Theme Guide

The theme songs used throughout the Dragon Ball series have always been a key element in making Dragon Ball what it was and still is today. As with any long-running animated series, the Dragon Ball franchise has gone through numerous theme songs. To this day, the two people most commonly associated with the series’ musical aspects, especially during the franchise’s original syndication run in the late-1980s to the mid-1990s, are composer Shunsuke Kikuchi and singer Hironobu Kageyama.

Shunsuke Kikuchi composed the background music for both the Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z TV series, including their respective movie titles, while Hironobu Kageyama provided the vocals to almost all television and movie themes associated with Dragon Ball Z. Following the completion of Dragon Ball Z, both men left the series and Akihito Tokunaga was brought on to compose the background music for Dragon Ball GT. This new series marked the end of the franchise’s use of long-running theme songs written specifically for the franchise, which was common industry practice at the time, and opted instead for the now modern convention of utilizing chart-topping music from various J-Pop artists as the opening and ending themes.

In 2008, the newly animated Jump Super Anime Tour special featured some recycled background music from Dragon Ball Z and in the same fashion, also kept “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA” as its opening theme. However, the special did get a new ending theme, “Orange Hero”, which was the first new ending theme to the series since Dragon Ball GT ended in 1997. Later in early 2009, it was announced that Dragon Ball Z would be getting a “refreshed” airing, entitled Dragon Ball Kai, which would feature new opening and ending themes sung by Takayoshi Tanimoto and new background music composed by Kenji Yamamoto. Since then the Dragon Ball Super series has begun syndication, featuring theme songs from various popular artists and background music composed by Norihito Sumitomo.

This guide compiles the various theme songs used throughout the Dragon Ball franchise, including both television and theatrical film adaptations. It should be noted that there is no documentation in this guide concerning background music or any released musical material that did not appear in the series. Such information can be found in our Music Database. Follow the links provided below for more detailed information on the franchise’s various themes, eyecatches, and insert songs.