Which Anime is Better? (Explained)

Updated October 19, 2022 by Ernie

Naruto vs Dragon Ball!! This battle has been going on for over two decades now. Both of these anime, alongside One Piece, is recognized as the Big Three of the anime industry. These three are responsible for bringing the anime industry to its current level. They basically revolutionized the anime industry. 

Dragon Ball Manga, however, started much earlier than Naruto Manga. It has inspired many new-gen classics including Bleach, Black Clover, Jujutsu Kaisen, and many more. In my opinion, comparing these two legends is a waste of time. Can’t the two fandoms just sign a treaty or something and stop fighting? No?

Let’s just talk about the plot a bit. Naruto features the story of a teenage boy named Naruto Uzumaki. He lives alone, without any parents. The people of the village also fear and hate him. Why? Well! There’s a beast trapped inside him. No one ever supports him. Despite all this, he is determined to do his best and become the Hokage

Dragon Ball on the other hand follows the story of a kid named Goku. He is a rather peculiar boy with a tail and unnatural strength. Grandpa Gohan found him in the jungle and started raising him as his own son. After some time, Goku meets Bulma, a teenage girl looking for mysterious balls named Dragon Balls. This marks the beginning of Goku and Bulma’s adventure.

Now, we’ll compare the two anime based on some categories including plot, animation, fights, and others. Without any further ado, let’s begin.

In case you want to watch DB again, here’s the watch order…Dragon Ball COMPLETE Watch Order!





If we are talking about the plot of these shows. It’s crystal clear that Naruto has more depth than DB. Why? Naruto’s plot follows a predetermined path. Naruto, as the Hokage, brings the story to a close. DB, on the other hand, is just an endless cycle of repetitive events. A strong villain appears. Goku loses in the beginning, then somehow manages to defeat the villain. THE CYCLE REPEATS! 

The beginning of both shows is quite similar in the sense that both feature two mischievous children with voracious appetites. However, as the story progresses, Naruto’s plot becomes more defined and well-established.

Winner of this round: The winner of this round is Naruto.



If you’re watching these shows, keep a box of tissues nearby because they will undoubtedly bring you to tears with intense laughter.

Naruto and Dragon Ball both have some crazy humor. Naruto’s humor can be a little over the top at times. Some of the jokes simply feature Sakura punching Naruto. It becomes monotonous. Dragon Ball, on the other hand, contains some genuine jokes that are still referenced in other anime. Kid Goku, in my opinion, was a SAVAGE!!

Winner of this round: The winner of this round is Dragon Ball.



Both of these anime are known for their wild and intense battles. Peak moments in Dragon Ball Z include Goku’s Super Saiyan transformation and Gohan’s Super Saiyan 2 transformation.

Naruto has some crazy moments as well, such as Naruto’s sage mode transformation and his alliance with Kurama.

Comparing these two, I’d say they are on par with each other in terms of fights. The fights in Dragon Ball Z are more intense and hyped. However, Naruto’s fights are much more organized and employ a wider range of techniques than DB.

DB fights can get a bit monotonous. You’ll see the same fight pattern repeat countless times. There was a time when DB was about martial arts. However, these days, it is just about flashy and intense fights

In Naruto, you’ll see the utilization of different techniques and Jutsus. Fights are unique and depend on the character involved in the fight. 

Winner of this round: It’s a Tie!!

You should take a look at this as well….Top 10 Fights in DBZ!!


Story Telling

With Shounen anime, you’ll always witness some major plot holes. To be honest, Dragon Ball has much fewer plot holes as compared to Naruto. Most of the stuff that takes place in Naruto is usually because of Hashirama cells or Orochimaru

Mashashi found an easy way to explain stuff. There’s a plothole? Just blame it on Hashirama cells, lol! Dragon Ball, on the other hand, explains stuff properly, most of the time. Still, there are some major plot holes, including Cell learning Instant transformation, and some other stuff as well. 

Dragon Ball has a pretty low filler ratio as compared to Naruto. DB’s storytelling is much more consistent with a minimum number of fillers. However, in Naruto, there is a filler arc after every major arc. There are fillers even during the Fourth Shinobi War arc. In one episode, you are witnessing an incredible fight scene and in the next one, you see Sakura punching Naruto outta nowhere. 

Winner of this round: The winner of this round is Dragon Ball.



