Every Major Year In Dragon Ball History

With Dragon Ball Super completely against letting characters physically age, it’s easy to take for granted how critical a role the passage of time played in the franchise’s original storytelling.

On the same note, Future Trunks’ introduction into the series confirmed how Dragon Ball’s timeline was ordered: through the Age system. At the start of the first story arc, known history has only been in place for a little over 700 years, the series ending in Age 784. Telling the decades-long story of Son Goku’s life, there are more than a few formative years in Dragon Ball’s run.

  1. Age 749 (The First Hunt For The Dragon Balls)

Age 749 was the year that fundamentally changed Goku’s life. It’s here when he met Bulma for the first time, forging his first meaningful connection.

Goku spends the year meeting new people and broadening his horizons, giving him a wanderlust that drives him up through the end of the Red Ribbon Army arc– later manifesting in the thrill he feels fighting strong opponents.

2. Age 753 (22nd Tenkaichi Budokai & Piccolo Daimao Arcs)

After three years of rigorous training by himself, Goku’s reunion with the rest of the Dragon Team is a touching one for the lad. There’s lost time to make up for and a tournament to fight in.

While the tournament manages to end on a high, Krillin is killed shortly after. Piccolo Daimao, an ancient Demon King, has reawakened and sent his minions after all the world’s martial artists. Krillin is only the first to fall, as Roshi, Chaozu, and even Shenlong follow him in death. Goku ultimately defeats Piccolo Daimao, but only after a grueling battle.

3. Age 784 (End Of Z)

At the end of an era, Dragon Ball flashes 10 years into the future to cap off Son Goku’s journey. The story ceases where it first began nurturing its themes: the Tenkaichi Budokai. The reincarnation of Majin Buu, Uub enters the tournament to win money for his village while Goku enters for a fair fight. What Goku finds instead is a student in the making, leaving home to train Uub. It’s a perfect note to end Goku’s journey on, and the brief glimpse fans get of Age 784 serves as a strong setting to end the story on.

4. Age 774 (Majin Buu Arc)

Age 774 is another violent year for Dragon Ball, largely because of the almost human extinction at the center of the arc.

Goku, Dende, and Mr. Satan are the last established characters still alive when the final battle starts. The heroes are able to turn things around, of course, but the main cast come dangerously close to losing everything they’ve fought for in Age 774. It can’t be stressed just how many times Buu comes to winning.

5. Age 767 (Cell Arc)

Future Trunks’ warning ends up giving the Dream Team a three year headstart for the fight against the Artificial Humans, but Dr. Gero and Android 19 aren’t the threats Trunks warned of.

In a matter of weeks, the Artificial Human crisis devolves into Cell threatening full planetary destruction. Several characters end up spending years inside of the Room of Spirit and Time (with Goku & Gohan bonding inside the room for roughly 9 months,) and the year’s big event ends up being the Cell Games: a tournament which results in Goku & Cell’s deaths, and Mr. Satan solidifying his role as a hero.

6. Age 764 (Future Trunks Arrives)

After being away from home for almost two years, Goku’s crash landing back on Earth is interrupted by Frieza and King Cold’s arrival… whose own arrival is interrupted by none other than Future Trunks’.

Unfortunately, Trunks misreads the situation. Having no way of knowing Goku can teleport, he rushes to kill Frieza before Goku has a chance to warp. This presumably creates the butterfly effect which leads to the events of the Cell arc, but Cell himself has already traveled back to the main timeline at this point.

7. Age 762 (Saiyan & Frieza Arcs)

Following Goku’s death, he’s whisked away to train with Kaio in the afterlife while Gohan trains with Piccolo. This training session lasts for around a year or so, spilling into Age 762– one of the busiest and most violent years in Dragon Ball history. Both arcs see major deaths, killing every single member of the Dragon Team at least.

By the end of the Frieza arc, Goku’s basically the last man standing as far as OG martial artists go. Age 762 also sees plenty of growth for the main cast. Piccolo accepts his humanity, Gohan overcomes his fears, and Goku comes to terms with his heritage while becoming the legendary Super Saiyan in the process.

8. Age 761 (Raditz Arrives)

By Goku’s own admission, he starts to take it easy after the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai. For what it’s worth, though, he was raising a family at this time.

Revealing that Goku is a Saiyan, Raditz kidnaps Goku’s son, Gohan, and demands Goku kill 100 Earthlings to prove his loyalty. Goku naturally refuses, but surprisingly finds a common ally in Piccolo.

9. Age 737 (Destruction Of Planet Vegeta)

An event that’s really only mentioned in passing in the original Dragon Ball, the destruction of Planet Vegeta can be seen as the franchise’s genuine “origin” point.

The Bardock TV Special would later clarify that Goku’s father, an insignificant soldier named Bardock, led a failed rebellion that coincided with Vegeta’s destruction. Notably, Toriyama liked the plot point so much that he referenced it in two panels during the fight against Frieza in the manga.

10. Age 750 (21st Tenkaichi Budokai & Red Ribbon Army Arcs)

In terms of story depth, Age 750 is one of the densest years in Dragon Ball history. The tournament teaches Goku that there will always be someone better, a lesson that drives him directly into the Red Ribbon Army arc.

Between defeating Colonel Silver, scaling Muscle Tower, surviving General Blue, killing Tao Pai Pai, training with Karin, single-handedly destroying the Red Ribbon Army, winning Uranai Baba’s tournament, facing off against Pilaf yet again, and starting a new training session after reviving Bora, Goku has an incredibly busy year.

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