Now that we've already covered my top ten favorite characters from "Dragonball", it's time to go over the top ten for it's most popular spin-off, "Dragonball Z." Unlike the last series which emphasized more on comedy, while remaining a lighthearted adventure story, "Dragonball Z" was a more serious and fight emphasized series. Granted, the show still kept many of it's light camp humor with the new series, but the fights that took place were far more elaborate than the previous show.
Not only that, but the story lines for this series were certainly more darker in tone than "Dragonball" ever was, and a lot more violent too. To be honest, "Dragonball Z" is one of those guilty pleasures I get out of life. Sure, the story isn't really that great, as each saga revolves around the concept of stalling the villain until Goku and/or Gohan show up to kick the bad guy's a**. However, like "Dragonball", the thing that kept me to liking "Dragonball Z" was the unique characters that were in it, and how well developed many of it's main characters were.
Of course, it also helps that I do like watching shows that feature a lot of violence to be quite honest. In real life, I've always considered myself a pacifist, as I would never hurt anyone, nor think about using violence other than as a last resort. However, a part of me still craves watching violence on TV. Maybe it has something to do with my father making me watch adult films as a child like "Terminator", "Predator" or "Heavy Metal"...or perhaps something more... To be honest, I really don't know, but "Dragonball Z" does feature a lot of fighting which satisfies my cravings; hence why "Dragonball Z" is one of my guilty pleasures to watch in life.
"Dragonball Z" pretty much takes place a few years after "Dragonball"; with Chi Chi and Goku being happily married. Goku and Chi Chi both live out their lives in the forest together, as they raise their son named Gohan. However, as luck would have it, Goku's brother, Raditz, arrives on Earth to check up on his progress of conquering the planet. But, when he learns that Goku never did, this angers Raditz into challenging both Goku and Piccolo into an epic showdown, as he kidnaps Gohan to force Goku into a fight. For those wondering why Piccolo would even want to help his arch nemesis, well lets just say that before Raditz confronted Goku that he bumped into Piccolo where the two didn't exactly hit it off very well; which led to Piccolo wanting to exact his own revenge on Raditz. Now, once sworn enemies, but they're forced to work together against a common foe this time. Unfortunately, the story doesn't end there. After Goku and Piccolo defeat Raditz together, they soon learn that there are more powerful Saiyan warriors on the way to Earth, and they'd only have a whole year to train. From here, the show pretty much delves deeper into the past origins of the characters; while shifting away from the mythological aspects of the show to explore more along the realms of science fiction meets fantasy archetypes.
Granted, there would be a lot more sagas to come in this series, with each story revolving around some villain having a strong connection to Goku. However, you can't deny how entertaining it was to watch.
For those wondering why this show was called "Dragonball Z", the dragon balls are said to magic orbs that once you collect all seven of them, then they'll grant any wish you desire; even wishing people back to life with no consequences. I only mention that, as I will be making a key point later on about this.
Thus, without further delay, I'll be naming my top ten "Dragonball Z" characters. By the way, stay tuned for part 3 of this hub series where I'll be going over my top five favorite "Dragonball GT" characters.
Goku vs. Vegeta: Round 1
As I said before, I don't know why I like this character so much. Maybe it's his child like innocence, or his passion to defend the weak and helpless. Or perhaps, it could be his eternal optimism to always find a way to win in spite of adversity; which is a very admirable trait. Or, it could be the idea that he's a light hearted wandering bad a**, who rarely boasts about how strong he is, but only cares about the well being of others....well..except maybe his own wife that he neglects throughout this series.
Not to discredit Goku, but he does often abandon her to go on various adventures throughout the series. Granted, he only does it because if he doesn't go, then the universe/Earth could end up being destroyed, but still....it must be hard on poor Chi Chi. Then again, it's not like he's neglecting her to go out to cheat on her or anything; thus, that has to count for something.
Plus, it's kind of unique to see how Goku can go from being goofy and downright stupid in one scene, then go to a serious bad a** the next the instant he sees that his friends are in danger. Not too many characters can pull that off in anime, but Goku seems to make it look easy.
Piccolo vs. Frieza
As I mentioned earlier in my hub on the original "Dragonball" series, the thing that always fascinated me about Piccolo and Goku's rivalry was the irony of it. Both were beings from another world. Piccolo came from a planet of peace, but ended up wanting to conquer the Earth. Whereas Goku, he was sent down originally enslave all of humanity, but he grew up to become the Earth's savior instead. As I said before, I'm kind of a sucker for irony, and this rivalry oozed it. However, the thing that made Piccolo even more unique in this series was that he was forced to eventually become allies with Goku. Unlike before where Piccolo was the deadliest threat that Goku ever faced, Raditz proved there were far more deadlier opponents out there; which forced the two bitter rivals to put aside their differences to protect the Earth from a common foe.
