Dragon Ball is one of the most successful and highly rated anime shows in the world. Even if anime is not one of your interests; we suggest you check it out as it will take you on a journey full of adventure, comedy and action. To watch it, you may be faced with the problem of how to watch Dragon Ball in order and, what Dragon Ball should I watch first. It is as easy as following our watch guide to watch Dragon Ball in order.

Here is our brief overview of Dragon Ball and our detailed guide on Dragon Ball watch order. We have included all the shows and movies in chronological and release order. Let’s start with a brief Dragon Ball Overview and get to how to watch Dragon Ball in order.

Dragon Ball Overview

Dragon Ball was initially a manga series created by Akira Toriyama and released in 1984. Two adaptive series of the manga were produced by Toei Animation: Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, followed by 21 animated movies and 3 TV specials. In 1997 the studio also produced Dragon Ball GT, a sequel series then Dragon Ball Super in 2015.

Dragon Ball narrates the story of protagonist Son Goku from his childhood to adulthood as he strengthens and trains in martial arts. Son Goku starts a young warrior from a strong alien race called Saiyan, who will decide to join the quest of a teen girl, named Bulma, to explore the world searching for the seven orbs known as the Dragon Balls. Once all seven Dragon Balls are acquired, a dragon will grant any wish of choice.

Son Goku will learn about his alien heritage through his journey. Along the way, he forges new friendships that will support him on his quest as he will fight different villains who are also searching to find the 7 Dragon Balls.

How to Watch Dragon Ball in Chronological Order

The chronological order is one way to avoid confusion and follow events in any long franchise, and Dragon Ball is not an exception.

Here is the guide to how to watch Dragon Ball in order.

1. Dragon Ball (1986-1989)

Source:  Zachary David

The original Dragon Ball series aired in 1986 and consisted of 156 episodes in total. This was the on-screen debut of Goku. Son Goku and his friend Bulma start their adventure touring the world to collect the 7 Dragon Balls. If the 7 Dragon Balls were summons, the collector of the 7 Dragon Balls will be granted their greatest desire by a dragon called Shenron. Goku undergoes a training in martial arts, by Master Roshi, to fight in the World’s Martial Arts Tournament. 

During this series, Son Goku will meet new characters, who will become his allies like Yamcha & Pu’ar and he will marry Chi Chi. We will also see Son Goku fighting with different evil villains.

Three Dragon Ball movies are also part of this series. They are:

  • Curse of the Blood Rubies (1986)
  • Sleeping Princess in Devil’s Castle (1987)
  • Mystical Adventure (1988)

We recommend watching Curse of the Blood Rubies after episodes 1-13 and watching the next two movies after finishing the series.

2. Dragon Ball Z (1989-1996) & Dragon Ball Z Kai (2009-2015)

Dragon Ball Z

Source: HDSuperGokuHD

Dragon Ball Z consists of 291 episodes in total covering 325 chapters of the original Dragon Ball manga series. In addition to the episodes, there are 14 movies included in this series as well.

Dragon Ball Z is the most known series in the Dragon Ball show. This series follows grown-up Son Goku who is learning about his identity and powers. Son Goku and his friends will defend the planet against villains, magical creatures & aliens such as Majin Buu, Cell, Vegeta, and Frieza. We will also unfold the story of Goku’s son, Gohan.

Here’s how to watch Dragon Ball Z in order:

  • Dragon Ball Z (Episodes 1- 86)
  • Dragon Ball Z Special 1: Bardock, The Father of Goku (1990)
  • Dragon Ball Z (Episodes 87-123)
  • Dragon Ball Z Special 2: The History of Trunks (1993)
  • Dragon Ball Z (Episodes 124-194)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound (1993)
  • Dragon Ball Z (Episodes 194-288)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon (1995)
  • Dragon Ball Z (Episodes 288-291)

Dragon Ball Z Kai (2009-2015)

Source: Luis Guilherme Berenguer Todo-Bom

Dragon Ball Z Kai isn’t a sequel, unlike other series on this list. It is basically a remastered version of Dragon Ball Z.  This is usually confusing for people who want to know how to watch Dragon Ball in order. 

Dragon Ball Kai includes some remastered scenes and cuts most of the filler content. So, you can either watch Dragon Ball Z or DBZ Kai; it is mostly the same thing. In short, it is the HD version of Dragon Ball Z, catered towards a newer audience.

