Even decades after its original run, Dragon Ball Z remains one of the most popular anime series ever released. Who doesn’t love watching colorful, muscular heroes battling it out with the fate of the entire world at stake?
Even as the franchise continues to grow thanks to Dragon Ball Super and the upcoming sequel movie Dragon Ball Super Hero, we feel now is a great time to celebrate DBZ and its most iconic heroes and villains. Let’s count down the 10 best characters from the show’s long run, from Frieza to Vegeta to Goku. Note: This list only covers Dragon Ball Z, not the original Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball GT or Dragon Ball Super!
This video was originally published on Jul 27, 2022 on IGN Games.
[Music] Foreign [Music] Even decades after its original run Dragon Ball Z remains one of the most Popular anime series ever released who Doesn't love watching colorful muscular Heroes battling it out with the fate of The entire world at stake even as the Franchise continues to grow thanks to Dragon Ball super and the upcoming Sequel movie Dragon Ball super superhero We feel now is a great time to celebrate DBZ and its most iconic heroes and Villains let's count down the 10 best Characters from the show's long run from Frieza to Vegeta to Goku note this list Only covers Dragon Ball Z not the Original Dragon Ball Dragon Ball GT or Dragon Ball super Thank you Bomber isn't quite essential to the Dragon Ball Z Saga as she is in the Original Dragon Ball but she's still a Character worth highlighting the rare Science dork amid a sea of muscle-bound Fighters Bulma is always happy to save The day with a handy Gadget or three Where would our heroes be without her Trusty red capsule Corp accessories Bulma's unlikely romance with Vegeta Also proves to be one of the series most Compelling subplots she's come a long Way since her very first team up with
Goku Foreign Between good and evil is usually pretty Well defined in the DBZ verse there are Exceptions Android 18 is certainly one Such case one of the world conquering Android's Future Trunks sent to warn Our Heroes about 18 quickly proves herself To be more than just a killing machine Whoa watch out everyone Android 18 is Here Look he noticed how cute her independent Streak and sarcastic sense of humor Reveal a deep-seated Humanity Dr gero Couldn't quite snuff out by the end of The series 18 has given up her original Programming in favor of starting a Family with Krillin it's a shame that The series never showed us more of how That relationship developed but 18 Nonetheless ranks among the series more Intriguing and nuanced characters [Music] The ultimate creation of Dr Shiro cell Is a creature who has near Limitless Growth potential what is most Interesting about him though is that He's willing to wait for characters to Reach their full potential he could Simply kill everyone with his immense Power but often he is seen stalling and Waiting as he wants to battle the heroes Of earth when they are at their true Potential if not quite the greatest
Villain in DBZ history cell is certainly Responsible for some of the series best Moments who can forget the tragic death Of Android 16 spurring Gohan to reach His true power and don't forget the Dramatic final showdown when the late Goku returns to help his son finally Destroy this all-powerful threat to Humanity Gohan released everything Remember all the pain he's caused the People he's hurt now make that your Power [Music] You really can't make a list about Dragon Ball Z without including Krillin Goku's longtime friend and training Partner although his power is quickly Outpaced by Goku during the events of Dragon Ball Z Krillin is always around And ready to fight even if it often Means he gets beat up in fact krillin's Poor fighting record has become a bit of A running joke at this point the most Memorable of his many deaths occurs at The hands of Frieza something Krillin Himself has never forgotten however it Was not entirely in vain as his death Served to spark the initial Super Saiyan Transformation in Goku He may never be the strongest or the Most alive but Krillin is always there For his friends and that's what makes Him number seven on our list Trunks is unique among the DBZ fighters
In that he appears in two completely Different forms over the course of the Series we first meet trunks early in the Cell Saga as a battle-hardened teen Warrior from the future with a dire Message Trump's makes quite the first Impression Panda lead dispatching both Mecca Frieza and King cold with a few Lightning quick sword slashes And he continues to gain new layers over The course of that storyline and the Tie-in movie The History of trunks later Fans meet the younger version of Trumps A boy no longer burdened by growing up In the hellish world of evil Androids Along with his BFF Goten trunks is the Source for Endless comedic relief during The Buu saga whichever version you Prefer he's a worthy addition to the Series cast Thank you Piccolo did quite the 180 over the Course of DBZ it's easy to forget he was The main villain in the final story arc Of the original Dragon Ball Piccolo Slowly morphs from Goku's mortal enemy To reflect an ally to outright friend Over the course of the series whatever The difference is the two Warriors might Have had Piccolo is redeemed after Taking a strong interest in young Gohan Helping nurturing the pupils immense Hidden power Piccolo is also notable for Being the one non-saying character who
Can keep up with the likes of Goku and Vegeta thanks mainly to his habit of Fusing with fellow namekians like nail And Kami Foreign Goku's older son Gohan could potentially Be the strongest fighter in the series Sadly that potential is never fully Realized as he would rather live his Life as a pacifist only fighting in Times of true need even with that Mentality though Gohan has been involved In some of the largest and most Memorable moments of the entire Franchise we are teased throughout the Series that his inner potential is Greater than anyone's and we see an Example of this when he becomes the First Super Saiyan 2 in order to defeat Cell Me This potential is further unlocked During the Buu saga when he gains the Ability to go into an ultimate form Totally separate from his Saiyan forms Perhaps he never truly eclipses his Father in terms of power but in many Ways Gohan is the true heart and soul of DBZ He may not be anywhere near the most Powerful villain by the series end but Frieza's capacity for evil is unrivaled Frieza and the rest of his family rule Over a massive space Empire and they
Clearly prefer to do it with an iron Fist even before meeting Goku we learned Frieza has destroyed countless worlds Killed millions of people and was Responsible for the destruction of Planet Vegeta the Homeworld of the Saiyans Oh [Music] Once we do meet him in the series his Evil ways are further displayed as he Kills and tortures the people of Namek To obtain the dragon balls he kills Krillin and in his last act destroys the Planet Namek in an attempt to kill Goku Years no decades after his original Debut there has still been no villain Who can match frieza's ruthless evil Ways and for this reason he makes it to Number three on our list Foreign Goku is the main character of the Dragon Ball Saga and it only makes sense he'd Rank very high on this list as one of The most recognizable anime characters Of all time time and time again Goku Proves himself to be the hero his Adoptive home planet needs he always Digs deep and finds a new reservoir of Strength or a new level of Super Saiyan Hood to overcome the mightiest opponents The universe has to offer no one not Frieza Broly or Buu can truly defeat the Ultimate Saiyan warrior Goku is also
Fundamentally a good guy he wants Nothing more than to train hard prove His medal and come home to a good meal Maybe that makes him simpler and less Complex as archrival Vegeta but you have To admire Goku's consistency over the Years Goku [Applause] [Music] [Music] No character experiences a greater or Better defined Arc over the course of Dragon Ball Z than Vegeta when we first Meet him this Prince of the Lost Saiyan Empire is a plant-destroying bully come To conquer Earth but over the course of The series Vegeta evolves from foe to Reluctant friend of the Z Fighters he Even settles down with Bulma and starts A family but even when he turns over a New Leaf Vegeta has a habit of putting His rivalry with Goku ahead of the Planet's best interests Vegeta is the Series greatest character because he's Also the most fascinating he he's cursed To always be second best no amount of High gravity training or death defying Schemes will allow Vegeta to stay ahead Of Goku for long but that doesn't stop Him from trying and that's why we love Him [Music] Do you agree with our picks does the
Number one choice make you want to go Super Saiyan sound off in the comments Below and for everything else keep it Here on IGN [Music]