Dragon Ball Z

Common Sense Media says

Anime series stands the test of time, but very violent.





What parents need to know

Educational value
Not applicable
Positive messages

Overall, good overcomes evil, and episodes include themes related to the importance of family and teamwork. That said, violence is often the way that conflicts are dealt with.

Positive role models

The father is a strong figure to his son and friends. Goku and Gohan have a strong relationship. It's always clear who the good and bad guys are.

Violence & scariness

Characters are tied up and threatened. Others fall in pain. Lots of energy blasts knock others over.

Sexy stuff

Girl characters show cleavage and wear short skirts. Flirty behavior with boys.


No swearing, but lots of threatening language. "You are going to die." "Don't die before I have the pleasure of killing you."


A full line of toys, books, games, and DVDs have been designed around the storyline and characters.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this show is an enormously popular sequel to the anime series Dragon Ball and has a huge following across the globe. Consistent strong themes include good triumphing over evil, putting family first, and working as a team. Still, there's no shortage of violent scenes; characters get hurt, unconventional weapons are used, and the dialogue includes language about killing, decimating, and destroying. While the show is massively appealing to anime fans, parents need to be aware that the strong violent visuals may frighten some kids.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In DRAGON BALL Z, Goku, his son Gohan, and their faithful companions do whatever they can to defend Earth from a variety of bizarre alien villains. Goku and Gohan have special powers (including super strength) and an unyielding commitment to conquer evil. But their skills are often tested by villains who are seeking "genocide" or "mass destruction." The ultimate goal of the villains, besides complete domination, is typically to obtain dragon balls (seven in all), which, when gathered together, can grant a wish.

Is it any good?


Having stood the test of time for more than a decade, there's little to debate about the appeal of Dragon Ball Z. Parents who haven't seen any anime before may not understand the genre's worldwide following. You'll need to watch a few shows to understand the characters, story, and consistent messages that are the main reasons for this show's longevity.

Compared to its predecessor, Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, has many more battle and fight scenes and more violent language -- but, then again, it's also more popular. Goku and Gohan use "ki" (life force) to perform spectacular feats such as flying or firing laser blasts from their fingertips. Cool to some viewers, scary to others; it's a parent's call to decide whether or not the content is appropriate for their kids. Parents also need to be aware of the skimpy clothes worn by female characters, as well as some flirty behavior and language directed at the males.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of the father-son team. Does this contribute to the series' long popularity? In what ways are these characters realistic?

  • Looking past the wham-bam violence, what are the show's overriding themes?

  • Since the show originated in Japan, families can discuss Japanese culture and history.