Goku being the noble warrior that he is, gave up his life to help aid Piccolo in vanquishing Raditz. Don't worry, Goku gets wished back to life a year later by the Dragon balls. However, it's during their battle they also learn of Gohan's hidden abilities as well. This forces Piccolo to train Gohan in preparation for the Saiyan's arrival; which would cause Piccolo to become sort of a second father to him as well. Needless to say, it was kind of interesting seeing Piccolo go from being arch enemies with Goku to eventually becoming friends with him, and training Goku's son as well.
Videl Finds Out Her Boyfriend Saved the World 7 Years Ago
Like Goku from the original series, I found it just as equally interesting watching Gohan grow up in this series. Whether we're talking about kid Gohan, teen Gohan, adult Gohan or whatever, the point is that he was always an interesting character. Well except for the time when Gohan decided to become a superhero called the "Great Saiyaman"......yeah...I'm not even going to go there. Anyway, unlike his father, Gohan wasn't always as noble or as brave. No, if his mom, Chi Chi, had her way, he'd go on to become some great scholar instead of a warrior like Goku. However, that never stopped Gohan from looking up to his father, as a little boy.
Unlike most of the characters, Gohan was always designed to represent the kids that watched the show frequently. He wasn't always so confident about himself, and he was very shy at the beginning of the series, yet even in the earlier episodes, you could always tell there lurked a power stronger than even his own father's abilities which only helped serve as a metaphor for how much untapped potential children often have. Needless to say, I always found Gohan to be the most relatable character on this show. Sure, he wasn't anywhere near as interesting as Piccolo or Goku, but you could always relate to his character better; which is a big thing in my book.
Goku vs. Vegeta: Round 2
Although, I'm sure I'll get some flak for not ranking Vegeta higher, as I know he's arguably one of the most popular characters on the show, and rightfully so. Unlike the other characters that seemed to have displayed some code of ethics and honor in fighting, Vegeta for the most part was fairly ruthless in combat. Not only did he show very little mercy to any of his opponents on the show, but he was always the only character that could consistently keep up with Goku in terms of abilities.
Like the rivalry between Piccolo and Goku, the rivalry that existed between Goku and Vegeta had it's own irony to it as well. According to the story line, the Saiyans are known to be an intergalactic race of warriors, who often conquer and destroy countless of planets for those that hire their services. As it turns out, the Saiyans tend to rank their soldiers by the level of ki energy they possess. Meaning, if a child is born with a fairly low ki energy level, then the child is shipped off to a planet with weaker beings comparable to the life forms on Earth. Whereas a stronger child, they're trained to take on the more challenging worlds that possess stronger life forms throughout the universe. Needless to say, Goku was one of these low level babies; thus he was shipped off to Earth, as his own race viewed him as a low level weakling.
Whereas Vegeta, he was always one of the Saiyans' most powerful warriors even at a young age. Of course, it helps that he was also the prince to a powerful Saiyan King as well. To make a long story short, Vegeta was stronger than Goku at a very early age. But as time went on, Goku always managed to defy the odds and surpass Vegeta in Ki energy; which only fueled the irony of their rivalry. To Vegeta, Goku was supposed to be an inferior warrior. A low level Saiyan, who shouldn't have ever been able to turn into a Super Saiyan before him. Yet, Goku did defy the odds to surpass him, and this only angered Vegeta bitterly. Unlike Piccolo, who eventually grew to have some sort of mutual respect for Goku early on the series, Vegeta never did until around the end of the series. Even when he became allies with Goku, he never accepted in his mind that Goku was even a match for him; in spite of recent events. Thus, it was always kind of interesting to watch Vegeta, as you never quite knew what his motives were all the time.
Future Trunks transforms into super saiyan
5. Future Trunks
Out of all the iterations of Trunks, this is probably the only one that I truly liked. Sure, the Trunks, from "Dragon Ball GT", was okay, but this is probably the best version of Trunks by far. Later in the series, Goku returns to Earth after killing off the infamous Frieza (I'll get to him later on in this hub), where he's greeted by a mysterious stranger who seems to be a Saiyan as well. This of course confuses Goku, as allegedly Vegeta, Goku and Gohan are the only known surviving Saiyan warriors at the time. However, it's later revealed that Trunks is the future son of Vegeta, as he's traveled from the future to warn Goku about an apocalyptic fate that could wipe out all of mankind.
As it turns out, the Red Ribbon Army that Goku defeated has returned to exact revenge on Goku...or at least one of it's lead scientists anyway. Dr. Gero is a scientist that used to help design the robots that Goku fought, when he took down the Red Ribbon Army back when he was a child. After that humiliation of having his androids beaten by a child, Dr. Gero created a few microscopic androids to follow Goku as he grew up. Allegedly, these androids followed him for about ten years or so to study all of Goku's abilities; while calculating exactly how much stronger he'd become over time. Although the original Dr. Gero would die before finishing his work, he was still able to implant all his memories and self consciousness into an android version of himself to finish the research; thus two powerful androids were created. Android 18 and 17 would go on to kill almost all the Z fighters (Goku and his friends), as well as most of the inhabitants on Earth; including Dr. Gero himself, as his own creations turn on him eventually. Needless to say, Gohan and Trunks are the only survivors in this apocalyptic world dominated by the destruction of these near unbeatable androids.
