In The beginning:
Our story begins with Songoku, a small and naive young man, who at the age of 12 is living on his own in the wild. His grandfather Songohan, earth's second greatest fighter, was killed several years earlier when Goku unknowingly turned into an Oozaru and crushed his (adopted) grandfather. One morning, while Goku was returning home with his catch, a young girl crashed her car into Goku. She thought she had killed Goku when suddenly he arose and began attacking her and her car. She soon reasoned with the boy that she wasn't some kind of monster, and introduced herself as Bulma. Realizing that she was a girl, Goku invited Bulma home for lunch (Goku has never seen a girl before).
Upon reaching Goku's home Bulma noticed he had what she was after, a Dragon Ball. She quickly convinced Goku to follow her on her quest to find the mystical Dragon Balls, as he insisted on carrying his Dragon Ball. In addition to the Dragon Ball, which Goku possessed, Bulma figured he would make an excellent bodyguard. She notices Goku's tail, but figures it's just an ultra tacky accessory.
The Search for the Mystical Dragon Balls:
As they headed out on their journey we learn that Lord Pilaf, who is bent on world domination (what villain isn't), is also after the Dragon Balls. Goku has his first encounter with Lord Pilaf's henchmen Shuu and Mai during a hunt on the first night of his journey. He thinks their plane is a bird, and knocks it out of the sky. This begins Lord Pilaf's long standing hate of Goku, which caries on to DragonballGT!
The next morning, Goku comes across a lost sea turtle and decides to help it return to the ocean. Upon doing so, he is rewarded with Kinto Un ("candy cloud" or Flying Nimbus for you American DBZ fans). Bulma notices Muten Roshi is wearing a Dragon Ball around his neck. She offers him a peek at her panties for it, only she's not wearing any (Goku had removed them the previous night to see if Bulma had any "Family Jewels")!!! Continuing their journey, Goku and Bulma run across a small town, which is being ravaged by a shape-shifting monster, Oolong. Goku reveals Oolong has no real strength and they bring him along on their journey.
With Oolong at their side, they begin their trek towards "Mt. Frying Pan". On their way they met with Yamcha, the desert bandit. He tries to rob them of their Hoy Hoy Capsules, but is scared off by Bulma (he has a fear of girls). As they continue their trek, Yamcha follows and finds they are after the Dragon Balls. He figures he should help them out, and steal the Dragon Balls when they find all seven. Then he can ask Shen Long to rid him of his fear of girls.
After several failed capture attempts by Lord Pilaf's henchmen, Shuu and Mai, Goku and gang (followed by closely Yamcha) reach Mt. Frying Pan. They eventually meet up with the Bull Demon Lord, who was a good friend of Songohan and one of Muten Roshi's pupils. The Bull Demon Lord is kept from his home by the fires of Mt. Frying Pan.
Goku uses his "Kinto Un" to fetch Muten Roshi to put out a blaze, which keeps the Bull Demon Lord, form his castle and his Dragon Ball. Along his way, he fetches the Bull Demon Lord's daughter, Chi Chi (Goku's future wife). Upon returning with Goku, Roshi uses his Kamehameha technique to put out the blaze, but unfortunately he destroys the mountain and the Bull Demon Lord's house. On the flip side, Goku watches, and instantly masters, the Kamehameha, a technique that took Muten Roshi over 50 years to perfect. On the next leg of their journey they rescue a small village from the Bunny Gang, and send its leader and a few members to the moon.
Finally, Goku, Bulma, Oolong, and the recently acquired companion Yamcha trek towards Lord Pilaf's castle and final Dragon Ball. Along the way all their Dragon Balls are stolen except for Goku's. They chase the robbers to Lord Pilaf's castle. Up on entering they fall into a trap, and the final Dragon Ball is stolen from Goku. After an escape and another capture, Goku nearly has to watch as Lord Pilaf wishes for world domination, but Goku performs the Kamehameha to blast an escape hole in the wall. Oolong reaches Pilaf first, and wishes for girl's panties before Pilaf can make his wish. Shen Long leaves, the Dragon Balls scatter, and Pilaf is ULTRA pissed at Goku and gang.
