Dragon Ball All Ages of Geek

Dragon Ball Episode 1 Review: “The Secret of the Dragon Balls”

Alright, geek squad, it’s Ryder here! Let’s jump into the very first episode of Dragon Ball, where it all began. We’re talking “The Secret of the Dragon Balls,” a classic that hit the airwaves back in ’86. This episode is where we meet our tail-sporting hero, Goku, and the beginning of an epic journey.

Goku’s Life and the Arrival of Bulma

We start off on Mount Paozu, where Goku’s living the hermit life, doing his chores and guarding the Dragon Ball left by his late grandpa Gohan. His day takes a turn when he decides to catch a fish using his tail and ends up battling a giant fish with a killer kick. Talk about fishing Goku style!

Enter Bulma, the city girl with a quest for the Dragon Balls. When she nearly runs Goku over, our boy thinks her car is a monster and goes full-on Dragon Ball Z on it. Bulma’s not messing around either – she shoots at Goku, but guess what? The kid’s bulletproof.

Dragon Balls and the Start of an Epic Quest

Once they’re done trying to kill each other, Bulma explains the whole Dragon Ball deal to Goku. She’s got two, he’s got one, and there are seven in total that can grant any wish. Bulma’s after a perfect boyfriend, but Goku’s not ready to part with his grandpa’s memory.

Emperor Pilaf’s Sinister Plan

Meanwhile, we’ve got Emperor Pilaf and his cronies, Shu and Mai, on their own Dragon Ball hunt. They’re thinking world domination, but there’s a catch – they need all seven balls. Classic villain blunder, right?

Goku and Bulma’s Wild Ride

Goku agrees to join Bulma on her quest, and they’re off to find the next Dragon Ball. But it’s not all smooth riding – a pterodactyl kidnaps Bulma, and Goku has to play the hero. He busts out his Power Pole and takes down the pterodactyl in a wild mid-air rescue.

Major Events and Epic Battles

This episode is packed with firsts: Goku meets Bulma, Pilaf gets his hands on a Dragon Ball, and we see Goku’s first battles against the giant fish and the pterodactyl. It’s the start of something huge, folks.

Manga vs Anime: The Little Differences

The anime adds some flair to the original manga. Goku’s wood-chopping is more efficient in the anime, and Bulma actually hits Goku with her car, unlike in the manga. Also, Goku’s encounter with the Sabertooth Tiger? Pure anime magic.

Censorship and Edits: The Tame Version

The English dubs and edits toned down some of the more… colorful aspects of the episode. We’re talking about less nudity, less violence, and less panty flashing. Gotta keep it family-friendly, right?

Trivia Time!

– Goku’s fight with the Sabertooth Tiger is echoed in Dragon Ball Z with Gohan, showing how different these two are.

– This episode sets the tone for the entire series – it’s full of action, humor, and the start of a legendary quest.


“The Secret of the Dragon Balls” is where the legend of Goku and the Dragon Balls begins. It’s a wild ride from start to finish, setting up an adventure that’s going to change the world of anime forever. 

For a different take on Goku’s first big adventure, check out All Ages of Geek’s reactions on Patreon. It’s like revisiting an old friend with a bunch of fellow Dragon Ball fans.

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