One of the most important manga series just turned 40 and it’s none other than Dragon Ball.

After the huge success of Dr. Slump that ran from 1980 till its end in September of 1984 in Japan only at the time, Akira Toriyama was working on a new manga series on the side as he was finishing up Dr. Slump and on November 20, 1984, Weekly Shonen Jump published the first chapter of Dragon Ball and went on to become an instant classic in Japan. The story of Son Goku and the seven Dragon Balls became an international hit, especially in Latin America and more especially in Mexico.

The manga series ran from 1984 till 1995 and if you asking what about Dragon Ball Z well there is a funny story about that. When Dragon Ball was so long and big and also with the Huge success of Fist of the North Star back in 1983, they had to cut the series in a way that they could bring it over to the West as something new. The 42 Tankobon volumes were cut as such, Dragon Ball was going to be 16 volumes and Dragon Ball Z was going to be 26 volumes in the last 5 major story arcs Son Goku was an adult and the stakes were on a global level. In Japan, all 42 volumes were just called Dragon Ball. Soon after we had other series via anime such as Dragon Ball GT, Kai, Super, and most recently series Super Dragon Ball Heroes, and of course the announcement of Daima set to release later this year.

This also affected the anime series for Dragon Ball as well as Dragon Ball ran from 1986 to 1989 and Dragon Ball Z ran from 1989 to 1996. I grew up watching both anime series in Japanese and Spanish and were such a joy to watch. Thank you Akira Toriyama for making so many of our favorite childhood memories.