Dragon Ball has easily lent itself to some of the weirdest, worst, and most bizarre rumors over the years. Early on in our own fandom, there was not much access to the original Japanese version beyond fansubs of dubious translation quality and even just other fansites. Due to these and a wide variety of other factors, strange rumors began to pop up all over the Internet, and even into everyday conversations between fans. Due to the incestuous nature of information on the Internet, even some of the (now seemingly) most absurd rumors still persist to this day.
No matter the length of your fandom, you have almost certainly come across rumors like these at some point. Our attempt with this page is to clear them up, and to do it on as comprehensive a scale as we can! Whether it is a rumor, a myth, or just plain ol’ misinformation, we will do our best to accurately answer the question at hand and clear it all up, as only Kanzenshuu can!
Akira Toriyama Rumors
Everyone knows where Akira Toriyama intended to end the series at, right?! Turns out almost all of that is bunk. There is so much misinformation around this topic that we actually wrote an entirely separate guide breaking it all down!
When it comes to Dragon Ball, the involvement of original author Akira Toriyama in supplementary material — including filler in the television series! — has been so varied that there is never a clear-cut, one-and-done kind of answer to any given situation.
Akira Toriyama did not forget about Lunch. He later forgot that he did not forget her and instead did think he forgot her. Strap in for a wild ride on this one!
While it is true that Akira Toriyama did once say, “I don’t like him all that much”… a lot has changed since that interview back in 1995! Just how has Vegeta’s usage changed since then, and how does that reflect Toriyama’s feelings on the character?
An international game of telephone involving an unsourced IGN citation and Japanese message board chatter ended up convincing the rest of the Internet that Akira Toriyama designed the updated Mecha Freeza in the fighting game Super Dragon Ball Z.
Television Series Rumors
Images of a “Super Saiyan 5” Goku began surfacing online back in the late 1990s. For the longest time, no source could ever be tracked down, but it is likely that the image originated as fan art by “Daniel Montiel Franco” within the Spanish video game magazine Hobby Consolas. The legend only grew from there!
The name “Dragon Ball Z 2” had been floating around on message boards and Japanese sites for a few months back in 2003, thoroughly confusing fans. One could even find it on such fine retailer sites as Amazon Japan! If such reputable sites were mentioning and offering such an item, there must be a new series, right?!
There are plenty of reasons fans may think there are some “lost episodes” (and depending on how you want to actually define “lost episodes”, maybe you might still consider them such): some of these items have never seen a home video release, even in Japan!
Due to some confusing (and even contradictory) early promotional wording, along with some less than ideal translation choices, many fans seem to mistake the events of Dragon Ball Super beginning six months after the battle with Boo.
There have been a variety of special presentations that could be mistaken as a mysterious “DBZ Movie 14” but none of them fall in the same chronology or marketing scheme as the rest of the movies. Let’s break them all down!
There is certainly a fight between Goku Jr. and Vegeta Jr., but it does not take place in any sort of movie or special! Many fans confuse the Dragon Ball GT television special and the ending of Dragon Ball GT episode 64 into being some sort of separate “movie”.
What is the title of the first theatrical Dragon Ball Z film? If you live anywhere outside of Japan, you may know it by a name like “Dead Zone” or “Die Todezone Des Garlic Jr.” or “La Vendetta Divina” or “Jakten på Garlic”. But what about “Return My Gohan!”…?
The 1980s/1990s Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z movies were, indeed, originally screened and released in widescreen format in theaters and on home video. Mostly. Little bit of an asterisk on that statement there.
You may think Battle of Gods was the first Dragon Ball film to screen in American theaters, but Fusion Reborn actually received a limited run all the way back in 2006! This was of course followed by the live-action film Dragon Ball Evolution and all subsequent animated films.
Unless there was some uncharacteristic major planning going on, there is no way there could have been such a hidden “easter egg”, as Coola would not be seen for nearly another full year, with Dragon Ball Z movie 4 (with Slug) still yet to come before that one! Talk about seeing the future…!
Video Game Rumors
You would think having Pilaf on there would give it away (never mind the “news” being broken on April Fool’s Day), but unfortunately people now also ask how to play as Pilaf when they ask how to play as Gotenks! They’re not in the game, folks!
When the game was first announced and released, Atari hyped up Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu — WebFoot’s upcoming foray into the land of fighting games, coming off The Legacy of Goku, also on the Nintendo Game Boy Advance — as being the “first game” to feature “Broly” as a playable character.
Believe it or not, Steve Lukather of guitar-playing and Toto fame does indeed perform the insane guitar work you heard in the various Budokai fighting games released on the Sony PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Gamecube.
With the exception of the bonus character of Great Saiyaman, the first Budokai game’s own story does not even reach into the Majin Boo arc of Dragon Ball Z, let alone introduce characters and transformations from Dragon Ball GT.
