29 Best ‘Dragon Ball’ Manga Panels of All Time

20 Best Dragon Ball Manga Panels, Ranked
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This article is going to be a list of the 20 best manga panels from the Dragon Ball manga series. We are going to include a variety of panels from all periods of Dragon Ball, providing you with a short explanation of the scene and the context. Some spoilers might be present, but we’re going to try to keep it short and sweet so that you can enjoy the art.

The Dragon Team

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The Cell Games was organized by Cell. It is similar to the Budokai tournament, but here there is only one opponent and that is Cell himself. The winner is the one who defeats Cell. If you give up or die, you lose and it is the turn of the next participant. Of course, if you leave the ring, you keep fighting. Son Goku was the first to participate in the Cell games. He finally gave up because he had no more strength. Son Gohan was Cell’s next opponent and therefore the last one, because the Cell games ended before the end. Pictured here are Goku and the Dragon Team who participated in the Cell Game.

Piccolo saves Gohan

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During the battle against Nappa and Vegeta, Piccolo kills, in a fraction of a second, a Saibaiman who had had the misfortune to attack Son Gohan. Despite his relative power, he is no match for Nappa, his punches are ineffective against him. He tries to hold his tail firmly, a weak point of the Saiyans, but the colossus had already trained. He is eventually killed protecting Son Gohan from a deadly attack.

Row, row, row your boat…

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Krillin first appears in the manga in a rowboat. Wanting to impress Master Roshi, he prepares for a massive jump, completely screwing up the landing and getting stuck head-first in the sand. Master Roshi at first refuses to accept Krillin as his student. However, when he offers him porn magazines, Master Roshi agrees.

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Vegeta and Goku arrive to save the day

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Goku and Vegeta move in his direction as they notice Moro approaching them, but Merus surprises the adversary and uses a contraption to catch him. Moro appears to be winning the battle when Mr. Boo is hauled out of the spacecraft; Goku realizes that he appears to be stronger than previously. Unfortunately, Cranberry from Polunga helps Moro regain his magic, and after granting his request, Moro flees. Mr. Boo gives Goku and Vegeta their energy back and permits the Great Kai Shin to pass over him, promising to return once Moro has been vanquished.

Goku was tough even as a kid

goku being tough

The chapter opens with a cocky King Piccolo bragging that his Explosive Demon Wave has beaten Goku. King Piccolo abruptly stops bragging since he can still feel Goku’s ki. Then, it can be seen that Tien Shinhan used all his remaining energy to shield Goku from the terrifying explosion. Kid Goku was quite tough. In this panel, we see him boasting that he survived Piccolo’s attack, even though he looks tired and beat up. It’s one of Goku’s endearing characteristics.

Goku vs. Jiren

UI Punch

Jiren finally takes his opponent seriously and awakens his aura. The two adversaries approach and the blows are exchanged quickly. The fight is finally balanced but Goku is content to prevent his opponent from touching his vital points and enters deeper into Ultra Instinct. In response, the Pride Trooper increases his ki in order to hit him with more power. He rushes at Goku who lands him a violent punch in the abdomen. In the stands, the Gods notice that the Saiyan has mastered the instinctive movements now and are shocked.

While on his knees, Jiren gets up and attacks Goku with full power. The blows exchanged to make the whole arena tremble but Goku quickly overpowers Jiren and almost knocks him down. Climbing back onto the arena, the Pride Trooper gets angry and tells Goku that taking advantage of openings is not true strength and goes back to attack. It’s a battle of attrition that starts at a very high speed to the point that Krillin and Piccolo can no longer keep up with them.

Even Beerus is not an animal…

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Beerus is very playful, like most cats. Also, he has a certain obsession with food. His catlike mannerisms and variety of facial expressions separate him from the more evil antagonists in the series. However, Beerus manages to get upset very easily over trivial things, as shown when it is said that he lost at hide and seek or when Majin Buu did not want to share some pudding with him.

Kid Goku knees Drum in the face

Goku kills Drum with a kick to the face

As he approaches the combat, Goku angrily glances at King Piccolo. Piccolo and Tien are both surprised because they thought Goku was already dead. Goku adds that he mistakenly believed Tien was fighting Piccolo, and Tien is relieved to discover that Goku is still alive. When Goku inquires about Piccolo’s appearance, he responds that he has regained his youth and grown significantly stronger. Goku is told to flee by Tien, but a now-rising Drum warns him that he will not let him. Drum moves to hit Goku after King Piccolo orders him to kill him and Tien. Goku, on the other hand, knees Drum in the face. Tien and Piccolo are in disbelief, and this again shows kid Goku’s toughness.

Math 101

Krillin uses math to confuse Chiaotzu...

