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The Optimal ‘Dragon Ball’ Series Viewing Order

This series is great if you want to watch a million of something.

Goku, Vegeta, Trunks, Piccolo, and Freiza ready to fight in 'Dragon Ball Z'

The Dragon Ball series is great if you wanna watch a million of something.

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Seriously, there’s a lot of episodes. I went over a big-ass watch order in another article, but if you just want the gist of it or more of a general overview, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s my hot take on the best way to watch the entire Dragon Ball series.

Start with Dragon Ball

You know, the one with baby Goku? Watch that first. It’s canon, and Goku is a little cutie the whole time. It’s the series that started it all. I mean, you could just start with the next entry on this list, but you’d be missing out on some key background info and character worldbuilding. And you don’t wanna do that now, do you? There’s a bunch of movies that go along with this series, but they are not canon. You can watch them or not watch them as you please.

Then watch Dragon Ball Z Kai

Hot take here, but you can skip the original Dragon Ball Z and just watch Z Kai. Yes the original is timeless and iconic, that’s why they remade it. DBZK is just DBZ with improved animation. It also cuts out a lot of the filler. You can be a purist and watch all of the original DBZ, but if you don’t have time to watch Goku charge up a spirit bomb for a gajillion episodes, then just watch Kai. You’ll thank yourself later.

You can watch Dragon Ball GT or skip it. Up to you.

Fans are divided about DBGT. Some say it’s awesome and vital to the story, while others say it’s weird and should be considered non-canonical. If this series was a tab of acid, here’s what I’d say to do: If you adore Dragon Ball and know you’re gonna have a great time, take the whole tab. If you’re not sure, then maybe just take half and see how you feel. If you really only like it once in a while, then maybe skip and leave the harder DBZ drugs for someone else to trip balls on. If you want to trip balls on this series yourself and aren’t quite ready to leave it behind when it’s over, watch the TV special Dragon Ball GT: A Hero’s Legacy. That’s the best way to come down for a smooth landing.

Watch Dragon Ball Super

Dragon Ball Super is where things go off the rails—in a good way. New Saiyan power-ups, tournaments to decide the fate of the universe, and even a cute lil alien baby who is also a transcendental god of absolute reality. It’s a grand old time. After you’re done with the series, you get two movies! Dragon Ball Super: Broly and Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero. Lucky you.

(featured image: Toei Animation)

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.

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