Fans of the wildly popular Dragon Ball anime may have new incentive to subscribe to Crunchyroll. Via Variety, Sony’s anime streaming service is adding over 500 episodes of classic Dragon Ball anime shows. That includes 153 episodes of the original Dragon Ball, 291 episodes of Dragon Ball Z, and 64 episodes of Dragon Ball GT.
Outside of the realms of anime, manga, and video games, Dragon Ball hasn’t achieved the full pop culture reach of superheroes like Batman, Spider-Man, or Superman. However, Dragon Ball is easily one of the biggest anime franchises in the world, and it has enjoyed enduring popularity over nearly four decades. Akira Toriyama created the original Dragon Ball manga series in 1984, and it has subsequently spawned four animated TV shows and 20 feature films.
The story follows Goku, a warrior of alien origin who was raised on Earth as a human. After befriending a young woman named Bulma, Goku embarks on a quest to find the legendary Dragon Balls, which can summon a dragon who can grant wishes. Goku also emerges as Earth’s primary defender against threats from within, as well as enemies from other planets. Goku’s powers greatly expand over the course of the series, as does the sizable supporting cast of his friends and enemies.
All of these Dragon Ball episodes were previously available to watch on Funimation’s streaming service. However, the merger between Funimation and Sony’s Crunchyroll means that the former rivals will now be a single streaming service under the Crunchyroll brand.
Crunchyroll already had the streaming rights for Dragon Ball Super, the most recent installment of the franchise. That show ran for 131 episodes, which brings Crunchyroll’s total Dragon Ball episode count up to 639. It takes a really dedicated fan to watch every single episode. But this is a franchise with a very dedicated following, so it’s a good investment by Sony.
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