Top Five Dragon Ball GT characters
Now that we've covered both "Dragonball" and "Dragonball Z", it's time to go over my top five favorite characters of "Dragonball GT." Why only five? Well, unlike the last two series, there really aren't too many characters that I liked in this one, as most of the Z fighters have pretty much given up on fighting since the Buu Saga ended. And to make matters worse, most of the characters they introduce into GT are mostly generic knock offs of other characters that were created in the earlier series. But to be fair, "Dragonball GT" did have it's moments though, but those moments were far few and between. Yet, they're still worth mentioning anyway.
For those who're unfamiliar with this series, "Dragonball GT" essentially takes place about ten years after "Dragonball Z" ends, where Goku is busy training Uub to become the Earth's new champion on Kami's look out. However, one of Goku's nemesis from "Dragonball" returns to steal the black star Dragonballs this time to take over the universe. Apparently, Kami wasn't satisfied when he created the original dragonballs, so he creates the black star Dragonballs because.....well...he just can... Anyway, the black star dragonballs essentially work the same way. You gather all seven, and you make a wish for anything you want. Only three main differences. One, you can't undo the wish with the regular Dragonballs, as only the black star dragonballs can undo it's own wishes. Once the black stars dragonballs are used, they don't scatter across the Earth like the normal ones. No, they scatter across the entire universe instead. Gee, what luck. Why did Kami create these things again? Oh yeah, he just can! Oh, and once the black star dragonballs scatter, if the protagonists are unable to gather them back on the planet the wish was made within a year.....then the planet blows up. Again, I have to question Kami's logic for creating these things, but he just can!
To get back to the story, it turns out Emperor Pilaf and his cronies plan on using the black star Dragonballs to take over the world, but Pilaf accidentally wishes for Goku to be turned into a child again. Needless to say, Goku still beats them up as a child, but he's stuck as a pint size kid again. Upon hearing about how much of a hassle it would be to gather all the black star dragon balls across the universe, he decides that it's probably best to regrow up the old fashion way; which doesn't bode well for his sixty year old wife, Chi Chi. Gee, I guess she'll have to get used to people calling her a pedophile now, huh? By the way, I'm joking with that last statement, for those that couldn't tell.
However, when Goku learns that if the black star dragon balls aren't returned to Earth within a year, then the planet will explode, he springs into action with preparing to search the entire universe for these new black star balls. Joining Goku on this trip across space is Trunks, who is now a successful CEO and scientist at Capsule Corporation, and Pan, who happens to be Goku's twelve year old granddaughter.
From here, the show pretty much tries to revert the series back to "Dragonball's" lighthearted campy adventure roots with the twist being instead of a child Goku wandering the entire Earth for the Dragonballs, he's searches across space. Unfortunately, the show didn't exactly do well in terms of ratings for it's first season or so; which prompted Toei animation to shift the series back into it's more action oriented pace that "Dragonball Z" established by introducing villains such Baby, Super 17, and the Shadow Dragons. As I mentioned earlier, this show does have it's good points, but I think most fans would agree that we'd better off if this series never would've been made. Then again, that's just my take on it. However, without further delay, lets go over the top five Dragonball GT characters.
Although most fans didn't really care for this show, most of them did praise the concept of Baby, Super Saiyan Apes, and the new Super Saiyan 4 transformation.
Out of all the characters on this show, I would have to say that Pan is definitely my favorite character on Dragonball GT. Not only is her spunky personality very reminiscent of Bulma in a lot of ways, but she's a bit of a tomboy as well. Add in Goku's usual style of humor along with Trunk's serious attitude, and you have yourself a great chemistry between your three main characters. Although I will admit that it was fun watching the series try to revert back to it's comedic light hearted adventure roots, but I just couldn't feel myself get into it at all, as every enemy and adventure they faced seemed like some generic rip off of what they did in the previous series. Seriously, Ledgic was an obvious rip off of Pikkon and Android 8, and Dr. Miyu came off as a rip off of Dr. Gero. Hell, even the character designs for Gero and Miyu are almost exactly the freaking same with a few minor differences here and there.
Granted, the show did get better once it started to revert back to it's more action oriented roots, but it was too little too late by that point. However, that's not to say we can dismiss them quite easily.
As I mentioned earlier, parts of her personality are eerily reminiscent of Bulma in some ways, as she was a bit short tempered with Goku's antics sometimes, and she had that same mischievous attitude that made her come off endearing and interesting. However, unlike Bulma, she was more of a tomboy, and she never relied on Goku to save her. If anything, I'd say she's arguably braver than most of the characters on this show. Not only is this girl not afraid to take on enemies that are ten to a million times stronger than she is, but she does it without hesitating. In fact, she even tries to take on Baby Vegeta, after he transformed into a twenty foot super saiyan ape. If that doesn't show people how brave and feisty she is, then I don't know what does.
