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How to Watch Dragon Ball in Order

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  • Posted on 21st Sep, 2022 20:34 PM
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You can stick to watching Dragon Ball in the main canon, or watch chronologically or by release order.

What to Know

  • Canonically: Includes Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball Super.
  • Chronologically: Includes all series and movies. Start with Dragon Ball and end with Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.
  • Release order: Earliest title is Dragon Ball (1986) and the most recent is Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero (2022).

Based on Akira Toriyama’s manga series of the same name, Dragon Ball is one of the most popular and influential anime franchises in the world. Numerous sequels, spinoffs, and feature films have been released since Toei Animation’s Dragon Ball premiered in Japan in 1986, which makes watching it all an enormous undertaking. 

Fortunately, there are a few different ways to watch Dragon Ball. While you can go the completionist route, a large portion of the franchise isn’t considered canon so you can save a lot of time if you cut out non-canon content. However, you’ll also miss some of Dragon Ball’s most creative and epic moments if you go this route so you might be better off doing a chronological viewing and deciding for yourself how much you’d like to watch. 

This article will cover the main Dragon Ball viewing orders and where you can watch it all online.

How to Watch Dragon Ball in Canonical Order

If you’re just looking for the “core” Dragon Ball experience, a canonical viewing is the way to go. This viewing order cuts out the movies, as well as a few series like Dragon Ball GT. Consider this Goku and the Z Fighters’ main story.

One important consideration you’ll need to make is whether to watch Dragon Ball Z or Dragon Ball Z Kai. The former is the original anime that ran from 1989 - 1996, while the latter is an updated version of the same series with remastered picture and sound, as well as a more streamlined story that cuts out much of the filler material found in Dragon Ball Z

It’s debatable which is better—Kai is higher-quality in a number of ways, but lacks some of the charm of Dragon Ball Z’s wackier excursions. You could always hop back and forth to decide which you prefer but it’s arguably worth sticking to one since there’s so much overlap.

Dragon Ball Z Kai is currently unavailable on any US streaming platforms, which means you’ll need to purchase individual seasons through physical release or digitally via a platform like the Microsoft Store or iTunes. Although the show is listed on Funimation, you can’t actually stream any episodes.

Title  Where to Watch
Dragon Ball (all episodes) Hulu Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z or Kai (end of Frieza Saga) Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku (TV special)  Apple TV 
Dragon Ball Z or Kai (end of Frieza Saga until the end of the Cell Saga)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks (TV special)  Apple TV 
Dragon Ball Z (all remaining episodes)  Funimation
Dragon Ball Super  Hulu Funimation

How to Watch Dragon Ball in Chronological Order

If you want to expand beyond the canonical texts, you might prefer watching Dragon Ball in chronological order. This viewing incorporates all of the movies and inserts them roughly where they would take place in the main series canon. It also means stopping and re-starting Dragon Ball Z at numerous points, so keep this in mind if you want to stick to the suggested viewing order. 

To simplify things, Dragon Ball Z has been incorporated into this viewing order and not Dragon Ball Z Kai. You can still complete this viewing with Kai instead, but the specific episode numbers will be different than those listed below.

