Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Is Dragon Ball GT Canon? A Long-Standing Debate

Dragon Ball GT Canon
Dragon Ball GT Canon

For an extended period, enthusiasts of Dragon Ball have engaged in passionate discussions surrounding a pivotal question. Is Dragon Ball GT Canon? Do Goku and his comrades’ post-Dragon Ball Z escapades genuinely contribute to the overall narrative? Or do they stand as merely an enjoyable side tale? Much like many aspects of the Dragon Ball universe, the response to this query is intricate and nuanced.

Is Dragon Ball GT Canon?

The Official Dragon Ball GT Timeline

The officially sanctioned Dragon Ball timeline was unveiled in 2013 and further reinforced in 2017. It injects a twist into the ongoing “Is Dragon Ball GT Canon?” discourse. This exhaustive timeline, meticulously crafted by the series’ publisher Shueisha, seamlessly incorporates Dragon Ball GT into the larger narrative alongside Dragon Ball Z, and Super. The years 789 to 889 are explicitly designated for GT’s storyline. They intricately interweave its events into the expansive fabric of the Dragon Ball universe. Despite some contradictions introduced by Dragon Ball Super, the mere existence of this timeline serves as compelling evidence for GT’s canonical status. It blurs the distinctions between the “main story” and “alternate timelines.” They leave it open for fans to interpret as they choose.

Dragon Ball GT
Dragon Ball GT

Toriyama’s Involvement In Dragon Ball GT

Despite not being the primary architect of its storyline, Akira Toriyama, the mastermind behind Dragon Ball, he significantly influenced Dragon Ball GT. Although Toei Animation took the lead in producing the series, Toriyama’s distinct touch is unmistakably woven throughout. He bestowed upon it the evocative title “Grand Tour,” establishing the backdrop for Goku’s cosmic journey. Toriyama’s discerning eye shaped the initial designs of characters like Pan, Trunks, and the endearing robotic companion Giru. He was imbuing them with the iconic Dragon Ball aesthetic.

While he didn’t pen the narrative beats, his endorsement, and occasional creative nudges ensured that GT remained aligned with the essence of his universe. Amidst the ongoing debate over GT’s canonicity, Toriyama’s involvement undeniably introduces a layer of legitimacy. It whispers a “what if” into the Dragon Ball sag’s tapestry.

Dragon Ball GT Canon
Dragon Ball GT Canon

The Themes and Continuity

Dragon Ball GT didn’t merely resume from the conclusion of Dragon Ball Z. It laced up its well-worn gloves and entered the ring of familiarity. Exploring themes of power and consequence, the series delved into the emergence of Shadow Dragons. The dragons were born from the negative energy of the Dragon Balls. Goku’s unwavering pursuit of self-improvement persisted. This time, he was motivated by a quest to heal Earth and make amends for past errors.

The introduction of new characters like Pan and Giru infused a breath of fresh air into the narrative. Seasoned figures such as Trunks and Vegeta underwent evolution, grappling with novel challenges and responsibilities. Amidst the exploration of friendship and sacrifice, the narrative emphasized that power alone isn’t the sole currency in the Dragon Ball realm. Despite introducing new settings and adversaries, GT’s essence echoes the themes of its predecessors. It pulses with the familiar beats of camaraderie and offers an enticing “next chapter” for fans eager for further exploits with the Z-Fighters.

Goku and Pan
Goku and Pan

The Case Against Canonicity For GT

Despite the official timeline and Toriyama’s touch, a shadow of doubt still stretches across GT’s claim to canonicity. The arrival of Dragon Ball Super in 2015 threw a particularly heavy punch. Super blatantly retcons several key GT plot points, from the fate of the Black Star Dragon Balls to the existence of Shadow Dragons, presenting an alternate timeline that directly clashes with GT’s narrative. Furthermore, GT stands alone as an anime-only creation, lacking the manga foundation that anchors both Dragon Ball and Super.

This raises questions about its legitimacy in the eyes of some fans, who view manga-backed stories as the “true” canon. Finally, even beyond inconsistencies, GT often diverges stylistically from the core Dragon Ball experience. The introduction of Goku Jr. and Pan as main protagonists, coupled with Goku’s child transformation and elements like Baby’s possession, felt like a tonal shift for some. It prompts questions about whether these choices truly reflect the series’ spirit. Thus, despite evidence to the contrary, Super’s retcons, GT’s anime-only status, and its thematic departures offer compelling arguments for those who argue against its full, unquestioned integration into the official Dragon Ball canon.

