Dragon Ball Z Season 1 Review



Trailer courtesy of youtuber Gohtrunks02

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7

Season 8

Season 9

Episode Guide

The Arrival Of Raditz
The World’s Strongest Team
Gohan’s Hidden Powers
Goku’s Unusual Journey
Gohan’s Metamorphosis
Gohan Makes A Friend
Trouble On Arlia
Home For Infinite Losers
Princess Snake’s Hospitality
Escape From Piccolo
Showdown In The Past
The End Of Snakeway
A Fight Against Gravity…Catch Bubbles!
The Legend Of The Saiyans
A Black Day For Planet Earth
The Battle Begins…Goku Where Are You?
The Saibamen Strike
Nappa…The Invincible?
Tien Goes All Out!
Time’s Up!
The Return Of Goku
Goku Strikes Back
Goku VS Vegeta…a Saiyan Duel!
Vegeta…Saiyan Style!
Stop Vegeta Now!
The Battle Ends


In its simplest form, Dragon Ball Z is an animated soap opera complete with big fights, bright, vibrant animation and well written characters. Its loud, oftentimes intense and its unique blend of fighting and good pacing techniques make it an impressive animated outing with a great story. The physical humour may not translate well outside the Japanese market where the physical slapstick humour may be lost or cringe-inducing, but Dragon Ball Z succeeds in creating some memorable characters and epic fights throughout its entirety that makes it easy to overlook its shortcomings in this area.

The story for the first season sees super powered saiyan Goku and a plethora of colourful characters tasked with protecting the Earth when the villainous Raditz appears. He boasts that two more powerful saiyans will arrive on Earth following his tough fight with the heroes and what ensues is a season of training and ultimately fighting these new threats. On the whole, the season is well paced with only a handful of filler episodes that unncessarily pad the story out. Its not perfect, and every episode does end on a cliffhanger to keep the dramatic tension high. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you intend on watching a lot of episodes in one go or aren’t a fan of this technique then it can sometimes become a little tedious.

The first season of Dragon Ball Z does a great job of introducing a vast list of characters with intricate relationships in a short space of time. This attention to detail and great script writing through the majority of this season is one of the reasons that the show has been running for so long. Some of the characters, including Goku’s wife Chi Chi and the supporting cast at Kami’s House act as filler to break up the fighting and with the exception of Master Roshi don’t really bring anything to the show except providing comedic relief. I mentioned earlier that these scenes do sometimes drag or come across as cringe-inducing, with the physical humour likely to be lost on Western audiences.

Having said all of this though, the animation on the whole is very good, with a nice use of colour used throughout. There are times where it doesn’t always hit, some of the line drawing isn’t perfect and some of the colours feel a little too saturated but its a nitpick and barely noticeable. With a vast array of characters and an array of settings throughout the season, Dargon Ball Z is a visually pleasing anime with a great eye for colour and detail.

Overall then, the first season of Dragon Ball Z does a good job of establishing the universe and characters that inhabit the world. The ongoing story makes it an easy watch, one that quickly grips you and makes it hard to stop watching. The fighting is top notch too, with some impressive effects and animation to accompany the realistically depicted voice acting throughout. Whilst its story does drag at times, especially during the quiet middle portion that features a few filler episodes, the climactic fight that dominates the latter portion of this season makes it worth the wait. Its not perfect, and the season does have some niggling issues, but on the whole, the first season of Dragon Ball Z is a successful one.

  • Verdict - 8/10