"Think of it as a ladder. On the bottom rung is all of space. Higher up is Hell and then Snake Way. At the next level are the planets of the four Kais who oversee their parts of the Universe. And higher still, above the four Kais and all the rest is the Grand Kai's planet."
The Dragon Ball multiverse, or the Dragon Ball world, is the chain of universes within the Dragon Ball series. There are twelve in total and every two universes whose designations add up to 13 are twin universes.
Each universe is governed by a Supreme Kai and God of Destruction, who act to balance creation and destruction. The entirety of the multiverse is ruled by Zeno and (after the "Future" Trunks Saga) Future Zeno, who share the ultimate authority over each universe. Formerly, there were 18 universes in total, but Zeno erased 6 of them when he was angry.
All events that occur in Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, as well as the God of Destruction Beerus Saga and Golden Frieza Saga in Dragon Ball Super take place in Universe 7. However, in the Universe 6 Saga, there's a planet in the neutral space between universe 6 and 7 where a tournament between Beerus' team and Champa's team is being held. The "Future" Trunks Saga take place between Universes 7 and 10. The Universe Survival Saga takes place in the Null Realm for the Tournament of Power between eight of the twelve universes. Universes 9, 10, 2, 6, 4, 3, and 11 were erased during the Tournament of Power, but were brought back into existence thanks to Android 17's wish using the Super Dragon Balls.
Contents and structure
In Daizenshuu 4, Daizenshuu 7, Dragon Ball Landmark, and the Dragon Ball: Super Exciting Guides, Akira Toriyama explains that he envisioned the Dragon Ball cosmos as a big ball. This ball is divided up in two halves: the lower half is the realm of the living (or "The Universe") and the upper half is the Other World (or "The Cosmos"), with Hell located between the two halves, the Demon Realm is located in the bottom of the living universe. The Sacred World of the Kais exists on the outside of the universe.
The realm of living is divided into four quadrants based on the cardinal directions, each ruled by a Kai chosen among the Core Person from World Core. There is one Check-In Station for the four quadrants of the universe, which allows its inhabitants to go to the Other World. The Kais live in the Other World, on planets positioned at the four cardinal points of the cosmos. There are roads leading to each Kai's planet; notably, North Kai's planet is at the end of a Snake Way which starts from the Check-In Station. The Grand Kai's Planet is above Heaven, which is a gigantic planet in the center of the cosmos.
The planet of the Supreme Kais, the top-tier deities of the universe who watch over both the Other World and the living world, is located outside of the ball, in the Sacred World of the Kai. The Supreme Kais are Gods of Creation who provide the catalyst for life and planets to be born. In order to provide a balance to the constantly increasing number of planets, the Gods of Destruction regularly destroy life and planets. There are twelve Gods of Destruction, one for each universe, and Beerus is the God of Destruction for Universe 7 and Champa is for Universe 6. The Demon Realm, where the Demon Realm Supreme Kais live, is located on the very bottom pin/tip shaped of the universe.
When a universe is destroyed, there is nothing but a white void with colorful stars. The only known being powerful enough to survive such an event is Zeno, as seen when Future Zeno erased Future Trunks' timeline (or just Universe in the anime) completely in Dragon Ball Super.
In Dragon Ball Online and Jaco the Galactic Patrolman, it is revealed that using a Time Machine is ultimately a violation of the laws of the universe. It is explained in Dragon Ball Online that a deity known the Lord of Time watches over the flow of time from the cosmos, and it is mentioned in Jaco the Galactic Patrolman that the Galactic Patrol can punish this kind of crime. In Dragon Ball Xenoverse, the Lord of Time mentioned in Dragon Ball Online is actually revealed to be the Supreme Kai of Time, a female Supreme Kai who protects the flow of time from a place called the Time Nest along with the Vault of Time which contains the entire history of the universe, recorded in Scrolls of Eternity (also called Time Scrolls). According to the Supreme Kai of Time, if the Time Nest was ever destroyed, the universe would cease to exist due to the universe's history being erased and destroyed with it. It is also revealed that Future Bulma and Future Trunks, were the first beings in the history of the seventh universe to create a Time Machine and use it to alter history, resulting in the first time distortion in the history of the universe and causing the creation of alternate timelines. The first recorded functional Time Machine to be actually created was in Universe 12 and ended up in the possession of its Supreme Kai Ugg, though was stolen by the Zamases after they killed Ugg's future counterpart during their genocide of the gods. It is also revealed that Trunks and Bulma had not violated the natural laws of the seventh universe. At that point their Time Machine was the first ever to be used, though it was still a violation of galactic law as that law existed long before the creation of Future Bulma's time machine. However, this fact did not the dissuade the Supreme Kai of Time from deceiving Future Trunks into believing that the use of a Time Machine was a "mortal sin." The Supreme Kai of Time convinced Trunks that the only way to atone for it was to become her assistant, resulting in the establishment of the Time Patrol to enforce and protect the flow of time. It is also revealed that the Supreme Kai of Time could have erased the changes made to the past by Future Trunks (and Cell when he traveled from his timeline) but choose to allow these alterations to the past timeline to remain, as Trunks' reasons were noble and ultimately didn't result in history turning out for the worse.
The laws against time travel enforced by the Time Patrol and Galactic Patrol are different. The Time Patrol enforces the natural laws of time under the direction of the Supreme Kai of Time, while the Galactic Patrol enforces the galactic laws forbidding the manipulation of time and time travel. They tend to overlook violations if the person is exceptionally powerful or if the actions of the one who violated it benefits the Galactic Patrol or its members, as when Future Trunks' use led to the death of King Cold & Mecha Frieza. Other examples include averting the potential threat posed by the Red Ribbon Androids, the misuse of the Time Machine by the Bio-Android Cell, Zamasu's Project Zero Mortals including the abuse of the Time Rings. The Supreme Kai of Time also ensures the generation of time which is produced by the Divine Bird Tokitoki, who can lay eggs that contain enough power to create time for a completely new universe. Though the eggs cannot be created artificially, Distorted Time Eggs can be created which are capable of creating stable time rifts. While normally not dangerous, together they have the potential to produce natural time distortions influenced by the desires of certain individuals, such as causing Xeno Trunks to alter the history of his timeline to prevent the death of his mentor, despite knowing the dangers. This in turn left the Supreme Kai to decide the fate of the new timeline he had created, which was left unrevealed.
- Universe 1 & Universe 12
- Universe 2 & Universe 11
- Universe 3 & Universe 10
- Universe 4 & Universe 9
- Universe 5 & Universe 8
- Universe 6 & Universe 7
- In the series, the term "multiverse" was never used in the original Japanese dub, with the universes collectively being called the "world". The word "multiverse" replaced this in the Funimation dub. Beerus comments on it in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, if the player chooses Beerus as mentor.
- Akira Toriyama said that the structure of the cosmos was so that it would be easy for both him and the readers to understand.
- Akira Toriyama himself is included in the character dictionary in Daizenshuu 7, being described as the ultimate ruler of the Dragon Ball universe and a gentleman far, far greater than even the Kaioshins.
- In the video game Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury, Grand Kai's planet is located outside of the ball, below the Sacred World of the Kai.
- It is unknown whether universes 13 through 18 were brought back into existence due to Android 17's wish, as he asked the Super Shenron to restore all erased universes and not specifically those erased in the Tournament of Power.