Pilaf eventually captures the whole gang, and locks them in a steal-encased pit with an unbreakable glass top. He plans on letting them be fried by next morning's sun, but Goku looks at the moon and turns into his Ozouru form. Goku loses all control. He tears down Pilaf's castle, and nearly kills his own friends before they are able to cut off his tail. Yamcha, Puaru, Oolong, and Bulma return to the city. Bulma now has the boyfriend she has always wanted, and Yamcha has overcome his fear of girls.
Preperation for the 21st Tenkaichi Budoukai:
Goku does not join them however, as he flys over to the Roshi's island to receive his training. Little does Goku know that Kuririn, a Buddhist monk from the Orinji temple, is also on his way for training. Goku, who arrives before Kuririn, is given his first task: to find a bouncy girl. Not knowing anything about the opposite sex, Goku retrieves the largest, most repulsive woman ever. Roshi instructs Goku to try again, and this time he succeeds. Roshi walks up to the good looking female, to find out that she is a mermaid. After asking to feel her up, Roshi gets smacked by the mermaid who promptly swims off. At this time Kuririn finally arrives in his boat, but he is not initially accepted as a pupil. However, after offering dozens of porno magazines to Roshi, he quickly is assigned to help Goku find a bouncy girl.
During this time, a wanted criminal named Lunch was causing havoc around the countryside. Lunch is the split personality of Raichi, who changes back and forth between the two when she sneezes. Goku and Kuririn happen upon Raichi in her docile form, and take her back to Roshi. He is very excited, and finally accepts both as students. Raichi is anxious to learn martial arts with the boys, but Roshi makes sure she takes it easy. She cooks for the group and takes care of the house. Although Raichi turns into Lunch every so often, she is not nearly as strong as her roomates and never causes much damage. Roshi decides that the island his house is currently on is too small for the training; he changed it to a capsule and they move to a much larger piece of land.
The first test involves running 100 yards and seeing how long it takes. Kuririn and Goku both run the length in amazing times, but Roshi whoops them both. Roshi conducts another test and throws a rock with the turtle symbol into the jungle below. He tells Kuririn and Goku that whoever finds the rock first will get to eat dinner, while the other will not. Kuririn attempts to make his own rock, but Roshi sees through the forgery and promptly tosses him out. Goku finds the real one, but Kuririn, using his trickery, manages to take it from Goku. It is brought back to Roshi, who declares Kuririn the winner. Raichi has prepared a huge fish dinner, who all but Goku devour. Unfortunately, the fish they ate was the poisonous puffer-fish. Raichi, Roshi, and Kuririn all fall ill, and take the next day off.
The real training begins the day after, which involves delivering milk, plowing a field, swimming, studying, and working at a construction site. The only thing that keeps them going is the thought of entering the 21st Tenkaichi Budoukai, a martial arts tournament where all the greatest fighters meet and battle. After the first day Goku and Kuririn are completely worn out, and Roshi informs them that they will be doing the same thing every day until the the tournament, although from the next on they would be wearing 20 Kilogram shells on their backs. Both of them are shocked, but they are still determined to fight in the tournament. The training continues for the next few months, and one month before the tournament both Kuririn and Goku are able to move a massive boulder. Roshi, impressed by their strength, tells them that for the last month of training both pupils would be wearing 40 Kilogram shells. In the meantime, Yamcha has been preparing for the tournament by living out in the wild. He finally returns to the city to participate in the Budoukai.
The 21st Tenkaichi Budoukai:
After rigorous months of training, the day of the tournament finally arrives. Goku, Kuririn, and Roshi all fly over to the tournament, and both boys sign up. Yamcha signs up as well, while Oolong, Bulma, and Pooaru plan to cheer from the stands. The preliminary rounds take place indoors on three fighting rings. The way Goku, Kuririn, and Yamcha are seeded, they don't battle with each other. Due to their hard work, they have each become much stronger than before. All three win their respective spots in the final eight man bracket.
