“Replies are so funny”: Dragon Ball Z fandom in shambles after discovering series’ true inception (& it’s hilarious)

Despite the recent passing of author Akira Toriyama, the impact of Dragon Ball Z remains unparalleled, solidifying its position as one of the most beloved anime series of all time. However, there exists a divide between the classic ’80s and ’90s anime adaptation and the original series, as many fans were not fully familiar with the franchise beyond its iconic anime adaptation.

Many people are unaware that the original series and Dragon Ball Z are actually one cohesive story throughout the manga. This has sparked a recent online discussion, revealing that some fans are not familiar with the story’s origins.

Despite this, the tonal shift is a crucial element of the series and likely had a profound impact on an entire generation of anime enthusiasts worldwide.

Please note that this article includes spoilers for the series.

Understanding the Continuity of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z

Following Goku’s victory over Piccolo Jr. at the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai in the Toei Animation adaptation of the anime, the original Dragon Ball series concluded and Dragon Ball Z commenced with the arrival of Raditz. However, this distinction is exclusive to the anime. Akira Toriyama’s manga follows a different structure, beginning with the Pilaf Gang arc and concluding with the Majin Buu arc.

Despite the widespread popularity of Dragon Ball Z among many people’s childhoods, it is often forgotten that the manga did not have a clear division between the two parts of the story. This may have been due to limited access to the source material in the western world during the 90s and early 2000s.

The Dragon Ball Z anime changed the medium forever (Image via Toei Animation).
The Dragon Ball Z anime changed the medium forever (Image via Toei Animation).

The story’s separation not only catches viewers off guard, but also serves as a tool to shape their perception of the narrative. Many fans of the series are drawn to the Z portion, without having seen the original Dragon Ball that is vastly different from the intense, action-packed shonen it evolved into.

Internet Community Reacts to Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z Being One Continuous Saga

Some members of the fandom refuse to acknowledge that Dragon Ball Z is only a part of the manga’s overall story. While each person may have their own opinions and justifications, it can be argued that many individuals grew up with the idea of the separation between the two parts, leading them to see them as distinct components of the series.

“Manga yes. The anime no/yes. As someone who grew up on this series in the west, it was Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT. The whole brand and manga redirects to Dragon Ball. It’s just a different marketing route. You have your OG content, Z and then GT. The Trilogy.”

Some fans prefer to use the separation as a means of emphasizing the shifts in the story from one point to another.

“Umm yes they are lol. Db is a story showing gokus growth, while dbz is a story of everyone’s growth around goku.”

Goku in Dragon Ball Z (Image via Toei Animation).
Goku in Dragon Ball Z (Image via Toei Animation).

Despite the disappointment of some fans, the separation between the series did have a negative impact on the popularity of the original portion. As a result, many individuals only experienced the continuation of the story through Z, missing out on the original Dragon Ball.

“I really hate that Toei felt the need to brand the second half of the manga as its’ own thing.”

“By waving goodbye, he has hinted at his death according to Dragon Ball fans who believe Akira Toriyama’s manga was frighteningly accurate in foreshadowing it.”

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