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21 Anime Shows That Completely Ripped Off Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z ushered in so many new ideas to the world of anime — of course, everyone stole them all.

The Dragon Ball franchise has been around since 1984, when the manga, written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama, was first published in Weekly Shōnen Jump. The manga and anime have received numerous accolades, as well as being considered the foundation of a majority of shōnen anime. Because of this, several anime series have come under fire for ripping off content and ideas from Dragon Ball.

While some anime series have clearly stolen artwork, concepts, storylines, arcs, character development, and more. Not all do it with ill intent. Some ideas are taken and turned into a spoof, giving props to the Dragon Ball franchise through comedic means. While others respect the work of Akira Toriyama so much that his style of drawing characters comes out in their own work. There are a few anime series which have clearly ripped off Dragon Ball Z but have still found massive amounts of success because fans just don’t seem to care that much — enjoying the style and story regardless of where the ideas originated from.

Many of the anime listed in this article are success stories in their own right. Yes, they've ripped off the Dragon Ball franchise, but carved out their own path in the manga and anime world too. Others are in here because they openly admitted to borrowing concepts and ideas, either by paying respect to them or using them in a comedic fashion.

It should be noted, not one anime listed here is a bad anime. They have all earned their place in history, and shouldn’t be discounted for similarities in style and storytelling to Dragon Ball Z.

21 Stole Everything: Naruto

Via Saturday Scorn YouTube

Dragon Ball Z and Naruto are both shōnen anime. When discussing shōnen, there will always be a variety of similarities between the anime and the manga. Naruto, however, takes the cake. Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of Naruto, has a love for all forms of entertainment media. Whether its Japanese folk tales or the Matrix franchise, Kishimoto pays tributes to these iconic forms in his work. He also tends to copy a little too closely, as in the case with DBZ.

Naruto and Goku, the titular character in their respective series, resemble one another closely. Both start their series at the age of 12, love to eat food, are super powerful, and can make amateur mistakes often. Even their storylines share a common thread in having a good friend become an enemy and then become a friend once again.

Sasuke and Vegeta also share striking similarities, like when Orochimaru took over Sasuke's mind and body with The Cursed Seal. In DBZ, Babbidi took over Vegeta's mind and body with The Majin Seal. And Gaara and Frieza’s finishing moves are practically the exact thing. Garra’s Imploding Sand Funeral, implodes, while Freiza’s explodes from the inside out.

Other ripped off things include the Rasengan and Kamehameha being the same color, Naruto was trained by perverted Frog hermit (Goku Turtle hermit), and Naruto's inner power was awakened by being thrown off a cliff (just like Goku).

20 Stealing Art: One Piece

Via kotaku.com and Alpha Coders

It’s not a secret that One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda is a huge fan of Akira Toriyama, drawing obvious inspiration for the lead character Luffy. Oda would even go on to work together with Toriyama on a manga called Cross Epoch, which featured both One Piece and Dragon Ball characters. The image above, however, is not from this crossover, leading many to speculate that Oda stole a no-name backdrop character from Toriyama and made him the lead in his own manga and anime. Many of the voice actors for Dragon Ball Z are also used in One Piece without much difference in their voices.

Eiichiro Oda, like Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto), is a huge fan of other mediums and likes to draw them into his work.

In addition to taking concepts from Dragon Ball, he’s also ripped off several scenes from Disney cartoons (Aladdin and Little Mermaid), and even Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.

For those unfamiliar with the series One Piece, it follows the titular Monkey D. Luffy, whose body gained the properties of rubber after unintentionally eating a Devil Fruit.

With his new powers, he forms a crew, named the Straw Hat Pirates. They set off to explore the Grand Line in search of the world's ultimate treasure known as One Piece, which would allow Luffy to become the next Pirate King.

19 Stole Goku: Gintama

Via Gintama News Official

Written and illustrated by Hideaki Sorach, Gintama’s storyline follows life from the point of view of Gintoki Sakata. He’s a samurai who works as a freelancer, in addition to his friends Shinpachi Shimura and Kagura, so they can pay their monthly rent. Gintama copies some aspects directly of Dragon Ball Z, but it also parodied the series in a fun way too.

Most notably in likeness are Kagura and Goku. They are both members of a warrior race, have immense appetites, and love to fight. Goku and Kagura also had a father and brother who served on the forces of their opponents and enemies. Kagura at one-point teleports into Shinpachi’s head, much like Goku did when fighting Nappa. Sorach even admits to this rip off in a fun and parody like way by having Kagura state, “Too slow, Nappa.”

