to be honest, both shows make me sick after about 100 episodes. I think naruto actually shows more promise, but since it doesnt end after around 120 episodes...it gets ridiculously drawn out. And then DBZ shouldv ended with frieza's death. Both series try to milk every penny by creating as many episodes as possible. Now i will say this, dragon ball (no Z) is better than both of them. It was a sweet and simple series that was funny and interesting, and has a very natural progression. The shows major flaws dont appear until the Z gets tagged to the end of the name.
dragon ball is the series that follows goku during his childhood up until the point where he grows up and marries chi-chi. DBZ starts when raditz comes to earth. The show doesnt explain it particularly well but from that point on, goku's team is loosely referred to as "the Z fighters".
Dragon Ball is fantastic and much better than Naruto. It's a classic adventure/action/comedy and a template for anime even to this day. The parts of the Dragon Ball manga that cover DBZ are also better, but the DBZ anime suffers greatly from loads of filler and terrible pacing. Naruto actually has similar pacing issues. I'd say the only really good arc of Naruto was near the beginning, the group's first A-ranked mission. As the series continues, there are some good moments but the pacing is terrible. I'd say it's even worse than DBZ because Naruto will shift to long flashbacks in the middle of fights, which completely breaks the tension and ruins it.
However, you should check out Dragon Ball Kai. It's a remastered version of DBZ that removes all filler and fixes the pacing so that the series follows the manga very closely. This cuts the number of episodes in half!
The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion...draws all things else to support and agree with it.--Sir Francis Bacon
I liked some of the DBZ filler (Goku + Piccolo learn to drive, Nappa and Vegeta save and then obliterate a planet). A lot of it sucked, yeah, but overall I don't get why people complain so much about the filler sometimes.
"It's like racism, except to only one person." -Todasmile Looking like a nerd is a small price to pay for ultimate power.
The filler also includes all those useless scenes where people not involved with anything going on (the frequent cuts to Kame house during the fight against the saiyans, the whole subplot with Chi-chi & co trying to get to Namek via spacecraft, Cell fighting the army, Cell fighting the football team, & tons of other stuff).
I liked some of the filler too (I thought the extended fight scenes with Vegeta in the Buu saga were all great, and at least gave him a little bit of credit as a warrior, as opposed to pretty much the entire Android/Cell saga making him look like a fool), but it isn't just particular episodes that are filler; the stuff is mixed into every episode throughout the entire series in chunks that can range from 10 or 20 seconds to several minutes. On the whole, I think the series is better off without it. I remember reading the manga for the first time just a couple of years ago, and was amazed at how much better the pacing was compared to the show.
Also, Goku & Piccolo getting licenses was just ridiculous, sorry. They can fly faster than jet fighters and lift probably hundreds of tons, and Goku can teleport on top of that. Why would they need to drive?