You don’t have to like anime to know Dragon Ball Z. When it comes to pop culture giants, Akira Toriyama hit it big when he created Dragon Ball, and the franchise turned into a full phenomenon by the time Dragon Ball Z went live. Around the world, billions know what the show’s logo looks like, but it took some trial-and-error to get there.
No, really! Just ask Toriyama because the creator made a slew of logo before Toei Animation settled on its final design.
Recently, the official Dragon Ball website went live and shared a piece of Dragon Ball Z history with the world. The page posted logos Toriyama made for the anime way back when, and the humbled sketches have been preserved for good on social media.
As you can see above, Toriyama drew a swath of logos for his anime, but the Dragon Ball Z designs were all similar to one another. Each one housed a massive ‘Z’ with a stylized mark bisecting it, and the title used blocky letters to liven up its name.
Still, there are a few major differences between these designs and what Dragon Ball Z ultimately went with. In the top-right, you can see a logo Toriyama made that highlights Shenron. The dragon’s head is seen cutting through the logo, but Toei Animation might have skipped that one due to its more childish feel. As for the others, their differences can all be seen in how the title’s name is aligned in relation to its giant Z.
In the end, Toei Animation chose to streamline the logo and make it as similar to the one Dragon Ball used. The new artwork did borrow the edgy font Toriyama drafted for his logos, and its Z pops out with some red coloring. Clearly, pieces of the creator's original designs were filtered into the logo the anime studio went with in the end, and fans are plenty pleased with the title card they got.
Currently, Dragon Ball Super airs its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami programming block Saturday evenings at 9:30 p.m. It is also available to stream on FunimationNOW and Amazon Video. The Japanese language release of the series is complete, and available to stream on FunimationNOW, VRV, and Crunchyroll.
If you want to catch up with the English dub, the first 52 episodes of Dragon Ball Super are now available to stream on FunimationNOW, VRV, and available to purchase on Amazon Video as well. The 52 episodes span the full range of what has aired in the North America and covers the "Battle of Gods" arc, "Revival of F" arc, the "Universe 6" arc, and bringing the series right up to the current TV airings of the "Future Trunks" arc.