As a widely successful series and a global phenomenon, Dragon Ball resulted in the production of numerous anime adaptations.
Original Run (1986 - 1996)
The original anime adaptation of Dragon Ball was produced by Toei Animation and directed by Minoru Okazaki and Daisuke Nishio. It began broadcasting in Japan on February 26, 1986, on Fuji TV, and finished broadcasting on April 12, 1989. On April 26, 1989, a second anime — Dragon Ball Z — began broadcasting on Fuji TV. Combined, the two anime covered the entirety of Akira Toriyama's manga and spanned some 735 episodes in totality. Dragon Ball Z ended on January 31, 1996.
2011 - 2013
In 2011, under the title of the Dragon Ball Force Project (later Dragon Ball SSSS), the anime was given an official timeline in order to tie all of the media of the animated series. This later included Dragon Ball Z: God and God which, itself, would serve as the catalyst for the return of the Dragon Ball series.
See also: List of Animated Media The Dragon Ball franchise has spawned five anime series. They are listed here in chronological order:
- Dragon Ball (1986 - 1989)
- Dragon Ball Z (1989 - 1996)
- Dragon Ball GT (1996 - 1997)
- Dragon Ball Kai (2009 - 2015)
- Dragon Ball Super (2015 - Ongoing)
Harmony Gold USA
Main article: Harmony Gold USA Harmony Gold USA licensed the series for an English-language release in North America in the late 1980s. In the voice dubbing of the series, Harmony Gold renamed almost all of the characters, including the protagonist Gokū, who was renamed "Zero". This dub consisting of 5 episodes and one movie (an 80-minute feature featuring footage of movies 1 and 3 edited together) was cancelled shortly after being test marketed in several US cities and was never broadcast to the general public, thus earning the fan-coined term "The Lost Dub."
Main article: Ocean Productions In 1995, Funimation acquired the license for the distribution of Dragon Ball in the United States. They contracted Josanne B. Lovick Productions and voice actors from Ocean Productions to create an English version for the anime and first movie in Vancouver, Canada. The dubbed episodes were edited for content, and contained different music. Thirteen episodes aired in first-run syndication during the fall of 1995 before Funimation canceled the project due to low ratings.
Main article: Funimation In March 2001, Funimation announced the return of Dragon Ball to American television, featuring a new English version produced in-house with slightly less editing for broadcast (though the episodes remained uncut for home video releases), and they notably left the original background music intact, which was met with delight from fans. The re-dubbed episodes aired on Cartoon Network from August 20, 2001 to December 1, 2003. Funimation also broadcast the series on Colours TV and their own Funimation Channel starting in 2006. This English dub was also broadcast in Australia and New Zealand.
Blue Water Studios
Main article: Blue Water Studios In Canada and Europe, an alternative dubbed version was produced by AB Groupe (in association with Blue Water Studios) and was aired in those territories instead of the Funimation version.