Dragon Ball Z Season One Episodes

Complete episode guide for the first season of the Dragon Ball Z anime.

Dragon Ball Z Season One
Dragon Ball Z Season One. The Saiyans, Nappa and Vegeta. ©Bird Studio/Shueisha, Toei Animation. Film©1989 Toei Animation Co., Ltd. Licensed by FUNimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT and all logos, character names and distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of SHUEISHA, INC.

A favorite season of many Dragon Ball Z fans, Dragon Ball Z Season One features what many refer to as the Saiyan Saga. This season reintroduces the world and characters of Dragon Ball to the audience and picks up after a large timejump after the Dragon Ball anime series.

The arc in the first season introduces the concept of aliens and explores the origins of Goku and the race of beings that he belongs to called, Saiyans.


Episode 1: The New Threat

Goku’s son, Gohan is lost in the forest near the family’s house. Goku finds him just as he’s being dragged over a cliff in a river. Strangely, Gohan mysteriously manages to get to a high branch on the cliff and save himself. Elsewhere, an alien called Raditz arrives on Earth and encounters Piccolo. Piccolo attacks Raditz but his attack it has no effect whatsoever. Raditz senses Goku and flies off to find him.


Episode 2: Reunions

Raditz interrupts a gathering of Goku and his friends and reveals that he and Goku are aliens from the same country and that Goku was sent to Earth to destroy it. He then reveals that Goku’s tail was a source of major power and shouldn’t have been removed. He then kidnaps Gohan and asks Goku to join them.


Episode 3: Unlikely Alliance

Raditz tells Goku to kill 100 people to get his son back and that no matter what he decides, he and the other Saiyans will kill everyone on the planet.

Raditz departs with Gohan, leaving Goku and the others to plan his rescue. They think of gathering the Dragon Balls to save the planet but agree that’s impossible to do in just one day. Goku says that Raditz’s weakness is his tail, remembering how weak he became in the past when someone touched his.

Piccolo arrives and forms an alliance with Goku to save Earth so he himself can rule it in the future.

They fly off to confront Raditz who has discovered that Gohan has a power level of 710, more than Goku!


Episode 4: Piccolo's Plan

Goku and Piccolo attack Raditz but he’s too strong for them and blasts off Piccolo’s left arm and almost kills Goku. Seeing his father in trouble, Gohan powers up and frees himself from Raditz’s spaceship.


Episode 5: Gohan's Rage

Gohan attacks Raditz with a super powerful attack. Goku then holds him in place while Piccolo attacks and kills Raditz and seriously injures Goku. Before he dies, Raditz tells them that his eyewear is sending a live feed to the other Saiyans and that they will arrive in a year to kill them all.

On a distant planet these two Saiyans hear about the mystical Dragon Balls through the feed that could possibly bring Goku back to life. They want this power and also want to become Super Saiyans. They depart for Earth.

Back on Earth, Goku’s friends arrive just as he passes away. As he dies, his body disappears. Piccolo says that Kami, the guardian of the Earth, is behind his disappearance.






Episode 6: No Time Like the Present

Piccolo takes Gohan to train him in his powers while Goku is welcomed to heaven.

He meets the king of Heaven, Yama who tells him about King Kai. Goku wants to train with him and takes him to a long path that only Yama has ever come back from.

Back on Earth, Chichi’s father has come to visit and neither of them knows what has happened to Gohan and Goku.


Episode 7: Day 1

Piccolo leaves Gohan to fend for himself in the wild while Goku continues his journey in Otherworld (Heaven).


Episode 8: Gohan Goes Bananas!

Chichi and her father visit Roshi’s island and demand to know where Goku and Gohan are. Master Roshi tells her and she passes out.

Up in Otherworld, Goku continues on his journey while his son, Gohan continues his survival training on Earth. A squirrel wakes Gohan up in the middle of the night which causes him to see the full moon for the first time in his life. Suddenly he transforms into his giant monster form and begins destroying his surroundings.

Piccolo, who had been watching over him is shocked. He makes the connection between Gohan’s transformation and the moon and destroys it with a single attack! He then removes Gohan’s tail after he returns to normal and gives him new clothes and a sword. Piccolo then leaves Gohan for six months to survive on his own.


