Piccolo (Dragon Ball)
|Dragon Ball character|
Piccolo by Akira Toriyama
|First appearance||Dragon Ball chapter #161
Dragon Ball episode 122
|Created by||Akira Toriyama|
|Voiced by||See Voice actors|
|Aliases||Big Green (France/UK ('Big Green') dub)
Satanàs Cor Petit
"Uncle Strangehead" (Malaysian dub)
|Notable relatives||Katattsu (grandfather)
King Piccolo (parent / incarnate)
Kami (good counterpart, later assimilated)
Piccolo (ピッコロ Pikkoro ) is a character from the Dragon Ball manga, authored by Akira Toriyama. Piccolo was first introduced as the reincarnation of the evil King Piccolo in chapter #167 The Tenka'ichi Budokai Disturbance (波乱の天下一武道会 Haran no Tenkaichi Budōkai ) first published in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine on April 4, 1988, making him a demon and archrival of the primary protagonist, Goku. However, it is later revealed that he is from the race of alien beings called Namekians. After Goku defeats Piccolo, Piccolo decides to team up with Goku and his friends in order to beat newer, more dangerous threats. He also trains Goku's first child Gohan, and they form a strong bond.
Around the start of the Namek Saga, it's revealed that Piccolo's name means "New World" in the Namekian language.
Creation and conception 
Piccolo, along with his father, was created by Toriyama as he wanted to have a villain who would be a true "bad guy." Prior to their creation, nearly all the previous villains in the series were considered too likable. After creating Piccolo as the new villain, he noted that it was one of the most interesting parts of the stories and that he, and his son, became one of the favorite characters of the series. Although Piccolo's transformation from a villain to a hero was considered by Toriyama to be cliché, he still felt excited when drawing him noting that despite having a scary face, he still looks appealing.
When King Piccolo was introduced in chapter #135 The Conspiracy of Kuririn's Death Comes Fearfully (クリリンの死そして恐ろしき陰謀 Kuririn no Shi Soshite Osoroshiki Inbō ) first published in Shonen Jump on August 10, 1987, he was designed to appear as a strange-looking divine creature, who had pointy ears, antennae, fangs and four-fingers (changed to five in the anime). The audience is later introduced to Kami, who is King Piccolo's good counterpart, and the two share an almost identical resemblance. Like Kami, King Piccolo wore a kanji on the front of his gi, symbolizing the kanji that represented himself. When Piccolo Jr. is introduced, Toriyama designed him to appear roughly the same as King Piccolo, but Piccolo Jr. looked younger even after King Piccolo regained his youth. Piccolo Jr. also wore a large white cape with shoulder spikes all throughout the series and a white turban (His weighted training gear.) King Piccolo only wore a cape (without shoulder spikes) before he fought kid Goku and did not have it after the battle. He also made the character discard the kanji. Even though Piccolo Jr. discards the kanji, he uses it once in the series when he made his pupil, Gohan, a uniform.
Piccolo is one of the few major characters in the series whose appearance does not drastically change as the series continues except that he is noticeably taller by the end of the series. Being from another planet called Namek, Piccolo appears as a typical Namekian: green-skinned, tall, and hairless. Note that in the manga, Piccolo, as well as all other Namekians, have only three fingers and an opposable thumb on each hand. In the anime, all Namekians (Piccolo included) have an additional finger on each hand, making it more human-like. Piccolo is known for his white turban and long white cape. He wears purple pants and shirt underneath his cape, with a red belt in the Manga (as seen on the cover illustrations) and a blue belt in the Anime.
Character history 
Introduced as the son and reincarnation from the demon King Piccolo, Piccolo Jr. plans to continue his father's mission of world domination, and avenge his death at the hands of Goku. Piccolo enters the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament under the alias "Ma Junior" (魔Jr.(マ ジュニア) Demon Jr ). Piccolo fights Goku, but is defeated in the final round. Five years later, Piccolo is confronted by Goku's brother named Raditz. Realizing the Saiyan would thwart his plans for world domination, Piccolo teams up with Goku in an attempt to stop Raditz from destroying the Earth. When the two arch rivals team up, Piccolo is able to defeat Raditz, but at the cost of Goku's life. Piccolo remains amazed with the powers from Goku's son, Gohan, and trains him to fight against the two Saiyans who will invade Earth.
