Top Ten Dragonball Characters
For those that read my hub, "Can't Get Enough Anime", then you should know that the "Dragonball" series is one of my favorites. Although, I will admit when I first saw this anime, I thought it was a bit strange, but after watching "Dragonball Z", I decided to catch up on the previous chapters; thus I've been a huge fan of the franchise since. Sure, "Dragonball" may carry a more light hearted story of good vs. evil, but it's still a fairly entertaining anime for what it is. In fact, I can never get tired of them, as the humor alone makes the show worth watching.
Granted, I think the show's obvious controversial humor might not appeal to most western audiences, and the stories for this show (or it's spin-offs) don't have necessarily great stories to work with. But, in terms of pure entertainment value, "Dragonball" is very entertaining in it's own amusing way.
Because I love this series so much, I decided to make a hub naming my top ten favorite characters from the original anime; followed by hubs based on my top ten characters for the later series as well. During this hub, I'll not only be naming the exact reasons why I put each respective character into my top ten, but I'll also tell you folks who my notables are as well. The notables are essentially characters that almost made the cut, but didn't. As I name the notables, I'll briefly go over why I picked them, and why didn't I put them into my top ten. Anyway, without further delay, let's start naming the top ten "Dragonball" characters.
Goku learns to use kamehameha
Say what you want about Goku, but he'll always be one of the most iconic characters in anime. Sure, his story lines aren't anywhere near as provocative as such shows like "Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex", but "Dragonball" more than makes up for it in strong character development for most of it's key characters. Seriously, one of the joys that I got from this anime was the opportunity of watching Goku grow up, as he went on many of his adventures with his friends.
Although Goku never does quite adapt to modern society, he does grow from being the simple lovable child to a well.... man size version of one, but he does turn into the hero that most anime fans will come to know as the legendary Goku.
To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what makes this character my favorite in the "Dragonball" series. However, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that he's not only funny, but when he does do comedy that it's never really intentional; hence making it that much more hilarious when it does happen.
King Piccolo vs. Goku Part 1
2. Demon King Piccolo
To be honest, I think the thing that always intrigued me about King Piccolo and Goku's rivalry is that they're both really two sides of the same coin, when you think about it. Both were aliens of different worlds. Kami was a being that came from a planet of peace, but the evils of Earth caused him to become bitter and insane to want to rule over this planet with an iron fist. However, when it came time for him to try to become the Earth's guardian, Kami knew that he had to get rid of the evil bitterness that lurked in his heart, so he separated all his evil essence from himself; which caused King Piccolo to be born.
Whereas Goku, he was originally an alien that was sent down to kill and enslave all of humanity, yet the friendships and upbringing of his Grandfather helped turn him into the Earth's champion instead. Needless to say, I'm a sucker for irony, and the rivalry that oozed between these two was nothing to laugh about either.
Piccolo vs. Kami- Two halves of the same coin
3. Piccolo Jr.
After the infamous Demon King Piccolo died, he managed to give birth to a son that held all his evil essence named Piccolo Jr. From there, Piccolo Jr. would grow up with one plan in mind which was to destroy Goku, then conquer the Earth. Most of Goku's comrades are unaware of Piccolo Jr's existence until he finally shows up at the World Martial Arts Tournament to challenge Goku for one final showdown.
Although technically speaking, Piccolo Jr. is really nothing more than an extension of the same reason why I liked Demon King Piccolo. However, the irony that exists within these characters' heated rivalry still remains. And the fact that the younger Piccolo seems to be much stronger than his previous counter part, it only fuels the rivalry that much more, as Demon King Piccolo was clearly over powered by a younger kid Goku. Whereas Piccolo Jr. and teen Goku seem to be equally matched; which only makes the fight between them much more interesting.
Goku meets Bulma
Say what you want about her, but you can't deny that Bulma is arguably one of the hottest girls in anime. Not only is she pretty, cute, but she can be downright feisty when she wants to be. Sure, she was a bit of a self centered, naive, and annoying brat at times. However, that was part of her charm as well. Her self centered naive personality meshed in perfectly with Goku's equally naive and idiotic behavior; which only helped create a lot of comical situations later on throughout the series.
Master Roshi's Kamehameha Wave
5. Master Roshi
I'm sure most people know the stereotype about most martial art teachers being these wise old Senseis, who lived like monks basically. However, Master Roshi was far from pure. Sure, he still managed to embody the same old wise sensei feeling that one would expect from a martial arts teacher, but he was more of a dirty old man if anything else. Master Roshi would not only go out of his way to see Bulma and the other female characters naked, but he would often find subtle ways to fondle them as well. Of course, this would always lead to him getting beat up by the same women that he tried to molest and peep on, but the comedy pretty much writes itself.
Master Roshi and Launch
What kind of girls are you into? The sweet and innocent girl next door type? Or how about the ball busting dominatrix that'll blow your head off if you so much as look at her the wrong way? Well, if you said both, then Launch probably would've been the perfect girl for you. Not only is she the cute girl next door, but when she sneezes, she transforms into the machine gun carrying dominatrix who'll sooner blow your head off without asking a lot of questions.
At one point in the series, Launch became a regular on the show where she lived with Master Roshi and his students. Needless to say, this led to a lot of comical situations, as Roshi would often try to trick Launch into letting him fondle her, or get a quick peek at her naked body at least. Needless to say, his plans would always back fire, as most of the time Launch would sneeze, then try to blow his butt to kingdom come for even thinking about it. Although, I will agree with Goku and Krillin that this woman was obviously insane to say the least, but watching her try to blow away Roshi's head off with a machine gun....priceless.