Now, this one is a bit difficult. I love both Naruto and Goku. However, if we’re comparing them, Naruto is a better protag as compared to Goku in many ways. 

First, Naruto actually has a goal in his life. He wants to become the Hokage. Goku, on the other hand, just wants to fight strong opponents. The fact that he even hired an assassin to kill him is just CRAZZYYYYY!!!

Second, Naruto is the main driving force of Naruto’s plot. He inspires other characters. Meanwhile, Goku becomes irrelevant to the story at times. There was a time when people loved Gohan more and wanted him to become the protagonist

If we’re talking about who’s stronger, then ofc Goku is stronger. Even though Naruto has more Hax, he still cannot beat Goku. Goku is on a universal level, on the other hand, Naruto is merely Planetary level

Winner of this round: The winner of this round is Naruto.



Now that we’re done talking about the Protags, let’s just talk about the Antagonists

I’m afraid Naruto wins this battle as well. I’m not saying that DB antagonists are bad, they just lack the depth and motivation. If you take Frieza and Cell for instance, their goal was to destroy the planet for no FREAKING REASON!!

Naruto villains, on the other hand, usually have a genuine reason for what they are doing. Some just want revenge, some just want to create a perfect society. Take Uchiha Obito and Madara for instance. Obito was a broken hero, he just wanted revenge. Madara, on the other hand, wanted to create a perfect world via Infinite Tsukuyomi. 

Winner of this round: The winner of this round is Naruto.


Side Characters

Another category I believe Naruto wins. I’m saying this the second time, Dragon Ball characters lack depth. Besides Vegeta and Gohan, I can’t seem to remember any character having significant character development. 

Naruto, on the other hand, has some really well-written characters. Sasuke, Itachi, Hinata, Neji, and Jiraiya, all of them have meaning to the story. Jiraiya and Neji’s deaths became Naruto’s motivation moving forward. 

I can’t recall any single moment like this in DB except Android 16’s death that triggered Super Saiyan 2. 

Winner of this round: The winner of this round is Naruto.


Hype Moments

Dragon Ball is all about HYPE!!! Naruto stands no chance in this category. Naruto, no doubt, has some crazy moments. However, when compared to DB, it falls behind. 

Goku turning Super Saiyan is by far the most iconic moment in anime history. There is not a single moment comparable to it. Goku’s ultrainstinct transformation literally broke the internet. 

Sorry fellas, Naruto falls behind in this one. 

Winner of this round: The winner of this round is Dragon Ball.



Dragon Ball’s fanbase is perhaps one of the most toxic and loyal fanbases to ever exist. Its fans just can’t see any other anime surpassing it. However, it is because of this fanbase, DB is still alive. 

Even if they don’t like what’s going on in DBS, they will still watch it. 

Naruto’s fanbase is also pretty loyal as well. With everything going on with Boruto, they are still supporting Kishimoto and his work. 

Regardless, DB’s fanbase is much bigger as compared to Naruto. There are people who have just watched Dragon Ball in their entire life. If we’re talking in terms of size, Naruto stands no chance here. 

Winner of this round: The winner of this round is Dragon Ball.


Facts and Figures

Let’s just talk about some facts and figures. OG Naruto has a rating of 7.97 on MAL. Meanwhile, OG Dragon Ball has a rating of 7.96. There’s not much difference here. 

If we’re talking about popularity, OG Naruto falls on the 6th number, while DB is placed quite low at 144

Animenewsnetwork.com conducted a poll recently, regarding popular anime. Naruto got 9362 votes and was ranked the 13th most popular anime. DB, on the other hand, got just 5626 votes and was ranked 54th on the list. Quite astonishing, right? 

If DBZ’s fanbase is bigger than Naruto, then why is it so low on the list? Well! Most of it is related to the fact that most DB watchers are usually old-school people who haven’t watched any other in their entire life. These polls are usually conducted on anime sites. People who don’t watch anime don’t even follow these sites.



Now, to conclude the debate. Dragon Ball clears Naruto in terms of humor, storytelling, hype moments, and fanbase. All other categories including plot, protagonist, and antagonist belong to Naruto. Both are equal in terms of fights. 

 So, basically, Dragon Ball wins this debate. Still, I’d say that there is no reason to compare these shows. We should just try to enjoy them as much as possible. 

If you ask me, Naruto is better than DB. But, DB is much bigger. Peace!!!

Here are some more recomms for you…Best Shounen Anime.

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