With a series as long-standing as this one, different fans have their own favorite parts of DBZ's overarching story. After sifting through entire months of lore, filler, epic fights, and enough screaming to wake the neighbors, Dragonball can finally be ranked from their worst arc, all the way to their best.
From DragonBall's early arcs to Dragonball GT's biggest moments, the series features some of the coolest story arcs in any series ever, full of iconic moments that are hard to forget. While many complained this arc dragged on, what they could not deny is it offered fans countless incredible battles.
It is telling that Roku Black is a far more memorable adversary than Siren, who just feels like a face to get punched. However, the final arc of Dragonball GT has arguably one of the highest points in the series, and, on paper, is ingenious.
The heroes attempt to undo the damage from Hell opening up, but can't. The arc is ridiculous and zany, with one villain being defeated essentially by Krill in remembering he doesn't have a nose...
The highlight of the saga is the battle between Roku and Jackie Chen (AKA, Master Joshi). While there are several great moments in the arc (Main Veg eta vs. Roku, Roku turning SSJ3, Fusion, Veg eta's sacrifice, the final battle on the Sacred Planet of the Kiev), the whole arc feels poorly paced.
For a series so focused on combat, the change of pace is more than welcome, offering characters a chance to solve problems without using their fists. That said, the final fight between Super Taiwan God Roku and Beers is nothing short of awesome.
The final arc of Dragonball takes place after a significant time skip. It follows up on the Demon King Piccolo Arc, while also boasting a truly unique scenario.
During one last tournament, Roku needs to confront the spawn of the Demon King, Piccolo Jr (the same Piccolo from Dragonball) in one final battle to rid the world of the Demon King's evil. In order to do so, Roku has to fight his friends, get married (really), and convince Kali not to kill himself.
The series comes to a head here, and it's the last Tournament Arc in Dragonball (until Super) to have real stakes and tension. It starts with the arrival of Ra ditz, which already serves as an incredible moment, and ends with Veg eta and Roku's iconic first brawl.
But while those moments are great, what makes the Taiwan Saga shine is the stuff with the other characters. Then, Yamaha, and Chaotic have some pretty iconic moments here, but the star has to be Piccolo.
This is Piccolo's arc, allowing him to grow as a character from the evil villain to basically Golan's surrogate father. The Demon King Piccolo Saga marks the point when the series went from hilarious hi jinks to serious fighting.
The rest of Dragonball is spent undoing what Piccolo does, but he accomplishes everything he set out to do. There are so many emotional moments, including a number of emotional deaths, as well as tons of epic scenes, such as Piccolo and Frieze's fight, Roku turning Super Taiwan, and the final slug-fest over the dying Name.
The Android and Cell Saga remain the definitive arc in Dragonball history. It starts with the introduction of Trunks, who remains one of the most memorable characters in all of Dragonball.
To make things better, the Androids themselves serve as a wonderful throwback to the Red Ribbon Army, giving an old villain a chance to take revenge on Roku. The arcs present several iconic moments for every character -- even minor players like Then and Krill in.
Some of the serie's greatest fights take place here; 18 vs Veg eta, Piccolo vs 17, Roku vs Cell... But undoubtedly it ends on the highest note with Golan's transformation into Super Taiwan 2 and subsequent beat down of Cell.
About The Author Anthony Ganglia (1234 Articles Published) Earned my MFA from Farmland Dickinson University. Written for The Mary Sue, Screencast, The Anime Feminist, The Gamer, and Vocal.
With almost 300 episodes under its belt, DBZ has captivated audiences for years with its brutal action sequences and eclectic roster of characters. With the recent release of Dragonball Super, we thought it would be appropriate to look back at some of DBZ’s strongest and weakest moments.
Though most series are split into respective seasons, Dragonball is usually divided into shorter story arcs known as Sagas, which is what we’ll be using to rank this list. The first entry on our list deals with a newly escaped Garlic Jr. from the Dead Zone who seeks revenge by capturing Kali, the guardian of the Earth, and starts wreaking all sorts of havoc.
All the wonderful and rich character building previously from Golan, who was originally supposed to become the series' new primary protagonist, is completely thrown out of the window. Instead, Golan focuses more on his academic studies, and adopts the persona of the Great Salesman, a bumbling superhero who would have fit right in with Adam West’s rendition of Batman.
If fans thought it was torture waiting around for Roku to show up in the first season, then they must have been pulling their hair out by the time the Name Saga rolled around. Taking place directly after Veg eta and Roku’s epic battle on Earth, Burma, Golan and Krill in journey to the planet Name to search for the Dragon Balls.
Honestly, most of the Name Saga is a lot of searching around for the Dragon Balls, which just isn’t as interesting as seeing characters throw punches at each other. The main hero roles fall on the shoulders of Golan and Krill in, who continuously get their butts kicked in almost every fight they get into.
