There are many well-known anime seriess which are also popular in the worldwide level, for example Naruto, Death Note, One Piece, and more… But of course, there is one particular anime series which made its first appearance in 1986 in Japan. Later on it came to various parts of the world and became one of the most famous anime seriess of all time, and that is the Dragon Ball series. Dragon Ball is probably the childhood of many people, including its famous meme: “It’s over 9000” taken from Vegeta’s quote. Until now, it has released tons of episodes and movies so it is quite hard to know where to start watching this seriess. So here we are: The Ultimate Dragon Ball Series Timeline!
* Note: The timeline here will mostly about Dragon Ball anime series.
* MINOR SPOILERS ALERT!
Dragon Ball series background
For those who may not know, Dragon Ball series was a manga series at first, written by Akira Toriyama. It was offcially in Weekly Shonen Jump since 1984 with 519 chapters, and released in 42 volumes.
The story of Dragon Ball follows the journey of the main protagonist Son Goku in his quest of finding 7 Dragon Balls which can grant the collector a wish if he gets all 7 balls. Along Son Goku’s journey, he makes more friends and together they share their goal of achieving their dreams. The Dragon Ball series focuses heavily on martial art theme, and later on the typical heroes protecting the Earth from invaders plot. As the story progresses, the plot gets more and more serious especially after when Son Goku and his friends get to adulthood.
The Dragon Ball series has gone through many seasons, with the latest season: Universe Survival Saga, and the latest movie: Dragon Ball Z Resurrection F. Now, with that background in mind, let’s get on to Dragon Ball series timeline! In this first part, we will explore the first season: Dragon Ball.
The first season of Dragon Ball series involves from the first chapter to chapter 194 in the manga series. The first season mostly covers the childhood of Son Goku and his very first journey until his first teenage years in the final saga.
The Saga of Goku/Emperor Pilaf Saga
This is the beginning saga which introduces Son Goku, the main protagonist, and his first journey of finding 7 Dragon Balls. Along his journey, Son Goku also meets his first friends: Bulma, Master Roshi, Oolong, Yamcha, Puar. After overcoming several challenges, they finally find 7 Dragon Balls, but then stolen by Emperor Pilaf. Luckily, Oolong interupts Pilaf’s world domination wish. At the end of the saga, Bulma gives Goku a Dragon Radar incase the 7 Dragon Balls appear again. Goku gives his friends farewell, he then seeks Master Roshi for training, while the rest of his friends return to the city.
This saga focuses on the first martial art tournament featured in the series. Son Goku meets Master Roshi and learns martial art from him. Here he also makes friends with Krillin, another apprentice of Master Roshi. After a long time of training, they both sign in the martial art tournament. Here, Son Goku also meets his old friends in the first saga. Son Goku eventually makes it to the final match with Jackie Chun, who is revealed to be Master Roshi in disguise. Both has an extremely exciting match, but in the end Master Roshi wins the tournament. At the end of the saga, Son Goku gives his farewell to all of his friends, and goes on another new adventure.
Red Ribbon Army Saga
In this saga, Son Goku goes on his journey to find the relic from his grandfather: the four-star Dragon Ball. The journey leads him to a village where he meets Ox-King and gets engaged in a marriage with Chi-Chi (despite Son Goku doesn’t know the local marriage custom). Son Goku also encounters Emperor Pilaf (from the first saga) and the Red Ribbon Army, both villains want to claim the 7 Dragon Balls for their world domination ambition.
Son Goku continues his journey and ultimately fight with the Red Ribbon Army in the Muscle Tower near Jingle Village. Eventually Son Goku beats the entire tower, later on he comes to West City and find Bulma to repair his Dragon Radar. Afterwards they come to Dream Land where they meet Yamcha, Oolong, and Puar. Here, Son Goky and friends almost get tricked by Hasky, a professional thief hired by the Red Ribbon Army to steal Son Goku’s Dragon Balls. However, Son Goku puts a stop to her plan, and after that, Son Goku and Bulma continue their trail to find the remaining Dragon Ball.
