Top Ten Misused Dragon Ball Characters
Hey kids, you know what time it is? Dragon Ball time. Yes, another article on the internet discussing the most popular anime franchise of all-time. This piece isn’t a glorification of all that is Dragon Ball, nor is it a repudiation of all that is Dragon Ball because both of those topics have been done to death. This is, instead, an analysis of characters present in the show’s extensive canon that, for whatever reason, were given the short end of the stick in terms of character development, on-screen presence, fighting ability, and/or fight scenes. Within this list, characters who may have been doomed by the fandom, forgotten by Toriyama, or damned by the pen holders’ biases are all ranked. Some characters may have been left off that deserved some more time, but this list holds some of the truly underrepresented and unappreciated members of the show’s history.
The daughter of Gohan and Videl, Pan appeared in the final episode of Dragon Ball Z and is one of the three main characters of Dragon Ball GT. Seems impressive until one remembers how almost unanimously hated Dragon Ball GT was and how her presence did absolutely nothing for the canon. Pan was the descendent of Goku and Hercule. She was by far the strongest female in the series by the end of GT and yet, she was mishandled so grossly that it seems that writers had it out for her. She’s the only character with Saiyan blood that doesn’t go Super Saiyan after the concept is introduced, this includes Goku Jr. and Vegeta Jr. As stated by numerous source she had the power level for it and she has numerous opportunities to transcend and become a part of the legend, but she never does.
It’s easy to forget about Pan because gender politics in Dragon Ball aren’t entirely that nuanced, but it’s a shame that the daughter of Mystic Super Saiyan Gohan who took after her Grandfather Goku and trained with him was never more than a decoy protagonist for the Dragon Ball: Goku is Terrible (Ba dum Tish).
9. Piccolo Jr. (Kamiccolo)
For never was a story of more woe Than this of Kami and his other, Piccolo.
Piccolo Jr., commonly known as just Piccolo, has been around since Dragon Ball. In his previous incarnation, he was dead set on global domination having defeated Tien, Chiaotzu, Muten Roshi and Kami. He even killed the Eternal Dragon and was responsible for Krillin’s first death. He was that evil.
Piccolo Jr. was the reincarnation of King Piccolo and was the last antagonist of Dragon Ball. In Dragon Ball Z, Piccolo gained redemption by training Gohan, and eventually sacrificing himself for him. When Piccolo returns from King Kai’s planet, he serves as a mentor and primary father-figure of Gohan. He is consistently shown to be the strongest non-Saiyan hero in the show’s canon. Unfortunately, this means little because by the Majin Buu arc, being non-Saiyan was equivalent to being a marshmallow in hot-cocoa.
The only role he was given any respect in was as a teacher, and then later as the Guardian of HFIL. The position is fitting in a cruel sense. For all the powers he had, Piccolo was never given the chance to rival Goku after DragonBall. After fusing with Nail, he held off 2nd stage Frieza, pushing him to transform into a Xenomorph. After fusing with Kami, he was as strong as Android 17 and Imperfect Cell, stronger than Vegeta, with the competence to get the mission of saving the world accomplished; however, he never was the trigger-man.
Piccolo did get the first victory for Earth in the Saiyan arc, defeating Raditz, and he routinely got kills in the movies, usually taking out the henchmen of the main villain. However, he would then be defeated either because Gohan was about to die or he simply wasn’t strong enough to cut it. Even in the Lord Slug movie where he’s more than enough to decimate the henchmen, he is relegated to supporter. This would be fine if not for his previously stated competency and the nature of Dragon Ball Z.
Unlike Dragon Ball, Goku never gets the kill. More so when Goku does defeat a foe, it’s with a bevy of support from other characters with him being the focal point of power. Not to take away from Goku but at times he functions as nothing more than a plot device to bail out everyone not as a particularly effective leader, or strategist, which were roles Piccolo thrived in. He was more than capable of being that focal point for the others or a counterpoint for Goku. There was even a point where he was considered for the Majin powers in the Majin Arc, which would’ve been a much better choice than Vegeta, if only for the fact that it seems Piccolo would desire the power to defeat his chief rival. At the least, it would’ve been better than the role he actually played in that arc (Statue, Teacher, Food, Useless in that order).
Poor Vegeta; here’s a character whose function was his down fall. He was used as a rival to Goku. Intelligent where Goku was uneducated, malicious where Goku was honest. He was the rival Goku had in Piccolo, but with more edge.
So, why is he on this list? Well, that has to do with the concept of the wharf effect. What plagues every action themed form of media is the credibility of the villain. If Goku takes on Puff the Magic Dragon, no one tunes in because it’s going to be a beat down. Now if Puff has killed Krillin, almost killed Piccolo and throughly beaten another character, then he’s a threat. Vegeta is, more often than not, that other character. A lot is made of Goku never killing the big bosses in DBZ until Majin Buu, but even more than Goku, the only people Vegeta killed were Frieza’s grunts (including the elite mooks Cui, Dodoria, Zarbon, all of the Ginyu force), innocent civilians, Android 19, and Pui Pui. Not exactly a who’s who of casualties.
On numerous occasions, Vegeta is utilized more similarly to Krillin: a measuring stick for the enemy threat rather than a viable opponent for the enemy. For example in the film, “The Return Of Cooler,” Vegeta shows up to save Goku. He then proceeds to be knocked about and embarrassed. He gets in a few good shots, but he’s nothing more than support for Goku–not an equal. It’s quite reminiscent of Krillin’s function in Dragon Ball. Both showed up as rivals to Goku, and both were more powerful than Goku. But over the course of the series, Goku eventually surpassed them and left them in the dust. In every part of the show, it was driven home that Vegeta, for all of his training and all of his effort, was inferior to Goku. And that’s just terrible.
Tienshinhan was superior to Goku in a way few other characters were shown to be. Tien was a student from the rival school to Master Roshi’s. Trained by Master Shen and Mercenary Tao, Tien was a mirror image of Goku in many ways. He was a vicious fighter and brutal in his execution. While Goku had the Kamehameha, Tien had the Dodonpa Ray. Goku had the After Image technique, and Tien had the ability to make clones of himself. Where Goku had the Mad Monkey Attack, Tien had the Volleyball Technique.
Tien had Goku beat in technique and early ability and truly was a great antithesis to Goku. Then Goku went to train with Kami, and came back far ahead of everyone else. He blew Tien away with little more effort than he used to defeat Chi-Chi. So Tien trained, went to Kami’s Lookout to train some more, and fought the Saiyans. And died.
What was worse about Tien’s death than Yamcha’s and even Chiaotzu’s is the fact that Tien is shown on numerous occasions to be the Goku of humans. His life was devoted to getting stronger and better, but his story had no pay off. He got no closure. He is often forgotten about in the collections of characters not even appearing in many of the movies.
