The Raditz Saga, also called the Saiyan Saga, is the first saga from the Dragon Ball Z series. It follows the Piccolo Jr. Saga and precedes the Vegeta Saga. This saga is traditionally considered as the first part of the Saiyan Saga with the rest of said saga being the Vegeta Saga prior to being separated by the 30th Anniversary Timeline. This saga aired in Japan in 1989. It comprises part of the US season 1. It was later included in the FUNimation Season One Remastered Box Set, which also includes the Vegeta Saga and first 4 episodes of the Namek Saga, and on the FUNimation Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box Volume 1 Set.
Its main plot concerns the arrival of a humanoid alien, known as a "Saiyan", to Earth, looking for Goku. The saga covers the arrival of this Saiyan, Raditz, and his fight against his brother Goku and Piccolo.
Arrival of Raditz
The Raditz Saga begins five years after the events in the Wedding Dress Saga depicted at the end of Dragon Ball. A reunion at the Kame House reunites Goku with his old master, Master Roshi, and his friends Krillin and Bulma, who all have not seen each other in five years. Goku surprises everyone by bringing along his four-year-old son, Gohan. Unfortunately, the reunion is interrupted by the arrival of a mysterious being, who identifies himself as a Saiyan by the name of Raditz. Raditz identifies Goku as Kakarot and berates him for not completing his "mission". Further complicating matters, Raditz also claims that Goku is from the same Saiyan race as he is, and that he and Goku are in fact brothers. Goku and Krillin understandably think that Raditz is nuts, however Roshi reveals that there may be some truth to the Saiyan's words. In a major turning point in the series, Master Roshi reveals that Goku's adopted grandfather, Grandpa Gohan, found a strange space capsule in the woods containing baby Goku. As a baby, Goku was violent and ill-tempered, though one day he fell down a ravine and suffered severe head trauma, which in turn changed Goku into the happy, amicable child that everyone came to know and love.
This new revelation shocks Goku, who refuses to believe its validity. Raditz then goes on to state that Goku's original purpose was to destroy all life on Earth, which he should have done in a matter of years after his arrival. Raditz also reveals that the Saiyans' original home planet, Planet Vegeta, was destroyed by an asteroid some twenty years earlier, and that there are only four Saiyans left, including Goku. Finally, Raditz mentions that he needs his brother's help in destroying all life on a distant planet. Goku refuses, which prompts Raditz to notice Gohan (who still retains his Saiyan tail), which leads Raditz to threaten the fate of the child. Goku tries to attack, but is quickly stopped by Raditz, who then kidnaps Gohan, and gives Goku an ultimatum; Raditz will kill Gohan unless Goku kills one hundred humans within the next twenty-four hours. With that, Raditz flies off.
Goku is clearly distressed at his situation, and vows to rescue his son; Krillin and Master Roshi offer to help him fight. Before they can depart, however, he is confronted by his nemesis Piccolo. Piccolo encountered Raditz after Raditz had first arrived on Earth, and was terrified by his raw power. Aware that they now have a common enemy, Piccolo suggests that he and Goku join forces to confront Raditz, which Goku hesitatingly agrees to. Bulma offers up her Dragon Radar so that Piccolo and Goku can track the 4-star Dragon Ball in Gohan's hat, thus finding his location.
Meanwhile, Raditz arrives at his spaceship and locks the crying Gohan inside. Through the use of his scouter Raditz discovers that two fighters are approaching; as they get closer it is revealed that they are Piccolo and Goku. The duo face-off against Raditz, however they find that there is little they can do against the more powerful Saiyan. Raditz gains the upperhand and soars into the air, firing dual ki blasts out of his hands at Goku and Piccolo. Goku is able to dodge his, however Piccolo loses his arm.
Piccolo, unhindered, reveals that he has been holding back a new technique that he designed to kill Goku, however he decides that he will use it against Raditz. In order to give Piccolo time to charge the attack, Goku distracts Raditz with his own Kamehameha. Raditz is astonished that the two fighters can concentrate their power into single attacks, however he manages to neutralize the Kamehameha with ease, and then takes care of Goku with a blast of his own. Fortunately, this was all the time Piccolo needed, and he fires his new attack, the Special Beam Cannon. Despite the power of the blast, however, Raditz side-steps it. Goku takes advantage of the distracted Raditz and grabs his tail, which Goku remembers as being one of his own weaknesses as a child. Raditz is rendered helpless, however he appeals to his brother to let him go if he promises to leave the planet, which Goku does, much to Piccolo's chagrin. Raditz predictably double-crosses his brother, and pins him down, breaking bones and causing Goku much pain. At that moment, Raditz's space pod explodes.