For being brave, funny and arguably the most charming character on this show, it's seems she's definitely earned the top slot on this countdown.
2. Omega Shenron/Syn Shenron and the rest of the shadow dragons
For those who didn't read my hub on the top ten "Dragon Ball Z" characters, the one thing that used to annoy the living hell out of me sometimes was that the concept of death was often cheapened, by the concept of dragon balls magically bringing people back from the dead...ALL THE TIME! Don't get me wrong, it didn't bother me at first when "Dragon Ball" started, as it was established early on that the Dragonballs could only bring someone back to life once.
Which don't get me wrong, it still cheapens the concept of death to some degree, but it still creates a stern rule that can be used to create dramatic tension later on. An example of this would be back in the Saiyan Saga of "Dragon Ball Z." Chiotzu had already been wished back to life by the Dragon Balls before that saga, so when he sacrificed his own body to try to destroy Nappa, you couldn't help but feel a great sense of tragedy in his noble sacrifice. Plus, this especially played a key part in allowing the audience to feel sympathy for Tien, as he lost his best friend. Needless to say because the concept of death that Chiotzu gave up his life nobly thinking that he would never come back, it only makes his sacrifice that much more potent in terms of telling an effective story. Granted, none of the "Dragonball" series ever told great stories along the lines of "Lord of the Rings" or anything close to it, but the tension, tone, and character development always more than made up for it. Unfortunately, as the series went on, they revealed that the original Namekian dragon balls could wish people back to life indefinitely.
Again, this also cheapened the concept of death, but at least they set a rule that since the Namekian dragon granted three wishes instead of one, then it could only have the power to wish back one person at a time. This worked to create at least some boundaries, as this played a key tool when the Z fighters had to debate on who to bring back during the Frieza Saga. Unfortunately by the end of the Cell Saga, the Earth dragon was revamped to not only grant two wishes, but it didn't even lose an inch of it's powers for doing so. To make matters even more messed up, the Namekian dragonballs were shamelessly used to bring back all the people that the Earth Dragonballs couldn't bring back to life after the Buu Saga. I know what you're thinking. It must have been a royal pain to wish back one person at a time, but you'd be wrong. As it turns out, the Namekians increased the power of the Namekian dragonballs to where it can not only grant three wishes and bring back the dead indefinitely, but it also allowed the dragon to bring back countless of people at once like the Earth dragon could. Gee, how convenient....
Needless to say, the Buu Saga completely made the concept of heroism almost meaningless in "Dragonball Z", as you need a defined set of rules and boundaries in any story that you create; otherwise that's just bad story telling. Death shouldn't be something that can be cheated indefinitely or easily, as it should be viewed as the ultimate sacrifice when a character gives up his/her life to save people. Not become some technicality where you hear some of the characters say, "Oh don't hold back, as we can just wish these people back with the dragon balls if they die." Yeah...that's pretty messed up whenever the heroes of any story view the very same lives they're trying to save as being expendable if you ask me....
However, this leads me to why I loved all the shadow dragons in "Dragonball GT", as they finally showed that you can't keep using the damn dragon balls to wish back people from the freaking grave without CONSEQUENCES! In the very last saga of GT, Goku and his friends try to use the regular dragonballs to resurrect all the victims of Baby and Super 17, but it turns out there's a problem. Apparently, whenever the dragonballs grant a wish to a person, it absorbs negative energy for each wish that it grants. After it absorbs the energy, the dragonballs take up to a thousand years to release it's negative energy. Unfortunately, Goku and his friends have been using the dragonballs repeatedly for years to grant their wishes, and this causes the balls to absorb too much negative energy that it releases seven powerful shadow dragons. Each dragon bent on destroying the Earth, and each representing a wish that was made during the previous series.
Although I think it's worth noting that Nova Shenron and Syn Shenron/Omega are arguably the best out of all the dragons for different reasons. Nova because he's a warrior of honor that fights Goku, and unlike the other dragons, he has some sort of ethical code about harming innocent people. Whereas Syn, he's pretty much as ruthless as any other bad guy that Goku has ever faced, and a helluva a lot stronger too. Although as a whole, I didn't really care for the "Dragonball GT" series that much, but I think the shadow dragon saga is arguably the greatest story line out of all the stories ever conceived within the "Dragonball" universe (this includes the sagas in "Dragonball" and "Dragonball Z"). Not only did it reestablish the boundaries and consequences necessary to give this universe the emotional weight it needed, but it also helped make the heroics of Goku and the others noble again. Making us wonder how Goku would be able to save the day one last time before anymore innocent civilians got hurt, as we knew this time the dragonballs couldn't be used to wish people back to life. This is exactly what the series needed to reestablish the intensity and ideals pertaining to heroism that the Buu Saga nearly destroyed; hence why the shadow dragons get my vote for being in the top five. Sure, I could've easily have given each one of these dragons their own solo spot, but if I did that, then I wouldn't have enough room to mention my other favorites on this show.