His crowning achievement in the show’s extensive library is being the three-eyed guy who stalled Cell with his life force for a few minutes. That’s not a legacy I’d wish upon my worst enemy, let alone the guy whose quest for redemption included fighting for mankind’s survival in the King Piccolo arc, who trained harder than most of the main cast aside from Vegeta and Goku. A place he would’ve fit in perfectly was the ending of Z and maybe a run in GT. Hell, he had a better case than Vegeta to go Majin. His fight versus Super Buu showed that his courage hadn’t waned even in his advanced years, so for him to be relegated to forgettable support bald guy is unnecessarily cruel to Tien, whose only flaw in the series seems to be his humanity(?).
Hey, guys, Yamcha made the list…. and then he died. Ha!
Poor Yamcha, the first of to fall victim to the “can’t keep up syndrome” of DBZ characters. Yamcha, for all of his training, for all his natural talent, was never good enough to crack the quarterfinals of the World Martial Arts Tournament. First losing to Master Roshi (disguised as Jackie Chun), then losing to Tien (Getting his leg broken in the process), and then losing to Kami.
He spent nearly all of his time in Dragon Ball Z either dead, dying, or generally being useless. He failed in every aspect of being a rival, and was forgotten almost completely in GT. How does this happen? His fall from grace was harsh and sheer and it made little sense for the character. He’s shown to be a genuine friend of Goku and a very competent leader. During his training on Kami’s Lookout, he’s shown to be courageous and even before he gets blown up, he is an effective leader and brave through and through. What could be the point of having him become a comedy act who fails to even remain relevant?
Yamcha’s appearance in the Android saga, where he is broken after his defeat at the hands of Dr. Gero, does at least give the character some measure of closure as he recognized in canon that he would never catch up, However, it’s a bitter pill when looked at in regards to the character’s legacy. At present, Yamcha has reached a memetic status through his sheer lack of success. Goku’s first ever rival panned out to be nothing more than Disappointment the Character.
Quick, name a villain Goku helped to defeat. Now name one that didn’t come back to haunt him. No, filler doesn’t count.
Raditz, as the brother of Goku, had nothing at all. He wasn’t similar enough to Goku to be a cautionary tale. In universe, he was the butt of jokes even from his Saiyan comrades. But one has to wonder why. The character of Raditz wasn’t just buried; he was erased. There are no mentions of him in any of the flashbacks. Even when Goku acknowledged his Saiyan heritage, Raditz is only present for half a second.
After his first onscreen death, Raditz was gone from the canon. Why is this? Was he not of Bardock’s Super Saiyan lineage? Did he not share Vegeta’s pride for their race? He even had a blood tie to the main family. Was he so worthless that not even Gohan would remember him? Apparently so. Goten never has any interaction with the guy and may not even know he had an uncle Raditz, though looking at the in-show interpretation of Goku, it would be a surprise if Goten knew anyone he didn’t directly meet.
Raditz could’ve been revived in numerous scenarios and could’ve had a redemption story in the Saiyan Arc. Goku even visited HFIL in the anime, but somehow didn’t run across his brother. That’s not a fair shake for Raditz, as he was shown in a sympathetic light. He could’ve at least been an asset in the Saiyan Arc after it’s revealed that Vegeta and Nappa never even cared about him. At worst, the character gets an extra chance to show, “Hey, I’m always going to be be evil.” It would’ve worked fine, though at this point, one can only speculate. Raditz is dead and for the most part forgotten, and nothing short of canon overhaul will change that.
4. Android 18
Probably the most popular female in the franchise outside of Bulma, there is no question about Android 18’s misuse. She’s shown on numerous occasions to have retained her Android powers even in GT. The lack of her presence in many situations draws cries of sexism inherent in the show, but more than that, it shows how biased towards Saiyans Toriyama was at that point.
Even without the ability to grow in power level, 18 was shown to be superior to a Super Saiyan. Even so, in the Buu arc, she’s a non-combatant. Her entire life as a fighter is ended by her relationship with Krillin. She becomes a mother, and even though she’s the strongest woman shown in the Dragon Ball Z series, she only has one serious fight in the main series after the Cell arc against Super 17, in which she showed that she was more than capable.
In canon, she fights in the World Martial Arts tournament to get money for her family and job to Hercule/Mr. Satan. She does get a bit of relief in the movies Bio-Broly and Battle of The Gods, which is nice, but it’s a far cry from what is deserving of an immortal (according to Dr. Gero), ever-powerful battle android. A perfect chance for Android 18 to be viable in the main series would have been to have her present in the fight versus Majin Buu. Her energy was infinite and she could’ve proven to be more than effective in the fight. Far more than Gohan, who completely quit and thus had trouble even fighting Dabura, who had a power level equal to Cell.
The fact she was ignored to such an extent within the main series is a travesty because she not only remained the most powerful woman, she was one of the most powerful fighters that wasn’t a Saiyan. Then again, maybe that’s why she was forgotten: because she wasn’t a Saiyan.
2 & 3. Trunks and Goten
These guys. Oh boy, what can be said for them. Goten’s function as a character was never even utilized. From his introduction in the last arc of Z to the entire run of GT, Goten was shown to be powerful, but he was never even deemed a viable successor to Goku.
Future Trunks, was granted the Android arc to show up, kill Frieza, save Goku’s life, have daddy-issues, die, come back, and then leave. Trunks in the main-canon is shown as a partner for Goten who’s a little better, a little more polished and way smarter.
Honestly, the dynamic of Trunks and Goten might be better seen in an entirely different anime. Hunter X Hunter is what Dragon Ball GT could’ve been, which is to say, there is an ensemble cast that the deuteragonists, Gon and Killua, interact with while Gon chases the dream of meeting his absentee father. Goten and Trunks even share similarities in appearance and personality with the protagonists of HxH; it’s hard to imagine their dynamic without seeing overt commonalities.
Goten and Trunks were perhaps held down due to not only being the offspring of the two most powerful heroes, but also being on the tail end of DBZ and being younger than Gohan. Nothing they did affected the plot outside of stalling for their fathers to win. Gohan, at least, defeated his boss. The closest Trunks and Goten got was defeating Bio-Broly, with aid from Krillin and 18. Goten did get to defeat Broly when he reappeared, but that was just treading ground his Dad already walked on.
Goten never got to be his own fighter. He was looked at as Mini-Goku and treated as such, even in GT. This makes no sense, however, because unlike Gohan, Goten has access to the Super Saiyan form at an early age and actually trained with his father on a consistent basis. Trunks also trained with his father, in high gravity training, plus he inherited Bulma’s smarts. With this in mind, the fact that the franchise didn’t at least give them a spin-off just adds to the perception that their existences were by and by unnecessary.