General Blue Saga
This saga focuses around Son Goku’s journey in finding remaining Dragon Balls. This time, his main enemy is General Blue who constantly follows and fights with Son Goku to get all the Dragon Balls. By the end of the saga, General Blue manages to steal all of the Dragon Balls from Son Goku’s possession. He then flees to the Penguin Village, where he fights again with Son Goku. General Blue almost beats Son Goky, if not for the help of Arale Norimaki (The very character from Dr. Slump). Upon his defeat, General Blue finds Son Goku’s Dragon Radar but he loses all of the Dragon Balls. He then backs to the Red Ribbon Army Headquarters. Meanwhile, Turbo Norimaki creates a new Dragon Radar for Son Goku, Son Goku then gives farewell to the family and gets back to his journey.
Commander Red Saga
Son Goku continues his journey in finding the four-star Dragon Ball, and again he has to fight with the Red Ribbon Saga. This time, Commander Red (who is also the leader of Red Ribbon Army) hires Mercenery Tao who defeated and even killed General Blue. Son Goku and Mercenery Tao fight in the Sacred Land of Korin, where Son Goku meets Upa and his father. But eventually Son Goku is defeated by Mercenery Tao, after the fight, Mercenery Tao gets all the Dragon Balls then leaves the place, believing Son Goku is dead.
After his defeat, Son Goku awakes and seeks training from Korin in Korin Tower. Here, Son Goku undergoes Korin’s training and uses the Senzu Bean for the first time. After the rigorous training, Son Goku fights with Mercenery Tao once again and ultimately defeats him. Goku then retrieves the rest of Dragon Ball from Mercenery Tao, and goes to the Red Ribbon Army Headquarter to gets the other two Dragon Balls. Son Goky eventually defeats the entire army, including Commander Red and Staff Officer Black. After getting the two Dragon Balls, Son Goku meets Bulma and his friends, then they all back to Master Roshi’s house to repair the Dragon Radar with the hope of finding the last Dragon Ball.
Fortuneteller Baba Saga
Despite the group’s effort, they find out that the Dragon Radar can’t find the last Dragon Ball. Therefore, they come up with the final resort: seeking help from Fortuneteller Baba. Before meeting Fortuneteller Baba, Son Goku meets Upa and promises that he will use his wish to resurrect Upa’s father. In order to gain help from Fortuneteller Baba, Son Goku and his friends have to defeat her five warriors. Finally, Son Goku and his friends manage to defeat the five warriors, including Son Goku’s grandfather: Gohan who is temporary resurrected by Fortuneteller Baba for only one day.
Afterwards, it is discovered that the final Dragon Ball is in the possession of Emperor Pilaf who has kept it in a special box which can prevent Dragon Radar’s detection. Emperor Pilaf and his gang cannot stop Son Goku, Goku eventually retrieves the final Dragon Ball and summon the legendary dragon Shinren. Son Goku fulfills his wish: resurrecting Upa’s father, and then he manages to catch the four-star Dragon Balls before all balls dispatch to new locations. Finally towards the end of the saga, Son Goku undergoes another training for the new World Martial Art Tournament. This training is assigned by Master Roshi and requires Goku to experience the outside world on his own without any help, including the Flying Nimbus.
Tien Shinhan Saga
This saga is about the World Martial Art Tournament, featuring Master Roshi’s rival: Master Shen and his two apprentices Tien Shinhan and Chiaotzu. Both sides fight in the tournament, with the final match between Tien Shinhan and Son Goku. Both Tien Shinhan and Goku has an intense match, but in the end Tien Shinhan wins in this final match.
Despite his victory, Tien Shinhan thinks that he only wins due to luck. He offers half of his winning prize to Goku, but Goku refuses since he doesn’t care about money. Son Goku then realizes that he forgot his Power Pole and the Dragon Ball. Krillin tells Goku that he will get those for Goku; however, long time has passed since Krillin’s departure. Goku feels that there is something wrong, he finds Krillin but it’s too late: Krillin has already been dead. The killer has already left with the Dragon Ball, along with the list of World Martial Art Tournament’s combatants.
