Where does Dr. Slump anime fit into the Dragon Ball universe?

Goku meets Arale who is wearing a pink hat with ears with Gatchan in the air in Dragon Ball

Before Dragon Ball was released in 1984, Akira Toriyama’s Dr. Slump reigned over the hearts of fans with a successful run of over 4 years. Even long after the series ended, the characters from Dr. Slump anime continued to appear in the Dragon Ball series. These appearances range from small references to elaborate interactions between the two series.

While that establishes the connection between Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump, today we’ll explore the full scope of this connection. So let’s find out how Dr. Slump fits into the Dragon Ball universe.

Here’s how Dr. Slump fits in with the Dragon Ball Series

An introduction to Dr. Slump

 

Akira Toriyama’s Dr. Slump often gets overshadowed by the monumental success and influence of the Dragon Ball series. Debuted in 1980, Dr. Slump took off Toriyama’s career garnering great commercial success, accolades, and critical acclaim. 

Dr. Slump is the story of Arale Norimaki, created by Senbei Norimaki. Senbei intended to make the perfect little girl who ends up in urgent need of glasses. Her eyesight isn’t the only weakness, but also her lack of understanding of the human world and her innocence which results in some great laughs. But Senbei didn’t fail entirely as Arale wields monstrous strength. The plot revolves around the shared adventures of the inhabitants of Penguin Village with Arale and Senbei at the center of it all! 

Dr. Slump anime and Dragon Ball Crossovers

Goku, Gatchan and Arale sitting on a flying yellow cloud called Nimbus in Dragon Ball
A still from Dragon Ball anime | Image Courtesy of Studio Toei Animation

During the General Blue Saga, General Blue flees away after taking Dragon Balls from Goku. In an attempt to retrieve them, Goku attacks General Blue in midair, which lands them both in Penguin Village.  

  • Goku and General Blue meet with the inhabitants of Penguin Village, and fight it out at Senbei’s house. When General Blue nearly kills Goku, Arale jumps in to save him. 
  • The anime expands this interaction with some additional scenes between Goku and Arale. 
  • Later on, Arale makes an appearance in Dragon Ball Super. Her presence in Dragon Ball super is treated as a gag by fans, only meant for fun. 
General Blue from Dragon Ball stands shirtless in front of Suppaman from Dr. Slump
A still from General Blue Saga featuring Suppaman and General Blue | Image Courtesy of Toei Animation

Besides these interactions, throughout the Dragon Ball series, small references are made to Dr. Slump with posters of Arale hanging in characters’ rooms or mentions of the characters. 

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Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump contradict one another

Goku and Trunks gestures Arale to stay quiet in Dragon Ball Super
A still from Goku vs. Arale episode, Dragon Ball Super | Image Courtesy of Studio Toei Animation

Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump are speculatively parts of the same universe. The doubts regarding this arise from the strange world of the latter. The sci-fi elements of Dr. Slump results in the merging of different realities and timelines quite often which contradicts the themes of Dragon Ball. Considering this, some questions arise about the realness of the interactions between the two. 

  • In the manga, Goku ends up in Penguin village just like other destinations on his quest. This brings the fact to light, that Penguin Village does exist in the world of Dragon Ball. 
  • As for the story, the concepts of both of them are extremely different. Removing Arale’s presence from General Blue Saga will not affect the overarching journey of Goku. 
Vegeta standing injured by Arale in Dragon Ball super
In this scene Vegeta calls Arale a gag character | Image Courtesy of Studio Toei Animation

So there’s a really cool connection between the two series but it is sort of nonsensical only meant for laughs. Or as said by Vegeta “She’s a gag character, common sense doesn’t apply to her at all”.

Conclusion

Goku stands in front of Arale from Dr. Slump anime
Image Courtesy of Studio Toei Animation

Watching or reading Dr. Slump is a great way to experience the artistic talents of Akira Toriyama before Dragon Ball. Every time a fan wonders about the logical explanation of the crossover, others chime in with the suggestion to treat it the way it appears and maybe that’s exactly what it is. Toriyama probably just wanted to acquaint the protagonists of his creations with one another.

Do you have any theories that explains the interaction between Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump? Share them with us in the comments and stay tuned! 

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