What makes the Dragon Ball series so popular?

Discussion regarding the entirety of the franchise in a general (meta) sense, including such aspects as: production, trends, merchandise, fan culture, and more.

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Vhanos
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What makes the Dragon Ball series so popular?

Post by Vhanos » Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:42 am

It has got to be the most popular anime series. It has influence on many other artists work. Though the series isn't as popular like it was four or five years ago the name is still well known around the world. Even to this day there are still people who knows it and watches it. It has probably(and I think) the most impact in the industry. What do you think makes it so popular? Another question I want to ask is, will there ever be another anime series that can replace it or be as popular as the Dragon Ball series? Something I have been pondering for a while.

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Post by Magnaboss » Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:32 am

Dragonball was incredibly popular because not only did it appeal to children with it's humour and fights, but also appealed to teens and young adults due to the interesting characters and other such things (and the fights and humour, har). It inspired a lot of the current Shonen Jump publications as well as setting a standard for a lot of children's fighting series.

One Piece is currently "Dragonball 2", given that it's from the same publication, the authors are friends, and that it acheives similar ratings and holds a fairly close-feeling to the original Dragonball, despite the worlds and appearances being insanely different.

There are more popular Anime by different standards, Doraemon being one, for running for years and years. Dragonball however is an internationally (very) lucrative franchise which has more international appeal than a lot of cartoon from Japan (and other countries), so even though it has been beaten out by some other things, it'll always be a milestone and it'll always be adored.

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Post by Duo » Wed Nov 02, 2005 3:29 pm

Because Akira Toriyama is an amazing Manga Artist and story-teller extraordnaire.

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'lo Legends
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Post by 'lo Legends » Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:31 pm

Yeah, Duo has it basically.

Most people who like Dragonball should do themselves a favor and read some of Toriyama's one-shots or mini-series. The thing is, they're all great. Things like Sandland that although they're very different from Dragonball still have the same feeling of wonder and excitement.

Another Thing: Dragonball is great, it's excellent, but I think that just watching Dragonball Z and then going back to watch Dragonball/Read the beginning of Dragonball doesn't have the same impact. I almost WISH that I'd started with Dragonball.
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Post by Chaos Saiyajin » Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:40 pm

Three words: Fights and Humor.

The awesome fights of DBZ is what drew me to the series way back in 1999. One of the most poular anime series: Definately. When everything is all set and done for all anime, people will probably look back on Dragonball as a classic, like many fans do for shows like Doraemon or Astro Boy.
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Post by Dragon Fist » Fri Nov 04, 2005 3:47 pm

Akira Toriyama is one of the most popular Manga drawers in world! Dragon Ball is the biggest of his Mangas and he also joined making the Anime. He had to draw next parts of Dragon Ball just week by week and he didn't even have time for his family. In 90's Dragon Ball was the most popular Anime, maybe because it contained so much violence. :D
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Post by Conan the SSJ » Fri Nov 04, 2005 4:30 pm

What made the Dragonball anime trilogy so popular and great, in my opinon, was the fact that it had a story that could expand through three different series' (that being a 508 episode anime trilogy) and always have new aspects and interesting plot elements, and also had maturing characters that could honestly change over time (Gohan, Piccolo, Vegeta). As Chris Sabat said in the Ultimate Uncut DVD featurette: "Dragonball just has the most compelling story and gives a feeling of animated crack." I think that's how it was worded, can't recall entirley.
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Post by DBW » Fri Nov 04, 2005 10:53 pm

DragonBall kicks ass...I think that's reason enough.
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Post by Panda » Sat Nov 05, 2005 4:14 pm

Well there is the basic reason that has to do with fights and humor and such but I believe all of it has to do with Akira Toriyama and the worlds he created for his stories.

Dragonball takes place on Earth. Yes, Earth. But not the same Earth as ours. That automatically makes something more interesting for the people just wanting to learn more about the world they're being introduced to.

Another would be the society in that world. There are animals and humans and monsters and all sorts of things that just make the series a charming read and again more interesting. Toriyama spends time making the character unique to their world and not just a photocopy of ours which these days and the days of Dragonball has always been hard to find and only few can pull it off.

Now don't read my post and assume that anime with more "real-life" settings are bad but in Dragonball's case it's story setting and character makes it appeal to more then one audience and gives it popularity.

