''Dragon Ball'' began as [[Manga/DragonBall a manga]] written by Creator/AkiraToriyama that was serialized in ''Weekly Shonen Jump'' from [[LongRunners 1984 to 1995]], chronicling the adventures of a cheerful monkey boy named Son Goku, in a story that was originally based off the Chinese tale ''Literature/JourneyToTheWest'' (the character Son Goku was based on [[Literature/JourneyToTheWest Sun Wukong]], in turn inspired by [[Literature/{{Ramayana}} Hanuman]]). The manga was soon adapted into one of the most popular {{anime}} productions ever made.

The story follows Goku and a huge cast of friends and enemies as they search for the magical Dragon Balls that can make any wish come true. Of course, no sooner had someone gathered and used the Dragon Balls than they would have to be sought out again. On top of all this Goku was training up to fight in the periodic "Strongest Under the Heavens" tournament. The series is generally broken down into the following sagas: Emperor Pilaf, the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament, the Red Ribbon Army, the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament (Tenshinhan), Demon King Piccolo, and the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament (Piccolo Jr.), with minor filler plots. After defeating these major threats to the world, Goku finally won the tournament on his third attempt and went off to get married.

After that, the anime (and the American version of the manga from that point) experienced a name change to ''Anime/DragonBallZ'', while it continued uninterrupted as ''Dragon Ball'' in the Japanese (and every other version in the world) manga. The reason was the ''Dragon Ball Z'' period had a change in focus from martial arts comedy to more serious epic battles (and the author [[WordOfGod thought it would be ending soon]]). At the start it revealed that Goku was not simply a boy with a tail but one of the last of the alien race, the Saiyans. He was sent into space shortly before the Saiyan planet was destroyed (with shades of ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'', ''Anime/GoldenBat'', and ''[[http://www.animevice.com/prince-of-gamma/18-31482/ Prince of Gamma]]''). Goku and his friends, reinforced by former enemies (a recurring theme) had to fight [[SortingAlgorithmOfEvil progressively more powerful]] villains. Although Goku and his martial arts skills (which let him and his friends fly, throw energy blasts and read minds) dominated the battles, the story was mostly about Goku's son Gohan and how he faces the challenges. Running seven years and nearly 300 episodes, the series can be broken down into the four primary {{big bad}}s of the series: Vegeta, Freeza, Cell, and Majin Buu. Both ''Dragon Ball'' the manga and ''Dragon Ball Z'' the anime came to a triumphant conclusion after Gohan is married and his own daughter Pan enters the "Strongest Under the Heavens" tournament.

Since the ''Dragon Ball'' saga was a super-hit, ''Anime/DragonBallGT'' was created as an anime-only continuation by [[Creator/ToeiAnimation Toei]], with some character designs by Toriyama. ''GT'' was not as well received, lasting 64 episodes before cancellation (although this was still much longer than originally intended), and [[FanonDiscontinuity its status as part of the canon has been hotly debated since, with fans on the fence on where it lies.]] After the release of new material written by Toriyama himself, the series is now officially an AlternateContinuity.

At one point ''Dragon Ball'' was turned into an [[MassivelyMultiplayerOnlineRolePlayingGame MMORPG]] by Netmarble, simply titled ''VideoGame/DragonBallOnline''. [[NoExportForYou It was only released in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Korea]]. The game had three playable races: [[UnEvenHybrid Saiyan Hybrids]] ([[CallASmeerpARabbit called "Humans" in-game]]), Namekian, and Majin. The servers and website for the game were closed in 2013.

The success of ''Dragon Ball'' is hard to dispute. It became one of the biggest hits ever in Japan, it was the series that popularized manga and anime the most in Europe, Americans always have an idea of what it is when they hear its title, most Latinos and Americans who grew up during the 1990s have watched it, it's still running on TV internationally and merchandising is alive and well. It is sometimes derided for being simplistic and for drawn-out multi-episode fights with little story progression. However, one must keep in mind that the show is primarily aimed at [[{{Shonen}} kids and teens age 10 to 18]], with [[PeripheryDemographic older adults not really in the picture]].