The Gintama series starts off with Sakata Gintoki almost crashing his scooter into Kagura, like when Bulma crashes her car into Goku in Dragon Ball.

For fans of Gintama, they’ll likely remember Gintoki practicing a Kamehameha, miserably and comedically, as his friends shrug their shoulders and shake their heads. As an episode parody, the cast of Gintama was featured in a mashup of Dragon Ball, One Piece, and Bleach called DragonBleaPiece. The parodies continue during opening while mimicking the opening of Dragon Soul, replacing the Dragon Ball Z cast with their own characters.

18 Stealing Lines: Highschool DxD

Via pinterest

Not all anime blatantly rips off Dragon Ball Z and try to pass it off as their own. Others, like Highschool DxD, found a way to use similar ideas while comedically announcing and attributing those concepts back to DBZ. Written by Ichiei Ishibumi and illustrated by Miyama-Zero, Highschool DxD has an interesting storyline. Focusing on a deviant high school student (Issei Hyodo) from Kuoh Academy who is eliminated by his first date. Issei is revived by a devil (Rias Gremory) to serve her and her devil family.

In just the second episode of Highschool DxD, Issei Hyoudou (the main protagonist) attempts to make a pact with a character we’ll simply call human, which leads to a host of Dragon Ball Z references. For example, the human constantly talks about a show they watch called Drago M-Ball while showing off their manga collection. Upon closer look, these mangas look very much like the covers featured on Dragon Ball mangas.

Fans of the dub might have missed this, but Issei yells out “Dragon wave” when describing how the character defeats his opponents. In the dub, he says “Kamehameha."

The human goes on to mention traveling the earth for the ultimate spirit ball (referencing the spirit bomb). Issei also states he and his friends play hide and seek by sensing their life energies, which is a direct correlation to how the Z-fighters sense an opponent's Ki. Lastly, the main character of Drago-M Ball is called Gon-Soku (better known as Son Goku).

17 Who's First? Fist Of The North Star

Via jovemnerd.com.br and AniDB

Slightly ahead of its time, Fist of the North Star began publication a year prior to Dragon Ball. Both of the series' draw from martial arts style fighting, and over the years, have bounced and played concepts off one another without ever stealing them completely. Written by Buronson and illustrated by Tetsuo Hara, the story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world which has been decimated by nuclear war.

The main character is a warrior named Kenshiro, the successor of a martial art style known as Hokuto Shinken. This style gives him the power to eliminate most of his opponents from within, through the use of the human body’s secret vital points. The visuals are much gorier than DBZ, but the fighting styles and animation are very close to one another.

Fist of the North Star and Dragon Ball can be attributed to beginning the foundation of shōnen anime. Like DBZ, the series would have a ton of spin-offs and video games associated with it due to the show's popularity. In the West, Fist of the North Star is a little less known because it was often banned and censored due to its graphic nature. If you’re a die-hard fan of the Dragon Ball franchise, I highly recommend checking out Fist of the North Star.

16 Stolen Humor: Hetalia

Via Pinterest

One way to tell whether a series is stealing or paying tribute to Dragon Ball Z is to search for fan-fiction crossovers. In the case of Hetalia, there are more than a few. Originally a web-comic and adapted into an anime by Hidekaz Himaruya, Hetalia draws on positive and negative cultural stereotypes and applies it to its characters personalities. The series also has massive amounts of characters who come and go at random, much like Dragon Ball and other shōnen anime.

Using comedy and parody as a backdrop, the series focuses on events during World War II. Hetalia taps into less common historical and cultural trivia while telling stories with a political, economic, and military interaction between various countries.

References made in the series towards Dragon Ball Z include the saying “Paint It, White,” which took place during a conference. The countries were attempting to find a solution to defeat their enemy, the Pictorians. The subject changed to choosing an American superhero or a Japanese anime, to which China interjects yelling “Kame-Kame-Ha!” Greece tries to get involved by stating they know what Japanese words mean, as it says “Sushi-paki-Dragon Ball Z-nani.”

15 Stolen Dance: Bakuman

Via OtakuKart

Created by Takeshi Takeshi Obata and Tsugumi Ohba (Deathnote), Bakuman is actually the opposite of what Dragon Ball Z is. That’s right, the anime has no characters with powers in it. So why is it on here? It’s because the series pays respect to DBZ, honoring it with references while paying the anime the respect it deserves.

