What Inspired the Dragon Ball and How Did the Symbol Become so Iconic?

Posted on September 30, 2017
Tags: Anime

Dragon Ball Z of dabs! Behold the giant” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by EatsShootsEdits

The dragon ball in the Dragon Ball series that we all know and love has a rich history in tradition and folklore, and has become one of the most iconic symbols in anime and cartoon history. The symbol has gone on to not only inspire epic cartoon creations, but has also influenced the world of gaming. Here we take a look at how this unique and striking symbol has stormed the planet.
The dragon ball, which has become synonymous with the hugely successful anime series created by Akira Toriyama was present across a range of different literature before becoming the central theme to the long-running cartoon. It is said that the epic anime franchise was initially inspired by a classical Chinese novel called Journey to the West. This work, which is considered as one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature, was written by Chu Cheng’en, and the earliest known edition of the book was from the 16th Century. The story tells the tale of the Tang dynasty Buddhist monk Xuanzang who once travelled to the “Western Regions.”

The Dragon Ball franchise was also influenced by Nanso Satomi Hakkenden. This was an epic novel by Kyokutei Bakin which was split into an astonishing 106 volumes. The story focused on themes of family, honour, and Buddhist philosophy. These are ideas that have become recurring themes across anime and the Dragon Ball series.

Despite the instalments of the Dragon Ball anime series not being the first pieces of work to use the now iconic dragon ball symbol, they have helped to continue the legacy and inspire other things. For example, there are a number of games that have decided to use dragon balls within them. Some gamers will remember the character Jinpachi from the popular fighting game Tekken. This character was clearly based on the Dragon Ball franchise, and one of his special moves was to fire flaming balls at his opponents. Even online slot games have realised how much-loved the dragon ball symbol is and have decided to incorporate it. One of these games is Dragon Ball Reels, one of the slots featured at online-casinos-canada.ca/all-slots which is independent from the anime series but has been heavily influenced by it. It features similar artwork , with the concept of dragon balls central to the game.

Other anime and manga creators such as Toyataro, who was the illustrator/author of the Dragon Ball Super manga, have spoken about how the works of Toriyama have inspired them. The full article can be found here – http://www.saiyanisland.com/2017/05/dragon-ball-super-author-explains-why-anime-and-manga-have-differences/. The way the dragon ball symbol has swept the world in this way is quite intriguing, so what makes it so appealing to mass audiences? Well, for one, the art style in the Dragon Ball franchise has been lauded by others in the business. People have written on http://aminoapps.com/page/dragonballz/3267310/the-magic-of-dragon-ball-why-is-it-so-appealing about how it achieves the right mix of arty and detailed.

As anime continues to sweep the world, it is fair to assume that there will be plenty of other things in popular culture that uses the now iconic symbol. The Dragon Ball franchise will go down in history as a legendary trendsetter.

Article written by Jason O’Shea