Comic version of “Dragon Ball” started to be in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1984 and lasted till 1995. TV version has been aired at this moment since 1986 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_Ball). Personally I was a college student at that time, when you have already “graduated” from Manga World. When I was back in Japan, I had never watched the show on TV because I was not interested. However, I was amazed how popular it is in USA (all over the world). Public libraries have sets of Dragon Ball comics.
As some of you know it, Goku, the name of the main character, comes from the classic adventure story called “The Jurney to the West (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journey_to_the_West).”
(Book Cover of The Journey to the West for children)
So, “Dragon Ball” is supposed to be an adventure as is “The Journey to the West.” For a while it was, but later on it tuned into a action (Martial Arts Fighting) show. When the TV station created a special show of “Dragon Ball,” the first guest was Jackie Chen. You know what I mean!? Probably that was a trend in those days. Probably that’s why “Dragon Ball” became this popular all over the world.
(Bruce Lee and Jackie Chen in Enter the Dragon)