Dragon Ball

Season 1 Episode 1

Secret of the Dragon Ball

Aired Weekdays 6:30 PM Aug 20, 2001 on Cartoon Network
out of 10
User Rating
96 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Up in a mountain forest, Bulma is near her second Dragon Ball – the four-star one. A rough first meeting with the strange, strong Goku then occurs. It turns out that he has the four-star Dragon Ball, as it was an heirloom from his late grandfather Gohan. Upon learning how the seven Dragon Balls work, Goku is eager for adventure and joins in her search. Bulma figures his strength will come in quite handy, which proves true almost immediately. Meanwhile, the diminutive Emperor Pilaf is scheming.moreless

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  • Can't watch it?

    Doesn't let me watch it!? No button to actually move to watching it? Don't know if it's just me being stupid or not!
  • very good episode

    i didn't know bulma was that old but this episode is very good
  • Very good first episode

    Goku is the first character introduced to the series. My only flaw in this episode is Bulma's true intentions with the Dragonballs, to have a boyfriend which is stupid. But otherwise, a perfectly made episode. It also had lots of funny quotes, which garners it my vote.
  • Dragon Ball's first episode ever !!!!!

    Cheesy ! That's one word describing the first episode but hey cheesiness is just a part of the show and I love that it's cheesy sometimes because not everything has to be a work of art. So anyway the storyline is, Goku is a fit kid with a monkey tale ( I know what your thinking...HUH ?! ). Goku is really strong and lives on his own. Goku's granfather died and left him his most prized pocession. A dragon ball. He left it for Goku so Goku can remember him. What Goku dosen't realise is that this Dragon Ball is very important to an evil emporer who wants to collect all seven Dragon Balls so he can conqeour the world. The Dragon Ball is also important to a girl called Bulma who wants the Dragon Ball so she can wish for the best boy friend whch I thought was very stupid. I mean come on..all this work for all seven Dragon Balls just so you can wish for a perfect boyfriend. After Goku meets Bulma and insults her, he agrees to go with her to find all seven Dragon Balls. On their way in a very cool veichle I might add, they get attacked by a monster with wings. So Goku tries to save Bulma in a blood pumping and exciting scene which added to the greatness of the first episode. This is where the magical world of Dragon Ball begins :). Great stuff !!moreless
  • "A poor dragon's balls?" Why wasn't that line in this episode?

    Unlike some reviewers, I won't start the review just blabbing about, "It's the first episode. That's why it's so awesome." I'm actually going to tell you why I like it because I actually saw the episode. Anyways, I thought that much of the episode was just an attempt to turn a chapter of the Dragon Ball manga into a 20 minute Anime episode. Things seemed to go slow, even though the producers could have just added the second chapter with it. But, as a fan of the Manga and series, I won't complain. This was a great episode.

    Starting the Dragon Ball series, we see Goku in the woods and Bulma. They meet and Bulma explain that his the ball that his Grandpa left to him was a Dragon Ball. She explained about the power of the Dragon Balls once all seven are together, and Goku decides to go with her. They begin their adventure, but Bulma gets taken by a giant bird on her way to pee. By the way, for some reason, she doesn't say pee.

    This episode was wonderful. It was excellent. I've seen it many times, and boy did this bring back the memories of the VCR and VHS. I recommend this for the Manga fans of the series. It's wonderful to see the Manga and what was going on come to life.moreless
Masaharu Satou

Masaharu Satou

Saber Tiger (Japanese Version)

Guest Star

Hiroshi Ootake

Hiroshi Ootake

Pteranodon (Japanese Version)

Guest Star

Teryl Rothery

Teryl Rothery

Mai (1995 dub)

Recurring Role

Doug Parker

Doug Parker

Shao (1995 dub)

Recurring Role

Donald Brown

Donald Brown

Emperor Pilaf (1995 dub)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Bulma: Excuse me for a minute Goku, time for a pit stop.
      Goku: Uh okay, I'll come too!
      Bulma: Oh no you won't! Doesn't the word pit stop mean anything to you!? Stay right there!
      Goku: Pit stop? What does that mean?
      Bulma: I need to pee, you lame-brain!
      Goku: Huh? I don't get it, why can't she just pee right here? How strange.

