Skip to main content

Sony’s Crunchyroll adds over 500 episodes of Dragon Ball

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.

Goku and Piccolo in Dragon Ball, with a dragon flying in the background.

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero film gets a worldwide release
dragon ball super film announced hero poster featured

In 2018, the anime film Dragon Ball Super: Broly made $115 million worldwide. However, Sony's Crunchyroll has greater ambitions for the upcoming sequel, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero. Crunchyroll and Toei Animation have announced that they are teaming up to give the latest installment in the long-running franchise a global theatrical release later this summer.

Dragon Ball has been one of the most popular manga and anime series for decades, and it played a large role in popularizing both in this country. The new movie revisits some of the old adversaries of Son Goku and his friends: The Red Ribbon Army. To defeat Goku and overcome his power, the Red Ribbon Army has created two incredibly advanced androids. The androids have even co-opted the words "Super Hero" to mask their evil agenda. But the real heroes of the franchise won't let that stand.

Read more
History remembers names in new House of the Dragon trailer
Matt Smith in House of the Dragon.

Have you ever wondered why there were so few female rulers in HBO's Game of Thrones? It's the same reason why there aren't that many in this world. In the new trailer for the prequel series, House of the Dragon, King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) sets up what should be a peaceful transfer of power. The major houses of Westeros have all come to bend the knee and swear loyalty to Viserys and his chosen heir: His daughter, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy). Everyone follows the script except one: Her uncle, Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith).

Most of the trailer seems to take place from Daemon's perspective, as he walks out of the throne room without supporting his niece or his brother. Instead of being shunned, he is cheered by his followers. Daemon is willing to let the kingdom slip into war just to satisfy his urge for power. And as warned in the trailer, history doesn't remember the blood spilled on the way to the throne. It remembers the names of those who claimed it.

Read more
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 review: Beautifully heartfelt chaos
Promo poster for Jujutsu Kaisen 0 featuring a collage of the main cast.

As if it wasn't made obvious enough by last year's successful release of Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, anime has come a long way from being a niche genre that was largely inaccessible to the west unless you were a super fan who knew where to look. What that and this year's Jujutsu Kaisen 0 specifically prove, though, is how far the genre has come in crawling its way to the top of global box offices as well. Anime movies were even harder for fans to get their hands on years ago -- subbed or dubbed -- and animation studio MAPPA's latest endeavor opened in second at the U.S. box office, only behind superhero and DC Comics IP titan The Batman.

It's a commendable achievement and a great sign for the future of anime movies and the genre as a whole, and the quality behind Jujutsu Kaisen 0 -- from the animation production value, pulse-pounding action, and heartfelt cast of characters -- earns that notch on its belt. This series is newer and admittedly doesn't have the same transcending cultural impact as other Shonen anime franchises like Dragon Ball, One Piece, Naruto, or Bleach, but Jujutsu Kaisen 0 proves that its respective acclaim wasn't a fluke and even takes the good elements of the latter two IPs and trims the fat that held them back in their later days.
Beautifully chaotic action
Even without the unabashed bombast of Toei Animation's 2018 hit Dragon Ball Super: Broly or Ufotable's flashy elegance in the aforementioned Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, MAPPA takes the already-stellar work from their Jujutsu Kaisen TV anime and cranks it up to 11 for this prequel. Given the premise of select clans of elite, modern-day sorcerers, the in-universe Curse Energy they manipulate is going to be one of the main visual allures of the movie.

Read more