Unfortunately, the androids prove to even be too much for poor Gohan, as they kill him mercifully. Now outnumbered, and clearly over powered by these unstoppable machines, Trunks and his mother, Bulma, use whatever resources they have to construct a time machine. It's here that Trunks travels back in time to warn Goku about the impending future that lies ahead, as he desperately tries to alter a future reality where almost all hope seems lost.
Granted, I'll be the first to admit this plot does sound awfully familiar to the "Terminator" story line, but it's arguably one of the best sagas that the series features.
Bardock meets Goku
6. Bardock (Warning this part will contain spoilers if you want to see the animated movie, "Bardock: The Father of Goku)
For those wondering why Bardock looks so much like Goku, it's basically because he's his father. When the series hit it's peak popularity, Toriyama green lighted the idea to make a prequel animated movie to the entire "Dragonball" series. In this version, fans would be treated to seeing just how Goku's father was when he was alive. As it turns out, he wasn't some weak scientist that Vegeta made him out to be in the first saga of "Dragonball Z." No, he was actually a great warrior if anything else. Sure, he was still deemed a low level soldier by Saiyan standards, but he was remarkably skillful for a warrior. Unlike Goku who fights for the pure joy of fighting, or to defend the innocent, Bardock is portrayed as more of a cold hearted mercenary type. A man that enjoys the thrill of combat because he relished in punishing his enemies with little regard to asking why he's fighting these people to begin with.
In the movie, Bardock leads his team to take out a planet inhabited by a psychic race of beings. According to legend, if you live there long enough, you'll start to develop psychic abilities as well. Needless to say, the most powerful tyrant in the universe known only as Lord Frieza wants that planet; thus he hires Bardock and his men to conquer it for him.
In the series, Frieza is known to be the alleged emperor of the universe, as he rules most of the universe with an iron fist. He not only has the some of the deadliest warriors throughout the universe working for him, but his ki power is unmatched by any living creature known throughout the galaxy. Hell, in the series, Frieza could just look at a mountain without lifting a finger, and blow it up just by using his ki energy. If that doesn't tell you how strong he is, then I don't know what does. To make a long story short, all races throughout the galaxy are scared of Frieza; even some of the Saiyans themselves.
However, to get back to the story, Bardock is attacked by one of the surviving members of the psychic planet his crew vanquished. Sure, his crew may have finished him off, but he never intended to kill Bardock with that attack. No, he merely wanted to give Bardock the ability to see into the future, so he too can know what it's like to see the horror of a future that he's powerless to stop.
After falling unconscious, Bardock suffers from various nightmares about the future ranging anywhere from seeing his own death along with the destruction of his home planet, to seeing brief images of his son, Goku, growing up on Earth. Confused at first, Bardock ponders what this could all mean, and wonders just how much truth there is in these visions that he has. Unfortunately, Bardock soon learns that the vision of Frieza wiping out the Saiyan race is indeed a reality, as he does fear them.
According to legend, all Saiyans have the hidden ability to transform into Super Saiyans, as it was rumored throughout the universe that Super Saiyans were practically unbeatable. Upon hearing this rumor, and seeing how Bardock's low level warriors easily succeeded where his elite soldiers failed to conquer the psychic planet, Frieza soon realizes how much of a threat the Saiyans could be to his reign. After realizing that his visions were true when Frieza orchestrated an ambush on Bardock's men, he soon realizes that he must do whatever it takes to stop it. Thus, he rushes back in his spacecraft back to his home world to warn the others, as he passes his baby son's ship, as it heads to Earth. It's from here, Bardock gets even more images of Goku's future, as he ponders what it could all mean. In one vision, Goku actually talks to Bardock, as he warns him that it's not too late to be different than Frieza. Scared and confused, Bardock tries to warn his fellow Saiyan warriors, but none will listen to him. Therefore, in one last attempt to stop fate, he challenges Frieza alone. Unfortunately, he dies in his efforts, as he's clearly no match for Frieza. However before he dies, he has one last vision...of his son's future. In his vision, he realizes where he has failed, his son will succeed him. Thus, even though he dies, he knows that Goku will grow up someday to punish Frieza for all the crimes he's done.
The story of Bardock is one of redemption and tragedy. As I stated earlier, I love irony and tragedy when it's well orchestrated. Granted, I think the movie was a bit short in explaining everything, and it never shows who Goku's mom is exactly. I guess she died giving birth or something... However, the character development and tragic elements are very well played in this movie; which earns Bardock a spot into my top ten.
Mr. Satan Vs. Cell
As I was saying about the alleged apocalyptic future with the Androids earlier, Dr. Gero did have a back up plan in case his robots failed in their mission to destroy Goku and his friends. Unlike the other androids, Cell is a biological android comprised of the cells and traits of all the strongest fighters that have ever set foot on Earth. Meaning, he not only has all of Piccolo's regenerative abilities (i.e. the ability to regrow limbs), but he also possesses the power to grow stronger after each fight like a true Saiyan warrior can. Add in the fact that he's easily able to adapt to any situation, and if you blow him up, he'll constantly be able to regenerate as long as one single cell of his being survives. To say that he's hard to kill would be a tragic understatement, as Cell proved to be one of the most deadliest enemies that Goku and his friends ever faced.