Honorable Mentions (and reasons they weren’t included):
6. Krillin (Marries Android 18, gets to beat Goku before GT ends, has a kid; that’s a good life.)
5. Chi-Chi (Even though she was the most powerful woman in the world at her introduction, she just wanted to be a house wife.)
4. Nappa (Everything said for Raditz applies to Vegeta and Nappa. He at least has DBZ:Abridged)
3. Launch (Who?)
2. Videl (Pan=Videl=Chi-Chi)
1. Uub (Last victim of Not Being A Saiyan Syndrome)
Alas poor Gohan, I knew him, Krillin, a fellow of infinite misused potential.
From the inception of Dragon Ball Z, Gohan was the heir apparent to Goku. Even so, Gohan stayed in a perpetual state of underdevelopment. His character was defined by his biracial make-up and Goku building him up. Goku hyped his son up. Raditz saw the potential. Piccolo saw it. His rage was the deciding factor in many fights including Frieza and Cell.
How could a character with everything going for him in-universe fail so hard? Well, it’s been attributed on many occasions to the fan base. Due to heavy fan backlash when Toriyama attempted to have him assume the mantle, Gohan remained a crushing disappointment. Many people list Gohan as their favorite character; he is, after all, the one who defeated Cell, and transcended being a Super-Saiyan and became a mystic. He was the guy–for all of the conclusion of the Cell Arc.
Even in the movies, Gohan is supposed to be better than his father. He’s a minor target for Turles and contributes to his defeat, he defeats Broly with Goten and destroys Bojack by himself. Yet, for whatever reason he was never deemed fit for the throne that was all but forced upon him.
His period as Great Saiyaman was met with derision by most of the fanbase, but was another possible platform for him to be the main character; however, as cited by numerous sources, Toriyama once again capitulated to his fanbase and downplayed Gohan to the point that he was a joke character. His “fight” vs. Super Buu is evidence of that. He was never accepted by the fans, and thus the show that was meant to be his never became his. His story became the b-plot and he was relegated to being a relief pitcher after being the clutch closer for Cell.
No amount of extra material could fix the damage to the character, and aside from a continuity reboot a la DC’s New 52, there is no redemption for Gohan. He’s not even a has-been by the time GT rolls around; Gohan exists as a never-was. He never truly surpassed his father despite being stronger and better written. The brass ring was never obtainable for him and the goal posts were ever shifting. Gohan wasn’t a failure due to any one flaw–he was doomed by a wide range of flaws tied to the show’s concept and for this reason, there should be no question that he was the most misused character in the Dragon Ball franchise.
What do you think? Leave a comment.
Vegeta. Idiotic and the most irritating character of the show who ruined everything. I wish Piccolo and Goku should have been given more credit They are the ones who charmed the show Useless Vegeta He should have died earlier.
Idiotic is you using Vegeta as a full sentence and randomly capitalizing words. Same as the guy below you, coincidence that people who hate Vegeta come across as retarded?
People do not use proper grammar on the internet, anyone commenting on a website and surprised by this is the definition of idiotic.
Vegeta is one of my favorite characters, but still most of the criticisms about him are true.
hercule, he’s so damn annoying but all these characters add something good to the series like funny moments and heated dialogue between say yamcha and vegeta.
I am happy Vegeta is on the list He sucks the dbz show.Why does he even exist?
Same reason Sasuke, Shadow the Hedgehog, and Byakuya I’d presume. Hero needs someone similar but stronger to chase.
videl sucks, she is the worst fucking chracter. Then its pan. they both are ugly. Poor gohan stuck with the ugliest girl in dbz. Damn she is so annoying. She flippin blackmailed gohan and pushes him around
so if someone isnt classically hot you dismiss them as ugly? my my
Frieza should be on the list.
Care to elaborate?
Freeza should have been a recurring villain. I would have liked to have seen him become to Dragon Ball what Darksied was to DC or Thanos was to Marvel. Instead he shows back up to get wasted by Trunks just to make him look good… then have Trunks defeated easily by Goku to make Goku look better.
Then there is the fact that immediately his father and brother are introduced and are hypothetically so much stronger than him. Which always irked me, to the point that I will argue otherwise even when I know I am wrong.
Freeza is easily the most iconic villain of the series to not be turned good by Goku presumably giving them a Disney song number. His interactions with most of the cast make him one of the most memorable, three quarters of his saga is devoted to his enemies hiding from him in fear of his power, and he is simply in general a big deal. Even after he is left in the dust he is still used as the stick by which other villains are measured.
The only villains that return and remain a real threat are movie villains. Which frankly depresses me.
Also, in regards to the article… when was Krillin ever stronger than Goku? Yamcha and Tenshinhan were at their introductions, but Krillin was comedic relief from the get go.
I like Vegeta my no. 1 character. 10.King Kai 9. Bardock 8. Goten 7.Trunks 6. Yamcha 5.Tien 4. Picollo 3. Gohan 2. Goku 1. Vegeta
I only have 1…Bulma in the Freiza saga she was annoying,to me at least.I dont get it because she doesnt piss me off in the other sagas
this list sucks. you don’t defend your points well, and trying to decipher your convoluted writing style is a chore in and of itself. not to mention your attempts to be clever come off as extremely obnoxious, making this article appear pretty stinkin’ amateur. I’ve come to expect better from this website.
Damn……..what you say is true……but damn….lol
After i saw gohan was his worste character i literally coulnd’t read the rest
Gohan isnt the worst character, just the most misused. He was hyped up to be Goku’s heir after the Cell Saga then gets brushed aside. You can argue that Gohan isnt a fighter and I would say ok and end it there if they didn’t bring in Mystic Gohan. They once again show Gohan to be so powerful then just push him into the backseat. This is coming from someone who’s favorite character is Gohan.
It seems like you just admitted to not being able to understand the “big words” used.
lol almost all comments here think he is talking about the most sucked character. Please get a dictionary and define suck and misuse…
Lol yeah and the same idiots talking about ‘most sucked’ and crap who clearly didn’t read the article or didn’t understand simple words like ‘misused’ are the ones whining about grammar or poor writing.
Ah, Dragon Ball Z. It will always hold a very special place in my heart. You make some very good points here in my opinion, but I am inclined to be a bit more forgiving myself, if for no other reason than because I’ve often heard that Toriyama intended to end the manga after the Frieza Saga. That fact alone covers a large reason why this character or that character didn’t really get his/her due; up until that point, they’d all been about as relevant as they could be, with Goku, as the protagonist, being entitled to the most screen time and the greatest victories.
But, you keep extending a tale beyond its intended life span, and you end up flying by the seat of your pants. Suddenly, Gohan doesn’t just have a ton of untapped potential, but nothing less than the MOST POTENTIAL EVER =O !!! Serial escalation calls for more and more powerful enemies, but if all of the characters all power up, they’d just gang up on the new villain unless you make a bunch of new villains every time. So, to keep it simple, some settle down or simply can’t keep up.
