While much of the Dragon Ball storyline was already written for the anime staff, they would still take advantage of any opportunity to incorporate other non-story aspects of the manga into their adaptation, such as chapter title pages and tankōbon cover art. This was especially true in the series’ various ending animations. In some cases the original artwork is perfectly duplicated, while in other instances there would be some slight to moderate alterations made. Nevertheless, it is evident that the anime staff felt Toriyama’s artwork was worth paying homage to in the anime.
This tidbit will list all of the many title page influences that made their way into the anime, along with some neat informational tidbits about each. The page is organized by each influence’s appearance in the anime, listing both relevant sources. You can also click the image on the left to view an enlarged comparison image between the manga and anime versions of that respective influence. It should also be noted that there are some instances not covered in this tidbit, as they are based on pages from a specific chapter which were already animated as part of the original storyline. Again, this tidbit focuses on the influence of the non-story aspects of the manga on the anime adaptation.
The scene starts with some close-ups of Bulma putting on her riding gloves and cocking her gun. The dirt bike has now been drawn in its entirety and the background has been replaced with a more realistic one. Goku is also seen slowly floating toward the upper left corner and you will note that the color of his dōgi has been changed from orange to blue to match how he appears when he first meets Bulma in the series.
The very first title page was duplicated as a backdrop for the key and in-between animation credits, with Goku and Bulma riding along in a capsule bike. You will note that the capsule bike is mirrored in the anime from how it originally appeared in the manga, but things like the license number was actually left as-is. The background has been changed to something we frequently see early on in the series.
The 34th title page was almost identically reproduced as a backdrop for the background and finishing touches animation credits, with Bulma and Oolong driving in a car following Goku, who is happily riding on Kinto-Un. The number “34” was left on the side of the car, which corresponds to the title page’s chapter number. The background has been changed to a typical early Dragon Ball background image.
This scene features Goku riding on a dinosaur with Bulma hanging on to its tail for dear life. Besides some alternate color choices, this scene was almost perfectly duplicated, with Goku holding a Chinese polearm weapon and the dinosaur being dressed in traditional Chinese garb (saddle, bells, etc.). This image was also used as the cover illustration for tankōbon volume nine.
This early character group shot was originally drawn by Toriyama as the title page for tankōbon volume one, but would later be re-used as the title page for chapter 194. The only real difference between the two is the patch on Bulma’s school jacket which was added in the anime version as the scene had to be extended horizontally.
The series’ second title page was duplicated as a backdrop for the post production credits which features Bulma sitting in the cockpit of a plane. In the original manga illustration Goku is seen flying alongside the plane on Kinto-Un with the Nyoi-Bō drawn and wearing a leather airplane helmet with the goggles up on his head.
This scene was expanded upon in the anime version, with an actual airport being drawn in the background. Goku has again been removed from the scene, who was originally seen examining the plane with the Nyoi-Bō, most likely thinking it is a monster. One significant alteration is the removal of Bulma’s cigarette, which would also later be removed from the chapter title page in the kanzenban release.
The title card for Dragon Ball episode 22 is a combination of the two title pages from chapters 37 and 38, respectively, which feature the next match-ups in the 21st Tenka’ichi Budōkai. Both of these match-ups were covered in the episode, hence the title card. This was the only time these match-up drawings from the manga would be used on a title, even though Toriyama continued to use them on chapter title pages.
A modified version of the 28th title page was used as a backdrop for the first part of the voice actor credits. While Kame-Sen’nin and the flying car were accurately duplicated, Goku is now shown in his dōgi and is standing up so that this change is clearly visible. Kuririn has also been added to the mix and is hanging from a rope on the back of the car. It should be noted that this image wasn’t used in the anime until Kuririn was introduced as one of Kame-Sen’nin’s pupils.