Episode 9: The Strangest Robot

While Goku continues his journey, Gohan is attacked by a sabre-toothed tiger and ends up trapped in a cave. He encounters a robot which had gotten trapped in the cave due to an earthquake. The robot dislikes Gohan at first but they soon become friends. When the cave starts to collapse, the robot saves Gohan but is destroyed in the process. Gohan, now stronger and more determined due to this life experience, promises to survive this wilderness he is in.


Episode 10: A New Friend

Gohan becomes friends with a dinosaur only for it to be eaten by the carnivorous one he had encountered earlier. Goku continues his journey in Otherworld while Bulma and Krillin recruit their old friend, Yamcha and his friend Puar to help them find the Dragon Balls.

Episode 11: Terror on Arlia

Vegeta and Nappa stop over at the planet, Arlia on their way to Earth. They let themselves get captured and then overthrow the royal family and free the slaves only to destroy the entire planet and everyone on it. They then continue on their journey.

On Earth, Gohan’s fighting ability has improved and he now has the skills to defend himself.


Episode 12: Global Training

Bulma, Krillin, Yamcha and Puar recruit Tien and Chiaotzu to help find the Dragon Balls and train to be stronger for when the Saiyans arrive.

Launch announces that she will follow Tien wherever he goes. Piccolo, during his training, accidentally causes a massive earthquake that reaches all the way to where Tien is training as well as where Gohan is. Goku manages to hitch a ride with a road cleaner on Snake Way but ends up falling off the road and finds himself in a strange land. Almost immediately he is knocked unconscious by an unknown assailant.


Episode 13: Gox and Mez

Launch encounters a Native American and his son while Goku tricks two demons into telling him of a secret passageway to get him back up to Snake Way. Unfortunately though, the passage leads him right back to King Kai and he has to start his journey on Snake Way right from the beginning. He did manage to score some magical fruit though, that seems to have given him more energy.


Episode 14: Princess Snake

Goku is tricked into staying the night in a princess’ castle who seems to have her eye on him.

It’s soon revealed that the princess and all her maidens are in fact snake demons who want to eat him. Goku manages to escape by tricking the princess into tying her snake body up into knots.


Episode 15: Duelling Piccolos

Piccolo creates a double of himself to help with his training but returns the double to his body when he senses Gohan leaving the island that he had placed him on.

Gohan, meanwhile is caught in a huge storm on a small boat that he had made himself.


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Episode 16: Plight of the Children

After the storm, Gohan washes ashore and is taken in by a group of orphans. Eventually police come to give the orphans homes and Gohan escapes with a teenage boy who was looking after them. Gohan makes it back to his house and sees his mother, Chichi but realises that he should finish his training so he can save the planet and is found by Piccolo.


Episode 17: Pendulum Room Peril

Gohan begins his training in earnest with Piccolo. Piccolo, Chiaotzu, Yamcha and Tien are taken to a room by Mr Popo where they’re sent to the past on a distant planet. There they encounter two powerful Saiyans and one by one are killed by them. They all wake up back in the room they started in and are told it was just their minds that travelled and that the two Saiyans that are travelling to Earth are twice as powerful as the two they just fought.


Episode 18: The End of Snake Way

While training with Piccolo, Gohan happens across Goku’s original spaceship which brainwashes him into trying to destroy all life on Earth. It also regenerates his tail and projects a fake moon which makes him transform.

Piccolo eventually destroys the ship and removes Gohan’s tail once more.

Goku reaches the end of Snake Way and leaps to King Kai’s small planet which has very intense gravity. After managing to stand, he sees a monkey creature whom he assumes is King Kai. The real King Kai soon appears just as Goku starts to take lessons from the monkey.


Episode 19: Defying Gravity

Goku begins his training with King Kai. His first task is to catch the monkey on the mini-planet while being exposed to its intense gravity. It’s tough at first but Goku eventually adapts to the gravity and captures the monkey.


Episode 20: Goku’s Ancestors

Piccolo, Chiaotzu, Yamcha and Tien finish their training on Earth while Goku continues his in Otherworld. King Kai tells Goku about his race and how there were two different peoples on his home planet, Vegeta; the Saiyans and the Tuffles.

The Saiyans destroyed the civilized Tuffles and then began destroying planets for the Arcosians.

