Dragon Ball is a Japanese series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama. Inspired by the Chinese folk novel Journey to the West, it follows the adventures of Son Goku(my profile pic is his final evolved form SSJ4 😉 ) from his childhood through adulthood as he trains in martial arts and explores the world in search of the seven mystical objects known as the Dragon Balls, which can summon a wish-granting dragon(Chevron). Along his journey, Goku meets several friends and fights against several villains who also seek the Dragon Balls.

The story/comic has been adapted into three anime series produced by Toei Animation: Dragon BallDragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT. Additionally, Toei has developed seventeen animated feature films and three television specials. Several companies have developed various types of merchandising such as a collectible trading card game, and a large number of video games.

The series is licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media(the one we see on Cartoon Network). Several companies have dubbed and aired the three anime series in North America. In China, it was produced a live-action film adaptation in 1989. In 2002, 20th Century Fox began production of the first American-made live-action film which was released on April 10, 2009 which was named Dragon Ball Evolution(sadly a huge flop 😦) .

Since its release, Dragon Ball has become one of the most popular manga series of its time in both Japan and North America. It enjoys a high readership, with over 150 million volumes of the series sold by 2007. Several manga artists have noted that the manga series was the inspiration for their own now popular works, including Naruto(my other favorites 😀 ) and One Piece. The anime is also highly popular, ranking number 12 among the best anime series of all time in 2006. Reviewers praise the art, characterization, and humor of the manga story. The anime series have had more mixed reviews, with the first also praised for its characterizations, but the second was criticized for its long, repetitive fights, and the third series considered even more repetitive but still it will excite you to the core and leave you craving for more action. Go Goku!!