|Dragon Ball character|
Vegeta, drawn by Akira Toriyama
|First appearance||Dragon Ball chapter #204: Goodbye Son Goku (1988)|
|Created by||Akira Toriyama|
Vegeta (Japanese: ベジータ Hepburn: 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 magazine on December 19, 1988, seeking the wish-granting Dragon Balls to gain immortality.
As prince of the Saiyans, an extraterrestrial race of warriors that the series' protagonist Son Goku also belongs to, Vegeta is extremely vain, believing he is the strongest and becoming obsessed with surpassing Goku. He later reluctantly unites with the heroes to thwart greater threats to the universe, becoming an antihero, while remaining a rival to Goku. Vegeta's character, particularly his personality, has been well received.
Creation and design
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 Saiyan race, being the son of King Vegeta, with Planet Vegeta named after his father. Vegeta is shown to be exceptionally vain and egotistical. Only in very few instances is he seen to be afraid of opponents, such as against Freeza. Arguably, his most defining trait is his rivalry with Goku and obsession to surpass him in power.
Vegeta has a signature hair style that firmly stands upwards, with a prominent widow's peak. Like all Saiyans, he possesses black eyes, jet black hair that never grows in length, and had a tail before it was cut off by Yajirobe. Vegeta is noticeably shorter than Goku, although a visible shift in Akira Toriyama's artistic style lessens this difference later in the series. Vegeta continues to don the traditional Saiyan armor for a large portion of his appearances, until he integrates into Earthly society eventually favoring clothing more characteristic of a human altogether.
Vegeta is introduced as the proud prince of the Saiyan (サイヤ人 Saiya-jin?) 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 the 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 Dragon Balls from Earth.
After Freeza's death, Vegeta chooses to stay on Earth and has a son named Trunks with Bulma. 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 Trunks from an alternate future in the Room of Spirit and Time (精神と時の部屋?) 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 known as the Cell Game, 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 Bulma, Trunks 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 Vegetto, 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. It is during this time that Vegeta finally lets go of his rivalry with Goku and acknowledges him as both his superior and a friend.
In other media
In Dragon Ball GT, Vegeta is confronted by a Baby-possessed Gohan. Baby possessed Vegeta during their battle despite strong resistance by Vegeta, and the resulting Baby/Vegeta fusion battles Goku. Vegeta is later 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. In addition, Vegeta appears in numerous Dragon Ball Z movies, aiding Goku in his battles against Cooler, Android 13, Broly, Bojack, Janemba, Hirudegarn, Beerus, and a resurrected Freeza, while usually stating that he is only helping so that no one will take away his chance of surpassing Goku.
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. He also makes a single panel appearance in Toriyama's 2014 Dragon Ball Minus: The Departure of the Fated Child special.
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.
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 ki. 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 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 occasionally 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 later achieved the immensely powerful Super Saiyan God (超サイヤ人ゴッド Sūpā Saiya-jin Goddo?) and Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan (超サイヤ人ゴッドSS（スーパーサイヤ人ゴッドスーパーサイヤ人） Sūpā Saiya-jin Goddo Sūpā Saiya-jin?) transformations under Whis's tutelage. 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 Vegetto (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?).
In the original Japanese version of the anime and all other media, Vegeta is voiced by Ryō Horikawa. When the first English-language dub of Dragon Ball Z was released by the Texas-based dubbing company Funimation Entertainment, a group of voice actors based in Canada known as Ocean Productions had been hired to perform the English-language dub of the series. In this adaption, the adult incarnation of Vegeta 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 of Dragon Ball GT produced by Blue Water that aired in Canada as well as the United Kingdom; additionally, Vegeta is also voiced by Milton James in the video game Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout.
Due to the expenses of using outside actors to dub the series, Funimation discontinued its contract with Ocean Productions and hired its own actors and, as a result, Christopher Sabat has voiced Vegeta's adult incarnation in all subsequent Dragon Ball media, including video games. While Sabat continued to dub Vegeta's adult incarnation in Dragon Ball Z Kai, Laura Bailey voiced Vegeta's child incarnation.
Vegeta has generally received praise by various reviewers from manga, anime and other media. 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 the final story arc was also commented to be very entertaining, despite its length as well as Goku and Vegeta's fighting styles, which Martin considered to have become 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 of the scene. 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. Douglass called his reveal as a villain during the appearance of Bobbidi, "the real meat" of the story. 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, he placed fourth in the 1993 Dragon Ball character popularity poll voted on by Weekly Shōnen Jump readers, and moved up to second in the 1995 one. In 2004, fans of the series voted him the second most popular character for a poll in the book Dragon Ball Forever. 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 top anime character of all-time list, calling him "the original unmitigated bastard" that preceded Light Yagami and Lelouch Lamperouge, and in the tenth spot in 2014. Vegeta came third on IGN's 2014 Top 10 Anime Villains list, stating, "The most famous bad-guy-turned-not-so-bad in all of anime. Vegeta started out as an alien punk with a sadistic streak and an inferiority complex, but over time he become one of Goku's friends, and every now and then, if he was feeling nice that day, he'd help save the world."
In popular culture
Vegeta's quote "It's over 9000!", referring to Goku's new power level, has become an Internet meme and a popular catchphrase referring to a large number or great quantity. The line originates from episode 21 of the Ocean Productions English dub, "The Return of Goku", but was actually a changing of the original line which was "over 8,000!". Subsequent releases and dubs have used one of the two numbers.
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