Sand Land Dragon Ball Featured(1)

Is Sand Land Connected to Dragon Ball? – Answered

Same faces but fundamentally different

The upcoming action RPG SAND LAND is one of the last works left to us by Akira Toriyama, bearing its easily recognizable art style as proof. But when it comes to its story, will it have anything to do with Toriyama’s most famous piece of work Dragon Ball?

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Is Sand Land’s History Connected to Dragon Ball?

Despite the many (intentional) similarities, SAND LAND has nothing to do with the Dragon Ball universe. As just mentioned above, the only thing both have in common is having the same person as a character designer, and Toriyama was well-known for having his art style close to his chest and never changing it, no matter which work he worked on.

Aside from Dragon Ball, Toriyama has also worked on different series such as Dr. Slump. When speaking of Video Games, his most notable works are the Dragon Quest series and Chrono Trigger. All of these works are very similar visually speaking, with an emphasis on spiky-haired characters, anthropomorphized characters, and almost identical facial features between the cast.

  • Sand Land Dragon Ball Lucifer
  • Sand Land Dragon Ball Dabura

The most similar face we see is Lucifer, father to protagonist Beelzebub. Despite being nearly identical to Dragon Ball Z villain Dabura, this is a whole new character on its own which carries nothing from its Babidi-controlled counterpart other than very similar looks. His horns are different from Dabura’s too, although both carry out the same role as a Demon Lord in their own worlds. Can’t let a good design go to waste, I guess.

But while it may seem identical at first glance, each of his works featured unique characteristics that made each of them somewhat distinct, something that helped cement his style as iconic in the first place. In addition to that, none of his works has any direct connection whatsoever with each other, aside from occasional crossovers (usually between Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump).

And it’s no different with SAND LAND. Despite seeing many similar robot/vehicle designs to those we’ve seen in Dragon Ball, or even dinosaurs that could easily fit in a filler episode, that’s all a stylistic choice and nothing more. Don’t expect Goku to pop up on your screen asking for a fight. I mean, not until people inevitably mod him in, of course.

You might see a more direct reference to Dragon Ball or other series at some point, but there’s nothing out of the ordinary here. SAND LAND is its own universe and was originally a one-shot manga by Toriyama, so take this chance to pay your final respects to one of the most talented creators in the last few years as many people worldwide have done back in March 2024.


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Author
Patrick Souza
Patrick has been working for Prima since 2022 and joined as a Staff Writer in 2023. He's been interested in gaming journalism since college, and that was the path he took once he had his degree in hands. Diligently ignores his ever-growing backlog to keep raiding in Final Fantasy XIV, exploring in Genshin Impact or replaying some of his favorite RPGs from time to time. Loves tackling hard challenges in games, but his cats are still the hardest bosses he could ask for.