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Trivia / Dragon Ball

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Trivia relating to the manga/series as a whole:

  • Blooper: It's not uncommon for whoever is in charge of the dialogue (whether it be Funimation, Toei Animation, or Akira Toriyama himself) to slip-up and have Vegeta use "Goku" instead of "Kakarot". This usually ends up being corrected in later revisions of whatever it happens in.
  • Creator's Favorite:
    • Toriyama has admitted that Mr. Satan is one of his favorite characters and he gets a lot of focus in the Buu Saga. Prior to Mr. Satan, Piccolo was believed to be Toriyama's favorite, as he stated that, despite finding his Heel–Face Turn too cliché, he still managed to remain a cool character nonetheless.
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    • Naotoshi Shida, one of the animators of Toei, states his favorite character to draw is Android 16.
  • Fountain of Expies:
  • God Never Said That: The claims that the series was originally intended to end with the Saiyan, Frieza, or Cell Sagas. These are all fandom inventions as Toriyama never stated he would end at those points. What he did say was he didn't intend for the series to last as long as it did or to explode in popularity the way it did. The Saiyan and especially the Frieza and Cell Sagas are just very obvious points where fans can say "well, it could have stopped here and it'd be a fairly clean finish".
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  • Hypothetical Casting: Akira Toriyama has said on at least one occasion that a younger Jackie Chan would be the ideal live-action interpretation of Son Goku.
  • Inspiration for the Work: The manga came into existence due to Akira Toriyama's wife saying how her husband would watch kung fu movies when drawing Doctor Slump when him and his editor were considering giving up on brainstorming their next manga project. This statement gave the idea of writing a kung fu series and the rest is history...
  • Recast as a Regular: Several voice actors have voiced minor or unimportant characters before going on to voice major or important characters in the Dragon Ball franchise.
  • Talking to Himself:
    • Japanese version:
      • Veteran voice actress Masako Nozawa voices Goku, as well as both his sons and his deceased father Bardock. Not to mention Turles.
      • Both Pan and Videl are played by Yuko Minaguchi
      • Cooler is voiced by Ryūsei Nakao, same as Frieza. The voice itself is also essentially the same, differing in the delivery rather than timbre.
      • Mayumi Tanaka voices Kuririn, Yajirobe and later Uranai Baba, who was originally voiced by Junpei Takiguchi.
    • English version:
      • Sean Schemmel played Adult!Goku, and King Kai.
      • In the Funimation dub, Christopher Sabat plays Vegeta, Piccolo, and Yamcha. While the latter doesn't have too much screentime, it doesn't change the fact that Sabat is talking to himself a majority of the time, especially through most of the Saiyan arrival scenes in the redub. Sabat also voices several other characters over the course of the series, including (but not limited to) Shenron, Nappa, Mr. Popo, Korin, Recoome, and Zarbon.
      • Goten and Videl are both are voiced by Kara Edwards.
    • In the Latin American Spanish dub this is generally subverted, as multiple characters given to the same actor tend to not interact with one another, though straight examples aren't unheard of:
      • Laura Torres plays both child!Goku, child!Gohan and child!Goten.
      • Mario Castañeda, who voices teenage and adult!Goku, voices Bardock, Tullece, Colonel Silver, Young!Muten Roshi and Pamput. This is one of the cases in which it's played straight, as adult Goku obviously talked with Tullece in the 3rd movie, and he had a mind conversation with Bardock in a filler scene during the battle against Frieza.
      • Carlos Segundo is known as the voice of Piccolo Daimaku and Piccolo Jr., but also Mr. Popo, Kami, Master Tsuru, the Mummy, Anton the Great, Gora, and Hyoga Shaolong. Given that Piccolo Daimaku/Piccolo Jr. and Kami are Literal Split Personalities and Mr. Popo is Kami's servant, this is another case in which it is inevitably played straight.
      • Patricia Acevedo voices Chi-Chi and Chiaotzu. This is the one case where it was completely averted, as the two characters never interacted.
      • Humberto Solórzano voiced Raditz, King Cold, Tamborine, King Chappa and Akuman. In this case the only time there was an actual example of Talking to Himself was when King Chappa was one of Tamborine's hit targets.
      • Jesús Barrero voiced both Yamcha and Puar until episode 45 of the original Dragon Ball, after which Yamcha was voiced by Ricardo Mendoza and Puar by Cristina Camargo.
  • What Could Have Been: Has its own page.
  • The Wiki Rule: Dragon Ball Wiki and Dragon Ball Universe Wiki.

