Dragon Ball watch order — how to watch all episodes & movies 2022

Credit: Toei Animation

Dragon Ball is just one of those classics that give sweet fond memories to kids of the 80’s and 90’s. But, much like super long-standing series like Hajime no Ippo… the series is still miraculously still ongoing, forming a legendary watch order that spans almost half a century-ish.

Of course, anybody who has seen at least one current-generation Dragon Ball meme would already have an idea that it got this far. But can you even fathom how such a wide time gap appears in an updated Dragon Ball watch order nowadays? And that’s both in the original source material (manga), and the concurrent anime of today.

Because come on. At the very least, our extended Naruto watch order, convoluted Fate watch order, and even the missing-in-chunks Danganronpa watch order still contains some semblance of update variation to keep other versions separate from one another.

Credit: Toei Animation

Dramatic (and usually unnecessary) episodic extensions aside, watching Dragon Ball as a single flowing story is pretty straightforward. What’s important to take note of, though, are the sagas, since as an old classic shonen series, this is usually where power levels kind of readjust for the next big threat.

1. Chronological Order

Not much deviation from the source material, but it does add quite a lot more. This still includes the TV original Dragon Ball GT and its subsequent movie/episode special, at least.

First-series

  • Dragon Ball
  • Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess in the Devil’s Castle
  • Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure

Z-warriors Era

  • Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone (transitional between first series and Z?)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Episode 1-86
  • Dragon Ball Z: Bardock – The Father of Goku
  • Dragon Ball Z: Episode 87-107
  • Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock
  • Dragon Ball Z: The World’s Strongest
  • Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might
  • Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug
  • Dragon Ball Z: Episode 108-123
  • Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks
  • Dragon Ball Z: Episode 124-125
  • Dragon Ball Z: Cooler’s Revenge
  • Dragon Ball Z: Episode 126-146
  • Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13
  • Dragon Ball Z: Episode 147-173
  • Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler
  • Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan
  • Dragon Ball Z: Episode 174-194
  • Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound
  • Dragon Ball Z: Episode 195-207
  • Dragon Ball Z: Broly’s Second Coming
  • Dragon Ball Z: Episode 208-250
  • Dragon Ball Z: Bio-Broly
  • Dragon Ball Z: Episode 251-253
  • Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn
  • Dragon Ball Z: Episode 254-288
  • Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon
  • Dragon Ball Z: Episode 289-291 (End)

Post-Kid Buu, Alternate Version

  • Dragon Ball GT
  • Dragon Ball GT: A Hero’s Legacy

Post-Kid Buu, Canon Version

  • Dragon Ball Super: Episode 1-3
  • Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods
  • Dragon Ball Super: Episode 4-18
  • Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F
  • Dragon Ball Super: Episode 19-131 (End)
  • Dragon Ball Super: Broly

Spin-off

2. Release Date Order

Enjoying the series the same way as older people do now for the last few decades. Using our own version of the Hyperbolic Time Chamber called… the “marathon”.

  • Dragon Ball (All Episodes)
  • Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess in the Devil’s Castle
  • Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure
  • Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone
  • Dragon Ball Z (All Episodes)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Bardock – The Father of Goku
  • Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock
  • Dragon Ball Z: The World’s Strongest
  • Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might
  • Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug
  • Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks
  • Dragon Ball Z: Cooler’s Revenge
  • Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13
  • Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler
  • Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan
  • Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound
  • Dragon Ball Z: Broly’s Second Coming
  • Dragon Ball Z: Bio-Broly
  • Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn
  • Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon
  • Dragon Ball GT (All Episodes)
  • Dragon Ball GT: A Hero’s Legacy
  • Dragon Ball Super (All Episodes)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods
  • Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F
  • Dragon Ball Super: Broly
  • Dragon Super Dragon Ball Heroes

3. Source Material / Canon Order

As the name says, the order by which it follows closely the original manga by Akira Toriyama. All movies are, of course, completely absent from this list (save for two important TV specials). Oh and, spoiler alert: Dragon Ball GT is also nowhere to be found in this list.

  • Dragon Ball (All Episodes)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Episode 1-107 (up to end of Frieza Saga)*
  • Dragon Ball Z: Bardock – The Father of Goku
  • Dragon Ball Z: Episode 126-194 (Arrival of Trunks, Androids, entire Cell Saga)
  • Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks
  • Dragon Ball Z: Episode 200-291 (entire Majin Buu Saga)
  • Dragon Ball Super (All Episodes)

(*can also watch Kai versions up until the last adapted episode)

Plot of Dragon Ball

Credit: Toei Animation

One day, a mysterious ball came falling down from the sky. Martial arts master Son Gohan discovered that in it, was a boy, presumably riding the ball as an alien spacecraft…

Time has passed since then, and the old Gohan had died. However, the boy, now named Son Goku, has heard of a mythical set of balls known as the Dragon Balls. When collected, it is rumored to be able to grant any wish from the legendary dragon Shenron. Needless to say, he’s not the only one who has heard of the legend, as other entities and powers are also interested to seek the power of these magical objects. The adventures to get these Dragon Balls, and the whirling array of characters in between is the main premise of the first series.

After the main series ends though, the audience is eventually presented with an ever-escalating series of threats. Son Goku has since then become an adult, and this is where much of the pop culture mythos of the series will soon rise. Though the new conflicts have each their own unique flavor, the objective remains the same, protect your friends, and get stronger.

Hopefully, the next transition of power will be just right over the horizon.

“You Gotta Power!”… to watch all of them

Credit: Toei Animation

Post-first-series Dragon Ball has been famously (or infamously) known as one of the shounen series that massively bloats power levels per saga. In the case of movies, however, such “plot elements” will mostly depend on the saga that was concurrently running at the time of its release. Don’t worry about the later ones though, they’re quite interesting enough on their own without having to worry about the consistency of each character’s fighting prowess.

If you’re thirsty for more arcs, sagas, and interesting villains, you can check out some of the highly-acclaimed Dragon Ball video games of recent years. Probably the most recent one in terms of visuals, gameplay, and character introduction would be Dragon Ball Fighterz.

Interested in more shounen stuff? May we suggest diving straight into our modern-day best shounen anime list.