Dragon Ball (Japanese: ドラゴンボール Hepburn: Doragon Bōru?) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama. It was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1984 to 1995, with the 519 individual chapters published into 42 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. Dragon Ball was initially inspired by the classical Chinese novel Journey to the West. The series follows the adventures of the protagonist, Son Goku, from his childhood through adulthood as he trains in martial arts and explores the world in search of the seven orbs known as the Dragon Balls, which summon a wish-granting dragon when gathered. Along his journey, Goku makes several friends and battles a wide variety of villains, many of whom also seek the Dragon Balls.
The Dragon Ball manga‘s 42 tankōbon have been adapted into two anime series produced by Toei Animation: Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, which together were broadcast in Japan from 1986 to 1996. Additionally, the studio has developed nineteen animated feature films and three television specials, as well as two anime sequel series titled Dragon Ball GT (1996-1997) and Dragon Ball Super (2015-present). From 2009 to 2015, a revised, faster-paced version of Dragon Ball Z aired in Japan under the title Dragon Ball Kai, in which most of the original version’s footage not featured in the manga is removed. Several companies have developed various types of merchandising based on the series leading to a large media franchise that includes films, both animated and live-action, collectible trading card games, numerous action figures, along with several collections of soundtracks and a large number of video games.
The manga series was licensed for an English-language release in North America by Viz Media, in the United Kingdom by Gollancz Manga, and Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment. The entire anime series was licensed by Funimation for an English-language release in the United States, although the series has not always been dubbed by the same studio. There have been many films of the franchise including the first live-action film adaptation being produced in 1989 in Taiwan. In 2002, 20th Century Fox acquired the rights to produce an American-made live-action film titled Dragonball Evolution that was received negatively by critics and fans; the movie was released on April 10, 2009 in the United States.
Since its release, Dragon Ball has become one of the most successful manga and anime series of all time. The manga’s 42 volumes have sold over 156 million copies in Japan and more than 240 million copies worldwide, making it the third best-selling manga series in history. Reviewers have praised the art, characterization, and humor of the story. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest manga series ever made, with many manga artists such as Eiichiro Oda (One Piece), Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto), Tite Kubo (Bleach), Hiro Mashima (Rave Master, Fairy Tail), Kentaro Yabuki (Black Cat) and ONE (One-Punch Man) citing Dragon Ball as a source of inspiration for their own now popular works. The anime, particularly Dragon Ball Z, is also highly popular in various countries and was arguably one of the most influential in boosting the popularity of Japanese animation in Western culture.
Bulma (Japanese: ブルマ Hepburn: Buruma?) is a fictional character in the Dragon Ball manga series created by Akira Toriyama. She makes her debut appearance in the first chapter Bulma and Son Goku (ブルマと孫悟空 Buruma to Son Gokū?), published in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine on December 3, 1984, meeting Goku and recruiting him as her bodyguard to travel and find the wish-granting Dragon Balls. Bulma is the daughter of Dr. Briefs; the founder of Capsule Corporation, a company that creates special small capsules that shrink and hold objects of various sizes for easy storage. Being the daughter of a brilliant scientist, Bulma is also a scientific genius, as well as an inventor and engineer. Along with creating the Dragon Radar, a device that detects the energy signal emitted by a Dragon Ball, Bulma’s role as an inventor becomes important at several points in the series; including the time machine that brings her future son