Shenron or Shen Long is the magical dragon that appears to grant a wish when the seven Dragon Balls are gathered. Like the Dragon Balls, he was created by the Almighty.
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Shenron looks like a classic dragon from Chinese mythology. It has two antler-like horns, sharp teeth, green scales, red eyes and a long snake-like body. In Asian culture, this type of dragon is generally beneficial and sacred. Unlike dragons from Western cultures, Shenron does not have wings, but it can still fly. He can be impatient at times.
Shenron can be summoned when the Dragon Balls of the Earth are gathered. He can then grant any wish, as long as it does not require a power superior to his creator, the Almighty. According to Son Goku, Shenron cannot (or will not) grant the same wish twice. For example, it is impossible to resurrect the same person twice. After being used, the Dragon Balls become simple stones for one year. It is then impossible to summon Shenron during this time.
In Dragon Ball GT, the Shenron of the Black Star Dragon Balls is red, unlike the original Shenron which is green. Unlike Polunga, the sacred dragon of Namek, Shenron can only grant one wish. However, when Dende becomes the new guardian of the Earth, he will give Shenron more power, increasing the maximum number of wishes to three (two if many people need to be resurrected at once).
Shenron can bring several people back to life at once. In order for someone to be resurrected, they must have died less than a year ago, of unnatural causes, and have never been brought back to life before. Dragon Balls are therefore often used to bring back the victims of enemies like Piccolo Daimao, Freezer or Cell.
Dragon BallShenron is summoned for the first time in the series by Pilaf and his gang. Pilaf steals the Dragon Balls of Goku and his friends to ask the dragon to make him the master of the world, and rule as a tyrant. However, Oolong interrupts Pilaf before he can make his wish, and asks the dragon to give him a pair of panties. With Oolong's wish granted, Shenron retreats and the Dragon Balls scatter across the planet.
Later, in the saga of Baba the Seer, Goku summons Shenron in order to resurrect Bola, Upa's father, killed by the Red Ribbon army.
In the saga of Piccolo Daimao, the latter uses the Dragon Balls to regain his youth, then kills Shenron before the balls are dispersed, in order that nobody uses them against him. However, after his defeat, the Almighty resurrects Shenron as a special reward for Goku's victory against Piccolo. He had originally planned not to recreate Shenron, as the Dragon Balls were causing Men to commit terrible acts and act out of selfishness, but Goku's desire to bring back his friends and his innocence made him change his mind.
Dragon Ball Z
One year after his death against Raditz, Goku is brought back to life by Shenron in order to fight the Saiyan Nappa and Vegeta. Shortly after, the Dragon Balls are deactivated: being linked to each other, Piccolo's death will lead to the death of the Almighty and the disappearance of the Dragon Balls. The Dragon Balls will work again when Son Gohan and Kuririn bring Piccolo back to life with the balls of Namek. Shenron will later resurrect all the victims of Freezer and his men.
A few years later, the Dragon Balls are deactivated because of the fusion of Piccolo and the Almighty. Dende is then appointed as the new guardian of the Earth, and improves the Dragon Balls: Shenron is now able to grant three wishes. However, Dende's power is limited, so Shenron can only grant two wishes if one of them involves the resurrection of a large number of people. Wishes can also be saved for the next summoning: in this case, the Dragon Balls scatter around the world as usual, but they only become stones for a few months, after which Shenron can be summoned again to fulfill the remaining wishes. The balls then become stones for a year.
In Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, Shenron is terrified to meet Beerus, the God of Destruction. This may mean that he possesses at least some of the knowledge of his creator, the Almighty.
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