Chiaotzu unleashes his telekinetic technique to attack Krillin’s internal organs. Krillin begins to have violent stomach pains. Master Shen tells him to kill him slowly. Chiaotzu then proceeds to a kicking session. Krillin understands that Chiaotzu is forced to use his hands to use this power and tricks him into asking him a mathematical question. Chiaotzu falls into the trap twice and is disqualified.

Married… with children (soon to be)

Vegeta folding

The panel shows a pregnant Bulma in the background with Vegeta folding clothes, helping her. This was a truly funny scene that showed Vegeta, one of the series’ most brutal and powerful characters in a very mundane situation, doing very easy tasks that definitely do not suit the Vegeta we had seen before. But, it is a very funny and sweet moment that shows just how much he cared for Bulma and their child.

Goku gut-punches Piccolo Jr

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This takes place in the World Martial Arts Tournament. At this moment, Piccolo Jr. uses his Chasing Bullet technique, which fires a beam that chases after the target, but Goku once more turns the tables on him and manages to deflect the beam so that it hits Piccolo Jr. Piccolo Jr. must pull one of his arms off and grow a new one when the blast severely destroys it. Piccolo Jr. then unleashes an angry strike that causes a huge explosion to emanate from him. Even though Piccolo Jr. spent a lot of energy on strike, Goku is not significantly harmed. Goku utilizes Piccolo Jr.’s worn-out condition as an opportunity to hit him repeatedly, culminating in a Kamehameha.

Grandpa Gohan was truly great!

Goku wears armor

One day (in the story, before the start of the manga), a space shuttle crashes not far from where Son Gohan lives. Going immediately on the spot, the old man discovers a baby on board the craft. He calls him Son Goku and decides to take care of him, raise him and teach him martial arts. Initially, Goku was very tough to handle due to being a Saiyan; Saiyans are known for their violent natures and Goku, who had also been sent to Earth to conquer it, was no exception. But, as a child, Goku fell into a ravine and hit his head, which caused a memory loss that changed Goku into a normal, happy child, thus making Grandpa Gohan’s job easier.

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Goku’s birth

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He was placed in an incubator when he was born and left there until he was three years old. It is then time for the young Saiyan to leave his incubator in the year 739. At the same time, Bardock leaves his house to join Goku and Gine and reports that Frieza has ordered all Saiyans to return to their planet. Bardock believes this is a bad omen and decides to send his son to the planet “Earth,” where the people are physically frail but have highly developed technology. Bardock will eventually persuade Gine that it’s best for their son despite her concerns.

Blow up!

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The art is good, and the paneling is dynamic and fun to look at. This is a page from the Namek Saga, and the story being told in these panels is so energetic that it almost feels like it’s being animated in your head as you glance from panel to panel.

Roshi vs. Jiren

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The old master makes an appearance during his remarkable match as he teaches Goku his final lesson. Indeed brute force should not be the only answer to give in a fight of this magnitude, the important thing is to tame your mind, The movements that Master Roshi performs in front of Jiren are unpredictable, and the movements are close to ultra instincts according to Whis. Despite this bravery, Jiren puts Master Roshi out of the field, but his elimination then leads to new perspectives for Son Goku who has just understood his master’s last teaching.

Yamcha kicks ass

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Yamcha is requisitioned by both Chiaotzu and the galactic patrol after being initially absent from the plot in a similar fashion to how the other earthlings were. Jaco believes Chiaotzu and Yamcha to be freshmen, but Yamcha counters that they are seasoned soldiers. To help the Galactic Patrol, Yamcha separates from Son Gohan, Piccolo, Krillin, Master Roshi, Tien Shinhan, and Chiaotzu. He easily defeats Moro’s minions with the help of his combat skills. The space patrol that is pursuing Yamcha is impressed.

Tien Shinhan’s attack

Tien Shinhans attack

Goku turned to King Chappa’s move, the Hasshuken, while Tien Shinhan continued to fight Goku with the help of two new arms he produced. Tien then decided to use the Tri-Beam, his most powerful technique, to conclude the battle. To push him outside the ring, he tells Goku to get ready to dodge. He gave a warning, and Goku jumped far into the air to avoid it. Tien was certain he would triumph because, unlike Goku, he can fly. Goku then launched himself upon Tien like a rocket using the Kamehameha.

Bye, bye Planet Vegeta

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Having learned that an ancient prophecy announces the appearance among the Sayajins of a legendary warrior whom nothing could resist, and fearing that they will revolt one day, Frieza destroys the planet Vegeta, despite the efforts of Bardock (Son Goku’s father) to stop him. We learn in Chapter 2 of Dragon Ball Super (or in the movie Battle of Gods) that Beerus had asked him to destroy this planet.

