Some people love it, some people do not at all.
But if there is one thing everyone agrees with; The show has way too many episodes, and the pacing is all over the place. While that might've worked in 1995/2002 (depending on your age), waiting for the weekly next episode at the age of 12, spurting home to catch the next episode... It doesn't work anymore in your adult life.
Maybe you want to revisit Dragonball? Maybe you want to get into Dragonball? Who knows?
So, I thought, because I have too much free time, I'll make a small guide on how to get through Dragonball's good material "quickly".
Summary: As of November 2nd, 2016, this guide cuts down
573 Episodes, 19 Films, 8 OVAs to
218 Episodes, 5 Films and 3 OVAs!
Son Goku is a peculiar young boy, featuring a tail and incredible strength, raised by his Grandfather, Son Gohan, who has died out of unknown circumstances. He has since lived alone in the forests, surviving through the means of hunting and gathering: Until one day he meets up with a girl named Bulma, who is in the search of the Dragon Balls. Together they search for the Balls and its mysteries.
Eventually they're joined up by Master Roshi, Krillin and Yamacha - all of which are tournament fighters. But their last tournament was suddenly disrupted, as a beast of the size of a building that appeared out of no-where completely decimated the arena - but just as fast as it appeared, it disappeared...
And so the tale begins...
Dragon Ball: The Path of Power (film) or alternatively
Dragon Ball Recut Episode 1 - 46
Dragon Ball Recut Episode 47 - 82
Dragon Ball Z Kai Episodes 1 - 17
Dragon Ball Z Special: Bardock - Father of Goku (OVA)
Dragon Ball Z Kai Episodes 18 - 53
Dragon Ball Z Kai Episodes 54 - 57
Dragon Ball Z Special: The History of Trunks (OVA)
Dragon Ball Z Kai Episodes 58
Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge (film)
Dragon Ball Z Kai Episodes 59 - 86
Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan (film)
Dragon Ball Z Kai Episodes 87 - 98
Dragon Ball Z Kai (2014) Episodes 99 - 159
Dragon Ball: Yo! The Return of Son-Goku and Friends!! (OVA)
Dragon Ball Super: Episode 1
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (film)
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F (film)
Dragon Ball Super: Episodes 28 - 29
Dragon Ball Super: Episodes 38 - 41
Dragon Ball Super: Episodes 47 - TBA
1) Dragon Ball Recut is a Fanedit from "IAmTheMilkMan", which cuts down Dragonball by over 20 hours worth of footage that wasn't in the manga. There are some weird edits, but, all in all, it's the perfect way to revisit Dragon Ball with good pacing. It's available in both English and Japanese.
2) Dragon Ball: The Path of Power is actually a Dragon Ball GT film - but it served as a remake of the original sections of Dragon Ball in film format. The catch here is that they wrote out Krillin. So, while it's super handy to get through a massive section (especially if you're one of those that doesn't like the more jolly saturday morning part of the show), it's still a massive omission. You won't miss a lot story-wise, just that Goku has a new friend he trains with.
3) Yes, there are theoretically a few more episodes you could cut pre-tournement, before the Piccolo arc. You won't miss a lot, but it does offer some neat character moments.
4) Kai did its job and drastically cut down on Filler in the first place, but... it did so too much at times. The OVAs (which also aired as Special Episodes) are excluded in every form, for that reason, I have set two of the important ones at the right position.
5) Cooler's Revenge and the Broly film aren't part of the manga, but based on the Official Dragon Ball Guide Book, these are the only ones with a proper and logical placement in the timeline - and they're fun. They're completely optional, but I decided I add them anyhow.
6) Yeah, Super's a lil' weird. First, Episode 1 isn't that important, but it sets up things nicely with a lil' down time and flows directly in the first film. Super then adapts the same material, just... worse. I originally wanted to say that you'd be able to skip everything to 47, but as its still airing, I'm unsure of this. So, for now, Episode 28 and 29 are necessary as set up for the arc, the new balls and what not - from there on out, you can skip the Tournament itself, as it's just played for laughs and retreads of older battles. Episode 38 nicely recaps the most important things, however, and you can just jump straight into the only relevant battle. After that, there's another filler arc and then the Future Trunks arc begins with Episode 47.
7) Technically, it'd be very easy to do one of these for Dragon Ball GT too, but since it's been completely disregarded by now, I'll just leave it be. Theoretically, with there now being multiple timelines, it would be "canon" too, just a different timeline. But since most have not enjoyed it at all...
8) Another thing about Kai '14 is that there are supposed to be 167 Episodes, but only 159 aired. It's a complete tale, and supposedly these final episodes exist and are available on foreign non-Japanese releases. However, as of writing, the English version for Kai '14 has yet to be released. I'm unsure whether these episodes will be included or not, but it shouldn't be a huge hit.
9) I will make more changes to the list, add or remove episodes - depending on what's better. For both Super and previous installments. As it stands, there are still fan projects for different cuts of these series underway. If any of them proof useful, I'll make use of them in this guide. I'll also update the language on this post over time.