The story is about two young aspiring writers and artists who begin honing their craft at the age of 9. The series does have them progress in age over time, ending with them in their early 20s. Various characters resemble real-life authors and editors of Weekly Shōnen Jump, along with a handful of manga titles which have been published in the magazine. Dragon Ball Z is one of them.

In Bakuman, the character Akito Takagi states his favorite manga is Dragon Ball. Another nod to the anime powerhouse comes from the main characters, Moritaka and Takagi, as they take on the famous Fusion Dance pose. Moritaka is told he has eyes like a manga hero. In response to this, Eli Nizuma draws Super Saiyan Goku’s eyes to show Moritaka what his eyes look like. Another reference also occurs when Ashirogi Muto is thinking about a manga battle, with Super Saiyan Goku showing up in the background.

14 Stolen Spoof: Good Luck Girl!

Via bcFenix YouTube and Capsule Computers

The anime Good Luck Girl! is a comedy (spoof) with lots of different influences in the anime and manga culture. Naturally, Dragon Ball is often made fun of because of the influence it has had on decades of written and illustrated material since its release. The series is created by Yoshiaki Sukeno and was serialized in Shueisha's Jump Square magazine from 2008 to 2013. It received an anime adaptation in 2012.

The basic story showcases Ichiko Sakura, a 16-year-old high schooler who has always been lucky. Sakura’s luck comes from her body containing Fortune energy. This energy draws from its surroundings, causing the world to fall out of balance. To create balance, a god named Momiji (God of Misfortune) is sent to the human world to target Ichiko and steal her Fortune energy to rebalance the world.

The instances when Dragon Ball is referenced include when Momiji and her familiar are seen dressed as Goku and King Kai with the backdrop of Kai’s planet in the background. There is another clip where a Super Saiyan Goku appears amongst a group of individuals described as having good fortune. Vegeta also makes an appearance, but in the group said to have negative energy.

Another funny bit in Good Luck Girl! was when the dog god Momo transformed into his canine form. His hair turns golden and his body is surrounded by a bright aura, much like when a character goes Super Saiyan in the Dragon Ball franchise. The icing on the cake is when Bobby and Momiji are shown dressed as Krillin and Master Roshi. The characters have also cosplayed Vegeta and Nappa.

13 Stole Style: Sailor Moon

Via Pinterest

Serialized in Nakayoshi just a few years after Dragon Ball was in Weekly Shōnen Jump, Sailor Moon targeted young girls (as opposed to boys like DBZ) with a combination of shōnen and shōjo styles. Created by Naoko Takeuchi (who’s a woman), the series gained instant popularity from not only girls but boys too (much like the Dragon Ball franchise). The premise of the show follows a schoolgirl named Usagi Tsukino who transforms into Sailor Moon. She’s searching for a magical artifact called the Legendary Silver Crystal. Tsukino leads the Sailor Soldiers as they battle against villains to prevent the theft of the Silver Crystal and the destruction of the universe.

Despite having a different story from Dragon Ball Z, the foundation of the series is quite similar per episode and season story arcs. During the beginning of Sailor Moon, Tsukino is learning powers from a magical pet, faces off against villains and monsters trying to steal the Silver Crystal. As she transforms, Tsukino gets messed with in a comedic way, fights back, uses a fancy final attack, and learns a lesson. This structure lines up almost identically to the arc of Goku in DBZ.

The similarities continue as an enemy becomes a friend and every character introduced gets a similar arc to Tsukino’s, essentially repeating itself until the group is ready to take on the so-called big boss. This fight is extended into two or three episodes, full of rescuing and reviving other characters. Sound familiar?

12 Stole The Dub: Yu-Yu-Hakusho

Via Rooster Teeth and OtakuKart

Yu-Yu-Hakusho is written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi. The anime series focuses on Yusuke Urameshi, a teenage delinquent who is by a car while attempting to save a child's life. After passing tests given to him by the underworld ruler, Yasuke is revived and given the title of Underworld Detective. As the series progressed, it focused more on battle tournaments and one on one fights.

The most notable similarities can be found when watching the English dub.

Both series used the same voice actors, causing a ton of confusion when Yu-Yu-Hakusho came out after Dragon Ball Z did. Another small difference is in Hiei having the hair of Vegeta. This might seem minor, but visualization in an anime is important. Hence, why so many anime copied DBZ characters hair. Both characters also have traumatic pasts while also being cocky and arrogant. They also both get beat by a girl.