There were many {{non serial movie}}s (only a few could be wedged into the series' timeline) released at least once a year, three set in the ''Dragon Ball'' timeline and thirteen for ''Dragon Ball Z''. Two made-for-TV movies were made for ''Dragon Ball Z'', which are technically in canon. There was also a seventeenth feature film based on the original series produced to commemorate the [[{{milestone celebration}} tenth anniversary]] of the franchise, as well as a web special in 2008 produced to commemorating the 40th anniversary of ''Magazine/ShonenJump''. There have also been several TV specials and OVA's within the franchise, mostly based on the ''Dragon Ball Z'' portion of the story.

To date, there's been three {{live action adaptation}}s: The American-made ''Film/DragonballEvolution'', which came out in 2009, and the earlier, campier, Taiwanese ''[[Film/DragonBallTheMagicBegins Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins]]'' and the Korean-made ''Film/DragonBallFightForVictorySonGoku''.

In the early 2000s, the manga was re-released in Japan as the "Kanzenban" or "Perfect Edition," with brand-new covers drawn by Toriyama. This condensed the original 42 volumes down to 34, included all of the original color pages, and every other issue included a booklet with a drawing by current, popular Shueisha artists, talking about how much ''Dragon Ball'' had influenced them. The final volume in 2004 included a new, adjusted ending written and drawn by Toriyama.

From 2009-2011, Toei aired ''Anime/DragonBallKai'' (''Dragon Ball Z Kai'' [[MarketBasedTitle outside Japan]]), a "[[{{Recut}} refreshing]]" of ''Dragon Ball Z'' from the Saiyan to the Cell Games arcs with almost no {{filler}} or {{padding}}. In November of 2012, it was [[http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-11-06/dragon-ball-z-kai-japanese-cast-records-new-episodes announced that the Japanese voice cast will resume work]] on ''Kai'', continuing with the Buu Saga.

Now also has a [[SpinOff spinoff]] manga called ''Dragon Ball SD'' in ''Saikyo Jump'' by Naho Ooishi which began on December 3, 2010, some 26 years after the first chapter of the original series was first published in ''Shonen Jump''. As of June 21, 2011, there's another spinoff called ''Episode of Bardock'', also by Ooishi; later in the same year the Bardock short received an {{animated adaptation}}, and Shueshia started to reprint brand new copies of the original manga, in its original 42 Volume glory, although with a different stylized logo.

In 2012, Toei Animation started reworking on their classic animated adaptations, with brand new productions. ''Dragon Ball'' wouldn't be left out of the party, and it was announced that Toei was working on a new movie named ''Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods''. Toriyama was directly involved with the writing and it was to be set after the Buu Saga. The movie hit Japanese theaters on March 30, 2013. And now, Toriyama has confirmed to be working on a new movie. The title? ''Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F''.

In 2015, after 18 years, Toei announced that the franchise was going to get a new TV anime called ''Anime/DragonBallSuper''. Premiering on Fuji TV on July 5, 2015, the series takes place a few years after the Majin Buu saga following after the events of the movie: ''Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods'' and ''Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F''.

Needless to say, its impact on shonen manga is unparalleled to say the very least. Although not the first to employ the vast number of the tropes that its most associated with, it became the de facto ''face'' of them (especially outside its home country where, for many, it was ''[[GatewaySeries the first anime anyone ever saw]]'' and a introduction to the genre in general). To this day, the shonen genre, and various anime in general that use elements from it, pay homage to, or parody, this series and continue its legacy. For proof, one need only look as far as these three series often considered the most current and direct of its spiritual successors: ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', ''Manga/OnePiece'', and ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''.
!!Works with their own pages:
* ''Manga/DragonBall'' (manga; 1984-95)
** ''Dragon Ball'' (anime; 1986-89)
** ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' (1989-96)
*** ''Anime/DragonBallKai'' (2009-11, 2014-15)
* ''Anime/DragonBallGT'' (1996-97)
* ''Manga/JacoTheGalacticPatrolman'' (2013-14)
* ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'' (2015-)

