List of Dragon Ball characters

List of Dragon Ball characters
The main cast of Dragon Ball at the end of manga.

The Dragon Ball manga and anime series features an extensive cast of characters created by Akira Toriyama. The series takes place in a fictional universe where vast numbers of fighters in the world compete in tournaments, using various superhuman and supernatural abilities. The series' storyline follows the adventures of a martial artist as he searches for the seven mystical objects known as the Dragon Balls, which are used to summon a wish-granting dragon.

The main character of the series is Son Goku, a martial artist who comes from an extraterrestrial race known as the Saiyans. Along the way, he undergoes training regiments and educational programs to fight in the World Martial Arts Tournament. During the course of the story, he encounters diverse villains such as Tien Shinhan, an assassin and martial artist with a third eye; Piccolo, the offspring of Piccolo Daimao; Vegeta, a Saiyan who eventually becomes Goku's ally; and Frieza, a galactic tyrant who was responsible for the extinction of the Saiyan race; and allies such as Trunks, Vegeta's son; Yamcha, a desert bandit; Yajirobe, a fat Samurai; Bulma, a scientist; and Krillin, Goku's rival who eventually becomes his best friend.


Creation and conception

Akira Toriyama initially based most of the characters from the Chinese novel Journey to the West.[1][2] He also redeveloped one of his earlier one-shot manga series, Dragon Boy. To be creative with the character, Toriyama stated that he designed Goku not as a monkey like the Journey to the West character, but as a human-looking boy with a monkey tail.[3]

During this period of the series, Toriyama placed less emphasis on the series art work, simplifying the lines and sometimes making things "too square". He found himself having problems determining the colors for characters and sometimes ended up changing them unintentionally mid-story.[4] For the female characters, Toriyama felt it was not fun to draw "weak females" so he created women that he felt were not only "beautiful and sexy", but also "strong".[5] Going against the normal convention that the strongest characters should be the largest in terms of physical size, he designed many of Dragon Ball's most powerful characters with small statures, including the protagonist, Goku.[5]

After the first chapters were released, readers commented that Goku seemed rather plain, so his appearance was changed. More characters (such as Master Roshi and Krillin) and martial arts tournaments were added to give the manga a greater emphasis on fighting. Knowing readers would expect Goku to win the tournaments, Toriyama had him lose the first two while continuing his initial goal of having Goku be the champion and hero.[6] When having fights in the manga, Toriyama had the characters go to a place where nobody lived to avoid difficulties in drawing destroyed buildings. In order to advance the story quickly, he also gave most fighters the ability to fly so they could travel to other parts of the world without inconvenience. This was also the reasoning behind Goku learning to teletransport (thus allowing characters to move to any planet in a second).[7]

Main characters

Son Goku

Son Goku is the main protagonist of the Dragon Ball series. He is perhaps the most refined example of the shōnen manga hero. Goku is immensely strong, pure of heart, and extremely competitive, but dedicated wholeheartedly to the cause of defending the Earth from evil.

Though he grew up on Earth and appears more or less human, Goku is descended from an alien warrior race known as the Saiyans, who originally sent him to the planet to prepare it for conquest. He was originally evil and violent; however, a coincidental knock on the head cleared his mind of his natural inclination towards global domination, though — instead, he ended up becoming the planet’s greatest champion.

His alien heritage gives him many advantages, including great physical strength, speed, resilience, and a leg up in focusing his chi energy to develop many unusual martial arts techniques. Those include his famous Kamehameha energy blast, which has become his signature technique over the years, and the ability to transform into progressively more impressive levels of “Super Saiyan” power.

Goku was originally conceived by creator Akira Toriyama as a riff on the main character from the Chinese novel Journey to the West (just as the novel itself inspired the original Dragon Ball comics to some degree). In particular, the tail he sported in his younger days is a nod to the Chinese classic.


Bulma (ブルマ Buruma?) is a character appearing early in the series in the first chapter Bulma and Son Goku (ブルマと孫悟空 Buruma to Son Gokū?) first published in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine on December 3, 1984.[8] She was originally portrayed as a secondary main character, next to Goku. Her role is quickly downplayed as the series continues, though she does continue her role as a supporting character for the remainder of the series. Bulma is the daughter of Dr. Briefs; the founder of Capsule Corp., a fictional corporation that creates special capsules that are often used to store objects of various sizes. Being the daughter of a brilliant scientist, Bulma is also an intelligent scientist, as well as an inventor and engineer. She is most credited for inventing the Dragon Radar, a fictional device that is specifically designed to detect the energy signal emitted by a Dragon Ball, being able to find the Dragon Balls faster than anyone else. Bulma's role as an inventor becomes important at several points in the series. Several of her creations were major contributions to various plotlines, including a microband that could make her shrink, the time machine that brought her son Trunks to the past during Dragon Ball Z and the generator that allowed her husband Vegeta to achieve Super Saiyan 4 in Dragon Ball GT.

Bulma is a direct parody of the character Xuanzang from the Chinese novel Journey to the West.[9] Even though Bulma's character parodies a monk, her Japanese name "Buruma" is a direct take on the word bloomers, which was a popular type of women's underwear in the early 20th century. As with most characters in the Dragon Ball series, Bulma's name is consistent with those of the rest of her family. All of Bulma's family members are named after underclothing of some sort. Her father's name is "Dr. Briefs", while her son and daughter are named "Trunks" and "Bra" ("Bulla" in the anime adaptation) respectively.

Bulma is voiced by Hiromi Tsuru in all of the Japanese media. In Funimation's dub, she would be voiced by Maggie Blue O'Hara in the first Dragon Ball film; Lalainia Lindbjerg in the first 13 episodes of Dragon Ball and the 64 episodes and first three movies of Dragon Ball Z; Leslie Alexander in the film Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle; Tiffany Vollmer in all other Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT dubs including re-dubs of previously dubbed works; and Monica Rial in Dragon Ball Z Kai. In Westwood Media's dub, Maggie Blue O'Hara returned to voice Bulma in Dragon Ball Z; Leda Davies was cast for Dragon Ball; and Kristin Nowosad in Dragon Ball GT. In the Japanese dub of the live-action Dragonball Evolution, she is voiced by Aya Hirano.

Bulma has a cameo in the Dragon Ball/One Piece crossover Cross Epoch. In this segment, she is partnered up with the character Nami. The two act as a pair of space pirates. Bulma has been portrayed by Jeannie Tse in the unofficial live-action Dragon Ball movie The Magic Begins. She was also featured in the 1990 unofficial Korean adaptation where she was played by Lee Ju Hee. Bulma appeared in the live-action film Dragonball Evolution, portrayed by Emmy Rossum.[10] Rossum describes her portrayal of Bulma as "She’s pretty bad-ass, but still quirky and fun, and kind of ridiculous in the way she is in the anime."[11]

Master Roshi

Master Roshi, known in the English manga and the Japanese versions as Kame Sen'nin (亀仙人 Kame Sennin?) and Muten Rōshi (武天老師?), is an ancient and wise martial arts master and the first Earthling to wield the Kamehameha. Though he seems frail, he is a mighty warrior, having trained Grandpa Gohan, Ox King, Son Goku, Krillin and others. He is a stock character, as he is both the archetypal wise old man and perverted dirty old man, the latter being typical of shōnen manga. Still, he is depicted to be a very wise and gentle person, who loves life and its simple pleasures, but is willing to die if necessary, such as when performing the Mafu-ba technique (Evil Containment Wave in the English dub) against Piccolo Daimao.[12] He sometimes gets cranky, which further provides comic relief. He is bald, with a thick van dyke beard and wears sunglasses. Roshi wears beach clothes or martial arts suits and, during the earlier stages of the series, a turtle shell on his back. He usually wields a walking stick. When wishing to act anonymously in the World Martial Arts Tournament, Roshi uses the name Jackie Chun. As mentioned before, Master Roshi died after performing the Mafu-Ba, and is revived by the Dragon Balls.

