Despite being one of the biggest shounen anime series in the world, Dragon Ball is unfortunately not considered the “Big Three”.
Dragon Ball has ‘entered deep’ into the minds of many generations of Anime fans in general. It was the ‘catalyst’ for the birth of later popular anime series such as Naruto, Bleach and One Piece. Despite being one of the biggest shounen series in the world, Dragon Ball is unfortunately not considered the “Big Three”.
For those who don’t know, the term Big Three in the anime world refers to works that mark an entire generation and inspire other works in the shounen genre.
The Big Three include none other than anyone else Naruto, One Piece and Bleach. However, why does Dragon Ball also mark many generations but is not in that group?
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First of all, it’s worth mentioning that the term “Big Three” is not an official term – it was created by fans as a way of classifying their favorite shounen works. That said, it’s not as if Dragon Ball is any less important than these works as it remains popular to this day.
Some argue that Dragon Ball is not in this group because of its publication date. In Japan, the Big Three have relatively close release dates: the manga One Piece was released in 1997, Naruto in 1999 and Bleach in 2001. In North America, One Piece was released in 2002, Naruto in 2003 and Bleach in 2007 , meaning these titles were simultaneously on the minds of anime fans.
However, Dragon Ball debuted and established its position in the shounen market long before them. The work created by Akira Toriyama was released in 1984 and completed publishing chapters in 1995, long before the Big Three were created. Furthermore, it was released in North America in 1998. In other words, fans were introduced to Dragon Ball long before any of the Big Three, which means Akira’s series doesn’t belong to that group.
While Naruto, One Piece and Bleach dominated the market at the same time, Dragon Ball, although very popular at the time, was a bit of an outdated anime.
Currently, the “Big Three” are in fact no longer as dominant as other series such as Demon Slayer, Attack on Titan, Boruto, Jujutsu Kaisen that have conquered the public with their plots and characters.
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