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This article is about the first part of the Saiyan Saga. For the whole saga, see Saiyan Saga.

The Raditz Saga, also called the Saiyan Saga (サイヤ人編 Saiya-jin Hen, lit. "Saiyan Arc"), is the first saga from the Dragon Ball Z series. It follows the Piccolo Jr. Saga and precedes the Vegeta Saga. This saga is the first part of the Saiyan Saga with the rest of said saga being the Vegeta Saga. This saga aired in Japan in 1989. It comprises part of the US season 1. It was later included in the Funimation Season One Remastered Box Set, which also includes the Vegeta Saga and first 4 episodes of the Namek Saga, and on the Funimation Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box Volume 1 Set.

Its main plot concerns the arrival of a humanoid alien, known as a "Saiyan", to Earth, looking for Goku. The saga covers the arrival of this Saiyan, Raditz, and his fight against his brother Goku and Piccolo.


Spoiler Warning: Spoiler details may follow.

Arrival of Raditz


Grandpa Gohan finds Goku's capsule

The Raditz Saga begins five years after the events in the Piccolo Jr. Saga depicted at the end of Dragon Ball. A reunion at the Kame House reunites Goku with his old master, Master Roshi, and his friends Krillin and Bulma, who all have not seen each other in five years. Goku surprises everyone by bringing along his four-year-old son, Gohan, who is not becoming a martial artist due to Chi-Chi wanting him to keep studying and not getting himself into danger with him fighting all the time. Unfortunately, the reunion is interrupted by the arrival of a mysterious being, who identifies himself as a Saiyan by the name of Raditz. Raditz identifies Goku as Kakarot and berates him for not completing his "mission". Further complicating matters, Raditz also claims that Goku is from the same Saiyan race as he is, and that he and Goku are in fact brothers. Goku and Krillin understandably think that Raditz is nuts, however Roshi reveals that there may be some truth to the Saiyan's words. In a major turning point in the series, Master Roshi reveals that Goku's adopted grandfather, Grandpa Gohan, found a strange space capsule in the woods containing baby Goku. As a baby, Goku was violent and ill-tempered, though one day he fell down a ravine and suffered severe head trauma, which in turn changed Goku into the happy, amicable child that everyone came to know and love.


Raditz telling the story of Planet Vegeta's destruction

This new revelation shocks Goku, who refuses to believe its validity. Raditz then goes on to state that Goku's original purpose was to destroy all life on Earth, which he should have done in a matter of years after his arrival. Raditz also reveals that the Saiyans' original home planet, Planet Vegeta, was destroyed by an asteroid some twenty years earlier, and that there are only four Saiyans left, including Goku. Finally, Raditz mentions that he needs his brother's help in destroying all life on a distant planet. Goku refuses, which prompts Raditz to notice Gohan (who still retains his Saiyan tail), which leads Raditz to threaten the fate of the child. Goku tries to attack, but is quickly stopped by Raditz, who then kidnaps Gohan, and gives Goku an ultimatum; Raditz will kill Gohan unless Goku kills one hundred humans within the next twenty-four hours. With that, Raditz flies off.

Goku is clearly distressed at his situation, and vows to rescue his son; Krillin and Master Roshi offer to help him fight although Goku tells them to stay because he doesn’t want them to be killed again since Shenron can only revive someone once. Before they can depart, however, he is confronted by his nemesis Piccolo. Piccolo encountered Raditz after Raditz had first arrived on Earth, and was terrified by his raw power. Aware that they now have a common enemy, Piccolo suggests that he and Goku join forces to confront Raditz, which Goku hesitatingly agrees to. Bulma offers up her Dragon Radar so that Piccolo and Goku can track the 4-star Dragon Ball in Gohan's hat, thus finding his location.

Rescuing Gohan

Meanwhile, Raditz arrives at his spaceship and locks the crying Gohan inside. Through the use of his scouter, Raditz discovers that two fighters are approaching; as they get closer it is revealed that they are Piccolo and Goku. The duo face-off against Raditz, however they find that there is little they can do against the more powerful Saiyan. Raditz gains the upperhand and soars into the air, firing dual ki blasts out of his hands at Goku and Piccolo. Goku is able to dodge his, however Piccolo loses his arm.


