Dragon Ball GT (ドラゴンボールGT, Doragon Boru Ji Ti; GT meaning "Grand Tour", commonly abbreviated as DBGT) is the sequel to Dragon Ball Z, whose material is produced only by Toei Animation. The Dragon Ball GT series is the shortest of the Dragon Ball series, consisting of only 64 episodes; as opposed to its predecessor, Dragon Ball Z, which consisted of 291 episodes, and Dragon Ball, which consisted of 153. Originally intended to span 40 episodes (ending after the Baby Saga), the series continued for another 24 episodes, and is concluded by the TV special Dragon Ball GT: A Hero's Legacy released after the Baby Saga.
The series again continues the adventures of Goku, who is turned back into a child in the beginning of the series by the Black Star Dragon Balls and is forced to travel across the galaxy to retrieve them. The first half of the series focuses on Goku, Pan, and Trunks, while the second half brings back most of the prominent characters from Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. It is the only series that is not based directly on the original story by Akira Toriyama. The series follows the Z Fighters against far more powerful foes such as Baby, Super 17 and the Shadow Dragons.
The first two anime series were directly based off the Dragon Ball manga, which took much longer to produce than the anime did. This often resulted in "filler" episodes, one of the most obvious of which is when Frieza tries to destroy Planet Namek with a five-minute timer, yet the battle lasted well over five episodes, much less five minutes. Since Dragon Ball GT was not based on the manga, no filler episodes were required. As a result, four entire sagas (the Black Star Dragon Ball Saga, the Baby Saga, the Super 17 Saga, and the Shadow Dragon Saga) were completed in only 64 episodes. The music for Dragon Ball GT was composed and written by Akihito Tokunaga, replacing Shunsuke Kikuchi.
Dragon Ball GT began on Fuji TV at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 7, 1996, exactly one week after the final episode of Dragon Ball Z. It ran for 64 episodes, the last of which aired on November 4, 1997. It has also been aired across Japan by the anime television network, Animax, where it is currently being regularly broadcast. Unlike the Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z series, the creator Akira Toriyama had only minor involvement in the show's early stages, setting forth the initial premise of the series, as well as creating designs for most of the villains and main characters, including newcomer Giru. Early episodes are much more comedic in tone, reminiscent of early Dragon Ball. The later episodes, however, are action-packed and feature the same sort of dramatic tone that existed in Dragon Ball Z. Originally intended to span 40 episodes (ending after the Baby Saga), the series continued for another 24 episodes, ending after two years on the air seemingly due to lower-than-expected ratings. There are no subsequent Dragon Ball anime or manga (rumors of new series have existed since the end of Dragon Ball GT in 1997, but are untrue), except the Dragon Ball Kai series, which is simply a condensed remake of Dragon Ball Z rather than being an entirely new plotline.
There are two companion books to the series, called the Dragon Ball GT Perfect Files, released in May 1997 and December 1997 by Shueisha's Jump Comics Selection imprint. They include series information, illustration galleries, behind-the-scenes information, and more. They were out of print for many years, but were re-released in April 2006 and this edition is still in print.
On June 15, 2005, Toei Animation (in conjunction with distributor Pony Canyon) released the entire series (including the Gokū Jr. TV special) in an extremely limited-edition DVD boxed set (called "Dragon Box GT"), along with a Dragon Radar remote control and an exclusive booklet. While the set features remastered audio and video, there are no subtitles, English or otherwise. It's also unavailable to general public due to its scarce numbers and its huge cost.
Toriyama's involvement and canon debate
Akira Toriyama is credited as author in the ending credits of Dragon Ball GT; he oversaw the series' production, this was the same process that was used during the production of the anime series Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. He drew a rough design for the GT logo, he designed the GT appearance of the series main cast, and he designed the appearances of Giru and the GT spaceship used in the Black Star Dragon Ball Saga. He also drew at least three color pictures of Goku, Pan, and Trunks adventuring on various planets (Monmaasu, Rudeeze, and an area in Hell).
Toriyama seems to have positive feelings towards his works' continuation, as he drew his version of Super Saiyan 4 Goku (which was originally designed by Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru), exclusively for the Dragon Box GT.
Despite these random "facts", most fans do not consider GT canon, most often claiming correctly that the series was not directly written by Toriyama. GT was not originally produced as manga like its predecessors, Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, and contains minor, rarely seen elements which are inconsistent with Dragon Ball Z. However, GT has the fewest inconsistencies of all three anime series which is more than likely due to the series being significantly shorter then the other series, making it difficult to cite the few that exist as a reason for the series to be set aside as non-canon despite the fact that the show was not made by the original creator nor was it based off a manga.
