With the new movie Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero set to release in America on August 19, 2022, the popularity of Dragon Ball Z has not waned over the decades since its release.
A continuation of the original Dragon Ball anime, The Z saga is the largest and most popular in Goku’s storyline. With 291 episodes across five separate sagas, thirteen films, and two follow-up series that have continued the story, there is still plenty to debate about its rich and varied characters.
Vegeta Killing Nappa Was Bad
Early in the series, Goku encounters the Saiyan race, with the big reveal that he is a member of this race. After his first death and resurrection, Goku encounters Vegeta and Nappa, a team of Saiyans that gave the internet one of its best memes. After Goku defeats Nappa, Vegeta obliterates Nappa for his failure.
While this scene is meant to show Vegeta’s ruthlessness, not everyone loved it. Reddit user UmdAvatarFan states, “I hate Vegeta killing Nappa, and it’s one of the worst scenes in the entire story.” Admittedly, Nappa is a fun character, and perhaps he was killed prematurely, but it is undeniable that Vegeta killing Nappa was a shock that really set the tone about who the Prince of Saiyans really was.
Broly Is Not Interesting
Broly is a complex character in that he is presented semi-sympathetically as he is controlled by his crown fashioned by Paragus, but he is depicted as the Legendary Super Saiyan who has little control over his rage and destruction. While later appearances layer his development, his contempt for Kakarot remained a permanent trait.
Despite this, Reddit user penguintruth posits that “No version of Broly is in the least bit even a character and his popularity baffles and annoys me.” For a legendary character that is both tragic and terrifying, that is a bold opinion. Ultimately, Broly can either be seen as a sympathetic villain beholden to his upbringing, or a boring, overpowered antagonist that keeps getting beat.
Gohan’s Life Choices Are Fine
Gohan was introduced from the very beginning of Dragon Ball Z, and despite the presentation of him being a nervous, scared child that would never be intimidating to anyone, the series seems to be a setup for Gohan to do great things. Indeed, in the Cell Saga, Goku reveals Gohan to be the secret weapon that can defeat Cell.
The next phase of Gohan’s life was quite different, however. To the chagrin of many fans, Gohan did not continue to fight, but instead studied, started a family, and lived fairly peacefully. While many fans hate this, Reddit user ShatterCyst defends the arc saying, “Gohan is perfectly fine living his best life as a scholar, husba[n]d, and father. He does not like fighting and never has. Stop saying he was ‘ruined.’ “While the frustration is understandable as Gohan is presented as the next great fighter, his decision to not follow that path of life is even more powerful as he finally finds his purpose beyond the realm of fighting.
The Buu Saga Is Better Than The Cell Saga
The Cell Saga, for many, was the pinnacle of the Dragon Ball Z series. It had a culmination of the strengths of all fighters, a fantastic surprise in time-traveling Trunks, and the rise of Gohan as the supremely powerful fighter. Many fans point to this as the perfect ending to the saga, referencing the subsequent Buu saga as unnecessary and unfulfilling.
Do not pass on that sentiment to Reddit user StormpikeCommando who explains, “I dislike the Cell Saga and love the Buu Saga.” A bold statement, to be sure, but not one without foundation. The emergence of a mind-manipulating Babidi, the return of villain-turned-ally-turned-villain Vegeta, and a surprisingly powerful, if unintimidating antagonist in Majin Buu gives way to a saga that freshens up the expectations of the viewer.
Fans Tolerate Bad Writing Just Because Of Nostalgia
Many fans fondly remember some fun dialogue and epic speeches between the all training, fighting, and inter-dimensional travel. While most of the show would not be considered high art, it was entertaining and meaningful to those that grew up watching the show.
However, Reddit user EverydayGaming boldly declares, “The writing is mostly ****, but we put up with it due to pure nostalgia.” Admittedly, there are multiple Dragon Ball filler episodes and episodes where a good amount of dialogue is made up of grunts and yells during fighting. It is also true that nostalgia forgives a whole manner of errors. That being said, the Dragon Ball saga, in general, remains eminently popular, so even if there is subpar writing, it clearly does not take from the overall story.
The First Form Of Every Villain Is The Best
A well-known trope that has nearly broken the internet with how many memes it has produced, Dragon Ball Z is known for elongating showdowns between rivals with the iconic “This isn’t even my final form!”
Everyone has their own favorite villain and form, but for Reddit user THMS173, “I feel like most major villains in dragon ball had much better designs upon first appearance … I love the final forms of all the villains, but I feel the original forms are wayyy better. ” The saying goes that first impressions are the most important, and clearly the user has taken this proverb to heart.
Majin Vegeta Is Hated
Vegeta has one of the most amazing story arcs in Dragon Ball Z, starting as a mortal enemy of Goku, then a reluctant teammate, a training partner, and then a trusted and respected brother-in-arms. However, in the Buu saga, Vegeta gives in to his darker impulses and allows himself to be controlled, the Majin “M” marked on his head.
While many fans love this version, Reddit user NOTaqua admits, “I have always hated seeing Vegeta with the M on his head, since the first time it appeared while I watched the show as a kid, and continuing on to today …” This is understandable, as it began as submission to Babidi and Dabura. Even though the form eventually led to Vegeta’s Final Atonement, it began as a relapse of his former, proud, vicious persona.
Power Levels Are Important
From the first episode of Dragon Ball Z, the strongest characters were being judged by power levels. In the first few sagas, this was an important stat that helped the characters determine how well they might fare against specific enemies.
As the episodes continued and the characters got stronger and stronger, this factor seemed to be less and less important. However, Reddit user thepresidentsturtle disagrees, saying “Power levels are important.” Indeed, the power levels do help determine if an opponent should be taken seriously or not, but seeing as Goku routinely beats people at a higher power level, maybe it should be taken with a grain of salt.
Buu Is The Best Character In The Dragon Ball Series
The Buu saga leads to the end of the Z saga with the promise of a demonic being that is supremely powerful. The big reveal is one of the goofiest yet deadliest villains in the series. While later episodes chronicle the various forms of Buu, the longest exposure fans had was to the giant, baby-like Majin Buu.
That does not deter Reddit user Holiday_Structure544 from believing “Buu is the best character in DB history.” The layered storytelling and legitimately bizarre fracturing of Buu as a being is intriguing. Even so, it is a bold statement to elevate Buu’s status as the absolute best when compared to other characters like Vegeta and Piccolo, no matter how many personalities he can split into.
Super Saiyan Should Have Been The Only Transformation
The legendary Super Saiyan status was a fantastic story arc to culminate in Goku’s fight with series favorite Freiza. The dedication Goku put into training, the odds he had to overcome, and the menace he faced had a beautiful crescendo into the “I am” speech.
It is for this reason that Reddit user sboyd1989 simply states, “Super Saiyan 1 should have been the only transformation.” It had been 1000 years prior to Goku’s transformation that another Super Saiyan had arisen. Since then, 15 levels have been discovered, and all of the main Saiyans have achieved it. For such a legendary status, it does seem cheapened with the aftermath.
Next: 10 Most Likable Shounen Main Characters Ranked
Game Of Thrones’ Jon Snow Sequel Is The Wrong Stark Spinoff
About The Author