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Dragon Ball Today
The impact of Dragon Ball Z is widespread. For more than 30 years, the series has stood the test of time and has reached out to many children and adults alike across the world. This is mainly due to the series’ very clear representations of good overpowering evil, love overpowering hate, the importance of family and friends, and an unyielding passion toward achieving goals. The series also featured heavy sci-fi overtones, and a greater emphasis on combat – making it extremely popular among adolescent boys who had grown up alongside the original series. The series has inspired many.
Dragon Ball Z has also played a large part in contributing to the popularity of anime in western culture. Though the first two seasons of the series were played on various networks in the U.S. in 1996, it would not take off for two more years until August 31, 1998, when Cartoon Network featured the show in its action-oriented Toonami lineup. Toonami heralded the show as “The Greatest Action Cartoon Ever Made,” and it greatly boosted the popularity of Toonami, but unknowingly did so much more. Dragon Ball Z’s newfound popularity helped to bring about a greater interest in Japanese cartoons in the eyes of western youth, which in turn fueled the western anime industry to new heights. Because of its success on Toonami, Dragon Ball Z was the first anime that made its way to the Wall Street Journal, who declared it “A Huge Cartoon Hit.” Childhood memories were built on watching Dragon Ball Z after school every weekday.
Many items such as apparel, backpacks, lunch boxes, writing utensils, candies, drinks, foods and more feature Dragon Ball Z, in both Japan and North America. Action figures, collectible figurines, plush toys, bobble heads, and character model kits were also made. The fast food chain Burger King featured Dragon Ball Z toys twice in the early 2000’s. Despite the TV series officially ending in Japan in 1996, and in 2003 in North America, Dragon Ball Z video games are created nearly every year for almost every console on the market, helping to introduce the Dragon Ball Z series to younger generations that never got a chance to see it air on television. These games usually do very well in the market. Popular sites such as YouTube have attracted large Dragon Ball Z fan communities over the course of the last few years, and Dragon Ball related videos receive many views. All of these examples showcase the incredible popularity of Dragon Ball Z in many countries of the world.