US (FUNimation) version
The English adaptation of Dragon Ball GT ran on Cartoon Network between 2003 and 2005, but the version by FUNimation had a major alteration: the first 16 episodes of the series, the "Black Star Dragon Ball Saga", were cut and replaced by a single US-only episode which summarized the episodes; this became the new series premiere. This edit was implemented by the producers of the English dub to prevent viewers from possibly being put-off by these differently-toned early episodes. The missing episodes have since been released as the "Lost Episodes". When first aired, FUNimation Entertainment recorded a new musical score and the openings and closings were replaced with something completely different from the original. For example, a rap was used for the opening and used different clips from the show to make up the visuals. However, when FUNimation released the series to two remastered boxed sets in 2008, the original Japanese music was restored, and English versions of the opening and all four closings were created, which are all very close to the original versions. In 2012, the FUNimation version, including the "lost episodes" were shown on Nicktoons.
International (Blue Water) version
Outside of the United States, (excluding Australia and New Zealand) a different English dub of the series was aired, featuring the voice actor of Canadian voice acting group Blue Water Studios. While the voices are different from both the American and international English dubs of Dragon Ball Z, the original background music by Akihito Tokunaga was kept, the episodes were aired in their proper order, and the scripts were kept much closer to the original Japanese version. However, the international version kept the original Japanese theme song but used English subtitles. An English version of the GT theme song was sung while this dub aired on Toonami in the UK, however these were different lyrics to the original song and not a direct translation.
- Dragon Ball GT: A Hero's Legacy (悟空外伝! 勇気の証しは四星球, Gokū Gaiden! Yūki no Akashi wa Sūshinchū; lit. "Gokū Sidestory! The Proof of his Courage is the Si Xing Qiu [Four-Star Ball]")
FUNimation Remastered Box Sets
In 2008 FUNimation began production of remastering the entire Dragon Ball GT series similar to the remastering process of Dragon Ball Z. Unlike the Dragon Ball Z remastered sets, the Dragon Ball GT Remastered Season Sets are presented in a 4:3 full frame and come with 5 discs rather than 6. The GT Sets are not presented in high definition. Just like the Dragon Ball Z remastered sets, the GT Sets include English dialogue with original Japanese background music, 5.1 surround sound, English dialogue with US broadcast stereo and original Japanese mono. Both Dragon Ball GT Season Box sets include a booklet including character profiles" and an episode guide.
Dragon Ball GT: Season Two was released on February 10, 2009. The box set includes the last six episode of the Baby Saga, Super 17 Saga and Shadow Dragon Saga, spanning the final 30 episodes concluding the series. The TV special Dragon Ball GT: A Hero's Legacy is included as part of the Box set.
On September 21, 2010 Funimation released Dragon Ball GT: The Complete Series which featured all 64 episodes of the show and Dragon Ball GT: A Hero's Legacy.
|Dragon Ball GT: Season 1||December 9, 2008||The Lost Episodes and Baby Saga|
|Dragon Ball GT: Season 2||February 10, 2009||Super 17, Shadow Dragon Sagas and Dragon Ball GT: A Hero's Legacy|
|Dragon Ball GT: The Complete Series||September 21, 2010||All 64 episodes and Dragon Ball GT: A Hero's Legacy|
- Director: Minoru Okazaki
- Series Director: Osamu Kasai
- Episode Director: Hidehiko Kadoda, Hiroyuki Kakudou, Junichi Fujise, Kazuhito Kikuchi, Mitsuo Hashimoto, Osamu Kasai, Shigeyasu Yamauchi (ep 15), Takahiro Imamura, Yoshihiro Ueda
- Producer: Kōji Kaneda (Fuji TV), Kōzō Morishita, Seiichi Hiruta (Toei Animation)
- Assistant producer: Seiichi Hiruta
- Planning: Kenji Shimizu, Kōzō Morishita
- Series Composition & Chief Scenario Director: Aya Matsui
- Screenplay: Atsushi Maekawa, Aya Matsui, Daisuke Yajima, Junki Takegami (5 episodes), Masashi Kubota
- Storyboard: Shigeyasu Yamauchi (eps 15, 20), Kōzō Morishita (ep 61)
- In charge of production: Yuichi Suenaga
- Character Design: Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru
- Art and Design: Takashi Yoshiike
- Art design: Ryuuji Yoshiike, Tadanao Tsuji
- Art: Koji Sakaki, Tomoko Yoshida, Tsutomu Fujita
- Animation Director: Akira Inagami, Kazuya Hisada, Kazuya Kuda, Masayuki Uchiyama, Naoki Miyahara, Naoyoshi Yamamuro, Noboru Koizumi, Shingo Ishikawa, Takeo Ide, Toshiyuki Sugano, Yuuji Hakamada
- Music: Akihito Tokunaga
- Sound Director: Nobuhiro Komatsu
- Sound Effects: Hidenori Arai
- Editing: Shinichi Fukumitsu