(Welcome to Where to Watch, which provides a clear and simple answer to the question, “Hey, where can I watch this thing?” In this edition: the Dragon Ball series)
Dragon Ball has been around since 1986 but after three decades, the anime franchise is still going strong. In fact, it’s having a pretty big year as we speak, with the upcoming release of a new Dragon Ball Super movie, expected to debut in 2022. That gives you just enough time to watch all 600 episodes of the Dragon Ball franchise! You didn’t have other plans, right?
No time to waste, that’s at least 300 hours ahead of you (not to mention all the movies). Below is your guide for streaming or buying all the shows in the Dragon Ball franchise.
The adventure that started it all, Dragon Ball will take you through the adventures of a young Son Goku, an alien whose agenda doesn’t matter, because he hit his head and can’t remember! Never mind all that taking over the planet nonsense, Dragon Ball is just five lighthearted seasons of Goku learning to fight and defeating villains while traveling the world on his flying nimbus cloud. It introduces the classic characters you’ll come to know and love, including recurring favorites Krillin and Bulma.
If you’re looking to stream Dragon Ball, all five seasons are available on Hulu and Funimation.
If you’re hoping to own it digitally, you might run into some trouble. For one thing, the prices range drastically. Season one can be purchased on Amazon Prime for an easy $15.75 but sadly, season 2 can’t be purchased at all. The remaining three seasons are available for nearly $50 each.
Dragon Ball Z
The most popular entry in the franchise and also the longest, Dragon Ball Z flashes forward into Goku’s future. Our hero is now married with a kid, even though he doesn’t seem to have mentally aged very much himself. But Goku’s childish nature is his staple and very helpful for helping this darker saga of events keep some of that original goofiness. Dragon Ball Z is where we learn more about where Goku came from, finally meet Vegeta, and most importantly, it marks the birth of the “it’s over 9000” meme that the internet has yet to escape.
You can stream Dragon Ball Z on Funimation.
The series is available to purchase on Amazon Prime, but like Dragon Ball, some seasons aren’t available. Those that are range drastically in price, from a nice $15 to a steep $95. (Season 1 has all the best memes, which is the only logical explanation for its inflated price).
Dragon Ball Z Kai
Dragon Ball Z Kai is a remastered version of Dragon Ball Z. This series is edited down to remove “filler” episodes and make the show both more digestible and more plot-focused. It also comes in HD with new dubbed voice recordings. This version of the show was tailored to western audiences but also proved to be a much more faithful adaption of creator Akira Toriyama‘s manga series. Its fatal flaw is being really difficult to find.
The series isn’t available to stream but can be purchased on Amazon Prime for around $50 a season.
Dragon Ball GT
If the marathon is starting to weigh on you, this might be where you get some relief. Dragon Ball GT is the shortest of the series, ending after 64 episodes, but it’s also the most skippable. It was created without the help of series creator Toriyama and isn’t considered part of the canon. Nevertheless, it has plenty of action and powerful transformations. If you’re a purist, you might want to see what all the chatter was about.
The series is available to stream on Funimation and Hulu.
Episodes are available for individual purchase on Amazon Prime at $1.99 each.
Dragon Ball Super
Dragon Ball Super sees Vegeta and Goku reaching even greater levels of power, with the kind of intense villains that force them to keep growing. The latest in the series, having begun airing in 2015, Super is considerably shorter than those that came before, at just 13 episodes a season.
Dragon Ball Super is available to stream on Crunchyroll and Funimation.
The series is available for purchase on Amazon Prime at $7 a season.
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