A person and I had a chance to discuss DBZ over this weekend, and they weren't one of the few people that grew up watching it, but were trying to catch up.

However, they were very put off from the length of the fights with major protagonists, and I for one don't blame them. I can't recall specifically were they were starting, but the phrase "are they still on Namek?" has already reached meme status.

So, I'd like to know if there was any official reason as to why these fights were dragged out as long as they were. This also includes the fight with Cell and the fight with Majin Buu (although I don't recall watching the end of that one).

  • From what little I read of the manga, it seemed to have much faster story progression than the anime, so I've always thought the fights were dragged out so the anime wouldn't catch up to the manga and filler would be minimized. I don't have any proof for this, though.
    – Torisuda
    Jul 18, 2016 at 14:45

2 Answers 2


I think there's largely two reasons for these fights being so long and dragged out:

  1. There were points when the anime was being released faster than the manga was being published. This is a common issue in the anime industry. When this happens, the producing studio has two choices. They can either add in filler episodes (like DBZ did, also see Naruto), or they can veer from the original plot of the manga (see Fullmetal Alchemist). Thus, when the anime was caught up with the manga and had to release a new episode before the next chapter of the manga was published, they'd simply drag out the plot of the fights or add in other filler content to give the manga some time to get ahead.
  2. It makes the studio more money. This reason probably had less of an effect on the 'dragging out' of episodes as the first reason, but it is still viable. Making fights longer means making more episodes, which in turn makes the producing studio more money. It's more of a secondary reason, or an effect of the anime being released faster than the manga, if you will.

My answer is quite contrary to what people think in general here.

The very author Akira Toriyama is talking here

-- 『ドラゴンボールZ』というタイトルは先生の発案と聞きましたが。

The interviewer : The title "Dragonball Z was created by you, sir, is that correct? ( asking Akira )

鳥山 あ、そうですね。

Toriyama: Uhm, yes.

-- ウワサで、「Z」が名前につく精力剤からタイトルをつけた、って聞いたんですが。

Rumor says, you sir put the last word Z borrowing the name of an energy enhancement medicine with the name Z.

鳥山 違いますよ~(笑)。「Z」はアルファベットの最後の文字じゃないですか。で、当時からもう、本当に原作を終わらせたくて(笑)、だから「これでもうおしまいだよ~」って意味でタイトルは「Z」にしたんですよ。精力剤なんて、一言も言った覚えないですよー、もーウワサっていい加減だなぁ(笑)。

Toriyama : Where did you hear that! lmao. You know, the end letter of the English alphabet is Z, right? At that time I really wanted to end the series so that I put the word Z. Energy enhancement medicine? Come on, I haven't uttered a word such never. Rumor always walks alone. lmao.

What about Wiki?


The title of the program Z was named by the very author Akira Toriyama, and according to him "I wanted to end the Dragon Ball series ASAP so that I took the last letter of the alphabet. On the caption of the special article written on the back of the last Dragonball, 18th published in 1989, before it went into broadcasting, "Z stands for the "ultimate", "the strongest".

So on the contrary? to the first intention of the author, the story became even longer than the original. I think that happens sometimes, see how many sequence Matrix or Star Wars has.......

  • How does this answer the question of why it became longer?
    – giraffesyo
    Sep 3, 2016 at 17:50
  • I am trying to say, there was no "canonical" nor "production related" first, because the AKira says so. If you doubt my translation, please go to Japanese site.
    – Kentaro
    Sep 3, 2016 at 19:34
  • 2
    No one doubts your translation, but the question wasn't asking about the title or about the length relative to Dragon Ball; it was asking why events in the Dragon Ball Z anime seem to be dragged out longer than the same events were in the Dragon Ball Z manga. So this is an answer to a different question than what was asked.
    – Torisuda
    Sep 3, 2016 at 20:05
  • I think I am answering to the question in the last paragraph.
    – Kentaro
    Sep 3, 2016 at 20:19

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