Dragon Ball Z: The Saiyan Saga Explained

The Saiyan Saga kicks off the Dragon Ball Z series, and is still a great introduction to the Dragon Ball world if you’ve never watched the original Dragon Ball series that features Goku as a child.

This saga consists of two main parts: The Raditz Saga, and the Vegeta Saga. Let’s explain…


The Saiyan Saga, also known as the Saiyan arc, is the first arc of the Dragon Ball Z anime and manga series. It begins with the arrival of Raditz, who reveals to Goku that he is a Saiyan warrior and that Goku is also a Saiyan, but raised on Earth. Raditz kidnaps Goku’s son, Gohan, leaving Goku and long-time rival Piccolo team up to defeat Raditz and save Gohan.

gohan vs raditz

It becomes clear from the beginning, Gohan has a great deal of potential as a warrior. When he was kidnapped, he was able to land an effective blow on Raditz, which his father and Piccolo were not able to do. It happened out of rage, which is something you will witness a lot during the series and as he grows older.

During the battle, Raditz is defeated but Goku sacrifices himself to defeat him. Piccolo then kills Raditz, but not before Raditz reveals that two more powerful Saiyans, Nappa and Vegeta, are on their way to Earth.

Goku’s training begins in the afterlife with King Kai, while the Z-fighters on Earth prepare to face the Saiyans.

Nappa and Vegeta first time on Earth

Nappa and Vegeta arrive on Earth and the Z-fighters engage in a fierce battle, but they are no match for the powerful Saiyans. Many of the Z-fighters are killed or injured, and it seems that all hope is lost.

However, Goku arrives on Earth just in time to save the remaining Z-fighters and engage in a fierce battle with the Saiyans. In the end, Goku defeats Nappa and Vegeta flees the planet. With the Saiyans defeated, the Z-fighters must now prepare for even more powerful challenges to come.

During the Saiyan Saga, we also meet Yamcha, Krillin, Tien, and a few other characters.

Play and Experience the Saiyan Saga

Don’t feel like binge-watching Dragon Ball Z to get the whole story? Consider playing Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, an awesome game available on PC, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox. The game let’s you play through the entire story, with scenes re-created – even the audio and voices are the same. It’s an awesome experience, whether you know the story or not, we highly recommend the game!

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