A popular manga series, Akira Tomiyama's Dragon Ball tells the story of Goku, a monkey-tailed boy who grows into a martial arts master. The dragon balls of the title are mystical artifacts which can be used to summon dragons that will grant the wielder's wishes.
The teen-rated manga was initially serialized in the Japanese edition of Shonen Jump from 1984-95, spawning three anime series based on the manga: Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT. The first anime series covered 16 volumes of the 42 book series; Dragon Ball Z was adapted from the remaining 26. The third, less successful series was based on original material. When Viz Media licensed the manga for publication in the United States, the company changed the title of volumes 17-42 to be consistent with the anime.
Tomiyama's creation has also spawned a series of videogames; the first to be released in the United States was Game Boy Advance's Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku; more recent releases have included the Wii game Budokai Tenkaichi 3. Though the original manga has long concluded, the Dragon Ball series continues to pump out new spin-offs.