    • Mai: But just imagine, dear Emperor. That glorious day when the seven balls are finally brought together. A beautiful burst of energy will light the sky, and in a blazing surge of fiery power, the eternal dragon will rise before you for the sole purpose of granting you a single wish, whatever it may be.

    • Goku: Look, look what it's doing! I think Grandpa's trying to talk to me! What do you think he's saying?
      Bulma: I hate to do this, but I don't really have a choice. (shows Goku her Dragonballs) See!
      Goku: What! You got to be kidding! You've got two Grandpas, no way!

    • (Bulma was just saved by the power pole. She's hanging from the cliff and peeing in her pants)
      Bulma: Goku, aren't you gonna help me?? I'm having a little crisis!

    • (Blue Water dub)
      Dragon: Well, if it isn't dessert!
      Goku: Actually, it's Goku.

    • (Blue Water dub)
      Goku: My name's Goku. Well Son Goku really.

    • (Walking behind Bulma.)
      Goku: Where is your tail?
      (Grabbing her butt and turning around.)
      Bulma: You little freak! What do you think you're doing!?

  • NOTES (15)

    • Counting DB, DBZ and DBGT, all DB series ran in Japan for 11 years, since the first air date Feb 26, 1986 to November 19, 1997.

    • Original Japanese Title: ブルマと孫悟空 (Bulma and Son Goku)

    • Original Japanese Airdate: February 26, 1986 (7:00 – 7:30PM, Wednesday, Fuji TV)

    • Manga Correlation:
      - Chapter 1, "Bulma and Son Goku"

    • The Emperor Pilaf Saga begins this episode.

    • Villain Debut: Emperor Pilaf & Co.

      Emperor Pilaf, a short blue man, who believes he is destined to rule the world with the help of the dragon balls. Together with his bumbling cohorts, Mai and Shu, they try to gather the dragon balls and make their wish for world conquest.

    • According the the Daizenshuu guide books, Goku's power at the beginning of the series is level 10.

    • Scene Edit: When Goku refuses to give Bulma his four-star dragon ball, the uncut version of the series shows that Bulma attempts to get the dragon ball from Goku by allowing him to "feel her up," even going as far as openly lifting up her skirt.

    • The first 13 episodes of the series have been released by FUNimation, the distributor for the series in America, but are only available in their edited format with their old voice cast. While FUNimation has actually done a re-dub of these first 13 episodes uncut, they have yet to release them on DVD, due to their sub-license with KidMark. The only official release that contains these episodes dubbed and uncut with FUNimation's new voice cast was distributed by Madman, the distributor for the series in Australia.

    • Since when the Dragon Ball Anime started airing, the Manga was only up to about chapter 50, Toei Animation created several story arcs and side stories to allow more chapters of the manga to be finished so the Anime wouldn't surpass the story of the manga.

    • This first saga in the series (episodes 1-13) has inspired three Dragon Ball movies:
      The Magic Begins- An "unofficial" Chinese live-action movie
      The Curse of the Blood Rubies- The first in the main series of DB Movies
      The Path to Power- A movie celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the series, released after the three series (DB, DBZ, DBGT) have already ended.

    • At the beginning of the series, Bulma is 16 and Goku is 14. However, Goku later reveals that he is actually 12, after he learns how to count.

    • Scene Edit: In the original Japanese version, after Goku had thrown Bulma's car (with her in it), Bulma then shoots him with a gun. Luckily, Goku survives the shot, due to his strength.

    • Dub Change: Goku's "Power Pole" is actually called the "Nyoi Bo" in the original Japanese (and Blue Water) version.

    • The first thirteen episodes of Dragon Ball were edited & dubbed into English, with voices provided by The Ocean Group (the same people who voiced the first two seasons of Dragonball Z). They had an unsuccessful run on the Fox Kids network in the mid-1990s. In 2001, FUNimation started dubbing all the episodes and the series began airing on Cartoon Network.


    • Name pun: Bulma's name is actually a pun on the word "bloomers" or underwear.

    • The entire beginning of the show Dragon Ball is actually a spoof of the Chinese Tale Journey to the West. Bulma was intended to be the priest from the tale, while Son Goku is a play on the tale's protagonist, the Monkey King, named Son Wukong.