Goku vs. Nam
Nam didn't really have a big role in the series; outside of a few episodes. However, I always liked his character a lot. Unlike most of the characters that would often get caught up with their own selfish ambitions, Nam was genuinely a warrior that only fought for the sake of his people. And, the only reason he entered the martial arts tournament was because he wanted to use the prize money feed his starving people. If that doesn't tell you how selfless this guy is, then I don't know what does. Seriously, it's a shame he wasn't more of a regular on the show, as I liked his character way better than Chiotzu, Krillin and Tien.
Then again, I'm sure people would've complained saying that his character stereotypes Indians. However, I think the fact that he is a Indian hero on "Dragonball" only makes him cooler. Plus, he's definitely one of those rare heroes that you wish you could see more of, but at the same time, you don't want to know too much about him, as that would ruin the mystique about him. Hmm...maybe that was another reason why he was never a major character on the show. Regardless, he's deserving enough to be in my top ten.
Android 8 gets pissed
8. Android 8 aka Eighter
One of the many obstacles that Goku had to overcome on his journey was the Red Ribbon Army. Their purpose was simple; collect all the dragon balls, then take over the world. Granted, their motives really weren't that much different than the laughable Emperor Pilaf and his cronies. But what made the Red Ribbon Army much deadlier was the fact that they more militarized, and far less campy. Well, never mind. They were still campy at times, but still far more ruthless than any enemy that Goku fought at this point.
It was here that Goku meets his new friend Android 8, who basically designed as one of their prototype robots that the Red Ribbon Army wished to use to conquer the Earth. However, Android 8 wasn't like other androids in that he was cold and ruthless. No, he was quite the opposite, as he actually had a heart; which made him become classified as a defect of the Red Ribbon Army. Although one could argue that Eighter's existence to be a misunderstood monster is eerily similar to that of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; which would explain the appearance of Eighter as well.
Boy meets Girl. Girl falls in love with boy, but the boy still can't tell the difference between monsters and girls. Aw, young love!
9. Chi Chi
You know how most love stories often involve the guy throwing himself, or doing something dramatic to get the girl? Well, when it comes to Chi Chi and Goku's relationship, it's the other way around. If anything, Chi Chi is the one that chases Goku, and does whatever it takes to win his heart; which is a bit of a twist to the classical "boy meets girl" formula. Another irony to their love story is that Goku, in the "Dragonball" series, doesn't know the difference between boys or girls. Hell, he doesn't even know the difference between monsters and girls either, so most of Chi Chi's flirtations often go over Goku's head a lot of times. In fact, one episode Chi Chi proposed to Goku, and he only agreed because he thought the word, "Wedding", meant some type of food. Yeah, to call Goku a complete idiot when it comes to women would be a tragic understatement to say the least. However, you have to admit that it's funny to watch it play out between them.
Yamcha vs. Goku
Have you ever met one of those wannabe bad a**es? You know, the ones that talk a big game, but they're really cowards? Well, that's Yamcha in a nutshell. Sure, he can hold his own against a kid version of Goku; using his patented "wolf fang fist." However, when it comes to a cute girl like Bulma, or any girl for that matter, he becomes a stuttering idiot in seconds. I think the thing that made me like his character so much was the build up to him. In either the "Dragonball" movies, or series, he was always portrayed as some wandering bad a**. However, when Bulma showed up, you saw him go from tough guy to stuttering wimp in a matter of minutes. Seriously, words cannot describe the amount of comedy that I had laughing at how allegedly tough his character was.
Krillin: To be honest, I never really cared much for Krillin at all. Don't get me wrong, I didn't exactly hate his character either, as he did provide a good amount of comic relief in both "Dragonball" and "Dragonball Z." However, his character was never really that appealing to me to say the least. Not only did he often complain a lot in both series, but most of the time he just seemed to get in the way if anything else. Granted, he's proven to be more useful than Yamcha in a fight, but "Dragonball" was more of a lighthearted adventure tale that emphasized it's earlier episodes on comedy; hence I'd have to say that I like Yamcha better. Sorry Krillin fans.
Kami: Although one could argue that he should be in the top ten, as he does share a lot of the same qualities as the Demon King Piccolo. However, he's rarely in the show that often for us to even care. Sure, he plays a big role, but I would've liked to have seen more of his character, as it would've only enhanced the rivalry between Piccolo and Goku. For you see, since Kami and Piccolo used to be one being..if one dies...so does the other. And, if either one dies, then the dragon balls die along with them, as Kami created the dragon balls to begin with.
Puar: I never liked Puar. Unlike Krillin whom I had a mutual respect for, I never liked Puar at all. If anything, I found him annoying as hell with his squeaky voice and constant whining. Seriously, couldn't Yamcha have picked a better sidekick?
Oolong: Although he does share a lot of the same qualities that I liked about Master Roshi, the reality is that his obnoxious sexist views of women is kind of expected. Think about it. Women always like to claim that most men are pigs, and guess what Oolong is? He's a pig face man that tries to molest and peep in on cute girls like Bulma. Seriously, one can say his pig face exterior is a metaphor for that. Unfortunately, the premise of his character isn't as innovative or as unexpected as Master Roshi's character being a dirty old man, who happens to be a martial arts master. Sorry Oolong, but Master Roshi is clearly the better pervert between you two.
Pilaf and his cronies: They're funny, but hardly a threat. If anything, they stopped being interesting after the first saga in the "Dragonball" series.
Tien and Chiotzu: Again, I never liked their characters at all. Sure, when they were introduced originally, they did seem rather impressive. Unfortunately, as the series went on, they showed how utterly worthless they truly were. Although to be fair, they didn't really start to become wimps until "Dragonball Z" rolled around.