Dragon Ball Z, is undoubtedly one of the most popular animes of all time. It has infected our culture and spawning memes, catchphrases, and slang along the way: Brolic, “Over 9000!”, “Ka-mah-ha-meh-haaaa!” With a slew of semi popular video games and the cultural nostalgia economy in full swing keeping favorites like Gohan alive, DBZ attempted a comeback in 2015. The series had a new storyline under the title dubbed Dragon Ball Super, which take place after the Buu saga but before Dragon Ball GT is supposed to have occurred.
Along with Sailor Moon and Cowboy Bebop, Dragon Ball Z helped introduce many American pre-teens to anime during the early 2000s when its English-dub experienced a successful run on Cartoon Network's Toonami block. It spawned a number of card games, video games, films, and thousands of cheap looking, fan-made GeoCities websites dedicated to the anime. Dragon Ball Super has been lucky to have creator Akira Toriyama, who wrote the original 1984 comic that the series was based on, involved. Toriyama was minimally involved in Dragon Ball GT, a previous sequel series that some say is overshadowed by the new series.
Though Dragon Ball Z had its faults—its seasons were often stretched too far, it overused cliffhangers, and scenes of eyes popping out under brow sweat went on too long—it still remains a fixture within popular culture. The series and its characters have been referenced in music, such as in Childish Gambino's "My Shine" ("Everything I'm sayin' I'm Super Saiyan like Goku") and Frank Ocean's "Pink Matter" ("That soft pink matter, cotton candy, Majin Buu"), to name a few. Oh, and don't forget the memes. For being decades old, Dragon Ball has aged gracefully on the Internet and the real-world.
With the Dragon Ball Super bringing back the action (and memories), we re-examined what made Dragon Ball Z so great and ranked its best episodes. Beware: there's a whole mess of spoilers ahead, obviously.