TV details

Cast:Dameon Clark, Ian James Corlett, Kyle Hebert
Network:Cartoon Network
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Space and aliens
TV rating:TV-Y7-FV
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Dragon Ball Z was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byYusuke May 30, 2010
Dragon Ball Z is the most popular anime/manga series of all time. Most children and generally people with a low intellect have a hard time comprehending thing about the series. The plot isn't always fighting nor is it the same. It's also not slow paced. The people that generally say this again, have seen very few episodes and fail to look past a couple of scenes. The series starts with Goku going back to his old master's house for a reunion. Little did he know, his brother had come to Earth. Goku knew nothing about himself, or why he had a tail (See Dragon Ball). Raditz his brother explained everything, kidnapped his son and told him to kill 100 humans if he wished to see his son again. Goku being the pure hearted guy he is, set in after to rescue his son with former rival Piccolo. The plot in a sense changes from rescuing his son, to a greater threat coming to Earth. Goku is killed in this battle and due to Kami allowing him to train with King Kai, the God of the North portion of the universe, Goku is able to train with him to prepare for these invaders. Long story short, it shifts to Goku's friends dieing in battle. And without the Dragon Balls, they can't wish them back. So the next thing is for them to journey to planet Namek to use their Dragon Balls. Little did they know, A tyrant known as Frieza which had been controlling the saiyan race had also been Vegeta's boss so to speak. Vegeta had come to Earth in search of the Dragon Balls to become immortal to defeat Frieza and take his place. He was one of the invaders that came that Goku was preparing for. He narrowly escaped due to Goku's good will. Though the amount of blood and wounds on him shows how badly injured he was, He couldn't even walk! People who would use a stereotypical again are the ones that are completely biased. Comments would include: *Intense screaming for episodes on end. *Predictable fights. *The same thing over and over. All those are incorrect. The first arc consisted of Goku learning off his ancestry and fighting off some really strong new guys, who were actually of the same race. They then in search of the Dragon Balls go to Namek, where they learn of Frieza. This part of the story is really interesting. Just between all the stirring ambivalence. Frieza and his men are after the balls, Krillin and co are as well, not to mention Vegeta. It's a three way struggle for the Dragon Balls. Eventually, Vegeta and Krillin's side join forces to beat Frieza's men, but they're outclassed. Vegeta did manage to cut off Guldo's head though. The battle scene changed entirely when Goku arrives on Namek and disposes of Frieza's men, all but one that is. Captain Ginyu had actually switched bodies with Goku, causing a lot of conflict. Goku and Frieza fight to the death, that is until Goku's best technique fails. At this point Vegeta dies of heart failure, due to being hit in the chest from a death beam by Frieza. Frieza then does the same to Piccolo, who barely survives. And he then kills Krillin by causing him to literally explode. As it was hinted by Vegeta for a vast amount of time, Goku had the power of the super saiyan. He unlocks this using the pain of lost, putting his feelings first. He is then able to outclass Frieza, but at the same time show him mercy. He lends Frieza his chi after Frieza's arm and bottom half of his body are sliced off. Frieza didn't learn a thing and retaliates, ultimately ending up with severe injuries in space. Dragon Ball Z was initially suppose to end with Goku dieing on Namek becoming the savior of the universe, but Akira's editor pushed him to create more due to it's high popularity. As you can see we've already proven two stereotypes wrong. The battles are rarely predictable, and the storyline is never the same. The main reason they say it would be predictable is because the series is a few decades old and it's been seen before. The other stereotype being the ones who says there's tons of screaming that goes on for episodes. This never happened. The most you would have in DBZ is in two scenes out of 291 episodes. One being Vegeta's Final Flash, which he was charging a blast for 4 minutes. He was also directing it away from the Earth and antagonizing Cell to stay there. He was abusing the pride and arrogance Cell had from his own cells which lie inside of cell. Tongue twister, eh? Vegeta is a master tactician, there was a lot more going on in that scene than just a bit of yelling which was used as a battle cry you could say. That's the second longest amount of yelling in the series, ranging from 3-4 minutes. Also interrupted by other character talking and once again, other characters talking in other locations. I used talking as an example, there were other things going on. The longest is 4-5 minutes, and it's Goku going super saiyan 3. Most people think that's the amount of time needed to go into this form. Once again that's incorrect. Goku is able to do it in less than 10 seconds as seen with the fight against Kid Buu. This was used a stalling tactic for Trunks to get the Dragon Ball radar. Other than those small scenes, the general yelling would be small bursts, which were usually battle cries. Once again proving the stereotype wrong. After Frieza, the Cell and Buu saga are entirely unpredictable, there's actually so many things going on it, it would take too long to actually explain in this small review. Overall Dragon Ball Z has swearing using words such as "Bast- Hel-, Dam-" and various other hand signs representing profound words, hence the middle finger. There is a ton of violence. From heads being cut off to holes being punched through people's stomachs. But Goku, he's probably the best remodel there is. Of course children are too young to understand much of this and would pay attention to the violence and swearing more than what the characters represent. There are mild uses of gambling and alcohol, and a slight bit of nudity (Though a lot less than Dragon Ball which has an extreme amount of nudity).
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great role models
Safety and privacy concerns
Parent Written byCooldee August 27, 2011

Dragon Ball Z is the worst cartoon ever!

This tv show is too violent for children under 14 years of age. There are postitive messages of teamwork and never giving up, but this show is overshowered by violence.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 12 years old November 14, 2010

Really Less Violent Than the Common Superman Cartoon: Wonderful Show!

I really enjoy this series. When I was younger, I thought it was just a glorified fight fest with big-thighed men. Still, as I became more interested in anime, I decided to take a look. It was soooo much more than glorified muscles! I am no fan of Superman, I admit it. But imagine, if Superman where logical and his weakness was not a rock. That would describe Goku, the main character. He works hard and never gives up! This was my kind of show! While there is violence, even the villans have honor, and know that fighting is an art. I was very impresed with the character development as well. As the series progresses, you learn about each character and their lives. In short, this show is the one many anime lovers will love and came introduce anime very well to those who have not seen it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models


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