Yu-Yu-Hakusho also uses the style of fighting found in DBZ, which draw heavily on Hong Kong action films and tiered opponent fighting matches (tournaments). A theme which is commonly found in a majority of the anime on this list. To Yu-Yu-Hakusho’s credit, the anime has way fewer characters and spends more time developing them, especially females.

11 Stole Hair: My Hero Academia

Via Pinterest

Airing its first season in 2016, and currently running in its third season, My Hero Academia has won the hearts of many anime fans and critics alike. Written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi, the similarities between Dragon Ball and Naruto are on-the-nose striking. Yet, the tropes are done in such a creative way, it comes off feeling original, rather than a copy of something else.

Horikoshi doesn’t hide borrowing themes from others in his work but rather flaunts it proudly.

Anime artist Phil Vazquez picked up on this, creating the crossover image seen above. Marvel saw how well the crossover was received and did the same thing as a marketing stint prior to the release of Avengers: Infinity War.

Some might say My Hero Academia is more of a Naruto rip off (and they’d be right for the most part), but since Naruto stole from DBZ, its kind of a moot point. There is an abundance of characters, tournaments to show off fighting skills and improvement per character, along with multiple episodes focusing on a single battle with villains. Even Deku’s hair can be compared to Goku’s. Because the series is open about its copying of tropes from anime like DBZ and Naruto, and since Horikoshi does it in a new and unique way, fans of My Hero Academia are accepting and don’t really care. The third season (along with the previous two) can be found on VRV, Hulu, and various other streaming platforms.

10 Stolen Arc: Zatch Bell!

Via RobertoVile - DeviantArt

Zatch Bell! is a lesser-known shōnen series in the west, but popular in Japan. Written and illustrated by Makoto Raiku, the series was published in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday. The story focuses on Kiyo Takamine, and his demon partner Zatch Bell, as they try to win the tournament of Mamodo (demon) battles. If they win, Zatch can become the king of the Mamodo world.

Much like most of the anime mentioned, the similarities between Zatch Bell! and Dragon Ball Z can be found in the foundational arc of the stories. Zatch learns spells and levels up while Goku learns martial arts and becomes stronger through training. Both level up the more fights they get in. Goku and Zatch are each naïve, trying to do good (saintly) and are extremely hard to defeat. They also both have kind guardian figures who have looked out for them since a young age (Zatch 14, Goku 12).

Neither character takes themselves too seriously and they always resolve whatever mess they’re in by fighting it out. Zatch Bell! aired in Japan from 2003 to 2006, spinning off a series of video games, toys, movies, and an abundance of other merchandise just like the Dragon Ball franchise. The series can be found on Hulu, iTunes, and Amazon Video.

9 Stealing Fun: Fairy Tail

Via JOLO LOPEZ YouTube

Anime fans will automatically know Fairy Tail is more like One Piece than Dragon Ball but going off the logic used before — if One Piece is a copy of Dragon Ball Z, then so is Fairy Tail in its own way. Serialized in Weekly Shōnen Magazine (2006-2017), the series is written and illustrated by Hiro Mashima. The Fairy Tail story is set in a fictional Earth-land where wizards join into guilds, applying their magical abilities for paid job requests.

The main similarities between the two anime are in the core theme of friendship.

As the series states, “fun never ends when you’re on an adventure with friends.” This, of course, carries over into combat fights and character growth. Both series draw on these battles as a means to an end (even though the means are different).

Natsu Dragneel (the protagonist in Fairy Tail) is like Goku in that they both live on the wild side and have a “true awakening” of power later in their respective series’ run. Natsu and Goku also share a thirst for battle, always seeking to become stronger. To accomplish these goals, both characters separate from their friends for a time to train. Goku was seven years and Natsu was one. And let’s not forget to include the infamous hair and love for eating too.

8 Stole Protagonist: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

Via Geek and Sundry

Written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure was first published just three years after Dragon Ball premiered. Like its predecessor, the manga series is currently Shueisha's second largest, having 121 chapters and counting. The overall plot is about the Joestar family who is destined to fight and take down supernatural enemies. Each character has unique powers, as the story focuses on one protagonist for a short time before moving to the next.

Each of the protagonists (called a JoJo) featured in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is very much like a character in Dragon Ball.

