A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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.
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.
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.