Roshi's character design was inspired by the character of Kami-sama from Toriyama's previous manga Dr. Slump (who is unrelated to the Kami-sama from Dragon Ball).[13] Roshi was originally voiced by Kōhei Miyauchi, who also voiced Kami-sama in the original anime version of Dr. Slump. Miyauchi's final acting session before he died was for episode 260 of Dragon Ball Z, which he recorded only 3 months before his death. The episode aired on March 15, 1995. In his final line, he yells out "Kuririn!", and is turned into a bar of chocolate by Majin Buu shortly afterwards. Since episode 288 of Dragon Ball Z, Roshi is voiced by Hiroshi Masuoka, who voices him throughout Dragon Ball GT and in the recent video games, such as Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi. He is voiced by Kinya Aikawa in the 10th anniversary special and by Masaharu Satō in movie 13 and Dragon Ball Kai. In the Ocean dub, he was voiced by Ian James Corlett, Peter Kelamis, Dave Ward, Don Brown, and Terry Klassen at various points. In the Funimation dub, Roshi has been voiced consistently by Mike McFarland. He is portrayed by Chow Yun-fat in the live-action film Dragonball Evolution; his voice was dubbed over by Tsutomu Isobe in the Japanese dub of the film.


Yamcha (ヤムチャ Yamucha?), known as Zedaki in the Harmony Gold dub, is introduced as an outlaw and a bandit. He starts out as an antagonist of Goku's in order to steal his Dragon Ball and wish not to feel nervous when being near to women. He eventually reforms, becoming an ally and Z Fighter, and starts a relationship with Bulma. After participating in Baba's tournament, Yamcha requests to become the pupil of Master Roshi, to which Master Roshi obliges. He qualifies for the 21st Tenkai'chi Budo'kai fighting tournament, but loses to a mysterious old man, Jackie Chun, who is actually Master Roshi in disguise. He continually questions Master Roshi on his true ability, but is unable to find the truth. As a result from such training, Yamcha becomes able to develop various energy techniques such as the Kamehameha and the Soukidan, an energy sphere which he can control after throwing it. He soon becomes able to fly and is able to train with various gods from the Dragon Ball universe. After the attack from the Red Ribbon Army's androids, he quits fighting, noting that he is very weak in comparison to his friends. His constant companion is Puar. During the series, he holds a romantic relationship with Bulma, but they break up some time after Future Trunks' first appearance. He is voiced by Tōru Furuya in the Japanese version of the series. In the Ocean dub, he is voiced by Ted Cole, and in the Funimation dub, he is voiced by Christopher Sabat. In the 2009 Dragon Ball live-action film, he was portrayed by Joon Park, whose voice was dubbed over by Hisao Egawa in the Japanese dub of the film.


Krillin, known as "Kuririn" in the Viz Manga, is a bald "Z Fighter", and one of Goku's best friends. He met Goku on Master Roshi's island after running away from Orin Temple. The two start out as rivals, but during the "21st World Martial Arts Tournament", they become friends when Goku gives Krillin good fighting advice. He is soon killed by King Piccolo, but is revived with the Dragon Balls.

In Dragon Ball Z, Krillin and Gohan disobey Goku's orders and fight Vegeta, but they are both knocked out. He is killed again by Frieza, but is revived again. In the anime-only Garlic Junior Saga, Krillin proposes to a girl named Maron, but she refuses. Instead, he marries Android 18, and grows hair. He has a daughter named Marron.

Tien Shinhan

Tien Shinhan (天津飯 Tenshinhan?, nicknamed Ten), known as Tenshinhan in the manga and Shinto in the Harmony Gold dub, is first introduced in chapter 113 of the manga series.[14] Initially an enemy of Goku who was trained by Roshi's rival the Crane Hermit to kill Goku and the other Turtle Hermit studiers, during his finals battle with Goku, Tien realizes that the Crane Hermit's doings are wrong, and makes peace with Goku and becomes a Z Fighter. Accompanied by his friend Chiaotzu, Tien enters the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament[15] and faces Goku, who proves to be a more than worthy opponent. Eventually, after Goku survives every attack thrown at him, Tien destroys the arena with his Kikoho, but Goku jumps into the air and uses his Kamehameha to slam himself into Tien. Both fighters fall down to the ground, but Goku is hit by a passing trick, causing him to land on the ground first, which makes Tien the winner. Afterwards, Tien and Chiaotzu become allies of Goku. He participated in the battle against the Saiyans in Dragon Ball Z, in which he is killed by Nappa, along with Chiaotzu, Yamcha and Piccolo. The four of them are trained by King Kai and later revived by Porunga. Tien also participated in the battles against Cell and Majin Buu.

Tien is bald and has three eyes, the third placed on his forehead. He has a Third Eye because he is from an Alien Race of three eyed beings called the Triclops.[16] When Toriyama began creating the Dragon Ball series, he used Wu Cheng'en's Journey to the West as a prototype for his own work.[17] Tien's three eyed physical characteristic resembles the story character Erlang Shen, and both are warriors who were originally adversaries of the main character.[18] His outfits change consistently as the series goes on, and he usually doesn't wear a shirt when fighting. In the Japanese version of the series, he was voiced by Hirotaka Suzuoki until his death in 2006; Kōichi Yamadera acted as a substitute for Suzuoki for episodes 82 and 84 of the series. He is voiced by Mitsuaki Madono in Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit and by Hikaru Midorikawa in Dragon Ball Kai. In the Ocean dub, he was voiced by Matt Smith. In the Funimation dub of the series, he was voiced by Chris Cason in the third season and by John Burgmeier from the fourth season onwards and in the redub of the third season.


Piccolo, otherwise known as Piccolo Junior, is a Z Fighter and an old enemy of Goku. He is born following his father King Piccolo's murder by Goku, and intends to take over his late father's mission of conquering the world. In the finals of the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, Piccolo is defeated by Goku, who wins the tournament. Five years later, in Dragon Ball Z, Piccolo is ambushed by Raditz, who proves to be a challenge to him. He forms a temporary alliance with Goku to defeat Raditz, and in doing so, kills Goku along with Raditz. After Goku's death, Piccolo vows to train Gohan so he can become stronger and fight the two other Saiyans who attempt to destroy the Earth. First, he has Gohan survive in the wilderness for six months, then he trains him in fight. During the ensuing fight with the Saiyans, Piccolo risks his life in order to save Gohan from Nappa's ki blast. He is soon revived by the Dragon Balls, and is brought to Namek for the first time. He fuses with the Namekian Nail, killing Nail, but making Piccolo stronger. He fights Frieza, but loses. He is healed by Dende, who is soon killed.

Son Gohan

Son Gohan is Goku's first son. He is first seen in the first volume of Dragon Ball Z, called "The World's Greatest Team", when he is kidnapped by Goku's brother, the Saiyan Raditz, and locked up in a space pod. However, his temper flares, and he bursts out of the space pod, dealing a blow to Raditz, but also knocking him out. Raditz intends to kill him, but Goku attacks Raditz and dies in the fight. Since Gohan was asleep during his father's murder, Piccolo took Gohan and told him of the bad news. Piccolo also vowed to train Gohan for a year.

The first step of Piccolo's training had Gohan survive in the wilderness for six months. At first, Gohan was scared, but soon he transformed into a giant ape. He was changed back when Piccolo destroyed the moon, and survived Piccolo's other six months of intense training. During the fight with the Saiyans, Piccolo saves Gohan's life when he steps in front of Nappa's ki blast. Gohan is told to run away by his revived father, but he soon comes back to turn into a giant ape again using Vegeta's artificial moon. In his ape form, Gohan crushes Vegeta, who is forced to retreat.

After healing from his battle wounds, Gohan rebels against his mother Chi-Chi, and goes to planet Namek, where is made stronger by Guru. Gohan fights the Ginyu Force and eventually helps his dad fight Frieza. During the battle against Cell, Gohan lets his father die while he strikes a death blow against Krillin, and he starts high school four years later, where he creates his alter ego, the superhero "Great Saiyaman". As "Saiyaman", Gohan rescues a girl named Videl, the son of Mr. Satan. Gohan dies when Majin Buu attacks the Earth, but is brought back to life and marries Videl.


Vegeta is a Saiyan, and one of the Z Fighters. His name is a pun on "vegetable". He is named after his home, the Saiyan planet Vegeta. Vegeta is known to have worked for the space tyrant Frieza, and is first shown on Planet Arlia when Raditz sends the battle feed to his scouter. The two of the them travel to Earth in search of the Dragon Balls. It takes them less than a year, but when he and Nappa finally arrive in the populated city of Metro East, Vegeta kills everyone in the city with his ki blast. Using his scouter, Vegeta tracks down the Z Fighters, and soon finds a revived Goku, who beats up Nappa. Vegeta, seeing that Nappa has been paralyzed, mercilessly kills him. He then fights Goku, but he runs away when Yajirobe cuts off his tail and he is struck by Gohan's Spirit Bomb. He returns to planet Frieza 79, and then heads of to Planet Namek for revenge on Frieza.

