A Show So Epic Deserves Equally Epic Fan Art
Dragon Ball is the ever-popular manga and anime that has spanned years of movies, episodes, and chapters. The franchise has gotten so popular that Goku even got himself a balloon at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade! I grew up with the show, and have since fallen in love with each of the characters, despite the fact that a lot of the action can be repetitive and they keep bringing Frieza back, no matter how long it's been since planet Namek.
When the show isn't releasing new episodes, you can still get your fix in a variety of ways. Not only are there a plethora of movies to choose from (including the newest one with Broly), there are also fan productions of the show. One of my personal favorites is Teamfourstar's abridged series. That one has a bit of cursing, but it captures the characters in such a way that is true to the cannon. Fan productions range from all different mediums and quality levels, but most of them have one thing in common – they share a love of the characters, storylines, and action.
I am clearly not the only one who remembers the show fondly and loves the characters. Type in a search on any engine and you're on your way to finding some really incredible pieces of fan artwork promoting the show. Whether you're new to the franchise, an old fan or simply curious as to what the internet has in store, you've come to the right place!
Gohan and Videl are really the best example of what a happy couple can look like in the entire Dragon Ball universe. Goku isn't hardly around and Bulma and Vegeta have taken years to get to where they are now. But these two have been absolutely adorable from day one. Artist Lam Nguyen gives the sometimes-goofy Saiyaman some real flair in this photo as Videl stands triumphantly to the side. Is it any wonder they get along? Not only does Videl put up with the goofiness that comes with Saiyaman, she creates her own alter ego as well.
Art by Lam Nguyen.
Master Roshi is one tough cookie! Not only has he been alive longer than your average human being, but he still has the energy to keep up with all the happenings to his former students.
Roshi is powerful in his own right
While his role has become much less substantial in recent times, it's hard to forget that there was a time where Master Roshi gave Goku a run for his money. Grosnez imagines a Roshi in the way that other humans might see him – old and wise, but still able to fight when needed.
Art by Grosnez Illustrateur.
I adore this piece. Knowing just how deeply rooted Trunks and Gohan become in the alternate timeline makes this piece extra sweet. Until recently, Dragon Ball's slice of life bits were kept to a minimum. The Z fighters were always in the midst of another battle. So the comraderie between them was strong, but not as much as it could be. Because we got to see these two in a situation other than battle, we tend to want to cheer for them more.
Whis and Beerus may be fairly new characters, but they have found their way into our hearts just as well as the others have. With their love of all different kinds of food, it makes them completely relatable to many of the viewers, myself included.
Whis and Beerus make for great additions to the show.
Knowing that Beerus is the god of destruction makes this picture all the better. Whis sure gets away with a lot because of their given past. They're lovable and epic no matter if they're serious or not.
Poor Yamcha. He isn't much to talk about now unless you're making a joke, but once upon a time, he was a formidable foe. With his Wolf Fang Fist, he gave Goku a serious run for his money. While I'm not sure he could ever give One Punch Man's Saitama a good challenge, it's an interesting cross over by artist Sam Delatorre. Yamcha is a decent character and arguably one of the strongest full-humans on the planet. Maybe one day he'll get a date.
Art by Sam Delatorre.
As far as this list goes, this is probably one of my favorite pictures. The sheer scale of Shenron to Goku is astounding! Zach Smithson imagines what it might be like to see these two giants meeting up above the clouds. I also love how real the clouds look, and how ethereal they make the whole picture look. Shenron is the biggest Mcguffin in all of anime (making all sacrifices really shallow since anyone can be wished back to life), but we love him anyway.
Art by Zach Smithson.
When Beerus was first introduced, he was played up to be incredibly dangerous and powerful. While he still has all of the same powers, his constant desire for food makes him seem a lot less scary.
Beerus can be scary when he wants to.
But artist Jesse Keisala has put some of that fear back into this picture of Beerus. The realism is uncanny, and putting him in a position where he's reaching out for the viewer gives a real sense of foreboding. It's a good reminder as to why Vegeta was so out of character upon seeing his face.
Art by Jesse Keisala.
Hisokan really hit it out of the park on this one. And I mean REALLY. Androids 16 and 18 were incredibly daunting at first, but they later become some great friends to the Z fighters. Krillin and 18 even settle down and start a family, so you know that bond is real.
The androids can be lovable when they want to be.
After 17 was absorbed by Cell, 16 and 18 had only each other. While they didn't have much time, what character development we got was sweet and memorable.
Art by Hisokan.
While android 17 got significantly less screen time than his siblings, he was still a pretty cool character. He put up a pretty good fight and even moved on to becoming a park ranger after being wished back to life. Artist Tashiro Tatsuya gives us a green-hued Android charging some ki blast. Not sure what he'd need his powers for as a park ranger, but I'm sure he's using them responsibly. To quote Mr. T, "I pity the fool" who didn't obey the park's rules and regulations.
Art by Tashiro Tatsuya.
While the show never really portrayed Android 18 as someone who would gravitate towards the idea of being a model, she could definitely pull it off. Thecoldtrojan's character sketch of 18 captures her cold, sassy attitude and ability to make what she's wearing look good – even if there are some unnecessary holes in it.
Android 18 has her own style and won't change for anyone.
I guess she really could be a model after all. Both pictures have some really great attention to detail and some intense shading that should be commended.
Art by Thecoldtrojan.
If you like awesome Dragon Ball art or even just some really good art, check out Nachomolina on DeviantArt. (There's a link to follow right here). There were so many to choose from, but this one is one of my favorites. Cell is arguably one of the greatest villains to grace the franchise and may be even more favored than Frieza. The range of motion in this picture creates a really cool feeling of motion and action. Cell created a great legacy. Seriously though, go check him out.
