Do you have a bad day on your hands? So, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this post. Yes, we’re talking about the characters from our youth. Furthermore, it compares and contrasts the top Dragon Ball characters then vs. now. Aren’t you one of the tens of millions of kids who grew up watching Dragon Ball? If you were born in the 1990s and haven’t seen Dragon Ball, then I, along with the rest of the Dragon Ball community, will judge you.
Everyone, I believe, has seen this anime at least once. It didn’t matter if it was playing in the background or if someone else was watching it, and it piqued someone’s interest. It’s fascinating that Dragon Ball is still going strong after all these years!
Furthermore, the Dragon Ball franchise is remarkable in that it has produced a large number of characters over the last two or three decades. I’m sure you did this as well if you grew up watching Dragon Ball. The internet back then wasn’t nearly as good as it is now. Not everyone could get their hands on it. However, if Dragon Ball fans were to get their hands on the internet, they would undoubtedly search the internet for “Goku Super Saiyan 10” or “Goku Super Saiyan 100.”
And after seeing the insane results and images, we were completely blown away. That was always a lot of fun. And if you didn’t, I’m sorry, but I’m going to judge you again! What did you do in your childhood if you didn’t do that then?
We have a lot of characters from the Dragon Ball series, and they’ve all evolved from where they were to where they are now. After all, there are so many different arcs and series in the franchise. Character development is unavoidable. But first, let’s take a look at the history of the mass universe, then compare and contrast the Dragon Ball characters from then vs. now.
Universe of the Dragon Ball
Akira Toriyama is the god(in my opinion) who created the mass media franchise Dragon Ball in 1984. The first manga, written and illustrated by Toriyama, was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from 1984 to 1995, with Shueisha collecting the 519 individual chapters into 42 volumes. Dragon Ball was based on the classic 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West, with elements of Hong Kong martial arts films thrown in for good measure.
Toei Animation adapted Dragon Ball manga and divided it into two anime series. Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z were broadcast in Japan from 1986 to 1996. The studio has also produced 20 animated feature films, three television specials, and two anime sequel series. Dragon Ball GT consisted of 64 episodes, and it aired from 1996 to 1997, and the latest masterpiece of the franchise Dragon Ball Super aired from 2015 to 2018.
To add to the series’ popularity, it has sparked a slew of animes and their stories and characters. To name a few, One Piece, Naruto, and Berserk. The accomplishments of this franchise are limitless. But we’re here to talk about the Drago Ball series’ characters. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the…
Top Dragon Ball Series Characters: Then vs. Now
Alright, the first thing about this article is we are going to see the change in the character’s appearance and growth. It’s about how the characters of Dragon Ball looked in their early stages vs. how they look now.
1) Goku (World’s Favourite Character)
I’m not exaggerating when I say “world’s favorite character”. After all, the world’s most popular anime couldn’t be without the world’s favorite character.
From being an orphan alien child to a God, boy Goku had a journey. His Journey is fascinating and loved by everyone. Transforming into a Super Saiyan took a lot from the Dragon Ball series, but turning into a God was a piece of cake.
2) Vegeta ( Prince of No-one)
When it comes to enraging, cool, eccentric second major characters, the proud prince of Saiyans is at the top of the list. If we look closely, we can see that his Journey was similar to Goku’s. Also, an orphan who ends up being a God!
We’ve seen a variety of Vegetas, but everyone’s favorite is when he’s on the other side. Yes, while playing the antagonist. Majin Vegeta was, without a doubt, the best character in the entire Dragon Ball franchise. However, the prideful prince of Saiyans is a peaceful father now.
3) Gohan (The strongest Saiyan (once))
Gohan is the most likable character in the Dragon Ball series. It’s strange to see the son of the Main Character being more famous and stronger than him.
Gohan was the prodigy of the Saiyans. He was the first one to achieve the SSJ2 or Super Saiyan 2 transformation. His Journey is also unique from Strongest to a Scientist and a father.
4) Trunks (Boy from the future)
Fun fact, Trunks was the second one to be the Super Saiyan, not Vegeta. Not technically, though, because he was from the future. He came from the future to warn about a being or an android called Cell. It took him five seconds to defeat Freiza, while Goku took 5 mins (the longest five minutes in anime history).
The future boy also came in the latest series to again warn about a bad guy. As you guessed, there is not much going for this character’s plot either. Same old classic plot. And not much change as well, just a new design.
5) Goten (supposed to replace Goku)
Goten, the Second of Goku, was rumored to replace Goku after his death at the end Cell saga. But didn’t because the fan wanted Goku back. Goten is one of the many side characters in the Dragon Ball series. We learn as soon as he’s shown in the series that he can transform into Super Saiyan, yes, talk about the whole inspiration behind it gone.
The only time Goten had a part in the series was also only a part of him in the Gotrunks fusion. He is basically Goku in his kid form with new looks.
6)Child Trunks (Son of prince)
His character is much similar to Goten. Son of prince also achieved Super Saiyan state without a tragic story. Trunks is more human than a Saiyan. He takes after his mother Bulma more than his father, Vegeta.
Similar to Goten, his moment to shine was also when he was in Gotunks fusion. And, like many other minor characters, he appears on occasion.
7) Piccolo (The Green Father)
The green guy started as a main antagonist to end up being a babysitter. That’s his story in a nutshell. Although, we did see some journeys. Born as a prince, to say more or less, the son of King Piccolo started as a bad guy. Like father, like son.