Jonathan Joestar (the first JoJo) and Bardock (father of Goku) share a keen likeness in their short time featured in their respected series, setting up the story for their offspring, and their inevitable eliminations to characters who have been a constant thorn in their side. Freeza takes out Bardock and Dio eliminates Jonathan. The offspring, Joseph Joestar, and Goku share many similar features too. Both have a unique power in their eye, Goku being ki and Joseph's Hamon. They also follow similar paths in striving to restore peace while gathering followers to their cause. Another funny tidbit is Goku normally loses his life following his goals while Joseph repeatedly loses his left hand.

7 Stole Jokes: My Bride Is A Mermaid

Via Know Your Meme

Written by Tahiko Kimura, My Bride is a Mermaid is a story about a young teenage boy named Nagasumi Michishio who is saved by a mermaid named Sun Seto. The act puts both at risk of being eliminated due to rules, which results in them getting married to stay alive. My Bride is a Mermaid doesn’t copy Dragon Ball Z as much as it pays tribute to it, with references and Easter eggs scattered throughout the anime. Although, the series has been called out for creating a song almost identical to the classical opera Ride of the Valkyries by Wagner and copying the terminator theme from Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

Younger versions of Vegeta and Trunks appear in episode 16, seen in the background amongst other students in a classroom.

Other references include Saru asking Nagasumi if he used Dragon Balls to “wish beautiful girls into his life.” As Saru says this, an image of Shenron and the seven orbs appear on the screen. Saru also dresses up as an old bearded man during a fight in the school as to what the idol should be. He calls the man Chimp-Roshi which looks and has the same name as the Dragon Ball character Master Roshi. Even Goku gets in on the action as he is seen facing away from the screen in a group of people during a school trip to Kyoto.

6 Stole Characters: Saint Seiya

Via Pinterest

Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac is written and illustrated by Masami Kurumada. The manga was serialized just two years after Dragon Ball in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1986 to 1990. It is about five warriors known as saints who draw their powers form a mystical energy called Cosmo. The Saints defend the return of the goddess Athena in her battle against the other Olympian gods who are seeking to dominate Earth.

Many fundamental themes are similar between the two anime such as having a wide variety of characters, lots of fights and issues resolved through battling, and a fantasy setting. Both series also inspired multiple video games, card collecting, and an abundance of toys.

After both series had completed their initial runs, they also produced several spin-offs. Saint Seiya did this with Episode G, The Lost Canvas, and Saintia Sho. This is extremely like how Dragon Ball spun off Episode of Bardock and Dragon Ball Super. The difference between the two, however, is that Karumada gave advice regarding the spin-offs, allowing new artwork and characters to be introduced by other artists and writers. While Dragon Ball did not. Knights of the Zodiac is an older anime, but still worth checking out for true anime fans who enjoy a well put together shōnen.

5 Stealing Saiyan: Bleach

Via Dragon Ball Wiki - Fandom

Bleach is created by Tite Kubo and its no secret in the anime and manga community that his work was heavily inspired by Akira Toriyama (creator of Dragon Ball). It’s also common knowledge that most anime fans claim the series rips off Yu-Yu-Hakusho more so than Dragon Ball. But going back to earlier points, if YYH stole heavily from DBZ, it’s a moot point. The overall themes are similar, focusing on fighting, training, and a massive amount of characters included in the series.

The area most can agree directly rips of Dragon Ball Z is when Ichigo goes Super Saiyan 3 while fighting Ulquiorra and the infamous Time Chamber found in both series’.

In Dragon Ball, the Hyperbolic Time Chamber is used to increase a characters training and overall strengths. It holds ten times the gravity found on Earth and one year in the chamber is equal to one day outside of it.

The overall story of Bleach follows focuses on Ichigo Kurosaki. He gains the power of a Soul Reaper (much like the grim reaper) from another Soul Reaper named Rukia Kuchiki. These powers come with the responsibility of defending humans from evil spirits and guiding souls into the afterlife.

4 Stealing Female Characters: Samurai Champloo

Via Absolute Anime and plus.google.com

Produced by Shinichirō Watanabe and created by the animation studio Manglobe, Samurai Champloo plays off the strengths which made Cowboy Bebop a cult classic. Watanabe was also the producer of Cowboy Bebop, bringing the concepts of episodic narrative design and contemporary music into anime.

