Dragon Ball (TV)
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Goku was originally human but his race later changed due to the great fanbase of the show...so when they made DBZ he was no longer human, but a saiyan.
Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z are really the same series in the manga. There are 42 volumes, in which Dragon Ball anime ends in manga volume 17 and DBZ starts afterwards. Viz edited the series and seperated it in the US since the anime aired before the mangas came out.
The idea of Son Goku was developed conceptually from the old Chinese mythological hero character Son Goku, who was actually a monkey. The mythological character was also equipped with a stick weapon and a cloud that he could ride on.
Yamcha literally means "drinking tea", while Oolong, and Puar are named after types of teas.
Bulma, Trunks (from DBZ), and Dr. Brief are all...well...named after underwear. :)
In the 2005 feature film, War of the Worlds, when Robbie is watching the news report on the electro-static activity happening around the world, a figurine of the Dragon Ball character Emperor Pilaf can be seen on his shelf when the camera quickly pans over to him on his bed. This scene occurs near the very beginning of the movie and lasts only briefly, so keep your eyes peeled for Pilaf. Also in the same scene, the news anchor on the program Robbie is watching stands in front of a banner that says "tv asahi." TV Asahi is a Japanese channel on which many anime programs are aired.
In one episode Goku meets a rabbit that turns people into carrots. Goku defeats this rabbit by taking him to the moon and saying he can't come down until he makes candy for all the boys and girls of the world. This is a reference for Japan's legend of a rabbit making mochi on the moon.
The Penguin Island episodes were taken from Akira Toriyama's first big hit 'Dr Slump'.
Pilaf, Lunch, Tenshin-han, Yamcha, Chaozu (which can alternatively be read Gyoza in Japanese), and Karin-sama's tower (in the Japanese language version, called Karintoh) are all names with food references.
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