Goku turns Super Saiyan 4 for the first time
3. Goku and Super Saiyan 4 Goku
To be honest, I wasn't sure if I wanted to put Goku in the top five or not. However, after thinking it over, I think he deserves a nod to be in the top five. The main reason I was hesitating about putting him in the top five was because I sorely didn't agree with the direction of turning Goku back into a kid. Seriously, one of the many joys about watching "Dragonball" was the opportunity of seeing the character grow up to become the hero that he is in "Dragonball Z." This new concept of turning him back into a kid kind of kills that joy almost completely.
However, you can never deny that Goku will always be a popular character within the dragon ball universe. Whether it be "Dragonball", "Dragonball Z" or even "Dragonball GT", Goku's eternal optimism to rise above adversity is always commendable and admirable in a lot of ways; hence I felt he deserved to be in the top five again. Although it still bothers me that Goku never got turned back into an adult in this series, as I couldn't help but feel sorry for poor Chi Chi. However, it was interesting to see Goku go back to his old heroics again. And, unlike the Super Saiyan 3 concept that came off as a cheap transformation in "Dragonball Z", Super Saiyan 4 was actually given a lot more emotional weight to it like the previous forms. Goku didn't just immediately transform into a Super Saiyan 4 on a whim, but you could almost sense the same sense of urgency that existed when Goku tried to reach the level of Super Saiyan the first time to beat Frieza. Granted, I know that probably doesn't make a lot of sense to people that don't follow the show. But if you're like me, and you've seen all three series in it's entirety, then it makes all the sense in the world.
Baby Super Ape Vegeta vs. Super Saiyan 4 Goku
4. Baby and Baby Vegeta
For those that are unfamiliar with Dragonball's history, the Saiyans once shared their home planet, Vegeta, with an advanced race of beings called the Tuffles. The Tuffles were depicted as a peaceful, yet technologically advanced culture. Whereas the Saiyans, they were a race of savage warriors that thrived off the land, and instigated a full scale war with the Tuffles. Although the Saiyans were clearly superior to the Tuffles in terms of physical attributes and ki energy, the Tuffles still maintained the upper hand due to their advanced weaponry. Unfortunately, every thousand years, the planet Vegeta gets a full moon; which triggers all Saiyans that still have their tails to grow into twenty foot ape like beasts. Needless to say, the Tuffles weren't prepared for this incident, and they were annihilated. Bitter and angry, Dr. Miyu, one of the Tuffles scientists, constructed Baby to exact revenge against the entire Saiyan race for wiping out almost all the Tuffles off the face of existence. Inside Baby resides the DNA of the once proud king of the Tuffles, as he soon spreads the DNA of all the past Tuffles inside the inhabitants of Earth; which forces Goku, Trunks and Pan to take on many of their dear friends back on Earth.
Although, the story line does tend to rip off elements of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" obviously, but it was still an intriguing story line for what it was. Not only did the saga bring back the emotional weight behind Goku transcending into a more powerful form, but it also helped the series reconnect with the action oriented emphasis that "Dragonball Z" once established; hence why I say Baby is definitely worthy of being number four on this list.
Vegeta transforms into Super Saiyan 4 Vegeta
5. Super Saiyan 4 Vegeta
Say what you want about Vegeta, but he can be a real bad a** when he wants to be. Sure, there was that brief episode where his sixteen year old daughter, Bulla, made him insecure about his mustache, but he's still portrayed as kind of a bad a** in this series. In fact, unlike the other Z fighters, Vegeta never stopped training to become stronger, as it's obvious how powerful he is when he blows away one of his old comrades with one ki blast, without breaking a sweat. Unfortunately, he's rarely seen in this series; especially as a Super Saiyan 4 no less. However, when he does show up, you can bet he kicks a** and takes names. Sure, it would've been nice to have seen more of his character in this series, but what can you do?
Uub/Majin Uub: (Warning: Spoiler Alert if you've never seen how "Dragonball Z" ends) In the last few episodes of "Dragonball Z", Uub was introduced into the show as being Kid Buu's reincarnation. Meaning, whenever he was provoked, he could tap into the same amount of power that Kid Buu used to have. Needless to say, Goku notices this right away, and decides to take him under his wing to train him to become Earth's new champion in case something happens to him. After all, Goku's kids certainly weren't going to do it, as they were already preparing to move on without fighting anymore. Anyway, it's because of how "Dragonball Z" ended, I was expecting Uub to be a major character in the next series when it was announced. Yet, he wasn't even in most of it at all. Hell, outside of a few episodes, he rarely plays that big of a role. Don't get me wrong, in the few episodes that he's featured in, he does seem like a well rounded character. Yet, this is supposed to be Goku's successor? Seriously, if this guy is supposed to be his successor, then shouldn't the writers of this show give him a bigger role than just a few episodes? All I can say, it's very disappointing to say the least, as it almost makes the last few episodes of DBZ (dragonball Z) meaningless.
