|Dragon Ball character|
Freeza in his final form as seen in the anime.
|First appearance||Dragon Ball Chapter 247: "Dark Clouds Swirl Over Planet Namek" (1989)|
|Created by||Akira Toriyama|
See Voice actors
|Relatives||King Cold (father)
Cooler (brother; anime only)
Freeza (フリーザ Furīza?), spelled Frieza in Funimation's English anime dub, is a fictional character in the Dragon Ball manga series created by Akira Toriyama. Freeza makes his debut in chapter #247 Dark Clouds Swirl Over Planet Namek (暗雲うずまくナメック星 An'un Uzumaku Namekkusei?) first published in Weekly Shōnen Jump on November 6, 1989.
Despite not appearing until the manga's second half, Freeza is widely considered to be the most iconic antagonist from the series due to effectively serving as the catalyst of many of the events depicted in the story, such as Goku's arrival on Earth, the Saiyans landing on Earth, and subsequently the main characters going to planet Namek. At the time of his introduction, he is revered as the most powerful being in the entire universe, though is later outclassed by future villains Cell and Majin Boo. He is also directly responsible for the apparent murder of Bardock, the genocide of the Saiyan race, and the second death of Kuririn, arguably making him Goku's most personal and significant enemy.
Freeza, a broker who forcibly took over planets to resell them, was created around the time of the Japanese economic bubble and was inspired by real estate speculators, whom Toriyama called the "worst kind of people." His physical appearance is an amalgamation of what Toriyama thought monsters looked like in his childhood. His name is a pun on freezer, and because of this the members of the Ginyu Force are named after items one would normally put in a refrigerator.
Freeza is one of the supervillains in the series who possesses an entire range of transformations, each one being quite different from the others. It is implied by Vegeta in the series that Freeza's fourth, most powerful form is actually his basic form, with the other three being transformations that suppress his power in order to conserve it. Freeza later confirms this while fighting the series' protagonist, Goku. Freeza is capable of amazing power and changing into a wide array of forms, looking more menacing each time. Although his fourth and final form is not as menacing or as large as his previous forms, he is still stronger than his three previous forms. Freeza is capable of boosting his power to the max, bulking him up, though he is still no match for Goku after transforming into a Super Saiyan.
At his core, Freeza relishes death and destruction, as he shows in his enjoyment of Planet Vegeta's destruction. He is notable for being one of the most sadistic characters in the series, and often tries to make his enemies suffer before he kills them, an infamous case of this being when he impaled Krillin in the chest with one of his horns on his head and then started to shift his head up and down, further injuring Krillin and causing more blood to leak out of him, and when he tortures Vegeta by repeatedly punching Vegeta's spine while strangling him with his tail. In a narrative sense, this serves as a counter to the simple-natured, peaceful personality of Goku, but whether this was done intentionally is unknown. Though often surprised, Freeza tends to react to situations quite evenly, and is only really driven over the edge once his full power starts to slip away and Super Saiyan Goku takes the upper hand in the final moments of their battle on Namek. Freeza takes full pride in his abilities, and often takes the opportunity to demonstrate them such as not using limbs in some fights and killing enemies slowly.
Like any of the other villains in Dragon Ball Z, Freeza also has an ego to match his power. He also has a sardonic wit and explains that the three things he refuses to tolerate are cowardice, bad haircuts and military insurrection, and is quick to declare that Vegeta possesses all three of these qualities. He also utilizes dark humor at times, such as saying "Long live the King!" shortly after killing King Vegeta, as well as saying "Pop goes the weasel!" shortly after violently murdering Krillin (although these were only in the English dub; in the original Japanese version, he pushed Goku over the edge after murdering Krillin by saying "I think the brat should go next."). Ironically, for all of Freeza's power and arrogance, he sometimes displays a paranoid attitude. He destroyed Planet Vegeta simply because of the growing myth of the existence of a Super Saiyan, though when the idea of one is brought up, he utterly denies believing in one. He also destroyed Planet Vegeta because he feared that the Saiyans, even without the myth of the Super Saiyan, were rapidly becoming stronger and would likely revolt.
