I've been reading comics and watching cartoons for as long as I can remember. So yeah, I know a thing or two or three.
Over the course of the Dragon Ball franchise, many allies came to join Goku on his journeys, but let's be honest here, while some were amazing additions to the team, there are plenty that fall short. So without further ado, here is my listing of every Z Fighter listed from worst to greatest.
Please keep in mind that this is 100% my opinion, and if you disagree, please, tell me why.
Hercule was introduced to us in the Cell Saga, and almost immediately became a huge joke. The crazy thing is, this guy was the World Champion at this point. He was a genuine force to be reckoned with among normal humans. But unfortunately for him, he was no match for Cell or the Z Fighters. That being said, the influence he has on the people of Earth ended up saving the universe from Buu, so he deserves a place here with the honorable mentions.
While his time onscreen (or page) was limited, there is no doubt that Goku would have never been the amazing hero that he is today were it not for this incredible old man. He proves, during the fight against the Five Warriors, that he is a capable fighter, and it begs the question how he would have done if he were still alive when the Z Fighters began to take on the forces of evil in the later arcs of the series.
Whis is a special circumstance on this list, I mean, the guy is an angel that keeps tabs on Lord Beerus. Sure, he trains Goku and Vegeta, and does participate briefly in the fight against Broly, but he never actually sides with the Z Fighters in a lasting way. This may change in the future, but for the time being, he falls to the sidelines.
Majin Buu, later going by Mister Buu, was a destructive force of nature. When he was first introduced, he wiped out most of the human population. Like, he hadn't even gone to his muscular form at this point, and he decimated the world. It took Hercule befriending him and teaching him about love (poor Bee) to reform Buu. Buu then split into two beings, one retaining the blubbery pink boi that we all know and love, and the other a gray personification of evil. After this, most of the horrendous actions committed by Buu were done when he was absorbed by the Evil Buu, so we can't really blame the big guy.
Now, Buu is one of the strongest creatures ever created, hands down. He has even shown that when push comes to shove, he can slim down and be a formidable fighter. The reason he is sitting at the bottom of this list is that Buu is the one that set Beerus off when he came to visit Earth (over a cup of pudding). Then, to really drive home how much of a useless ball of blubber he is, when Universe 7 was prepping for the Universal Tournament, Buu decided to take a nap and missed the entire thing. Thanks for nothing, Buu.
Alright, I will admit that during the first few arcs of Dragon Ball, Yamcha was a formidable fighter. His Wolf-Fang Fist was impressive, and he thrashed Goku in their first meeting. The issue we run into is that as the series progressed, he reached his limit. And he was very aware of it. By the time the Buu Saga arrived, he had retired from fighting. When asked by his friends, he admits that he knew he didn't stand a chance against them.
The sad truth of Yamcha is his ego got the better of him. Even up to the Saiyan Saga, Yamcha thought he was going to wreck shop. The sad truth of the matter is that while he did put up a good fight against the Saibamen, he was killed in arguably one of the most humiliating deaths seen on screen. It's for this reason that Yamcha falls so low on the list.
Much like Yamcha, when Chiaotzu arrived on the scene, he was not only formidable, it was downright scary to see his fighting style. While most of the other fighters we had seen up to that point used their fists or some sort of energy attacks, Chiaotzu used psychic abilities to take on his opponents. This unique fighting style brought something new to the series as a whole, and did add a sort of edge for the Z Fighters.
The unfortunate truth of the matter is that Chiaotzu peaked relatively early in his career with the team. He first appeared in the latter half of the Dragon Ball series, shortly before the major threats of King Piccolo (who killed the little guy) and Piccolo Jr. It was apparent that Chiaotzu was outmatched by the time we got to Vegeta and Nappa arriving on Earth. His major credit for the series was his suicide mission to try and blow Nappa away, but even this ultimately failed.
Yajirobe was never a major player, let's face the truth here. He showed up from time to time, usually to deliver Senzu beans to the real warriors. But when is often forgotten is during their first meeting, Goku and Yajirobe are on an even field when it comes to fighting skills. He also manages to kill one of King Piccolo's mutant children, a feat that not many can claim. He does all of this, keep in mind, without using any sort of energy attacks.
While his role in Dragon Ball Z is a bit more of a gag character, he does ultimately show up just in time to chop off Vegeta's tail, causing him to lose the ability to turn into the Oozaru. Were it not for Yajirobe's momentary courage, it is entirely possible that Vegeta would have destroyed the Goku, Gohan and Krillin.
The wise, yet perverted, old master of nearly all of the Z Fighters, Master Roshi is the O.G. fighter. He held the title of Champion from the 13th World Tournament, then reclaimed his title against Goku, who had already proven himself to be a tough opponent. While he is still, at over 300 years old, one of the strongest humans on the planet, Roshi usually opts out of the fight.
It's not until Resurrection 'F' that we get to see the old master really cut loose and show the fans that he's still got it. Watching him smash these alien invaders with his trademark staff, while going full Hulk mode was one of the most satisfying scenes in the franchise.
We've gotten through the first five Z Fighters on the list, but there are still plenty to go! I'm sure there are some things you disagree with, but that's okay! You can tell me all about it in your comments below.
To be continued in Part 2!