Taking place several years after the events of the Cell Games, the World Tournament Saga has the entire gang of Z Fighters reassemble to compete in the 25th Tenka-ichi Nikolai. Though some of it is fun, like the Z fighters mopping the floor with the early competition or watching the blossoming relationship between Golan and Video, the World Tournament Saga just doesn’t stack up to some other seasons.
Taking place after the World Tournament, the Z Fighters come across the evil wizard Babies, who is attempting to resurrect the powerful entity known as BUU. The first half has our heroes easily fight and wipe out every pathetic excuse for a threat in a blink of an eye, which is entertaining to watch but doesn’t exactly hold that much weight.
The pure spectacle of the fight alone is impressive, even if it is a bit of undercut later on when it is revealed that Roku had been hiding his ability to turn Super Taiwan 3 the whole time. If they have any chance to defeat him, our heroes must combine their powers together with the newly introduced technique of fusion, which merges two fighters into a far stronger single warrior.
First we have the cocky and childish fusion of Gonks, who can be rather annoying at times but has a wide arrange of some of the most creative attacks in DBZ history. Not to mention that at the tail end of this Saga, we have the long awaited fusion of Roku and Veg eta, Veto, who is crazy strong.
The writing here isn’t as tight as it is in earlier seasons, but the scope and length of battles are certainly worth giving this Saga a repeated watch. Kicking off our top ten is the storyline in which the dastardly Cell continues his quest to reach his Perfect Form.
Little does Cell know that he’ll have to go against a newly powered up Veg eta and Trunks who are standing in his way, and have just ascended to the next Super Taiwan level. Of course due to Veg eta’s monstrous ego, Cell is able to easily achieve his Perfect Form, leaving the world in dire straits.
When the Taiwan Prince finds that the Semi-Perfect Form of Cell is not challenging enough, he allows the villain to absorb Android 18 in hopes it will provide a more suitable fighter. With the painfully slow events of the Name Saga finally coming to a close, the series picks up again with the introduction of the Ginsu Force, Frieze’s elite fighting team (and occasional dance squad).
It kicks off with Roku finally making his way to planet Name to battle Butter and Race, two of Ginsu’s strongest fighters. This saga has a ton of highlights, most notably the addition of Captain Ginsu who, even though he isn’t the main antagonist of the season, is one of the most entertaining.
The sixteenth and final Saga in the Dragonball series, the Kid BUU story arc is one with the highest stakes in the entire franchise. It’s hard to believe after Cell and Frieze that the creators of the program could still find ways for new villains to appear threatening, but Kid BUU takes the cake when he successfully destroys planet Earth in a psychotic meltdown.
All hell breaks loose when the evil Dr. Hero unleashes his deadly Androids to wreak havoc on the world. Things get worse when the Android siblings decide to hunt down and kill Roku in his weakened state, forcing the other Z Fighters into a no-win scenario.
While most DBZ antagonists follow a pattern of being thin muscular men, Main BUU breaks the cycle by being a gigantic pink blob. Of course BUU later changes into thick, muscular guy later on in the Saga, but fans were still taken aback when it was revealed that the main villain looked like a bubblegum Pillsbury Dough boy with a cape.
Besides BUU’s unique design, this is also the first time in DBZ that we are introduced to Super Taiwan 3 when Roku reveals he’s been hiding in under his sleeve for most of the season. This Saga also gives Hercules, aka Mr. Satan, his very first story arc by befriending BUU, turning him from an annoying character to a somewhat bearable one.
Dr. Hero’s ultimate creation, the Saga kicks off when Cell hijacks Trunks’ time machine and journeys back to the present timeline. Once there he starts annihilating humans left and right, and begins a quest to hunt down and absorb the remaining Androids, so he can transform into the perfect being.
Upon arrival the tyrant runs into a mysterious fighter named Trunks, who, surprisingly, turns Super Taiwan and quickly cuts Frieze into a million pieces with his sword. When Roku finally returns to Earth, Trunks reveals that he is actually from the future, and that he has come back to the past to warn the Z Fighters about the upcoming threat of Dr. Hero’s Androids.
It finally made good on its promise of a “Super Taiwan,” with Roku reaching the legendary status after seeing his best friend Krill in die at the hands of Frieze. Besides the final battle, a surprising amount of characters is all given their time to shine, including a newly powered up Piccolo, and Veg eta, who was just beginning his transformation from villain to antihero.
Piccolo’s character arc is an especially interesting one to see evolve when he’s tasked with protecting and training Roku’s infant son, Golan. The violent conflict has everything that DBZ fans have come to expect from a fight, including punches, kicks, I blasts, and giant monkeys.
This was also before power levels started to get out of hand, allowing each member of the Z Fighters to play a part in defending Earth. His son Golan then steps up to the plate, and with his newfound powers unlocked, enters a climatic showdown that will decide the fate of the world.
It’s an incredible sight to see when Cell realizes that he’s awoken a sleeping giant, with Golan easily trumping his opponent in the realm of speed, endurance and strength. The Cell Games captures everything that makes Dragonball the influential anime that it is, and takes our pick for the series’ most emotional and action-packed Saga of all time.