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Post by Last Son of Krypton » Sat Nov 05, 2005 5:55 pm

Fighting, fighting, and more fighting. It's just action with a few episodes of non-action thrown in.

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Post by *PINHEAD* » Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:19 pm

Well, it was one of the first really popular series. It pretty much defined what a good action series can be. The manga is full of intense action that's not hard to follow (I find myself having to look over pages of other manga again and again just to grasp what's going on... :? ), and the series captured that same effect.

The characters were likeable, the story easy to follow, and the people behind it were eager to milk it for all its worth. Merchandise, merchandise, merchandise.

Not to mention it was original. Anime/manga now is just a bunch of the same old stuff rehashed over and over again.
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Post by Kamete » Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:05 pm

I think it's to do with the style. Toriyama studied cartoons which resulted in his cartoon-ish style. Though many otakus try and copy the anime style, I think that the cartoon style would best appeal to a Japanese audience as they only see anime styles.

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Post by desirecampbell » Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:07 pm

Kamete wrote:I think it's to do with the style. Toriyama studied cartoons which resulted in his cartoon-ish style. Though many otakus try and copy the anime style, I think that the cartoon style would best appeal to a Japanese audience as they only see anime styles.
The manga style is based off of the Disney cartoon style.

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Post by Duo » Mon Nov 07, 2005 4:01 pm

He also didn't do what a lot of artists do - all of the visuals were very clear and separated, easy to follow. And he didn't do that "Chibi" or whatever stupid effect where characters sporatically change size and facial traits.

And his art style is unique - to this day it's easy to recognize when he's had a hand in designing something. The first time I played Crono Trigger on the PS I noticed right away that the cutscene characters looked like his design. I check the game info, and behold...he did all the character designs and work on the cutscenes. Go figure.

And the new DragonWarrior...yet another testament to that.

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Post by desirecampbell » Mon Nov 07, 2005 4:05 pm

Duo wrote:He also didn't do what a lot of artists to - all of the visuals were very clear and separated, easy to follow. And he didn't do that "Chibi" or whatever stupid effect where characters sporatically change size and facial traits.

And his art style is unique - to this day it's easy to recognize when he's had a hand in designing something. The first time I played Crono Trigger on the PS I noticed right away that the cutscene characters looked like his design. I check the game info, and behold...he did all the character designs and work on the cutscenes. Go figure.

And the new DragonWarrior...yet another testament to that.
The best thing about Toriyama's art was he never scribbled anything. He always clearly drew everything, every fork and plate and cubboard and building was there. Nothing was hastily drawn as 'just the backgroud'. It shows in his character designs too, all the characters expressions are just that: expressions - not characitures.

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Post by Duo » Mon Nov 07, 2005 4:11 pm

Well, I think he had an assistant help out a bit with the backgrounds, lol. A very smart move. He talks about various things in his life at the begining of each volume. In one he talks about how they got a cat and his assistant is dealthy allergic to them.

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Post by Hujio » Mon Nov 07, 2005 9:01 pm

DBW wrote:DragonBall kicks ass...I think that's reason enough.
Needn't say more than that!!
Duo wrote:Well, I think he had an assistant help out a bit with the backgrounds, lol. A very smart move. He talks about various things in his life at the begining of each volume. In one he talks about how they got a cat and his assistant is dealthy allergic to them.
He mentions that in the Volume 3 Introduction, found here. He also talks about his assistant in the "Toriyama-san's DragonBall Ask Me Anything Corner" of Volume 2. Sounds like a fun guy. 8)
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Post by desirecampbell » Mon Nov 07, 2005 9:50 pm

Hujio wrote: He mentions that in the Volume 3 Introduction, found here. He also talks about his assistant in the "Toriyama-san's DragonBall Ask Me Anything Corner" of Volume 2. Sounds like a fun guy. 8)
Shameless self promotion :P

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Post by Hujio » Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:07 pm

desirecampbell wrote:Shameless self promotion :P
Well what can I say, it fits in the topic and it's relavent. Shameless self promotion... you bet it is!
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Post by Vhanos » Sat Dec 17, 2005 5:09 am

There are a couple of popular anime series right now that I've seen but I don't find them ever being more popular than the Dragon Ball series. I agree that the story, fights, and characters is what makes it real popular. There are stuff about it that are memorable.

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