I could go on, but long story short, there are probably a lot of legitimate reasons beyond bias or prejudice that keeps most of these characters down, not least of which is the fact that giving all of them their due would require either a much longer series or numerous spin-offs. Even so, I agree that it would have been nice to see much more done with them. If only manga were like American comics. Then the stories could go on forever…and ever…and ever @_@ .
Understandable, I too am a big DBZ fan, but I have to come down hard on the show because of that fact. I love the franchise but, so many characters were underutilized, forgotten, demoted to jobbers, or plain killed off it warrants concern. If the show had stopped after Frieza I can’t say I wouldn’t have been disappointed, but now with everyone so much weaker than the saiyans (no matter their training) what was the point of them even existing?
Sub par article about a mediocre show. What kind of list has Gohan at the number one spot?
Whydoncha read and find out Terry?
Another totally misused character is King Cold. What exactly was the hierarchy between him and Frieza? Why would he be a “secret” leader of the organization? It seems like he was totally tacked on to the Trunks Saga but he raises more questions than he answers.
Totally forgot about him honestly. Then again we saw basically what he could do in the Cooler movie. He was just another beefed up Frieza.
my worst is cell,freiza and every bad guy in that saga.
Hercule, Mr. Satan, and Hercule; I dont find him funny; He just annoys the crap out of me.
alas my 5 least favorite characters.
1) Emperor Pilaf
3) Gohan(Adult and Kid, Teen was cool)
5) Hercule Satan (I’ve learned to mix the names)
This isn’t a list of least favorites, this is a list of misused characters.
Yes but its still fun listing them 😉
1. Spopovich (The guy that stole Gohans energy during the Buu saga)
2. Guldo (Member of the Ginyu Force)
3 Recoome (Member of the Ginyu Force)
4. Sharpner (One of Videl’s friends)
5. Dr.Gero (Creator of the androids/Cyborgs)
All of these people suck!
what about The Boondocks?
1. The Ginyu Force save for Recoome
2. Metal Cooler (not really Cooler)
3. Garlic jr. and the Spice ****
4. Lord Slug
– Cell. Overrated.
– ChiChi. She’s just plain annoying.
Agreed. Cell’s skill is overrated imo. He’s not the best fighter in the series by a long shot as some claim.
Broly. Overrated, beaten by way weaker people(does ganging up ever work in the manga EVER?), has no actual purpose, obsessed with someone that cried as a baby(wow shouldn’t we all cry?), made to look much stronger than he really is…
This isn’t a list of bad characters. This is a list of misused characters.
1.Mr Satan (white man with afro and magnum PI tache and irratating overall)
2.Broly (way overated, OMG i have huge muscles and green super sayian crap and I keep growing in power, yep where i have i seen this before…….oh yeah the hulk)
3.Bulla (look mommy i’m wasted potential)
4.Mr Buu (Buu turn things to candy, cool yeah how about turning them to cigarettes and dying of lung cancer)
5.Kibitokai (AT’s idea of a fanboy lets face it, “dude your so powerful”, suck his *bleep* while your at it *facepalms*)
6.Vegeta ( sayian saga to before kid buus death “i’ll beat you kakarot” after goku spirit pwns buu “your number 1” the fact he’s basically bowing down doesn’t help him)
7.Kid Trunks (straight up cocky and just too damn annoying, should have died in the buu saga for good)
Harsh, I never knew so many people hated Broly and Buu. I agree about Bulla though.
HFIL? LOL It’s Hell. Anyways you can see one last glimpse of Raditz after he dies. But yes more should have been done with him, he’s Goku’s brother afterall.
Nope, it’s Home For Infinite Losers. HFIL.
Ok I’m sorry but Gohan is really not the worse character. Vegeta is the worse by far! I can’t believe u put Yamcha here. Everyone hates him but I love Yamcha in dragon ball!
You didn’t read the article.
Gohan souldnt be at one–Yamcha should be #1–he is seriously the shittiest one. sucks. I mean thee worst.
This isn’t about who is the worst it’s about who is the worst treated
ok listen yamcha sucks in dbz obviously but his character is better than obviously most characters in dragonball the original if you cant don’t see that then you need to watch it again.
I like that gohan is #1 he’s character made me want to kick my tv every episode you want to talk about shittiest gohan is obviously the most shitty character.
I for one agree with this list except for yamcha but gohan indeed is the most horrible character in all thank you for making him #1.
This list does not say that Gohan is the worst character, but the most misused. That is something else. This list is about which characters deserved better writing/devolpment then they got. This is not a hate list. Did people forget how to read? Or is everybody these days so dumb they don’t know what misused means? Really people. READ FIRST. THEN COMMENT. This is not an article for bashing or to promote hating on characters. Really why are people such idiots these days… Reading seems to be a very difficult task.
F@*k the haters, this was a really interesting article and I completely agree with most of your choices. It was annoying as hell how Gohan as a character gained so much momentum to be great but then it later fell flat as if Toriyama had just gotten bored of writing about him, so he just brushed him aside while hoping no one had noticed. I say the show should be rebooted with better writers xD
Thank you for actually reading the article.
A reboot would be so great! I would especially love to have the women kick some ass, while at the same time have others reach their potential, whether it be as a leader, tactician, etc. ake Gohan the main protagonist! Viva la GOHAN! Also I would love to see Piccolo with that M on his head and cause havok.
Nice list. Some of these are my least favorite characters:
Mr. Satan – He provides some comedic relief, but a little bit of Satan goes a long way, and after so long he just gets irritating…
Babidi – Loud mouthed annoying lil weakling hiding behind his magic. I wish Piccolo had killed him, but Buu punching his head clean off was tits! To bad we didn’t see much of Bibidi, he seems more relaxed and chilled when Buu wasn’t aiming his blasts towards him carelessly… LOL
Bulma (Freeza Arc Only) – I like Bulma overall, but on Namek she was an annoying pain in the ass IMO… In other Arcs she is a pain in the ass too, but I didn’t find her as annoying as on Namek specifically.
Yamcha – I just find him to be the lamest of the Z Senshi, yes, even more so than Chazou…. Don’t ask me for a detailed reason, I just find him annoying, and I laughed my ass off when Vegeta stole his woman…
Chazou – He didn’t really do anything of value after DB, in Z he was just useless more so than any of the other humans… Even the things he did in DB weren’t that impressive…
Guldo – Just a waste of time IMO… Time stopping abilities aside…
Lord Slug – Yeah, sure, all of the movie characters are rip offs of canon series villains to an extent, but Lord Slug was just to much of a rip off of Daimao IMO…. Plus I found the movie boring overall…
Garlic Jr. – Annoying little toad…
Bio Broli – Swamp Thing looking retard taken out by liquids…
You did not read the article. Misused does not equal bad/hated characters. It means they deserved better treatment then they got.
Stop being a troll/hater. This is not a place to list your hated characters, but to list which characters desreved more then they got.
do i need to say more?
Worst Characters – babidi, supreme kai, kabito, videl, chi chi, satan, gotenks, kid goten- trunks and yamcha
Overrated – fat buu, broly, super perfect cell, gohan and goku
Maron from the Garlic Jr Saga.
Gohan had so much potential! It was painful to watch him become Great Saiya Man; it was borderline pathetic. Great list. DBZ was so great but just knowing it could’ve been even greater is heartbreaking!
Watching the “death” of Gohan so-to-speak was painful. I think another fun person to mention is the Supreme Kai. Supreme Kai started out with so much potential to be awesome, and then…nothing. Sad life. Great article!
As a fan of Gohan.. It did sadden me see his character go to waste. I remember being a child and being excited for the first episode of the buu saga to start. Wondering what Gohan will have in store this saga. Then I saw him as the great sayain man. What a joke…
As a fan of Dragon Ball, it saddens me to know that some of my faves were misused and overlooked, while Goku gets all the shine. Piccolo, Gohan, Vegeta and even Android 18 deserved better than that.
I thought this was a really well written article with great support for your points. Indeed, many of the characters in a long-term extended series like this were bound to be left in the dust in pursuit of ever greater and greater villains for the hero to chase. I am sorry that many of these commenters seem to have not read your article at all, because I felt that you defended yourself well in addressing the MISUSED characters of the DBZ universe.
I had to stop at Vegeta to quote what you wrote about Piccolo. “He is consistently shown to be the strongest non-Saiyan hero in the show’s canon. Unfortunately, this means little because by the Majin Buu arc, being non-Saiyan was equivalent to being a marshmallow in hot-cocoa.” I can’t express how on point this is. I wholeheartedly agree–yes I first read #1– that Gohan was misused in the show. If he took the mantle, I believe the series would have survived without Goku, as much as he is loved, to explore other characters and let them shine. I am interested in knowing what your thoughts on Hunter x Hunter are, if you have seen it. Great article!
So I just read 2 &3! YES! When I started Hunter x Hunter and saw them together I thought, Hey Gon and Killua are very similar to Goten and Trunks except they are more badass!
I completely agree that gohan was misused but you have to look at the big picture. Saiyan’s absolutely love the thrill of the fight, naturally, and their power is driven by pure emotional rage (saiyan’s are naturally emotionless race). Gohan was the best of both worlds. He had the true power of a saiyan with the pure emotion required to drive that power to its limits. The only downfall was that by only being a half saiyan, he lost the love for the fight. He doesn’t love the fight like Goku and vegeta and thus he never truly became the hero like his father. Doomed by his own species
Glad to see Vegeta on this list, he is my favorite hands down, then again I’m always rooting for the anti-hero. It’s great to have someone who fights for good but isn’t all about peace & love, someone who is just a badass. It sucks the creator doesn’t like him and has given him the short end of the stick so many times but regardless, he is Goku’s greatest foe and greatest ally at the same time. Master tactician, king of mind games, great backstory/character development, etc. DBZ wouldn’t be DBZ without Vegeta.
“Glad to see Vegeta on this list, he is my favorite hands down, then again I’m always rooting for the anti-hero.” Wa-wai-what? Do you mean you allways root for Vegeta or any kind of anti-hero (Sasuke)? Cause urgh disgusting if you root for sasugay…
I know this is years later but I hadn’t seen any of Naruto at the time of my original comment. Naruto/Shippuden were probably the best 2 anime I have seen to this day. DBZ will always be my favorite of course, but that’s a strong NO from me for Sasuke. He was okay at first but by the time the war rolled around he was pretty whiny and redundant. Then he suddenly wanted to be Hokage? Idk kinda whack to me. Don’t even get me started on “I deserve to have one arm and Im never full on chakra” Sasuke in Boruto. Itachi was cooler imo but my second favorite character was Shikamaru and then Rock Lee by far. Naruto was actually one of the first series where I really rooted for the main hero. He never backs down and he never goes back on his word. Naruto was ready to fold anyone from episode 1 til now. Shame about the 9 tails though.
I disagree with your opinions on Gohan. What made him interesting to me was the fact that he never WANTED to take Goku’s place.
Sure, he enjoyed fighting, but never as more than a hobby, a money-maker, or when it was needed to save the one’s he loved. BUt all he really wanted to do was make his parents happy. The studying for Chi-Chi, and the training for Son, he just wants to make those around him happy. Hence the Saiyaman Saga, his training with Goten, and entering the 25th Budoaki, to A: keep his identity a secret, and to appease his mother with the prize money.
Gohan is the reluctant fighter of the series, trying to find a another way beyond killing his foes, which is also what made his personality shift at SSJ2 so startling. Gohan, is, and will remain, one of my favorite fictional characters of all time.
Wonderful article! REALLY confused at the Vegeta hate in the comments. By far my favorite character in the series. I feel like he is relatable in his efforts to push to be the best, fueled by jealousy and pride. I dunno, I feel for the guy. 😀
Spot on list! And i wondered why no one ever made a fuss about Gohan’s 180 degree u-turn by the writers. From an upcoming hero in DBZ to comic relief in GT and beyond? Come on! Even if they caved in to fanbase wanting Goku to remain the hero, there are better ways of handling Gohan’s character. His character was fine by the end of the canon manga. If i’m correct GT was written by other writers. So the blame should be on the anime studio wishing to cash in on the popularity of Goku rather than take a risk and fully develop Gohan.
Another misused character is Broly. Appearing in only ONE good film (the sequels suck), his popularity speaks for itself. He is the saiyan of legends and has a real bad ass look. His origin story could have been much better and should have been written into the canon manga.
Vegeta is such a cool character that it pains me to see that he NEVER gets his due. His appearance pattern is beyond predictable: someone’s ass gets kicked, he appears to help and looks heroic, then gets his ass kicked until Goku saves the day. Ironically of all the characters, Vegeta has probably the most development in the series’ history, while everyone else maintains essentially the same personality, including Goku. But for a saiyan prince, a driven man who has been training and dreaming of beating his great rival for years but never once did, he is just sad.
i cant believe most of those characters are on your list my includes only 3 characters and that roshi, bulma and chi-chi,
roshi constantly tries to abuse woman, bulma anoys the crap out of you with her constant whining about luxuries instead of whats truly important
and chi-chi omg i never seen a mothers so badly represented
Freiza is easily the best villian ever in dbz because he literally had no redeeming qualities whatsoever
This was an excellent post! As much as I LOVE this universe, I have to say that this article really shows how DBZ, thanks to fancraze and the editors lack of balls, was just so poorly written – especially compared to how excellent Dragon Ball was.
I agree with you on Gohan being a misused character. They downplayed him and his abilities towards the end of Dragon Ball Z and all of Dragon Ball GT. They also should have put more of a focus to Gohan surpassing Goku in Dragon Ball GT and show a progression in his character. They built him up to be such a strong character and to be more powerful then his dad, but then make him a let down character. In a way, he doesn’t really even get to make his own name for himself; he is just Goku’s son, and Goku gets all this glory which is deserved from all the accomplishments the writers write him to have.
I have to disagree. Yamcha and Chiaotzu never got a chance, same with Raditz. Chichi used to be cool until toriyama turned her into an annoying bitch. And Nappa, well he had more moments than raditz but was still shitted on
Personally, I have long thought that Dragonball is way overplayed. I just think there is WAY too much talking and not enough action. That said, I guess this whole piece is a bit undershot.
I’d say Goku himself is the most misused character in the series. He’s the deus ex machina. He’s the reason no other character can shine, because of his very existence. He is the victim of a rabid fan-base that couldn’t just grow as the series did. Hell, he doesn’t even age after the original Dragon Ball, while every other character(including Vegeta) does to some extent. Hell, they wouldn’t let the poor man die, even when he himself requested it.
Great article. But I have to disagree with what you said about Vegeta and Gohan. Sure, from the events in the canon series, Vegeta and Gohan could have done more but from a philosophical aspect, they were used perfectly. Vegeta represented pride and his character arc consisted of getting over his pride. This was evident in the Buu saga when he admitted that Goku is better than him. Gohan, on the other hand, represented the pacifist and Gohan’s fight against Cell was a battle to overcome his pacifistic nature for the sake of humanity. After the end of the Cell arc, he continued to be a pacifist and a scholar because that’s who he is although he was supposedly stronger than Goku. I will admit that Saiyaman thing was stupid but don’t you think it’s interesting that Goku is stupid and warrior-like and Gohan is intelligent and pacifistic?
Your list is absolutely great. In my opinion yamcha is the second most misused character. I mean, he had so much potential. If you watched the original dragon ball first, and then dbz, you would know. He was the first fighter introduced, aside from Goku. A possessor of many original attacks. Wolf fang fist was absolutely badass and awesome. He was confident, and cocky, not unlike Vegeta. His fight with Tien was great. His fight with Tambourine, though he had a broken leg, was great too. And then, Goku grew up. Toriyama gave poor Yamcha scars, so he wouldn’t look as good, and had him turned into a laughing stock in his battle against kami. All to reduce his popularity and put more emphasis on Goku.
I agree that 18 is a misused character..she is an android, she has great power but she didn’ t used perfectly… i expect more scenes from her…she is very strong and don’t forget she is a beautiful hot chick too…I also want more from their relationship with Krillin..they are such a cute couple..i want to know how did they end up getting together after the cell saga..they are a couple that didn’t get much of an attention in dragonball series..in the movie bio-broly, i expected that after krillin came to save 18 they should had moments together like thanking krillin after what he did and actually kiss him on the cheek or on the lips since they are couple..they should had more romantic moments in dragonball GT..you know like that…and I really like 18 so much..she is so damn beautiful..do you agree?
I am bored in class…
Did you people even READ the article? It’s not about the WORST characters, it’s about those who had potential but where MISUSED.
I would add Broly to this list. He is such a ridiculous villain who was grossly over hyped and built up to the point of comedy. I never felt he did anything threatening and his character was so bland. He’s just the strongest. Oh, but I’d say Pan deserved way higher ranking than she got.
See the thing is, DBZ was meant to end at the cell saga, hence the whole announcer speech at the end of that arc (going on about Gohan becoming the new savior etc). It very much felt like the end of a series. Totally agreed on the saiyaman part. It became awkward. So overall, I’d say Gohan was a spectacular character up until the end of the Cell saga- loads of character development and internal strife, something a little distant from DBZ as a whole and as a “fighting” anime. Going back to the character development, I completely agree with your list, barring Vegeta. Sure, the character was -all talk- but that’s exactly what the anime needed.A character that gives us hope and takes it away (going hand in hang with piccolo). I mean, look at the Bojack movie and the Android 13 movie. Toriyama made this likable (after a while, to be fair) character for us, to put in positions of safety when he comes about. In those mentioned movies, you actually feel a sigh of relief when Piccolo and Vegeta make entrances to help the team out. Yeah, they get the shit beat out them, but they created characters that continuously give us hope when they shouldnt. Or maybe I’m just talking as a person who hopes to see someone other than Goku take a win for once?
Ok,lets say something,the thing that some characters are missused is because the writter did not want to be a predictible anime,i mean if Gohan kept going stronger and stronger,the other characters was just for the background,so yea many characters had they`r roles and then when they was not so much needed,they where whiped out from action,you can tell want,but every character had his/her role,but they can fix it,if they want,they can make a new series of dragon ball and make characters as you wanted to be.
So if someone say,Gohan needed to be more used,and then other say…no Vegita should be more stronger than Goku,and other say Tienshinhan should be more used and the main rival of Goku,how can the writter please you all,if for example all beats Goku,then Goku gets thrashed and everyone is happy,after that someone say,oh i miss old times when Goku was the real God,and then comes other argues,how Yamucha(a simple Human)became so strong to compete with Cell,or how Tien another human,but with 3 eyes can compete with other Vilain like Freeza for example…well you should know where the anime goes when Freeza destoryed planet Vegita with the fear of Legendary Super-Saya-Jin,and how Freeza reacted when seen Goku in SSJ1,from there it started on Sayajin focus,and Gohan cant be main protagonist or really strong,because his wish is to go to school and become a teacher,not a fighter,he was teached this way by her mother Chi-Chi,you should blame her for this,if Gohan was teached only in art of martial arts by his father Goku and teached to love battles,he could be main protagonist forever,but this was not happened,Vegita could be main rival to Goku,and i mean by beeing itself a sayajin and a Prince of Planet Vegita,and as was told,he was the strongest child sayajin and that was why he have name of sayajin planet,but because he is that,that dont mean he can become more stronger,Goku was looking all time to find the power to beat evil,so he overpush him to beyond the limits and come back stronger like never was,and that is why he outshine other characters,he is way too dedicated to fights,and he is the real legendary sayajin who is the strongest warrior in the universe,he breake the bonds when he train on 100G,and become stronger after that when he reach SSJ1 due to the kirillin death.
I personaly i`m not a Goku fan,but that`s the facts,and yea maybe if other characters as Tien or Piccolo was close to sayan blood,i mean the sayan blood makes them really stronger after coming back from a dieing state,as you seen when Dende heals Gohan,and he become more stronger in fight with Freeza,or when Goku was injured by Vegeta and he was healing in Freeza ship,that`s main reason others cant maintain with sayajins and this is main reason Freeza destroyed Saya-Jin planet.
