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As with any long-running animated series, the Dragon Ball franchise has gone through numerous theme songs, all of which lend some sort of identity to their respective production. This guide compiles the various opening themes, ending themes, insert songs, and eyecatches 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” and respective “Episode Guide” pages.
The background music for both the Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z TV series was composed by Shunsuke Kikuchi, including each series 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.
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 (along with various groups throughout its split production) and new background music composed first by Kenji Yamamoto (later replaced with existing Shunsuke Kikuchi music), followed by Norihito Sumitomo during the final arc. Following that, the Dragon Ball Super TV series featured two opening theme songs, eleven ending theme songs from various popular artists, and background music composed by Norihito Sumitomo.