|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2008)|
|Dragon Ball character|
|First appearance||Dragon Ball chapter #204: Goodbye Son Goku (1988)|
|Created by||Akira Toriyama|
See Voice actors
|Relatives||King Vegeta (father)
Vegeta (ベジータ Bejīta?) is a fictional character in the Dragon Ball manga series created by Akira Toriyama. Vegeta first appears as a major antagonist in chapter #204 Goodbye Son Goku (さようなら孫悟空 Sayōnara Son Gokū?), published in Weekly Shōnen Jump on December 19, 1988, subsequently becoming the first major antagonist of the series' second anime adaptation, Dragon Ball Z. A member of the Saiyan royal family, an extraterrestrial race of warriors that the series protagonist Goku also belongs to, Vegeta is obsessed with surpassing Goku's strength and originally sought to use the Dragon Balls to gain immortality. Afterwards, Vegeta unites with the heroes reluctantly to thwart greater threats to the universe, becoming an antihero and enventually a true hero. In spite of this change, he still remains a rival to Goku for most of the remainder of the series.
Creation and appearance
Following the trend that names of members of the Saiyan race are puns on vegetables, Vegeta's name is a pun of the word vegetable itself. Vegeta is the prince of the Saiyans, being the son of the Saiyan king also named Vegeta, which are both in turn from the Saiyan home planet of Vegeta.
Vegeta's has a signature hair style that firmly stands upwards, with a prominent widow's peak. Like most Saiyans, he possesses black eyes and jet black hair, though his hair is infrequently black with red highlights in various media (posters, trading cards, and similar merchandise in particular). Vegeta is noticeably shorter than Goku, although a visible shift in Akira Toriyama's artistic style lessens this difference later in the series. A main characteristic of Vegeta's is the fact that he is the only living Saiyan who has continued to don the traditional Saiyan armor. However, once he integrates into Earthly society, he abandons the Saiyan armor, at first gradually, until favoring clothing more characteristic of a human altogether. Vegeta, like all Saiyans, once had a tail, but it was cut off by Yajirobe to remove Vegeta from his Great Ape state. Vegeta's hair never grows in length, has stated that a pure-blooded Saiyan's hair does not change from the day he is born, aside from Super Saiyan transformations.
Vegeta is arrogant throughout the series, and becomes bitter due to the abuse his race suffered at the hands of Frieza. Following the destruction of his home world Planet Vegeta, his hatred toward Frieza grows. His royalty seems to have bestowed upon him an inflated sense of superiority, holding himself above nearly everyone he encounters. He is immensely proud of his Saiyan heritage and believes his race to be the most powerful in the universe. As the Prince of a demolished Planet Vegeta, Vegeta is initially introduced as an unrepentant villain. Judging from his evil intentions before joining the Z Fighters, Vegeta has been consistently characterized as extremely arrogant, vengeful, and at times, cold. Many of Vegeta's early heroic acts are because of self-interest or revenge, although he later settles down and grows fond of Earth as his home, raising a family with Bulma. Having been born into the upper tier of Saiyan society, Vegeta was fixated on achieving the legendary status of Super Saiyan and becoming the most powerful warrior in the universe. Vegeta is more of a tactical fighter who often rushes in the brawl without hesitation. However, his rage or arrogance usually causes him to underestimate his opponent. His royal blood and intense fighting style has both benefited and harmed him in many battles. Vegeta has been shown to be one of the more intelligent characters of the series, as well as one of the most serious, rarely exhibiting humor. When he does so, his humor is often very dry and in some rare occasions it is based on black humor. However, he does delight in mocking his enemies, as demonstrated when he offers to reconstruct Android 18 into a "toaster" or a "washing machine" (Funimation Dub only). He also shows his bleak sense of humor towards Goku when he was about to battle him in the World Martial Arts Tournament. Normally, his ego and arrogance overshadow his positive qualities.
Vegeta is extremely aggressive and cold-blooded. Since his childhood, Vegeta has proven himself a ruthless killer, merciless like most Saiyans. During the Namek Saga, he began to exhibit changes; rather than killing Krillin or Gohan as he promised in the previous saga, he instead forges an alliance with them. Throughout the first half of the Frieza Saga, whomever he defeated, he killed without mercy. His only sign of mercy is when he let Namekian Frog Captain Ginyu live, taking delight at the notion of Ginyu being stuck in the frog's body as punishment enough. After his defeat at the hands of Frieza, Vegeta tearfully explains to Goku that Frieza forced him to be ruthless and that he never had the chance to be anything else, implying that he could have been kinder and more merciful were it not for Frieza. From then on, Vegeta softened up and occasionally showed compassion to his new family, Bulma, Trunks, and Bulla. In addition, during the Kid Buu Saga, he notably became enraged when he learned that Goku's deal with Old Kai involved allowing the latter to take advantage of Bulma, feeling it was very senseless of Goku.
