The search for the Dragon Balls was what first caused Bulma to encounter Goku in the wild. This chance meeting kicked off the events of Dragon Ball, as the knowledge of being able to summon a dragon that can grant wishes caused a mad rush to gather the seven Dragon Balls.
The existence of the dragons in Dragon Ball (and their ability to grant wishes) adds a great deal to the setting of Dragon Ball. The prospect of having to search the world and receiving a powerful boon as a reward comes straight from fairy tales.
The existence of the wishes themselves is more polarizing, as the ability to wish people back from the dead or reverse great tragedies takes away some of the drama from the story.
We are here today to look at the most mysterious characters in Dragon Ball Z. From the first wish of the series that needed to be censored to Porunga's latest acting role outside of Dragon Ball Z, here are 15 Things You Didn't Know About The Dragons Of Dragon Ball!
15 Shenron's First Wish Was Censored
The first ever wish granted by Shenron in Dragon Ball was requested by Oolong. He managed to prevent Pilaf from wishing to become the ruler of Earth by interrupting the wish and shouting one of his own.
Oolong wished for a pair of young girl's underwear, which Shenron granted. This stopped Pilaf's plan, as the Dragon Balls were then scattered and laid dormant for a year.
In every English dub of Dragon Ball, the scene of Oolong making the wish was changed. In the original Japanese version of the episode, he specifically asked for a pair of young girl's panties, while in the English version, it was changed to being "the most comfortable pair of underwear in the world" in order to downplay the inappropriate aspect of the wish.
14 Mr. Popo's Dragon
There was a Dragon Ball Z RPG released for the Nintendo DS in 2009 called Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans. This is a game that focused on the events surrounding the arrival of Raditz and the preparations made for the battle against Nappa and Vegeta.
Fans of the non-Saiyan Z-Fighters will likely enjoy this game, as a lot of attention is given to characters like Krillin, Tien, and Yamcha.
In Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans, it is revealed that Mr. Popo can create his own version of the Dragon Balls from the inert ones after Kami's death.
Mr. Popo's version of Shenron can grant wishes, but they are a lot weaker and cannot revive anyone from the dead. The most impressive thing that Mr. Popo's Dragon Balls can do is summon Broly for a boss fight.
13 The Mysterious Demonic Dragon
In the original Dragon Ball manga, there were only ever two dragons: Shenron and Porunga. The later forms of Dragon Ball media added lots of new dragons, such as the evil dragons from Dragon Ball GT and Super Shenron from Dragon Ball Super.
In the Dragon Ball Heroes series, it is revealed that there is an evil set of Dragon Balls, known as the Dark Dragon Balls. These Dragon Balls have the ability to fuse with evil beings and grant them more power.
The Dark Dragon Balls were created by a possessed version of Dende with the aid of demonic magic. When gathered, the Dark Dragon Balls can summon Dark Shenron, who resembles Porunga and has a mane of hair like a lion.
Dark Shenron is able to perform the same wishes as Shenron, though it is a lot harder to gather his Dragon Balls, as they are spread across time itself.
12 Shenron Can Turn Humans Into Super Saiyans
The Dragon Ball Z video games will often try to balance the characters due to most of them belonging to the fighting game genre.
This makes sense from a gameplay perspective, though it goes against the canon of the series and the clear gaps in power between most of the cast. The Super Saiyans quickly outclassed the non-Saiyans, to the point where only the most powerful opponents could stand against them.
It wasn't all doom and gloom for the humans in Dragon Ball Online, as it is possible for them to become Super Saiyans. If you were able to summon Shenron, then you could use a wish to give your character the ability to transform into a Super Saiyan. Why didn't Yamcha ever think of that?
11 The Captain Ginyu Retcon
The only member of the Ginyu Force to escape Vegeta's wrath in Dragon Ball Z was Captain Ginyu himself. He accidentally switched his mind into the body of a frog and was then trapped on Earth.
Captain Ginyu finally returned in Dragon Ball Super, as he switched bodies with one of Frieza's top lieutenants.
The return of Captain Ginyu makes no sense, though, since he should not have survived the events of Dragon Ball Z. He should have been killed by Super Buu during the Majin Buu Saga when he blew up the Earth.
Bulma would later restore all of the good people who died on the day of the World Martial Arts Tournament back to life. Captain Ginyu should not have been restored, as his evil personality remained due to his actions in Dragon Ball Super.
10 The Porunga Language Problem
Shenron speaks the common language spoken on the Earth of Dragon Ball, which means that anyone can make a wish if they are able to speak. This isn't the case with Porunga, however, as he requires for his wishes to be spoken in the Namekian language.
This is a safeguard that prevents wicked people from making wishes unless they are somehow able to force a Namekian to speak it for them (and there is nothing stopping that Namekian from wishing for something else.)
The Dragon Ball Super manga forgot about this rule, as we see a scene where King Kai visits Namek in order to have his planet restored. He originally wanted a bigger planet, but Goku interrupts the conversation and asks for the old planet to be returned instead.
The problem is that Goku cannot speak Namekian, yet Porunga still accepts his wish anyway.
9 Shenron's Chinese Origins
The early chapters of Dragon Ball were a parody of Journey to the West, which is an ancient Chinese novel about the journey of a monk named Xuanzang to India.
The characters from the early chapters of Dragon Ball are loosely connected to the cast of Journey to the West, such as Goku being Sun Wukong and Oolong being Zhu Bajie.
Shenron was also inspired by Chinese mythology. He was inspired by a dragon of the same name, who is also referred to as Shenglong or Shinryu. Shenlong is one of the imperial dragons who rules over the weather, with his dominion over storms being a source of superstitious beliefs around offending him.
