We’re talking about Dragonball, a Japanese series that started as manga in 1984 and continues in animated form up to today. Those who have only heard the name may be wondering what, exactly, is a dragonball? Is that a sport? Perhaps a dance event for dragons.
Dragonballs are legendary artifacts that have been hidden all over the world. They were created by Kami (“God”) to reward the most worthy warriors and explorers. Each set includes seven balls. Whoever collects them all, from wherever they are hidden, can use them to summon a dragon who will grant one wish. After that, the balls become inert for at least one year and are again magically scattered until another worthy hero seeks them out.
The dragonballs appear as round orange stones, crystal or glass, about the size of a softball. Each has a number of red stars within it, denoting its place in the set. They shine with a soft light. Because they are relatively small, the dragonballs had traditionally been difficult to locate. However, one of Goku’s first companions as the series begins is Bulma, a young genius who has created a device to detect dragonballs. This “radar” allows her and Goku a big head start as they compete with evil forces who are also trying to gather the dragonballs.
Next time, I’ll talk about Shenron, the mystical dragon who is summoned by the dragonballs.