The Dragon Ball franchise is likely the most well-known name in shonen and Anime in general.
The series is well-known throughout the world and has become synonymous with many Anime cliches, cementing them in the minds of numerous generations of viewers.
The franchise, which began as Jackie Chan’s loose adaptation of Journey to the West, has produced a number of sequels and spin-offs.
As it is such a legendary series and because it is constantly being reinvented, Dragon Ball has remained a perennially popular Anime.
When compared to other popular shonen series that have fallen short in terms of saturation of pop culture, Dragon Ball’s continuous development and popularity are absolutely remarkable.
This is true regardless of how popular or hyped they may have been when they were first released.
It all comes down to a variety of variables, with Dragon Ball’s ability to reinvent and grow to even greater heights being one of the most important.
What is Dragon Ball all about?
The series was first compiled into 42 separate books, known as Tankbon, which were published between September 10, 1985, and August 4, 1995.
A monkey-tailed youngster named Son Goku, whose life is followed in Dragon Ball, is partially based on a Chinese folktale. Journey to the West, from his early life and experiences up till becoming a grandfather, he engages in numerous conflicts throughout his life, finally rising to the position of (perhaps) the universe’s top martial artist.
But he is not alone; the comic features a sizable ensemble cast of martial artist heroes and foes who fuel the narrative’s conflict.
Why is Dragon Ball so famous?
Even those who don’t regularly watch Anime are familiar with Dragon Ball and a number of its recurring themes, including as the noisy bouts, extravagant attacks, and similarly bizarre spiky hairstyles.
Even people who are not very familiar with Anime as a whole will recognize some elements of Dragon Ball since phrases like becoming a “Super Saiyan” or having a final form have become so ingrained in geek and general culture.
This is only stressed for individuals who have watched or still watch Anime. One of their first “major” Anime was probably Dragon Ball, or at the very least, it was the show that helped them understand what Anime was.
Because of this, it has remained synonymous with the medium and holds a special place in viewers’ hearts and memories.
It’s hardly surprising that the most recent Anime release, Dragon Ball Super, is riding high in the midst of the current Anime popularity wave as Dragon Ball was the start of the first major wave of Anime popularity for the “Toonami generation.”
It seems logical that the series would outlive its “imitators” in terms of cultural impact because it is widely believed—perhaps very correctly—to have invented many of the elements for which modern shonen Anime would come to be recognized.
After all, when compared to Dragon Ball, how much are shows like Bleach or even either version of Shaman King remembered?
The Kamehameha Wave theme from Dragon Ball is probably well-known to passersby, but even die-hard Anime fans are unlikely to have much familiarity with other episodes.
As a result, being the first and possibly best of its kind has helped keep Dragon Ball popular among rivals.
What makes Dragon Ball different from others?
As previously said, the original Dragon Ball was considerably more of a comedy adventure, with far more realistic martial arts elements.
With Dragon Ball Z, this dynamic was altered as the fighting gained prominence and reached a new planetary plateau.
It emphasizes how different it was even more because the planets in issue weren’t always Earth.
The now-canonical Dragon Ball GT blended the two in a sense by jumping to several planets in an occasionally ridiculous manner.
Similar to how Dragon Ball Super’s plot finally had to address the future of multiple realities spread over the multiverse.
By consistently reinventing itself, raising the stakes, and giving fans more of what has worked best, Dragon Ball has released new episodes over the years.
As a result, although some people may have grown up watching Dragon Ball or Dragon Ball Z, others might have grown up watching GT or the Z remake Kai.
Naturally, Dragon Ball Super is a contemporary of programs like My Hero Academia and Demon Slayer, and the franchise’s ability to compete with the upstarts is more evidence of this.
The plot of the programs and the characters are also similar, with villains like Piccolo becoming fierce allies.
The intrigue of who would ultimately support Goku is undoubtedly a major hook for the show.
It also helps that the series has had more successful video game adaptations than any other Anime.
Unsurprisingly, while certain shonen Anime and Manga series may only be popular for a season, others, like One Piece, Naruto, and Boruto, have more enduring appeal.
Even still, they have failed to demonstrate the enduring power and widespread popularity that Dragon Ball has continued to hope for.
Anime Similar to Dragon Ball
|One Punch Man||Like Dragon Ball, One-Punch Man features mind-blowing battles, a fantastic soundtrack, and plenty of humor to keep you laughing. Like Goku, One-Punch Man battles foes that range from humans to aliens and always manages to win.|
|Soul Eater||In essence, Soul Eater is Dragon Ball with a gothic graphic direction and a tighter focus on the supporting characters. Soul Eater has a lot to offer, including well-animated action sequences, excellent characters, and a unique graphic style.|
|Seven Deadly Sins||On the surface, both Dragon Ball and Seven Deadly Sins offer fantastic combat scenes and memorable characters. Despite having very distinct themes for their own universes, both Anime feature exotic creatures like enormous giants and conversing pigs.|
|Naruto Shippuden||Although Dragon Ball and the original Naruto shared several cliches, Naruto Shippuden feels more in line with Goku’s growth and exploits in Dragon Ball. Naruto’s maturation is demonstrated in Naruto Shippuden via his enhanced personality and skills.|
|Bleach||For many viewers, Dragon Ball was an influential and unforgettable television series. After it had its chance to shine on television, many frolicked to find the next major series to fill the gap it left behind. Bleach was one of the numerous series there, and it was well-known for its epic battles, imaginative powers, and distinctive character designs.|
|Sailor Moon||Many people think that this Anime was Dragon Ball’s sibling series because both found popularity on Toonami. Despite having a more feminine appearance than Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon has many of the same themes and motifs.|
Check out this video to know more:
- One of the most well-known Shonen franchises of all time is Dragon Ball. You would probably hear someone use a line or imitate a pose from the series while you were a child, whether you were playing with friends on the playground or exploring different kid-friendly settings.
- Dragon Ball is a phenomenal show since it is one of the original shonen Manga series that established the standards and served as the foundation for contemporary shonen.
- The Shonen Jump style and tropes, however, were essentially introduced in Fist of the North Star, and nearly every other shonen series afterward has utilized them to some degree.
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