The story follows two samurai swordsmen named Mugen and Jin. The two are complete opposites of one another personality-wise but are on equal ground when evaluating their skills at fighting (although their styles are completely different). The swordsmen are brought together by a girl named Fuu, who is on a quest to find the “samurai who smells of sunflowers.”

Fuu deals with problems exactly like Chi-Chi or Bulma.

Not to be confused with Fu from Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, Fuu Kasami is a bit of a trickster and likes meddling in others business. Not surprisingly, Fuu can chow down, unlike other females, keeping up with the appetite of Mugen. Her hair is brown in the style of a ponytail, with her bangs being parted so a larger portion hangs towards her left side. She wears a pink kimono (having curves exposed once in a while) which is covered in a pattern of flowers.

3 Stolen Transformations: Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo

Via Out Of Context Bobobo

Not a typical shōnen anime, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo focuses on forms of parody, often at the expense of other popular anime (not just Dragon Ball). The creative and popular series is written and illustrated by Yoshio Sawai. Like Deadpool in American comics, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo uses fourth wall breaking humor, puns, double-talk, pop cultural references, cross-dressing, and visual gags as a means to pay respect while making fun of other visual mediums.

The most popular parodies of Dragon Ball Z include Don Patch becoming Professional Patch, turning gold in the process while gaining an upward curve to his body spikes. This is like a Super Saiyan transformation, in which the concept of Fusion is directly ripped off from the Dragon Ball franchise. There is also the villain Purupu who is supposed to be a parody of Freeza. Even his henchmen (Lamune and Kinen) are very much like Freeza’s minions Zarbon and Dodoria.

Don Patch likes to dress up like Trunks, as seen during the battle against Master JOY. And Don Patch stomps on LOVE’s chest after her defeat the same way Piccolo did with Raditz. Patch also gives a nod to Chiaotzu when he was attempting to destroy Nappa by performing the same move. He also has Nappa’s face after the explosion, showing how Nappa survived in DBZ.

2 Stealing Lines: Scan2go

Via scan2go.wikia.com and AnimeBlurayUK - WordPress.com1

Targeting a much younger audience, Scan2go is a Japanese-Korean anime series co-produced by d-rights Inc., NewBoy, SBS Productions Inc., and Stonebridge Capital Inc. with Mitsuo Hashimoto overseeing the direction. The series takes place in a fictional future universe where species are infatuated with racing (as opposed to fighting). The racing doesn’t involve regular vehicles, but rather toy cars powered by cards. Each race is like a tournament, involving obstacles, free-for-alls, and team play.

The titular character is Kazuya (Kaz) Gordon who is from Earth. He sets out with his team to become the best racer in the universe, adding plenty of friends and companions through his adventures. The villain in the story is Ryu Kaizel, who destroyed the Scan2Go committee as he seeks to conquer negative emotions and destroy the universe.

Hashimoto is obviously a fan of the Dragon Ball franchise as the robots which help Kaz and Shiro look awfully like Giru. One of them even shouts “Danger, danger!” Just like Giru. Another similarity to DBZ is when Shiro transforms, it’s exactly like an oozaru transformation. And Ryu shares personality and facial features with the infamous Baby in Dragon Ball. Whether Hashimoto stole these ideas or used them as a nod towards a series he respects is unknown.

1 Stolen Concepts: One Punch Man

Via ForneverWorld YouTube

In what started as an online manga, quickly went viral and was purchased for distribution. One Punch Man is created by ONE, a pseudonym of a Japanese manga artist, which was later remade as a digital manga illustrated by Yusuke Murata. In spoofing superhero tales, the series tells the story of the lead character Saitama. He’s an extremely overpowered superhero, who is often bored by the absence of challenge in his fight against evil. This leads to him seeking out a worthy opponent to fight.

Artist Yusuke Murata often does live streams of him sketching One Punch Man on Ustream. He’s also known for drawing Dragon Ball sketches. During one of his videos, Murata states, “If it's drawn too detailed, it won't match Toriyama-sensei’s style, I'll have to stop at some point. My kids love Dragon Ball too. I'll bring a copy back after I completed it and tell him daddy drew Dragon Ball. It’s truly amazing that people from all generations watch Dragon Ball.”

This is a true inspiration as it should be. Murata can throw in nods and references to Dragon Ball Z all day without fandom reacting in a negative way. And he does often, either through his lead character Saitama, Genos, or the newest villain on the scene. With massive explosions during fights, while giving detail to footwork and martial arts motion, One Punch Man pays respect to DBZ.

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