Because Namekians grew up quickly, he was fully grown in only three years. He may be a “Dad” of Gohan, but he isn’t much older than him. Wearing a white turban and removing them during a fight is a classic. He is just a good guy.
8) Krillin (A rival to Goku)
Goku and Krillin were rivals, if memory serves me correctly. Goku and Krillin, who were both taught by the same master, Master Roshi, grew up together and are now best friends. In the Dragon Ball universe, Krillin had a lot of important roles to play.
By dying, he helped Goku transform into a Super Saiyan, and he won over an android and gave her a heart. He is now a father and works as a police officer. His appearance hasn’t changed much; he’s still the same height and wears orange clothes.
9) Bulma (The tech one)
Everyone, after all, needs a techie in their story. Otherwise, how will you cover the technological aspects of the stories? It’s slick work that every fantasy story follows. At the very start, Bulma was the one who introduced Goku and us to the mysterious Dragon Balls.
She was just a scientist’s daughter who was obsessed with collecting Dragon balls. Now she’s convinced a Saiyan prince to marry her and has a son with him. Her character, like many other female Dragon Ball characters, has matured into a child-caring mother.
10) Chi-Chi (Never Changed)
Yes, this character lacked any sort of dynamics. When it’s just about motherhood, the character’s time to shine arrives. Her appearance at the start was quite different from what it is now.
A young girl in a bikini and a cape. I’m not sure what Toriyama was going for here. At first, she appeared to enjoy martial arts. She’s now just another mother on the show, though.
11) Videl (Another Saiyan’s Wife)
Videl, Bulma, and Chi-Chi Everyone began as a strong-willed woman and ended up as a mother who cared for her children. At first glance, she appears to be a ruthless Tomboy with lofty goals. Now, soft, caring, and motherly.
After all, there couldn’t be much that could be done to assist these female characters, could there? Dragon Ball transformed every female fighter into a mother and took away their rage. It’s a classic pattern that Dragon Ball follows.
12) Master Roshi (Master of perverts)
Observing him as a child gave me the wrong impression of Oldman. He is an inspiration to every old pervert in the anime franchise. He was the source of the legendary “Kamehame” move. After passing on the “Kamehame” to his students, the character is left with little.
He may not be able to destroy things right now, but he certainly wants to destroy his reputation as a result of his treatment of women on the show. However, Dragon Ball Super added a twist by making him a universe 7 contender. In this franchise, anything can happen.
13) Yamcha ( A joke )
Aside from the action, the Dragon Ball series’ main genre is comedy. We have Goku and some other characters, such as Yamcha, to round out the comedy. Yamcha, on the other hand, began his career as a serious man. He was searching for dragon balls in the Dragon Ball series for his own selfish desires. We also saw him as the one with a little love interest in Bulma.
He did love martial arts and was a pretty serious guy when it came to defending earth from Saibaman. Oh yes, after the only moment to character’s shine, he now fills in the comedy part. The latest series did him so bad that they recreated the death scene from his previous days while playing baseball. Now, he’s a weak guy with a pet and fairly to call a joke.
14) Tien (Bald Goku with three eyes)
If you look closely enough during your childhood, you’ll notice that his character design is identical to that of Goku. With a third eye and no hair. But only in terms of appearance. When it comes to power, the character is on par with or slightly better than Yamcha.
He appeared to be a serious martial artist. As a young man, he was a rival of Goku’s. He did, however, have his moment with the major villains. He’s not even close to being a joke. Tien has found a new martial arts school and some new clothes in the most recent series. He still hangs out with Chiaotzu.
15) Chiaotzu (What is he?)
Chiaotzu confused many fans. Some people were perplexed as to who he was. He is a human who, like Krillin, did not grow a single inch throughout the entire series. This character was inspired by a Chinese folklore monster known as Jiangshi. One of the series’ many supporting characters was also given a chance to shine.
Yes, that was the only time they fought Saibaman. He is also the “Co-Founder” of the martial arts school with Tien in the most recent series. He hasn’t changed much either and still hangs out with Tien.
16) Android 18 (Who found love and heart)
It was frustrating to see robots more powerful than Saiyans. Yes, it was. But eventually, they were just another sacrifice to the bigger plans, Cell. Yet again, she was a fierce woman who trampled men like Vegeta under her shoes is now a loving mother.
The cliche pattern of the dragon ball series to turning angry ambitious women into loving wives and mothers has worked out well. Even an android has been transformed into a motherly figure.
17) Android 17 (The Strongest Android)
Every villain in Dragon ball at some point out turned out to be a good guy. Android 17 is fashionable as ever. He was a fierce villain back in the Cell saga. But now, he is a father of three.
Turning villains into good guys is another pattern that Dragon Ball has followed. His surprising inclusion in Dragon Ball Super was exciting. Not much change in character design, just in clothes.
18) Frieza (Golden Villain)
The galactic emperor of space is one of the all-time favorite villains of all time. He’s gone through a lot of changes. His transformation was a hit with everyone. The man was so afraid of Saiyans that he destroyed their entire planet full of them. However, Goku, our savior, eventually defeated him.
He made pretty shinny come back. He achieved his golden form only after 4 months of training. I was really surprised when he entered the tournament in the Dragon Ball series. This villainous character was shown in a new light.
It’s an awesome time to be a Dragon Ball fan. The new 3D movie for the series is coming, watch the trailer below.
Also read: Strongest Villains Of Dragon Ball Series