We suggest that you watch Z Kai instead of the original Z as Z Kai is a refined and enhanced version of the original show, it is also superior in terms of storytelling. Most of the filler episodes have been removed that plagued the original show.

Hence, you will get a much more coherent watching experience if you decide to watch DBZ Kai instead of DBZ.

3. Dragon Ball GT (1996-2003)

Source: María

Dragon Ball GT is a sequel of the Dragon Ball Z series, but unlike it, it does not adapt the Dragon Ball manga series. This anime series consists of 64 episodes with an original story.

In Dragon Ball GT, Son Goku is turned back into a child by Ultimate Shenron, a more powerful dragon than Shenron, who can grant any wish without any restrictions to the collector of the Black Star Dragon Balls. Son Goku and his granddaughter Pan with the company of different characters, will be forced to travel the universe to try and collect the Black Star Dragon Balls; if not retrieved within a year, planet Earth would explode. 

4. Dragon Ball Super (2015-2018)

Source: Saiyan Island

Dragon Ball Super is the latest entry in the Dragon Ball series & consists of 131 episodes. it became an instant hit after its premiere in 2015. In addition to the episodes, Dragon Ball Super also consists of various movies.

The story of this series takes place seven years after the events of Dragon Ball Z, where Goku is now working as farmer peacefully, but the God of destructions had other plans! This series has also established Broly Canon as a character, a favorite among DBZ fans.

Here’s how to watch Dragon Ball Super in order:

  • Dragon Ball Super (Episodes 1-3)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (2013)
  • Dragon Ball Super (Episodes 4-18)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ (2015)
  • Dragon Ball Super (Episodes 19-131)
  • Dragon Ball Super Movie: Broly (2018)
  • Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero (2022)

Dragon Ball Release Order

How to watch Dragon Ball in Release Order

  • Dragon Ball (1986)
  • Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies (1986)
  • Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess in Devil’s Castle (1987)
  • Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure (1988)
  • Dragon Ball Z (1989-1996)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone (1989)
  • Dragon Ball Z: The World’s Strongest (1990)
  • Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might (1990)
  • Dragon Ball Z Special 1: Bardock, The Father of Goku (1990)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug (1991)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Cooler’s Revenge (1991)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Summer Vacation Special (1992)
  • Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler (1992)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Atsumare! Gokuu World (1992)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13! (1992)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Plan to Destroy the Saiyajin (1993)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan (1993)
  • Dragon Ball Z Special 2: The History of Trunks (1993)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound (1993)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Broly – Second Coming (1994)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Bio-Broly (1994)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn (1995)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon (1995)
  • Dragon Ball: The Path to Power (1996)
  • Dragon Ball GT (1996-1997)
  • Dragon Ball GT: A Hero’s Legacy (1997)
  • Dragon Ball: Yo! The Return of Son-Goku and Friends!! (2008)
  • Dragon Ball Z Kai (2009-2011)
  • Dragon Ball Z Kai: Bring Peace to the Future! Goku’s Spirit is Eternal (2011)
  • Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock (2011)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (2013)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ (2015)
  • Dragon Ball Super (2015-2018)
  • Dragon Ball Super: Broly (2018)
  • Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero (2022)

Where Can I Watch Dragon Ball?

Now that you know how to watch Dragon Ball in order, check out where to watch it.

All the series and their respective movies are available to stream on Funimation, you just need to get a Funimation subscription to enjoy it.

Note: Dragon Ball series is also available on Hulu, which is quite a popular streaming service; some movies are also available on Netflix in some regions, you can check our guide on how to change Netflix region to watch those movies & more.

You may also like


  1. Thanks a lot!
    I have a little question
    If i watch Dragon ball Z Kai instead of Z
    What about movies from Z, can i skip them and just watch Dragon ball Z Kai?

    1. I don’t think so. Since the movies are important to the story of DBZ, and DBZ Kai is just a remastered version so they are basically the same thing, they would be important to the story of DBZ Kai too.

  2. Why isn’t Dead Zone included in the chronological order ? Especially since at the beginning of Season 4 it’s starts off with Garlic Jr. and the flash back? I was so confused as a new comer into Dragon Ball and felt as if I had missed something completely.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in TV Series