Dragon Ball watch order can be a labyrinth for newcomers, given its vast universe of series, movies, and specials. To get into this legendary franchise with clarity, understanding the canonical timeline is key.

Dragon Ball protagonists Super Saiyan Son Goku, Super Saiyan Future Trunks, and Super Saiyan Gohan in ONE Esports featured image on 5 best Dragon Ball games
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The original Dragon Ball series, which debuted in 1986, marks the genesis of Goku’s adventures and sets the stage for the epic saga that follows. From there, the narrative branches into Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super.

Dragon Ball watch order by canon

Super Saiyan Son Goku from Dragon Ball Super
Credit: Toei Animation

Not all Dragon Ball content aligns with the canon. Movies like those in the Dragon Ball Z era and the entirety of Dragon Ball GT exist outside the main storyline. To streamline your Dragon Ball watch order, it’s important to focus on the canonical narrative.

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You may notice that Dragon Ball Z Kai is also not included in this watch order since it is basically the same as Dragon Ball Z, only with some new dialogues and updated animation.

All episodes of Dragon Ball Super are canon and are part of our Dragon Ball watch order
Credit: Toei Animation

The recommended Dragon Ball watch order based on canon is pretty straightforward.

Dragon Ball153 episodesFebruary 26, 1986 – April 19, 1989
Dragon Ball Z291 episiodesApril 26, 1989 – January 31, 1996
Dragon Ball Super131 episodesJuly 5, 2015 – March 15, 2018
Dragon Ball Super: BrolymovieDecember 14, 2018
Dragon Ball Super: Super HeromovieJune 11, 2022

It’s essential to note that Battle of the Gods and Resurrection F movies are complementary extensions of the anime episodes, enhancing the viewer’s experience rather than altering the core storyline. That is why these movies, although canon, are not included in our Dragon Ball watch order.

Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama dies at 68
Credit: Toei Animation
Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama dies at 68

While this Dragon Ball watch order aligns with the canon, ongoing debates surround certain materials’ canonicity. And because of the recent death of Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama, official statements regarding canon would be difficult to acquire.

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