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11 Reasons Why Dragon Ball Is Better Than Your Favourite Shounen Anime

There are dozens of reasons why dragon ball Is better than the average shounen anime. Including Naruto, which people praise and overrate in my eyes (despite it being good).

When I talk about “dragon ball”, that also includes:

  • Dragon Ball (first season).
  • Dragon Ball Z.
  • Dragon Ball Super.

And any of the movies or content made in between, including GT by the way.

While DB isn’t part of the big three, it’s responsible for it because of its:

  • Influence.
  • How it inspired modern-day shounen.

And how modern shounen anime adopted the standard cliches, tropes, and more you see today from DBZ itself.

Let’s talk about the 11 reasons.


#1 It’s the FATHER of shounen anime!

dragon ball cover characters kids goku bulma | https://animemotivation.com/why-dragon-ball-is-the-best-anime-shounen/

It all started in 1986 and inspired many cliches and tropes still used to this day.

Like the main character who has a big appetite and a bottomless pit of a stomach, to the cliche pervert character, to calling out the name of your attacks, and so much more.

It all started with the father of shounen anime.


#2 It continues to evolve

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Even with the “early” flaws of DB Super as far as visuals and aesthetics (Beerus vs SS3 Goku), in the end with the tournament of power, the movie, etc, and whatever else is to come, the franchise continues to evolve.

It’s leading by example as the father of shounen is supposed to do. And time has shown that its only gotten better which is proven by the new material.


#3 Originality

dragon ball z cover characters | https://animemotivation.com/why-dragon-ball-is-the-best-anime-shounen/

Dragon Ball was unique with kid Goku and Bulma, the upcoming inventor of the series. And how everything merged together.

DBZ took that to a new level when it introduced Aliens, other planets, Saiyans, the backgrounds of some characters, and more.

True, DB Super in particular isn’t as original as the other series in the franchise, but it still pulls off originality and continues to improve on the originality it has (see point #2).

Arguing against this is like arguing against gravity. It started too early to not have any originality, leading to the next point.


#4 It stands out and walks down its own path

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DBZ is a leader in the shounen space for a reason. It never tried to be an imitation of any other series either during its time in the 1980s and 1990s, or down the line with newer shows.

That’s why it continues to do well.

How many Shounen can say that? Even Naruto was directly influenced, proven by Naruto’s outfit, hair colour, mannerisms, and so on. Same with One Piece.

That doesn’t mean an anime can’t be better because it was influenced by something that came before it (DBZ), but it’s a big reason why DBZ is among the best shounen by far.

Relevant: Why Naruto Will NEVER Be Bigger Than Dragon Ball Z


#5 A simple concept that never seems to run dry

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DBZ has always been about one thing over anything else: personal development.

The Saiyans are the catalyst of this. They never stop training, developing themselves, improving their fighting skills, becoming stronger, pushing their limits, and so on.

This has led to fans in real life being so inspired by DBZ’s concept that they’ve started their own gyms, and businesses, or have dedicated themselves to working out, getting stronger, and being healthy.

It seems like something that could get boring at first, but the universe of DBZ is so big that there is always a new way to make this continuous goal of its main characters more interesting every time.


#6 Some of the best fights in shounen history

Even DB Super shines in this way. Nobody can tell me nothing about how Goku slid along Kefla’s beam and blasted her with a Kamehameha wave.

It was well done and is only one of dozens and dozens of memorable fights that will always be remembered as far as shounen goes.

If you take it back to Dragon Ball, Goku vs the red ribbon army, Goku vs King Piccolo, Goku Vs Raditz or Vegeta in DBZ, etc. There are so many fights you can pick out (Goku vs Janemba is another).

Goku vs Jiren was so big it broke streaming services like Crunchyroll.


#7 Some of the best secondary/support characters

bulma db super red scarf | https://animemotivation.com/why-dragon-ball-is-the-best-anime-shounen/

There are a lot of characters to talk about here, but Bulma alone speaks volumes when talking about the “best” secondary characters.

Even though she’s just human in the series, she’s a scientist and an inventor who’s always done her bit and played a massive role in the over plots of the series.

Even characters like Yamcha are well remembered, even if for comedic reasons. And then there’s Puar the flying cat, Roshi, Tien, Krillin, and all the other great secondary or support characters.

Characters in DBZ are memorable.


#8 Constant change of pace

bulma and kid goku dragon ball art | https://animemotivation.com/why-dragon-ball-is-the-best-anime-shounen/

Right from the very beginning the franchise has managed to change up the pace, the scenarios, even the scenery, and more to make things fresh every so often.

It never feels like everything takes place in the same location or in the exact same way (unless it’s for nostalgia).

It’s subtle, but it matters. You can never get bored with a shounen like this because it always gets more interesting, rather than less.


#9 Best family relationships

goku family dbz | https://animemotivation.com/why-dragon-ball-is-the-best-anime-shounen/

Goku’s family represents an ordinary one as far as it being perfect in some ways, but “problematic” in other ways depending on how you view it since it is fictional.

Still a major highlight.

vegeta family db super | https://animemotivation.com/why-dragon-ball-is-the-best-anime-shounen/

Then you have Vegeta’s family.

It has to be the most likeable if you had to choose. And it makes the anime better In its more “chill” times.

Or even times during a battle.

android 17 and android 18 twins | https://animemotivation.com/why-dragon-ball-is-the-best-anime-shounen/

Android 17 and 18 have an underrated sibling relationship as well.

How they came together during the TOP shows that clearly. It was one of their best moments in the entire franchise.


10. Some of the BEST music around

I admit – the biggest shounen seem to have some of the best music (Naruto for example). But DBZ music has always been in a league of its own.

Whether it’s dragon ball, DBZ, DBGT, or DB Super – the music has continued to evolve with the times and the series’ progression. It doesn’t disappoint.


#11 Concepts and ideas

goku riding shenron with krillin dragon ball | https://animemotivation.com/why-dragon-ball-is-the-best-anime-shounen/

In the end, the concepts and ideas like:

  • Techniques.
  • Ki (energy).
  • The world itself.
  • Dragons that make wishes.
  • The dragon balls.
  • The villains.
  • Unique humans who can gain supernatural powers.
  • The Aliens.
  • How certain abilities or universes work.
  • The Gods, angels, and the system that governs it.

There’s a lot that goes into DBZ as a franchise. Everything works together to make it the anime and manga it has become.

There’s no comparison in the shounen world (even if there are other good shounen, obviously).


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