Arguably the greatest Japanese anime television series, Dragon Ball Z is nothing short of an addiction. Revolving around super Saiyan Goku and his friends defending the Earth from intergalactic threats, the series has been insanely popular not only in Japan but around the globe: Movies, apparel, conventions, card games, board games, video games, Dragon ball figures, cafes, and Dragon ball themed bars. You name it, you can find it. Dragon Ball isn’t just a show, it’s a movement. But first, take a look at some of the 15 interesting Dragon Ball Z facts:
15. Gohan Was Meant to Replace Goku
As the franchise character of Dragon Ball Z, it is hard to imagine anyone other than Goku as the leading character of the series yet creator Akira Toriyama actually thought about killing him and making his son Gohan his replacement.
There is no doubt that the resemblance between Goku and Gohan is uncanny and the latter showed unprecedented potential as a fighter at a very young age, but fans expressed a huge amount of disapproval, and thankfully, Goku was never killed … for real.
14. Master Roshi Cannot Die From Old Age
The frail yet powerful Master Roshi is more than 350 years old. Considering how a ton of strange things have happened in the world of Dragon Ball Z, the fact that he cannot die of old age is certainly the least surprising one.
Responsible for training Goku, Grandpa Gohan, Yamcha, Krillin, and Ox-King, the wise yet perverted master is one of the most vital characters of the series. As far as the explanation for not dying due to old age is concerned, Master Roshi once had an immortal phoenix bird who bestowed him eternal life.
13. The Android Twins Have Names
Created by Dr. Gero to take down Goku, Android 17 and Android 18 were a force to reckon with before changing their allegiance. Despite the twins being renowned for numeral digits, they actually have names.
Android 17’s real name is Lapis and Android 18’s real name is Lazuli. Notorious delinquents who had a knack for causing trouble, the two were kidnapped by Dr. Gero and experimented upon in order to make their androids.
12. Goku and Gohan are Voiced by a Woman
Like father, like son. Despite both being males, it is the famous Japanese actress Masako Nozawa who voices them. Debuting as a child actor at the age of 3, she slowly moved to voice roles and made her way to Dragon Ball Z.
As surprising as it may sound, the father-son pair of Goku and Gohan are not the only ones to be voiced by Nozawa. Apart from Raditz, she is the voice behind every male member of Goku’s family.
11. Creator Akira Toriyama’s Favorite Character is Piccolo
With more than a dozen iconic characters unique in their own way, every fan is bound to have one of them feeling more attached to and creator Akira Toriyama is no exception.
From super Saiyans to androids, Toriyama’s favorite character from Dragon Ball Z is the Namakian warrior Piccolo.
“It really is cliché when bad guys turn into good guys, but it just feels great drawing it,”
10. Goku has Only Killed Two Characters
As one of the most skilled fighters and the star of the show, one might expect Goku to have killed dozens of people but as surprising as it may sound, he has only managed to kill two people.
When you look at the big picture, the fact might not be as surprising as it may seem considering how merciful Goku is – even if you kill one of his friends or kidnap his son. Unlike Vegeta who takes immense delight in killing, the mere two characters whose life has been taken by Goku are Babidi’s minion Yakon and Kid Buu.
9. Gohan has Killed 15 Characters
Unlike his father, Gohan has treated a lot of villains like punching bags. As previously stated, Goku has only killed two characters but the death count achieved by his son reaches an appalling amount of 15.
From members of the Spice Gang to seven Cell Juniors, step aside Adam Sandler! You do not mess with Gohan. Out of all his battles, his encounter with Perfect Cell stands out as the best one of all.
8. Goku’s Voice Actor Passed Out While Screaming
No fight is complete without the Saiyans screaming while transforming into super Saiyans and that is where Goku’s English language voice actor Sean Schemmel comes in. Screaming for minutes can certainly take its toll and he revealed that he actually lost consciousness as a result of it while dubbing his voice.