This scene was used as a backdrop for the second part of the voice actor credits, and was expanded upon in the anime version with the addition of Kame House in the background. Goku was also included in the scene, being shown flying by the island in the background on Kinto-Un. Not surprisingly, Kame-Sen’nin and Kuririn are not shown in the anime version, as it is been shown neither can actually ride Kinto-Un.
The title card for Dragon Ball episode 76 comes from the title page for chapter 105, which features Uranai Baba’s mystery fighter (Son Gohan) “running”, with Goku copying him in the background. However, Goku was not included on the title card and the Uranai Baba fight ring scenery was added as a background. Unfortunately, this would be the last Dragon Ball title card to feature manga artwork.
This scene would replace Lunch as the backdrop for the second part of the voice actor credits. You will notice that Karin has been mirrored from how he originally appeared on the chapter title page and he is now giving us the “V” sign. In addition, the image of Piccolo Daimaō and Goku has been removed from the background and replaced with a shot of Karin Tower.
The 140th title page was perfectly duplicated as a backdrop for the key and in-between animation credits, replacing Goku and Bulma riding on a capsule bike from the first chapter. The only real difference to note between the two is that a desert background was added in the anime. The kanji on Yajirobe’s bike is shoku, meaning “meal”.
The earlier group shot has been replaced with the one used on chapter 134’s title page, which features the characters as they appeared at the end of the 22nd Tenka’ichi Budōkai. This scene was expanded upon in the anime version with the addition of Kame House in the background, even though this shot would most likely have taken place on the Budōkai grounds.
This still image scene is based on the title page for chapter 33, which was from much earlier in the series as at this point the series was already up through chapter 165. Obviously there were some significant modifications; Kame-Sen’nin has been mirrored and moved to the opposite side, adult Kuririn has been moved from sitting on the fence to replace young Goku up in the palm tree looking around, adult Goku is now standing on the ground to show just how tall he has gotten, and Oolong has been added for some reason.
This scene, taken from the cover of the 11th tankōbon, was used as a backdrop for the key and in-between animation credits. While the bike was perfectly duplicated, all of the characters have been modified in some way; Oolong driving the bike has been replaced with Yajirobe, Goku hanging onto the back with the Nyoi-Bō in hand is now an adult, and Kuririn has been added to the other side of the bike.
This driving scene is based on the title page for chapter 48, which again was from much earlier on in the series. The car has remained the same in the anime, although without the “Porsche” logo and the license plate, but Goku is now an adult and no longer sticking his tongue out at us. Bulma is also now riding in the back with Goku, and Oolong has been added to the front seat. As a nice touch, you can even still see Kame-Sen’nin driving in the right mirror.
Once again, this fourth animation features a group shot of the series’ main characters. In this case, it is based on the title page from chapter 176 which only featured Goku and Tenshinhan. The anime version has these two standing in the exact same stances, although it has added some of the other main characters from the 23rd Tenka’ichi Budōkai time period.
This still image scene is based on the full color title page for chapter 178, with the five Kame-sen students from the 23rd Tenka’ichi Budōkai riding in a jeep, and Bulma as she appears on the title page of tankōbon volume 14. Both images were perfectly replicated, but the anime version does add a rather funky background.
The title page from chapter 171 was almost identically reproduced as a backdrop for the visual credits, with Goku and Chi-Chi riding along in a hover car after getting married. A pink and yellow background was added, and oddly enough the car was tilted making the two appear fully upright, as opposed to Chi-Chi leaning toward Goku and him trying to move away from her. This image would also go on to be used on the back cover of the Dragon Book from the Dragon Ball Dragon Box.
Dragon Ball Z
The title page of the 5th chapter of the “Z” equivalent portion in the manga, featuring the Son family riding in a jeep, was perfectly duplicated in the first ending of Dragon Ball Z. The desert background was added, along with Kinto-Un flying across the screen behind them.
Although this scene appears in the first ending of Dragon Ball Z, it is actually based on an earlier title page from before the “Z” equivalent portion in the manga. The characters were all drawn in a deformed style, and is nearly identical to that of the original chapter title page. The only addition is Gohan running crazily back and forth across the Budōkai ring.