Unlike most other primary villains, Freeza uses very polite, eloquent language rather than the more tough-talking style of most of the other villains. Despite these traits, he is quite cold-hearted, almost to the point of being machine-like in nature. He tends to view most problems and situations in an intellectual manner, as opposed to a manner of life or death, largely because his immense power causes him to believe he can easily defeat anyone the old fashioned way if he chooses to. This leads him to underestimate his foes, resulting in his eventual downfall. As a narcissist, he tends to be quite confident both in his abilities and his mind, and reacts violently to criticism. Ultimately, Freeza could be viewed as yet another example of a Machiavellian inspired ruler, with ruthless determination to achieve power.
Despite his cold-heartedness and numerous observations by other characters that he cares about no one but himself, Freeza does make several displays of respect towards his father King Cold. However, even this respect is not absolute, as even after King Cold is introduced, Freeza continues to dub himself the most powerful being of his time, despite other characters being superior to him in strength, and even his own admission that his father was able to cause him pain in his final form.
Around twenty years before the start of the series, Freeza destroys Planet Vegeta, both out of fear of a potential uprising by the Saiyans due to their increasing power and out of growing fear of the myth of the legendary Super Saiyan, taking out almost the entire Saiyan race except for Vegeta, Nappa and Raditz, though he keeps Vegeta, Nappa and Raditz under his employ in exchange for wealth. Unbeknownst to him, however, Raditz's baby brother Kakarot (later known as Goku) also survives, having been sent to conquer Earth not long before Planet Vegeta's destruction.
After Raditz's and Nappa's deaths and Vegeta's defeat on Earth at Goku's hands, Freeza travels to Planet Namek in order to gather the seven Dragon Balls which will grant him immortality. He and his men massacre Namekian village after another, until Gohan, Kuririn and Vegeta begin to hamper his efforts in their own way. When Vegeta steals the five Dragon Balls that Freeza has already gathered, Freeza calls in the Ginyu Force to deal with them and bring him the Dragon Balls, but Freeza, unable to speak Namekian, fails to summon the Dragon and ventures off to find the Great Elder of Namek. Freeza ends up fighting Namekian warrior Nail whom he beats repeatedly until Nail reveals that their "fight" was only to buy time for Dende to give the Dragon Ball password to the warriors from Earth. With his entire army dead by Vegeta and the Ginyu Force defeated by Goku, Freeza intercepts Vegeta and the others personally. After Freeza briefly battles Vegeta, the Saiyan prince goads him into transforming and revealing his true power. Freeza transforms into his second form and takes on Piccolo. Although Piccolo appears to be even with him, he transforms into his third form and dominates the powerful Namekian. Following a brief tussle with Gohan, Freeza decides to transform into his final form. He kills Dende to stop him healing the others and mortally wounds Vegeta just as Goku arrives, having recovered following his fight with the Ginyu Force. Freeza and Goku fight for a while until Freeza pushes Goku too far by critically injuring Piccolo and murdering Kuririn. Goku's rage erupts and he turns into a Super Saiyan, eventually overwhelming Freeza even after the tyrant reaches 100% of his true power. Freeza, in desperation, damages the core of Namek, leaving it to explode in five minutes, but he is defeated by Goku. Freeza begs for mercy, but even after Goku spares him, he tries to kill Goku from behind, forcing Goku to retaliate with his own blast which apparently destroys Freeza.
However, Freeza survives and drifts through space until he is found by his father King Cold and rebuilt with prosthetics. Freeza and King Cold travel to Earth in order to exact revenge on Goku and his friends, but they are confronted and destroyed by a mysterious young man from the future. Despite finally being destroyed, Freeza's (and King Cold's) cells are used as a catalyst for the next arc's featured villain Cell.
Freeza is first seen moving at superhuman speeds and flying unaided in volume 9. He also appears to have quick reflexes. He is also highly resistant to all but the hardest of physical blows. Additionally, Freeza possesses extreme superhuman strength, along with energy production and projectilization. He has demonstrated being able to destroy planets with relative ease, and has also been shown capable of surviving in the vacuum of space. Freeza also possesses telekinesis, being able to lift opponents without touching them and cause them to explode.
Although in other media such as video games, several techniques are added to his arsenal, the techniques that Freeza uses in Toriyama's manga and its anime adaptation are Death Beam (デスビーム Desu Bīmu?), a sharp piercing beam from his finger, Death Ball (デスボール Desu Bōru?), a large energy sphere he used to destroy planet Namek, and 100% Death Ball (100%デスボール 100 Pāsento Desu Bōru?), its name being revealed in the video games.
