Dragon Ball (ドラゴンボール Doragon Bōru), created by Akira Toriyama in 1984, is an internationally famous media franchise. It consists primarily of one manga series, three different anime, eighteen animated feature films, an unofficial live-action Chinese movie, a collectible trading card game, a large number of electronic games, as well as other collectibles like action figures. Dragon Ball has an extensive online fanbase and, as of 2005 , is consistently one of the most frequently searched-for terms on Google, Yahoo!, Lycos, and YouTube.
The narrative of Dragon Ball received some of its inspiration and various characters from the Chinese folk novel Journey to the West, though it diverges from the novel very quickly. It follows the adventures of its lead character, Son Goku (based on the Monkey King of the folk legend, Sun Wukong) from his childhood into old age. Dragon Ball originally included action and comedy elements, as well a significant amount of science fiction, though the story became more sci-fi oriented over time.