Raditz blocks Goku's Kamehameha

Piccolo, unhindered, reveals that he has been holding back a new technique that he designed to kill Goku, however he decides that he will use it against Raditz. In order to give Piccolo time to charge the attack, Goku distracts Raditz with his Kamehameha. Raditz is astonished that the two fighters can concentrate their power into single attacks, however he manages to neutralize the Kamehameha with ease, and then takes care of Goku with a blast of his own. Fortunately, this was all the time Piccolo needed, and he fires his new attack, the Special Beam Cannon. Despite the power of the blast, however, Raditz side-steps it. Goku takes advantage of the distracted Raditz and grabs his tail, which Goku remembers as being one of his own weaknesses as a child. Raditz is rendered helpless, however he appeals to his brother to let him go if he promises to leave the planet, which Goku does, much to Piccolo's chagrin. Raditz predictably double-crosses his brother, and pins him down, breaking bones and causing Goku much pain. At that moment, Raditz's space pod explodes.


Gohan attacks Raditz

Gohan, who had been watching helplessly from inside Raditz's pod, manages to blow the pod apart upon hearing his father's screams. Raditz's scouter detects the child's power level to be 1,307, substantially higher than that of Goku and Piccolo. The infuriated Gohan charges at Raditz, who is unable to react in time, and receives a swift head-butt to the chest, breaking his Saiyan Armor. Gohan's power level soon drops back to 1; and Raditz realizes that Gohan's power is affected by his emotions. Raditz quickly smacks Gohan aside, but is still physically hurt by the previous attack.

Goku and Raditz killed

Goku sacrifices himself to help Piccolo defeat Raditz

Goku, using what little strength he has left, leaps up and locks Raditz in a full nelson. Raditz is unable to break free, and Goku tells Piccolo to try his attack again. Piccolo does not hesitate to comply, knowing that the beam will kill Goku as well; though he knows that Goku's friends will most likely use the Dragon Balls to resurrect him, he is nonetheless satisfied with killing his archenemy. He fires off another Special Beam Cannon, and Raditz, held by Goku, is unable to dodge it again, and the beam penetrates through both Raditz and Goku, mortally wounding both of them. Raditz curses Piccolo, but commends his brother's spirit. Piccolo informs Raditz that Goku will be wished back to life using the Dragon Balls. Raditz, with his dying breath, retorts by saying that the scouter on his head acts as a transmitter as well, and that the other two more powerful Saiyans will come to Earth in one year and avenge his death. Piccolo, upset at Raditz's cockiness, delivers an early deathblow to him.



Vegeta and Nappa talking about Dragon Balls

In space, the remaining two Saiyans, Nappa and Vegeta, get word of Raditz's death by the message transmitted to their scouters. Vegeta is intrigued by the Dragon Balls, and they decide to head to Earth to use them to wish for immortality (rather than wishing Raditz back to life, as Raditz had hoped).

Back on Earth, Krillin, Master Roshi, and Bulma arrive at the scene, to find Raditz dead and Goku dying. Though they can bring him back with the Dragon Balls, Krillin takes watching his friend die very hard. Shortly after he expires, however, Goku's body vanishes. Piccolo takes that to mean that the Guardian of Earth, Kami, has plans for Goku in the Other World. Piccolo then surprisingly regenerates his arm, tells the others of the impending arrival of two more powerful Saiyans, and picks up the unconscious Gohan, with the intention of training the child to fight the Saiyans. The others protest, but can do nothing to stop Piccolo.

In the Other World, Kami brings Goku to King Yemma, to ask permission for Goku to travel down the Snake Way with the intention of training with the Lord of Worlds, King Kai. Goku asks if Raditz came here as well, and is surprised when Yemma sent him to hell without too much trouble. Yemma also grants this request, and Goku begins his long and perilous journey down the one-million kilometer Snake Way.