From the beginning of the series to near the end, Vegeta is shown to be exceptionally vain and egotistical. A tragic example of this is in his fight with Semi-Perfect Cell. Though he could have easily destroyed this weaker form of Cell, his arrogance bested him, and he purposely let Cell absorb Android 18 just to have a challenge in Cell through which to test his power. While fighting Super Buu, as well as while fighting Janemba on a different occasion Vegeta vehemently opposed fusion with Goku due to his pride, but Goku managed to persuade him. On several occasions, Vegeta conceitedly underestimates his opponents; in the cases of Perfect Cell and Kid Buu, Vegeta was fooled by their diminutive appearances, believing that they had only "shrunk", which is somewhat ironic, given his own short stature, yet large power. In some instances, Vegeta has been seen afraid of opponents such as Frieza or Broly; in particular, when Bills arrives at Bulma's birthday party, Vegeta, knowing of him and what he can do, is actually terrified of him and does everything he possibly can to ensure that the God of Destruction is not angered. However, he often visibly has a change of heart, displays his pride, and takes to the fight.
Arguably, his most defining trait is his rivalry with Goku and obsession to surpass him in power. In Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn, he goes so far as to break down in tears over his inability to surpass Goku. However, this obsession has led him to save Goku's life on several occasions, insisting that only he will defeat Goku. It was not until the Babidi Saga that he gave in to his obsession of overtaking Goku, becoming a Majin, thanks to Bobbidi's spell, creating and giving him a power boost, and being "evil" once more. This was a desperate, failed ploy to restore his former wickedness, believing it to have been the source of his true power. Goku believes Vegeta is bluffing, and correctly so; Vegeta demonstrates his prevailing softness in hugging Trunks for the first time and telling him that he is proud to be his father, before performing a sacrificial Final Explosion against Majin Boo. His opinion of Goku always being one step ahead of him, even though Goku is a lower class Saiyan, runs the gamut from contempt to rivalry, and later to respect and friendship. Because of his arrogance, attitude and past wrongdoing, Vegeta gains a lot of disdain from those around him. Naturally, Goku always takes an optimistic opinion about Vegeta. Vegeta almost always addresses Goku by his Saiyan birth name, Kakarot, but has on rare occasion addressed him as Goku. After the defeat of Kid Buu, he has a change of heart and his angry grudge against Goku becomes a friendly rivalry as Vegeta becomes much more relaxed. He is often seen smiling and cracking jokes, such as when he forced Trunks to enter the 28th World Martial Arts Tournament, threatening to "cut his allowance" if he did not enter the competition. Often being more caring and kind to his family, especially his daughter, Bra, Vegeta admittedly has a kinder side, per his adjustment to Earthly life.
Up until his tail was cut off, Vegeta could turn into a gigantic monkey-like creature called an Ōzaru (大猿?, lit. "Great Ape") by looking at a full moon, an ability common of all Saiyans with tails. Vegeta has the ability to create and enhance attacks with the use of chi. He also has the ability to use Bukū-jutsu (舞空術?, lit: "Air Dancing Technique"), which enables him to fly. Constant training and his Saiyan heritage have given him vast superhuman strength, durability, speed and reflexes.
Vegeta is known to give names for his various energy attacks. In his early appearance, Vegeta is seen to use attacks similar to several of the protagonists of the series, such as a Ki Disk Razor (気円斬 Kienzan?), a two fingered laser-like disk capable of cutting through solid objects, and a ki wave similar to Goku's Kamehameha. One of his better known attacks is the Galick Gun (ギャリック砲 Gyarikku Hō?), although he uses it only once in the series proper; during his battle against Goku in an attempt to destroy the Earth. He later develops the Big Bang Attack (ビッグ・バン・アタック Biggu Ban Atakku?) and the Final Flash (ファイナルフラッシュ Fainaru Furasshu?) techniques, which are much more powerful than his older energy attacks. Vegeta's most commonly used tactics in the series is when he bombards an opponent with an array of small ki blasts. He is not known to have an official name for this attack, but it is usually called Rapid-Fire Energy Balls (連続エネルギー弾 Renzoku Enerugī Dan?). In Dragon Ball GT, Vegeta displays a powerful new attack, entitling it the Final Shine Attack (ファイナルシャインアタック Fainaru Shain Atakku?), where he uses his left hand to fire off a massive beam of green ki that widens with distance. Because of his immense strength and power, Vegeta, along with few other characters from the Dragon Ball franchise, can destroy entire planets with single attacks if he intends to.