Gohan, who had been watching helplessly from inside Raditz's pod, manages to blow the pod apart upon hearing his father's screams. Raditz's scouter detects the child's power level to be 1,307, substantially higher than that of Goku and Piccolo. The infuriated Gohan charges at Raditz, who is unable to react in time, and receives a swift head-butt to the chest, breaking his Saiyan Armor. Gohan's power level soon drops back to 1; and Raditz realizes that Gohan's power is affected by his emotions. Raditz quickly smacks Gohan aside, but is still physically hurt by the previous attack.
Goku, using what little strength he has left, leaps up and locks Raditz in a full nelson. Raditz is unable to break free, and Goku tells Piccolo to try his attack again. Piccolo does not hesitate to comply, knowing that the beam will kill Goku as well; though he knows that Goku's friends will most likely use the Dragon Balls to resurrect him, he is nonetheless satisfied with killing his archenemy. He fires off another Special Beam Cannon, and Raditz, held by Goku, is unable to dodge it again, and the beam penetrates through both Raditz and Goku, mortally wounding both of them. Raditz curses Piccolo, but commends his brother's spirit. Piccolo informs Raditz that Goku will be wished back to life using the Dragon Balls. Raditz, with his dying breath, retorts by saying that the scouter on his head acts as a transmitter as well, and that the other two Saiyans will come to Earth and avenge his death. Piccolo, upset at Raditz's cockiness, delivers an early deathblow to him.
In space, the remaining two Saiyans, Nappa and Vegeta, get word of Raditz's death by the message transmitted to their scouters. Vegeta is intrigued by the Dragon Balls, and they decide to head to Earth to use them to wish for immortality (rather than wishing Raditz back to life, as Raditz had hoped).
Back on Earth, Krillin, Master Roshi, and Bulma arrive at the scene, to find Raditz dead and Goku dying. Though they can bring him back with the Dragon Balls, Krillin takes watching his friend die very hard. Shortly after he expires, however, Goku's body vanishes. Piccolo takes that to mean that the Guardian of Earth, Kami, has plans for Goku in the Other World. Piccolo then surprisingly regenerates his arm, tells the others of the impending arrival of two more powerful Saiyans, and picks up the unconscious Gohan, with the intention of training the child to fight the Saiyans. The others protest, but can do nothing to stop Piccolo.
In the Other World, Kami brings Goku to King Yemma, to ask permission for Goku to travel down the Snake Way with the intention of training with the Lord of Worlds, King Kai. Goku asks if Raditz came here as well, and is surprised when Yemma sent him to hell without too much trouble. Yemma also grants this request, and Goku begins his long and perilous journey down the one-million kilometer Snake Way.
Anime and Manga Differences
- Gohan getting lost in the forest and his father having to rescue was only in the anime.
- In the anime, Raditz reads out Piccolo's second beam cannon as having a power level of 1,480. In the manga it is never stated what it is.
- There are several scenes with Chi-Chi at home getting concerned on the lateness of Goku and Gohan. These scenes do not occur in the manga.
