series came out December 3 1984. Then the first episode of the anime came out February 26 1986. Dragon Ball Z then followed based off the same manga but with a cool new name April 26 1989. Dragon Ball GT would come out February 7, 1996 and then 19 years later Dragon Ball Super July 5, 2015.
Table of Contents
Dragon Ball Manga: 1984 – 1995
After the popularity of a 1983 two-part serial named “Dragon Boy”, about a young boy who knew kung fu who is accompanied by a Princess (Sound familiar?), a 29-year-old Akira Toriyama set to work on Dragon Ball. Dragon Ball was then first published December 3, 1984, in the Japanese magazine Weekly Shonen Jump and lasted 519 chapters. These original publications were in glorious colour but were also published as standalone volumes September 10, 1985, through til August 4 1995, in less fantastic black and white. It wasn’t until December 4, 2002, that the original Shonen Jump coloured mangas were published as standalone full colour.
Dragon Ball TV Series: 1986 – 1989
With the Dragon Ball Manga so wildly popular, and with Toriyama having experience turning his previous manga Dr. Slump into an anime, it was no surprise that just 2 years after the manga, out came the anime February 26, 1986. Dragon Ball would focus on the first 194 chapters of the original manga. It wouldn’t actually receive it’s first full English Dub until 2001, after several poorly received attempts. This is part of the reason most people in the west have fond childhood memories of Dragon Ball Z, as it had the most successful first run with Cartoon Network in the late 90s.
Dragon Ball Z TV Series: 1989 – 1996
So although the original manga is just one long series takes follows Goku from boy to man, the anime takes a different turn. Around halfway through the original Dragon Ball Manga the series was losing its steam. Toriyama wanted to take the show in a more adult direction and found a new producer, so Z was born! The original run started on April 26, 1989, but the Funimation dub most of us know and love came to the US in 1996, but it wasn’t until it began airing on Cartoon Network’s Toonami that it really found its home.
Dragon Ball GT: 1996 – 1997
All good things must fall apart, and the ending of Dragon Ball Z corresponded with the end of the original Dragon Ball manga. With no more Toriyama source material to work from Toei Animation continued on with the story with the highly decisive Dragon Ball GT. It first came out in February 7, 1996 but would darken our Western screens 2003 – 2004.
Dragon Ball Super: 2015 – 2018
So almost 30 years after the original Dragon Ball manga came out we were blessed with more episodes July 5, 2015! This new anime was based off Battle of Gods and Ressurection F, 2 films Toriyama wrote the plot for. This is also the anime that had a very close release date for both the East and West, with the dub just a few months behind the sub.
So there you have it. We’ve answered when most of the Dragon Ball, and all of its branches, came out. We’ve left out the films as there are too many to talk about in detail, but here’s a list of films from the Dragon Ball Wiki.