Dragon Ball: How to Get Started With the Anime & Manga

After premiering in 1986, Dragon Ball spawned tons of merchandise, spinoffs and movies, so with that much content, it can be confusing for anime fans who want to start one of the most popular series in the world.

For starters, it's hard to decide if it's better to start with the original series or its more well-known spinoff Dragon Ball Z. Plus, there's the remake of DBZ, Dragon Ball Z Kai, and the latest installment, Dragon Ball Super. Sometimes, it's best to start at the beginning, so here are some legal ways to watch and read Dragon Ball and its sequels.

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How to Read The Dragon Ball Manga

If you prefer to have physical copies of your manga, VIZ Media -- the American distributor for Dragon Ball--- sells a complete box set of the original series and Dragon Ball Z on sites like Amazon, Bookshop.org, and Rightstuf for around $139. You can also purchase the box set or the individual volumes at Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble, and even your local Walmart. If you prefer to support local businesses, your local comic or game shop is also very likely to sell the manga, and if they don't, they might be able to order it for you if you ask. For those who don't want to spend a lot for a manga they're not sure they'll like, Thriftbooks offers used volumes for around $5.89 or new volumes for full price.

If you don't have much room or prefer digital to physical, Amazon has individual volumes available to read through Kindle and Comixology for under $10. VIZ also allows you to read the first three chapters for Dragon Ball, Z, and Super for free and the rest of the chapters if you join their subscription service. For $1.99 a month, you can read all of the chapters of the entire Shonen Jump catalog, including Dragon Ball and One PieceDr. Stone and other titles. There is a free week trial once you sign up that you cancel anytime if you don't like it.

How to Watch The Dragon Ball Anime

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Starting with Dragon Ball, it's available on Funimation's website, subbed and dubbed, and you can even purchase DVD box sets if that's more your preference. Amazon also has all the seasons available to buy for $1.99 an episode, or $14.99 a season in SD quality. Hulu and Yahoo only offer the subbed version of the anime on their platforms.

Dragon Ball Z is also available on Funimation with subs and dubs, and of course, box sets, but the prices range from $20 to $45 depending on if you get standard editions, Blu-Ray, or Steelbox editions. Amazon has HD versions of the series for $2.99 an episode and $17.99 a season.

Dragon Ball Z Kai is only available through Adult Swim or Amazon unless you want a DVD set, which you can order from Funimation. On Amazon, Kai is cheaper than its counterpart at $1.99 an episode or $14.99 a season.

Dragon Ball GT is available on Funimation, Hulu, Amazon and Yahoo like the original series. Dragon Ball Super's subbed version is available on Crunchyroll, while both subbed and dubbed can be found on Funimation and for purchase on Amazon. As for the movies, the only way to watch them is by purchasing them through Amazon, Google Play or Vudu -- even then, not all are available. Luckily, all pre-Super movies have been condensed into a box set that includes the Bardock and Future Trunks TV specials available on Amazon. With Funimation's subscription service, you can stream some of the films, but currently, only movies 1-4, 6, 7, and 13.

Thankfully, for one of the most renowned anime and manga series in the world, there are more than enough places for every Dragon Ball fan -- new or old -- to dive into Goku's adventures.

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