Top 5 Facts about Dragon Ball Z

Written by Garrett Alden If knowledge is what you were hoping for, maybe we can save you a wish. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In this instalment, we’ll be counting down 5 of the most interesting facts about “Dragon Ball Z” and the “Dragon Ball” franchise. These facts can surprise even the most ardent of “Dragon Ball” fans, provided they’re not in their final forms. Special thanks to our user Drew Boxall, Basheer Rko, and Cole Iverson for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 5 Facts about Dragon Ball Z


If knowledge is what you were hoping for, maybe we can save you a wish. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In this instalment, we’ll be counting down 5 of the most interesting facts about “Dragon Ball Z” and the “Dragon Ball” franchise. These facts can surprise even the most ardent of “Dragon Ball” fans, provided they’re not in their final forms.

#5: The Japanese government funded a “Dragon Ball Z” movie


Animation is popular worldwide, but in Japan, it’s huge business. It’s so big, that their government spent money to support “Dragon Ball” by giving a grant to the film, “Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods,” which arguably ignited the franchise’s comeback and lead to a new series. The grant was for 50 million yen, or about $600,000, totalling about a tenth of the movie’s production costs. We can only speculate on their motives, but we have a feeling it had something to do with national pride, which was probably wounded after America’s disastrous “attempt” at a “Dragon Ball” film.

#4: Many Iconic Elements Have Practical Origins


“Dragon Ball” began as a comedy, but plenty of its serious moments had amusing and interesting origins behind-the-scenes. For instance, the rapid succession of villains and transformations in the Cell Saga were mostly the result of creator Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima, expressing dissatisfaction with the characters’ designs. The Androids were all considered unintimidating or lame by Torishima, leading to the creation of Cell. Torishima also influenced the villain’s transformations into more perfect forms. Even something as iconic as the Super Saiyan form had a practical origin, as it didn’t require Toriyama or his assistants to color in Goku’s black hair with ink; saving time and making him look awesome.

#3: Episodes looked wildly different depending on the animator


Viewers of “Dragon Ball Super” have been very vocal recently about the new series’ inconsistent animation quality between episodes, but animation differences have always been a part of the franchise. Although the manga the anime is based on was drawn by Akira Toriyama and his assistants, different episodes of the franchise lack that same creative constancy, as different animators are used sometimes week to week; leading backgrounds and especially characters looking highly detailed one week and then choppy and blocky the next. Besides the different animators, other factors include budget restrictions and animators being based on seniority, and not on skill.

#2: “Dragon Ball” takes inspiration from many things


Nothing is truly original, and “Dragon Ball” had plenty of influences. One particularly strange one is “The Eight Dog Chronicles” a 19th century Japanese story which features eight crystal balls that are created when a princess has sex with her father’s dog. Upon being “born” again, the crystal balls shoot into the sky and split off, just like the Dragon Balls do. Goku himself also had several influences. While Western audiences have likened him to Superman, Eastern ones are more likely to compare Son Goku to Sun Wukong, the Monkey King from the Chinese story “The Journey to the West,” since both have tails, extendable staffs, and ride flying clouds.

#1: Akira Toriyama Forgot Some Pretty Important Details


Akira Toriyama, the creator of “Dragon Ball,” has gone on record as forgetting the intermediate Super Saiyan form, Super Saiyan 2; saying in an interview that they once mistook Super Saiyan 3 for the second form. The mangaka managed to forget an entire character, Launch, who disappears entirely from the portion of the manga that would become the anime “Dragon Ball Z.” You’d think when you write and illustrate a story that you’d be able to remember it all. However, the life of a manga creator is a very demanding one, requiring tight deadlines, long hours, and intense concentration, so it’s understandable that a few things might slip your mind...
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