An image showcasing a Golden Great Ape in Budokai 3 began making its rounds across message boards and other sites in October 2004, and we all know what happens from there: a rumor is born!
A complete in-game model, footage of the English voice actress performing fighting sounds, an unlock capsule hidden away in the game’s coding… was Bulma actually intended to be a playable character?!
With the first Dragon Ball Z: Budokai game — released in November 2002 in America — only covering through the Cell arc (with the bonus inclusion of an unlockable Great Saiyaman), one might be tempted to make a reasonable assumption that later story elements were held back because FUNimation’s English dub had not yet reached those points in the series.
While Capcom themselves never ended up developing a Dragon Ball fighting game, ex-Capcom producer Funamizu, along with his studio Crafts & Meister, developed Super Dragon Ball Z in 2005.
Back in its heyday, multiple Dragon Ball video games would hit the same console within the same calendar year. Once the games hit the PlayStation 2 and fans could easily dig into contents otherwise hidden away, however, questions about their rushed status hit an all-time high.
All references to Freeza’s “race” in Japanese tend to apply a descriptor to Freeza’s name itself; we end up with “Freeza’s clan” as a name, or even more broadly, just “Freeza’s race”. Is there more to this story?
Akira Toriyama’s Neko Majin manga series began incorporating actual characters from Dragon Ball toward its middle and end. In Neko Majin Z 2, Toriyama introduced a new villain to the series: Freeza’s son, Kuriza!
Each year on April 16, fans and brands on social media — without fail — suddenly start wishing Son Goku a happy birthday. There’s just one problem with that: there are zero statements for a concrete Goku birth date in any official publication.
If you are not paying close enough attention, the anime’s addition of filler material into the surrounding incidents makes this one a little more confusing than it should be, but Goku did in fact not die during his fight against Freeza on Planet Namek.
The two characters look identical, and with early fansubbers not being expert translators, one can imagine how there came to be vast frustration and confusion over the origin of Tullece. Various products — English and Japanese alike! — have also made mistakes regarding their relationship.
Selypa being Goku’s mother is pure speculation, likely (and sadly) based around the fact that she is the only notable, named, female Saiyan seen around Bardock early on. Once Akira Toriyama introduced Gine in 2014, however, the rumors were set to rest!
Piza being Videl’s mother is pure speculation, likely (and sadly) based around the fact that she is a woman (and a named character) that works with Mr. Satan. Once Akira Toriyama introduced the name Miguel in 2014, however, the rumors were set to rest!
With how the families seem to fall out of contact with one another, and with Pan being the great-great-grandmother exclusively to Goku Jr. near as we can see, it seems extremely unlikely that Pan and Trunks wound up together long-term in the Dragon Ball GT universe.
While Trunks was able to reach Super Saiyan Grade II and Grade III during the original story, it was not until Dragon Ball Super that the future version of Trunks was able to finally reach Super Saiyan 2-proper!
This is not quite a “dub mistake” since the confusion is not because of anything FUNimation did or changed, but rather it is actually due to fans not hearing correctly: the “Spirit Ball” is not the “Spirit Bomb”…!
In a pre-Dragon Ball Super era, fans always looked for a reason as to why Gohan did not become a Super Saiyan after receiving his so-called “Ultimate” power-up from the Old Kaiōshin. However, there is nothing in the series that implies that the Earth would be in any type of danger if he did go Super Saiyan again.
“Kushami” — Japanese for “sneeze” — was adopted by fan Curtis Hoffmann as shorthand so he would not have to write out “Blonde Lunch” or “Lunch’s evil side” in his early Internet summaries!
Just because he’s green doesn’t mean he’s Namekian! That said, the anime guide book Dragon Ball Z: Son Gokū Densetsu gives merit to confusing Paikuhan with a Namekian, and in particular, Piccolo.
English Dub & Translation Rumors
Fans tend to confuse the order of events and multiple production partners over the years. What people regularly call “the Ocean dub” or “the Pioneer dub” or “the Saban dub” was always the FUNimation dub, right from the very start in 1994!
Back before FUNimation’s Dragon Ball Z “season three” broadcast began on Toonami in 1999, we pulled a prank with a friend who could do a convincing Saffron Henderson impression. Funnily enough, Henderson did return… years after the fact!
That MP3 you downloaded from Kazaa years ago that sounds like Sonny Strait prank calling Terry Klassen? It’s just a segment from an interview an old pre-Kanzenshuu staff member conducted with Sonny Strait.
Due to the “efforts” of old fansub groups like Anime Labs, some particularly “colorful” translations have been in wide circulation among Dragon Ball fandom for decades. At the end of the day, this is still a children’s show, and Vegeta just isn’t telling that monster to go fuck himself, we’re sorry to say.