Peria Hutton

Written by Peria Hutton

Modified & Updated: 01 Jun 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Dragon Ball is a beloved anime and manga series that has captured the hearts of fans worldwide. With its captivating storyline, memorable characters, and iconic battles, Dragon Ball has left an indelible mark on popular culture. In this article, we'll delve into 18 fascinating facts about Dragon Ball that every fan should know. From the origins of the series to behind-the-scenes insights and character details, these facts will provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Dragon Ball universe. Whether you're a seasoned fan or new to the series, these facts are sure to pique your interest and shed light on some lesser-known aspects of this legendary franchise. So, buckle up and get ready to embark on a journey through the world of Dragon Ball as we uncover intriguing details and untold stories that have contributed to its enduring legacy.

Key Takeaways:

  • Goku’s original name was meant to be “Zero,” but it was changed to “Goku” inspired by the legendary Monkey King. The series has a dedicated day in Japan called “Goku Day” on May 9th.
  • The iconic Kamehameha wave was named after King Kamehameha I, who unified the Hawaiian Islands. Dragon Ball’s impact on the anime industry is immeasurable, inspiring creators and captivating audiences worldwide.
Table of Contents

Goku's original name was meant to be "Zero"

When Akira Toriyama, the creator of Dragon Ball, was designing the protagonist, he initially named the character "Zero." However, he eventually settled on the name "Goku," inspired by the Japanese name for Sun Wukong, the legendary Monkey King from the Chinese novel "Journey to the West."

The iconic Kamehameha wave was inspired by a Hawaiian king

The famous Kamehameha energy attack, a signature move used by many characters in the Dragon Ball series, was named after King Kamehameha I, a monarch who unified the Hawaiian Islands in The move's name was suggested by Akira Toriyama's wife, who happened to be reading about King Kamehameha at the time.

Vegeta's character was originally meant to be a one-time villain

Vegeta, one of the most prominent characters in Dragon Ball, was initially intended to be a short-lived antagonist. However, due to his popularity and complex personality, he became a central figure in the series, evolving from a ruthless villain to a beloved anti-hero.

The Dragon Balls were inspired by the classic tale "Journey to the West"

Akira Toriyama drew inspiration from the Chinese literary classic "Journey to the West" when creating the concept of the Dragon Balls. In the novel, the main characters embark on a journey to retrieve sacred Buddhist scriptures, and Toriyama incorporated similar themes of adventure and quest in the Dragon Ball storyline.

The power level concept was introduced to simplify battles

The concept of power levels, a numerical representation of a character's combat strength, was introduced in Dragon Ball Z to streamline and quantify the characters' abilities during battles. However, the power level system eventually became a source of controversy and was later phased out in the series.

Dragon Ball has been adapted into numerous video games

The Dragon Ball franchise has spawned a wide array of video game adaptations across various gaming platforms. These games allow fans to immerse themselves in the Dragon Ball universe, engaging in epic battles and exploring the rich mythology of the series.

The character designs were influenced by Journey to the West

The distinct character designs in Dragon Ball, such as Goku's staff and Oolong's pig-like appearance, were directly inspired by the diverse cast of mythical creatures and deities encountered in "Journey to the West."

The series has a profound impact on pop culture worldwide

Dragon Ball's influence extends far beyond its native Japan, with a dedicated global fan base and a significant impact on popular culture. The series has inspired countless tributes, parodies, and references in various forms of media.

The iconic "It's over 9000!" line became a popular internet meme

A pivotal moment in Dragon Ball Z, where Vegeta exclaims "It's over 9000!" in response to Goku's rising power level, has transcended the series and become a widely recognized internet meme, often used to express astonishment or exaggeration.

Dragon Ball's success led to the creation of Dragon Ball Super

The overwhelming success of the Dragon Ball franchise, coupled with high demand from fans, prompted the development of "Dragon Ball Super," a continuation of the original series that introduced new story arcs, characters, and power-ups.

The series has a dedicated day in Japan

In honor of the iconic series, Japan officially designated May 9th as "Goku Day," celebrating the positive impact of Dragon Ball on popular culture and the enduring legacy of its beloved characters.