Trivia relating to the anime:

  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Oolong never wished for Bulma's panties. He wishes for panties from a hot babe.note  This is no indication that they belonged to Bulma.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices:
    • Japanese version:
      • Masako Nozawa provides the voice of Goku.
      • Mayumi Tanaka provides the voice of Kuririn and Yajirobe.
      • Junpei Takiguchi provided the voice of Fortuneteller Baba.
    • English version:
      • In the Harmony Gold dub, Barbara Goodson provided the voice of Zero (Goku), while Wanda Nowicki provided the voice of Bongo (Krillin).
      • In the BLT Productions dub, Saffron Henderson provided the voice of Goku.
      • In the Funimation dub, Stephanie Nadolny provided the voice of young Goku, while Laurie Steele provided the voice of young Krillin.
  • Dueling Dubs: See the page for more details.
  • Fan Edit: Dragon Ball Recut, which removes as much filler from the anime adaptation as possible, similarly to what Dragon Ball Z Kai was to Dragon Ball Z. Information about Dragon Ball Recut can be found on this Kanzenshuu thread.
  • Invisible Advertising: A theory about why the Harmony Gold dub never caught on. YouTuber Geekdom101 mentions in a video that no time slots, commercials or advertising were found for that version when airing in a handful of American television markets. This lack of promotion may have been what led to the end of Harmony Gold's version.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • The original broadcast audio for Dragon Ball and DBZ taken from VCR recordings of each episode's initial broadcast in the Kanto region of Japan. This audio is highly sought-out as it offers the closest quality to the series' master tapes, which Toei wiped both for economic reasons and because executives at the time were still skeptical of home media. Also applies to Dragon Ball GT to a certain extent, as despite Toei still possessing the original audio masters, they've never put this audio on any official releases, although TV airings in Japan still use it.
    • The first two English dubs of Dragon Ball, the 1987 Frontier Enterprises dub and the 1989 Harmony Gold dub, are notoriously difficult to find. In the case of the latter, VCR recordings have existed of a telefilm that combines the first and third theatrical films into a single product, but the episodes themselves weren't available at all until March 1, 2020, when a superfan obtained VHS copies from someone who had a stash of anime VHS tapes from the early '90s in his basement. The Frontier dub meanwhile, has no surviving audio or footage whatsoever. It was most likely screened exclusively on Japan Airlines flights, with no plans to bring them to English-speaking airwaves. As a result, it's generally agreed upon that the Frontier dub is likely lost media.
    • The Animax Asia dub, which possibly aired in Hong Kong, India, and/or the Philippines, has no surviving footage whatsoever, although its existence has been confirmed by a couple of the voice actors, with it being confirmed to cover the entire series.
    • The 90s English dub from the Philippines is also lost outside the theme songs (which were released to CD).
  • The Nth Doctor: Piccolo was sort of treated this way in the Japanese anime. Takeshi Aono voiced the original Demon King Piccolo as well as Kami-sama due to their shared lifeforce, but his reincarnation/son Junior (the Piccolo most are familiar with) is voiced by Toshio Furukawa and would become the definitive face of the character going forward.
    • In the BLT and Harmony Gold dubs, Oolong's transformations would be voiced by different actors from his true form. In the former, his ogre and bull forms are done by Doug Parker while his gentlemanly human form is performed by Ian James Corlett instead of his main actor Alec Willows. The latter dub has Barry Stigler voice his ogre form in the place of Dave Mallow, his normal voice.
    • As a great ape, Goku's roars were handled by Yasuhiko Kawazu instead of Masako Nozawa. It was the same in English where Justin Cook handles great ape Goku instead of Stephanie Nadolny.
  • The Pete Best: Funimation's first in-house dub of the second Dragon Ball film, Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle, featured Broadway actress Leslie Alexander as Bulma, which was the only time she voiced the character. This is also her only anime role to date. Tiffany Vollmer and Monica Rial are much better associated with the character, the former providing her voice up until the end of the 2000s, while the latter took over from 2010 onward. For a long time, Alexander wasn't even listed among Bulma's English voice actresses on The Other Wiki.
  • Pop Culture Urban Legends:
    • There's a very oft-repeated one floating around in Hungary, which claims the series got canceled because a kid jumped off a building/out a window, thinking the Nimbus would save him. There is nothing to confirm this, yet many, many fans consider it a fact. In reality, the show was canceled because the TV station that had carried it got into trouble due to the series' timeslot and rating — they handled it as a children's cartoon but the media authorities saw it as strictly meant for adults. It is also true that a 14-year-old named Karcsi threatened the broadcasting company with suicide upon hearing about the cancellation, but the one about a kid jumping to his death is, most likely, a legend.