Forms and transformations
Freeza's power, including his enhanced strength, became so great over time, that his body could not comfortably contain it, and a series of physical transformations were developed that limit his actual strength. While changing shape from his "first-form", each alteration builds on the previous. In all, Freeza demonstrated three transformed states, each with increasing power (some larger than others and each resulting in different physical attributes).
- First form
In his weakest form, Freeza is a relatively short humanoid with a large chestnut-shaped skull and two horns. He also has a tail with a spiked end, as well as having three talon-like toes. Freeza wears the same upper-body armor and shorts that many of his subordinates (including the Saiyans) are shown to wear, and while traveling, often gives the appearance of weakness by exclusively using his hoverchair for transportation, leaving his henchmen to do his "dirty work". Though frail in comparison with his succeeding forms, Freeza still boasts sufficient force to destroy planets, stating during his battle with the Namekian fighter Nail that his power level is 530,000. While shifting to his next stage, Freeza breaks his battle-jacket, revealing a natural white armor covering his chest and shoulders.
- Second form
His second form is similar to his father, King Cold, much larger, both in height and muscle mass, Freeza claiming to have at least doubled his power to 1,000,000 in this state. He also grows longer horns, which now instead of protruding sideways from his head curve sharply upwards into near right angles. Freeza did not have any troubles with taking out Vegeta, Kuririn and Son Gohan. However, Freeza notices that Piccolo's power level is about equal to his own level, leaving Freeza with no choice but to transform again.
- Third form
Freeza's third form is again more brutish, with an extremely elongated skull (like an Alien). His facial features contort and change, with his nose melding into his mouth to form a crude beak. His original horns recede and are now white in color, erupting in pairs along the length of his head. His tail tip, which had been cut off by Kuririn, did not regenerate and he now has a slight hunch. Although his tail was surprisingly not regenerated, the rest of his wounds disappeared as if nothing ever touched him.
- Final Form
Drastically differing from his previous transformations, in his final, true form Freeza instead regresses, becoming shorter and less bulky. His previous form shatters, causing his horns and spikes to disappear with his physique becoming entirely streamlined. The lines of color and stripes present on Freeza before completely disappear; his skin is now a pure, solid white with purple sections on his head, shoulders, forearms, chest and shins. All injuries taken in other forms are healed. This is the form that allows him to release his full potential. He later powered up to 50% full power in order to easily beat Goku, in which he did. He was powerful enough at this phase to survive Goku's Genki-Dama with few scratches, besides a damaged tail.
Freeza is also able to attain 100% power, his muscle mass becoming engorged compared to his previously sleek frame. This is the peak of Freeza's natural potential, and the maximum amount of power his body can output. However, to obtain this power his body is subjected to a muscle strain, which slowly lowers his energy, and slowing him down until he can't compete with Goku anymore. This transformation is therefore not suitable for prolonged combat, and then Freeza had tried to finish the fight as quickly as possible destroying the planet Namek and hitting Goku with his best shots.
- Mecha Freeza
Due to Namek's huge explosion, what remained of the still-living Freeza was salvaged and rebuilt with cybernetic enhancements by scientists under the order of King Cold, this form is referred to as Mecha Freeza (メカフリーザ?) in video games. The whole of the lower half of his body and right side of his face are replaced, as is his left arm from the shoulder down, with scarring and metal accoutrements covering what little was left of his organic self. These enhancements allowed him to exceed the limits of power imposed by his fully organic form, and it is stated that he was more powerful than ever. Even though it is implied that this would make him a good opponent for a well-trained Super Saiyan, his full power in this form is never shown, since Trunks catches him by surprise and blows him up.
In numerous filler episodes of the anime and Dragon Ball GT, Freeza makes numerous cameo appearances, usually as comic relief, causing trouble in Hell, having somehow been permitted to keep his body despite his wrongdoings. In Hell, he is defeated and sent to prison by Goku and Pikkon along with Cell, his father and the Ginyu Force, and he is later seen watching Goku's final battle with Majin Boo in a crystal ball, comically hoping for Goku to lose. In Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn, Freeza briefly escapes from Hell with an army of villains to attack Earth, but he is swiftly defeated by Gohan. In Dragon Ball GT, when Goku is sent to Hell by accident, Freeza and Cell confront him, their bodies having been rendered temporarily immortal due to the unbalance between the two worlds. Using a joint attack, Freeza and Cell send Goku to a lower level where he is frozen by a witch, but the two villains end up frozen themselves when they foolishly venture downwards to gloat at Goku. Goku accidentally breaks the ice holding Freeza and Cell and it shatters to pieces, implying that Freeza and Cell have been erased from existence. However, in a future scene, Freeza and Cell are seen being taken away in a jail cell with tape over their mouths. He appeared in a TV ad for Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, as he makes a non-speaking appearance in the film.