Art by Nachomolina.
I love Piccolo. He went from the son of a villain and a minor bad guy to not only a friend, but a dedicated teacher and father figure to Gohan. He helped Gohan become quite the skilled fighter. He also supported Gohan in his decision to become a scholar, instead.
Piccolo is the father Gohan never got.
Piccolo is a great fighter himself and has helped save the world many times. Although he seems to be more of an exposition machine these days, he still shows his chops when he can.
Art by Guodong Zhao.
Because he is not part Saiyan, Krillin has been nearly written out of the show. With his inability to keep up power level-wise and past history survival, it makes sense that he would settle down to live the remainder of his life with his wife and daughter. But no matter where his storyline ultimately ends, he is Goku's best friend and will always be there with a Senzu Bean and an encouraging word or two for earth's mightiest heroes.
Art by Mark-Clark-II.
For a long time, we thought that only Goku and Vegeta were left of the Saiyan race. It seems these days that a new survivor pops up every season or so. (Even more, recently!) As I grew up, these four were the only ones we knew, and it was awesome. This is set during the Cell saga, a time when the familial bonds were forged and strengthened. It was a real development for Goku and Gohan especially, as Goku put his trust in Gohan to win the day.
Art by Katsutake.
If there is any picture to summarize the entirety of the Dragon Ball franchise, this would be it. Found on Reddit, Bosmitze's awesome picture pits Goku up against all of the major villains of the show.
This picture easily sums up the show
In the end, it does always come down to Goku and his abilities to save the world, so it's a nice homage to see everyone going up against him at the same time. The show focuses on Goku's ability to become stronger than before, and this picture does wonders.
Art by Bosmitze.
Mickey Torres gives new life to the one and only Hercule as the art style creates someone entirely new. In the absence of our favorite heroes, he goes on to take on the title of world champion. Although he is no match for even the weakest of the group, he adds a nice bit of comedic relief that brought a breath of fresh air to the show. This picture makes him look much stronger than he actually is.
Art by Mickey Torres.
Bulma is and always will be a mainstay of the show. She was Goku's first friend and now related to Vegeta, Trunks, and Bulla. She has a brilliant mind and a hard head. She isn't afraid to do what needs to be done – even to the point of standing up to Lord Beerus.
Bulma may be stubborn, but she gets the job done
She's had many looks over the years, but this is one of her most iconic. Bulma is by far a great asset to the Z fighters and the earth.
Art by Kawacy.
Time travel can cause all sorts of mischief. Because it's something that resides more in the realm of science fiction, the rules can be bent and changed without much trouble. So, of course, they would include it in an epic like Dragon Ball. This is where we first meet Trunks and learn of the oncoming androids. We don't get to see much of future Bulma and her son, but we do get to see the pain and hope that time travel brings the pair. I loved the stylized version of Bulma and her son Sangyup Lee creates in this picture.
Art by Sangyup Lee.
Like I said earlier, I love how Piccolo takes Gohan under his wing and trains him. This picture by Aldger Relpa takes one of their training sessions and illustrates it. I love the lighting on it, and the look that they give each other. You can sense the trust and connection between the two. Gohan deserves a good father, and Piccolo deserves a good son. Although I can't think that standing next to a giant crater could be good for Gohan's health.
Art by Aldger Relpa.
The Ginyu force is one of the funny group of side villains while the Z fighters were on Namek. They were loyal and all loved Frieza. I'm sure that in this picture by Vansolt includes a tearful reunion with their prior employer. Each member was cooky and added something to the show as a whole. While I can't remember any of their names, I remember the confusion I had as to if I should be scared. The Ginyu force was equal parts funny and intimidating, especially since no one had ever powered up to Super Saiyan before.
Art by Vansolt
If box office numbers for the new Broly-centered movie have any say in its quality, then you'd better believe it's going to be good. Taking his new design, Gabriel Cardozo adds his own flair to the character. I personally like that they're going back to something similar to the original Saiyan armor for his design.
The new design for Broly leaves him looking fierce.
This Broly here looks like he's ready to rumble – and isn't too particular about with whom. It'll be interesting to see if his character has changed at all.
Art by Gabriel Cardozo.
It's not really a debate that Frieza is very nearly the most memorable and intimidating villains in the Dragon Ball cannon. He has been brought back for movie after movie, giving fans another chance to see a Goku vs. Frieza match up. They have each leveled up quite a bit since they've last seen each other, so perhaps it's time for another appearance. In either case, Spin-T brings some realism to this intense tyrant, and it's far better than we could have expected.
Art by Spin-T.
Jimmy Xu gives new life to the perfect form of the dastardly Cell. One part of the interpretation that I thought was interesting is the webbing on the side of Cell's face.
This interpretation of Cell is alarming.
As you look longer, you realize the intense amount of detail put into just his skin texture alone. In my opinion, having the face seem like it's a little unattached like that is very unsettling and would make fighting with him hard. Still, a pretty impressive picture of the foe.
Art by Jimmy Xu.
As a kid, my favorites were always Gohan, Piccolo, and Trunks. Vegeta was normally hanging out on the bottom of the list. Now that I'm older and understand more, I can appreciate Vegeta a lot more for what he is and what he is becoming. While he may be a good guy now, you have to appreciate the due diligence he paid during his days of space conquest. This picture gets his attitude done just right. With the dutch angle in the background, purple lightning, and Vegeta's smirk, you know this place was a civilization not long ago.
Do you remember how you felt when you were watching Goku's fight with Frieza on Namek when his hair started to change and power was exuding from his body? It's kind of a crazy thing to think about. New forms and hair colors are old hat now, but then it was a little surreal. I think StrengXD got the look just right. the lighting on Goku's hair really gives a great focus to the strength that he held inside all along.
art by StrengXD.