Dragon Ball Z Arcs: Order List

Dragon Ball Z, the beloved anime series, has been captivating audiences for over three decades. It is a worldwide phenomenon, boasting a massive fanbase thanks to its memorable characters, engaging storyline, and breathtaking fight scenes. Die-hard fans and newcomers alike rewatch the series and its various arcs with great enthusiasm. However, for those unfamiliar with the show, knowing the correct order of the arcs may seem daunting and complicated. That’s where we come in. In this comprehensive guide, we will review all Dragon Ball Z arcs in order, so you can watch, rewatch, or introduce yourself to this incredible series, without any confusion or frustration. By the end of this article, you will have a thorough understanding of the individual arcs. This knowledge will allow you to fully appreciate the series and the relevance of each arc. After all, Dragon Ball Z is one of the most notable anime series of all time and knowing the order of the arcs is essential for fans and newcomers to this legendary franchise.

Saiyan Arc

The Saiyan Arc is the first arc of the Dragon Ball Z series. It starts with Raditz, Goku’s long-lost evil brother, arriving on earth to ask Goku to join him in an effort to conquer the universe. When Goku refuses, Raditz kidnaps Goku’s son, Gohan. This event leads to a series of epic battles that set the stage for future arcs in the series.

The Saiyan Arc is an essential part of the Dragon Ball Z series as it explores themes such as brotherhood, sacrifice, and determination. The arc also introduced viewers to many of the significant characters in the series, who played important roles throughout the entire series.

During this arc, we are introduced to the Saiyan race and learn about their culture and hierarchy. Vegeta, one of the main villains of the series, is also a Saiyan prince and an essential character in this particular arc.

Some of the memorable events of this arc include Goku’s sacrifice while fighting Raditz, the arrival of Piccolo, and the death of the main protagonist. These events showcased the development of the characters’ relationships and bonds and made it easier for fans to connect with them.

Overall, the Saiyan Arc is a must-watch for all Dragon Ball Z fans. It is where the series starts, and the events that take place in the arc lay the foundation for the rest of the series.

Frieza Arc

The Frieza Arc is widely regarded as one of the most important and iconic parts of the Dragon Ball Z series. This arc sees our heroes, Goku and his friends, facing off against the villainous Frieza, who seeks to harness the power of the Dragon Balls for his own nefarious purposes.

Throughout the arc, there are many key events that occur, each of which helps to move the story forward and build towards the climactic final battle between Goku and Frieza. Some of the most prominent events in the arc include:

  • Goku’s arrival on Namek and his battle against the Ginyu Force
  • Frieza’s transformation into his second and third forms
  • Krillin’s death at the hands of Frieza
  • Goku’s transformation into a Super Saiyan for the first time
  • The epic final battle between Goku and Frieza

One of the most interesting things about the Frieza Arc is the way that it evolves and develops the characters in the series. Goku, in particular, undergoes a significant transformation over the course of the arc, going from a fairly pure-hearted and innocent hero to a much more intense and driven fighter.

Other characters also go through significant changes. Vegeta, for example, begins the arc as a relatively one-dimensional villain but becomes much more complex and sympathetic as the story unfolds.

Overall, the Frieza Arc is a major highlight of the Dragon Ball Z series, and one that fans of the show are sure to love. Its combination of thrilling action, well-developed characters, and epic storytelling make it a standout part of an already legendary anime series.

Cell Arc

The Cell Arc is a pivotal moment in the Dragon Ball Z series. It features a powerful villain named Cell, an artificial being who possesses the DNA of the Z Fighters and desires to become the perfect lifeform. This Arc is significant because it introduces new moral implications for the Z Fighters, particularly regarding the use of time travel and the consequences that come with it.

Main Events in the Cell Arc

During the Cell Arc, the Z Fighters face an array of challenges that test their abilities to prevent the looming threat of Cell. Some key events include:

– The arrival of Future Trunks and his warning about the danger of the Androids.
– The emergence of Cell and his initial attacks while absorbing both Android 17 and 18.
– The Cell Games Tournament, which become a platform for the final showdown between the Z Fighters and Cell.

Analysis of Characters in this Arc

The Cell Arc is where many of the main characters undergo significant transformations. Vegeta, for example, becomes more strategic and thoughtful, while Trunks demonstrates his incredible power and fighting skills. Gohan, however, has the most dramatic character arc. In the beginning, he struggles to gain acceptance from his father and it is only through the final fight with Cell that he truly comes into his own. This arc marks a significant departure from the traditional hero archetype that is found in many anime and manga series, since it shows that even the mightiest have their own set of challenges and weaknesses.

Majin Buu Arc

The Majin Buu Arc is the final story arc of Dragon Ball Z and is often seen as the culmination of the entire series. This arc is a roller coaster of emotions that will leave you on the edge of your seat. From incredible battles to emotional goodbyes, this arc has it all.

In this arc, we are introduced to the villainous character of Majin Buu, a monster with the power to turn anything he touches into candy. The arc kicks off with the appearance of the Supreme Kai, who warns the Z fighters of the danger that Majin Buu poses to the universe.

The battle to stop Majin Buu is the most grueling and intense fight that the Z fighters have ever faced. This arc is full of amazing battles, including the epic final battle between Goku and Majin Buu.

Aside from the action, the Majin Buu Arc also offers an in-depth analysis of the characters involved. We see the growth of characters as they struggle with their inner demons and personal challenges.

Overall, the Majin Buu Arc delivers an emotionally charged and action-packed conclusion to the Dragon Ball Z series. This arc is a must-watch for any fan of the series.


Overall, knowing the correct order of the Dragon Ball Z arcs is crucial for any viewer interested in following the storyline. As a recap, we covered the four main arcs of Dragon Ball Z: the Saiyan Arc, the Frieza Arc, the Cell Arc, and the Majin Buu Arc. We highlighted the main events and introduced and analyzed the key characters in each arc.

The significance of knowing the order of arcs cannot be overstated. As the series progresses and each arc builds on previous ones, understanding the connections between them enhances the overall experience of watching Dragon Ball Z. Additionally, it’s important to note that watching the arcs out of order can lead to confusion and detract from the enjoyment of the series.

In conclusion, we highly recommend following the correct order when watching Dragon Ball Z to fully appreciate its intricate plot and character development. By doing so, viewers will have a better appreciation for the story’s progression, and can fully immerse themselves in the world of Dragon Ball Z.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why should I watch Dragon Ball Z?

    Dragon Ball Z is a highly influential and popular anime series that has had a significant impact on popular culture. It is known for its entertaining fights, iconic characters, and engaging storylines that keep fans coming back for more.

  2. Why is it important to watch the arcs in order?

    Watching the arcs in order allows you to fully understand the story and character development throughout the series. Each arc builds upon the previous one and introduces new characters, concepts, and challenges that shape the overall narrative. Watching out of order can lead to confusion or missed context.

  3. Who are some of the most important characters in Dragon Ball Z?

    Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo, and Gohan are considered to be some of the most important and iconic characters in Dragon Ball Z. They all play significant roles in multiple arcs and undergo significant character development throughout the series.

  4. What are some of the main themes explored in the arcs?

    The arcs in Dragon Ball Z explore themes of friendship, family, sacrifice, and the battle between good and evil. Each arc has its own specific themes, but these overarching themes are present throughout the entire series.

  5. What are some other anime series I might enjoy if I like Dragon Ball Z?

    If you enjoy Dragon Ball Z, you may also enjoy other shonen anime series such as One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach. These series also focus on action, adventure, and character development, and have similarly passionate fan bases.

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