He also appears in a chapter of Toriyama's Neko Majin manga, published in August 2003, which also introduces Freeza's son, Kuriza (クリーザ?). He briefly appears in the 2006 Dragon Ball crossover chapter, "This is the Police Station in front of Dragon Park on Planet Namek" (こちらナメック星ドラゴン公園前派出所 Kochira Namekku-sei Dragon Kōen-mae Hashutsujo?), of Osamu Akimoto's manga Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo. Freeza appears in Naho Ōishi's 2011 Dragon Ball spin-off manga Episode of Bardock, but it predominately features his ancestor Chilled (チルド?).
Freeza has made numerous appearances in other media. The Japanese nu metal/hardcore punk band Maximum the Hormone released the song "F" as part of a double A-side single on July 9, 2008. The entirety of the song references Freeza and his character's arc, with the single itself rising as high as number two on the Oricon music chart. In the manga Black Cat, the character Sven Vollfied is often seen using his cell phone with a wrist strap of a miniature-sized badge of Freeza's head. A caricature of Freeza mixed with a grey alien was parodied as a mech pilot in an episode of Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi. The anime Yakitate!! Japan featured a spoof re-enactment of the fight between Goku and Freeza, with a character clad in a refrigerator representing the latter. The Cartoon Network staple Codename: Kids Next Door had a parody of their own of the climactic fight and the Freeza character, with the Delightful Children From Down the Lane portraying him as a multi-headed monstrosity.
Freeza has been featured in many of the video games based on the series. Often, he's both a playable character and boss, though more frequently the latter. He is also usually able to transform into his many different forms, his mecha form being a separate character.
Freeza appears in the Famicom game (and later Playdia remake) Dragon Ball Z Gaiden: Saiyajin Zetsumetsu Keikaku. Freeza seems to be somehow resurrected, and he and other past villains start attacking Goku and his friends. Once it's revealed these are merely ghost-warriors meant to distract the heroes, however, the false Freeza and his allies are easily dealt with. Other games highlight Freeza in alternate story paths, including those where he successfully attains immortality and goes on to threaten Earth, such as Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, which also omits the part where Freeza is cut by his own disk, altered to Goku simply beating him to near death.
In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2, Freeza and Cell are resurrected by Babidi and are transformed into Majin as a distraction for the player. During the Super Boo stage, if either are absorbed, Boo will take on their appearance. In Dragon Ball Z 2 V, since Cooler is an alternate costume for Freeza. Freeza's version of this form looks exactly the same as Cooler's except it is Freeza colored. The form is also referenced in Dragon Ball Online where the PTO Soldiers wear insignia's shaped like Freeza's fifth form's head. A Statuette of Freeza's fifth form has also been released, though it has some differences with its video game appearances.
In Super Dragon Ball Z, Toriyama took Mecha Freeza's original design and slightly remodeled it specifically for the platform version of the game. Toriyama's revamp included a mine belt around his waist, an RPG strapped to his back, and razor explosives down the length of his tail.
In Dragon Ball Heroes: Victory Mission, Freeza seems to appear with a new form that is as strong as four Super Saiyan 3s. This form resembles a taller version of his first form with more armor. However it is possible that this is actually the similarly named Froze - who is the same species as Freeza.
In the original Japanese version, Freeza is voiced by Ryūsei Nakao in all media. In the PlayStation game Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout, he was voiced by Eddie Frierson in English. In the Ocean dub of the Dragon Ball Z series, he was voiced by Pauline Newstone. In the Blue Water dub of Dragon Ball GT, he was voiced by Maureen Jones. Freeza has been voiced by Linda Young in the Funimation dub of the Dragon Ball Z series, various video games, and other media of the series over the span of 10 years, until the role was re-cast and voiced by Christopher Ayres in Dragon Ball Z Kai (after episode 1) and all future video games. In Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi, there were some voice recordings of Ayres's mixed with Young's.