Episode 21: Counting Down

King Kai gives Goku a new uniform with his symbol on the back. Goku then talks to Roshi telepathically and tells him that the two Saiyans will be arriving tomorrow and that they need to wish him back now. Bulma and Roshi use their Dragon Balls to summon the dragon and wish Goku back. In Otherworld, Goku’s halo disappears and he leave King Kai to get back to the beginning of Snake Path so he can return to Earth.

The two Saiyans suddenly arrive on Earth, destroying several city buildings in the process. All the Z Fighters as well as Piccolo and Gohan sense their arrival.


Episode 22: The Darkest Day

Nappa destroys the entire city with one attack. He and Vegeta then depart to find the powerful fighters on Earth and ask them where the Dragon Balls are so they can wish for immortality. They find Krillin, Gohan and Piccolo and mention that Piccolo is obviously from the planet, Namek. This shocks Piccolo as he had no idea he was an alien. Kami also hears this and is equally shocked though agrees that it makes sense.

Napp and Vegeta remove their headsets. They attack the press helicopters that have arrived and then create a small race of creates called Saibamen which attack the group.


Episode 23: Saibamen Attack!

Yamcha joins the group while Bulma, Puar, Chichi and Roshi look on via a televised broadcast of the confrontation.

Chichi is shocked to see how much Gohan has matured.

Tien and Chiaotzu arrive while Yamcha starts fighting one of the Saibamen and just as it looks like he’s defeated one of them, it comes back to life, grabs him and blows up, killing them both. Puar and Bulma are both distraught. Krillin begins to power up and says he’ll take all the Saibamen on.


Episode 24: The Power of Nappa

Krillin manages to kill several Saibamen and Piccolo kills the last one. Nappa attacks Tien and slices off his left arm. Chiaotzu jumps on Nappa’s back and makes himself explode in an attempt to kill him but Nappa survives, making Chiaotzu’s sacrifice worthless.


Episode 25: Sacrifice

Piccolo and Krillin attack Nappa and yell at Gohan to blast him with an attack but Gohan freezes and runs away. Tien decides to sacrifice himself to kill Nappa and get revenge for Chiaotzu’s death. He blasts everything he has at Nappa but fails to kill him. Tien dies from exhaustion.

Vegeta hears the others talk about Goku and realizes that he is Kakarot. He commands Nappa to stop his attack and decides to wait for three hours for Goku to arrive as he wants a real challenge.


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Episode 26: Nappa’s Rampage

Vegeta allows Nappa to have some fun while they wait for Goku. He flies off and destroys more cities and kills numerous people. Goku finally returns to Earth and flies off to meet the Saiyans.


Episode 27: Nimbus Speed

As Goku flies to save his friends, Vegeta and Nappa realize that a Namekian created the Dragon Balls and that all they need is another one to make some for them.

Nappa attacks Gohan but Piccolo, realizing that he has developed strong feelings for Gohan after spending all that time together training, leaps in front of Nappa’s attack.


Episode 28: Goku’s Arrival

Piccolo is seriously injured by Nappa’s attack and tells Gohan he’s like a son to him before he dies. Kami, connected to Piccolo, also dies. Baba arrives at Roshi’s and shows everyone what’s happening at the fight. Goku arrives and powers up to level 9000. He easily attacks Nappa, who is visibly shaken by Goku’s power level.


Episode 29: Lesson Number One

Goku beats Nappa. Vegeta throws Nappa up into the sky and kills him with a powerful blast. Goku and Vegeta then fly away from Gohan and Krillin to start their fight.


Episode 30: Goku vs. Vegeta

Goku and Vegeta begin their fight. Seeing no other option, Goku levels up to 21,000 to defeat Vegeta with an attack that could kill himself in the process.

Episode 31: Saiyan Sized Secret

Goku attacks Vegeta but Vegeta retaliates with an attack that could destroy the Earth. Goku manages to block it with a counter attack but is left drained. Vegeta then creates artificial moonlight and transforms into his beast form.


Episode 32: Spirit Bomb Away!

Goku temporarily blinds Vegeta and flies away to prepare the Spirit Bomb attack. Before he can launch it though, Vegeta counter-attacks it.

Vegeta then steps on Goku’s legs. Goku blinds Vegeta’s right eye but Vegeta still manages to pick Goku up and starts to crush him in his hands.