On Namek, Vegeta sees his old workmates and kills them all, those including Cui, Dodoria and Zarbon. He also has several encounters with the Z Fighters, and successfully steals Frieza's Dragon Balls, but when the Ginyu Force is called over, he and Goku are forced to team up in order to defeat them, and they do. Vegeta becomes a Z Fighter, but Frieza kills him. When he is revived, he helps defeat Cell and the Androids. However, Vegeta is absorbed by Majin Buu, and is soon killed again. This time, he is not revived.



Frieza, spelled Freeza in the manga, is a galactic tyrant. He wants to get the Dragon Balls so he can wish for immortality. In flashbacks, it is shown that Frieza had feared groups of Saiyans, so he destroyed the Saiyan planet Vegeta, killing all but four Saiyans. Frieza hired Zarbon, Dodoria, Cui and Vegeta as some of his workers, but Vegeta soon found himself hating the job. On Planet Namek, Frieza kills off the entire Namekian race, including Dende. Frieza engaged in a fight with Goku and the Z Fighters, and Goku became a Super Saiyan due to his anger. Frieza was killed, and his brother Cooler fought Goku in the movie "Cooler's Revenge". His father, King Cold, was killed by Goku too. In "Fusion Reborn", Frieza is easily defeated by Gohan.


Cell (セル Seru?) is the ultimate creation of Doctor Gero. He is an artificial life form created using the cells of several characters from the series, including Goku, Piccolo and Frieza. As a result, Cell is able to perform techniques such as the Kamehameha, a powerful energy blast which he gains from the cells of Goku.[19] In creating the character of Cell, Toriyama tried many different designs before finally settling on the one used in the series. Cell evolves several times throughout his appearances. He originally evolves from a cocoon-like form into his first "Imperfect Form", which is insect-like in appearance. Both his first form and his second "Semi-Perfect Form" have a long tail that ends in a stinger-like appendage and allows it to absorb other organisms.[20] The tail recedes under his wings in his final "Perfect Form", and he can use it to spawn Cell Jr. (セルジュニア Seru Junia?), a minuscule child-like version of himself.

Requiring the androids #17 and #18 to evolve, he finds out that they are already dead in his timeline, so he kills the Trunks of his timeline and uses Trunks' time machine to travel back in time. He eventually absorbs both after many battles and ascends to his perfect form.[21][22] He decides to hold the "Cell Games", a tournament in which he fights against the Earth's fighters until there are none left, resulting in Earth's destruction.[23] Cell manages to defeat Goku, but he is eventually killed by Super Saiyan 2 Gohan.[24] Cell appears in Hell in Dragon Ball Z, and makes a few appearances in Dragon Ball GT. Cell is voiced by Norio Wakamoto in the Japanese anime, Dale Wilson in the Ocean dub, Dameon Clarke in the Funimation dub and Dragon Ball Z Kai, and by Travis Willingham in Dragon Ball: Raging Blast and its sequel.

Majin Buu

Majin Buu (魔人ブウ Majin Bū?, also translated as "Majin Boo") is a magical life form created by the wizard, Bibidi, eons before the events of Dragon Ball took place. He is eventually sealed by Bibidi after he becomes uncontrollable, and Bibidi's son, Babidi makes it his goal to revive Buu. After being released, Buu appears as an innocent looking pudgy pink genie-like creature. He is very naive and easily influenced, and he has a very volatile balance between his gentle and evil sides. After Buu kills Babidi, he becomes close friends with Hercule, which eventually causes him to expel his evil side. This evil manifests, and it manages to defeat and absorb the good side, resulting in a tall, slender form, who calls himself "Evil Buu (or Super Buu)." He is interested in a challenge, and later goes on to absorb Goten and Trunks as Gotenks, Piccolo, and Gohan. It is revealed by the surviving member of the Kaioshin that the fat form of Buu is actually the result of the original assimilation of their leader into his body. The original is a sleek, child-sized being who is obsessed with chaos and destruction. The original is restored after Goku and Vegeta remove the good side from Super Buu. The good side is later spit out by the original, and he goes on to live with Hercule on Earth, while the original is killed by Goku, who wishes for him to be reincarnated as a good person. King Yemma, hearing the wish, reincarnates him into a child named Uub, who becomes Goku's successor and goes on to participate in battles against foes such as Baby, Super #17 and Omega Shenron.

All forms of Buu have a rubbery body that is easily damaged. He can regenerate instantly from any wound, regrow any part of his body, and he can even restore himself from vapor. It is possible for him to become so worn down that his regeneration begins to fail. He can reconfigure body portions into weapons, including stretching his extremities. Buu also can heal damaged beings, shapeshift, and transfigure other objects and organisms. He can also absorb other organisms by enveloping them with his body, and can replicate fighting techniques, even after witnessing them once.

In the original Japanese Buu and all his forms are currently voiced by Kōzō Shioya in all media. In the Ocean dub Scott McNeil would voice Fat Buu, Brian Dobson would voice the Evil and Super Buus, and Ward Perry would voice Kid Buu. McNeil would voice the renamed Mr. Buu in the Blue Water dub. In the Funimation dub Josh Martin voices Fat and Kid Buus, and Justin Cook voices Evil and Super Buu. Martin and Cook voice Buu in all video games with exception of Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout where Buu, in kid form, was voiced by Dougary Grant. Buu was rated by Wizard magazine as the 40th greatest villain of all time.[25] David F. Smith of IGN states that although he is tough, Majin Buu's pink complexion prevents anybody from taking him as a serious threat.[26]

Secondary characters

Android #18

Android #18 (人造人間18号 Jinzōningen Jū Hachi Gō?, Artificial Human #18) is a human forcefully turned into a cyborg along with her brother, #17.[27] After being released by Dr. Gero, she travels with #16 and #17 in order to kill Goku, though they are interrupted by Cell and the Z Fighters several times. She and #17 are eventually absorbed by Cell, but later during the Cell Games, a hard blow from Gohan causes Cell to regurgitate her. Though Krillin is unable to wish for her to be turned into a human, he is able to have her self-destruct device removed.[28] Krillin later pursues #18 and, at some point, they marry and have a daughter named Marron.[29] In Future Trunks' timeline, she is a mass murderer who is later killed by Trunks. She is voiced by Miki Itō in Japan, Enuka Okuma in the Ocean dub and Meredith McCoy in the Funimation dub. Colleen Clinkenbeard has provided her voice for the recent video games; she also voices 18 in the English dub of Dragon Ball Z Kai.


Baby (ベビー Bebī?) is a parasitic alien supervillain that first appears in the 22nd episode of Dragon Ball GT. Baby was created by combining the DNA of the king of the Tuffles with a cybernetic body. Baby desires to destroy all of the Saiyans to avenge his people. Baby is first reactivated from a sleep state by his creator, Doctor Myu. He attempts to fight Goku, Trunks, and Pan, but is easily defeated. To boost his power, Baby infects various people with his DNA and begins gathering energy from them. After a second defeat at the hands of the three Saiyans, Baby infects Trunks and then goes to Earth. On Earth he battles Son Goten and Son Gohan, infects them both, and is able to infect Vegeta and make him his primary host. Goku, Trunks, and Pan return to Earth to find the entire population is now under Baby's control. Baby is able to defeat Goku, then he begins using the Black Star Dragon Balls to restore the Planet Plant and transport the Earth population to it. During this time, Baby evolves into an even more powerful form and defeats Goku again. This causes Goku to transform into a Golden Great Ape and then into a Super Saiyan 4. In this new form, Goku is able to defeat Baby-Vegeta. He has Bulma, also under his control, fire a radiation beam at him from her Blutz Wave Generator which enables him to transform into a Golden Great Ape. After a lengthy battle, Baby separates from Vegeta and attempts to escape in a spaceship, vowing to return to destroy the Saiyans. Goku blasts the spaceship with a 10x Kamehameha attack, sending it into the sun. The ship is destroyed and Baby is obliterated.

He is voiced by Yusuke Numata in the Japanese version and by Mike McFarland in the Funimation dub.


