Dragon Ball Z and Naruto are two series that have revolutionized the anime industry. Nowadays, the popularity of anime and manga, and their derivative products, are part of popular culture. Since the release of Dragon Ball, the boundaries for Japanese animation have opened up. Naruto also changed several aspects in the production of anime series. These two series have marked multiple generations and will continue to do so. Many people have a heated debate about which story is the best. And although both have great merits and some flaws, today we will try to answer which anime is better: Dragon Ball Z or Naruto.
Naruto surpasses Dragon Ball Z for several reasons. First of all, it has further developed the story, has stronger characters, and evolution of events filled with twists and surprises. This story came at a time when its creator knew very well what the public liked, and he knew how to take advantage of it very well.
I will elaborate in a detailed way on the stories of Dragon Ball Z and Naruto, why Naruto is superior, and the best aspects of Dragon Ball Z and Naruto separately.
Which Story is Better Between Dragon Ball Z and Naruto?
This discussion will never end because every anime has incredible aspects. Objectively speaking, Naruto has more elaborate details which make it the winner. Naruto has been considered by many as the “successor” of Dragon Ball, although Dragon Ball Z is the successor of Dragon Ball itself. Both series belong to the shōnen genre and taking into account that they are among the best-selling manga series of all time, it is not surprising that there has always been a comparison between the projects of Akira Toriyama and Masashi Kishimoto.
Right off the bat, the Dragon Ball Z manga is flawless work. The story has humor, action, formidable enemies, and some of the most epic fights ever seen. And its animated adaptation is not far behind, its execution portrays the action and the drama of the confrontations very well.
About Naruto, at its most basic point, the story is similar: a gluttonous orphan kid with a good heart, who discovers progressively that within himself there is a really considerable power. Nevertheless, in Naruto things go a little beyond that. Our protagonist is in the middle of a system of shinobi, or ninjas, who adhere to rigid moral and political codes, in which family castes are in constant confrontation.
It is easier to see that the depth of the narrative and the dimensionality of the characters is much greater in Naruto. The dynamics of love, loyalty, or revenge are way beyond elaborate, and the motivations of the inhabitants of its pages go much deeper than simple lust for power.
Why Is Naruto Better than Dragon Ball Z?
One of the things that characterize Naruto is the amazing character development that they have focused on throughout the series so far. Every main character portrayed in the Naruto series has its own story. They don’t just come and go without a reason.
Each character has a dark past behind who they are today. The growth of this character unites the viewers with the story. They grow along with the character. Even the antagonists portrayed in this anime series are likable because they all have their well-justified reasons for choosing the darker path of destruction and hatred.
Another point in Naruto’s favor is the incredibly varied skills of the characters. The different family castes add their own personal touch to their fighting techniques, making no two battles the same.
The animation and technical aspects are superior due to the time difference. Naruto first aired in 2002, a couple of decades after Dragon Ball. It has more vivid colors, sharper structures, more fluid movements, and better details that give it fun touches. It is easy to notice when an animation is inferior because it tends to make people uncomfortable, especially those who pay attention. In none of the stories it is bad, but in Naruto certain improvements can be noticed.
On the other hand, the combats in Naruto have elaborate choreographies focused on the use of logic and strategy. Dragon Ball prioritizes special effects and physical humor. In Naruto and Naruto Shippuden, the powers and their use are more consistent and intelligent.
Does this Make Dragon Ball Z a Bad Anime?
Dragon Ball and its continuation, Dragon Ball Z both marked the beginning of many animation techniques that were rarely used at the time. The continuation that shows us the adventures of adult Goku, gives us iconic moments and some new characters that offer significant plot twists.
Its popularity grew rapidly as it presented an original storyline, with characters that hooked viewers with their powers, transformations and a good dose of absurd humor. It could never be considered a bad anime. Furthermore, it is important to note that according to certain statistics, Dragon Ball Z has been more watched than Naruto.
Z is very popular for two important reasons, the first is that it is the continuation of a work that already had a good fandom, dragon ball, so it already came with a group of people who expected it. The second reason is the time when it came out, when anime was not as popular as it is now, besides that, the plot is easy to follow and learn so to speak, we already know who is who and what they do, something that makes it more enjoyable, so it reached popularity in a short time.
In this version, which serves as a sequel to the first edition of the series, we are shown a Goku going through more mature situations. After so many fights that almost cost him his life, he has become stronger. It also teaches fans how to never give up and sacrifice for all the things that are worthwhile.
Which One Has Been More Successful?
Even when Naruto is technically the best made story, I need to talk about the one that has more success among the fans and the critics. Both Naruto and Dragon Ball Z have a huge legion of fans. In fact, both series are at the top of the best-selling manga of all time, and the most-watched anime shows ever seen, with Naruto in the first place and Dragon Ball Z one place below.
There are some differences that I would like to highlight, and that is Naruto is better in terms of production quality and plot development, but Dragon Ball Z has become more ingrained in the lives of fans, perhaps because of a nostalgia issue. Dragon Ball Z is to thank for the insane greatness of the anime world and how it began to develop other stories.
And if we compare the continuation of Naruto, Boruto, it could never beat Dragon Ball Z in terms of ratings and quality. In fact, Boruto is negatively affecting the Naruto storyline. At the same time, positively impacted Dragon Ball Z and all its sequels.
As I mentioned before, anime has impacted the entire culture around the world. And Dragon Ball Z in particular has stolen the hearts of young and old alike, and has accomplished amazing things. For instance, In 2015, Japan declared official Goku Day, to honor the greatness and all the achievements of the character. And when the show was uploaded to the streaming platform, Netflix, it broke records accumulating over 20 million views in just a few days.
Besides, despite the fact that Naruto has managed to surpass its predecessor in some aspects, the truth is that Dragon Ball Z has been a great anime that has served as inspiration for the rest of the series since then. In addition to the fact that several projects and merchandise related to the brand continue to be created, something that has affected the creators of One Piece, Fairy Tail, Bleach, and, of course, Naruto. In conclusion, Naruto is better, but Dragon Ball Z is a bigger brand.