However, the thing that impressed me the most about Cell is that unlike most villains of this series that usually only carry a strong connection to Goku, Cell had a connection to all the characters in this series, as his genes were compromised from all of them to create the perfect killing machine. Not only was he ruthless in his attempt to destroy all of humanity, but you can almost sense he was enjoying it on some level. It's almost as if killing others was fun for him, as he showed little mercy towards his victims. Because of all these reasons, Cell was literally one of the best villains this series ever had. It's a shame that the series didn't end after his saga, as the rest of the series kind of goes downhill after the "Cell Saga."
The Unstoppable Broly
8. Broly- The Legendary Super Saiyan
For those unfamiliar with the "Dragonball Z" movies, then I should tell you that most of them don't fall in too nicely with the continuity of the TV series. Sure, some do like "Bardock: The Father of Goku" or "History of Trunks", but most of them are stand alone adventures that will only confuse you if you try to match up where each film takes place within the normal continuity of the series. Trust me, I've tried!
In one of the movies, it was introduced that Vegeta, Goku and Gohan were not the only surviving Saiyans. As it was revealed before King Vegeta's (Vegeta's father) death at Frieza's hands, he banished one of his elite soldiers, when he refused to kill his own son. As it turns out, this soldier's son, Broly, was born with incredible amounts of power at an early age. So much power in fact that it caused him to go completely insane; a ruthless killing machine if you will. Needless to say, this caused King Vegeta to become fearful of Broly's growing power, as he was already a Super Saiyan at such a young age, and he already showed signs of a being an uncontrollable psychopath; thus he ordered for Broly's death. However, Broly's father refused, and somehow managed to create a remote electronic collar to control his son.
From here, the two go into hiding for a little over a decade, as they finally manage to trick Prince Vegeta into believing that there were more surviving Saiyans, and promised him the opportunity of rebuilding the Saiyan empire. As luck would have it, Vegeta falls for this, as it's later revealed it's a trap to unleash the psychotic Broly onto the Z fighters to exact revenge.
Out of all the villains in this series, I think Broly has arguably one of the weakest motives, as there's never really any explanation why he's so fixated on destroying Goku instead of Vegeta. Sure, there's the brief movie explanation where Broly and Goku are born together on the same day, and conveniently their beds are beside each other; where Goku's constant crying causes Broly to cry too. Needless to say, Broly still remembers this, and wants to kill Goku for making him cry too as a baby. Um...I don't know if I should just laugh about this motive, or just chalk it up to showing how utterly insane Broly is..... I'll let my readers be the judge, but I personally think he has a weak motive against Goku.
However, in spite of his weak motives, Broly is actually one of the better villains of this series. Unlike most of the other villains in this series that harbor elaborate ambitions to conquer the Earth/universe, Broly only lives to destroy everything he sees in his path. Another thing that makes him scarier is the fact that he can't be reasoned with either. Unlike the other villains that could easily be reasoned with logically, or even show signs of being scared at times, Broly never showed any other emotion outside of pure hatred; which only made him far more scarier to deal with.
Frieza pushes Goku into becoming a Super Saiyan
To be honest, I was originally going to leave Frieza out of my top ten list, as I never really liked his character at all. However, in hindsight, I think Frieza does deserve to be in this top ten list, as he was one of the show's more powerful adversaries. Therefore, he's worth mentioning here. As I mentioned earlier, Frieza is known throughout the beginning of the series as being the most powerful being in the universe. However, when rumors about a possible Super Saiyan could be born to end his reign of tyranny, he uses his ki energy to destroy them. Keeping only a handful of Saiyan warriors alive like Vegeta, Nappa, and Raditz, as he feels he can still control them easily through fear. Unaware of Goku's existence, Frieza continues his reign of terror.
To describe Frieza in a nutshell, he's basically like a bully in a lot of ways. He talks a big game, and relishes hurting those that can't fight back, or those significantly weaker than he is. Yet, when he faces a power that equals or possibly surpasses his own, he's unable to cope with it quite as easily. I think the thing that intrigues me about Frieza is that he's the ultimate bully in a lot of ways. He enjoys hurting others, but he never likes to be over powered by anyone.
In a lot of ways, this type of character archetype with the whole manifest destiny relating to Goku is a bit interesting in the series.
Hercule and Majin Buu
10. Hercule Satan
When Hercule was first introduced in the "Cell Saga", I didn't care too much for his character. Sure, I laughed when I saw him try to take on Cell, but he was more annoying if anything else. In fact, I was kind of rooting for Cell to finish him off, so I wouldn't have to put up with him again. However, I will give Mr. Satan credit for one thing, he was arguably one of the few things that was remotely interesting after the "Cell Saga."