Chiaotzu (餃子 Chaozu?), spelled Chaozu in the English manga, is a small human that resembles a doll with white skin, red cheeks, and one hair under his hat. Though he is not physically strong, he is skilled with psychokinesis and telepathy. He first studies under the Crane Hermit with his close friend, Tien Shinhan. After Tien realizes that the Crane Hermit's teachings are wrong, the two leave him and join with Goku and his companions. He continues to support Tien throughout the series, even going as far as self-destructing on Nappa in order to attempt to save him. However, this proved to be a mistake when Nappa survives without injury. After the Saiyan Saga, Chiaotzu is generally no longer involved in battle, although Kami gives Chiaotzu a new body for training. He is voiced by Hiroko Emori in Japan, Cathy Weseluck in the Ocean dub, and Monika Antonelli in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z in the Funimation dub. Brina Palencia voices him in Dragon Ball Z Kai.

Chi Chi

Chi Chi (チチ?), spelled Chi-Chi in the manga and Chichi in Japanese versions, is the wife of Goku and the mother of Gohan and Goten. She is very protective over the well being of her family, and wishes to remove them from Goku's lifestyle of fighting and constant conflict. She attempts to have Gohan focus on studying during his childhood, but this is interrupted by the constant threats to Earth. She later relaxes with Goten, even training him herself. As the daughter of the Ox-King, she is very strong in her own right, having easily made it to the quarter-finals of the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai, losing to Goku himself in one punch. She and Goku first meet as children when the Ox-King asked Goku to take her to Master Roshi's house. Later, Goku promises to marry her, thinking marriage is a kind of food. She later confronts him to have him fulfill the promise at the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai, despite the misunderstanding. She was voiced by Mayumi Shō in the Japanese version of the series until episode 88, from which point she was voiced by Naoko Watanabe. In the Funimation dub, she is voiced by Laura Bailey as a child and Cynthia Cranz as an adult. Chi Chi is played by Jamie Chung in the live-action film Dragonball Evolution; her voice was dubbed over by Ami Koshimizu in the Japanese version of the film.


Launch (ランチ Ranchi?), also known as Lunch in the manga and Marilynn in the Harmony Gold dub is a woman who Goku and Krillin rescued and brought to Master Roshi in exchange for him to train them. She has a strange disorder which makes her personality change from a nice, polite, brown-haired woman into a trigger happy blonde bad girl every time she sneezes. Since her bad form is a renown criminal, she decided to stay with Roshi at Kame Houses and become their maid. Launch's blonde persona develops an attraction towards Tien Shinhan's fierce attitude. In the manga she is not seen after the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament and is said to be chasing around Tien. She is seen in very few Dragon Ball Z anime filler during the Saiyan Saga and is seen again near the end helping contribute energy to Goku's Spirit Bomb to defeat Kid Buu. She was recently shown around the main cast once again in the special Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!! and in the ending credits of Dragon Ball Kai. She is voiced by Mami Koyama in Japan, Edie Mirman in the Harmony Gold dub and Meredith McCoy in the Funimation dub.

Mr. Satan

Mr. Satan (ミスター・サタン Misutā Satan?), known as Hercule in edited FUNimation releases and in some editions of Viz's manga translation, is a flamboyant martial artist that becomes a world renowned hero after the Cell Games. In 2009, his real name was revealed to be Mark (マーク Māku), which is a pun on the word "Akuma", meaning "devil/demon" in Japanese. After Goku and his companions stop attending the World Tournaments, Hercule starts winning them and becomes the reigning champion for many years. During the Cell Games, he attempts to fight Cell, but even after being swatted away, he is given credit for Cell's death by the media. He is soon called a world hero, gaining great wealth and a city named after him. Though Goku and his companions find his inflated ego and arrogance very annoying, he becomes their trusted friend after befriending the good Majin Buu, helping defeat Kid Buu by using his appeal to get energy from all of the individuals on Earth for the Genki Dama, and his daughter, Videl, marries Gohan. He was voiced by Daisuke Gōri in Japan until his death, with Unshou Ishizuka taking over the role afterward, while in English he is voiced by Don Brown in the Ocean dub, and Chris Rager in the Funimation dub.


Oolong (ウーロン Ūron?) is a shapeshifting, anthropomorphic pig that uses his abilities for his own greedy desires. He was expelled from shapeshifting training for stealing the teacher's panties, so he lacks the ability to change his form for more than five minutes at a time without a one-minute break. He joins Goku in the search for the Dragon Balls to eventually steal them, but abandons this plan. In Dragon Ball Z, he is often in the company of Roshi. He is voiced by Naoki Tatsuta in Japan, Doug Parker and Alec Willows in the Ocean dub, Bradford Jackson in the Funimation dub, and Bryan Massey in Dragon Ball Z Kai.


Pan (パン?) is the granddaughter of Goku. Pan's ancestry comes from both humans, and the extraterrestrials called the Saiyans, which becomes the primary race throughout the Dragon Ball galaxies. Pan is the daughter of the first Saiyan Human hybrid to appear in the series, Gohan, and his human wife Videl. In the Japanese anime, she was voiced by Yūko Minaguchi. In the English versions of Dragon Ball Z, she is voiced by Brenna O'Brien in the Ocean dub and Kate Bristol in the Funimation dub. In the English versions of Dragon Ball GT, she is voiced by Elise Baughman in the Funimation dub and by Caitlynne Medrek in the Blue Water dub.

Piccolo Daimao

Piccolo Daimao (ピッコロ大魔王 Pikkoro Daimaō?), known as King Piccolo in the English dubs and Demon King Piccolo in the Viz manga, is the evil half of the Namekian that removed his evil in order to become the guardian of the Earth; this negative energy took on a physical form, becoming a cast-off being. He and the good half, Kami, are linked, so if one dies, the other also will die. After being formed, he designates himself as the Great Demon King and begins to terrorize the world. He is eventually imprisoned by Mutaito, the master of Roshi, in a rice cooker for centuries by the suicidal Evil Containment Wave. After being released by Emperor Pilaf, he attempts to kill anyone that could possibly seal him again (including Chiaotzu and Master Roshi), uses the Dragon Balls to restore his youth, and takes over the Earth before being confronted by Goku, who, after a long battle, punches a large hole through his abdomen. Before dying, he regurgitates the egg containing his reincarnation, Piccolo Jr., in order to pursue his revenge. He is voiced by Takeshi Aono in Japan, Scott McNeil in the Ocean dub, and Christopher Sabat in the Funimation dub. He was played by James Marsters in the live-action film Dragonball Evolution; his voice was dubbed over by Hōchū Ōtsuka in the Japanese dub of the film.

Besides Piccolo Jr., Piccolo Daimao creates several offspring in order to help him with his plans. His first offspring, Piano, helps Piccolo formulate his plan until his death. He also creates Tambourine to hunt down the contenders of the World Martial Arts Tournament to keep the sealing technique from resurfacing. Tambourine kills Krillin and beats a weakened Goku, but eventually Goku's Kamehameha vaporizes him. The third, Cymbal, is created to find Dragon Balls, but he is killed and eaten by Yajirobe. The fourth, Drum, is created to battle Tien, who he easily defeats until Goku appears and kills him in one blow. Tambourine is voiced by Ryūsei Nakao in Japan and Dameon Clarke in the Funimation dub; Piano is voiced by Masato Hirano in Japan and Brian Beacock in the Funimation dub; and Drum is voiced by Daisuke Gori in Japan and Paul LeBlanc in the Funimation dub.


Puar (プーアル Pūaru?), known as Pu'ar in the Viz manga and Pu-erh in Japanese versions, is a soft-spoken blue creature and the constant companion of Yamcha. Puar's abilities consist of transvection and shapeshifting. Puar travels with Yamcha and Goku during Dragon Ball and continues to live with Yamcha afterwards. The character's name is revealed to be a pun on pu-erh[30] and was designed to slightly resemble a cat.[31] He was constantly mocked by Oolong during their time at Shapeshifting School together. When questioned about gender, Toriyama disclosed that he looked at the character as male during illustrations.[32] Puar is voiced by Naoko Watanabe in the Japanese version of the series, by Kathy Morse and Cathy Weseluck in the Ocean dub and by Monika Antonelli in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z in the Funimation dub. Brina Palencia voices the character in Dragon Ball Z Kai.

