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The Man behind the Cartoon

Akira Toriyama was born on April 5th, 1955 at the Aichi District, Japan. He graduated and became a graphic designer. In 1978, he published his first manga called Wonder Island. Later that year, he started "Highlight Island" followed by "Tomato Girl Detective". In the year 1980, he started "Dr Slump", which brought him success and fame. Then the Dragonball series. Dragonball was the most successful comic in Japan, it got such a high level of respect and reputation Toriyama continued on and created Dragonball Z also the latest Dragonball GT. Altogether they sold over 200 million copies...(?) (this included DB, DBZ & DBGT) worldwide...mostly Asian countries actually. Toriyama was also the character designer for the popular Dragon Quest series and Chrono Trigger video games. He was indeed the most respected Anime and Manga artist of all time.

To comprehend Dragonball Z you must understand the subtle differences between the Manga and the Cartoon. You must also realize that DBz is international, resulting in different name spellings for many characters.

Goku= Son Goku= Gokou  
Krillin= Kuririn    
Yamcha= Yamucha    
Tien= Teinshan    
Kami= Kamisama    
Master Roshi= Kame Master    
Saiyan= Saiya-Jin    

DragonBall Z is the follow up of DragonBall . The story is very different when compared to DragonBall, and we get to meet a lot more new characters in DragonBall Z as well. In DragonBall Z, we don't learn much more about Gokou’s traveling experience, but more about where
Gokou comes from. We also see him engaging in a lot more battles.

In DragonBall Z, we get a background of Gokou's past and future. We learn about his evil brother Raditz, his father Bardock and the whole entire Saiya-Jin race. We also get to explore more into Gokou's childhood, and the reason why is he sent to Earth. One thing which is a bit different compared with DragonBall is that the story doesn't focus on the seven DragonBalls as much anymore. They are still there, but they are not as significant. We are also introduced with another important figure, Vegeta. Vegeta's father is the ruler and the king of Planet Vegeta. Vegetal beings his journey as an evil, black hearted killer, and Gokou is one of his main target. The hatred between these two Saiya-Jins turns into friendship as the story moves on, when they help each other during battles against Freeza and the Androids . Instead of enemies, they become inseparable ultimate fighting duo, defeating great opponents such as the Androids, Koola , Majin Buu, Cell and a lot more.

Apart from Gokou and Vegeta, we also see Gohan (Gokou's older son), Goten (Gokou's younger son), Trunks (Vegeta's son) and a lot more of Piccolo (remember him from DragonBall?). Gohan, Goten and Piccolo mainly appear during battles, but Trunks is different. As soon as Trunks is introduced into the world of DragonBall, he instantly becomes one of the most important figures of all. When we first see Trunks, he acts like a messenger, a cocky teenager carrying a long sword around. Then we later realize that he is actually from the future, and travels back in time to inform Gokou about the future (Gokou's death from a heart disease) Androids #17 and #18 who terrorize earth. . Now this is the interesting part. DragonBall Z actually has two different futures, a modified future and a present future. The present future, is what Trunks tells Gokou about when they first meet, a future terrorized by Androids. Or a modified future, the future they create after Trunks travels back in time and gives Gokou medicine so he won't die. Sounds confusing? Yes, most people find this section a little hard to understand, you can view our timeline to learn more about the two different futures.

Now let us look at
the real (terrorized) future in more detail. Just before the Androids arrive, Gokou suffers a heart disease, and consequently he dies from it (there isn't any cure for the heart disease at that time). As the Androids finally arrive, Vegeta, Piccolo, Tien, Krillin and Yamcha and Gohan (Gokou's son) engage in a fierce battle with them. Unfortunately, only Gohan survives (but he loses one of his arms during the battle). At the time, Trunks is still a kid and he hasn't got the capability to fight the Androids yet, but Gohan is always training with him to make him better. A few years later, Androids are back again for another assault, and Trunks wants to take revenge and decides to fight the Androids with Gohan. Trunks is more mature, and a lot stronger, but still not enough to fight the Androids. Gohan purposely knocks Trunks unconscious mainly because he doesn't want Trunks to get killed, hence Gohan goes and fight the Androids alone. By the time Trunks wakes up, Gohan is already killed. At the time, Earth is in great danger, people living in fear day after day. Trunks' mother, Bulma, developed a Time Capsule (Time Machine) which enables traveling through time, has the idea about changing the future by getting Trunks to travel back in time to give Gokou the medicine to cure his heart disease, so Gokou would be still alive and fight the Androids, hence changing the future.

As for the modified future, Trunks travels back in time and meets Gokou. Now Trunks (or Future Trunks since he is from the future) and he explains everything to Gokou and the heart disease medicine is passed on to him as well. Since Gokou is now healthy and the heart disease isn't affecting him anymore, Gokou joins the Z team and destroys the Androids, preventing a terrorized future. However, that is not the end, even stronger foes such as Cell and Buu appear later on (I won't say too much because I hate to spoil the plot).

In DragonBall Z, we also get to learn a lot about a Saiya-Jin, the way they transform into a huge ape (Oozru mode) and the way they transform into the different Saiya-Jin levels . I won't tell you much now, but I am sure you will find them very interesting.

The story of DragonBall Z comes to a conclusion 10 years later after the end of the Majin Buu Saga, we are greeted with the usual characters, except they are all 10 years older. At the time, Tenkaichi-Budoukai (world class martial arts tournament) is also taking place, and an unknown, skinny, dark skinned character named Uubuu is introduced during the tournament. Uubuu is known to be the reincarnated evil Majin Buu that is killed 10 years ago, except Uubuu is good-hearted and comes from a poor family background. Gokou soon realizes the skinny kid's true fighting potential and decides to keep Uubuu with him and train him. We don't get to learn much about Uubuu in DragonBall Z, but we will see a lot more of him in DragonBall GT (the sequel to DragonBall Z).

DragonBall Z is a lot more fun and more exciting than DragonBall. The world of DragonBall isn't just based on Earth anymore, but also taken place in numerous of other planets in the universe. There are also 11 special DragonBall Z movies, which they are something that you would not want to miss out (the movies are just excellent).