Before I go even further on why Hercule is on this list, I'll briefly go over my thoughts on the entire series as a whole. The thing that really bothered me about the "Dragonball Z" story lines is that they were notorious for repeating themselves, as each saga revolved around the concept of "stalling the bad guy until Goku/Gohan shows up." Plus, the concept of making death seem meaningless, as they could easily wish people back to life with the Dragon Balls; only made the series worse as time went on. Granted, it worked extremely well anyway in the earlier sagas that revolved around Vegeta, Frieza, Garlic Jr. and Cell, as the character development was well thought out. Plus, each saga had a sense of urgency to it, to where it forced the viewer to question if Goku and his pals could even become strong enough to counter each new threat. In the Vegeta saga, Goku was a low level warrior since birth, so how can he possibly imagine measuring up to an elite soldier like Vegeta?
In the Frieza saga, the legends about Super Saiyans were described as more of a myth in the beginning, as even Vegeta at one point questioned if the legends were true. Which only made it that much more special when Goku finally became the first Super Saiyan warrior to make Frieza's nightmares come true.
In the Garlic Jr. saga, there was the urgency of Gohan, Piccolo and Krillin defending the Earth without Goku's help, as he was assumed dead after his fight with Frieza at this point in the series.
In the Cell and Android Saga, none of the Z fighters even knew if it was even possible to go beyond the level of a Super Saiyan to challenge these unstoppable machines; which only fueled the intensity of the series even more, as you couldn't help but wonder how our protagonists would be able to vanquish each new threat.
Unfortunately, as I said before, this is where the series started to get worse. Granted, I enjoyed watching Gohan go to high school in the later part of the series, and I must admit that his antics of trying to impress his new girlfriend, Videl, is rather charming to say the least. Plus, it's kind of funny seeing "Dragonball Z" poke fun at all the typical superhero cliches with Gohan becoming "The Great Saiyaman." Don't ask. Then we get to the two new characters, kid Trunks and Goten (Gohan's younger brother, as it's explained that Goku impregnates Chi Chi before he dies again fighting Cell). To make a long story short, both new characters are annoying as sin. Granted, they're only children, but these kids are just freaking obnoxious and arrogant that it almost sickens me. Seriously, I remember earlier in the series that it was hard for Saiyans to even reach the level of Super Saiyan, but kid Trunks and Goten do it with ease. Gee, talk about killing the concept of how hard it is to achieve such a level.
Then we get to the whole Majin Buu saga, which only sickens me more. Not only did this series get utterly confusing as hell at this point, but it also felt like the entire series was being written by five year old kids randomly making crap up as they went along. Seriously, as I mentioned earlier, there was always a sense of urgency in each of the previous sagas that you could easily over look some of the obvious flaws in it's many story lines. But, when it came to the Buu Saga,....things really started to get stupid. Not only did the concept of Super Saiyan 2 go out the window, where it used to be deemed almost damn near impossible to achieve, but they don't even try to build up to anything when Goku reaches Super Saiyan 3 level. Say what? Indeed, Goku somehow managed to train in the after life to achieve Super Saiyan 3. Oh by the way, it turns out you don't need to be wished back to life anymore to return to Earth, as the guardian of the after life just lets Goku come back because of all the good deeds he's done over the years. Gee, I wonder if this means that people like Gandhi should be given the same privilege.
From here, Majin Buu eventually decides to become a good guy because of Hercule's friendship, but when Buu's puppy dies, he literally splits into two Buus. One evil, and the other good. They fight, and somehow after evil Buu absorbs good Buu that he becomes stronger. Although logically, one would have to think that would be impossible...but as I said before, the story board artists seem to be making up random crap at this point.
From there, Buu becomes Super Buu. Gohan meets the Supreme Kai, who is essentially god in this universe, but for some reason he's not strong enough to handle Buu on his own. Gee, you helped create the universe, but you can't destroy Super Buu? Yeah.... Anyway, to get back to the story, Supreme Kai unlocks Gohan's hidden powers to turn him into Ultimate Gohan, and Goku teaches Goten and Trunks how to use the fusion technique. For those wondering what that is, the fusion technique allows two warriors of equal size to join together as one being for a period of thirty minutes. Long story short, Super Buu ends up absorbing Ultimate Gohan and Gotenks (the combined form of Trunks and Goten), as he becomes stronger. Somehow the Z fighters manage to get their comrades back, as one would think that separating them from Buu would weaken him..right? Wrong. No, he turns into Kid Buu, a psychotic killing machine with little to no mercy. Not only is Kid Buu allegedly the strongest form of Buu, but he's still weak enough to where Super Saiyan 3 Goku can hurt him; even though they clearly made it obvious earlier in the series that Majin Buu was still stronger than Super Saiyan 3 Goku, yet he's somehow Kid Buu's equal? Um...I'm sorry...but the writers for this series must've been on crack or something at this point, as none of it really made a lot of sense. Plus, there was never any real sense of urgency in the Buu Saga, as there used to be a defined set of rules to this universe. Sure, "Dragonball Z" never had the greatest story lines, but it certainly offered deep character development, and the moves they did make would always fall within the realms of the rules that were established. In the Buu Saga, it seemed all those limitations and boundaries were tossed out the window, as it seems like the writers were making random crap up as they went along at this point. In fact, I almost lost interest in this series entirely because of all this...but this is where Hercule comes in.