A young Super Saiyan Trunks

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At a very young age, Trunks managed to transform into a Super Saiyan. In this form, Trunks’ hair stands on end and stands on end, it also takes on a golden hue. His eyes turn green. In Super Saiyan, Trunks’ power is multiplied. This was actually normal and expected of him, knowing his lineage and who his father was.

Goku prepares to defend against Frieza

Goku prepares to defend against Frieza

Although some manga artists produce more visually stunning work than Toriyama, Toriyama will never be surpassed in his ability to convey movement in battle. This is another panel from the Namek Saga when Toriyama was at his peak as an artist. Some manga, especially those with exquisite illustrations, are difficult to follow regarding what is happening. Since you always know what movement is taking place, the direction of the momentum, and how it all fits within the scene, this was never a problem with Toriyama’s work.

Enter Shenron

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Shenron is summoned for the first time in the series by Pilaf and his gang. Pilaf steals the Dragon Balls from Goku and his friends to ask the dragon to make him ruler of the world, and rule as a tyrant. However, Oolong interrupts Pilaf before he makes his wish, and asks the dragon to give him panties. Oolong’s wish granted, Shenron retreats, and the Dragon Balls scatter across the planet.

The deadly attack

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Tien Shinhan and Goku continued to fight and Tien created two additional arms to fight against Goku, but Goku resorted to King Chappa’s technique: The Hasshuken. Tien then decided to end the encounter and use his ultimate attack, the Tri-Beam. He warns Goku to get ready to dodge, in order to push him out of the ring. Due to his warning, Goku dodged by jumping high in the air. Tien was convinced that he was going to win since he can fly, unlike Goku. The latter used the Kamehameha one last time to propel himself on Tien like a rocket.

Goku vs. Frieza

Goku vs. Frieza

Toriyama is a much simpler writer than many others in the genre, yet this works in his favor. While it focuses more on the characters and less on lore and intricate world-building, Dragon Ball is one of the simpler mangas to read. Dragon Ball is so well-liked because it’s simple to start reading and moves along quickly compared to other series. This panel is a prime example of these qualities. The panels are striking, and you can tell what’s happening as Goku prepares to attack Frieza and Frieza stands on attention. The tension is palpable.

Goku? But black?!

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He has dark outlines around his eyes in the manga (presumably to be more easily differentiated from Son Goku by the reader). He wears a black long-sleeved turtleneck top, a dark gray sleeveless Uwagi, a red Obi around her waist, and black leggings and white boots. In his left ear, he has a Potala that is green and gold. In contrast to Black in Toriyama’s novels and the manga, Black Goku wears a Time Ring on his right index finger in the anime series. Black possesses a demonic figure that is enclosed in a dense cloud of fire.

Like father, like son…

Son Gohan en oozaru

Turles once again took Gohan back to transform into Oozaru using an artificial moon as Vegeta had already done during his fight against Goku. When Goku arrives to save his son, the latter turns against him because his Oozaru form makes him lose control. However, Haiya Dragon’s surprise intervention will eventually calm the mighty Oozaru. This not being to Turles’s taste, he threw a Kikoha in the direction of Haiya Dragon to enrage Gohan Oozaru again but his rage turned against Turles who then decided to annihilate him. Gohan was only saved by Goku’s quick intervention.

Vegeta kicks Cell

Vegeta kicks Cell

Vegeta, the Saiyan prince, was the next combatant to confront Cell. The power that the self-described “Super Vegeta” had unlocked by training in the Chamber of Spirit and Time was more than even Cell’s astounding newfound strength, and Cell soon found himself on the verge of defeat. Cell was aware of the Saiyan’s obsession with fighting because he was made from cells from Vegeta and the world’s best fighters. Cell deftly takes advantage of this by tempting Vegeta with the promise of an epic battle in exchange for helping him reach his Perfect Form.

Because… why not, Buu?

Good Buu Moro

This is a scene that shows all the quirkiness of Good Buu, including the fact that he simply sprouted four additional arms. Why? Why not!? Good Buu is one of the series’ most memorable characters in so many ways that we opted for such a flamboyant display of his quirkiness as a panel that represents him and his legacy in the series.

Goku vs. Vegeta

Goku vs. Vegeta

Vegeta is enraged because Goku has more power than he does, so he decides enough is enough and launches his Galick Gun strike to obliterate the Earth. Goku blocks the blast with a Kaio-ken Kamehameha and overwhelms Vegeta. The resulting panel is a sight to behold.

Toriyama’s original Goku

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And while this is definitely not a manga panel per se, we simply wanted you to experience a piece of history in this article as well. Namely, this is Akira Toriyama’s original design of Son Goku, the protagonist of the series. As you can see, the face and the tail remained, but the Sun Wukong-inspired monkey character became the Saiyan boy we all know and love. This is our way to close off this list and thank you for reading!

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