Vegeta also possesses several transformations that greatly enhance his abilities to varying degrees. He gains the ability to transform into a Super Saiyan and, through training, can further transform into advanced states of Super Saiyan as the series continues. Vegeta can also fuse with Goku and create a warrior who has the combined power and skills of both. One method is by using the Potara Earrings presented to Goku by the Old Kaiō-shin. This results in a 'potara fusion' creating Vegito (ベジット Bejitto?, "Vegerot" in Viz Media's manga translation). The other method, appearing only in the anime, is by performing the 'Metamorese Fusion Dance', which creates Gogeta (ゴジータ Gojīta?).
Vegeta is introduced as the proud prince of the Saiyan race. He travels to Earth with his comrade Nappa in order to use the Dragon Balls to wish for immortality. He and Nappa fight off the heroes, but then Goku arrives, having finished his training with Kaiō-sama. Vegeta kills Nappa for losing so easily to Goku, but soon finds that he is unable to prevail against the heroes and barely escapes with his life. Vegeta travels to planet Namek in an attempt to wish for immortality using this planet's Dragon Balls, cutting the tyrant Freeza off from making the same wish in the process. Upon arrival, Vegeta manages to kill many of Freeza's henchmen as well as members of the Ginyu Force later on. He also mercilessly destroys a whole defenseless Namekian village for their Dragon Ball. Later, he is defeated and subsequently killed by Freeza, but is revived with a wish from the Earth Dragon Balls.
After Freeza's death, Vegeta chooses to stay on Earth and enters into a relationship with Bulma and has a son Trunks. Years later, Vegeta finally becomes a Super Saiyan and easily destroys Android #19, sent by the Red Ribbon Army to kill Goku. However, even as a Super Saiyan, he is soon defeated by Android #18. Afterwards, Vegeta ascends beyond the Super Saiyan level while training with the Trunks from an alternate future in the Room of Spirit and Time (精神と時の部屋?, "Hyperbolic Time Chamber" in the Funimation anime dub) and pummels the artificial life form Cell, who has absorbed Android #17. But his cockiness leads him to allow Cell to absorb #18, upon which Cell achieves his perfect form. After Vegeta fails to defeat Cell, he is forced to participate in Cell's martial arts tournament called the Cell Games, in which he aids Gohan in order to defeat Cell in his perfect form.
Seven years later, Vegeta allows himself to be consumed by Bobbidi's evil power for his own desire to become powerful enough to fight and defeat Goku. However, when the monster Majin Boo is revived as a result of the energy released from their fight, Vegeta goes to face him alone and sacrifices himself in an attempt to defeat Majin Boo, dedicating his sacrifice to Trunks, Bulma and Goku. After being allowed to get his body back, Vegeta returns to Earth to help against the threat of Boo, he combines with Goku using the Potara Earrings, creating Vegito, who completely overwhelms Boo with his strength. Eventually, he is absorbed into Boo's body and subsequently, the fusion splits. Goku and Vegeta then recover their allies who have been absorbed by Boo, causing him to undergo a new transformation, which results in his return to his original form. On the Kaiō-shin's planet, Vegeta battles Boo again to buy time for Goku to gather energy for the Genki-Dama, which he uses to defeat Majin Boo once and for all.
In the original Japanese version of the anime and all other media, Vegeta is voiced by Ryō Horikawa. When the first English-language dub was released by an upcoming dubbing company out of Texas known as Funimation Entertainment and hired a group of Canadian dubbing actors called Ocean Group, the adult incarnation was voiced by Brian Drummond while the child incarnation was voiced by Saffron Henderson during flashbacks. Vegeta was voiced by Roger Rhodes in the English dub done by Blue Water that also aired in Canada as well as the United Kingdom and most English adapted Dragon Ball video games, and by Milton James in Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout. Due to the expenses of using outside actors to dub the series, Funimation discontinued its contract with Ocean Group and hired its own actors so Christopher Sabat would voice Vegeta's adult incarnation in all of the Dragon Ball media as well as the video games, the child incarnation, and the adult incarnation for Dragon Ball Z Kai while Laura Bailey would take over voicing Vegeta's child incarnation for Dragon Ball Kai.