Son Goten

Goten (孫 悟天 Son Goten?) is the second and final child of Goku, the series' protagonist. First introduced in the 230 chapter of the manga,[33] Goten resembles his father in appearance, with the same hair-style and similar clothing. In chapter 324, Toriyama changes his appearance to avoid confusion with Goku to include a shirt bearing his name, and a longer, shaggier hairstyle.[34] Goten is trained by his older brother Son Gohan in preparation for the 25th World Martial Arts Tournament, which their father would be attending. During the training, Gohan discovered Goten could become a Super Saiyan.[35] He also possesses the Kamehameha, a technique that concentrates chi energy and is released into a powerful beam.[36]

In order to save the world from the villain Majin Buu, Goku and Piccolo teach Goten and Trunks the "Fusion" technique, which allows them to transform into a single powerful warrior, Gotenks. Gotenks battles Buu multiple times but even when he transforms into a Super Saiyan 3 he is unable to defeat Buu. Buu temporarily absorbs Gotenks, increasing his own power, but Vegeta and Goku are able to retrieve them from Buu. When Buu destroys the Earth in the 312 chapter, Goten and Trunks are killed.[37] The Dragon Balls later bring Goten back to life along with the rest of the Earth in order to give energy to Goku's Super Genki Dama attack, which defeats Buu.[38] Goten then returns to a normal life on Earth.

Masako Nozawa voices Goten in Japanese, while he is voiced by Kara Edwards (as a child) and Robert McCollum (as a teen) in the Funimation dub.


Videl (ビーデル Bīderu?) is the daughter of Hercule. Like her father, she trains in martial arts, even surpassing him in strength.[39] She uses her abilities to fight crime in the city, and after Gohan appears as the Great Saiyaman, she quickly figures out his identity. She uses that to blackmail him into showing her how to fly. After Buu is fully defeated, the two form a relationship, eventually become married, and have a child named Pan. When the two fight crime together afterwards, she takes on the role of the "Great Saiyaman 2 or Great Saiyawoman". She is voiced by Yuko Minaguchi in Japan, Moneca Stori in the Ocean dub, and Kara Edwards in the Funimation dub. Her name is an anagram of Devil, a play on words with her father's Japanese name (Mister Satan).


Yajirobe (ヤジロベー Yajirobē?) is an overweight samurai that Goku meets in Dragon Ball. He is often considered to be rude, unmannered, timid, lazy, and cowardly. During their first meeting, Yajirobe gets mad at Goku for stealing his fish, and hates him. However, he has a change of heart, and helps Goku prepare for the battle against Piccolo Daimao, and continues to support Goku and his companions, though often from the sidelines. He trains under Kami with the others in order to prepare for the Saiyans, and helps in their victory by cutting off Vegeta's tail. During Dragon Ball, he is a wanderer that lives off the land, but after meeting Korin and discovering the Senzu Beans, which provide the nutrients of ten days worth of meals, restore energy and heal wounds, he decides to live with Korin. He begins growing the beans with him, and often delivers them to Goku and his companions. He plays a part in Goku's first fight in Vegeta when Vegeta stares at a full moon and transforms into an ape monster. Yajirobe takes his sword and cuts off his tail. However, when Vegeta becomes enraged and threatens Yajirobe with death, he backs off and tells Vegeta that he wants to be on his team. He is voiced by Mayumi Tanaka in the Japanese version of the series, by Brian Drummond in the Ocean dub and by Mike McFarland in the Funimation dub.

Other characters

Android #16

Android #16 (人造人間16号 Jinzōningen Jū Roku Gō?, Artificial Human #16) is a large fully mechanical android developed by Dr. Gero. He is deemed a failure, and is deactivated until Android #18 reactivates and releases him.[40][41] Despite the other Androids disobeying and killing Dr. Gero, #16 still follows his orders to search for and destroy Goku. Unlike the other two, #16 processes a sophisticated mechanism to sense and track power levels in real time.[42][43] While trying to protect #17 and #18 from Cell, he is greatly damaged,[44][45] though Bulma and her father Dr. Briefs repair him. After he is repaired, he ignores his old orders to kill Goku, and focuses on the fight against Cell. Like the other androids he had the ability to self-destruct, but the device was removed during his repairs. This is made known only when #16 tried to self-destruct and destroy Cell, which Cell retaliates by destroying most of #16.[46][47] His head and consciousness survived, but later is destroyed by Cell, which pushes Gohan over the edge to Super Saiyan 2.[46][48] In the anime he is voiced Hikaru Midorikawa in Japan, Scott McNeil in the Ocean dub, and Jeremy Inman in the Funimation dub.

Android #17

Android #17 (人造人間17号 Jinzōningen Jū Nana Gō?, Artificial Human #17) is a human forcefully turned into a cyborg by Dr. Gero along with his sister, #18. The two are released by Doctor Gero as a last resort, but they turn on their creator and quickly kill him instead. They begin to travel in order to find and kill Goku, coming into contact with the Z Fighters several times. In Future Trunks' timeline, he is a mass murderer who is later killed by Trunks. #17 returns one last time in Dragon Ball GT, when he fuses with a new #17 created by Doctor Gero and Doctor Myu in order to become the Super Android #17, who is finally defeated by Goku and #18. He is voiced by Shigeru Nakahara in Japan, Ted Cole in the Ocean dub, and Chuck Huber in the Funimation dub.


Babidi (バビディ Babidi?) is the son of Bibidi, the creator of Majin Buu. After Buu is sealed and his father is killed, he sets out to resurrect Buu to help him conquer the universe. Babidi manages to take over the minds of many strong warriors in order to help him achieve his goal, including Demon King Dabura, alien warrior Pui Pui, light-devouring monster named Yakon, and two muscle-bound humans, Yamu and Spopovitch. Babidi uses them to collect energy for Buu's revival, and later enlists Vegeta to help him, though Vegeta is able to ignore his orders. After Buu is revived, Babidi manages to control him with the threat of resealing him, though after being manipulated by Goku, Buu turns on him and shatters his head with a single punch. He later appears in Hell, cheering Goku and Vegeta on during their fight with Kid Buu, and then in Dragon Ball GT, when various villains escape from Hell. He is voiced by Jōji Yanami in Japan, Terry Klassen in the Ocean dub, and Duncan Brannan in the Funimation dub.


Dende (デンデ Dende?) is a Namekian child saved from Dodoria by Gohan and Krillin.[49] He is taken into Gohan and Krillin's care, and takes them to the Great Elder to tap into vast-hidden reserves of their powers. Dende later gains the power to heal after having his power unlocked, which he uses to aid the warriors fighting Frieza until he is killed by the tyrant for being disruptive and helping the Earthlings. After being revived, he lives on New Namek until he is asked by Goku to replace Kami as Earth's guardian and revive the Dragon Balls. He accepts and continues to serve as the guardian throughout the rest of the series. He is very close to Piccolo, who fused with his brother Nail on Namek. As a child and teenager he is voiced by Tomiko Suzuki in the original Japanese series and by Aya Hirano in Dragon Ball Kai, with Hiro Yuuki voicing him as an adult. In the Funimation dub of the series, he is voiced as a child by Ceyli Delgadillo in the original dub, Laura Bailey in the redub of the series, and by Maxey Whitehead in Dragon Ball Z Kai. Justin Cook voices him as an adult in the Funimation dub.

Doctor Gero

Doctor Gero (ドクター・ゲロ Dokutā Gero?) is the former chief scientist of the Red Ribbon Army. After the destruction of the organization, he begins using his development of androids to aid in destroying Goku for revenge. While creating a series of androids, he eventually implants his own brain into an exact replica of his body, becoming Android #20. Both he and Android #19, a round, pale android and the most loyal of Gero's creations, are able to absorb the energy of others using small devices on their hands. The two eventually attack Goku and his friends. #19, successfully draining Goku of his energy while Goku is affected by his heart virus, is killed by Vegeta afterwards. Doctor Gero flees, attempting to release #17 and #18 as a last resort, though #17 quickly kills him. Doctor Gero appears once more in Dragon Ball GT, planning to return to Earth along with Doctor Myu by creating another Android #17. They succeed, though Doctor Myu betrays Doctor Gero and has the newly formed Super #17 kill him once again. He is voiced by Kōji Yada in Japan, Brian Dobson in the Ocean dub, Kent Williams in the Funimation dub.