Not only did he provide a great amount of comic relief in the Buu Saga, but he was arguably the only redeeming character in this one as well. The irony of the world thinking that he's the hero that defeated Cell, but he's really a wimp is just priceless. If it wasn't for Hercule, then I think it's safe to say that I never would've kept watching the series until the very end.
Videl: Firstly, I'd like to thank Evvy_09, for suggesting this character, as I can't believe I forgot about her when constructing this hub. As most DBZ fans now, Videl becomes Gohan's high school girlfriend, and eventual wife someday. Although she does later become a sidekick to Gohan's superhero alter ego, "The Great Sayaman", she was actually already a hero in her own right. Skipping classes to rescue the city from various threats like bank robbers and other threats that one wouldn't expect a high school girl to handle. Indeed, even before Gohan taught her how to use her powers, she was still very formidable.
Sadly, she quickly became an afterthought like Android 18 did once the Buu saga started. Seriously, why couldn't she get a bigger role in this saga? Oh well. It's because of this lack of exposure during the Buu saga, I'm afraid her father Hercule has edged her out just slightly out of the top ten.
Krillin: As I said before, I never liked Krillin for some reason. Sure, he was a nice guy, and I always appreciated how much comedy relief he brought to the series, but he was always in the way, and his constant whining would get annoying sometimes.
Android 18: After the Cell Saga, she becomes a good guy, and marries Krillin. Unfortunately, she becomes a bit of an after thought moving forward; which is really a shame, as I always felt that "Dragonball Z" lacked the presence of strong female characters. Sure, there was Bulma and Chi Chi, but they were mere after thoughts too in "Dragon Ball Z." Chi Chi was portrayed as the nagging housewife, and Bulma was rarely seen after the "Frieza Saga." Therefore, I was kind of hoping that Android 18 would get a larger role in the series once Cell was defeated, but it never happened. Kind of disappointing if you ask me.
Android 17: At first, I viewed his character as a rebel without a cause. However, after the Cell Saga, and he's brought back to life, he suddenly decides to be....good?!? Granted, you can say the same thing about 18, but at least, she has love as an excuse to change. What does 17 have? Are the writers of this show trying to say that 17's near death experience changes him? I can't imagine why, as they almost make the concept of death laughable in the later part of the series. Plus, why would you want to wish someone that tried to kill you back to life? That honestly makes no sense.
Pikkon: Let's face it, no matter how you want to look at things....Pikkon is still a generic rip off of Piccolo. Granted, he doesn't share the same dark past that Piccolo once had, but his attitude and even his costume is too eerily similar. If anything, I tend to wonder if the writers ran out of ideas for new characters at this point when they created Pikkon.
Cooler: To be honest, I was sorely tempted to put him into my top ten over Frieza, but the thing that bumped him off was that his motives and appeal are really an extension of why Frieza was such a great character. Both are essentially bullies that relish in dominating opponents weaker than themselves, but can barely handle a fight where the odds are even; thus he was bumped down. However, he is still a great character archetype, as his quest to avenge a brother out of honor is a very interesting story line to follow.
Kid Buu, Super Buu, Majin Buu or whatever: Great character, but the lead up to his character, and mediocre story line involving him are so weak that it kills most of his credibility to be listed in the top ten. Although, he's a great character to use in the "Dragon Ball Z" fighting games, as he's not only strong, but fast too. Just free advice to all gamers out there.
Ginyu Force: Um.....let me put it to you this way...if you saw a bunch of muscle dudes doing poses that you'd normally see in a gay pride parade, then would you take them seriously if they acted tough? If you said no, then I'd have to agree with you a hundred percent.
Garlic Jr.: Although I think Garlic Jr. was probably one of the more interesting villains in "Dragonball Z", but he never really seemed like much of a threat. Sure, he seemed tough in the Dragon Ball Z movie, "Dead Zone", but when he came back in the series, he didn't really come off as menacing. Granted, the saga did provide a strong character build up, and showed a strong sense of urgency, as it forced the fans to question if the Z fighters could survive without Goku saving the day for them. Other than that, I only wished the epic showdown between Gohan and Garlic Jr. would've been just as intense.
Every other character that was featured in all the movies, and TV series: To be honest, I could probably write an entire hub on all the notables, as "Dragonball Z" had a lot of characters. However, to keep this hub sweet and direct to the point, I'm just going to say that outside of the characters already mentioned, the other ones never really stood out much to me. Sure, they all had their moments, and fulfilled their purposes well. However, most of them weren't really as interesting, or as innovative as the other characters mentioned.
Steven Daniels (author) on June 28, 2012:
yeah i don't disagree. i think the only flaw in dbz is that there never was much use of strong female characters it always seemed like.
