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Dragon Ball Z

TV review by
Pam Gelman, Common Sense Media
Dragon Ball Z TV Poster Image
Anime series stands the test of time, but very violent.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 30 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 81 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

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 & Representations

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.


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


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

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
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... Continue reading
Adult Written bySeth88 September 30, 2012

HUGE difference between the edited/cut and Uncut version

Age 8 and up?? this must be a joke are we discussing the edited/cut version or the original uncut version? the original DBZ is very violent, some foul langu... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old October 14, 2011

Awesome Action, But Unnecessary Content Bring it Down

I am a 12 year old and I think this is an awesome show, but I must advertise the cons. NOTE: I have not watched this show on Cartoon Network, but I have seen th... Continue reading
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,... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love action

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