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(from left to right, Son Gokou, Kame-Senin, Klylin and Super Saiyan 2 Gohan)


             Set in a small countryside in Japan, we first meet a young warrior with a tail, named Gokou. Son Gokou is not human, he is from a superhuman warrior race known as the Saiyans, but little is known of Gokou's past heritage until DragonballZ aired. Mr. Toriyama's original Dragonball manga first appeared in the earle 80's on the pages of a couple of notable mangazines in Japan, and in the tradition of all succesful manga a hit television series followed in 1986. Like the manga before it Dragonball focused mainly on the zany antics and slapstick style comedy surrounding a young Gokou, who encounters many an adventure, friend and foe in the everlasting quest of protecting, finding and wishing with the seven magical dragonballs (balls with  immense power and holiness which release Shen Long or "the holy dragon" to grant whoever summons him a wish come true)! Throughout Dragonball we watch Gokou reach early adulthood, train under the wise and watchful eye of Kame-Sennin or "turtle hermit" (Master Roshi), defeat the almighty Piccolo, befriend a young Shaolin warrior named Klilyn (Kuririn or Krillin) and eventually marry his loving wife Chi Chi. This marriage officially ends the Dragonball saga.....but the best was still yet to come!!

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                  DragonballZ picked up right where Dragonball left off. Showing us a first       glimpse into the personal lives of an adult Son Gokou and wife Chi Chi. A new addition to the household is their son, Gohan who is three years old (Funimation says five, but what do they know?) and extremely intelligent for his age, he wears a traditional Japanese school outfit and a strange looking hat with his Grandpa Gohan's (Gokou's foster guardian) four star dragonball on top (see my title banner). Right away one can tell the differences between Dragonball and DBZ, Dragonball tends to be for the kiddies, staying on a lighter side of things, with comedy playing a major role in the storyline, while DBZ (which has a target audience of 12-19 yearold boys) focuses mainly on the badguy versus goodguy action and the hardships in between, of course the Toriyama sytle shows through with it's occasional dark humor and silly jokes. The evil Piccolo ( from Dragonball) actually ends up being a good guy in DBZ playing a key role in many of earth's decisive battles and eventually becomes best friends with Gohan. The first sign of trouble earth ever realizes    ( in DBZ for that matter) is when the evil Saiyan Raditz arrives in a space pod on a remote farm. The farmer sees what he thinks is a meteor so he drives to the scene to investigate , there he finds a pod in a deep crater, then the pod slowly opens revealing the tall dark silhouette of Raditz, scared out of his mind the farmer shoots at the saiyan but Raditz not only catches the bullet but fires it back at the farmer's head killing him instantly! Gokou and Gohan have just arrived at Kame-Sennin's "Kame-House" via nimbus cloud, there Gohan meets the whole gang for his first time (Bulma, Klilyn, Master Roshi and Oolong). Suddenly Gokou feels a powerful "ki" or powerforce, heading straight for the Kame-House, it turns out to be Raditz...who tells Gokou of his fierce Saiyan heritage, tells him of the original reason he was sent to earth,calls him "Kakarott" his traditional saiyan name (The Saiyan's were space pirates, killing and looting planets to sell them to the highest bidder;baby saiyans were sent to distant "weakling" planets to eliminate all forms of life and make available whatever was necessary for planet purchasing.) Gokou recalls that he was hit on the head as a young boy which caused him to love and care for things rather than scorn and kill, which is clearly the reason why Gokou forgot his mission on planet Earth and turned to the power of goodness at such an early age. Raditz reveals that he and Gokou are brothers and that the planet Vegeta (the Saiyan planet) was hit by a meteor destroying the entire planet and wiping out the entire Saiyan race ( except for Raditz, Nappa and Prince Vegita who all happened to be on other planets at the time of the disaster). Raditz demands that Gokou join the last of his fellow Saiyans to carry on the legacy of pain and destruction that the Saiyans are well known for, Gokou refuses his demands and Raditz kidnaps Gohan in hopes of changing Son Gokou's mind. The kidnapping results in Piccolo and Gokou joining forces for one of the first times in hopes of freeing Gohan and ridding the universe of the evil Raditz! A fierce batlle ensues,   Piccolo and Gokou seem to be barely holding on when Gohan, with anger raging through his saiyan veins, does a surprise frontal attack on Raditz getting KO'ed with one punch from Raditz. Gokou, enraged by what just happened, grabs Raditz from behind and motions to Piccolo to execute his famous "mind-warp" special move.  Within minutes victory is theirs, but at a large cost, in order for Piccolo to have successfully executed the mind warp move Raditz had to be held still by Gokou, so naturally "he went down with the ship."

After this is when Piccolo makes one of the biggest mistakes in DBZ history, as Raditz lay dying, Piccolo brags about how he can wish back Gokou from the dead with the seven magic dragonballs and makes some snotty comment about having the last laugh when Raditz bursts out in laughter, exclaiming "You fool...everything you just said is being recorded and listened to by two other saiyans, I'm sure they'll take a visit to Earth they will surely want these dragonballs... I know they'll want to make a wish!!!  "Raditz warns earth's defenders that they have one year to prepare for the arrival of the two saiyans Nappa and Vegeta and warns them of their superior strength compared to Raditz himself!!! This marks the beginning of DBZ's first official saga "The Saiyan Conflict"...between the death of Raditz and the arrival of Nappa and Vegeta.  Gohan trains for his very first time under the watchful eye of Piccolo, Gokou (who is dead for the time being) gets access from the underworld's King Yama to train under the god King Kai in order to prepare for the trouble that lay ahead. On his way to King Kai's Gokou must follow a lengthy dangerous soul-highway known as "Snakeway" ...Son Gokou encounters few problems on his journey but eventually falls off snakeway and lands in Hell where he challenges a few demons to a game of sport in order to return to snakeway, after a few minutes our hero makes his way to Snakeway and eventually arrives at King Kai's. A year later Gokou is still training at King Kai's when the Saiyans finally arrive on Earth, the first battle ensues with Klylin, Gohan, Piccolo, Tenishi-Han, Yamcha and Yajirobe defending against the vile attacks of Nappa and his little green mutants called Saibamen while the obviously tougher Vegeta stands by and watches. Yamcha and Tenishi-Han are killed by Nappa and the Saibamen while Klilyn, Piccolo and Gohan fight with all their might as earth's last hope for survival wears on. Eventually Vegita grows tired of Nappa's weakness and murders him in front of our heroes. Vegita joins the fight and the real horror begins, Gokou arrives (with the help of the seven dragonballs of course!) in just enough time to join the fight. Piccolo is destroyed, Klylin and Gohan are knocked out and the one on one battle between Gokou and Vegita begins, Vegita wins most of the fight but a miracle move on Gokou's part helps severely damage Vegita's morale and strength, sending him staggering towards his space pod. While Vegita slowly makes it towards the pod Klylin, who is badly injured, sneaks up behind him with Yajirobe's sword in an attempt to rid the universe of the last evil Saiyan, as he raises the sword a weak Son Gokou tells Klylin to lower is sword and allow Vegita to escape in hopes of him never returning to earth again. Klylin does as he was told and Vegita bursts into laughter exclaiming "You weaklings! You had the chance to kill me but you didn' I will have the last laugh...see you around!" and he jumps into his space pod and leaves our heros behind to recover from Earth's first major battle. 

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