    • A decades-old urban legend in Spain claims that the Spanish version of the anime's first opening was performed by legendary rock band Barón Rojo, which is completely wrong: the theme was performed by Jordi Vila, who did both the Castillian and Catalonian versions, and Barón Rojo had absolutely nothing to do with the songs or Dragon Ball in general. This urban legend is so entrenched in Spanish pop culture that it doesn't matter how many times the band or anyone denies it, there are always people who believe on it as gospel, and it is likely there will always be until the end of times. Reportedly, the thing has even become a minor Berserk Button for the members of the band, who are sick and tired of being asked about it over and over.
  • Playing Against Type: Kenji Utsumi had it half and half when he voiced Commander Red (no pun intended). Although Commander Red is nonetheless a military dictator, which fit one aspect of the roles Utsumi played, he's also extraordinarily short, something that Utsumi wasn't known to play as. He usually voiced giant characters.
  • Recycled Script: The Dragon Ball movies are all very loose adaptations of story arcs from the original manga and TV series:
    • Curse of the Blood Rubies adapts the first Dragon Ball hunt, with the original character King Gurumes substituting Emperor Pilaf as the ultimate antagonist. In another variation of this, the 1989 Harmony Gold English dub, the 1995 Funimation/BLT Productions English dub, and the 2010 Funimation English dub all use the same ADR script adaptation, with some small variations in dialogue and name changes.
    • Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle starts off with a sub-plot involving Goku and Krillin being sent to find the titular Princess (eventually revealed to be a precious diamond) for Master Roshi, just like when they were sent to find a cute girl for Roshi in the manga.
    • Mystical Adventure combines the Red Ribbon Army and 22nd Tenkaichi Budōkai arcs and puts them in an entirely different setting.
    • The Lord Slug movie matches the plot of the Piccolo Daimaoh Saga. An evil Namekian wishes for his youth and power. This one is painfully obvious.
    • And the tenth-anniversary movie The Path to Power retells the first arc of the first search of the Dragon Balls, but with the Red Ribbon Army as the main antagonists.
  • Relationship Voice Actor: During the same period the Harmony Gold Dub was released. Barbara Goodson (who voiced Goku) and Cheryl Chase (voice of Puar) worked together on other English dubs of 80s era anime. Such as English dubs of Sanrio Animation's film adaptations of Osamu Tezuka's Unico note  and The Noozles.
  • Role Reprise: In the English Dub, Copy-Vegeta is voiced by Brian Drummond, the voice of Vegeta in the Ocean Group Dub.
  • Same Voice Their Entire Life:
    • This most famously happened with Goku; several instances of women voicing adult men in anime are inspired by him. In Japan, Goku's voice was so iconic that his voice actress, Masako Nozawa, kept on voicing him even when he became an adult. She wasn't changed so that Goku's childish mindset could be expressed through his voice. Subverted in most dubs, where he's voiced by a man in Dragon Ball Z and all "adult Goku" material. They instead portray Goku's boyishness through acting.
    • Also in Dragon Ball Z, probably because it runs In the Blood, Son Goku's sons, Son Gohan and Son Goten, also retain their child voices during adulthood in the Japanese dub, especially seen in Gohan and also in Goten during Dragon Ball GT.
    • Vegeta kept his male actor in Japan even when shown as a kid. Most dubs used voice actresses, with the Funimation English dub being the exception.
    • In the AB Groupe dub of Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku, Vegeta has the same young boy's voice in Bardock's visions of him as an adult as he does during the events of the movie. What makes this an especially odd example is that adult Vegeta has a grown man's voice in AB Groupe's other Dragon Ball Z dubs.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: In the Latin American Spanish dub, Mario Castañeda at first refused to voice adult Goku in 1997 because he was not sure if the fans were going to accept a change of voice to the main character (knowing that in Japan, despite the character growing up, Goku continued to be voiced by Masako Nozawa); but it was due to the fact that his son Arturo Castañeda, who was 8 years old at the time, insisted that he voiced Goku that he decided to accept the role. Arturo himself would go on to play Whis in Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ and Dragon Ball Super.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The Funimation English dub almost featured Ceyli Delgadillo as Kid Goku, who had previously recorded the role in Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle, Mystical Adventure, and a couple brief flashbacks in Dragon Ball Z, but an official poll on Funimation's DB website pitted her against Nadolny, the then voice of Gohan in DBZ, and the latter won out.
    • Sonny Strait was interested in voicing the younger Krillin, but Funimation instead kept Laurie Steele, who had already voiced the character in the previously-dubbed movies and flashbacks.
    • Meredith McCoy also auditioned for Kid Chi-Chi, who instead went to Laura Bailey.note 
    • Stephanie Nadolny had originally recorded a version of the ending theme, "I'll Give You Romance," but it was decided that it was innappropriate for the voice of Goku to sing it, so it was re-recorded by Daphne Gere.