Emperor Pilaf

Emperor Pilaf (ピラフ Pirafu?) is a small, impish man who dreams of ruling the world. Though he proclaims himself an emperor, he actually only has a crown and a castle. Along with his two minions, Mai (マイ?), a woman that wears a trench coat, and Shu (シュウ Shū?), a humanoid dog in a ninja outfit, he seeks out the Dragon Balls to wish for world domination. After obtaining the Dragon Balls once, he is foiled by Goku and his companions after another wish is granted just before he can speak his fully. He continues to antagonize Goku throughout the rest of Dragon Ball, and while attempting to obtain the Dragon Balls, releases Piccolo Daimao from his confinement. They appear again in Dragon Ball GT, where they obtain the Black Star Dragon Balls and accidentally wish Goku to be a child again. Pilaf is voiced by Shigeru Chiba in Japan and Chuck Huber in English dub. Shu is voiced by Tesshō Genda in Japan and Chris Cason in the English dub. Mai is voiced by Eiko Yamada in Japan and Julie Franklin in the Funimation dub. She was played by Eriko Tamura in the live-action film Dragonball Evolution.

Evil Dragons

The Evil Dragons, known as the Shadow Dragons in the English versions, are a group of evil beings born from the evil energy caused by overuse of the Dragon Balls. When attempting to repair the damage caused by Super #17, the cigar-smoking Evil Shenron is summoned from the Dragon Balls instead of the regular Shenron. He splits into seven dragons, each containing a Dragon Ball. They are known as the One-Star through Seven-Star Dragons in Japan, and Syn Shenron, Haze Shenron, Eis Shenron, Nuova Shenron, Rage Shenron, Oceanus Shenron, and Naturon Shenron in the English versions.

Goku and Pan kill all of the dragons besides the One-Star, Four-Star, and Three-Star Dragons, and collect their Dragon Balls. Goku soon fights the Four-Star Dragon, voiced by Ken Yamaguchi in Japan and John Burgmeier in the English dub, who is fire-based and much more honorable than his siblings. The fight is soon interrupted by the Three-Star Dragon, who blinds Goku in an attempt to kill him. Goku eventually manages to kill the dragon, and when the Four-Star Dragon attempts to help Goku with his eyes, he is killed by One-Star Dragon, voiced by Hidekatsu Shibata in Japan, and Bob Carter and Christopher R. Sabat in the Funimation dub. The dragon absorbs the Dragon Balls, transforming into Omega Shenron. After a long battle, he is killed by Goku's Super Genki Dama, and the Dragon Balls are purified.

Fortuneteller Baba

Fortuneteller Baba (占いババ Uranai Baba?) is an old witch and Master Roshi's older sister. She possesses a magic floating crystal ball which she rides on top of. She is able see the location of any lost item, have a limited view of the future and is able to bring any deceased individual back to the living world for only one day. She lives in a big palace located over an oasis in the desert. She normally charges a very high price for her services unless her team of fighters are defeated. Her team of fighters consists of Fangs, a boxing vampire, See-Through, an invisible man who is weak but only advantage is being invisible, Bandages, a mummy with brute strength and Spike, a devilman whose signature technique the Devilmite Beam can destroy people using the evil in their hearts. During the time Goku and his friends visit in order for her to find the last Dragon Ball after the defeat of the Red Ribbon Army, his adoptive Grandfather Gohan was the last of her fighters, brought back to the real world to see his grandson. In Dragon Ball Z, she makes many recurring appearances from time to time, including trying to tell the future of the Saiyans. In Japanese she is voiced by Junpei Takiguchi in Dragon Ball and early Dragon Ball Z and by Mayumi Tanaka during the later half of Dragon Ball Z and during Dragon Ball Kai. In English she is voiced by Ellen Kennedy in the Ocean dub and by Linda Chambers-Young in the Funimation dub.

Garlic Jr.

Garlic Jr. (ガーリック・ジュニア Gārikku Junia?) is the main antagonist in Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone and is one of the few original characters from the movies to appear in the TV series. His father was imprisoned by Kami in the realm of darkness, leaving Garlic Jr. with a deep feeling of resentment and desire for revenge. In the film, he manages to obtain the seven Dragon Balls, wish for immortality, and begin his quest for revenge. He is defeated when faced with an angry Gohan, who pushes Garlic Jr. into the Dead Zone, an alternate dimension he can freely open.

In the TV series, he breaks free using his power source, the Makyo Star, leading to the events of the Garlic Jr. arc. After attempting to brainwash the world with the Black Water Mist, he is once again trapped in the Dead Zone after the destruction of the Makyo Star. In the original Japanese version, Garlic Jr. is voiced by Akira Kamiya in Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone and Shigeru Chiba in the anime. He is voiced by Don Brown in the Ocean dub of the film and Dave Ward in the Ocean dub of the anime. Chuck Huber voices Garlic Jr. in the Funimation dub of the film and anime.

Ginyu Force

The Ginyu Force (ギニュー特戦隊 Ginyū Tokusentai?) is a team of five mercenaries who are hired by Frieza. Though physically some of the strongest individuals in the universe, the Ginyu Force's members delight in coming up with strange poses, betting candy on fights, and playing Janken. They are led by Captain Ginyu (ギニュー隊長 Ginyū Taichō?), who has a unique technique that allows him to switch bodies with his opponents. The other members are Jeice (ジース Jīsu?), Burter (バータ Bāta?), Recoome (リクーム Rikūmu?) and Guldo (グルド Gurudo?)

Frieza calls upon them to assist in the defeat of Vegeta and help obtain the Dragon Balls on Planet Namek. In the anime, they (sans the surviving Ginyu) appear at King Kai's planet in the afterlife and battle Tien, Yamcha and Chiaotzu, who defeat and banish them to Hell. Tien defeats Jeice and Burter, Yamcha defeats Recoome, and Chiaotzu defeats Guldo. King Kai reveals that he actually invited the Ginyu Force there in order for Tien, Yamcha and Chiaotzu to test their new strength.

Guldo, known as "Gurd" in the manga, is a fat, four-eyed monster who, although physically weak, has psychic powers, including the fact that he can freeze time when he holds his breath. He can also freeze people. He is the first one killed when Vegeta decapitates him.

Recoome, known as "Reacoom" in the manga, is a tall, orange-haired man whose attacks are simply named "Recoome Punch" and "Recoome Kick". He is killed by Vegeta after a long fight with Goku, whose power level is supposedly 5,000 at the time.

Burter, known as "Butta" in the manga, is a blue-colored dragon. He is known as "Blue Hurricane" due to him being the fastest being in the universe. He argues with Jeice and Recoome over who gets to kill Vegeta, and play rock-paper-scissors constantly. Goku easily kills him in one hit.

Jeice, known as "Jheese" in the manga, is a gray-haired, orange-skinned human. He is also known as "Red Magma". Goku originally gave him the change to leave, but Vegeta showed no mercy and murdered him.

Captain Ginyu is the purple-skinned leader of the Ginyu Force. He is shown to be the smartest, as he found out that Goku is masking his true power level. After seeing that Goku's power level grew up to 180,000 on the Kaio-ken, Ginyu uses an attack on his arm, leaving him almost dead. Ginyu switches bodies with Goku, who is left with Ginyu's nearly dead body. Ginyu (as Goku) tricks Krillin into handing over the Dragon Balls, but Jeice reveals that Ginyu as Goku's power level is only 23,000. Ginyu tries to get in Vegeta's body, but instead he turns himself into a frog.

Grandpa Gohan

Grandpa Gohan (孫悟飯じいさん Son Gohan jiisan?) is the adoptive grandfather of Goku, whom he found in a crashed spaceship. He teaches Goku martial arts, having originally studied under Roshi, and he even knows Roshi's Kamehameha.[50] He warns Goku not to look at the full moon, but he disobeys, leading to him being killed by Goku as a rampaging Oozaru on a night with a full moon. Goku does not realize it until Vegeta turns into an Oozaru and tells Goku about the transformations. He is allowed to return to life for one day by Baba in order to fight Goku and anticipate his growth, and he later appears as an assistant to Annin, the ruler of the "magical furnace". He is only shown in flashbacks afterwards. He is voiced by Osamu Saka in the Japanese version of the original series, by Kinpei Azusa in Bardock: The Father of Goku and by Shigeru Chiba in Dragon Ball Kai. In the Funimation dub of the series, he is voiced by Christopher Sabat. He is portrayed by Randall Duk Kim in the live-action film Dragonball Evolution; his voice was dubbed over by Hiroya Ishimaru in the Japanese dub of the film.