The first battle of the real tournament takes place between Kuririn and Bacterium. Bacterium, who has never bathed in his life, uses his horrid stench to distract his opponants and make them cover their noses. Kuririn begins to lose the match as Bacterium uses his breath and sweat against him. The tides turn however when Goku reminds Kuririn he does not have a nose, and is just imagining the smell. Realizing what was happening, Kuririn easily dispatches the odorous Bacterium.
The next match takes places between Yamcha and Jackie Chun. Yamcha uses his "Wild-Wolf" technique and all his tricks, but Jackie Chun easily defeats him. Yamcha begins to believe that Jackie Chun is the Great Wise One (Roshi), as they look very similar, have similar attacks, and similar habits.
The third match of the first bracket is between Namu and Ranfan. Namu is in the tournament because he needs to win money to buy water for his village, and so is very determined. Ranfan uses her looks to attempt to distract Namu, and manages to get in a few heavy blows. However, Namu closes his eyes so that he would not be distracted, and beats her easily.
The final first bracket duel is between Goku and Giran. Giran, a giant dinosaur-like creature, uses his spit to bind Goku. He grabs Goku and tosses him out the ring. Goku calls upon the Kinto Un to bring him back, but Giran accuses him of cheating. The judges talk it over, and decide that Goku would not be disqualified, but rather not be allowed to use the cloud again. Goku manages to break free of the bind, and eventually knocks him out. Thus ends the first bracket, leaving only Kuririn, Jackie Chun, Namu, and Songoku.
The first match of the semifinals takes place between Kuririn and Jackie Chun. Kuririn puts up a good battle, but Jackie Chun proves too strong. He is knocked cold and the victory goes to Jackie Chun. The other semifinal match sees Namu and Goku pitted against each other. Using his diving-X attack, Namu manages to get the upper hand on Goku for a bit, but Goku proves too strong and wins fairly easily.
After the match Jackie Chun reads Namu's mind, and sees the drought problems in Namu's village. He gives Namu a large capsule to store water in, and reveals that he is the Great Wise One. Roshi explains that in order to make Goku and Kuririn strive to train, they must know there are other stronger people in the world. He tells Namu to dress like him and enter the crowd as a favor to him. Jackie Chun orders Yamcha to look at the audience to prove he is not Roshi.
The final battle begins between Jackie Chun and Goku. Chun uses many varied techniques, but Goku seems to mimic and improve on them. Even when Jackie uses the Kame Hame Ha, Goku counters it with one of equal strength. Both competitors manage to get knocked out of the ring a few times, but each has their method of returning. Jackie, seeing that the battle was close, uses a technique where his body energy is coverted to electricity. Goku is paralyzed in pain as Jackie runs thousands of volts through him. Goku is about to give up, but then he glances at the full moon. He breaks free of the bind, and starts running amok. Using an immense Kame Hame Ha, Jackie blows up the moon, thus transforming Goku back into a boy.
Now both out of energy, they agree to fight the rest of the match using only hand-to-hand combat. They fight for four hours like this, until Jackie realizes Goku's weakness. Both fighters leap into the air and exchange kicks to the face. Since Jackie Chun's legs were much longer, Goku took a much harder hit. Both fighters are down till the count of ten, and it is announced that whoever can stand up first, smile, and say "I guess I'm the winner" will win the match. Goku trys his hardest, but passes out before he can claim to be the winner. Jackie Chun slowly gets up, gleefully taking the victory.
The Red Ribbon Army:
After Roshi removes his disguise, he tells Goku and Kuririn that if they expect to be the best in the world, they have to continue their training. After eating a huge meal, Goku reveals his plans to find the four-star dragonball, his grandpa's momento. Kuririn decides to keep training with Roshi, while Yamcha and the others return to the city. Before leaving, Bulma gives Goku her dragonball radar, and instructs him on using it. They all exchange goodbyes, and Goku goes on his way.