As far as the transformation is concerned, it was during the dub of super Saiyan 4 transformation in Dragon Ball GT when Schemmel passed out from screaming and woke up a few moments later while lying on the floor.
7. Dragon Ball Z was Meant to be a Conclusion
As a sequel to Dragon Ball, the series is set five years later and chronicles Goku as an adult. Ever wondered why there is a Z at the end of the name? Creator Akira Toriyama chose it because of being the last alphabet since he wanted to conclude the series and work on new material.
Fortunately, it was not the last time we saw the adventures of Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, and the rest of the Z Fighters as Dragon Ball Z continued with the series Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super.
6. The Reason Cell Transformed So Fast
Even to the most casual observer, the first two appearances of Dr. Gero’s greatest creation Cell were beyond horrible and even scary to the point. In fact, the editor of the series Yuu Kondo hated them to the point of saying that Semi-Perfect Cell looked like a “moron”.
After insisting to let the character speed up his transformation to a decent-looking appearance, creator Akira Toriyama granted his request and the storyline unfolded with Vegeta stopping to fight Cell so the latter could complete his transformation.
5. Creator Akira Toriyama Forgot Launch Existed
Reduced to a minor character who appeared in a few episodes, Launch was not intentionally left out. In fact, she completely disappeared for more than 150 episodes – a staggering amount for any fictional character.
Addressing her absence, Dragon Ball Z creator Akira Toriyama revealed that she was not at all intentionally left out but as shocking as it may sound, he simply forgot that Launch existed in the first place.
4. Frieza Battled Goku for 19 Episodes
Far from being an easy pickle, Frieza battled Goku in one of the most thrilling and iconic battles in anime history. It also holds another distinction – the longest battle in anime history.
Frieza and Goku battled for 19 heart-pounding episodes which are equivalent to 3.5 hours of hard-hitting action. Even though Goku stood supreme after the long-enduring battle, Frieza managed to return for more a few episodes later.
3. Vegeta was Meant to be Killed Off
Ever since he crossed paths with Goku, Vegeta made his presence known and proved to be planet Earth’s biggest threat. As the good guys eventually manage to beat the bad guys on the screen (and not in real life), Vegeta’s fall was imminent but the character became too popular among the fans and was resorted to an anti-hero.
Dragon Ball Z would have been a lot different without its bad boy Vegeta who was originally meant to be killed off. Now showing a softer side with Bulma and Trunks in his life, the chances of Vegeta being gone are absolutely non-existent.
2. Population of Earth has Died More Times than Krillin
It has become a recurring joke among the fans that Krillin dies too much only to be resurrected by a wish granted by summoning the dragon balls. Surely he has died the most among the Z Fighters but it is often overlooked that the entire population of Earth has died more times.
In total, the people of Earth have died on four separate occasions. The first time was by Kid Buu, the second time was by Frieza, The third time was by Future Zen-Oh and the fourth time happened due to a side effect of the Black Star Dragon Balls. Just like Krillin, the population of Earth returns back to life in one way or the other.
1. Goku Defeated Superman (Sort of)
As the mascot of DC, Superman has been a subject of debate when it comes to superhero battles and surprisingly, he has lost quite a large number of them. From Green Lantern to Muhammad Ali, is there anyone who has yet to defeat the Man of Steel? To add insult to injury, even Batman’s faithful butler Alfred Pennyworth has knocked out Superman.
Speaking of Batman, the caped crusader is often compared with Superman while discussing who will win in a fight but Goku is not too far behind. In an issue of Wizard magazine, the super Saiyan and the last son of Krypton were pitched against each other in a hypothetical battle and Goku stood victorious.
On an interesting note, the two also engaged in a rap battle in the popular YouTube series Epic Rap Battles of History in which Goku clearly won by mercilessly dissing the not-so-super Superman.
Hope you enjoyed knowing the interesting Dragon Ball Z facts on our list. Feel free to share your views in the comments below!