The Secret of the Dragon Balls (ブルマと孫悟空, Buruma to Son Gokuu; lit. "Bulma and Son Goku") is the first episode of Dragon Ball and the first episode of the Emperor Pilaf Saga.



Goku doing his morning chores

The story begins on Mount Paozu, with a young boy that has a monkey tail named, Goku. He was found by a martial artist named Gohan, and was adopted by him as his grandson, who Gohan trained to be a powerful fighter. Goku is now on his own, after his grandfather's death and now guards his Dragon Ball that was given to him just before Gohan died.

Giant Fish goes after Goku's Tail

One day after finishing chopping up wood, Goku comes inside to see his Dragon Ball glowing, thinking it is his grandpa talking to him. On his way to find something to eat, he ends up angering a Sabretooth Cat and outruns it off a cliff and into a river losing it. While at the river Goku strips to put his tail into the water for bait to catch fish. Soon enough, a monstrous fish jumps out of the water. Having no fear of the Giant Fish, Goku dodges it and kills it with one kick.

Goku and Bulma first meet

On his way home dragging the fish, he gets run over by a teenage girl named, Bulma, in her car. Goku has never seen a car before and attacks, thinking that it is a monster, he picks up the car and throws it into the distance. In defense, Bulma takes out a gun and fires at Goku, but due to being so powerful, the bullets only sting him. Goku then starts to charge at her, but stops when she reveals herself to be a human girl, not a monster.

Emperor Pilaf finds his first Dragon Ball

Goku has always been told by his grandfather to be nice to girls, so he escorts Bulma to his home for dinner. Finally reaching there, Bulma sees an item that she has been desperately seeking, which is his Dragon Ball. Goku yanks it away from Bulma, saying that it was his Grandpa's. Bulma shows Goku her two Dragon Balls, that she has and tells him that there are seven Dragon Balls total, and they are spread all around the world. She explains, when they are all collected, they allow the owner to get one wish. In Bulma's case, her wish is to have a perfect boyfriend, but Goku stubbornly refuses to give all that is left of his grandfather.

Bulma explaining the Dragon Balls to Goku

Elsewhere, two strange figures named, Shu and Mai, who are headed by a small blue entity named, Emperor Pilaf, find a Dragon Ball in a dungeon seeking it to rule the world. Pilaf becomes enraged when Mai tells him that he needs to collect all seven of them to summon the Dragon.

Goku must save Bulma from the pterodactyl

Back at Goku's House, Goku agrees to accompany Bulma on her journey to collect the Dragon Balls. She explains to Goku that she can detect them using her Dragon Radar. She uses her capsules to spawn a motorcycle which Goku claims to be magic. The two, then leave for the closest Dragon Ball. Along the way, Bulma stops to go for a pit stop, after riding off a steep hill. Before she can go, a fearsome pterodactyl seizes her, ties up Goku, and flies away. Goku eventually suspects the monster's intention, and comes to the rescue, taking the motorcycle's reins and driving off a ramp into the air. He then takes out his Power Pole, that he carries behind his back, and orders it to extend, smashing the pterodactyl and sending it falling dead to the ground below.


Bulma pees herself

Goku falls safely to the ground and uses his Power Pole to pin Bulma to a cliff. All this is too much for her, making Bulma pee her pants. The two then, head out back to their adventure.


  • Goku vs. Giant Fish
  • Goku vs. Bulma
  • Goku vs. Pterodactyl

Voice cast

Character Japanese Voice Ocean Voice Blue Water Voice Funimation Voice
Goku Masako Nozawa Saffron Henderson Zoe Slusar Stephanie Nadolny
Bulma Hiromi Tsuru Lalainia Lindbjerg Leda Davies Tiffany Vollmer
Emperor Pilaf Shigeru Chiba Don Brown Dean Galloway Chuck Huber
Mai Eiko Yamada Teryl Rothery Debbie Munro Julie Franklin
Shu Tesshou Genda Doug Parker Jonathan Love Chris Cason
Sabertooth Tiger Masaharu Satou Unknown Unknown Jackie Cabe
Pterodactyl Hiroshi Ootake Ian James Corlett Unknown Brad Jackson
Grandpa Gohan N/A Michael Donovan N/A N/A
Narrator Jouji Yanami Jim Conrad Steve Olsen

