Top 10 Facts About Vegeta, Prince of All Saiyans
Who is Vegeta in Dragon Ball?
Like protagonist Goku (or, as Vegeta would call him, Kakarot), Vegeta is one of few full-blooded Saiyan warriors in Dragon Ball Z to survive Frieza's genocide. Initially ruthless and cold-blooded, Vegeta slowly undergoes a change from villain to anti-hero to eventual hero, showing arguably the best character development in the entire series.
Vegeta's arrogance and viciousness are hard to condemn considering his race's lifestyle and their annihilation through Frieza, and watching him grow (and inevitably struggle to surpass Goku) is one of DBZ's highlights. But with multiple anime, manga, and movies to explore, many interesting tidbits about Vegeta often slip through our radar. So, what is there to learn about the Saiyan prince? These are ten awesome facts about Vegeta!
10. He's Never Lost to Goku
Well, not technically. Despite Vegeta's massive inferiority complex (as Goku is nearly always the first to power up with a new transformation), Vegeta actually won his two fights against Goku—sort of. In their first bout during the Saiyan Saga, Goku overwhelms Vegeta until he unleashes his Great Ape form, after which he conquers Goku, and their fight in the Buu Saga is interrupted, although Vegeta tricks Goku and knocks him unconscious.
Admittedly, Goku's base form surpassed Vegeta's in the former battle, and Goku held back his new Super Saiyan 3 transformation in the latter, but technically speaking, Vegeta was the one who walked away from both contests in better shape.
9. He Kills the Entire Ginyu Force
Due to Goku's merciful nature, his body count is surprisingly low despite the number of villains he's toppled; Vegeta often strikes while his foes are helpless. This is especially true during the Namek saga, where Frieza's elite Ginyu Force quickly makes short work of Vegeta, Gohan, and Krillin.
However, with several sneak attacks plus a Saiyan power boost (after being healed with a senzu bean), Vegeta eventually eliminates the entire squad—except Captain Ginyu (whose body-swapping powers left him with a frog's form). But many years later, during the Golden Frieza saga, Vegeta kills Ginyu (who had stolen Tagoma's body), finally completing his slaughter.
8. He Shares His Name With His Father And Planet
Yep, Vegeta's father King Vegeta and home planet of, well, Vegeta both share his name. Since Saiyans don't have last names, this must have made it incredibly irksome to differentiate between the three in conversation. As if that weren't bad enough, Dragon Ball GT shows a future descendant named Vegeta Jr.
And don't even get me started on Duplicate Vegeta, Future Vegeta, and especially Baby Vegeta.
7. He Has a Brother (Tarble)
Dragon Ball Z is one of few anime where brothers don't play a big role. Goku's elder sibling Raditz is quickly killed and forgotten, and Vegeta's brother Tarble is only seen in the film Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!! (that name long enough for you, Toriyama?).
Tarble is a surprisingly kind Saiyan, having settled down and started a family. This explains how he survived Frieza's massacre, as he was long ago sent away for his pacifistic nature. His whereabouts are currently unknown, but he's mentioned again briefly in Dragon Ball Super.
6. His Poor Training is Why He Has Trouble Catching Goku
Vegeta trains harder than anyone, pushing his body to such limits that Goku refers to his regimen as "torture". Now, rigorous training is helpful, but in both DBZ and real life, to properly improve, you need to give your muscles time to heal.
Additionally, for a great span of time, Vegeta (unlike Goku) only trained alone, meaning he didn't receive the benefits of having sparring partners or mentors. When Vegeta finally accepts Whis's tutelage in Super, he notably catches up to Goku, showcasing his growth when properly instructed.
Vegeta's "Hell's Bells" Theme
5. He Has Two Awesome Themes
Bruce Falcouner's catchy music was a big part of DBZ's allure, with both of Vegeta's character songs standing as highlights. His official theme, "Hell's Bells", is a fittingly ominous tune utilizing a haunting blend of bells and electric guitar. Eventually, after unlocking his latent transformation, Vegeta also gains "Vegeta Super Saiyan", one of the most popular DBZ tunes yet (listen for it during the infamous Final Flash scene against Cell).
4. He's the Only Saiyan to Exploit the Zenkai Boost
Saiyans have an almost-unholy advantage in battle thanks to their natural Zenkai trait, which lets them become stronger after healing from severe battle damage. Yet whether because of honor or plot purposes, our Saiyan protagonists never exploit this ability (remember, they have free heals they can and should utilize via senzu beans or Dende)—except once.
During everyone's climatic battle against Frieza on planet Namek, Vegeta desperately tells Krillin to injure him so Dende can heal him to a superior power level, explaining the wound can't be self-inflicted. Unless you count Goku Black's deliberate self-weakening in Super to purposefully sustain damage (and that was more gradual), this is the only time we've seen someone "cheat" the boost with an intentional injury, showcasing just how desperate the fight was.
3. He Ate an Alien's Arm
Back when Vegeta and Nappas were still conquering planets under Frieza's orders, they invaded and massacred a distant race of bug-like alien warriors. As if killing their race wasn't enough, Vegeta's also shown eating one of their limbs over a campfire. Yikes. The above image from Dragon Ball Z Kai has the correct colors, but back in the original, a Toei Animation error had colored this scene incorrectly (giving Vegeta red hair and Nappa a darker outfit), making it all kinds of strange.
Geez, next you'll be telling me Frieza eats live crabs—oh wait.
2. He Unlocked Super Saiyan Blue Evolved
Although Goku nearly always beats Vegeta to the punch, in Super, Vegeta is the first to gain Super Saiyan Blue Evolved, an evolution of their shared Blue form.
Not to be confused with the manga's Perfected Super Saiyan Blue transformation, Vegeta uses his new, darker-colored mode to help Goku combat Jiren during the Universal Tournament, and his powers are stated to equal Goku's Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken (geez, these names are a mouthful).
1. He's Probably Related to Original Super Saiyan Yamoshi
Many of us remember Vegeta's recounting of the original Super Saiyan of legends, who lived 1000 years prior to the start of the series. In the Battle of Gods film, this character is expanded upon, being revealed as a compassionate Saiyan named Yamoshi who rebelled with his five allies against their wicked race, but were ultimately defeated after their energy ran out.
Still, their six spirits influence the ritual Goku uses to attain his Super Saiyan God form, and Yamoshi's spirit even appears to encourage Goku during his battle against Beerus. He looks remarkably like Vegeta, implying Vegeta may be a descendant of his—this would further explain Vegeta's pride over his royal heritage and bewilderment over Goku's non-royal strength.
Who is your favorite Dragon Ball Z character?
Future of Vegeta in Dragon Ball
Whether Vegeta's entertaining us with his unending Goku rivalry or his infamous "it's over 9000!" line, he remains a well-developed and surprisingly relatable character, as we've all had points in our lives where we've felt second-best at something.
Thanks to Super's popularity, we've witnessed the Saiyans reach new peaks and undoubtedly have more Dragon Ball adventures to look forward to. But for now, vote for your favorite DBZ character and I'll see you at our next anime countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill