[Throwback Thursday] 5 Vegeta Highlights - Dragon Ball Z

Vegeta Dragon Ball Z Wallpaper

The Prince of Saiyans


  • Episodes :291
  • Genre :Action, Adventure, Shounen, Comedy
  • Airing Date : July 1989 – January 1996
  • Producers :Toei Animation, Bird Studios

Vegeta Preview (No Spoilers)

In this internationally acclaimed hit, Dragon Ball Z tells the further stories of Son Goku, his friends, his foes turn friends, and the inter-galactic battles they get themselves into. In the beginning of Dragon Ball Z, Goku learns of his origins of being a Saiyan (or Saiya-Jin), a race of warriors who go to other planets, destroy them, and sell them for a profit. Due to their evil nature contradicting Goku’s humble and pure character, he denounces his heritage and calls himself a son of earth.

When Goku later travels to space to save his friends from the clutches of Frieza, Goku learns that his fellow Saiyans were just about as much victims as the people they terrorized since they were used by Frieza only to be destroyed by him. Due to these revelations, Goku embraces his heritage and becomes something as the last hope of his race and becomes the first ever legendary Super Saiyan. After Frieza’s defeat and the resurrection of his rival, Vegeta, the Prince of Saiyans, their initial rivalry from the first saga of Dragon Ball Z extends to that of who is the better warrior, which brings us to today’s HCW

Vegeta Bio

Voice Actor: Horikawa Ryo (Japanese)

Despite being inferior in size to some of Goku’s previous rivals such as Piccolo upon his introduction, Vegeta is a man of action with immense power. Due to being the prince of Saiyans, the man has an unrivaled sense of pride and lets nothing get in the way of his goals. Despite being royalty, Vegeta was still nothing more than as a pawn in Frieza’s universal real estate endeavors, but found thrills in fighting and destroying planets. After receiving information of the Dragon Balls through Raditz’s scouter, he heads to earth in hopes of getting immortality.

Unfortunately, Goku and his friends put a stop to that and nearly loses his life in the process. Not giving up on his quest, Vegeta goes off to Planet Namek, the home of the original Dragon Balls to get his wish but Frieza has a head start on him. Knowing the threat it will bring if Frieza gets his wish (which also happens to be eternal life), the rest of the Z Warriors reluctantly team up to fight. To make things crazier, Vegeta ends up having a son with Bulma, Trunks. After the battle with Frieza, Vegeta becomes a part of the crew but still wants to settle the store with Goku, or who he refers to as his birth name, Kakarot.

In the original Japanese version, Vegeta is voiced by the multi-talented Horikawa Ryo who does a great job of portraying him as authoritative and vain. To see how diverse his talents are, in addition to his role as Vegeta, check him out as the soft and feminine Shun in Saint Seiya, and as the perverted teenage assistant to Mikami Reiko in Ghost Sweeper Mikami (and Reiko is voiced by Tsuru Hiromi, the voice of Bulma). In the FUNimation dub, he is portrayed by the actual director of the dub, Christopher Sabat, who also voiced Piccolo. His voice may be a bit more scratchy compared to Horikawa’s, but he does a great job of showing his emotion when needed.

Vegeta Highlights

1. He Developed Into a Decent and Normal Father

Dragon Ball Z Capture image1

More emphatically highlighted in Dragon Ball Super, Vegeta shows he’s a man of his word to his son. In the beginning of the Buu saga while training in the gravity room, Vegeta promises Trunks if he can land a punch on him, he’d take the family to an amusement park. Trunks actually lands a clean hit on his old man but unfortunately, the circumstances of that respective story arc did not allow viewers to see Vegeta live up to his word for twenty years!!!

In an earlier episode of Dragon Ball Super, Vegeta finally puts his money where his mouth is. Despite finding some of the attractions ridiculous, he is willing to take part showing that he has changed since his introduction from a destructive tyrant to a family man. After all the craziness they went through, a change of pace on a trip to the park is always nice. Even if it took fans twenty years, it's nice to see Vegeta has lived up to his word.

2. Goku Has Never Really Beaten Him One-on-One

Dragon Ball Z Capture image2

Despite having two fights in Dragon Ball Z and always wanting to surpass Goku, Goku has never cleanly beaten Vegeta in a man-to-man fight. Though Vegeta (in his more evil beginnings) resorts to going to Oozaru, or Were-Monkey, to nearly beat Goku, Goku never really had a chance until Yajirobe cut off his tail, and Goku still needed Krillin and Gohan to land the Spirit Bomb on Vegeta. This shows that Goku relied a lot on his friends to fend off Vegeta the first time. The first fight essentially ends in a stalemate with both fighters in critical condition. Vegeta could barely move and Goku (without Senzu beans) had to be hospitalized for weeks!

In their second fight when Vegeta succumbed to his darkness through Babidi’s magic, though the fight was kind of another stalemate, Vegeta knocks out Goku by using a cheap shot so he could go onto commit his ultimate sacrifice. Vegeta didn't do it to win, just so Goku would be safe and be the next line of defense. On the same token, Vegeta has never really beaten Goku in a clean manner as well, and along with Goku always finding ways to power up, it motivates Vegeta to maintain his position as the prince of his race.

3. Committing His Most Noble Act while Under the Influence of Babidi's Magic

Dragon Ball Z Capture image3

In the early parts of the Buu Saga, Vegeta is somewhat influenced by Babidi’s magic by using his inner dark nature against him. Due to the damage accumulated in the fight between Majin Vegeta and Goku, Babidi got the energy needed to release Majin Buu and wreck some havoc. Realizing that there are bigger risks at stake, Vegeta and Goku put aside their differences only for Vegeta to knock Goku out with a strike from behind. Upon arrival in attempts to save the way, he puts the safety of his son first and tells him goodbye in one of his top emotional scenes (along with his first death by Frieza).

This moment is very special because Vegeta, with Babidi’s mark still branded on his head shows that even when he was magically influenced to his darkest nature, he still found the light and made the ultimate sacrifice. Despite Vegeta’s sacrifice being in vain, it resonates with fans because he has finally come to terms that there are things bigger than his ego. Thankfully, King Yemma the judge of the afterlife, felt that this one noble act outweighed all of his grave sins and gave him a second chance for redemption.

4. Vegeta’s Rage!

Dragon Ball Z Capture image4

If there is one moment in the history of the series that has brought Vegeta to a distinct sense of fame, it is from a certain line from the Canadian dub performed by Brian Drummond way back in 1997. Heck, it is now a t-shirt which (has previously been stated in other DBZ articles) was worn by former 2008 judo bronze medalist and former women’s UFC champion, Ronda Rousey, who has openly admitted to being a fan of DBZ and Vegeta in interviews. After reading Goku’s power level on his scouter, out of frustration, he removes it crushing it with his hand while screaming “IT’S OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAAAAAND!!!!!!!!!!”

But what else defines that aspect of his character? While on his journey in outer space to become a Super Saiyan, he was stuck in a moment of desperation and frustration. On the brink of death and not being able to accomplish his goals, Vegeta built up frustration, was able to be manifested into his first transformation. What makes this transformation unique is that it was really fueled by frustration and not as an emotional reaction to a character dying. The circumstances to Vegeta’s first Super Saiyan transformation may seem anti-climatic to some fans, but it was well-befitting his character at that time in the series.

5. His Overall Development

If there are any characters that exhibit any true character development throughout Dragon Ball Z, it undeniably has to be Vegeta. Most of Goku’s developments are superficial through his power ups and his training. Granted Goku traveled the world then later on to the universe throughout his lifetime, but despite those experiences, he still exhibits the same traits as an uneducated country bumpkin who just likes to fight.

Vegeta on the other hand was born with power and is still the recognized prince of a nearly extinct race and wants to keep the legacy of his people alive even if it means beating the crap out of other people. The first step to his development was when he is first killed by Frieza. Upon his death, he puts his rivalry with Goku aside and appeals to him as a fellow Saiyan in tears that Frieza is responsible for the death of their race and as the last full blooded Saiyan, to avenge every last one of them. If anything, Vegeta helped Goku embrace his Saiyan heritage through his first death!

As previously stated, his role as a father and making the sacrifice while consumed by his dark nature showed him at his most noble, however, when he sees Goku resume their fight with Buu, he reflects on his life of sin and sees what made Goku not just a better fighter, but a better man. The moment he says that Goku, or to him, Kakarot was number one, it was the final step in Vegeta’s development from mad tyrant to a humbled warrior.


Final Thoughts

As mentioned in the Top 10 Facts You Didn't Know about Dragon Ball article we did awhile back, it was also shared that Toriyama-sensei’s least favorite character was Vegeta. However, he admits the importance the character brings to the story and the way he is used to drive it. Though he has not really directly admitted it, his recent quotes show that his attitude towards Vegeta has changed considering him to be the hero of the Resurrection F movie.

The character resonates with fans for various reasons in addition to what has been covered. People love his arrogance, the performances in the various languages he is portrayed in, his development, the way he fights for the finish, just any reason you can think, people love him. And the fact that there are more than 5 reasons (hell, maybe OVER 9000!!!!!!!!) to love this guy is why we featured him on this edition of Honey Crush Wednesday. So for you Vegeta fans out there, why do you love him? Give us your thoughts in the comments!

Justin

Writer

Author: Justin "ParaParaJMo" Moriarty

Hello, I am originally from the states and have lived in Japan since 2009. Though I watched Robotech and Voltron as a child, I officially became an anime fan in 1994 through Dragon Ball Z during a trip to the Philippines. In addition to anime, I also love tokusatsu, video games, music, and martial arts. よろしくお願いします

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