Three classic Dragon Ball anime series have teleported onto Crunchyroll.
The anime streaming service announced that the original series, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT can now all available in their entirety on its platform. The release includes both the subtitled and English dubbed releases of the original Dragon Ball and GT, while DBZ is currently only available with the dub. The most recent series in the franchise, Dragon Ball Super, was already previously available on Crunchyroll.
The classic Dragon Ball anime series were previously distributed by Funimation. The show's Crunchyroll debut comes after the announcement that most of Funimation's exclusive titles would be migrated over to Crunchyroll's platform. Funimation's streaming service, as well as the company's branding on its future home video releases, looks as though they are being dissolved as parent corporation Sony consolidates all of its anime offerings under the Crunchyroll brand. Funimation was originally acquired in 2017 by the Japanese tech giant, who then subsequently bought out Crunchyroll in 2021 for a reported $1.1 billion USD.
The original Dragon Ball anime premiered in Japan in 1986 and adapts the first 194 chapters of Akira Toriyama's manga of the same name. The anime received a sequel series, Dragon Ball Z, in 1989, which adapted the remaining chapters of the original manga. While the original anime was aired in the United States and other territories in syndication, it wasn't until DBZ that the franchise became a breakout hit internationally. The series is widely credited with playing a key role in establishing anime's worldwide, mainstream popularity in the late 1990s and early '00s. An additional sequel series, entitled Dragon Ball GT, premiered in 1996. Instead of being based on Toriyama's manga, GT presented a wholly original storyline created specifically for the anime.
Dragon Ball was created by Akira Toriyama and premiered in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1984. The martial arts epic, which is loosely based on the classic Journey to the West Chinese novel, is widely regarded as one of the most influential shonen manga ever made, and is the third best-selling manga series of all time, with an estimated 300 million copies in circulation worldwide. The adventures of Goku and his constantly growing growing circle of enemies-turned-friends continues to this day with the on-going Dragon Ball Super manga and the upcoming Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero movie, which will be released in North America this summer.