Appearances in other media
In Dragon Ball GT, Vegeta is possessed by Baby and battles Goku, but is eventually split from Baby's body before Baby is destroyed. Later, he fights Super Android #17, but again, he is knocked out and nearly killed. When Omega Shenron wreaks havoc, he fights with Goku as a Super Saiyan 4 but the two eventually revert to normal. Afterwards, Vegeta says a farewell to Goku, who leaves the duty of protecting Earth in Vegeta's hands before he flies off into the sky on Shenron.
Vegeta has appeared in many video games related to the Dragon Ball franchise as both a playable character and boss. He has also appeared in other non Dragon Ball-related video games, such as Jump Super Stars, Jump Ultimate Stars, and even in the Dragon Ball Z/One Piece/Naruto crossover game Battle Stadium D.O.N.
Vegeta has made several appearances in other manga. One of which is in Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball self-parody Neko Majin, where he battles the titular character. In the Dragon Ball and One Piece crossover, Cross Epoch, Vegeta is re-imagined as a captain of a crew of air pirates which includes Trunks, Usopp, and Nico Robin. On September 15, 2006, Vegeta made a guest appearance in a chapter of the Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo manga, Super Kochikame, entitled Kochira Namek-Sei Dragon Kōen-mae Hashutsujo (こちらナメック星ドラゴン公園前派出所?, This is the Dragon Police Station in front of the Park on Planet Namek). Vegeta appears in the Karate Shoukoushi Kohinata Minoru manga in Chapter 178. Two characters go to a restaurant that features live Muay Thai boxing and Vegeta is in the background cheering.
Vegeta has also been the victim of parody: the Weekly Shōnen Jump Gag Special 2005 issue released on November 12, 2004 featured a Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo one-shot Dragon Ball parody manga. The manga was a humorous retelling of the battle between Goku and Vegeta initial battle; Jelly Jiggler was Goku and Don Patch was Vegeta.
Vegeta has made two contributions to music: in the eighth installment of Hit Song Collection series entitled Character Special 2, Vegeta sings the song "Vegeta-sama no Oryori Jigoku!!". The song focuses of Vegeta cooking a special Okonomiyaki, and in Dragon Ball Kai: Song Collection he sings the song "Saiyan Blood", which he brags about how great he is. Other Dragon Ball-related songs that center around Vegeta are "Koi no Nazonazo" by Kuko and Tricky Shirai which focuses on his and Bulma's relationship and "Ai wa Ballad no Yō ni~Vegeta no Theme~" by Shin Oya which represents Vegeta's reflections on his life and then current family.
The character of Vegeta has received praise and criticism from various reviewers from manga, anime and other media. Todd Douglass Jr. from DVD Talk commented on Vegeta's skills and anger, noting them to be a good combination for any fight even though it is a one-sided battle due to how powerful he is. During the appearance of Babidi, his reveal as a villain was considered to be "the real meat" from the story. Theron Martin from Anime News Network noted Vegeta's pride as being partially responsible for the success of the series. His fight against Goku during such time was also commented to be very entertaining, despite its length as well as Goku and Vegeta's fighting styles, which were considered to be becoming stale. In another review, Theron noted Vegeta's overcoming his pride to help defeat Cell as the best scene from the fight against said antagonist due to how it creates the climax from the scene. Carlos Ross from Them Anime Reviews found Vegeta and Bulma's relationship to have too much comic potential and comments that such characterization was lost. Vegeta is an extremely popular character in the series, in 2004 Japanese fans voted him the second most popular character. In About.com "Top 8 Anime Love Stories", Vegeta and Bulma's relationship ranked second with Katherine Luther commenting that such a relationship was unpredictable by fans. Mania Entertainment writer Briana Lawerence listed Vegeta 9th in the article 10 Male Headaches of Anime, criticizing his personality and his repeated desire to surpass Goku's power. Vegeta has appeared in the Anime Grand Prix poll taking high places in the category "best male character" in the 1991 poll and 1992 poll. Vegeta was placed twenty-first in IGN's 2009 best anime character of all time list, and on the tenth spot in 2014.
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