Akira Toriyama's artwork features distinct, recognizable style

Renowned for his distinctive artistic style, Akira Toriyama's illustrations and character designs are instantly recognizable, contributing to the timeless appeal of the Dragon Ball series.

The Dragon Ball franchise includes multiple movies and specials

In addition to the anime series, the Dragon Ball franchise has produced a diverse range of movies and television specials, offering fans new adventures and captivating storylines outside the main continuity.

The original manga series spanned over 500 chapters

The original Dragon Ball manga, serialized from 1984 to 1995, encompassed a total of 519 chapters, chronicling the epic saga of Son Goku and his companions as they journeyed through a world filled with formidable adversaries and mystical artifacts.

The series has inspired a wide range of merchandise

Dragon Ball's enduring popularity has led to an extensive array of merchandise, including action figures, clothing, collectibles, and accessories, allowing fans to connect with their favorite characters in tangible ways.

Dragon Ball's impact on the anime industry is immeasurable

As a trailblazing series that helped popularize anime globally, Dragon Ball holds a significant place in the history of the medium, influencing subsequent generations of creators and captivating audiences with its compelling storytelling and dynamic action sequences.

The franchise has a dedicated museum in Japan

Located in Nagoya, Japan, the "Dragon Ball Room" museum offers fans an immersive experience, featuring original artwork, rare memorabilia, and interactive exhibits that showcase the rich history and cultural impact of the beloved franchise.

Dragon Ball transcends generations, captivating audiences worldwide

With its timeless themes of friendship, perseverance, and the pursuit of greatness, Dragon Ball continues to resonate with audiences of all ages, fostering a multigenerational fan base that cherishes the series' enduring legacy.

The Dragon Ball franchise has left an indelible mark on popular culture, captivating audiences with its compelling characters, epic battles, and enduring themes. From its humble beginnings as a manga series to its evolution into a global phenomenon, Dragon Ball has become a beloved and influential franchise that continues to inspire fans across the world. Whether through its iconic characters, memorable quotes, or impactful storytelling, the legacy of Dragon Ball endures, transcending generations and solidifying its place as a timeless classic in the realm of anime and beyond.


In conclusion, these 18 Dragon Ball facts shed light on the enduring popularity and cultural impact of this iconic anime and manga series. From its origins as a manga in the 1980s to its global phenomenon status today, Dragon Ball has captivated audiences with its compelling characters, epic battles, and timeless themes. The series continues to inspire new generations of fans and has left an indelible mark on popular culture worldwide. As we look to the future, it's clear that the spirit of Dragon Ball will live on, continuing to ignite the imagination of fans young and old for years to come.


Q: What is the significance of the Dragon Balls in the series?
A: The Dragon Balls are mystical artifacts that, when gathered together, summon a dragon capable of granting wishes. They serve as a central plot device in the series, driving the characters' quests and adventures.

Q: Who is the creator of Dragon Ball?
A: Dragon Ball was created by the legendary manga artist Akira Toriyama, who introduced the series to the world in 1984. His imaginative storytelling and dynamic artwork have solidified Dragon Ball's place in pop culture history.

Dragon Ball's captivating universe holds countless more intriguing facts waiting to be explored. For those curious about Upa, a minor yet memorable character, our article delves into his unique role and impact on the series. Fans of formidable villains won't want to miss the comprehensive look at Frieza, one of Dragon Ball Z's most iconic antagonists. And for insights into the brilliant mind behind the Dragon Radar and other inventions, check out the fascinating facts about Bulma, a key player in the Dragon Ball saga.

Was this page helpful?

Our commitment to delivering trustworthy and engaging content is at the heart of what we do. Each fact on our site is contributed by real users like you, bringing a wealth of diverse insights and information. To ensure the highest standards of accuracy and reliability, our dedicated editors meticulously review each submission. This process guarantees that the facts we share are not only fascinating but also credible. Trust in our commitment to quality and authenticity as you explore and learn with us.