Dissertation Title:

Dragon Ball: An In-Depth Examination of a Modern Mythology


Shane Surrey

Date, Time & Place:

June 2, 2021 at 3:00 pm


Few science fiction or fantasy franchises have seen the popular reception that Dragon Ball and its sequels has had and yet, its appearance in academic discourse has been left wanting. This dissertation attempts an initial in-depth analysis of the story of Dragon Ball and its sequels through a variety of lenses. It addresses the significance of Goku’s journeys and its initiation through his meeting with Bulma, victory over Piccolo, his transformation into a Super Saiyan, and mergence with the Dragon Balls. In examining these aspects of what we might call the Dragon Ball mythology, this dissertation utilizes primarily a depth psychological lens but also employs lenses in spirituality, existentialism, metaphysics, and comparative mythology in understanding the metaphorical significance of the scenes under analysis.

  • Program/Track/Year: Mythological Studies, I, 2014
  • Chair: Dr. Evans Lansing Smith
  • Reader: Dr. William Linn
  • External Reader: Dr. Michael Salitrynski
  • Keywords: Dragon Ball, Anime, Fantasy, Science-fiction, Dragon Ball 2, Akira Toriyama