Promo art for "Dragon Ball GT" featuring Goku and Pan
(Toei Animation)

Is ‘Dragon Ball GT’ Canon? Its Place in the Timeline, Explained.

Remember back in the old days when there was just Dragon Ball? Kids these days, with their new fangled Supers and their Zs and their GTs. Now we’ve even got Daimas? What’s even canon anymore? What’s a GT anyway? I’ll never understand.

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What is Dragon Ball GT?

Dragon Ball GT is an anime-exclusive sequel to Dragon Ball Z, meaning that, unlike Z, it isn’t adapted from Akira Toriyama’s manga—nor was it his story. Back in my day, EVERYTHING was adapted from a manga! Now we’ve got anime-only stories? What’s this Kami-forsaken world coming to? The story follows Son Goku after the end of Dragon Ball Z, which, if you’ll remember, featured a 10-year time jump. While Dragon Ball Super takes place within those 10 years, GT comes after, meaning both theoretically could exist.

GT continues to follow the story of Son Goku, who is turned into a child by a wish on the Dragon Balls, despite the series happening after Z. So he’s older but younger? Like Benjamin Button? Son Goku now spends his time hanging out with his granddaughter Pan and teenage version of Vegeta’s son, Trunks, while trying to, among other things, collect the all-powerful Black Star Dragon Balls. What are those!? I remember when there was only ONE kind of Dragon Ball! Now we’ve got so many!? And these are also superior to the original? Then why ain’t we heard of ’em til now?

So is it canon?

Although the late, great Akira Toriyama (creator of the Dragon Ball series) wasn’t involved in the creation of Dragon Ball GT, inclusion in series timelines in some promotional material has perpetuated the debate as to whether it’s canon. At this point, however, it’s hard to say what—or if—Toriyama himself would have decided as Dragon Ball Super catches up to the time jump at the end of Dragon Ball Z. GT could have been recognized as canon, discarded entirely, or acknowledged as a separate timeline within Dragon Ball’s expanding multiverse, making it about as canon as Marvel’s What If…? stories: technically yes, but still not to the main timeline.

We may never know which way Toriyama would have ultimately gone with it, but the deciding factor will likely remain what Dragon Ball Super eventually makes of this issue.


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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels 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.