For over 30 years, the Dragon Ball franchise has reigned as one of the most influential anime series ever. Its memorable characters, heart-pounding fight sequences, and imaginative storytelling have captured the hearts of fans across generations.
With new series like Dragon Ball Super continuing the epic adventure, there‘s never been a better time to dive into the fantastical world of Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Super, and the entire Dragon Ball universe.
This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know to watch Dragon Ball on any device you own. Follow along to learn the full history of the Dragon Ball anime, see a comparison of streaming platforms, get viewing tips for new fans, and find answers to frequently asked questions.
Let‘s take a journey together like Goku flying on the Nimbus cloud – to watch Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Super, and beyond!
A Brief History of Dragon Ball
Before jumping into the different viewing options available today, let‘s do a quick recap of the origins and background of the Dragon Ball franchise.
The Dragon Ball story began as a manga comic written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama. It was first published in 1984 in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine.
The original Dragon Ball manga spanned 519 chapters, published until 1995. During that decade of serialization, Dragon Ball became one of the most popular and best-selling manga in Japan.
Several anime television series would be produced based on this groundbreaking manga.
Dragon Ball Anime Timeline
Here‘s a look at the timeline and overview of the major Dragon Ball anime series:
|Series||Episodes||Original Run||Main Plot|
|Dragon Ball||153||1986 – 1989||Adapts first portion of manga up to Piccolo Jr. arc|
|Dragon Ball Z||291||1989 – 1996||Continues manga story from Raditz arc to Buu saga|
|Dragon Ball GT||64||1996 – 1997||Anime-only sequel with original story|
|Dragon Ball Super||131||2015 – 2018||First new DB series in 20 years, takes place after DBZ|
In total between the various anime series, there are over 500 episodes set in the Dragon Ball universe. This doesn‘t even include the animated movies and specials!
Since its debut, Dragon Ball has become a worldwide phenomenon. As of 2021, estimates put the total franchise revenue over $25 billion when counting manga, anime, video games, merchandising, and box office.
Dragon Ball Z remains the most popular installment. It elevated the action and excitement from the original series. Unforgettable villains like Frieza and Cell pushed our heroes like Goku, Vegeta, and Gohan to ever greater heights.
For many fans, Dragon Ball Z represents the pinnacle of the franchise. But Dragon Ball Super has introduced amazing new transformations like Ultra Instinct and brought back classic characters for more adventure.
After over 35 years, Dragon Ball continues to have a monumental global impact on entertainment and pop culture. Its unique blend of martial arts, superpowers, and humor make it appealing across borders and generations.
Now let‘s explore the many ways for you to watch Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Super, and more from the comfort of your home.
Where to Stream Every Dragon Ball Series
In the past, it was difficult to legally watch Dragon Ball outside certain countries like Japan. But thanks to today‘s streaming landscape, there are multiple options to view the subbed or dubbed versions online.
Here are the major platforms for watching Dragon Ball anime:
Funimation is undoubtedly the best destination for streaming Dragon Ball. They have the rights for subtitled and dubbed episodes of:
- Dragon Ball (Original Series)
- Dragon Ball Z
- Dragon Ball GT
- Dragon Ball Super
- Dragon Ball Z movies
- Dragon Ball Super movie
A Funimation subscription is priced at a very reasonable $5.99 per month. You get unlimited access to their entire Dragon Ball catalog plus tons of other anime.
It‘s easy to try Funimation risk-free because they offer every new user a 14-day free trial. Just register an account and you can immediately watch Dragon Ball ad-free without paying initially.
Funimation apps are readily available across all major platforms – iOS, Android, Windows, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Android TV, and Smart TVs from LG, Samsung, Sony and more.
In terms of sheer content library and availability, Funimation is the top contender for watching Dragon Ball anime.
Crunchyroll is a popular destination for streaming subtitled anime. While they don‘t have the full Dragon Ball catalog, Crunchyroll does offer:
- Dragon Ball Super (subtitled) – 131 episodes
- Dragon Ball Z movies (subtitled)
The free membership lets you watch with ads. To remove advertisements, you can sign up for their premium subscription at $7.99 per month.