MurrayClayton on June 27, 2012:
I really wish #18 was explored more.... her fight with Super 17 was probably the only time she had the spotlight as a powerful fighter... but of course the fight was interrupted
Steven Daniels (author) on June 20, 2012:
Jhudah on June 20, 2012:
great hub about Dragon Ball Z characters. I remember my childhood days and my favorite is Piccolo. haha. Cha La head cha la!
Steven Daniels (author) on May 10, 2012:
Well to each their own. Thanks for stopping by, as im glad you liked the hub. :)
Nightmarephantom from Columbia, MD on May 10, 2012:
Great hub! Personally I would probably put future Trunks higher, but that's just me! Loved it!
Steven Daniels (author) on March 08, 2012:
Well, I guess everyone has an opinion on that. Personally, I would've been content if they stopped at the Cell Saga, or the Frieza Saga, as previously planned, since it seemed like the series went down hill from there. However, to each their own though, but I do agree with you that it really was quite an awesome series to get into. anyway, thanks for stopping by bella.
bella on March 08, 2012:
who would block dbz out that just???? i mean dbz is the greastess in the world
bella on March 08, 2012:
gohan is so great!!! i wonder why they stop at super sayian 2 for gohan why not go up to super sayain 5 i mean guess how great that will be!!! everyone would watch the show a thousand times!!!!!
Steven Daniels (author) on February 21, 2012:
lol. Yeah, that was pretty funny.
Nickalooch from Columbia, MD on February 21, 2012:
I love the ending, "You...." pointing at Goku
Steven Daniels (author) on February 21, 2012:
lol. Wow, that's very funny, as that would explain why Vegeta is obsessed with Goku. lol. thanks for the link.
Nickalooch from Columbia, MD on February 21, 2012:
I have been watching a lot of videos on youtube just randomly of Dragonball Z.
And since you did this Hub... i thought this video was fitting. I hope you enjoy.
Steven Daniels (author) on February 20, 2012:
lol. fair enough. Well thanks for stopping by again to share your thoughts with us. :)
Steven Daniels (author) on February 20, 2012:
lol. You know I noticed that too in the series, as I was a bit disappointed that Android 18 didn't play a bigger role in the Bu Saga, as she would've been a helluva a lot more useful than Krillin. Oh well. At least, she plays a huge role in one of the sagas in Dragonball GT if that counts for anything; even though that was a bad series. Anyway, thanks for stopping by emie to share your thoughts with us, as it's always a pleasure seeing you. :)
Nickalooch from Columbia, MD on January 28, 2012:
The whole Mystic Gohan thing had potential but was pathetic at the end of it all. I can't say to much about the story because like I said, I've blocked it out.
emievil from Philippines on January 28, 2012:
Well, I certainly didn't expect that you would write about Dragon Ball and DBZ but I guess with the wide variety of movies / shows you cover, you will definitely cover this one too. Love this series but, unfortunately, I wasn't able to follow it. I certainly didn't know that there's are stories about Goku's father and Broly. One thing I did notice about this series is that the women are always in the back seat, even Krillin's wife who was a powerful warrior when she was still bad. Do I sense some sort of discrimination from the creators of this series? :)
Steven Daniels (author) on January 27, 2012:
Yeah, I don't disagree. I think the series would've been better off ending at the Cell Saga, and I also agree that was arguably the best one because it was the only that truly utilized all the characters. Unfortunately, the Buu Saga was just a cluttered mess if you ask me, as the story was all over the place, and a lot of it lacked a lot of logic. Not saying that the past sagas didn't have inconsistencies, but the Buu one had the most by far.
Nickalooch from Columbia, MD on January 27, 2012:
I liked Vegeta going bad as Majin Vegeta, but Super Saiyan 3? Come on. In my eyes, the Buu Saga does not exist lol. I liked aspects of it like you said but a good portion of it was crap. Cell Saga was by far my favorite. It made sense for that to be the ending as Goku had someone then to pass the torch to. Don't want to give anything away as to who. Plus with what Vegeta said at the end of it.
Steven Daniels (author) on January 27, 2012:
Thanks. I'm glad you liked the hub. :)
rob_allen from MNL, PH on January 27, 2012:
WHoa! you must be a big fan of the DrangonBall series. BTW, i love this hub, this is like a preview of my childhood days. I used to watch Dragonball when I was a kid. :))
Steven Daniels (author) on January 27, 2012:
You know I heard about that too. Plus, I also heard that supposedly the "Frieza" saga was originally supposed to be the last saga in the series, as Toriyama's original vision was to have Goku die being the only super saiyan. However, the animation studio was making way more money than they expected, so they coerced him into making more episodes beyond that. Maybe after the Cell Saga, they coerced him again to make even more. lol.
I thought the Buu saga was kind of stupid as well, as it seemed like the writers were making up random crap as they went along. Don't get me wrong, the Buu Saga did have it's moments, but I think it would've been better off if they had stopped at the Cell one or Frieza one if you ask me.
Nickalooch from Columbia, MD on January 27, 2012:
I personally liked Frieza just because of the effect he had on the main characters. I hated the Buu saga and I recently found out that the series was supposed to end after the Cell saga. That's why Vegeta's speech at the end of the Buu saga and Cell saga are so similar.
