“dragon ball” is easily the most famous anime of all time. From this point, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it was relatively easy to find all kinds of references to Akira Toriyama’s work in other anime because, after all, almost everyone who works in the sector is a greater or lesser fan of Goku and company. And that is precisely what I am here to talk to you about today.
It was due to a new DB Hype video (scripted from a server, as surprising as it may be) that I can now get on with this piece of collection of references from other anime to “Dragon Ball”. With that said, let’s get started.
Gintama (episode 119, minute 12:30)
“Gintama” is the king of parodies, so at first you can imagine why he is here. Indeed, the anime was commissioned at the time to recreate two of the most famous villains in the entire history of “Dragon Ball”: Frieza and Cell… only with a slightly different appearance and altered name to Brieza and Zell. The parody included not only the presence of the characters but also references to their respective arcs, so as always there was a lot of work behind something so ridiculous.
Bobobo (episode 58, minute 21:23)
In “Dragon Ball” there are many things that are typical: the transformations, the special ki attacks, the destruction of the terrain… and the fusions. Indeed, in an episode of “Bobobo” it is possible to see Don Patch and Bobobo using the power of a temporary fusion, the result of which gives us a character named Patchbobo with blonde hair and earrings. I think one is easily reminded of all these elements of Super Vegetto.
Bleach (episode 247, minute 24:00)
Something very typical also of “Dragon Ball” is found in the outfits of the characters. In particular, one will be especially familiar with Goku’s gi, which we see change little by little over the years. Well, in “Bleach” they decided shyly incorporate this element as a pass of Inoue models. A ‘shy’ reference but as valid as the others.
Lucky Star (episode 5, minute 21:57)
The best thing about making tributes to “Dragon Ball” is that they can be completed on occasion without showing anything visually at all. How? Well, in “Lucky Star” they had the very original idea of send their characters to a karaoke where they found the legendary ‘Cha-la Head Cha-la’ from the franchise. And yes, the theme started to sound at full volume.
Seto no Hanayome (episode 7, minute 14:44)
Sometimes a tribute doesn’t need to be the most obvious thing in the world. This is something they understood in “Seto no Hanayome”, and the result was very interesting. Basically, at a certain point in one of his episodes he appears out of nowhere a green dragon clutching orange balls. I don’t know how many green dragons playing with orange balls you know, but only “Dragon Ball” sounds familiar to me.
30-sai no Hoken Taiiku (episode 11, minute 0:42)
“Dragon Ball” has many iconic techniques, and I am sure that if I tell you to mention one, most of you will end up talking about the kamehameha. It’s the most logical thing in the world… but logic was something that “30-sai no Hoken Taiiku” lacked. Why do I say this? Well, because at a certain point in the anime they decided to remove from the manga what comes to be a genki-lady who only accepts energy from virgin people. Quite curious, yes.
mmm! (episode 5, minute 14:55)
This time it is the turn of the “Dragon Ball” kamehameha… or so I would like to say. But not. Well yes, but not exactly. The theme is that in the anime “MM!” they thought it was a good idea create their own version of Goku’s iconic technique, which they came to call ‘hentaiha’. Yes, basically because the person from whom the attack emanated as a pervert was a bit.
Yuru Yuri! (episode 7 (S2), minute 11:38)
Do you know the typical thing in “Dragon Ball” that they take off their clothes and weigh 4 tons? Well, indeed, this is something that happens in “Yuru Yuri!”, albeit with a pair of scrunchies (which makes it quite funny). Not only that, but to complete the reference to Akira Toriyama’s work as well They crack a transformation into Super Saiyan. Now yes.
Blood Lad (episode 6, minute 12)
There is one thing that many who do not usually watch “Dragon Ball” always find strange: why do they let the enemy charge all their powers instead of interrupting them. Well, otherwise where is the fun? In “Blood Lad” we see this question answered by break a kamehameha with a simple kick. The truth, my personal conclusion is to let each one do what they want and let whatever happens happen, because otherwise you’ll be left with nothing.
watamote! (episode 2, minute 11:45)
In this article I’ve been talking about Super Saiyan, kamehameha, Genki-dama, fusions… all sorts of “Dragon Ball” branded things that really require a certain level of power in the franchise to be able to execute meaningfully. Luckily for Yamcha, there’s one thing in particular that doesn’t require too much of a headache: die like a legend. And what if he succeeds, because in animes like “Watamote!” they end up mimicking his iconic pose as they perish.