King Piccolo Saga
The saga continues what’s left in the previous saga. After the death of Krillin, Son Goku and friends find out that the one behind Krillin’s death is King Piccolo, which heavily shocks Master Roshi. Master Roshi reveals that once there was an evil who nearly conquered the world. This evil (King Piccolo) encountered Mutaito, who was Master Roshi and Master Shen’s mentor. Mutaito successfully sealed King Piccolo in a rice cooker and threw the rice cooker into the sea, but with the cost of his life. After that, Master Roshi found the School of Turtle, following the principle of his mentor.
Back to the present, Goku persues Krillin’s killer, Tambourine. However, Goku is defeated since he is still in the weakened state after the fight with Tien Shinhan. While Son Goku is unconscious, Tambourine continues his rampage, killing many combatants. After Goku awakes and regains his strength, he easily defeats Tambourine and another “son” of King Piccolo: Cymbal. This greatly enrages King Piccolo, he sets out to hunt down Son Goku and eventually defeats Goku. Thinking that Goku is dead, King Piccolo takes the Dragon Ball from Goku then leaves, unknowingly Goku is still alive and later on rescued by Yajirobe.
The Death of Master Roshi
In order to seal Piccolo, Master Roshi lures him with the two Dragon Balls. Master Roshi tries to use the sealing technique from his mentor, but fails to capture Piccolo. Master Roshi then dies due to the sacrificial sealing technique. As there are no people who can stop Piccolo, King Piccolo finally gathers all Dragon Balls and wishes to be young again. His wish is fulfilled and he becomes even more powerful just like his younger years. Piccolo even kills Shenron and succeeds in his world domination ambition.
The Fall of King Piccolo
Meanwhile, Goku manages to return to Korin with Yajirobe’s help. Goku then drinks the Ultra Divine Water and becomes even more powerful. He sets out to face King Piccolo and rescues Tien Shinhan from being killed. Goku and King Piccolo has the final battle. Though Goku is almost defeated, he finally slays King Piccolo. But before his death, King Piccolo gives birth to his son Piccolo Jr. who is the main antagonist of the later saga.
Piccolo Jr. Saga
Despite Goku’s victory against King Piccolo, King Piccolo has already killed Shenron long before his defeat. Therefore there is no way to resurrect Krillin, Chiaotzu, Master Roshi, and other victims of King Piccolo’s rampage. Luckily, there is one way to resurrect Shenron: Kami himself. Goku then sets out to Kami’s Lookout to find him.
Eventually Goku discovers Kami’s Lookout and finds Kami, who looks exactly like the old King Piccolo. Later on, Kami reveals that he and Piccolo used to be one being. But then they divided into two different entities. While Piccolo became the Earth’s terror, Kami stayed in his lookout and became guardian of the Earth.
After telling his story, Kami resurrects Shenron and sends the dragon directly to the Earth. Shenron instantly appear and resurrect Krillin, Chiaotzu, Master Roshi, and other victims. Kami offers training for Goku to prepare him for his destined battle with Piccolo Jr. in the next World Martial Art Tournament.
World Martial Art Tournament
Three years has passed and Goku has grown into a young man (now he’s 18 years old). Goku backs to the Earth after his training and reunite with his friends. Goku and his friends first encounter Piccolo Jr. in the World Martial Art Tournament. However, Goku and Tien Shinhan decide not to reveal his identity. Also in this tournament, Goku meets Chi-Chi, who has returned for her engaged husband Goku. Eventually Goku promises to fulfill his vow and proposes to Chi-Chi.
Goku and Piccolo Jr. finally confronts in the final match, and finally Goku claims his victory against Piccolo Jr.. After the match, Goku gives a Senzu Bean to Piccolo Jr. and restore his strength. Personally Goku doesn’t want his “rival” dies. And also, he knows that if Piccolo Jr. dies, Kami will die alongside with him. Piccolo Jr. accepts Goku’s mercy, then he leaves and vows that he will return to conquer this world again. The saga ends with the wedding of Goku and Chi-Chi, and marks the beginning of the next Dragon Ball Z.
And that’s it folk! Coming up next is the Ultimate Roundup of Dragon Ball Series Timeline – Part 2 featuring the next season: Dragon Ball Z! For the meanwhile, stay tune for more news in the future!
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