Goku vs Android 17
Goku vs Android 17

The Verdict To The Question

Determining the canonical status of Dragon Ball GT remains an unresolved question. While considerable support is drawn from the official timeline and Akira Toriyama’s involvement, complications arise from Super’s retrospective alterations and GT’s exclusive anime origin. Ultimately, the choice to accept GT as canon or not is a personal one for each fan.

Regardless of its official recognition, Dragon Ball GT holds a special significance in the hearts of many within the Dragon Ball community. Its unique storyline, thrilling battles, and heartfelt moments continue to resonate with audiences. Whether officially canon or not, the lasting impact of GT on the legacy of Dragon Ball stands as a testament to its enduring appeal.

The Dragon Ball GT Canon Debate
The Dragon Ball GT Canon Debate


1. Is Dragon Ball GT considered canon in the Dragon Ball series?– The canonicity of Dragon Ball GT is a subject of debate among fans. – While it follows the official timeline and bears Akira Toriyama’s influence, complications arise due to changes introduced in Dragon Ball Super and GT’s anime-only origins.
2. What is the official timeline for Dragon Ball GT?– Dragon Ball GT is positioned in the years 789 to 889 in the official Dragon Ball timeline. – This period is explicitly reserved for GT’s narrative, integrating it into the broader Dragon Ball universe.
3. Did Akira Toriyama contribute to Dragon Ball GT’s creation?– Although Toriyama didn’t architect GT’s narrative, he played a significant role. – He named it “Grand Tour,” designed key characters like Pan and Trunks, and offered creative guidance, ensuring it stayed true to the Dragon Ball universe’s spirit.
4. How does Dragon Ball GT differ from its predecessors?– Dragon Ball GT introduces new characters like Pan and Giru and explores themes of power and consequence through the emergence of Shadow Dragons. – The series continues Goku’s quest for improvement, with a focus on restoring Earth and addressing past mistakes.
5. Is Dragon Ball GT still popular among fans?– Despite the ongoing debate over its canonicity, Dragon Ball GT remains beloved. – Its unique story, exciting battles, and heartfelt moments have left a lasting impact on the Dragon Ball legacy.
Frequently Asked Questions

Table Of Information

TitleDragon Ball GT
GenreAnime, Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Original RunFebruary 7, 1996 – November 19, 1997
Number of Episodes64
Main CharactersGoku, Pan, Trunks, Giru, Vegeta, Uub (later in the series)
VillainsBaby, Super 17, Shadow Dragons (Syn Shenron, Haze Shenron, Eis Shenron, Nuova Shenron, Rage Shenron, Oceanus Shenron, Naturon Shenron, and Omega Shenron)
SettingPrimarily in space and alternate dimensions, with Earth being a central focus
Plot Summary– Follows Goku, Pan, and Trunks on a space journey to recover the Black Star Dragon Balls.
– Introduces the threat of Baby, a Tuffle parasite seeking revenge on the Saiyans.
– Unveils Super 17, a fusion of Android 17 and Hell Fighter 17.
– Concludes with the emergence of Shadow Dragons, born from the misuse of Dragon Balls, leading to a battle against Omega Shenron.
CreatorAkira Toriyama’s original Dragon Ball manga inspired Dragon Ball GT, but he had limited involvement in its creation.
CanonicitySubject of debate; not considered part of the official Dragon Ball manga canon.
LegacyDespite debates on canonicity, GT has a dedicated fanbase and has contributed unique elements to the Dragon Ball universe.
Theme Song (Japanese)“Dan Dan Kokoro Hikareteku” by Field of View (Opening)
Theme Song (English)“Step into the Grand Tour” by Mark Menza (Funimation English version)
Home ReleaseAvailable on DVD and Blu-ray, often bundled as the “Dragon Ball GT: The Complete Series”
ReceptionMixed reviews; praised for some aspects like character designs but criticized for departure from the tone of Dragon Ball Z.
Dragon Ball GT

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2 thoughts on “Is Dragon Ball GT Canon? A Long-Standing Debate”
  1. […] The supplementary tales in Super resemble playful diversions on an epic Saiyan journey. These narratives provide charming respites from the colossal battles that shape the universe. They choose instead to focus on comedic escapades with Pilaf’s gang, awkward family getaways featuring Vegeta, and quirky insights into the lives of Universe 6 fighters. While not integral to the primary plot, these episodes infuse the series with humor, enrich its world, and even offer unexpected character growth. They underscore that, at times, the most captivating moments arise in the light-hearted interludes between intense bouts. Thus, it’s advisable not to skip these side stories hastily. They might unlock a deeper appreciation for the diverse characters and vibrant universe within Dragon Ball Super. […]

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