[[AC:Animated Films]]
* ''[[Anime/DragonBallCurseOfTheBloodRubies Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies]]'' (1986)
* ''[[Anime/DragonBallSleepingPrincessInDevilsCastle Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle]]'' (1987)
* ''[[Anime/DragonBallMysticalAdventure Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure]]'' (1988)
* ''Anime/DragonBallZDeadZone'' (1989)
* ''Anime/DragonBallZTheWorldsStrongest'' (1990)
* ''Anime/DragonBallZTheTreeOfMight'' (1990)
* ''[[Anime/DragonBallZLordSlug Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug]]'' (1991)
* ''Anime/DragonBallZCoolersRevenge'' (1991)
* ''[[Anime/DragonBallZTheReturnOfCooler Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler]]'' (1992)
* ''Anime/DragonBallZSuperAndroid13'' (1992)
* ''Anime/DragonBallZBrolyTheLegendarySuperSaiyan'' (1993)
* ''Anime/DragonBallZBojackUnbound'' (1993)
* ''Anime/DragonBallZBrolySecondComing'' (1994)
* ''Anime/DragonBallZBioBroly'' (1994)
* ''Anime/DragonBallZFusionReborn'' (1995)
* ''Anime/DragonBallZWrathOfTheDragon'' (1995)
* ''Anime/DragonBallThePathToPower'' (1996)
* ''Anime/DragonBallZBattleOfGods'' (2013)
* ''Anime/DragonBallZResurrectionF'' (2015)

[[AC:Crossover Specials]]
* ''Manga/DoctorSlump'': Crossed over in the original series during the Red Ribbon Army arc. The '90s ''Dr. Slump'' anime also had its own crossover episode.
* ''Manga/CrossEpoch'': A crossover with ''Manga/OnePiece''.
* ''Anime/Dream9SuperCollaborationSpecial'': A one hour animated three way crossover with ''One Piece'' and ''Manga/{{Toriko}}''.

[[AC:Live Action Films]]
* ''Film/DragonBallFightForVictorySonGoku'' (Korea, 1990)
* ''[[Film/DragonBallTheMagicBegins Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins]]'' (Taiwan, 1991)
* ''Film/DragonballEvolution'' (USA, 2009)

[[AC: [[OriginalVideoAnimation OVAs]]]]
* ''[[Anime/DragonBallPlanToEradicateTheSaiyans Dragon Ball: Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans]]'' (1993; original/2010; remake)
* ''[[Anime/TheWorldOfDragonBallZ The World of Dragon Ball Z]]'' (2000)
* ''Anime/DragonBallYoSonGokuAndHisFriendsReturn'' (2008)
* ''Anime/DragonBallEpisodeOfBardock'' (2011)

[[AC: TV Specials]]
* ''Anime/DragonBallZBardockTheFatherOfGoku'' (1990)
* ''Anime/DragonBallZTheHistoryOfTrunks'' (1993)
* ''[[Anime/DragonBallZSummerVacationSpecial Dragon Ball Z: Summer Vacation Special]]'' (1992)
* ''[[Anime/LookingBackAtItAllTheDragonBallZYearEndShow Looking Back at it All: The Dragon Ball Z Year-End Show!]]'' (1993)
* ''Anime/DragonBallGTAHerosLegacy'' (1997)

[[AC:Video Games]]
* Lots of games mainly on {{UsefulNotes/Famicom}} and UsefulNotes/SuperFamicom (plus a few European countries, mainly France and Spain).
* ''VideoGame/DragonBallZArcade'' (1993-1995)
* ''[[VideoGame/DragonBallGTFinalBout Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout]]'' (1997; second ''Dragon Ball'' game to be released in the North American market, though the first game, ''Dragon Power'', was changed considerably).
* ''VideoGame/DragonBallAdvanceAdventure''
* ''VideoGame/DragonBallFusions''
* ''VideoGame/DragonballHeroes''
* ''VideoGame/DragonBallOnline''
* ''VideoGame/DragonBallOrigins''
* ''VideoGame/DragonballXenoverse''
** ''VideoGame/DragonBallXenoverse2''
* ''VideoGame/DragonBallZAttackOfTheSaiyans''
* ''VideoGame/DragonBallZBudokai''
* ''VideoGame/DragonBallZBudokaiTenkaichi''
* ''VideoGame/DragonballZTheLegacyOfGoku''
* ''VideoGame/DragonBallZTheLegacyOfGokuII''
* ''[[VideoGame/DragonBallZBuusFury Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury]]''
* ''VideoGame/DragonBallFighterZ''
* ''VideoGame/DragonBallZDokkanBattle''
* ''VideoGame/DragonBallZSagas''
!! Additional Pages
* The [[DrinkingGame/{{Dragonball}} "Just For Fun" Drinking Game]].