Sorry for bad English,and keep the fight here forever!
I disagree with some of what was written and some that is just plain wrong. Firstly Krillin was never stronger than Goku. Technique wise they were about even but Goku alway had the stronger body. Not moving onto to Pan, she was very strong but was not the strongest female, 18 was easily the strongest female in the dragon ball universe. Now I don’t know what you have again Tien but you made two mistakes with him because he has never lost to piccolo Jr since he never fought Piccolo Jr. The closest thing to a fight between Piccolo Jr and Tien was the sparing match they had on King Kai’s planet where Tien was teamed up with Yamcha and Chaozu and we didn’t see the winner but what we did see had Tien, Yamcha and Chaozu winning. The other thing with Tien is that the fight he had with Goku you said Goku blew Tien away with little more effort than he did with Chi Chi, what rubbish. Tien vs Goku in the 23 world martial arts tounament was a close fight even forcing Goku to take off his weighted clothes and at one point Tien had Goku almost beat and started to walk away when Goku finally got up. Hell even after Goku did beat Tien Tien even said the only thing hurt was his pride so I don’t know what drugs you were on but it’s a good fight so next time you watch it try it without the drugs.
Also I forgot another mistake on your list. Piccolo is not the strongest non saiyan, Uub is. I guess you really like Piccolo but you can’t just make up things because you want it to be true. Apart from all these mistake it isn’t a bad list, I just hope you fix these mistakes.
Oh man not even a mention of Yajirobe, the character who plummeted into irrelevance the fastest of anyone from DB.
While I love Gohan and agree he was underused as a fighter, his psyche actually played more into what the fans demanded than what Gohan’s fighting ability could be. He was no fighter mentally, and what SSJ2 did to him had me fearing for what anything stronger would do. He became merciless, vengeful, and horribly bloodthirsty, completely out of line for his gentle, pacifist leans. As much as I wanted it, I knew that, if one were honest about his character, it truly could never be without dire consequences or a life-altering death, like losing his father outright.
I’m amused that four of the characters (and one of the Honorable Mentions) have Toriyama’s Saiyan bias listed as contributing to their lackluster performance…and the other six (and one of the Honorable Mentions) are Saiyan-blooded. I don’t think it’s Saiyan bias; it seems more like Goku bias.
Gohan is #1? Seriously? He did lots of great things in Z.
Chiaotzu is easily the most underused character in all of Z. He does literally nothing of note.
As soon as Vegeta admitted, “You win Kakarot. You are the best” he destroyed the very point of his character. Thank god it was at the very end of the series.
I agree that Gohan is easily the most mishandled character in Z, though it’s the fans in Japan who are to blame. Gohan was supposed to lead the series after the Frieza saga as well as Cell, but EVERYONE wanted Goku to live so Toriyama bent to their wishes. It’s a shame.
He could have been a star.
Great post! I agree with most of the article, and I really wish that Toriyama (sorry if that’s misspelled) would have used Goten and Trunks more ( I know that they are just kids and that Goku is still the star of the show, but I think they would have been a great help!) I also think that Goten should become Goku’s heir, mostly for the fact that it kinda looks like he wants to, but also because I know he would probably be just as good if not better than Goku is so far.
Gohan’s “downfall” was a shock at first, but it really didn’t surprise me that Toriyama choose that path for him (he was obviously never that into fighting and sometimes enjoyed studying, but mostly enjoyed protecting the ones he loved). I’m not sure I could see him being as happy with becoming Goku’s heir, but I do agree he was underused (especially with all of his potential that he showed in almost every fight he was in) and would have been a great help to Goku and the others with some of the villains like Buu.
Understand completely about Gohan. In the beginning of the show when Raditz uses his scooter on Goku his his level is 337 I believe. When Gohan was upset in the space pod Raditz was shocked and utterly suprised that Gohan could reach a power level of 1,200. Over 4 times stronger than Goku already. So clearly from the very beginning Gohan was meant to be the strongest fighter surpassing his dad and being the universes savior if you will. But as we know that did not happen as Goku saved the day time and time again. Expect the cell games.
And tragic and Android 18 to. A way better stronger and more skilled fighter than Krillan and possibly even piccolo. But nope she has been reduced to stay at home home mommy role while lesser skilled n fighter Krillan goes to fight. I really hoped the unitized better in dragon Ball super
I despised how Goku took all the spot light & everyone was thrown at the back of the burner & most of the fights took too long. I have a friend who read the mangas of DB & DBZ, & stopped when cell transformed ( I don’t blame him ). I watched DB b4 watching DBZ & I swear DB was way better & all of these guys 110% had potential, and there is a million & 1 things that these ppl could have been used for
You guys who agree with this list, and the author, don’t understand db. Firstly krillin was NEVER stronger than Goku at any point in the manga or show. At best they were close but goku was always at least 5% stronger. Secondly, db displaying the harsh nature of life and battle. Goku was lucky not to be killed by king piccolo. Battles are decisive and quick despite the anime dragging them out for filler reasons.
Vegeta admitting goku was better is a huge character development. Gohan not fighting was his nature. Just like him becoming vengeful against cell was the nature of the ssj2 transformation. Their personality changes just like oozaru. The fighters being underutilized is because that’s life. I’m convinced that if ppl looked at db and toriyamas treatment of it you will find that everything makes sense if you look at it like the natural course of actions for everything. Don’t look at it like he’s writing a great story look at it like he’s telling a natural progression of events.
How many of you when you see someone bench 200lbs more than you, train and train until you can get better than that person? Not many. Humans are lazy. Peace makes you lazy. Necessity is the mother of all invention. Even goku only got around twice as strong as his tournament days at the beginning of db. That was FIVE years! Within two years after meeting Raditz however had grown over 100,000x stronger!
Again wasn’t much stronger at the beginning of buu saga neither was Vegeta both being max 8 and 2 times stronger respectively than their cell saga maxes (ssj3 and 2 have a multiplier of 8x and 2x ssj respectively) and beerus said that base goku couldn’t beat Frieza yet after achieving god form base Vegeta and goku would stomp namek freeza!
So stop looking at db as a wishlist of what you would like to happen for this and that character and being disappointed when they don’t get the spotlight. Rather look at it like a documentary where real people have flaws and faults, get lazy, get killed and get scared of dying etc. And it will all make sense.
Last thing, in keeping with my previous comment I’m also convinced there is no sexism in db. At all. Toriyama is merely describing women as they actually are. Videl, Chichi and Android 18 settling down after getting married MAKES PERFECT SENSE. Where in life do you ding women excelling far and above men? There are NO female fighters even willing to fight male fighters who are professionals and for good reason.