The casting and direction of his English voices has often been criticized over the years; with that and various features in his character design like his voice and dark colored lips leads to some gender confusion with new fans. Freeza was mentioned as one of the "most beloved characters" in an article by GamePro. Also on pages D1 and D3 of The Ledger's December 8, 1999 paper, he is one of the reasons that DBZ was listed as a violent show for children back then stating, "In one recent episode, beads of sweat form on the brow of a character named Vegeta, as he is nearly strangled to death by an evil foe named Freeza. In another, Freeza uses the horns on his head to impale a good guy named Kuririn through the chest."  As well as opinions on his appearance: "Little Gohan is abruptly in the icy metallic grip of one of his arch-nemeses, Freeza, a silvery androgynous giant who looks like a cross between the monster in Alien and Batman's Mr. Freeze." 
Notes and references
- Weekly Shōnen Jump #47 November 6, 1989
- DRAGON BALL 大全集 2: STORY GUIDE (in Japanese). Shueisha. 1995. pp. 261–265. ISBN 4-08-782752-6.
- Shonen Jump (Issue #1 ed.). Viz Media. January 2003.
- DRAGON BALL 天下一伝説 (in Japanese). Shueisha. 2004. pp. 80–91. ISBN 4-08-873705-9.
- Vegeta: "There are some beings who change their shape as the need arises... for camouflage... to conserve energy." / Frieza: "Or, in my case, because I become so powerful I can't keep myself under control!" (Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 9, chapter 102)
- Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 9, chapter 100
- While other beings in Dragon Ball transform to increase their power, Freeza transforms to control and contain it. His true form is his fourth form (Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 10, chapter 109), with each of his other transformations meant to restrict his power and conceal it from his enemies. Freeza even says upon transforming to his second state that he has a harder time controlling himself and his power due to the immensity of his current strength (Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 9, chapter 102).
- Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 5, chapter 50
- Bardock: The Father of Goku, ©1990 Bird Studio/Toei Animation/Funimation Entertainment
- Frieza: "You see, sir, it's 314,000. But, don't worry. I don't plan to fight you at full strength." (Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 8, chapter 92)
- Freeza: "I have so much power now... I might not be able to control it. If any instrument could read my strength, it would surpass a million." (Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 9, chapter 102)
- Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 10, chapter 108
- Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 11, chapter 127
- Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 11, chapter 131
- Freeza: "With the two of us together, it will be no trouble. I could probably do it by myself, since I've grown even more powerful." (Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 12, chapter 136)
- "2013 Dragon Ball Film's TV Ad Has Voice Cameo by Cell". Anime News Network. 2013-03-21. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
- Akimoto, Osamu (2006-09-15). "This is the Dragon Police Station in front of the Park on Planet Namek". Super Kochikame. Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo (in Japanese). Shueisha. ISBN 4-08-874096-3.
- Black Cat manga, chapter 6, page 153
- "Hook Up! Abenobashi ☆ Great Milky Way Shopping Arcade". Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi. Season 1. Episode 3. 2002-04-18.
- "Awaken!! Super Kuroyanagi!". Yakitate!! Japan. Season 1. Episode 55. 2005-11-22.
- "Operation: R.E.P.O.R.T.". Codename: Kids Next Door. Season 2. Episode 9. 2003-12-05.
- Dimps (December 5, 2003). Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2. Bandai.
- Official Atari site
- Ryūsei Nakao at 81produce
- Fowler, Jimmy (2000-01-20). "International incident". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2008-01-03.
- Isler, Ramsey (April 10, 2008). "What's Wrong With Dragon Ball Z Part One, Even Goku's popular anime franchise isn't perfect.". IGN. Retrieved January 18, 2009.
- Dragon Ball Z manga, Volume 5 — ISBN 1-56931-934-0
- Dragon Ball Z manga, Volume 6 — ISBN 1-56931-935-9
- Dragon Ball Z manga, Volume 7 — ISBN 1-56931-936-7
- Dragon Ball Z manga, Volume 8 — ISBN 1-56931-937-5
- Dragon Ball Z manga, Volume 9 — ISBN 1-56931-938-3
- Dragon Ball Z manga, Volume 10 — ISBN 1-56931-939-1
- Dragon Ball Z manga, Volume 11 — ISBN 1-56931-807-7
- Dragon Ball Z manga, Volume 12 — ISBN 1-56931-985-5