The series begins with a young monkey-tailed humanoid boy named Goku meeting a teenage girl named Bulma. These two form a close friendship and they go on a journey to find all seven Dragon Balls. Goku meets Master Roshi and begins training with him in preperation for the World Martial Arts Tournament, a tournament with the worlds best fighters. While training with Roshi, Goku meets a young monk named Krillin. The two start out as rival class mates but soon become very close friends. Goku battles countless enemies that are trying to take over Earth such as the Red Ribbon Army and Emperor Pilaf. Goku even fights the Namekian King Piccolo. Many of Goku's rivals soon become his closest friends and allies, including the desert bandit Yamcha, the samurai Yajuribe, and King Piccolo's offspring Piccolo Jr.
Emperor Pilaf Saga
The Emperor Pilaf Saga is the first saga. It is in this saga that Goku and Bulma meet, and where they also meet allies Yamcha, Puar, Oolong, Master Roshi, Turtle, Chi-Chi, Ox-King and others. The main antagonist of the saga is Emperor Pilaf and his underlings, Shu and Mai, though technically most of the allies-to-be started out as antagonists.
The series starts off with Goku going to Kame House and meeting Master Roshi. Goku asks him if he can train him but Roshi refuses saying that it has been too long since he has trained anyone. Goku is very persistent and finally gets Roshi to agree under one condition, Goku must bring Roshi a girl. Goku brings Roshi a fat girl and a mermade, he refuses both. Krillin also comes to Kame House looking for training at this time. The offer still stands for them to bring him a girl for training. When they do their training starts. They wake up every day at 4 AM for milk deliveries. They also have to swim in a shark-infested lake, and plow a farmer's field with only their bare hands. On the first day of training, Master Roshi threw a stone into a huge forest, and charged Goku and Krillin with finding it.
Red Ribbon Army Saga
After the World Martial Arts Tournament, Goku leaves off to find his treasured 4-Star Dragon Ball which he believes has his Grandfather's soul inside of it. Goku meets the infamous Red Ribbon Army, an evil military organization. This saga covers the fights and struggles between Goku and leaders of the Red Ribbon Army; Colonel Silver and General White.
General Blue Saga
This Saga picks off directly after the end of the last Saga and is the story of Goku and his battles with General Blue. The saga starts with Goku returning to Bulma so she can fix his broken Dragon Radar. Goku and Bulma embark on another quest to find all of the Dragon Balls. The two meet up with Krillin while searching for the balls. Goku encounters enemies such as robots and pirates. Goku meets General Blue and the saga ends with their battle.
Commander Red Saga
The saga begins with the end of the General Blue Saga. We start off with a scene of some Red Ribbon soldiers searching for a Dragon Ball that is currently inside a volcano in the Sacred Land of Korin. The volcano explodes and sends the Dragon Ball (the four-star ball) into the camp of the land's protectors. Commander Red hires the mercenary General Tao to apprehend Goku, get the Dragon Balls, and then kill him. Goku meets Korin at the top of his tower and Korin trains Goku, and also gives him some Senzu Beans. Goku takes the new training to the Red Ribbon Army and rips then apart, gathers the Dragon Balls, and returns to Kame House.
Fortuneteller Baba Saga
Goku meets Baba and agrees to challenge all 5 of his fighters in order to help gather the Dragon Balls. Most of these fights are unimportant and are rather easy defeats for Goku except for the last one, the mysterious man in the fox mask. This man has the upper hand on Goku and even rips off Goku's tail. It is later revealed that the mysterious fighter was non other than Gohan, Goku's grandpa.
Tien Shinhan Saga
For the last three years Goku and his friends have been in intensive training. Krillin and Yamcha spent their time with a wise master of martial arts, the Turtle Hermit Master Roshi. Goku, having grown stronger than his teacher, was instructed to venture off by himself into the world, seeking new experiences and developing his own potential. Goku enters the next World Martial Arts Tournament where they meet Master Sheen, Roshi's arch rival. Goku ends up meeting Tien in the final round and it is a fight for the ages.
King Piccolo Saga
In this saga Goku meets the many new characters including the Samurai warrior Yajirobe. This saga brings upon the death of many main characters, including Krillin. Goku faces off against King Piccolo and defeats him but not before King Piccolo can send out an egg that becomes Piccolo Jr.
Piccolo Jr. Saga
In this saga Goku is in his very early adulthood. This saga covers two things: Goku's training with Kami, the Guardian of Earth, and Goku's subsequent participation in the World Martial Arts Tournament against Piccolo Jr., the spawn/reincarnation of his last great opponent, King Piccolo. Goku faces off against Piccolo Jr. in the final round of the World Martial Arts tournament. Goku masters the art of flying and takes a surprise victory.