In addition to apps for iPhone, Android, Fire TV, Roku, and game consoles, Crunchyroll is also available right through your web browser.
While Crunchyroll lacks Dragon Ball dubbed episodes, it‘s great for viewing subtitled content from Dragon Ball Super and the movies.
Hulu has a surprisingly good selection of anime programming, including:
- Dragon Ball Super (sub and dub)
- Dragon Ball Z movies (sub and dub)
For $6.99 monthly, you get the base Hulu plan with ads. To eliminate commercials, upgrade to the no-ads plan for $12.99 per month.
Hulu supports iPhones, Android devices, Fire tablets, Roku, Chromecast, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, certain smart TVs, and more.
Keep in mind Hulu lacks the original Dragon Ball series and Dragon Ball Z. But it‘s a solid option for streaming Dragon Ball Super.
Here‘s a secret way to watch Dragon Ball on Netflix:
While Netflix USA does not have Dragon Ball available, Netflix Japan includes many of the movies and over 50 episodes.
Using a VPN (virtual private network) allows you to tunnel your traffic through Japan and access the Japanese Netflix library. ExpressVPN and NordVPN are fast, reliable options.
This VPN approach grants you another place to watch subtitled Dragon Ball completely free if you already pay for Netflix!
Microsoft Digital Purchase
On Microsoft platforms like Windows PC and Xbox, you can buy digital access to certain Dragon Ball series:
- Dragon Ball Super (sub and dub)
- Dragon Ball Z Kai (sub and dub)
- Dragon Ball GT (sub and dub)
Purchasing gives you offline access in addition to streaming. Episodes start at $1.99 each or you can buy full seasons.
Dragon Ball anime is available for purchase on disc media:
You can often find box sets with entire Dragon Ball Z or Dragon Ball Super seasons. This gives you high quality offline access to watch anytime.
Toonami and Adult Swim
These cable channels aimed at adults and mature audiences air Dragon Ball content frequently. Check your local listings for:
- Dragon Ball Super
- Dragon Ball Z
- Dragon Ball Z Kai
- Dragon Ball GT
Toonami and Adult Swim have introduced Dragon Ball to many fans over the years.
In addition to legal platforms, you may find Dragon Ball episodes on free streaming sites or torrent sources.
However quality and reliability on these can vary wildly. Use caution as some alternative sites host unsafe links or pirated content.
For the best Dragon Ball streaming experience, we strongly recommend sticking to reputable platforms like Funimation. But diehard fans may want to occasionally explore alternative options.
Now let‘s move on to the ideal viewing order for new Dragon Ball fans aiming to watch the full story from start to finish.
Dragon Ball Viewing Order for New Fans
One daunting aspect for Dragon Ball newcomers can be knowing where to start and which series to watch in what order.
Here is the optimal Dragon Ball viewing order to get the complete experience chronologically:
|1. Dragon Ball|
|2. Dragon Ball Z|
|3. Dragon Ball Z Movies (optional)|
|4. Dragon Ball Super|
|5. Dragon Ball GT (optional)|
Starting with the original Dragon Ball series lets you witness Son Goku‘s early adventures as a child and teen. The later sagas feature thrilling tournaments and introduce characters like Bulma, Krillin, Master Roshi, Yamcha, Tien, and Piccolo.
Then Dragon Ball Z brings the action to the next level. This seminal series documents Goku‘s and his allies struggles against the Saiyan invasion up through to Majin Buu. Along the way we meet fan favorites like Future Trunks, Android 18, and Beerus.
Sprinkled between Dragon Ball and Z, there are over 15 animated Dragon Ball films. While not mandatory, watching these movies provides fun filler expanding on characters and events.
Dragon Ball Super fits perfectly after Z, with God-level transformations like Super Saiyan Blue and deity introductions such as Whis and the Grand Priest. This sequel series nicely links back to classic Dragon Ball lore too.
