How to Watch the Dragon Ball Series in Order

I grew up on Dragon Ball, and as such, I always thought the watch order was pretty straight forward. However, recently it has occurred to me that…Well, if you know nothing about Dragon Ball, it is not straight forward at all. Do you watch original Z or should you choose Kai? Do you need to watch ten tons of movies or no? GT before Super or at all?

Yeah, okay, so it has gotten unexpectedly complex and there are newer anime fans that are just now getting into it. So, the question is, how do you watch the Dragon Ball series in order?

On the Subject of Canon – Should I Watch Dragon Ball GT?

Much of Dragon Ball can be separated into canon or not canon. By canon, fans mean that the particular series or movie primarily followed the original manga series and was made with input from the creator – Akira Toriyama. For the most part, the Dragon Ball anime series is of a canon nature. There are some important exceptions, however.

First, Dragon Ball GT is considered non-canon. Akira Toriyama had little to no input on the series and was not happy with how it turned out. There are moments in the more current and canon Dragon Ball Super in which it seems they are trying to connect it to the canon, but for the most part, almost every fan will suggest to skip GT entirely.

Other non-canon entries include some of the movies which will conflict with things that occur in the canon story line. Generally, most people don’t bother to watch ALL the movies, as there are many, but there are some canon movies that fill in important details (and have awesome fights).

Dragon Ball Z or Dragon Ball Z Kai?

As you may (or may not) know, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Z Kai are the same thing. Kai is essentially a remastering of the events in the original DBZ series. It features less filler, much better pacing, and additional dialog that was present in the manga. As it is also newer animation, it looks better in some spots.

As in the original DBZ some fights could take literally ten episodes to conclude, it is probably better to just watch Kai. The filler in DBZ was fun sometimes, but it is a lengthy watch overall. So, in essence, it is really up to you. You won’t miss any crucial details by choosing Kai.

Canon Standard Watch Order

If you want to get the best possible viewing order from the Dragon Ball series, but you don’t need it to be chronological. Here’s what we suggest:

Dragon Ball (You can completely skip this and jump into DBZ just fine for the most part. It just fills in some pieces with characters like what Piccolo is and how the characters came to be acquainted.) Dragon Ball Z (or Kai, your choice) through the conclusion of the Frieza Saga Bardock: Father of Goku Movie Dragon Ball Z through the Cell Saga History of Trunks Movie Dragon Ball Z to the conclusion If you wanted to watch Dragon Ball GT, this would be where you do it Dragon Ball Super

You may also want to watch Battle of the Gods and the Resurrection: F movies purely because they are pretty cool, but they also have arcs in Super. So you won’t really miss out, but the movies do have more detail.

On the topic of movies, there are a lot we didn’t include because they are not canon. However, many of the DBZ movies are very fun to watch, the Broly movie in particular. Broly did technically become canon, but there’s not really a good place to wedge that into the watch order.

The Chronological Dragon Ball Watch Order for Crazy People

Why you would want to try and watch Dragon Ball in chronological order, I don’t even know. Do you hate yourself? Are you okay? Do you need someone to talk to? Anyway, this tosses canon out the window and includes all the movies, GT, and Super in the closes possible timeline, even though the timeline of some movies conflicts with that, thus why they are not canon. I’ve also included episode number for the original Dragon Ball Z, not Kai, because if you want to watch everything, damn you gonna watch everything.

Dragon Ball Dead Zone Movie Dragon Ball Z to Episode 86 Bardock: Father of Goku Dragon Ball Z to Episode 107 Episode of Bardock Special World’s Strongest Movie Tree of Might Movie Lord Slug Movie Garlic Junior Movie Dragon Ball Z to Episode 123 History of Trunks Saga Dragon Ball Z to Episode 125 Revenge of Cooler Movie Dragon Ball Z to Episode 146 Super Android 13 Movie Dragon Ball Z to Episode 173 Return of Cooler Movie Broly the Legendary Super Saiyan Movie Dragon Ball Z to Episode 194 Bojack unbound Movie Dragon Ball Z to Episode 207 Broly’s Second Coming Movie Dragon Ball Z to Episode 250 Bio-Broly Movie Dragon Ball Z to Episode 253 Fusion Reborn Movie Dragon Ball Z to Episode 288 Wrath of the Dragon movie Finish Dragon Ball Z Dragon Ball GT, all of it. Dragon Ball Super to Episode 3 Battle of the Gods Movie Dragon Ball Super to Episode 18 Resurrection F Movie The Rest of Dragon Ball Super

Good Luck.

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