Dragon Ball Scholar

Derek Padula is the Dragon Ball Scholar. He is an independent scholar who writes non-fiction books and articles about the culture, history, and fandom of the world’s most-recognized anime and manga.

He has sold over 23,500 books and has millions of readers of his website, established in 2007.

A Light of Hope

Derek is the screenplay writer and co-creator of Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope, the live-action Dragon Ball Z web-series that went viral and gave hope to over 30 million fans.

Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope - written by Derek Padula

“Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope was awesome! Excellent work, Derek. It’s what Dragonball Evolution should have been. … Give that guy a budget and turn him loose.”
– Ben Ramsey, Writer of Dragonball Evolution

If you are an agent or film maker interested in a live-action adaptation of Dragon Ball and would like to read a completed screenplay, please contact Derek today.

Press Coverage

Movie Pilot, Kotaku, Anime News Network, Crunchy Roll, Reddit/r/dbz, and Uproxx.

“Finally, the live-action Dragon Ball Z we deserve!”

Praise for his Books

Masako Nozawa holds a signed copy of 'It's Over 9,000!'

Masako Nozawa holds a copy of ‘It’s Over 9,000!’ signed by the Japanese and English voice actors of Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection of ‘F’

“A true masterpiece. Highly recommended!”

“Essential reading for Dragon Ball fans.”

“The incredible insights will change the way you view the show forever.”

“For Dragon Ball fans who think they know everything.”

Upcoming Conventions

derek padula dragon ball audience at kamehacon

Grand Rapids Comic Geek Out, mid-July, 2024

Dragon Ball is Just Super!
Moderated by Derek Padula.
“Caitlin Glass (Vados) and Jason Liebrecht (Champa) discuss the long running series, their characters’ relationship in Dragon Ball Super, and what this incantation has to offer to the franchise as a whole.”–>

Derek Padula author photograph

Contact Derek Padula

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Amazon Author Page


Amazon Influencer List

“Praise Kami-sama (or perhaps Shenron) for giving us Derek Padula.” MangaTherapy.com

“Padula has earned the respect of all the fans in the world, and his work is considered academic.” RPP Noticias

“Thanks to the work of Derek Padula, the famous academic of Dragon Ball, fans of the franchise will discover new horizons they had never been able to imagine.” Hobby Consolas


Geekdom101, El Comercio (Spanish)(English), MistareFusion, PopAnimeComics, Real Gamer Newz, The CJK Workshop (podcast), G33king Out, The Midnight Wire, Film Combat Syndicate, Dragon-Ball-Z.net, The New School University, Anime3000 radio (podcast), The Collegiate, and TheThunderChild.

Writing and Development Credits


Video Game Development

Game Music Production


  • Published 9 books about Dragon Ball
  • Received an apology from the writer of Dragonball Evolution
  • Wrote and co-created the first successful live-action Dragon Ball Z
  • Interviewed over 30 official Dragon Ball writers, editors, composers, voice actors, and producers
  • Discovered lost Dragon Ball lore
  • Translated lost Akira Toriyama manga from Japanese
  • Presented Dragon Ball’s culture at comic and anime conventions
  • Received forewords to books from official Dragon Ball voice actors
  • Edited and published the Dragon Ball Zeroverse manga
  • Edited and published the Dragon Ball New Age manga
  • Served as consultant for the Goku Vs. Superman DEATH BATTLE
  • Over 75,000 followers
  • Quoted on NFL.com in an article about anime-loving football players.

About Derek Padula

masako nozawa derek padula toshio furukawa animazement 2013

Masako Nozawa and Toshio Furukawa, voices of Goku and Piccolo, with Derek

is the world’s first professional Dragon Ball scholar. He is the author of The Dao of Dragon Ball website, book series, Dragon Soul: 30 Years of Dragon Ball Fandom, and the #1 best-selling Dragon Ball Z “It’s Over 9,000!” When Worldviews Collide.

He has written about the culture and philosophy of Dragon Ball since 2003, and is an expert on Dragon Ball, martial arts, and philosophy. He has a B.A. in East Asian Studies and Chinese language from Western Michigan University. He is a former Shaolin Gong Fu instructor.

Derek has been described by his fans as, “a 21st century J.R.R. Tolkien of DBZ, and a man of honor and integrity.”

“Derek has written multiple books on the Dragon Ball universe and is considered an expert on that franchise and anime in general.” Grand Rapids Comic-Con


MetroUK: Consulted as an expert on Dragon Ball’s positive influence on the world and its enduring legacy after Akira Toriyama’s death.

Polygon: Consulted as expert on the history and context of Super Saiyan 5 and Dragon Ball AF.

Anime Impact: Wrote 4 chapters in this book about the 100 most meaningful anime. This includes Dragon Ball, Gundam, Pokemon, and Outlaw Star. Published April 15, 2018.

How Dragon Ball Inspired a Religious Movement: Interviewed with MEL Magazine for a story on Gokuism and The Church of Goku.

Ulyces: Consulted as expert on Dragon Ball and Akira Toriyama, for French magazine.

Shadowland Magazine: Wrote an article for this horror in cinema magazine titled Cell: The Perfect Monster.

Bleacher Report: Wrote an article on Mixed Martial Artist Marcus Brimage giving credit to Dragon Ball Z for his career choice


Derek is available as an expert on Dragon Ball and East Asian pop culture.

He has given seminars at anime conventions across the United States, and is available for presentations across the world.

  • Dragon Ball Culture 101
  • Dragon Ball Fashion
  • Dragon Ball Food
  • Dragon Ball Martial Arts
  • Dragon Ball’s 7 Religions
  • Dragon Ball Spirituality
  • Dragon Ball’s Truth and Wisdom
  • Goku’s Hungry: The Food of Dragon Ball
  • How to Name Your Comic Book Characters, Dragon Ball Style
  • The Dragon World
  • The Way of Goku

Invite Derek to your convention.

Derek is represented by Guest Relation Guy.


Are you working on a Dragon Ball project? Do you need the help of an expert? Then hire me as your Dragon Ball consultant!

Scholar IDs

ISNI: 0000-0003-7786-4037

ORCID: 0000-0003-4862-3728

VIAF: 254643327