Bulla: To be honest, I don't really know too much about her at all; other than she's Vegeta's teenage daughter. However, she's rarely in a few episodes, but she's worth mentioning, as she was probably one of the few characters to ever make Vegeta insecure about himself. And best of all, she didn't have to lift a finger to do it either. No, all she did was tell her dad that his mustache looked stupid, and you can bet your a** that Vegeta shaved off his new mustache immediately. Wow, who knew that Vegeta would become so insecure about his appearance as he got older.
Trunks: Although Trunks was okay, and I did like how his serious attitude meshed well with Pan's mischievous nature, and Goku's style of humor in the earlier episodes. Unfortunately, on his own, he just wasn't that interesting of a character in this series. Kind of sad considering that he started out as one of my favorites. However, after the "Cell Saga", he went from being an annoying little spoiled brat to well....basically being an all around boring guy. Hell, you can probably nick name him "Mr. Boring" if you wanted to in this series. Plus when the show did revert back to it's action roots, Trunks really didn't do that much to be honest. If anything, it was the weaker non super saiyan Pan that did more than he did; which is really a shame as he used to be one of my favorites in the last series.
General Rildo: Great villain in this series, and probably would've been on the list if this was a top ten instead of a top five. General Rildo was both cunning and merciless in this series; which is basically all you can ask for out of almost any villain in the dragon ball universe. Enough said.
Super 17: No offense to the staff that worked so hard on "Dragonball GT", but what were you people thinking? Seriously, what the hell were you thinking creating this lame character? Don't you realize that the whole concept of Super 17 being a super powerful android is an exact rip off of the "Dragonball Z" movie, "Super Android 13?" Which by the way, both Super Android 13 and Super 17 were also rip offs of all the crap that happened in the Cell Saga. Seriously, what were you people thinking?
Ledgic: Again, if this was a top ten instead of a top five, then he'd probably make the list, but he won't. Besides, Ledgic is sort of a rip off of Pikkon and Android 8 anyway. Maybe not as obvious when it comes to fighting styles, but he's still portrayed as the strong silent type which was exactly what Pikkon was in the "Dragonball Z" series, and he's the misunderstood good guy working for the bad guys similar to the situation that Eighter was in when he debut in "Dragonball."
Android 18: Again, if this was a top ten list instead of a top five, then you can bet that she'd be on this list. Not only did she show a tremendous amount of courage when she helped Goku take on Super 17, but the loss of her dear husband, Krillian, only helped the viewer gain even more sympathy for her plight like never before. When Android 18 became a Z fighter back in the previous series, I always felt disappointed that she was rarely ever used afterwards. However, if there's one good thing about the "Super 17 Saga", it's that fans are finally treated to seeing 18 become the hero that we all thought that she'd be when joining the Z fighters.
Piccolo: Although I would never dismiss Piccolo's sacrifice in this series, as he valiantly died saving Goku's life. However, his sacrifice in comparison to the time he saved Gohan from the Saiyans back in "Dragonball Z" doesn't quite match up in terms of emotional weight. Sure, it does put closure on Goku and Piccolo's friendship over the years, and brings it full circle from when Goku saved Piccolo's life to eventually Piccolo returning the favor so to speak. Then again, maybe I'm being too picky here, but I'm sorry. I just can't see Piccolo making my top five here. Sure, he might have had a shot in a top ten list, but not top five.
Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta: I don't know why, and I'm sure I'll get a lot of flak from other Dragon ball fans, but I never liked the idea of fusion between characters. To me, it just comes off as a cheap writing device to sell more toys, and quite frankly adds nothing to the emotional depth of the story whatsoever. Sure, from a marketing aspect, the idea of fusing these characters is a good idea to arouse fans, but it's a cheap plot device if you ask me. I know I'll probably get criticized for saying that, but this is just my opinion on the matter.
Every other character on this show that I didn't mention: Outside of all the characters that were mentioned already, nobody else really stands out to be quite honest. Sure, each character fulfilled their roles rather well, but it wasn't enough to warrant a mention even in the notables section. Overall, I wouldn't say "Dragonball GT" is a bad series, as I've seen worse anime shows out there. However, it's definitely not as great as "Dragonball" or "Dragonball Z." But for what it's worth, I think it does have it's moments that'll still entertain any die hard dragonball fan out there.