Brice Armstrong

Differences from the manga


Goku running from a Sabertooth Tiger

  • When Goku punches the tree stump all the wood fell neatly in a stack but in the manga they all scattered on the floor and Goku is shown picking the pieces up.
  • When Goku is looking for something to eat he finds an apple and takes a bite of it and throws it on a Sabertooth Tiger's head. The Tiger chases Goku down a cliff which then, Goku gets the idea of catching a Giant Fish for dinner. In the manga Goku does not encounter the tiger and peacefully walks by a cliff and voluntarily jumps off to go catch a fish.
  • Bulma's Panties in this episode are white with pink polka dots, but in the manga version they are just plain white.
  • When Goku defeats the Pterodactyl it falls down a cliff but in the manga it just falls on flat ground.


  • Emperor Pilaf and his minions make an early debut when he finds a Dragon Ball and Mai explains to him the legend of the Dragon. Pilaf and his minions don't debut in the manga until Goku got to Pilaf's Castle which isn't until "The Dragon Balls are Stolen".
  • When Goku is looking for Bulma's "tail", he lifts up her skirt, revealing her panties.


Visual edits


Original (Left) and Edit (Right)

  • In the Ocean Group dub, footage from "The Nimbus Cloud of Roshi", "The Ox King on Fire Mountain" and the movie Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies is seen in a brief day dream segment when Bulma is explaining to Goku what the journey will be like. Chi-Chi's hair can be seen just as the dinosaur is zoomed out. Strangely the fight between Goku and King Gurumes from Curse of the Blood Rubies is used, even though it does not occur in the television series.
  • In the Ocean Group dub Goku is wearing underwear in the scene where he skinny dips to catch a fish. Also the part where he pees in the water just as he gets in was completely removed.
  • The part where Goku lifts Bulma's skirt up to see if she has a tail is still present in the Ocean Group Dub but her panties are oddly repainted pink to match her skirt.
  • In the Ocean Group Dub, scenes from the episode "A Wish to the Eternal Dragon" are seen while Mai is explaining the Legend of the Dragon.

Scenes removed

200px-Bulma shoots

A scene of Bulma shooting Goku with a gun that was removed from the Ocean Dub

  • The part where Bulma shoots Goku with a gun was completely removed in the Ocean Group dub.
  • The scene where Bulma lifts up her skirt and offers to let Goku touch her butt if he gives her the Dragon Ball was completely removed in the Ocean Group dub.

Dialogue changes

  • In the Ocean Group Dub Grandpa Gohan's voice is heard saying the last things he said before he died in the scene at the beginning showing the landscape. This is the only time Grandpa Gohan is heard in the Ocean Group Dub because it was canceled way before they got to the episode he debuts in.
  • 200px-DragonBall4StarDB

    The Four Star Dragon Ball

    When Goku talks to himself on his way to the lake he originally talks about what he wants to eat while in the Ocean Group Dub he already knows he wants a fish (he told the 4-star ball) and asks himself where the "River Trail" was.
  • The Giant Fish Goku catches talks in the Japanese version but doesn't talk in the English dubs.
  • Certain suggestive dialogue between Goku and Bulma is replaced with other bickering in the Ocean Group dub.
  • In the Ocean Group dub Goku tells Bulma that his name means "Saber of Light".
  • Bulma apparently already knows Emperor Pilaf is after the seven dragon balls in the Ocean Group Dub because she says she needs to get them before that crazy emperor does. This is also a bad plothole created due to the fact the he just got his dragon ball while Goku and Bulma were still talking.
  • Goku originally assumes that Bulma's two Dragon Balls are two "Grandpa's", while in the Ocean Dub he says that she must have gotten them from her grandfather.


  • When Goku throws his Power Pole at Bulma, it is shown flying towards under her skirt while high up in the air nowhere near a cliff but she is shown pinned to the cliff wall by her sleeves.


  • Goku never eats the Giant Fish as the subject was changed to his Grandpa's Dragon Ball the second they get to his house.
  • This episode is technically the debut of Shenron since his image is shown but he does not physically debut until "The Penalty is Pinball".
  • This entire episode takes place on September 1st, Age 749.
  • The scene of Goku doing martial arts stances while the narrator talks is shown playing on the television in Bulma's Capsule House in a scene in the 1990 Live Action Korean Dragon Ball film.


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