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Anime and Me - Dragon Ball Z

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Anime and Me - Dragon Ball Z

Chris McEwan

Toei Animation/Funimation - Dragon Ball Z - Goku goes Super Saiyen in battle.

Toei Animation/Funimation - Dragon Ball Z - Goku goes Super Saiyen in battle.

Way Back When...

Nowadays, anime is everywhere you look. Practically every channel on TV has an anime series in their listings, and as we are living in an age where we can stream pretty much anything, we have services like Crunchyroll and Animax where you can stream anime, and in some cases, the same day as they premiere in Japan. Back in 2000 though, it was a lot harder to find. In a time where Pokemon had just come to the UK and Sky One were enjoying their time showing two episodes in the mornings, then repeating them in the afternoon - I had a routine of watching the first episode in the morning over breakfast, just after the Starship Troopers series, then watching the second episode after school, just before tea - kids didn't have a lot of Eastern animation to fill their screens. Cartoon Network had been showing Dragon Ball Z for two years in America at this point, but for UK viewers, it was our first time seeing it! Over the following couple years, I watched the first 3 complete sagas, Saiyan (Vegeta Saga), Frieza (Namek, Captain Ginyu and Frieza sagas) and Cell (Garlic Jr, Trunks, Androids, Imperfect Cell, Perfect Cell and Cell Games sagas) before I eventually drifted away from Dragon Ball Z and towards Mobile Suit Gundam, which was also picked up by Cartoon Network, and Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis: Evangelion which were played early evening on the Sci-Fi channel.

One of my friends back in middle school was also really into Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z, so I at least had someone to talk to about the cool stuff I saw on the TV the night before and discussing the Dragon Ball Z part of the Cartoon Network website - something which was a nightmare to load, due to this being pre-broadband I was having to use a dial up connection, so videos and games would take an absolute age to load in.

Toei Animation/Funimation - Shenron, a magical dragon summoned by collecting 7 Dragon Balls of Earth

Toei Animation/Funimation - Shenron, a magical dragon summoned by collecting 7 Dragon Balls of Earth

Over 9000!!!!!

Dragon Ball Z is a long running anime series which follows on from the manga, Dragon Ball, which sees Goku grow from a boy to a young man. Dragon Ball Z picks up with an adult Goku who, with his friends, protect Earth from invaders, like super powered androids and aliens. Goku is a member of an alien race called Saiyans, a warrior race who sent Goku to Earth as a baby for him to conquer for them, however shortly after his arrival, he suffered a head injury and forgot his mission. Goku is a friendly, pure of heart character (which is what allows him to use the Spirit Bomb) which is uncharacteristic of Saiyans. Goku is the younger brother of Radditz, one of the soldiers who accompanies Vegeta, the Saiyan Prince. Goku is the father of Gohan, a half-Saiyan (he has a human mother) who has a monkey tail which is a feature young Saiyans have, which they lose as they grow older.

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