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Trivia / Dragon Ball

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Trivia relating to the manga/series as a whole:

Trivia relating to the anime:

  • Actor Allusion: In the '95 Canadian dub of the original series, the pteranodon who tries to eat Bulma is voiced by Doug Parker, who at the time was best known for voicing Terrorsaur in Beast Wars.
    • In Funimation's dub, one of the detectives who arrests Konkichi in episode 83 is voiced by Phillip Wilburn using the same voice as his Inspector Koichi Zenigata.
      • The leader of the punks worshipping Piccolo in episode 117 is voiced by Aaron Hatch in a similar manner to his role as Kaname "Sniper" Hagiri of YuYu Hakusho, arguably Funimation's second best-known property from the 2000s.
  • 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 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.
  • No Export for You: Not only that but also No Hebrew Dub for the original Dragon Ball anime in Israel because of its sexual and inappropriate humor. And the Super episode 89 were also suffered the same fate because Master Roshi's sexual misbehavior seemed as "inappropriate, uneducational, and unworthy of screen-time" by the Israelis.
    • However, it somehow averted with Dragon Ball films.
  • The Other Darrin: Japanese Original
    • Joji Yanami briefly filled in as Kamesen'nin in place of Kōhei Miyauchi in episode 137 due to the latter not being available to record it. When Miyauchi passed in 1995, it fell to Hiroshi Masuoka to voice the old master in most media (up to his own death in 2020) aside from the 10th Anniversary special The Path to Ultimate Strength, where Kinya Aikawa (died in 2015) took the reigns and the GBA game Advanced Adventure where Takkou Ishimori (died in 2013) provided the voice. Nowadays, it's Masaharu Sato who is the voice of Kamesen'nin.
    • Tenshinhan's original actor Hirotaka Suzuoki passed away from lung cancer in 2006, so Mitsuaki Madono replaced him in the 2009 video game Revenge of King Piccolo and some earlier Z games. Madono didn't go on to keep voicing Tenshinhan in Kai, however, with the role instead going to Hikaru Midorikawa despite sounding nothing much like either of his predecessors.
      • Draculaman was recast with Takahiro Fujimoto after his original actor Koji Totani, died in 2005. Mira-kun's actor, Shōzō Iizuka, was also recast with Daisuke Matsubara due to the former's age catching up with him.
    • Namu's original actor Kaneto Shiozawa, died tragically in 2000 after falling down a flight of stairs, so Eiji Takemoto voiced the character for his appearance in Budokai Tenkaichi 3.
    • Lucifer was voiced by Nachi Nozawa in Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle, but died of lung cancer complications in 2010. His appearance in Super Dragon Ball Heroes was handled by Katsuji Mori.
    • Going back to the 10th Anniversary Special, all the Red Ribbon Army officers aside from Commander Red and Staff Officer Black were recast. General Blue notably went from Toshio Furukawa to Bin Shimada, General White from Tessho Genda to Hirohiko Kakegawa, Seargent Metallic from Shin Aomori to Hisao Egawa, and Colonel Violet from Kazuko Sugiyama to Naoko Watanabe.
      • Blue's main subordinate in the series, Captain Dock, was voiced by Kōzō Shioya in episode 48 but was succeeded by Daisuke Gōri in episode 49.
    • The 2009 video game Revenge of King Piccolo also recast some minor characters despite their original performer still being active/alive at the time:
      • Snow: Naoko Watanabe —> Hiroko Emori
      • Bear Thief: Masaharu Sato —> Takahiko Sakaguma
      • Jingle Village Chief: Ryuji Saikachi —> Keiji Hirai
  • The Other Darrin: English Dubs
    • The very first English dub of Dragon Ball was commissioned by Toei themselves using Frontier Enterprises in 1987. It was a dub for the first DB movie The Legend of Shen Long, later known in the USA as Curse of the Blood Rubies. Little is known about it aside from what one of the actors, Richard Nieskins, has confirmed in a now-gone interview that he was in it as Gurumes' robot servant. The English track appeared to have been created solely for Japan Airlines flights which were what the bulk of Frontier's workload was during the '80s and '90s.
    • Two years after the Frontier dub, Dragon Ball was licensed in the U.S. by Harmony Gold who spliced the first and third movies together, along with the first five episodes of the anime, and aired them on television as part of a test to see if audiences would bite. All the characters' names were altered, such as Goku being called Zero, but it was considerably less censored than what Funimation would start out doing with the property initially. The casting included Barbara Goodson as Goku, Wendee Lee as Bulma, Kerrigan Mahan as Yamcha, Dave Mallow as Oolong, Cheryl Chase (yes, that Cheryl Chase) as Puar, and Steve Kramer as Shenron. When things didn't catch on, likely due to lack of consistent advertising, Harmony Gold dropped the license which left the way clear for Funimation to scoop it up years later in 1995. The latter company was very small at the time, so they outsourced the voiceover work to talent in Vancouver, Canada, which was when the flooding of other darrins went out of control.
