How the Dragon Ball Z Anime Ended

Dragon Ball Z was, and still is, one of the most popular and well-known anime on the planet, with its western release boosting a wave of international anime popularity. However, all good anime must eventually come to an end, and DBZ's long-winded, 200+ episode list was no exception.

The conclusion to the ultimate shonen anime was part of a saga that came after the penultimate Buu Saga, ending things on a relatively slow-paced and positive note. Ever the battle series, the show involved Goku facing off against one last fighter, namely one whose nature called back to a mighty foe. Here's how this classic shonen series came to a startling conclusion.

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Peaceful World Saga

The final episodes of Dragon Ball Z are officially referred to as the "Peaceful World Saga" and have a more hopeful and less drastic tone than the carnage of the preceding Buu Saga. After celebrating Kid Buu's defeat at Bulma's house, the time skips forward ten years later to showcase the drastic changes in the lives of the Goku and the Z-Fighters. Bulma and Vegeta have a daughter named Bulla/Bra, while Trunks and Goten still train to become formidable warriors like their fathers. On the other hand, Gohan has officially retired from fighting, following his mother's wishes, and instead spends his time studying while also having a daughter named Pan with his wife, Videl.

The final episode has Goku, once again, fighting in a martial arts tournament, with his opponent being a mysterious dark-skinned boy named Uub. Despite his youth and small stature, he puts up a pretty good fight against Goku in the battle's beginnings. Coming up with a plan, Goku insults the boy and sends him into a fighting rage. This confirms the Z Fighter's belief that Uub, much as his name would suggest, is a human reincarnation of the evil Majin Buu. Despite this, for as formidable as Uub is, he still lacks discipline in the use of ki, energy attacks and flight.

Goku vs. Uub

Instead of fighting Uub, Goku instead takes the boy under his wing, hoping to hone his skills while also staving off any remaining influence of Majin Buu. Uub reveals his noble heart by saying that he entered the tournament to win money for his low-income family. Goku promises to secure the desired funds through the incredibly rich Hercule/Mr. Satan, intending to take Uub and train him to become Earth's next champion.

He makes the rounds saying goodbye to his friends and family, telling Trunks and Goten to protect the Earth in his absence, all while his granddaughter Pan cries to go with him. She playfully fights against her uncle Goten at the tournament, even defeating him with a slap to the cheek. Goku and Vegeta also see each other off, with Vegeta knowing full well that Goku intends to train Uub to one day replace him. Finally, journeying to Uub's home, Goku and Uub both fly off, signaling the end of the saga for the time being.

The series would receive two sequels in the form of Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super. After DBZ's time skip, the former took place and featured a de-aged Goku journeying throughout space with Trunks and a teenage Pan for the Black Star Dragon Balls. Uub himself had a minimal role, and GT is now considered non-canon. Super takes place after the Buu Saga but before the time skip of DBZ's series finale, with Uub only recently reincarnated into his human form and thus still too young to meet Goku. However, Goku will likely finally meet him as the manga continues and possibly continue the official story beyond Dragon Ball Z's final episode.