Dragon Ball is the first in a trilogy of anime adaptations of the Dragon Ball manga series by Akira Toriyama. Produced by Toei Animation, the anime series premiered in Japan on Fuji Television on February 26, 1986, and ran until April 12, 1989. Spanning 153 episodes (Episode 140 was delayed by the death of Emperor Shōwa), it covers the first 194 chapters of the 519 chapters-long manga series. It is followed by Dragon Ball Z, which covers the remainder of the manga, and Dragon Ball GT, the plot of which was created solely for the anime.
In 1995, Funimation Entertainment acquired the license for the distribution of Dragon Ball in the United States. They contracted BLT Productions to create an English version for the anime in Vancouver, Canada. The dubbed episodes were also edited for content. In March 2001, Funimation announced the return of Dragon Ball to American television, featuring a new English version produced in-house with slightly less editing for broadcast (though the episodes remained uncut for home video releases), and they notably left the original background music intact, which was met with delight from fans. The re-dubbed episodes aired on Cartoon Network from August 20, 2001 to December 1, 2003. Funimation also broadcast the series on Colours TV and their own Funimation Channel starting in 2006. This English dub was also broadcast in Australia and New Zealand. In Canada and Europe, an alternative dubbed version was produced by AB Groupe (in association with Blue Water Studios) and was aired in those territories instead of the Funimation version.
Funimation began releasing their in-house dub to Region 1 DVD box sets on March 18, 2003. Each box set, spanning an entire saga of the series, included the English and Japanese audio tracks with optional English subtitles, and uncut video and audio. However, they were unable to release the first thirteen episodes at the time, due to Lionsgate Entertainment holding the licensing rights to their previous dub of the same episodes, having acquired them from Trimark after the company became defunct. After Lionsgate's license to the first thirteen episodes expired in 2009, Funimation remastered and re-released the complete Dragon Ball series to DVD in five individual uncut season box sets, with the first set released on September 15, 2009 and the final set released on July 27, 2010.
Dragon Ball used two pieces of theme music for the entire series. "Makafushigi Adventure!" by Hiroki Takahashi is used as the series opening theme, and Ushio Hashimoto's "Romantic Ageru Yo" is used as the ending theme.
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