Finally, Dragon Ball GT is controversial but serves as a fitting grand finale after Super. This anime-original story completes the adventures of Son Goku with callbacks to prior plot lines.
Following this chronological order will give you the most cohesive Dragon Ball experience wrapping up decades of storytelling.
Hardcore fans may also wish to watch Dragon Ball Z Kai. This modernized reboot trims filler to more closely adapt the manga.
Now let‘s go over how to watch Dragon Ball on some popular streaming devices.
How to Stream Dragon Ball on Popular Gadgets
A benefit of today‘s streaming landscape is being able watch Dragon Ball anywhere on nearly any device.
Let‘s review how to access and watch Dragon Ball on some of the most common gadgets:
Fire TV Stick
Over 40 million Fire TV products have been sold, making this one of the most popular ways to stream. To watch Dragon Ball on Firestick:
- Download Funimation or Crunchyroll from the Fire TV appstore
- Launch the app and log into your account
- Browse the Dragon Ball catalog and start watching!
iPhone and iPad
Apple iOS devices like iPhone and iPad are similarly easy streaming platforms. Just:
- Install the Funimation or Crunchyroll app from the iOS App Store
- Input your subscriber credentials to sign in
- Tap on Dragon Ball videos to stream them anywhere!
Android Phone and Tablet
With over 88% global market share, Android is the dominant mobile operating system. Access its apps:
- Get Funimation or Crunchyroll from the Google Play Store
- Open app and enter your login email and password
- Search for Dragon Ball to start watching instantly
PlayStation and Xbox
Modern game consoles have great entertainment features. Here‘s how to watch Dragon Ball on these systems:
- For PlayStation, download Funimation or Crunchyroll from the PS Store
- On Xbox, get the apps from the Microsoft Store
- Sign into your accounts in the app to access Dragon Ball
With over 60 million active users, Roku players and TVs are wildly popular. They make streaming a breeze:
- Add the Funimation or Crunchyroll channel on your Roku
- Launch channel and input your subscriber username and password
- Search Dragon Ball and play any episode or movie!
As you can see, it‘s extremely convenient to watch the Z Fighters do battle on whichever device you happen to be using, anywhere in the world!
Now let‘s move onto some frequently asked questions from fans.
Frequently Asked Questions About Watching Dragon Ball
Here are answers to some of the most common questions about streaming Dragon Ball:
How do I start watching Dragon Ball? Which series should I begin with?
For new fans, we recommend starting with Dragon Ball episode 1 and going in chronological order from there. This lets you follow the full story from the beginning. Dragon Ball Z is another excellent starting point as the most action-oriented series.
Is Dragon Ball on Netflix?
Dragon Ball was removed from US Netflix. However using a VPN to connect through Japan allows you to stream some subtitled movies and episodes from Japanese Netflix.
Can I watch Dragon Ball in English?
Yes, Funimation and Hulu both offer Dragon Ball episodes and movies dubbed in English. For only Japanese subtitled, check Crunchyroll and Netflix.
Is it better to stream or buy Dragon Ball on Blu-ray/DVD?
Streaming gives you the convenience of on-demand access anywhere. But physical media like Blu-ray provides higher quality 1080p video and lossless audio. For hardcore fans, a combined approach is worth investing in.
How do I use a VPN to watch Dragon Ball on Netflix?
First sign up for a top VPN like ExpressVPN or NordVPN. Install the VPN app on your device, select a Japan server, and connect. This will make Netflix think you‘re located in Japan. Then just visit Netflix and stream the Japan exclusives!
Is it safe to watch Dragon Ball on free streaming sites?
Exercise caution with free streaming sites, as many are filled with pop-up ads, malware infections, spyware trackers, and illegally pirated content. For a smooth viewing experience, we strongly recommend trusted platforms like Funimation.
We hope these Dragon Ball streaming tips help you relive all the best moments with Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, and rest of the Z Fighters. With so many great apps and devices supported, you can now watch Dragon Ball anytime, anywhere.