Dragon Ball is a multimedia franchise that spawned from a Japanese manga series created by Akira Toriyama. Weekly Shonen Jump serialized the manga written and illustrated by Toriyama from 1984 to 1995.
The original story follows the adventure of the monkey-tailed lead protagonist Son Goku as he and his friends search for the seven orbs known as the Dragon Balls. Collecting the seven Dragon Balls summons a dragon, that grants one wish. The series starts with a 12-year old Goku who looks younger than his actual age. He eventually grows up to have great physical strength and powers.
It is eventually revealed that he is actually a Saiyan sent to Earth when he was a baby with a mission to destroy or conquer it. However, he was found by Gohan, a human, who raised him as his loving adoptive grandson. An accident caused him to forget about his mission and he becomes the protector of Earth instead.
There have been many adaptations of the Dragon Ball manga including two anime series produced by Toei Animation titled Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z which aired from 1986 to 1996. It was followed by two more sequels titled Dragon Ball GT which aired from 1996-1997 and Dragon Ball Super which started to air in 2015 to the present. Toei Animation has also produced 19 animated feature films and three television specials.
Dragon Ball has a massive worldwide following and is one of the most successful manga and anime series of all time. The animation series have been dubbed in English for release in the US and other countries.
The franchise has also spawned into various video games and collectible trading card games. Other merchandise include clothing, school supplies, accessories and action figures. Spinoffs of Goku’s story include his father’s back story and his life as a husband and father.