Needless to say, Dragon Ball has been in the mainstream for ages though the series has finished. When I was a kid, it was already that popular among shounen manga fans. Well at that time, speaking of the mainstream anime series, I can think of Saint Seiya[聖闘士星矢], Kin-niku man[キン肉マン], City Hunter[シティーハンター], or Fist of Northern Star[北斗の拳]. Oops, you already figured out my age? Anyway, I must say Drangon Ball had been at the top for a long long time…The main theme of this anime is, as you know, adventure, dream, and friendship. Goku quests the world to find out the seven Dragon Balls in the sake of somebody or for the certain purpose with his fellows. On the points of his journey, he encounters a lot of enemies who are basically stronger than him. He stands up to the enemy with his fellows, defeats it, and thankfully the enemy is to be Goku’s new fellow. In this way, he has actually got a lot of fellows Oolong, Yamcha, Kuririn, Tenshinhan, Majunior, or Vegeta…Even though they show up as Goku’s enemy, they shall be friends with him after the duel…
Yes, same goes to any other shounen anime. Look at One Piece, it’s a perfect example,isn’t it? A young boy Luffy starts his voyage, and meets people who are going to be his fellows. Even if the person is supposed to fight against Luffy, he would end up following after the battle. This is what’s called, ドラゴンボール現象[Dragon Ball genshou]. Genshou means a phoenomenon. If you look at any adventure anime, you might know the story goes like this rule-of-thumb.
Having said that, above is only one definition of this term. Actually there’s one more…what’s that? If the anime is too popular to end, watch out, this phoenomenon is happening. Actually Dragon Ball was supposed to end when Goku defeated Majunior, however, Goku’s elder brother showed up as a new enemy from all the way his mother planet. I still remember Kamesen-nin said もうちっとだけ続くんじゃ[it will last a bit more] at the very end of the last episode[when Goku defeated Majunior]. A bit more? How many years did it take?? In this way, whether the author wants to finish doesn’t matter so long as fans want to see. Yes, in other words, it has to last, shouldn’t end. Even if the author has no plot, it would be okay. His staff can create a new story so that the series never ends. Speaking of such a never-ending-anime series, I can think of D.C[ダ・カーポ], Sazae-san[サザエさん], or Kitarou[ゲゲゲの鬼太郎]. Well, Kitarou could be. That’s the series which has been re-created again and again. In that case, Toki wo kakeru shoujo[時をかける少女] could be as well.
One more thing, there’s the way you can check this is happening to the anime you are watching. If the story goes on so slowly, or doesn’t carry on at all, watch out, the author is still making a story. If the anime is based on the manga, the anime should basically follows it. The manga comes first, and next is the anime. Come to think of it, this used to happen when I watched Dragon Ball. One punch took 30 minutes, and two kicks took two episodes. In Captain Tsubasa, it takes at least 5 minutes from Tsubasa shoots at goal to the ball reaches. Ugh, how come no one can blocks?