    • Even in the beginning with the BLT dub from 1995 (confused by many to be the beginning of the Ocean dub), there would be changes in the cast. The first movie, Curse of the Blood Rubies, was the first DB-related media they dubbed. It had Maggie Blue O'Hara as Bulma but she didn’t stay for their dub of the Pilaf saga where Bulma was voiced by Lalainia Lindbjerg instead. Some of Lalainia's Bulma ended up in the movie when scenes of the anime's second episode were added to pad out the runtime and gave Bulma two different voices in the film. Funnily enough, for the Westwood dub of Dragon Ball Z, starting with episode 123, Maggie would replace Lalainia in the role of Bulma for most of the series but got replaced herself yet again towards the end by France Perras when the former moved to Hong Kong.
    • Master Roshi's voice was done in Curse of the Blood Rubies by Michael Donovan who also played him in the anime's third episode. His scenes during the Fire Mountain portion of the story were done by Ian James Corlett, however, who'd continue to voice Roshi into DBZ but was replaced by other actors when Ian parted from the series.
    • Jim Conrad was the first Canadian narrator for the original Dragon Ball anime and the movie Curse of the Blood Rubies, but he was replaced by Doc Harris for the Ocean dub of Z with the latter's narration mostly eclipsing his predecessor in the minds of many.
    • Both Shenron and the Turtle were voiced by Doug Parker early on but were replaced in Z by Don Brown and Scott McNeil respectively (in Turtle's case Don voiced him in the Ocean-produced seasons, Scott in The World's Strongest and Terry Klassen for Westwood's dub). In addition, Puar was voiced by Kathy Morse in early DB before Cathy Weseluck replaced her in Z.
    • In 1998 Funimation parted ways with using the Canadian cast after the syndicated broadcast of Dragon Ball and their dub of the first two seasons of Dragon Ball Z didn’t pull in high enough ratings, not helped by poor timeslots and curation by the networks. A decision was reached to use in-house talent from Texas for all DB-related properties as a cost-saving measure when reruns of DBZ proved immensely popular with audiences on Cartoon Network's Toonami block. To test the waters, they first dubbed the second Dragon Ball movie Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle which was the first appearances of Mike McFarland as Master Roshi, Christopher Sabat as Yamcha, and Laurie Steele as Krillin, who all still continue to voice their characters to this day.
      • There were a few anomalies in the above-mentioned film, with Goku, Bulma, and Launch, being voiced by very different actresses than what most fans remember. Ceyli Delgadillo voiced Goku (plus in the third movie Mystical Adventure and a few flashbacks during the Frieza and Cell arcs in Dragon Ball Z), Leslie Alexander was Bulma only for Sleeping Princess and never again afterward and then there’s Launch and who had her good and bad forms done by separate actresses, Monika Antonelli (already Puar) and Christine Martin respectively, instead of one actress using different voices like most media. They would all be replaced in the future by Stephanie Nadolny, Tiffany Vollmer, and Meredith McCoy respectively.
    • Mystical Adventure had some differences too as it was dubbed a full year before Funimation began production on the actual series. Korin was voiced by stage comic Mark Britten before Chris Sabat would replace him in the series while Kara Edwards was Upa before Susan Huber inherited the part later. The Pilaf gang also had different voices in their brief cameo. Mike McFarland was Pilaf, Justin Cook was Shū, and Cynthia Cranz was Mai. They would all be recast with Chuck Huber, Chris Cason, and Julie Franklin respectively. The Gatchans were voiced by McFarland as well before of John Burgmeier took over for the Dragon Ball/Dr. Slump crossover much later.
      • The narration was handled by Sabat for Sleeping Princess and Mystical Adventure but Brice Armstrong would take the reigns for the series itself and the 10th Anniversary film The Path to Power. Armstrong would count as an example by proxy as he narrated the original series instead of either of the Z narrators, Dale Kelly or Kyle Hebert. This was intentional on Funimation's part in order to give each series its own distinct feel. Years later in 2010, shortly after Armstrong retired, the narrator's introduction was done by John Swasey in their uncut dub of Curse of the Blood Rubies.