The closing shot from the first Dragon Ball Z ending is taken straight from the title page of chapter 207. Other than placing Gohan on a dragon, nothing else has been changed. It should be noted that the kanji on Gohan’s hat is son, as-in their family name, but is more than likely a reference to Sun Wukong from Journey to the West which is who Gohan is dressed like.
The title card for Dragon Ball Z episode 5 comes directly from the title page for chapter 204. In both the chapter and episode, Goku is killed by Piccolo’s Makankōsappō while holding his brother Raditz. Nothing has been altered, as they even included Goku’s shadow, but this was however the one and only Dragon Ball Z episode title card to be based on a chapter title page.
This scene of our heroes pointing toward space in preparation of heading to Planet Namek in Dragon Ball Z episode 36 is actually based on the title page of chapter 243. It is one of the few instances where a title page concept, which was not actually a part of the original manga’s story, made its way into the anime adaptation and was intermixed with canon material. You will note that not all of the characters originally drawn were included for good reason.
This comical scene of Goku copying Ginyu’s pose in Dragon Ball Z episode 69 is actually based on the title page of chapter 284. It is one of the few instances where a title page concept, which was not actually a part of the original manga’s story, made its way into the anime adaptation and was intermixed with canon material.
This comical scene of Gohan imagining his life with Ginyu as a father in Dragon Ball Z episode 72 is actually based on the title page of chapter 288. It is one of the few instances where a title page concept, which was not actually a part of the original manga’s story, made its way into the anime adaptation and was intermixed with canon material. This scene was further expanded upon in the anime with the inclusion of various other things Gohan might do with Ginyu as his father.
The final shot used in the third animation of Dragon Ball Z‘s first opening theme is based on the title page of chapter 337. You will note that the characters have all been drawn as they originally appeared, but have been moved around to better fit them in the shot, of course with Goku being placed right in the middle. The scene was slightly expanded upon by having Goku transform into a Super Saiyan.
The majority of Dragon Ball Z episode 125 is based on a combination of the two title pages from chapters 255 and 256, respectively, which feature Goku and Piccolo at the “Jump Driving School”. These two chapters were actually published together in the same issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump, and according to Toriyama, he did not have a lot of time to draw these two covers, so he came up with this idea out of desperation. Little did he know it would go on to inspire an entire anime filler episode!
The final panning shot of Dragon Ball Z episode 125 is based on the title page from chapter 350, which features Artificial Humans No. 17 and 18 after being awakened by Doctor Gero. In the manga, this title page appears just after our heroes arrive at Gero’s laboratory, but in the anime it appears just after Vegeta blows the door off the laboratory.
The final shot of Dragon Ball Z episode 148 is based on the title page from chapter 368, which foreshadows Cell sneaking up on Piccolo’s battle with Artificial No. 17. While Cell appears as-in from the chapter title page, all of the other characters have been rotated to match the preceding shot where they appear upright.
This bike scene in “We Gotta Power” was used as a backdrop for the planning credits and is based on the cover of the 34th tankōbon volume. The scene has been mirrored and obviously altered, with Gohan wearing his high school uniform and replacing Goku, the removal of the number “34” on the bike and “Dragon Ball” on the wheels, and a city being placed in the background.
This scene with Gohan and Videl driving the “Mr. Satan” inspired car down the street near the beach in the series’ second opening theme is based on a foldout calendar drawn by Toriyama for 1993 Weekly Shōnen Jump #31. It would also go on to be used in the first part of the series’ second eyecatch. Interestingly, this foldout calendar was published just two months before the new opening and eyecatch appeared in the anime.
The second opening of Dragon Ball Z features a group shot of the series’ main characters, which is based on the title page of chapter 430. The anime version of this scene has added some additional characters not present in the original, such as Bulma, Chi-Chi, Videl, Shapna, and Erasa. The original title page was also re-drawn by Toriyama for the cover of kanzenban volume 29.