Spy x Family (episode 10, minute 14:50)
We take a small leap to the contemporary to now find that “Spy x Family”, in the middle of 2022, also had a reference to “Dragon Ball”. How did this happen? Well, in the power of the imagination of Damian and his friends. Indeed, when they are training in the park for the ‘kill’ game (it was what it was called where I live, I know that everyone almost gives it the name they want xd) you can see Damian stopping a frieza energy bomb on namek. Nothing bad.
Aharen-san wa Hakarenai (episode 8, minute 11:50)
Even in an anime as quiet (but funny) as “Aharen-san wa Hakarenai”, it is possible to include a reference to “Dragon Ball”. How do you get something like that? Well, making you and all your friends at the typical festival in Japan join in the iconic group pose of the Ginyu Forces. This is how these characters do it, and the result is easily recognizable.
Spy x Family (episode 10, minute 18:58)
Yes, we are back once again to “Spy x Family” and indeed to episode 10 of the anime as well. Because that ‘kill’ match was tremendously important to Anya…and dangerous. So much so, that with the game already started, Damian decides to intercept a shot that was clearly going to hit the little Forger girl. What ends up happening? That the scene turns into Piccolo’s mythical sacrifice for which he dies at the hands of Nappa’s attack.
Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken (Episode 47, minute 10:58)
Simply Veldora. He is already a character from “Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken” that I love because he is fascinated by comics and manga, which at a certain point in the anime decides attack with a kamehameha. The truth is that this sequence is worth gold because it’s that it gets attacks even from “Street Fighter”. But yes, come on, that the reference to “Dragon Ball” that interests us is the truth that nails it.
Jujutsu Kaisen (episode 6, minute 14:50)
Every shonen character gets a training arc, one way or another. This is also true for Itadori, the protagonist of “Jujutsu Kaisen”. The issue is that things got so difficult for him that he just wished he could throw things like a rasengan or… a kamehameha. Raise your hand who has never wanted something like this too.
Dr. Stone (episode 24, minute 18:38)
What if “Dragon Ball” was not remembered simply as something very epic but directly as part of the history of pop culture? Because that’s precisely what happens in “Dr. Stone.” Just when Senku starts talking about the possibility of recovering great successes of the past, Son Goku appears out of nowhere making a cameo. Yes, ‘when your popularity ends up transcending all historical barriers’.
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K (episode 14 (S2), minute 17:57)
We are all fans of “Dragon Ball”, and as has already been seen in this list, the anime characters too. So much so, that in “The Disastrous Life of Saiki K” we can see how a series of students put their creative skills into practice by making illustrations of the characters of “Dragon Ball”. Interestingly, the one who ends up drawing is Burter.
Flip Flappers (episode 3, minute 7:50)
The most common in terms of “Dragon Ball” references is to see how they all go in the direction of ‘Z’. In fact, I think this article is a clear example of it. However, in “Flip Flappers” they decided to give a little jump in time to include a tribute to Super Saiyan Blue. If for so long it was the ‘new’ most powerful form of Goku and Vegeta, it must be for a reason.
One Punch Man (episode 1, minute 00:30)
The first episode of “One Punch Man” shows an enemy named Vaccine Man that appears in multiple moments, and that is a tribute to “Dragon Ball” in several ways. In the first place, because at the level of appearance shares certain characteristics with Piccolo. Secondly, and more curiously, because the actor from Vegetawhile for English we used frieza. Chance? I do not think so.
Hacka Doll the Animation (episode 13, minute 04:08)
And finally, we come to what is surely the craziest homage ever to “Dragon Ball.” We are talking about an immense number of references ranging from deaths to combat choreography, also going through transformations and, in essence, the agglomeration of many incredible memories of “Dragon Ball”. If anyone asks me, this is by far the best homage ever to Akira Toriyama’s work.
And so far this article compiling tributes to “Dragon Ball” and some of its best moments and most characteristic elements. It is more than likely that there is one that I have missed, considering the work’s decades of activity and its immeasurable popularity. However, I think the pack present here is more than enough to understand the greatness of Toriyama-sensei’s work.