Ten Underrated Dragon Ball Z Characters
Ten Underrated Dragon Ball Z Characters
Dragon Ball is a story that spans over 30 years and involves tens of thousands of characters. Aside from the central character Goku, it's a tale about martial artists who just love to fight. The series shows sincere respect for mastery, and the characters use these arts to dynamically assert their identities.
Due to the nature of this series, many fans forget that it's about the characters, not the martial arts. While this may not be important to the central plot, it's important to note when and how it affected them.
We're sure you have heard of Vegeta, Goku, or Cell. Those are great characters, and the internet is full of lists about their best qualities.
Today, we will talk about those underrated characters. The ones that don't get that many lists written about them, but fans still appreciate them. We wished those characters had way more development in Dragon Ball Z.
The saddest part is that Toriyama is trying so hard to keep Tenshinhan alive when clearly losing interest in writing about him. Tenshinhan went from being Goku's rival and second-in-command to being the bald guy behind the scenes, and after his appearance, he dies in a fight with Nappa.
Tenshinhan appears in the Buu and Cell arc and is active in some scenes, but he is by no means an important figure. In Dragon Ball Super, it is even worse, as Tenshinhan is at his worst in the Tournament of Power. It is a shame that he is treated this way in the series because he was more important before.
Many people don't remember that Oolong was part of the three characters in the original Dragon Ball story. In fact, Oolong saved the world from the reigns of Pilaf and fulfilled the first wish of the Dragon Ball series. Because of that exact same reason, it is a shame what happened next. From now on, however, Oolong will remain permanently on the sidelines.
Nevertheless, it is crucial to remember where Oolong came from. Alongside the Oolong name, there is always that little distinction. Technically speaking, he was Dragon Ball's first real hero. Without him, everyone would be loyal to Emperor Pilaf.
Yamcha, Goku's first opponent and half of the series' first real martial artist, is a sympathetic character that Dragon Ball decided to torture. (Or the author chose to if you prefer it that way). The death of this character was not something you could laugh about. It's not funny. It's annoying, and it's the death of part of the longest-lived characters in the series. However, modern Dragon Ball mocked him and his character.
And that's a shame because there's a lot to love about Yamcha. He fights brilliantly, even if he doesn't win most of the fights. His perspective on martial arts is interesting. Modern DB has at least given us a baseball episode and a manga about Yamcha, both of which are great ways to homage the earliest characters in the series. It was a way to give us more of Yamcha and fans appreciated these episodes a lot.
Muten Roshi (or Master Roshi)
Yes, we are talking about Goku's first martial arts instructor: Master Roshi. He provided the central theme of "Dragon Ball," there is no story at all without the Kamehameha. Besides, Master Roshi was the one who trained Krillin and Goku at the start of the Tenkaichi Budokai arc. Master Roshi's philosophy is felt all the time, but especially at the end when Goku goes to train Uub.
The thing is, he never used his entire power until he died using Mafuba against Piccolo. In the fight with Tenshinhan, he was limited and never fought Piccolo. He officially retired after the arc we already mentioned, indicating that he had not resumed training, but at this point, we had not seen the outcome of it.
In short, his only purpose was to train Goku, and he retired shortly after. What a waste for a character like this.
Chichi has a bad reputation, but this has a reason. A lot of fans consider it difficult to like her in animation. In Toei's filler, Chichi's obnoxious behavior is often exaggerated, and if you can't laugh at the jokes, you'll probably hate every scene in which Chichi appears. But anyone who has read the manga knows that Chichi is not like that.
Sure, she's domineering, but she loves her husband and son. She is cold to his husband, but sometimes that makes it worth it. Chichi also loves Goku forever in the end. She can be arrogant at times, but that is because she loves her family. She is also a very good fighter, and it is a shame that Toriyama wasted the potential of being the only girl trained in Kame style. We love Chichi as a character, but she ended up being little more than Goku's romantic interest.
We shouldn't overlook the fact that Goku's son facing Tenshinhan in the 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai, right after fighting Tambourine after Krillin's death, makes it clear that no one is as powerful as Yajirobe. Yajirobe is so strong that he can take on Goku. When Cymbal, Piccolo Daimao's pawn, appears, Yajirobe kills him.
Another curious fact about this character is that he appears to be dead in the reality where Future Trunks comes from, but he later appears in the Zamasu arc. Fans consider this a blunder.
Throughout the series, Krill seems to be a wild card. In the end, it is not the case. Although he is often made fun of in the series, he is also treated with the respect he deserves if we talk about serious martial arts. In Tenkaichi Budokai 23rd, he clearly acknowledges Krillin's progress in martial arts and praises Krillin for being in his element.
Krillin could not follow when he rose from the dead, but he remained important until Dabura spat on him. DB Super even tries to bring Krillin back as the lead performer if there's material to beat. In the end, however, Krillin is Goku's most successful opponent. He has a daughter, a loving wife, and a good job. Life is good.
Mr. Satan is the undisputed joke character in the Dragon Ball fan community, and it makes sense. He has always been used as a cartoon character, but in the Buu arc and in the modern "Dragon Ball," that is emphasized more than the martial arts master aspect. This is also an important point.
Mr. Satan, even if he likes making jokes, is one of the more powerful surviving inhabitants on earth. No, he cannot use ki, but most people would. As far as the average person is concerned, Satan is the most powerful person in the world. He sometimes shows blatant cowardice, but he is always righteous and courageous.
Android 18 was a brilliant character, sadly underrated by Akira Toriyama. She has a steady appearance in the Cell saga. Still, she is used greatly in the first part of the Buu arc. Then, she loses importance when the 25th Tenkaichi Budokai ends. When Buu wakes up, 18 is no longer a reality.
As she fades stealthily into the background - and because she is the most important character in the series in an episode that fans dismiss - it is easy for some to forget how fascinating 18's role is when Toriyama lets her be important. She demands attention, always fights hard, and always has funny dialogues.
With the introduction of God's Ki, God of Destruction, Angel, and Super-Honshu in Dragon Ball Super, many fans believe that Goku no longer has a valid reason to fly off to train with Wu Buu. The original story clearly implies that nothing happened after the final battle with Majin Buu. Obviously, this is no longer true.
But then again, Uub is full of possibilities. He is the reincarnation of Majin Buu, but he inherits his power and fights hard with the basic Goku. In Super, Uub's reinterpretation of Goku's basic form is more impressive.
Dragon Ball was the type of series that changed lots of things in the anime world. Especially how Dragon Ball was perceived in the Americas. Some people grew up with it and that is one of the reasons Dragon Ball gained so many fans over the years.
Still, that doesn't excuse the outcome of characters that had lots of potential. We talked about Chichi, Android 18, and Uub. People that could have way more development, but they didn't. Sometimes this is not even the author's fault. Dragon Ball has lots of characters and sometimes it's not easy to keep track of all the storylines.
Either way that doesn't mean we will stop loving Dragon Ball. Fans will be fans till the end. Fans will make fanarts of Goku, Chichi and kid Gohan. Fans will buy merch of Goku statues, Dragon Ball posters, and Dragon Ball Z backpacks. We love Dragon Ball and its characters, despite certain things that could have been different.