Elsewhere, Gohan and Krillin sense Goku in trouble and fly back to help him.


Episode 33: Hero in the Shadows

As Gohan and Krillin fight Vegeta, Yajirobe leaps behind him and slices off his tail which reverts him back to normal. Gohan then continues to fight the now human Vegeta while Goku gives Krillin his energy to make a Spirit Bomb.


Episode 34: Krillin’s Offensive

Krillin throws the Spirit Bomb at Vegeta but misses. Gohan rebounds it back at Vegeta and it hits him! Unfortunately it doesn’t kill him. He retaliates with a giant explosion that knocks everyone out. As he walks up to Gohan, he sees that Gohan’s tail has regrown!


Episode 35: Mercy

Gohan transforms and has Vegeta on the ropes. Vegeta eventually slices off Gohan’s tail which turns him back to normal.

Yajirobe slices Vegeta’s back with his sword. Vegeta calls for his spaceship which immediately flies to him. Krillin picks up the sword and moves to finish Vegeta off but Goku tells Krillin to show him mercy and explains that Piccolo was once such an enemy and now he’s their ally and even gave his life for Goku’s son.

Krillin lets Vegeta fly away.


Episode 36: Picking Up the Pieces

Bulma and the others arrive and pick up Krillin, Gohan, Goku and Yajirobe. As they fly home, they also collect the bodies of Tien, Piccolo and Yamcha. Krillin tells them all of Vegeta’s theory that any Namekian could create Dragon Balls and that there may even be some on Planet Namek. They agree to fly to Planet Namek in Nappa’s spaceship so they can bring everyone back from the dead.


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Episode 37: Plans for Departure

While Goku’s in the hospital with everyone, Bulma enters and uses the remote for Nappa’s spaceship to fly it to them but instead blows it up. Mr Popo then arrives and tells them he knows where they can get a spaceship. He takes Bulma to Kami’s original spaceship and together they do a test flight to Jupiter. It works!


Episode 38: Nursing Wounds

After some discussion, it’s decided that Bulma, Gohan and Krillin will fly the spaceship to Namek. Chichi is against Gohan going but soon realises that she can’t stop her son. The three give everyone a tearful farewell and depart.


Episode 39: Friends or Foes?

Bulma, Krillin and Gohan are attacked by a squadron of spaceships.

They destroy a few but eventually their spaceship is sucked into a much larger one. They get out of their ship to explore this much larger one and are directed into one deadly puzzle after another. Eventually Bulma is captured and the aliens on the ship are revealed to be small children! Elsewhere in space, Vegeta is still in his own ship, thinking about how he needs to heal and get stronger so he can defeat Goku.


If I Could Only Watch One…

…Episode I would watch Episode 14: Princess Snake. It’s a great stand-alone episodes set towards the end of Goku’s journey along the massive Snake Way. While there is some good action towards the conclusion of this episode, what makes Princess Snake worth watching is its ability to encapsulate the sheer fun the series has to offer that often gets overlooked in favour of the battles.

There is some classic comedy moments here with Goku mistaking the princess for King Kai and throwing her to the floor and then soon afterwards with Princess Snake trying to seduce Goku only for all of her moves to fly directly over his head. All of this humor is complemented really well with a charming scene that has Goku thinking fondly of his wife, Chichi (who often gets overlooked, if not completely forgotten) and a rather creepy scene where Princess Snake and her hand maidens reveal their true form. A lot of Dragon Ball Z episodes can often feel one-note but this one covers all the thematic bases.


How to Watch

Due to its popularity, the first season of the Dragon Ball Z anime is fairly easy to get your hands on. All episodes are streamed on Hulu, though the best version of the show would be the new complete Dragon Ball Season One Blu-ray set.

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Stephenson, Brad. "Dragon Ball Z Season One Episodes." ThoughtCo, Aug. 9, 2016, thoughtco.com/dragon-ball-z-season-one-episodes-144599. Stephenson, Brad. (2016, August 9). Dragon Ball Z Season One Episodes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/dragon-ball-z-season-one-episodes-144599 Stephenson, Brad. "Dragon Ball Z Season One Episodes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/dragon-ball-z-season-one-episodes-144599 (accessed December 13, 2017).