Goku begins his search for the Dragonball, when he comes upon Namu being attacked by a Teradactyl. Rescuing him, Goku learns that the capsule full of water was running out fast, and that the river that normally supplied the village was being blocked somehow. They fly upstream to find Giran (One of Goku's opponents in the 21st Tenkaichi Budoukai) and his kind bathing in a pool they had made by damming the river. Namu pleads for them to break the damn, but they do not listen until Giran recognizes Goku. Giran gives him permission to break the dam if he can, as he says it is indestructible. Using a Kame Hame Ha, the dam is destroyed and water flows into the village again.
The first saga in DBZ lasts all the way until Vegeta departs Earth after being defeated by the Z warriors.
One of the longest sagas in the series, it continues until Namek explodes.
Garlic Jr. Saga
A short "filler" saga, it is treated as a movie in that it did not occur in the main storyline. It does not exist in the manga.
Another long string of episodes, this saga covers the arrival of Trunks to the announcement of the Cell Game.
This part of the series covers the tournament with Cell and the events of the 10 days preceding it.
Another "filler" saga.
Great Saiyaman Saga
Gohan becomes a superhero in Satan City, and hijinks ensue!
Beginning with the 25th Budoukai, this saga lasts until the death of Buu.
An episode by episode comparisson of the Japanese and English versions with episode titles and saga information.
The Search for the Ultimate Dragonballs:
Our story begins 10 years after the end of Dragonball Z. Goku and Ubuu, who is now quite strong, are battling in a special room of heaven. After a long battle, Goku, who has somehow gained the right to return to life, emerges victorious after nearly killing Ubuu. Goku, after working up quite an appetite during his spar with Ubuu, downs every last bit of the meal prepared for him by Mr.Popo. Not quite satisfied, Goku begins wandering around Heaven, taking in the scenery.
Meanwhile, Lord Pilaf, Shuu, Mai (remember them from Dragonball?) have summoned The Ultimate Shenlon using the Ultimate Dragonballs, which were created by Piccolo before he split into Kami and Piccolo Diamo. Just as Pilaf is about to make his wish for world domination Goku arrives. Pilaf, who is VERY pissed that Goku has once again foiled his plans, fires a pair of missiles at Goku. After Goku easily stops the missiles, Pilaf exclaims "Damn it, I wish you were just a kid again so I could kick your ass." Taking this as Pilaf's wish, Shenlon answers "So be it" and Goku is transformed into a child. The Dragonballs rise up into the air, and are scattered throughout space. Kaio-sama then informs Goku that the wish can be reversed if he can gather all seven balls. Goku, after commenting this was no problem, attempts to teleport through space to collect the Dragonballs. He is astonished to learn that he has lost the ability to perform all special techniques, save those he knew as a child.
After meeting up with Kame-senin, who makes it his business to bump into every fine woman in site, and his granddaughter Pan, who demonstrates her strength by kicking some bank robbers' asses, Goku returns home. Up on arrival, Chi-Chi is distraught that Goku is now so much younger than she is (she thinks it's some sort of conspiracy against her). It's at this point that Kaio-sama interrupts Goku and friends with some alarming news. Apparently, Kaio-sama had forgotten to inform Goku that the Ultimate Dragonballs had put a great deal of strain on the Earth. If the balls are not returned to Earth within one year, Earth will be destroyed.
At this point, it is decided to launch a mission into space in an effort to collect the Dragonballs. Hearing this, Vegeta knows of two saiyajins who have been slacking off as of late. He collects Trunks and Goten and informs them both they will be going with Goku to collect the Dragonballs. However, as Goten delays the launch by talking to one of his girlfriends, Pan sneaks on board and accidentally launches the spaceship. And so begins the search for the seven Ultimate Dragonballs.