This panning shot of Kaiō and Goku with a halo and angel wings was used as a backdrop for the animation supervisor credit and is based on the title page of chapter 417. The only real change in the anime version was the addition of Serpent Road in the background.
Although the entirety of this episode was filler, this shot of Videl rushing to attack the Great Saiyaman, who she thinks has wrongfully stolen a baby dinosaur, is based on the title page of chapter 422. In addition to pulling only Videl from the title page, her Orange Star High School button has been removed.
The closing shot of Dragon Ball Z episode 245 is based on the title page from chapter 475, which features a beautiful artistic image of Super Saiyan 3 Goku as he battles with Majin Boo. Unlike the title page, the bolts of electricity do not appear around Goku at any point in the scene.
Dragon Ball GT
The boat and company that appear in Dragon Ball GT‘s opening theme are based on the cover of the 25th tankōbon. Since this illustration was originally drawn for the adventure aspects of traveling to Planet Namek, it fits in quite well with the early GT themes. In the anime version Goku is once again a kid, and he is now joined by Trunks, Pan, and Gill as opposed to Bulma, Kuririn, and Gohan.
This scene of our heroes riding on a dinosaur that appears in Dragon Ball GT‘s opening theme is based on the cover of the 38th tankōbon. Obviously there were some significant modifications; the color of the dinosaur was changed, Gill is riding in the basket it is carrying, and Goten has been replaced with the main cast of GT.
This homage scene to the original manga in Dragon Ball GT‘s third ending was based on the full color title page from chapter 93. Goku is first shown flying by on Kinto-Un, which is followed by Bulma riding on a mini one-person plane. There are some additions, such as Goku picking up a Dragon Ball, Bulma using the Dragon Radar, and it was altered so that Bulma’s goggles are down around her neck.
The homage scene in Dragon Ball GT‘s third ending was based on the full color title page from chapter 228, with Chi-Chi crazily driving as Goku and Gohan hold on for dear life. The scene focuses on Goku holding on to the car and Gohan’s hat, along with the groceries, flying off the back of the car.
This still image scene is not actually based on the final chapter’s title page, but instead comes from a supplemental illustration of Goku looking back at the beginning of his adventure that appears just after the chapter title page. The scene is an exact duplicate drawn in a sepia tone, although it is shown without the overlooking adult Goku.
This still image scene is based on the title page of chapter 57, with Goku dressed in his winter outfit and preparing to storm Muscle Tower with his trusty Nyoi-Bō at the ready. The background was left as-is, although without General White. They even left in the cute snowman!
||ED Theme, “Blue Velvet”
||Weekly Shōnen Jump 1987, Issue #5 (Calendar)
This scene with the perverted Kame-Sen’nin and Oolong following Bulma, who is wearing a bikini top and riding on a motorcycle, in the series’ third ending theme is based on a calendar drawn by Toriyama for 1987 Weekly Shōnen Jump #05. The image was perfectly duplicated, even down to the most minute details, such as the birds flying in the sky.
||ED Theme, “Blue Velvet”
||Weekly Shōnen Jump 1990, Issue #5 (Calendar Cover)
An homage image set during the Namek arc of the series, it features Goku, Gohan, Kuririn, and Bulma all searching for the Namekian Dragon Balls. This image is taken from the cover of Weekly Shōnen Jump‘s 1990 calendar, which was published in that years 5th issue. Other than the background being adjusted and changed from green to blue, it was perfectly replicated.
This scene, taken from the cover of the 36th tankōbon, was the last image paying homage to the original manga in Dragon Ball GT‘s third ending. The illustration was perfectly duplicated, including the background, and was the last one to be based on a tankōbon cover or chapter title page.
The last influential image to appear in the anime is quite fitting, as it comes from the final page of chapter 519, the last chapter of the series, and was accompanied by Toriyama’s goodbye message. The anime version has been updated to feature the characters as they appear in Dragon Ball GT.