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Dragon Ball (ドラゴンボール ,Doragon Bōru?) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama. It was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1984 through 1995, and later the 519 individual chapters were published into 42 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. Inspired by the Chinese folk novel Journey to the West, it follows the adventures of Son Goku from his childhood through middle age as he trains in martial arts and explores the world in search of the seven mystical objects known as the Dragon Balls, which are known to grant any wish. Along his trip, Goku meets several friends and fights against several villains who plan to get the Dragon Balls to grant their wishes and some who aim to conquer the world.
The 42 tankōbon have been adapted into three anime series produced by Toei Animation: Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT. Additionally, Toei has developed seventeen animated feature films and three television specials. Several companies have developed various types of merchandising such as a collectible trading card game, and a large number of video games.
The series is licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media, in the United Kingdom by Gollancz Manga, and in Australia and New Zealand by Chuang Yi. Several companies have dubbed and aired the three anime series in North America. In China, it was produced a live-action film adaptation in 1989. In 2002, 20th Century Fox began production of the first American-made live-action film which was released on April 10, 2009.
Due to the high popularity of the Dragon Ball manga, Toei Animation produced two anime television series based on the manga chapters, and a third based on the series characters. The first series, also titled Dragon Ball, premiered in Japan on Fuji Television on February 26, 1986 and ran until April 12, 1989.[3][22] Spanning 153 episodes, it covered the first 16 volumes of the 42 volume manga series.
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