Kami (神様 Kami Sama?) is the guardian residing over the Earth for much of the series. Before his appearance, he was thought of as "God". He is the good half of an unnamed Namekian (which is called child of Katatz by Namekian Elder (Guru)[51]) that had to split himself in order to become guardian. The evil half, Piccolo Daimao, was later sealed away by humans. After Piccolo Daimao is unleashed and killed by Goku, he spawns a much stronger reincarnation, Piccolo. Seeing a threat, Kami decides to attempt to seal away the new Piccolo in the World Martial Arts Tournament, possessing a human named Shen (dubbed Hero in the English anime) as a guise, but the plan backfires on him when Kami is trapped inside a water jug and is swallowed by Piccolo. After Goku defeats Piccolo, he eventually reforms. During the fight against the Saiyans, Kami dies when Piccolo is killed by Nappa. Kami gives Chiaotzu a new body so he can train with King Kai, and much later during the Cell saga, Kami agrees to merge and rejoin Piccolo to stand a chance against Cell and the Androids. He is voiced by Takeshi Aono in Japan, who would do so up until the Frieza saga in Dragon Ball Z Kai. After Aono suffered a stroke, Bin Shimada voiced the character for his final appearance during the Cell saga. In English he is voiced by Michael Dobson and Dale Wilson in the Ocean dub, and Christopher Sabat in the Funimation dub.

King Kai

The Kai (界王 Kaiō?) are upper-level gods of the Dragon Ball universe. There are five at a time that rule over the main galaxy of the universe, with one presiding over each of the four quadrants in a galaxy, and the last overseeing them all. The Kai are responsible for the lower-level gods, who rule over individual planets. The Kai reside in the heavens, with each having their own small planet. There is a sense of competition among the Kai over whose quadrant has the best fighters. King Kai, the Northern Kai, trains Goku after his self-sacrifice to defeat Raditz, and eventually trains Yamcha, Tien, Chiaotzu and Piccolo.

King Kai, also known as Lord of the Worlds (界王様 Kaiō-sama?) and North Kai (北の界王 Kita no Kaiō?), is the Kai of the northern quadrant of the galaxy. His companion is a pet monkey named Bubbles and in the anime he also has a flying cricket companion named Gregory. King Kai trains fighters allowed to keep their bodies if they manage to reach his small planet at the end of Snake Way. Before training any students, he forces them to appeal to his strange sense of humor, catch Bubbles, and hit Gregory with a mallet.[52] He provides Goku with martial arts training and two of his own techniques, the Genki Dama and the Kaio-ken, which King Kai was never able to master himself. He continues to help Goku and his friends throughout the series, lending his planet locating and telecommunicating abilities for their use. When Goku brings a self-destructing Cell to his planet, the explosion kills King Kai and destroys his planet. As he is already in the Other World, he only gains a halo and in the anime he appears to settle down on Grand Kai's planet. He is voiced by Jōji Yanami in Japan, Don Brown and Dave Ward in the Ocean dub and Sean Schemmel in the Funimation dub.

Mercenary Tao

Mercenary Tao also known as Tao Pai Pai (桃白白) is an assassin for hire and younger brother to the Crane Hermit, Master Roshi's life long rival. He wears a custom made pink gi with the words "Kill You" on the back and his way of transportation is by riding on any cylinder shaped object he throws really far in the general direction of his next destination. He is first introduced in the series by being hired by the Red Ribbon Army to take out Goku and retrieve the Dragon Balls he possess. He kills General Blue with a touch of his tongue, and supposedly kills Goku. After succeeding in the first battle, he later had to come back after forgetting one of the Dragon Balls where Goku challenged him again with his new found power from climbing Korin Tower. He failed his second battle with Goku after getting caught in the explosion of his grenade which he was assumed dead which later resulted in his older brother the Crane Hermit attempting to get revenge during the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament. The Crane Hermit tried killing the Z Fighters in the 22nd Tournament. It is later revealed that he survived and was modified into a cyborg using all the money he gained from his previous assassination jobs. He enters the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament where he is set up against Tien who was his former student and is defeated. His last appearances were in filler episodes of Dragon Ball Z during the Cell Games Saga. In the film Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure he along with the Crane Hermit serve as the movies main antagonists where they attempt to take over Chiaotzu's empire. In Japanese, he is voiced by Chikao Ōtsuka in Dragon Ball and Yukimasa Kishio in Dragon Ball Z. In the Funimation dub he is voiced by Kent Williams.

Mr. Popo

Mr. Popo (ミスター・ポポ Misutā Popo?) is an immortal Genie-like entity who serves as the caretaker to Kami and later Dende after taking his place as the guardian of Earth. He helps Goku meet Kami by suprisingly getting the best of Goku in a fight, which he tells him that the air is thinner here. Mr. Popo assists Kami in training Goku for three years in preparation for his battle against Piccolo at the World Martial Arts Tournament as well as later training Krillin, Yamcha, Tien, Chiaotzu and Yajirobe during their preparation against the Saiyans. He is voiced by Toku Nishio in Japanese, French Tickner in the Ocean Group dub, and Chris Cason and Chris Sabat in the Funimation dub.

Mr. Popo's appearance has been considered an offensive racist stereotype by Carole Boston Weatherford in an article she wrote in the Christian Science Monitor in May 2000.[53] The English releases of the manga by Viz have censored Mr. Popo's lips by reducing their size.[54] In the airing of Dragon Ball Z Kai on CW 4kids Toonzai block, Mr. Popo's skin was changed from black to blue.


Nappa (ナッパ?) is an elite Saiyan warrior that accompanied Vegeta to Earth in search of the Dragon Balls. He has a somewhat violent nature. He survived the attacks of Tien and Chiaotzu, which drained their lives. He put Piccolo to death with his incredible might, but fell powerless to Goku who had returned to Earth with new training from North Kai. Vegeta ordered Nappa to stop fighting due to Goku's clear dominance over him. He was then executed by Vegeta when defeated by Goku. He returned briefly as one of the escapees from Hell in Dragon Ball GT, only to be killed by Vegeta once more. In Japanese he is voiced by Shōzō Iizuka in Dragon Ball Z, Kiyoyuki Yanada in Dragon Ball GT, and Tetsu Inada in Dragon Ball Kai. In English he was voiced by Michael Dobson in the Ocean dub and by Phil Parsons in the Funimation dub.


Raditz (ラディッツ Radittsu?), first seen in Dragon Ball Z Chapter 1 (New Threat), is a Saiyan warrior and the older brother of Goku. Along with Goku, Vegeta, and Nappa, Raditz is one of the few Saiyans who still exist following the genocide of the Saiyans in the destruction of Planet Vegeta at the hands of Frieza. In the beginning of Dragon Ball Z, Raditz arrives on Earth, searching for his long-lost brother in order to recruit him in conquering other planets. He is shown wearing a new device called a scouter that can read power levels. He tracks down Goku to try and get him to destroy Earth, but when Goku refuses, Raditz kidnaps his nephew, Gohan, and orders Goku to kill 100 Earthlings within a day if he wants his son back. Instead, Goku and Piccolo team up to defeat Raditz, though not even their combined powers are not enough. However, Goku makes the ultimate sacrifice by grappling with Raditz and allowing Piccolo to kill them both with his Makankosappo technique. Before Raditz dies, Piccolo taunts him by explaining that Goku will be revived by the Dragon Balls, though Raditz manages to send one final transmission on his scouter to inform Vegeta and Nappa of this, believing that his Saiyan comrades will come to Earth and use the Dragon Balls to revive him. Piccolo then attacks him, dealing the final blow to Raditz. However, Vegeta and Nappa travel to Earth to use the Dragon Balls for their own purposes instead. Raditz later makes a minor appearance in Dragon Ball GT along with many of the other villains who escaped Hell. He is voiced by Shigeru Chiba in Japan, Jason Gray-Stanford in the Ocean dub, and Justin Cook in the Funimation dub.

Red Ribbon Army

The Red Ribbon Army (レッドリボン軍 Reddo Ribon Gun?) is a paramilitary organization bent on total world domination. Originally a technological cooperation, they lost out to the Capsule Corporation, and focused their technology on military weapons. They plan on obtaining the Dragon Balls to help with their goal, using any means necessary including raiding towns, hiring the mercenary Tao to attack Goku, creating androids, among others. Despite this, Goku is able to wipe out the entire army. The quest for world domination turns out to be a ruse by their leader Commander Red. He is a short man, who really plans on using them to become taller, even if the whole army has to be sacrificed. The second in command is Adjutant Black (ブラック参謀?), who loyally obeys Red until hearing of his plan (to become tall), at which point, he kills Red with a shotgun and attempts to take over, only to be killed by Goku.