Shenglong would also inspire Shinryu in the Final Fantasy series, which is also a powerful dragon that is linked to magical storms.
8 Shenron's Home Within The World
Shenron doesn't like having his time wasted. He often chews out those who take their time with their wishes and generally acts like an impatient jerk. It makes you wonder what he is doing the rest of the year that is so important that he has to bail as quickly as possible.
The World of Dragon Ball Z OVA offered an answer to this question. This was a twenty-minute video that was made by Funimation in order to bring the audience up to speed on the events of the show. The World of Dragon Ball Z summarised the entire series up to the Future Trunks Saga.
According to The World of Dragon Ball Z, Shenron lives in the center of the Earth when he isn't taking wishes. The reason he doesn't like hanging around for too long must be due to how cold it is outside of his home.
7 Dende Can Switch Shenron Off
Shenron ceases to exist after Kami fuses with Piccolo. This is due to Shenron's life force being tied to Kami/Piccolo, which meant that either of their deaths would cause him to perish.
Shenron was later revived by Dende when he was brought to Earth in order to become its new Guardian. Dende managed to upgrade Shenron, which is due to his increased knowledge of how the Dragon Balls actually work.
In Dragon Ball Online, it was revealed that Dende actually deactivated the Dragon Balls after the defeat of Kid Buu. This meant that they turned to useless rocks and would not regain their power until Dende said so.
He was forced to reactivate the Dragon Balls due to the Time Breakers threatening to alter reality permanently for their own evil ends. This allowed the three prominent races on Earth (humans, Namekians, and Majins) to become even stronger.
6 The Live-Action Wish
One of the most unusual appearances by Goku and Shenron happened on a kids show in Japan. Two of the biggest stars of Dragon Ball Z appeared on Yamada Katsute-nai Wink TV in 1990.
This was a live action show which starred a Japanese pop star named Kuniko Yamada. Goku and Shenron were animated and they interacted with Yamada like an anime version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Kuniko Yamada used a wish from Shenron in order to gain the ability to perform a Kamehameha. She then proceeds to perform the worst looking Kamehameha in the history of the world.
Her version of the Kamehameha doesn't involve putting her arms out and looks more like one of Sub-Zero's projectile attacks from Mortal Kombat.
5 The Dragon Quest Copy
Akira Toriyama's most famous work outside of Dragon Ball Z comes from his role as a character and monster designer on the Dragon Quest series. The Dragon Quest games use Toriyama's unmistakable aesthetic, which is partly why the series is so popular in Japan.
Akira Toriyama is notorious for reusing designs throughout his different projects. One example of this happened with Shenron, as an almost identical dragon named Xenlon appeared in several Dragon Quest games. Xenlon looks almost exactly the same as Shenron and even possesses the ability to grant wishes to the player.
In Dragon Quest III, the player can ask Xenlon to bring their father back to life. You can also ask him for a copy of Guns'n'Buns magazine in the remake of the game, which will give a female character the Vamp personality.
4 The Evil Porunga Who Stole Mr. Popo's Look
Not all of the Namekians journeyed to New Namek after the events of the destruction of the original Namek. According to Dragon Ball Online and Dragon Ball Xenoverse, there were some Namekians who chose to remain on Earth and settled there. Over time, this branch of Namekians formed their own race that lived alongside the humans and Majins.
There were some Namekians who became corrupted by the influence of King Piccolo and became Dark Namekians. These Dark Namekians were able to make their own evil version of Porunga, who wore an outfit similar to that of Mr. Popo.
This dragon was known as Mr. Poko Poko and he guarded Chocolay Tower, which acted as an evil counterpart to Korin Tower.
3 The False Dragon
The hub that players use in Dragon Ball Xenoverse is called Toki Toki City. This was changed into Conton City in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, due to events involving the creation of a false dragon by one of the Supreme Kai.
The reason why Toki Toki City was destroyed was due to a mistake by Chronoa, who is the Supreme Kai of Time. Chronoa heard a rumor that the people of the city were questioning her power, so she decided to animate a statue of a dragon that resembled Shenron.
Chronoa ended up going too far and the dragon grew beyond her control. The false stone dragon kept growing until it crushed Toki Toki City. Chronoa was forced to build Conton City as a replacement, which ended up being a lot bigger than Toki Toki City.
2 The Wish Of The Furrys
No, not that kind of Furry. In the world of Dragon Ball, the entire planet Earth is ruled by a single monarch named King Furry. He is an anthropomorphic dog who comes from a long line of rulers who have governed the world.
King Furry briefly lost control of his throne when King Piccolo stole his position, but he was reinstated upon King Piccolo's death. King Furry has retained his position throughout Dragon Ball GT and Super.
We don't know much about what happened to the Dragon Balls before Goku and Bulma began their search, but one thing that has been stated is that the first wish ever granted by Shenron was to become king. It's possible that one of King Furry's ancestors made this wish, which is how his family gained such a lofty position.
1 Porunga Shilled The Ford Focus
In 2015, the Ford Motor Company decided to create an advertising campaign that crossed over their cars with the world of Dragon Ball Z. This was a foolish idea, as anyone who is into anime & manga is too broke from buying expensive anime merchandise/long-running manga series to afford a car.
One of the commercials was for the Ford Focus. Krillin was trying to use all three wishes from the Namekian Dragon Balls to create the perfect car, as he was perfectly fine with leaving Chiaotzu, Piccolo, Tien, and Yamcha in the afterlife.
Porunga has to tell him that he could save two wishes by asking for the Ford Focus, as it has all of the features that the other wishes were requesting.
Can you think of any other interesting facts about the dragons of Dragon Ball? Let us know in the comments!