The franchise is the Trope Namer for:

Miscellaneous Trivia:

  • Fat Buu, Uranai Baba, Mr. Satan/Hercule, Universe 7's Kaiōshin, Pan, Bra, and Uub are the only characters in the entire franchise who have never died during the original series. They would all be indirectly killed in Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ and Dragon Ball Super by Frieza's destroying the planet (and being quickly undone), with the exception of Bra (who wasn't born yet), Buu (who wouldn't by harmed by such a thing because he can survive in space), and Kaiōshin (his future counterpart, however, did die at the hands of Dabra or Goku Black).
  • Gintama notably parodied a scene from DBZ where Piccolo fired a Special Beam Cannon at Goku and Raditz. In the English dub of Gintama, they had the original English voice of Piccolo voice the Piccolo stand-in in the scene.
  • Adjustments in the Kanzenban edition: two title pages were redrawn (one featured Bulma smoking a cigarette originally; this was removed in the redraw), one of the members of the Pilaf gang, Shu, had his name fixed (in the manga, he was originally called Soba, but was renamed Shu in one chapter), a sign in chapter 205 saying "WELL COME" was changed to say "WELCOME", Vegeta's power level against Recoome was changed from 30,000 to 20,000, an instance of Goku saying "Ore" instead of "Ora" in Japanese was fixed, the date of the Cell Games was changed from "M 17" to "May 26th", and most critically, two chapters towards the end had some different and additional pages; Kid Boo's death was expanded slightly, with a little aftermath added (after Goku defeats Boo, Vegeta thinks to himself "Phew, took you long enough", then Goku gives him a thumbs up, and he thinks "What's with that goofy look on his face? I seriously can't stand you!..." then he loosens up and cracks a smile). Most significantly, however, the final chapter included a new, adjusted ending written and drawn by Toriyama, drawing parallels between Goku and Oob as well as highlighting Vegeta's rivalry with him, though Toriyama's original farewell message to the fans from the chapter was removed.