General Blue is a high-ranking official of the army. He comes into contact with Goku and his companions multiple times, often using a special psionic ability that allows him to paralyze other individuals. He is a neat freak, and does not enjoy Bulma's seduction, so she thinks of him as gay. He manages to steal the Dragon Radar during their final encounter, but after returning, he is set to be executed for not obtaining any of the Dragon Balls after multiple failures. He is allowed to fight Tao to redeem himself, though Tao easily kills Blue only using his tongue. Blue wears a brown uniform reminiscent of the Sturmabteilung, implying parallels between the RRA and the real-life Nazi Party. Blue appears in the Dr. Slump remake anime, where he assists the ninja Murasaki who is another operative of the Red Ribbon Army in trying to take the Dragon Balls from Goku and Arale. Blue is voiced by Toshio Furukawa in Japan and Sonny Strait in the Funimation dub.

In Dragon Ball Z, the Doctor Gero creates Androids, and it is revealed that Gero worked for the Red Ribbon Army, and that Gero is actually an android himself. Android 17 kills Dr. Gero, and Android 18 marries Krillin, so the plan had failed.


Shenron (神龍 Shén Lóng?, lit. "God Dragon"), also known as the Eternal Dragon in the Ocean and Funimation dubs, Shenlong in the Viz manga, Shen Long in Japanese versions, and the Dragon God in the Harmony Gold dub, is the wish granting dragon summoned when all of Earth's Dragon Balls are gathered. Shenron can bestow any wish as long as it does not exceed the power of his creator (who must be still alive) and has not been previously granted.[55] This is why Shenron can only bring the same person back to life once. Shenron can originally only grant one wish, but after being revived by Dende, he is able to grant two at a time. Shenron often tries to hasten summoners to make their wishes. He will usually threaten to leave or kill the summoner if they do not quickly make their wish, but never follows through with it. He is voiced by Kenji Utsumi in the Japanese version of the series with the exclusion of episodes 192 and 193 in the series and the films, in which he is voiced by Masaharu Satō; he is voiced by Daisuke Gōri in Dragon Ball GT and by Kōji Yada in the Dr. Slump remake. In the English versions of the series, he is voiced by Don Brown in the Ocean dub and by Christopher Sabat in the Funimation dub.

His Namekian counterpart is Porunga (ポルンガ?). Unlike Shenron, Porunga has a large, muscular upper body and various Namekian traits; he initially can only bring a single person back to life at a time, but can bring that person back multiple times. He can grant three wishes, so long as they don't exceed his creator's power, his creator is still alive, and each request is delivered in the Namekian dialect. He is voiced by Junpei Takiguchi in the Japanese version of the series with the exclusion of episode 283, in which he is voiced by Daisuke Gōri; he is voiced by Masaharu Satō in the video games. In Dragon Ball Kai Daisuke Gōri originally performed the role; after his death, Ryūzaburō Ōtomo took over. He is voiced by Christopher Sabat in the Funimation dub of the series.

Dragon Ball GT introduces the Black Star Shenron, a much larger red Shenron made by Kami when he and Piccolo Daimao were still one entity. He is summoned when the Black Star Dragon Balls are gathered, and can grant any single wish, regardless of any restrictions placed on the other dragons.

Supreme Kai

Supreme Kai (東の界王神 Higashi no Kaiōshin?) was originally the ruler of the eastern quadrant of the universe but due to his other fellow supreme kai's being destroyed by Majin Buu is the de facto ruler of the entire universe. During his debut he had pink skin and a white mohawk and was accompanied by his larger loyal body guard Kibito. He came to Earth to meet Goku and his friends and try to help prevent Babidi from resurrecting Majin Buu but ended up failing. The Supreme Kai takes Gohan to his own private planet where he has him train using the Z Sword but instead the sword is broken where the Supreme Kai's older ancestor gives Gohan the true power that is obtained from the Z Sword. Supreme Kai and Kibito later get permanently fused into one being when they remove only one of the earings to give to Goku which he later uses with Vegeta to create the fusion of Vegetto. The Supreme Kai later assists in the final battle with Kid Buu by teleporting the Goku and the last survivors on Earth onto his planet and helps fled with Dende to revive Earth and its people with the Dragon Balls. In Japanese he is voiced by Michael Dobson and by Kent Williams in Funimation's English Dub.


Uub (ウーブ Ūbu?), known as Oob in the Viz manga and in Japanese versions, is the reincarnation of the evil Majin Buu. After Kid Buu is destroyed, Goku asks him to be reincarnated as a good person, so they may battle again. King Yemma overhears the request and complies with it. Goku eventually senses Uub's hidden power, and seeks him out when Uub attends the tournament to gain money for his village. Goku ends up deciding to train him to be Earth's new guardian and as an opponent that he can battle. In Dragon Ball GT, Mr. Buu enters Uub's body, making him into "Majuub" to face threats such as Baby, Super #17, and Omega Shenron. He is voiced by Megumi Urawa (Kid Uub) and Atsushi Kisaichi (Uub) in Japan and Kara Edwards (Kid Uub) and Sean Teague (Uub) in the FUNimation dub.


Zarbon (ザーボン Zābon?) is one of Frieza's top henchmen. He has the ability to transform from a handsome, long-haired human into a powerful reptilian beast. Zarbon travels to Namek alongside Frieza and Dodoria to help collect the Dragon Balls. He eventually comes into contact with Vegeta, whom Zarbon manages to easily defeat and capture after transforming. After Zarbon retrieves Vegeta's battered body and brings him to Frieza's ship in order to heal him for interrogation, Vegeta manages to escape and steal Frieza's Dragon Balls. Zarbon sets out to find him once again, but Vegeta, having become stronger after healing, kills Zarbon in his monster form. Zarbon also appears in Bardock - The Father of Goku, where he advises Frieza to destroy the Saiyan planet and briefly appears in Dragon Ball GT when he escapes from Hell with other villains. He is voiced by Shō Hayami in the original Japanese series and by Hiroaki Miura in Dragon Ball Z Kai. In the English versions of the series, he is voiced by Paul Dobson in the Ocean dub, by Christopher Sabat in the Funimation dub and by J. Michael Tatum in Dragon Ball Z Kai.

In an issue of Beckett Anime, a Beckett magazine publication, Zarbon was voted as one of the top five greatest henchmen of all anime, and was the only character from Dragon Ball on the list.[56]


Several pieces of merchandise were released based on the characters from the series. These include key chains, action-figures and plush.[57][58][59] Other merchandise featuring characters include t-shirts, tumblers and trading card games.[60][61][62] Characters are also featured in video games from the series. While initial games were role-playing games (RPG), the following became fighting games.[63][64]


Anime News Network (ANN) praised the story and humor of the manga to be very good, and noted the well-portrayed personalities of the characters. They also remarked Viz's translation to be one of the best ones of all the English editions of the series, praising the lack of censorship.[65] Theron Martin from ANN praised the way the characters could turn the battles into "art", praising the ways they react while fighting, although they sometimes can become very long with little plot development. He also praised the themes from the warriors saying "it speaks to basic yet powerful themes like faith, confidence, heroism, sacrifice, love, and understanding what is truly worth fighting for", as well as the way Vegeta overcomes his pride to help the other characters.[66] T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews considered the series characters are different from stereotypes characters and noted that they have much more development than those from the series' sequels.[67]


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  29. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, vol. 21-26, page 4 respectively
  30. ^ Dragon Ball manga, Volume 2, Akira Toriyama's "Ask Me Anything!" Corner, page 194 — ISBN 1-56931-921-9
  31. ^ Dragon Ball manga, Volume 2, Akira Toriyama's "Ask Me Anything!" Corner, page 196 — ISBN 1-56931-921-9
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  36. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 21, chapter 240
  37. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 26, chapters 312 and 314
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  51. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 7, chapter 71 (also pronunciation could be found in Dragon Ball Z anime, episode 54 and Dragon Ball Z Kai anime, episode 25)
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  58. ^ "Dragon Ball Z Hybrid Action Vegeto Figure". Retrieved 2008-12-26. 
  59. ^ "Korin Plush". Retrieved 2008-12-26. 
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