    • The dub of The Path to Power had Major Metallitron voiced by Chris Sabat instead of his series actor Chris Rager due to the characters being totally different entities.
    • Curse of the Blood Rubies wasn’t redubbed uncut until 2010 due to Trimark withholding the home video rights to it alongside the Pilaf arc. By the time Trimark relented, most of the characters were recast with their voices from Dragon Ball Z Kai due to various reasons. To put things in perspective, the only one of the band of five who retained his role was Chris Sabat as Yamcha. As for the rest:
      • Colleen Clinkenbeard replaced Stephanie Nadolny as Goku when the latter racked up too many DUIs and was apparently let go without her knowledge. This also cost Nadolny her role as Gohan for Kai, which hurt her immensely.
      • Monica Rial replaced Tiffany Vollmer as Bulma due to the latter moving to New Orleans, Louisiana to pursue work in film and makeup artistry.
      • Bryan Massey replaced Brad Jackson as Oolong since Jackson moved to Denver, Colorado in 2008, though he eventually returned to the role when he moved to Dallas in 2012 for a time before Massey became the voice again for the Universal Survival arc of Dragon Ball Super.
      • Brina Palencia replaced Monika Antonelli as Puar when the latter moved to Mankato, Minnesota in 2007 to devote her full time as a librarian.
    • Arale Norimaki was voiced by Linda Young in her first dubbed appearance Mystical Adventure and the series crossover but she was eventually replaced in her future cameos in the Dragon World by Brina Palencia, including a couple of video games. Senbei's movie cameo was done by Sonny Strait but Brice Armstrong would go on to voice him in the crossover.
      • For the crossover episodes themselves, Sourman was voiced in his scene with General Blue by Steve Sanders but his later cameo on television that Akane and the others watch has him voiced by Kyle Hebert, likely due to an oversight by Funimation.
    • While Revenge of King Piccolo was a sort of the last hurrah for the first generation Funimation cast, like Raging Blast 1 was for Z, some replacements had to be made due to the talent pool's gradual shift:
      • Chiaotzu: Monika Antonelli —> Brina Palencia (Antonelli, as previously shared, moved to Minnesota to become a full-time librarian)
      • Baba: Linda Young —> Christopher Sabat (Young was apparently unavailable to record, making this game the only bit of media where Baba is voiced by a man like in the original Japanese)
      • Mai: Julie Franklin —> Colleen Clinkenbeard (Julie moved away from Texas in '06)
      • Upa and Suno: Susan Huber —> Laura Bailey (Huber hadn't acted in anything new since '06 aside from one last outing in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood in '10)
      • Bear Thief: Dameon Clarke —> Bob Carter
      • Jingle Village Chief: John Burgmeier —> Dameon Clarke
      • Ghost Usher: Kimberly Grant —> Monica Rial (Grant left Funimation in 2006)
    • Back in Canada during the 2000s, once Westwood had wrapped on Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT, they went back to dub all of the original Dragon Ball despite Vancouver having previously dubbed the Pilaf arc alongside Curse of the Blood Rubies. Like with GT, instead of reusing the Vancouver talent pool, production was outsourced to their sister branch in Calgary Blue Water Studios. Zoe Slusar and Jeffrey Watson voiced Goku's childhood and teenage selves respectively whilst other casting included Lena Davies as Bulma, Ethan Cole as Piccolo (Jr.), Mike Sheperd as Demon King Piccolo and Kami, plus Brendan Hunter as Tien Shinhan.
    • On the other hand, there's the AB Groupe's a.k.a. the Big Green dub which included the three Dragon Ball movies as well as the first nine Z movies and TV specials plus the GT special. Jodi Forrest was Goku and Launch, David Gasman was Yamcha and Oolong, Sharon Mann was Bulma, Krillin, Puar (plus Yamcha in the second movie), and Ed Marcus, the infamous "old bastard", as Master Roshi.
    • When Chris Ayres fell ill due to his chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, his role as Freeza was taken over by Daman Mills when he wasn't available. For video games starting with Dragon Ball FighterZ and during the Tournament of Power in Super, though he came back to redub for the home release and he came back for Dragon Ball Super Broly. Tragically, Ayres did not survive as of October 18th, 2021, making it likely Mills is the permanant replacement.
  • 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.
  • 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, then the 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.

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.

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