6 Tactics the Z-Fighters Throughout Dragon Ball Desperately Need to Use
Dragon Ball Z History
We've enjoyed the silly antics and intense battles throughout the Dragon Ball series for generations. Though fan reception to Z's initial successor, Dragon Ball GT, was mixed, new sequel series Dragon Ball Super is once again reviving our love for action anime.
And as we revisit Goku and friends, I yet again remember how many opportunities our heroes constantly miss. Often the Z-Fighters are the only ones capable of battling evil forces wishing to destroy the world, and it's vital they succeed in their clashes—here are six ways they could make it easy on themselves!
Spoilers from throughout the series ahead.
6. Giving Energy to Allies
- Krillin and Gohan boosting Piccolo against Frieza
- Gohan, Trunks, Piccolo, and Vegeta boosting Goku against Broly
- Goku's Spirit Bomb collecting energy from all of mankind
Within this universe, fighters are able to channel ki to fire powerful energy blasts, fly, and simply increase their overall power. They can also lend their energy to a teammate, which tires the giver(s) but provides a temporary yet significant buff for the recipient. Most notably, Goku and his four allies were absolutely demolished by the "Legendary Super Saiyan" Broly—until his team provided him their energy, at which point Goku easily defeated his opponent.
Broly's battle occurs in a movie, making its canonicity debatable, but Piccolo's boost against Frieza confirms this as an official ability within Dragon Ball, and it's odd to see such a powerful effect so rarely used.
5. Healing Using Senzu Beans
- Krillin and Gohan healing after fighting Nappa
- Yamcha healing after encountering Dr. Gero and Android 19
- Majin Vegeta healing after battling Goku
Forget Jack and his beanstalk, these magic beans are the real deal. Senzu provide an immediate recovery to full health when consumed regardless of how damaged a combatant is. These mystical legumes can even regenerate lost limbs, and it's easy to see how having some handy could help the Z-Fighters topple their foes.
Goku and friends are smart enough to sometimes bring a few, but often they seem to forget they have an essentially unlimited supply of free heals on hand; after all, Senzu are continuously being regrown by Korrin. To make matters worse, not only does Goku often forget his insta-recoveries, he'll even provide them to tired opponents like Cell.
Good sportsmanship Goku, but could you maybe not heal the guy trying to blow up our planet?
4. Harnessing the Dragon Balls
Dragon Balls have been used to:
- Heal Goku, allowing him to defeat Majin Buu with the Spirit Bomb
- Return deceased fighters to life
- Grant Future Zamasu immortality
Description: Various sets of Dragon Balls exist, but all essentially function identically: when any seven of the same collection are amassed, they summon a wish-granting dragon. While the dragons have their limits, many potent desires can be granted (reviving the dead and bestowing immortality!), yet our heroes rarely use Shenron for anything besides bringing Krillin back to life.
The Dragon Balls scatter once used, but thanks to Bulma's Dragon Radar (and Goku's ability to teleport with Instant Transmission), recollecting them is fast and easy. In the past, Vegeta sought to obtain immortality with them, but eventually abandoned his quest, and only villains have achieved immortality.
Come on guys, you can literally have your wishes granted—think of some ways to thwart evil.
3. Using the Hyperbolic Time Chamber
- Goku and Gohan training to battle Cell
- Vegeta and Trunks training to battle Cell
- Vegeta training to battle Goku Black
Description: A mysterious building that leads to an alternate dimension, the Hyperbolic Time Chamber warps time; a year is spent within equates to a day spent outside. This distortion allows the Z-Fighters to quickly train and prepare for new threats.
Well, when they actually remember it. The Saiyans used it well to hone their skills against an upcoming clash with Cell, but what about when Nappa and Vegeta were approaching Earth? When Buu threatened the planet? Often our heroes perform normal workouts and just hope it'll be enough to overpower any approaching threats, blindly ignoring their ability to magnify a day's training into 365.
2. Teaming Up Against Opponents
- Goku battling Cell alone
- Gohan battling Cell alone
- Goku battling Majin Buu alone
I get it. Martial artists want to test their skills against opponents in fair matches to see who truly reigns supreme. But the Z-Fighters have a fluctuating sense of honor that frequently inhibits their battles against people who are trying to eradicate all life.
The Saiyans are especially guilty of allowing their pride to force solo matches. For instance, Goku and Gohan insist upon battling Cell one-on-one, and it's only when everyone realizes that Gohan will lose that they step in and barely overcome Cell with their combined might. Heck, by that point, Goku and Trunks were dead and unable to lend aid. Had the strongest Z-Fighters (Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, Trunks, and Piccolo) simply cooperated from the start, we could have bypassed the whole almost having our species annihilated thing. Bit of a potential inconvenience there.
Really guys, lives are at stake. Have your ego-boosting arm-wrestling contests after you're sure we're not all going to die.
1. Accessing the Zenkai Boost
- Vegeta after being wounded by Krillin
- Goku after battling Vegeta
- Gohan after battling Frieza
Saiyans aren't just guilty of letting their pride intrude. For the unaware, Saiyans receive a substantial increase to their power level when drastically injured, called a Zenkai boost. Upon healing from significant wounds, the Saiyan will automatically exhibit superior strength.
In other words, to quickly train, Saiyans can have an ally purposefully damage them (it can't be self-inflicted), heal using a Senzu, then rinse and repeat. Yet the only warrior who ever exploits this astonishingly easy way to gain strength is Vegeta, who has Krillin injure him while their group battles Frieza. Vegeta is soon healed by Dende, a Namekian with the ability to rejuvenate allies, and he demonstrates incredible newfound power. In the end, Frieza still beats Vegeta, but his was a sound tactic that could have produced results had it been used a few more times.
Essentially, our heroes needlessly spend their lives laboriously training their bodies when they have the ability to strengthen within a few minutes of injuries and heals.
Which tactic do the Z-Fighters most desperately need?
Future of Dragon Ball
Despite the many inconsistencies throughout the Dragon Ball universe, we return time and time again to revisit its adventures. The fandom seems largely aware of the discarded plot devices, and while we shake our heads at the Z-Fighters' incompetence, we largely give them a free pass. After all, the story wouldn't be so engaging if these exploits were actually used and adversaries were bulldozed over.
Nonetheless, a few more brain cells wouldn't go amiss when combating the forces of evil. Thankfully, as Dragon Ball Super continues, we can hope our heroes demonstrate a bit more wile, even if those Senzu beans are only pipe dreams.
© 2017 Jeremy Gill