Original logo from the manga.
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Jump|
|Genre(s)||Action, adventure, comedy, martial arts, science fantasy|
|Year of inception||1984|
|Original run||November 20, 1984 – May 23, 1995|
The Dragon Ball (ドラゴンボール) universe refers to the Super Smash Flash series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from Weekly Shōnen Jump's manga series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama. Inspired by the Chinese folk novel Journey to the West, it follows the adventures of Son Goku from his childhood through middle age as he trains in martial arts and explores the world in search of the seven mystical objects known as the Dragon Balls, which can summon a wish-granting dragon. Along his trip, Goku meets several friends and fights against several villains who also seek the Dragon Balls. Dragon Ball is one of the most popular manga series of its time, and it continues to enjoy high readership today. Conceived in 1984, it is the oldest manga entry in the Super Smash Flash series.
Wanting to break from the Western influences common in his other series, Dr. Slump (Dr. スランプ), when Akira Toriyama began work on Dragon Ball he decided to loosely model it on the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West. He also redeveloped one of his earlier one shot manga series, Dragon Boy, which was initially serialized in Fresh Jump and released in a single tankōbon volume in 1983. This short work combined the comedic style of Toriyama's successful six-year series Dr. Slump with a more action-oriented plot and paid homage to famous martial art actor, Jackie Chan. Toriyama notes that his goal for the series was to tell an "unconventional and contradictory" story.
The fighting techniques were initially unnamed, but the series editor felt it would be better to name them all. Toriyama proceeded to create names for all of the techniques, except for the Kamehameha (かめはめ波) which his wife named when Toriyama was indecisive about what it should be called. When creating the fictional world of the series, Toriyama decided to create basing it from his own imagination to avoid referencing popular culture. However the island where the World Martial Arts Tournament is held is modeled after Bali. When having fights in the manga, Toriyama had the characters go to a place where nobody lived to avoid difficulties in drawing destroyed buildings. In order to advance the story quickly, he also gave most fighters the ability to fly so they could travel to other parts of the world without inconvenience. This was also the reason Goku learned to teleport (thus allowing characters to move to any planet in a second).
The story follows a monkey-tailed boy named Goku who is found by an old martial arts expert who raises him as his grandson. One day Goku meets a girl named Bulma and together they go on a quest to retrieve the seven Dragon Balls, mythical objects that can summon a dragon who will grant any wish. Along the way, they meet and befriend a plethora of martial artists. They also undergo rigorous training regimes and educational programs in order to fight in the World Martial Arts Tournament, a tournament in which the most powerful fighters in the world compete. Outside the tournaments, Goku faces diverse villains such as Emperor Pilaf, the Red Ribbon Army, and the demon king Piccolo Daimao and his offspring of the same name; the latter would later become one of Goku's closest allies.
As a young adult, Goku meets his older brother, Raditz, who tells him that they come from a race of extraterrestrials called Saiyans (サイヤ人じん). It is revealed that the remaining Saiyans had sent Goku to Earth to destroy it, but his ship crashed upon arrival, causing him to fall into a deep ravine and lose all memory of his mission. Goku refuses to help Raditz continue the mission, after which he begins to encounter others who want to battle him, such as Vegeta IV, the Saiyan prince who would later become a friendly rival to Goku. He also encounters Frieza, who is considered to be one of the strongest beings in the universe, after which Goku begins training his first child, Son Gohan, to be his successor. Years later, a group of soldiers from the Red Ribbon Army known as androids appear to kill Goku. Another android, Cell, absorbs Androids #17 and #18 from the Red Ribbon Army to increase his power, then fights Goku and Gohan, resulting in the former's death. Goku decides to stay dead for seven years to train in the Other World. When he returns, he is drawn into a battle for the universe against an extraterrestrial named Majin Buu. Joined by Vegeta and Gohan, the evil half of Buu is destroyed and the Good Buu (Mr. Buu) settles down with them. Ten years later at a martial arts tournament, Goku meets evil Buu's human reincarnation, Uub. At the end of the series, Goku takes Uub away on a journey to train him as another successor.
The story of Goku and his friends continued in two mutually exclusive anime sequel series, Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super. The former saw Goku revert to the form of a young child due to the power of the Dragon Balls, while the latter saw Goku and Vegeta's continuing adventures following the end of Dragon Ball Z as they would encounter more powerful foes than ever before, often from different universes and timelines.
After the first chapters were released, readers commented that Goku seemed rather plain, so his appearance was changed. New characters (such as Master Roshi and Krillin) were added and martial arts tournaments were included to give the manga a greater emphasis on fighting. Anticipating that readers would expect Goku to win the tournaments, Toriyama had him lose the first two while continuing his initial goal of having Goku be the champion and hero. At the end of the Cell arc, he intended for Gohan to replace Goku as the series protagonist, but then felt the character was not suited for the role and changed his mind.
Toriyama based the Red Ribbon Army from a video game he had played named Spartan X (aka Kung-Fu Master) in which enemies tended to appear very fast. After the second tournament concluded, Toriyama wanted to have a villain who would be a true "bad guy". After creating Piccolo as the new villain, he noted that it was one of the most interesting parts of the stories and that he, and his son, became one of the favorite characters of the series. With Goku established as the strongest fighter on Earth, Toriyama decided to increase the number of villains that came from outer space. Finding the escalating enemies to be a pain to work with feeling it was too simple, he created the Ginyu Squad to add more balance to the series. During this period of the series, Toriyama placed less emphasis on the series artwork, simplifying the lines and sometimes making things "too square". He found himself having problems determining the colors for characters and sometimes ended up changing them unintentionally mid-story. In later accounts, Toriyama noted that he did not plan out the details of the story, resulting in strange occurrences and discrepancies later in the series.
In the Super Smash Flash series
In Super Smash Flash 2
As one of the most successful manga/anime franchises of all time, the Dragon Ball series makes a sensational debut in the Super Smash Flash series' by being one of the new franchises in Super Smash Flash 2. It is heavily influenced on the second portion of the manga and the anime adaptation, Dragon Ball Z.
- Son Goku: Simply known as Goku. Goku debuted in demo v0.7. He uses various techniques from the Dragon Ball series such as the Kamehameha. Another technique of his is an attack that multiplies the user's ki for an instant, called the Kaiō-ken (界王拳). Goku also learns a teleportation skill called, Instant Transmission (瞬間移動). As his Final Smash, he possesses the ability to transform into his different Super Sayian forms and attack his opponents with a barrage of kicks and punches, before launching them away with a Genki-dama (元げん気き玉だま).
- Krillin: Goku's long-time best friend and another member of the Z Fighters, when Krillin is summoned, he raises his arm and begins charging a spinning energy disk on his hand called Kienzan (気円斬). He then proceeds to launch it at the summoner's opponents moving in a straight direction toward them. Krillin launches a total of 5 Kienzan before disappearing.
- Planet Namek: A green-surfaced planet, home to all the Namekians, it consists of a large rock platform surrounded by water with two smaller floating platforms.For the rest of the battle, Vegeta, Trunks, and Gohan can occasionally be seen flying around.
- World Tournament: The setting of a martial arts tournament event in the Dragon Ball universe, it consists of a marble platform in the center raised slightly above a grassy floor on both sides. While the grass itself is a platform, it also acts as the stage's hazard; landing on it will cause an instant KO. This makes the marble platform the only platform safe to stand on, and it makes recovering from the sides much more difficult.