When the Saiyans arrive a year later, Piccolo's fondness toward Gohan results in him blocking one of Nappa's attacks aimed at Gohan, which results in the death of himself, Kami, and the Dragon Balls. After the Saiyans are defeated, Gohan and the survivors travel to Piccolo's homeworld, Namek, to revive those who died against the Saiyans with the Namekian Dragon Balls. Piccolo is resurrected on Planet Namek to help Goku and others defeat the evil Frieza. He takes this time to merge with the beaten Namekian called Nail, giving Piccolo a power increase. Despite his massive power increase and going head to head with Frieza's second transformation, Frieza transforms and Piccolo is defeated and severely injured by Frieza, leaving Goku to defeat him alone. Piccolo is restored to health, and waits a year until Goku arrives back on Earth. He then trains with Goku and Gohan for three years to prepare for a battle against two powerful androids created by the Red Ribbon Army's Dr. Gero to kill Goku.
After being defeated by Android #17 and Android #18 Piccolo seeks to unite with Kami, and gain another massive increase in power. After uniting with Kami, Piccolo becomes aware of a more dangerous threat named Cell. Before his second encounter with Cell, Piccolo once again battles the androids, except this time he battles #17 one on one. After a somewhat even match, Cell arrives on the battle scene; Cell needs to absorb the androids to complete his power. Piccolo is nearly killed by Cell, and he is forced to participate in a Martial Arts Tournament created by Cell called the Cell Games, where he fights one of the seven Cell Juniors that are created by Cell, who are later destroyed by Gohan. In the anime Piccolo manages to do well against the Cell Jrs and, along with Vegeta and Future Trunks, fight evenly against them.
Seven years later, Piccolo acts as a trainer to Goten, Goku's second son, and Trunks, Vegeta's son, and their fused form Gotenks. Piccolo trains the boys in fighting the evil creature Majin Boo, but is later absorbed by Boo along with Gotenks and Gohan and incorporated into his being. He is later freed by Goku and Vegeta, and he later gives his energy to Goku's Super Spirit Bomb, which Goku uses to defeat Boo once and for all.
In Dragon Ball GT, he is severely injured by Gohan while he was possessed by Bebi. Piccolo then sacrifices himself to put the Black Star Dragon Balls to rest and bring peace to the world. He goes to Heaven but then requests to be sent to Hell in order to free Goku when he is imprisoned there. He can be seen putting Hell in order and protecting the rulers there. In the final episode, Goku stops in Hell to see Piccolo. He tells Piccolo that he will be leaving and that they are glad they met and teamed up. Goku also tells Piccolo that he had become a good friend and promised to get him out of Hell someday. They shake hands and Goku leaves while Piccolo stays behind.
Voice actors 
In the original Japanese version of the entire Dragon Ball anime series, as well as its spinoffs, Piccolo has been voiced by Toshio Furukawa. Except as a newborn child in Dragon Ball, where he was voiced by Hiromi Tsuru.
Piccolo had several different voice actors in the numerous English productions of the anime. In Funimation Entertainment's dub of Dragon Ball Z in association with Saban Entertainment and Ocean Productions, he was voiced by Scott McNeil in episodes 1-67 (1-53 unedited). In Geneon's dub of the films Dead Zone, The World's Strongest and Tree of Might, Scott McNeil again voiced Piccolo. In Westwood Media's dub of the franchise (in association with Ocean Productions), Piccolo was voiced by Scott McNeil in episodes 108-291. In Chinook Animation's dub of Dragon Ball GT (produced in association with Blue Water Studios), Piccolo was voiced by Ethan Cole. In Bandai's English release of Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout, Piccolo is voiced by Dan Woren. In Funimation's in-house dub of the Dragon Ball franchise, Piccolo has been consistently voiced by Christopher Sabat.
Piccolo has shown many unique abilities throughout the series. Due to his Namekian physiology, Piccolo can expand his arms, move fast enough to not be seen, regenerate lost limbs of his body so long as his head is still intact, and possesses superhuman hearing and strength. Piccolo's Chōkyoshinjutsu (超巨身術 Super Large Body Technique , "Super Giantification Spell" in Viz media) allows him to become gigantic to the point where he is capable of reaching mountain-like heights, though it is unclear if these are his restrictions. He also has the ability to conjure objects such as garments and a blade, including his cape and turban outfit as well as a very large sandglass. Among Piccolo's known psionic skills, he is able to communicate telepathically with select individuals. Thus, this enables him to read minds and mentally contact others nearby. In one instance, he alerts Trunks and Goten of Buu's proximity to the dimension where the two were training.