Steven Daniels (author) on January 12, 2012:
Umm...thanks for sharing your input, but I already knew that. Plus, I didn't want to give too much away of the series, as this statement implies the exact same thing you just said:
"Somehow the Z fighters manage to get their comrades back, as one would think that separating them from Buu would weaken him..right? Wrong. No, he turns into Kid Buu, a psychotic killing machine with little to no mercy. Not only is Kid Buu allegedly the strongest form of Buu, but he's still weak enough to where Super Saiyan 3 Goku can hurt him; even though they clearly made it obvious earlier in the series that Majin Buu was still stronger than Super Saiyan 3 Goku, yet he's somehow Kid Buu's equal?"
As a writer, you have to know how much of the show's plot to give away, and how much not to give away for readers that may decide to watch the series for themselves.
Gotenrulz on January 12, 2012:
Super buu became kid buu when vegetal ripped fat buu from him and fat buu had absorbed the Kai guy making him a little good so when vegeta took fat buu buu becomes his most evil form .... Kid buu
Steven Daniels (author) on December 30, 2011:
I don't disagree with you there at all, as it's definitely obvious that he got significantly weaker after the Cell Saga. Heck, I'm willing to bet his daughter Pan is probably stronger than he is by the time the series got to GT. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us alex. :)
Alex on December 22, 2011:
Teen Gohan I found to be more powerful in the cell games than in the buu saga, even when old Kai powered him up
Steven Daniels (author) on October 16, 2011:
Your welcome buddy, and thank you for inspiring me to finally get around to reviewing "Boy in the Striped Pajamas", as it's definitely one of the best dramas that I've seen in years. :)
Hmm...You do make a very good point about Videl, as I can't believe I missed her on this list. I'll definitely be sure to put her in as one of the main notables then. Thanks for the suggestion, and for visiting me. :)
Your welcome, and thanks for reading my hub again. :)
Stephanie Bradberry from New Jersey on August 29, 2011:
While I like your reasoning for Vegeta, I still like Trunks more. Thanks for the detailed response!
evvy_09 from Athens, AL on August 26, 2011:
Great hub, I love Dragonball Z. I always felt the show didn't do enough for the strong women characters. I love Videl, Andriod 18, Bulma and even Chichi. Videl, especially was a hero even before she developed any super powers.
Future Trunks and Vegeta were probably the most interesting characters to watch, followed by Gohan and Piccolo.
Piccolo training and learning to care about young Gohan was awesome too. I really can't decide which of the four was better.
The Reminder from Canada on August 25, 2011:
Good. Dragonball has come a long way since I last read the books. So many characters are unfamiliar to me. Thanks for the good memories Stevennix.
Steven Daniels (author) on August 24, 2011:
@stephanie b crosby
Well I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that. Don't get me wrong, I liked Android 18 too, but she was rarely in the series after the Cell Saga that it was kind of disappointing to me. As far as Trunks goes, I was originally tempted to put him ahead of Vegeta. However, Vegeta is more popular, and he's one of the only few characters that manages to always be Goku's equal in terms of strength, so I had to move Trunks down.
However, it could've gone either way, as I think both Vegeta and Trunks are interesting characters. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Stephanie, and for stopping by to read my hub. :)
Steven Daniels (author) on August 24, 2011:
Well thanks wattapad for sharing your thoughts with us, and reading my hub. you'll definitely have to give me a link to your hub whenever you publish it, as I'd love to read your thoughts on the show in more detail. :) As far as Dragonball GT goes, I agree with you one hundred percent. I honestly didn't like the idea that they turned Goku into a kid again, and I personally think the series should've ended after the Cell Saga. At least in my opinion anyway.
As for you being Goku's wife, I guess that explains everything then. lol. Besides, who could resist a lovely girl such as yourself? ;)
Anyway, thanks for stopping by again, and I'll be sure to look for your hub on DBZ whenever you publish it. :)
Stephanie Bradberry from New Jersey on August 24, 2011:
I loved this hub. I would put future Trunks one spot higher and put Android 18 on the top ten list.
Voted up. It's useful, awesome, and interesting.
WattpadHelp from Richmond, VA, USA on August 24, 2011:
HOW EXTENSIVE! Even if I didn't know what Dragon Ball Z was, this is such an awesome hub!
Now for my DBZ fan review (lol):
I have loved DB since it first came on television for the first time in the USA, when I was only 9 years old. I'm 25 and I STILL love the DB series, (though I think we all would have been better off if they hadn't have made DB-GT the way that they did smh). I am a HUGE DB fan... but I would have to say my favs in the DBZ series, at least the top 5: Goku, Future Trunks, Gohan, Videl, Vegeta... I can tell that this would be a long comment lol so I'm going to stop right there... I may just make my own hub on my other HubPages account.
**Oh, Voted Up, useful, funny, and awesome!!! I'm going to follow you too, any lover of the DB series is a friend of mines!**
** Also, in my husband's (Goku) defense, he wasn't with Chi Chi cause he was with me lol**