- Raditz vs. Farmer
- Piccolo vs. Raditz
- Raditz vs Krillin
- Goku vs. Raditz
- Goku and Piccolo vs. Raditz
- Goku, Piccolo, and Gohan vs. Raditz
Pioneer VHS/DVD Volumes
FUNimation Ultimate Uncut Special Edition
- Vegeta Saga I - Saiyan Showdown (1-3)
- Vegeta Saga I - Piccolo's Plan (4-6)
FUNimation Remastered DVD Sets
- Dragon Ball Z Season One (1-39) (only episodes 1-6 are part of the Raditz Saga)
FUNimation Dragon Box Sets
- Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box Vol. 1 (1-42) (only episodes 1-6 are part of the Raditz Saga)
FUNimation Level Set Blu-rays
- Dragon Ball Z: Level 1.1 (1-17) (only episodes 1-6 are part of the Raditz Saga)
FUNimation Season Blu-ray Sets
- Dragon Ball Z Season One (1-39) (only episodes 1-6 are part of the Raditz Saga)
|195 (1)||"The Mysterious Warrior From Space"|
|197 (3)||"Tails of Future Not-Quite-Past"|
|198 (4)||"An Enemy in Common"|
|199 (5)||"An Unexpected Strength"|
|200 (6)||"Nothing Up My Sleeve..."|
|201 (7)||"Piccolo's Farewell to Arms!?"|
|202 (8)||"A Surprise Appearance"|
|203 (9)||"Sayonara, Goku"|
|204 (10)||"The Needs of the Many"|
|205 (11)||"A Warrior in Hell"|
|206 (12)||"Gohan and Piccolo"|
Uncut version (6 episodes)
|1||"The New Threat"|
|6||"No Time Like the Present"|
Edited version (4 episodes)
|1||"The Arrival of Raditz"|
|2||"The World's Strongest Team"|
|3||"Gohan's Hidden Powers"|
|4||"Goku's Unusual Journey"|
Dragon Ball Z Kai (3 episodes)
|1||"Prologue to Battle! The Return of Goku!"|
|2||"The Enemy is Goku's Brother?! The Secret of the Mighty Saiyan Warriors!"|
|3||"A Life or Death Battle! Goku and Piccolo's Desperate Attack!"|
The events of the Saiyan saga have been covered in most of the Dragon Ball fighting games such as in the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai series, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi series, Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World, Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit, Dragon Ball: Raging Blast series, Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi and more. It was also covered in the DS game Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans.
In Dragon Ball Xenoverse, the events of this saga are altered when Raditz is empowered by Dark Magic allowing him to escape from the Full-Nelson Special Beam Cannon while leaving Goku to be killed by the Special Beam Cannon resulting in an altered timeline which threatens to split the Scroll of Eternity for Age 762 forcing Xeno Trunks to send the Future Warrior to fix it as their first mission as a member of the Time Patrol. When the Future Warrior travels back in time to correct the history change, Raditz manages to dodge Gohan's Leave My Daddy Alone! attack and counter attack Gohan, though Gohan is saved from being killed by the Future Warrior who aids Goku and Piccolo in weakening Raditz allowing them to finish Raditz off with the Full-Nelson Special Beam Cannon. After the battle, Piccolo notices the Warrior has disappeared and is left to wonder about the meaning of their sudden appearance and disappearance.
In Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, the saga is referred to as Raditz's Attack and Raditz is once again empowered by Dark Magic forcing the Time Patrol to send a new Future Warrior to fix it as their first mission as part of their new assignment. In this altered history, Gohan is strangely absent and Goku takes on Raditz while Piccolo charges up the Special Beam Cannon, but is quickly beaten and Raditz dodges the Special Beam Cannon Piccolo fires at him using the Dark Magic power up and blasts Piccolo in retaliation, though Piccolo survives. Suddenly the new Future Warrior appears though is teleported into the air and fails to use Flight to keep themself from falling to the ground when they realize this, leading them to make a lousy entrance as Elder Kai puts it. After recovering from their fall and embarrassment, the Warrior joins Goku in fighting Raditz, while Piccolo prepares another Special Beam Cannon. Eventually the Warrior manages to weaken Raditz allowing Goku and Piccolo to finish him off with the Full-Nelson Special Beam Cannon. Piccolo notices the Warrior has disappeared and the Warrior is shown watching Piccolo from afar after the battle where they are told to return by Elder Kai. The saga ends with Turles and Lord Slug standing on a hill watching as the Future Warrior returns to Age 852 foreshadowing their appearance later in the story. It also appear in the opening animated Time Patrol recruitment video where a still picture of an altered timeline showing only Goku being hit by the Full-Nelson Special Beam Cannon is shown, then a still showing the corrected timeline with Raditz and Goku being hit as a visual example of the Time Patrol's role in fixing changes in history.
- In the original 1996 English dub, the Raditz and Vegeta Sagas are combined and titled the "Saiyan Saga", and in numerous other international versions the "Saiya-jin Saga".