Dragon Ball Z
By Pam Gelman,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Anime series stands the test of time, but very violent.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Girl characters show cleavage and wear short skirts. Flirty behavior with boys.
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No swearing, but lots of threatening language. "You are going to die." "Don't die before I have the pleasure of killing you."
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Products & Purchases
A full line of toys, books, games, and DVDs have been designed around the storyline and characters.
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.
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Videos and Photos
Dragon Ball Z
Based on 28 parent reviews
Very Good Sequel
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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.
- Premiere date: September 13, 1996
- 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
- Last updated: August 4, 2022
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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