Zeni (ゼニ, occasionally spelled "Zenni" or "Zenie") is a type of currency in the Dragon Ball series and dub & Peter 1. According to Akira Toriyama, one Zeni is equivalent to one Yen, which is the real-world Japanese currency. Jaco the Galactic Patrolman contradicts this, however, stating that one Zeni is equivalent to around one and a half .
Its name derives from the real life bronze coins from Japan in the 17th century.
Zeni is a form of currency that is used across large parts of Earth. In Jaco the Galactic Patrolman, Tokunoshin Omori says that he was sent 100 billion Zeni by the Capsule Corporation, which is the equivalent of 150 billion Yen in his part of the world.
Zeni is often the prize for winning in a World Martial Arts Tournament. In the Funimation dub of Dragon Ball Z, there are a few mistakes on the translations of Zeni amounts from Japanese to English: one example is in the episode "A New Friend" at the Taitans game, Yamcha asks for a 20,000 Zeni bonus, however, in the Japanese dub, he asks for Two Million Zeni.
Other known currency in the series include the Gammets used on Imecka, but in an episode of Dragon Ball there are wanted posters of Launch, the Tori-Bot, and other characters with a cifrão (similar to the dollar sign, $, but with two vertical lines instead of one) representing the rewards suggesting the Portuguese escudo may also exist in the anime.
Video Game Appearances
Zeni are featured in many Dragon Ball Z video games, such as Dragon Ball Z: Super Saiya Densetsu, Dragon Ball Z: Shin Butōden, the Legacy of Goku series, the Budokai series, the Budokai Tenkaichi series (called Z Points in Budokai Tenkaichi 3), Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu, Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans, Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo, and Dragon Ball Online. It is also the currency used in the crossover game Famicom Jump: Hero Retsuden.
In the World Tournament in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, second place wins 5000 Zeni and first place wins 10000 Zeni. In the Budokai Tenkaichi series, Zeni can be found on the story mode of the game and winning a tournament in the World Tournament mode in order to buy techniques, items etc. in the game's shop (alternatively, Zeni can also be earned by finishing runner-up after losing in the final).
In Dragon Ball Xenoverse, Zeni is the currency used in Toki Toki City. In the game, there are also items called a Hercule Badges which is a coin-shaped medallion with Mr. Satan's face on them. This badges are quite valuable depending on their rarity and can be exchanged at shops for a certain amount Zeni (the more rare the badge the is the more Zeni it is worth) in Toki Toki City's Industrial Sector. There are 5 kinds of Hercule Badge (Common, Uncommon, Rare, Super Rare, and Legendary). Zeni can also be obtained via making a wish to Shenron.
In Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle, Zeni is featured as in-game currency that needs to be collected to purchase items, train characters, or awaken characters. They can be collected along maps, or exchanged by selling items or characters.
While Zeni is used as currency in most video games, in Dragon Ball Fusions the 5 different Energy types (used to open Barriers within the Timespace Rift) are used instead to purchase clothing and Special Moves. Additionally, Nintendo 3DS Play Coins can be used to purchase Special Moves as well.
In Super Dragon Ball Heroes: World Mission, as it is located on Earth, Zeni is used as currency in Hero Town though for shop prices it is represented by the letter "Z" (for example the price of something worth 2000 Zeni is written as 2000Z). A bag featuring a Zeni sign appears next to the player's Zeni amount. Unlike most video games, the player cannot wish for Zeni as the SDBH game world Super Shenron is the primary wish granting Eternal Dragon in World Mission (other wish granting Eternal Dragons like Shenron, Dark Shenron, and Porunga simply grant different in battle effects) and most of the wishes it grants are game related. Zeni can be won as battle rewards, Tournament Winnings, and certain items are automatically converted into Zeni if the player receives a duplicate or in the case of Gacha Tickets they will be converted into Zeni if the player has acquired the max amount of 999 Gacha Tickets (Normal or Rare).
- As a result of being named after a real-life currency, fictional currencies named zeni are also common in works unrelated to Dragon Ball, including several games and the French story .
- One in-universe explanation for the contradiction in the real world value of Zeni from Jaco the Galactic Patrolman may be due to its monetary value changing over time as Jaco the Galactic Patrolman is a prequel to Dragon Ball with its monetary value increasing.
- Alternatively, it is another example of Akira Toriyama's tendency to forget certain previously established details.