Like many other characters in Dragon Ball, Piccolo has the ability of flight through the technique called Bukū-jutsu (舞空術 lit. Air dance technique ). He also possesses an attack called the Bakuretsumaha (爆裂魔波 lit . Exploding Wave , "Destructive Wave" in the English dub), which is fired with one hand being supported by the other. One of Piccolo's most powerful attacks is the Makankōsappō (魔貫光殺砲 lit. Demonic Screw Light Cannon , "Special Beam Cannon" in the English dub and "Light of Death" in Viz media) an attack that is expelled from Piccolo's index and middle fingers. Unlike most energy-based attacks in Dragon Ball, the potent Makankōsappō pierces its targets like a drill rather than enveloping them or exploding on contact. Piccolo's ultimate attack in the video games he has appeared in is called Renzoku Sen Kōdan (連続閃光弾 lit. Repeated Flash Bullets, translated also as "Hellzone Grenade" ), which involves firing off many orbs of energy that float around the opponent. Piccolo then squeezes his hand to make all the orbs converge onto the opponent, exploding on contact. Piccolo also possesses the ability of "Scatter Shot" in which he fires many different chi energy blasts shot from one hand at the same time. Piccolo is also seen possessing an attack called the Masenkō (魔閃光 lit. Demon Flash ), which Piccolo teaches to his pupil Gohan. Another move Piccolo is seen to have is the Gekiretsu Kodan (激烈光弾 lit. Violent Light Grenade , "Light Grenade" in the English dub) which is conjured by putting his hands on his chest, gathering energy and then releasing it outwards. One of Piccolo's less frequently used techniques is the ability to fire energy rays from his eyes (similar to "heat vision"), which he first uses against Krillin's energy attack during their match in the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, then later against Goku in the finals, and again when he trains Gohan in the Saiyan Saga.
Piccolo can also perform the "Namekian Fusion" which he does with Nail on the distant Planet Namek to confront Freeza and with Kami to confront the androids as a super namek, each time greatly increased Piccolo's power level (the first time enough to clash toe-and-toe with Freeza's second form, and the latter he became much more powerful than an unmastered Super Saiyan.).
In other media 
Piccolo has been in many Dragon Ball-related video games such as Super Butōden, the Budokai and Budokai Tenkaichi series of games, as well as Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World and Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit. He is a playable character in some crossover games such as Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars. Piccolo was the main antagonist of the 2009 live-action Dragon Ball adaptation, Dragonball: Evolution.
Piccolo's character has received praise and criticism by publications for various media. Chris Beveridge from Mania Entertainment praised Piccolo's growth in Dragon Ball Z as one of the most important parts from the series, noting how he decides to train Gohan to fight Vegeta. Although Katherine Luther from About.com noted Piccolo to be one of the strongest warriors from his planet, she mentioned he has several weaknesses that make him weaker than other characters from the series, with his most notable one being his affection for Gohan. During a review from the Dragon Ball anime, Beveridge noted Piccolo to be able to perform a large number of abilities in contrast to other characters such as Goku, making the fight between both of them unbalanced. However, he found such battle to be very entertaining despite it lasting several episodes. Tim Jones from THEM Anime Reviews found Piccolo's differences from Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball Z as one of the reasons the former show is recommendable to viewers from the later anime. While reviewing the fourth film from Dragon Ball Z Anime News Network writer Allen Drivers found Piccolo's initial scenes in such movie was peacefully enough to entertain viewers. In a later film, John Sinnott from DVD Talk criticized Piccolo's involvement during it as he appears "from out of no where" in order to fight alongside his friends giving the film little reasoning. Piccolo has appeared in various Anime Grand Prix poll, taking high places in the category "best male character."
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- Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, and Dragon Ball Kai Japanese credits
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- Dragon Ball Z Westwood dub's credits
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- Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout credits
- Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, and Dragon Ball Z Kai Funimation dub's credits
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- Dragon Ball manga, volume 16, chapter 187
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- Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 14, chapter 161
- Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 16, chapter 183
- Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 17, chapter 196
- Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 25, chapter 293
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