Anime and Manga Differences

  • The fight between Raditz and a farmer wasn’t shown in the manga.
  • Gohan getting lost in the forest and his father having to rescue was only in the anime.
  • In the anime, Raditz reads out Piccolo's second beam cannon as having a power level of 1,480. In the manga it is never stated what it is.
  • There are several scenes with Chi-Chi at home getting concerned on the lateness of Goku and Gohan. These scenes do not occur in the manga.
  • Ox-King visiting Goku, Chi-Chi, and Gohan is also anime only.


Major characters

Supporting characters

Battles featured

  • Raditz vs. Farmer
  • Piccolo vs. Raditz
  • Raditz vs. Krillin
  • Goku vs. Raditz
  • Goku and Piccolo vs. Raditz
  • Goku, Piccolo, and Gohan vs. Raditz


Pioneer VHS/DVD Volumes

Funimation Ultimate Uncut Special Edition

  • Vegeta Saga I - Saiyan Showdown (1-3)
  • Vegeta Saga I - Piccolo's Plan (4-6)

Funimation Remastered DVD Sets

Funimation Dragon Box Sets

Funimation DBZ Kai DVD/Blu-ray Volumes

  • Dragon Ball Z Kai Part One (1-13) (only episodes 1-3 are part of the Raditz Saga)

Funimation DBZ Kai Season Sets

  • Dragon Ball Z Kai Season One (1-26) (only episodes 1-3 are part of the Raditz Saga)

Funimation Level Set Blu-rays

  • Dragon Ball Z: Level 1.1 (1-17) (only episodes 1-6 are part of the Raditz Saga)

Funimation Season Blu-ray Sets

Manga chapters

Chapter # Title
195 (1) "The Mysterious Warrior From Space"
196 (2) "Kakarrot"
197 (3) "Tails of Future Not-Quite-Past"
198 (4) "An Enemy in Common"
199 (5) "An Unexpected Strength"
200 (6) "Nothing Up My Sleeve..."
201 (7) "Piccolo's Farewell to Arms!?"
202 (8) "A Surprise Appearance"
203 (9) "Sayonara, Goku"
204 (10) "The Needs of the Many"
205 (11) "A Warrior in Hell"
206 (12) "Gohan and Piccolo"

Episode lists

Uncut version (6 episodes)

Ep# Title
1 "The New Threat"
2 "Reunions"
3 "Unlikely Alliance"
4 "Piccolo's Plan"
5 "Gohan's Rage"
6 "No Time Like the Present"

Edited version (4 episodes)

Ep# Title
1 "The Arrival of Raditz"
2 "The World's Strongest Team"
3 "Gohan's Hidden Powers"
4 "Goku's Unusual Journey"

Dragon Ball Z Kai (3 episodes)

Ep# Title
1 "Prologue to Battle! The Return of Goku!"
2 "The Enemy is Goku's Brother?! The Secret of the Mighty Saiyan Warriors!"
3 "A Life or Death Battle! Goku and Piccolo's Desperate Attack!"

Video Game Appearances

The events of the Saiyan saga have been covered in most Dragon Ball games

In Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, the Raditz and Vegeta Sagas are combined into one storyline that is knowns as Stop the Saiyan Invasion in the Story Menu though its entires in the Story section of the Z-Encyclopedia refer to it as the Saiyan Saga though the section has a title heading The Battle for Earth against the Saiyan Invasion which is broken down into seven episode entries with the Raditz Saga occuring in Saiyan Saga Episode 1 and Saiyan Saga Episode 2. The four episodes that follow Episode 2 cover the Vegeta Saga portion of the story.


  • In the original 1996 English dub, the Raditz and Vegeta Sagas are combined and titled the "Saiyan Saga", and in numerous other international versions the "Saiya-jin Saga".
    • The same thing occurs in the video gane Kakarot as the Z-Encyclopedia refers to each episode article Saiyan Saga followed by the episode number for that story entry.


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