Women are naturally lazy even more so than men. They like to sit around, would Rather take a cab than the bus or walking and hate working out. When do women work out the most? When they’re trying to get a man. Once they get one they usually stop and put on weight. This isn’t a knock on women I’m just describing the reality.
It’s like the idiots who say Goku is a bad father. Hello!? He’s a SAIYAN! Their children don’t need 20 years of development and parental nurturing. And they aren’t touchy feely like Humans. This is a NATURAL consequence of relying on your own strength and not needing community like Humans do to survive. Stop judging db by unrealistic standards like feminism which posits the comical lie that men and Women are equal. That May be true among saiyans but it definitely is not true among humans. Look at the differential between men and Women at the Olympics and this Will be clear.
Once you Stop judging db and toriyama by these false and foolish expectations, the value and truth in db becomes apparent.
Vegeta is the best character of dbz.He trains so hard but still he can’t surpass goku, this is bullshit.Goku becomes a super saiyan when he krillin is dead and vegeta goes super saiyan by training hard.Is this possible that a person who trains harder than someone is weaker than him.Vegeta should be the protagonist of dbz. Vegeta trains harder than goku in the 3 years before the arrival of the androids and goku just trains gohan. Thats y I don’t like goku much. Vegetas got an attitude perfect for a hero whereas goku has a childish nature that sucks.
Actually those rascals who think only Goku shined need to open their eyes. Even others helped Also Vegeta is a loafer of the show
Vegeta represents the problem of the show
My personal picks for this list would have been:
Bulma- Although she was supposedly a brilliant scientist, most of her work was conducted off screen. On screen, she was treated as a joke and was often portrayed doing inexplicably dumb things, especially during filler segments. It’s as if the writers were paranoid that their mostly male audience would not like seeing a woman portrayed as intelligent, and were determined to pander to this as much as possible by making Bulma an idiot any time the plot didn’t require otherwise. She should have been smart all the time, not just when it made for a convenient plot device.
Bulla- Contrary to what the article said, Pan actually wasn’t the only character in GT to possess Saiyan blood but not the ability to go Super Saiyan. And if you think Pan got a bad deal in that series, consider poor Bulla Briefs’ situation: not only did she not go Super Saiyan, she’s the only character with Saiyan blood to never show any signs of super-strength whatsoever. She doesn’t even appear to be as strong as some Earthling women such as Chi-Chi or Videl. As a descendant of the Saiyan royal line and the illustrious Briefs family, Bulla could have conceivably inherited a deadly combination of super-strength and super-intelligence. Instead, she’s mostly just interested in shopping, and her greatest accomplishment was convincing Vegeta to shave his moustache.
Top Misused Heroes I agree mostly with:
Tien – Article summed it up mostly, he remained powerful enough to remain somewhat relevant during Cell when he held him down with tri beam to delay him from absorbing 17(or 18 cant remember), but after that he was completely useless. I felt they should have kept him relevant with fusions or unlocked potential or something like they did with Piccolo for a short while.
Piccolo and Android 18, both stronger than Super Saiyans, remained relevant until Buu, then they might as well have been as weak as the humans.
Pikkon, he was shown to have power to easily crush Cell and a fair match for weak Janemba, but he was barely shown in the series and showed up as a distraction in Janemba movie.
Kais – Some of the kais were shown to be (at least) a formidable opponent for Kid Buu, yet we never really see them fight or train anyone (besides King Kai having them run around and chase Bubbles), I feel they could have been involved more.
Top Misused Villains:
Ginyu – He seemed one of the more intelligent villains and had an incredible power to swap bodies. Even though he can’t fully control the new body’s power, it still has the potential to make him relevant throughout the rest of DBZ, but he was a short lived character. He seemed almost to have a sense of ethics and could possibly turn good if he wasn’t working for Frieza.
Frieza/Cooler/ but mostly King Cold – I felt what DBZ did with these 3 was a good start, but at least 1 of them should have been a reoccuring villain or maybe even a half bad / half good character ( a stretch but I think possible).
However, King Cold was made to seem like he was strong or stronger than Frieza, but then he was just a useless character killed in 1 hit.
Raditz/Nappa/Turles – At least 1 of these Saiyans could have lived on as an ‘evil’ saiyan and continued to reoccur in the series, perhaps Turles resurrected all the dead saiyans with the dragon balls or became powerful enough to escape HFIL, anything really to keep them relevant instead of completely forgotten.
Babidi – I do like this character, but I feel his ‘control’ over evil minds didn’t seem all that powerful for the likes of Dabura/Pui Pui/Spopovich to actually obey him. As soon as he tried it on Buu and Vegeta it mostly failed. As annoying as this character was, he should have had more power to back up the fact that he’s controlling such powerful villains. This could also have been a potential character who ‘resurrects’ old evil villains possibly using the dragon balls and then control all of them to his will using Majin control, but he became useless and dead once Buu arrived.
Vegeta from Dragon Ball Super called.
He’s turning into Super Saiyan Blue to kick your ass. Lol
FFS, so many people commenting in this article are retarded.
Let me define what is “misuse” for you.
1. to use (something) in the wrong way or for the wrong purpose.
– to treat (someone or something) badly or unfairly.
Basically, a list of misused characters would then be what?
A list of characters that deserved better than what they got in the series. Characters that could have been so much greater (and totally deserved it) if the author of the series, Akira Toriyama, knew how to properly write them.
If any of these characters became useless and had their potential wasted, it’s AT’s fault.
First, it’s not the “wharf” effect – it’s the Worf effect, named for Star Trek TNG’s Worf: resident badass, Chief Security Officer, strongest guy on the ship who consistently gets his ass handed to him just to show off how much stronger the bad guy is.
Second, it’s a popular myth that fan backlash is why Gohan was shafted as a replacement protagonist for Goku. The actual truth is simply that Toriyama arbitrarily decided that Gohan was unsuited to be the protagonist compared to Goku. That’s all he ever said about the topic. Gohan was the most popular character towards the end of the Cell arc, so there wouldn’t have been fan backlash for making him the main star going into the Buu arc. But I think his cringy Saiyaman antics, severely weakened state, constant losses, and never getting to show off his true power just bled out any popularity he had. And awakening his ultimate potential didn’t help anything especially since he lost immediately afterward.
All said, even though he’s my favorite character, Gohan is definitely one of the most mishandled characters and that’s all Toriyama’s fault for not knowing how to write complex characters or plotlines. He’s a comedy writer first and foremost and has gone on record saying he’s forgetful and doesn’t plan things beyond the next few chapters, so it’s no wonder Gohan and all these other characters ended up so misused.
You should redo this list with the update from DB Super. I think there might be some changes especially for Frieza.
But alas my favourite Gohan was again underused.
I think they should just spin-off Gohan into a separate series just so that he is away from the main canon. Just him, videl and pan plus Piccollo!