Title  Where to Watch 
Dragon Ball (episodes 1-13)  Hulu Funimation 
Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies (movie)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball (all remaining episodes)  Hulu Funimation 
Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess in Devil’s Castle (movie)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure (movie)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone (movie)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z episodes 1-86 (Vegeta killed by Frieza)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: Bardock – The Father of Goku (TV special)  Apple TV 
Dragon Ball Z episodes 87-107 (end of Frieza Saga)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock (movie)  N/A (limited release) 
Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest (movie)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might (movie)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug (movie)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z episodes 108-123 (Garlic Jr. Saga up to Goku’s return to Earth)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks (TV special)  Apple TV 
Dragon Ball Z episodes 124 and 125 (pre-Android Saga interlude)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge (movie)  Apple TV 
Dragon Ball Z episodes 126-146 (Android Saga up to Goku’s recovery)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13 (movie)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z episodes 147-173 (Trunks and Vegeta enter Hyperbolic Time Chamber up to Dende becoming Guardian of Earth)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler (movie) Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan (movie)  Apple TV 
Dragon Ball Z episodes 174-194 (Cell Games up to Trunks returning to his own timeline)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound (movie)  Apple TV 
Dragon Ball Z episodes 195-207 (Goku visits Grand Kai up to Trunks’ first Super Saiyan transformation)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: Broly – Second Coming (movie)  Apple TV 
Dragon Ball Z episodes 208-250 (Goten meets Goku up to Gohan breaking the Z sword)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: Bio-Broly (movie)  Apple TV 
Dragon Ball Z episodes 251-253 (Gotenks fights Majin Buu) Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn (movie)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z episodes 254-288 (Buu’s good and evil sides separate up to beginning of Peaceful World Saga)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon (movie)  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z episodes 289-finish  Funimation 
Dragon Ball GT  Hulu Funimation Crunchyroll 
Dragon Ball Super (episodes 1-3) Hulu Funimation
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods (movie) Apple TV Google Play Microsoft Store
Dragon Ball Super (episodes 4-18) Hulu Funimation
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F (movie) Apple TV Google Play Microsoft Store
Dragon Ball Super (episodes 19-finish) Hulu Funimation
Dragon Ball Super: Broly (movie) Starz
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero (movie) N/A (not yet released on home video or digital)

How to Watch Dragon Ball in Release Order

This viewing order is similar to the ones listed above but instead of going through events chronologically, it’s categorized by release date. This can be considered the completionist viewing since it includes Includes all series, movies, specials, and OVA (original video animation).

Title  Release Year Where to Watch
Dragon Ball   1986-89  Hulu Funimation 
Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies  1986  Funimation 
Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess in Devil’s Castle  1987  Funimation 
Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure  1988  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z  1989-96  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone  1989  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: The World’s Strongest  1990  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might  1990  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: Bardock – The Father of Goku (TV special)  1990  Apple TV 
Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug 1991  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: Cooler’s Revenge  1991  Apple TV 
Dragon Ball Z: Summer Vacation Special  1992  N/A (limited release)
Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler  1992  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13!  1992  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: Plan to Destroy the Saiyajin  1993  N/A (limited release) 
Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan  1993  Apple TV 
Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks (TV special)  1993  Apple TV 
Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound  1993  Apple TV 
Dragon Ball Z: Broly – Second Coming  1994  Apple TV 
Dragon Ball Z: Bio-Broly  1994  Apple TV 
Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn  1995  Funimation 
Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon  1995  Funimation 
Dragon Ball: The Path to Power  1996  Funimation 
Dragon Ball GT  1996-97  Hulu Funimation Crunchyroll 
Dragon Ball GT: A Hero’s Legacy  1997 Funimation 
Dragon Ball: Yo! The Return of Son-Goku and Friends!!  2008 N/A (limited release) 
Dragon Ball Z Kai  2009-11  Microsoft Store
Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock 2011  N/A (limited release) 
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods  2013  Apple TV Google Play Microsoft Store 
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’  2015  Apple TV Google Play Microsoft Store 
Dragon Ball Super  2015-18  Hulu Funimation 
Dragon Ball Super: Broly  2018  Starz 
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero  2022  N/A (not yet released on home video or digital)
FAQ
  • What does the Z in Dragon Ball Z stand for?

    The Z in Dragon Ball Z stands for Zenkai, which means “Last Time” in Japanese, because Dragon Ball Z was supposed to be the end of the series.

  • How long would it take to watch all of Dragon Ball?

    It would take about 284 hours, or nearly 12 days, to watch all Dragon Ball series and movies.

  • How many episodes of Dragon Ball Z are there?

    There are 291 episodes of Dragon Ball Z. The original Dragonball has 153 episodes.

  • How old is Goku in Dragon Ball?

    The original Dragon Ball follows Goku from age 12-18. In Dragon Ball Z, he is 24-37. Dragon Ball Super begins when Goku is 41, and in Super Dragon Ball Heroes he is 43.

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