- This article is about the original character. For the character portrayed in live-action by Emmy Rossum, see Bulma Brief (Emmy Rossum).
"Somebody help me! I'm too young and pretty to die!"
Bulma (ブルマ, Burumā; Literally meaning "Bloomers") is a fictional character in the Dragon Ball franchise. She makes her debut in "Bloomers and the Monkey King", the first chapter of the Dragon Ball manga, issued on November 10, 1985. She makes her first animated appearance in "Secret of the Dragon Balls", the first episode of the Dragon Ball anime, which premiered on February 26, 1986. Like Trunks and Bulla, Bulma's name is an allusion to an undergarment, modern bloomers in particular. While Bulma is referred to only by her given name during the series, English translations seem to imply that Briefs is her family name, and by proxy, her full name may be Bulma Briefs.
Search for the Dragon Balls
Born in the year 733 A.D., Bulma is the introduced in the Dragon Ball manga and anime at the age of 16, and is the first girl ever seen by Goku, and even more so, the second human Goku sees, after his guardian, Grandpa Gohan. Her goal is to use an invention of her own design, the Dragon Radar, to locate the seven then-fabled Dragon Balls capable of granting their collector a single wish, in order to wish for the perfect boyfriend (although as she confesses to Goku in the manga, her initial wish was to receive a lifetime supply of strawberries). It is during her search that Bulma encounters Goku, the holder of the four-star Dragon Ball, and accidentally hits him with her car. Mistakening the car for a monster, Goku picks it up and throws it, and Bulma shoots him in the head with a handgun in retaliation; she is horrified by what she did, and even more so when Goku gets back up unharmed. She quickly reasons with him and befriends him before any more violence can occur. When Goku refuses to give up his surrogate grandfather's memento, Bulma deceives the boy by proposing that the two become a team and locate the rest of the Dragon Balls together, anticipating that Goku would make a good bodyguard in the case of trouble. Their partnership sets the series into motion and acts as a catalyst for introducing several other key characters. Bulma also introduces Goku to countless things that his life in isolation was deprived of, such as a bathing and technology.
She quickly becomes a source of entertainment for Master Roshi and Oolong during the adventure. She also develops a crush on Yamcha, which, after overthrowing Emperor Pilaf's plan for world domination, results in the two having an on-and-off relationship that spans until the Trunks Saga of Dragon Ball Z. Having succeeded over Pilaf, Bulma, Yamcha, Oolong and Puar decide to return to West City, however their plane crashes en route, and they are forced to walk. When the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament takes place, Bulma is reunited with Goku, whom she cheers for from the sidelines, along with her contending boyfriend.
Red Ribbon conflict
During the Red Ribbon Army Saga, Bulma breaks up with Yamcha briefly and returns to school. Goku spontaneously pays a visit to her home at Capsule Corporation, requesting repairs on the Dragon Radar. Unaware that Goku is being vigorously pursued by the Red Ribbon Army, Bulma rejoins Goku in hunting for the Dragon Balls, along with Krillin. When the group is trapped finding a hidden pirate treasure by General Blue, Bulma makes an effort to seduce Blue in an attempt to save Goku, but her plan fails as Blue is arguably homosexual. After General Blue is defeated, Bulma ends her travels with Goku after General Blue's defeat, but later regroups to help with an attack on the Red Ribbon Army headquarters.
Bulma slowly begins the transition into a secondary character during the Fortuneteller Baba Saga. Here, she spectates Yamcha and Goku's battles against Fortuneteller Baba's warriors. When Yamcha is being outclassed by The Invisible Man, Krillin comes up with the hasty solution to expose Bulma's breasts to Master Roshi (and being one of the more infamous stints involving the character, to the viewer as well), whose typical reaction to have a raging nosebleed douses The Invisible Man, making him visible and thus not a challenge for Yamcha to defeat. In the edited version of the episode, Krillin's plot is altered so that he drenches The Invisible Man in tomato soup instead. Bulma makes relatively little appearances during the Tien Shinhan Saga, where she is merely a spectator at the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament.
Bulma's part in the King Piccolo Saga began to emphasize her role as a scientist. She lends the Dragon Radar to the early Z Fighters so that they might locate the Dragon Balls before King Piccolo, however the protagonists' efforts are in vain when King Piccolo is successful in summoning Shenron, and the menacing Namek is granted eternal youth. Bulma stores the lifeless bodies of Krillin, Chiaotzu and Master Roshi, all victims of King Piccolo and his deformed son Tambourine, to later be revived by Shenron, along with every other undeserving victim of King Piccolo's campaign. Bulma was once again a spectator at the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, where she reunited with Goku, as well as the other friends she made during Dragon Ball.
Misadventures on Namek
After five years of peace, Goku's brother, Raditz, arrives on Earth to investigate why Goku, revealed to be a Saiyan named Kakarot by birthright, failed to exterminate the population of Earth as a child. After Raditz's defeat at the co-operative hands of Goku and Piccolo, Bulma is able to repair and modify the warrior's "scouter" device, so that it may display a person's power level in Earthly figures, rather than Saiyan ones.
After many of Earth's finest defenders, including Piccolo (and by extension, Kami and the Dragon Balls), are lost in the battle against the Saiyans Nappa and Vegeta, Mr. Popo assists Bulma in identifying a large contraption in Yunzabit Heights as a spacecraft, particularly the craft used by Kami to escape his homeplanet, Namek, centuries earlier. The ship is repaired at Capsule Corporation with the help of Bulma's father, Dr. Brief. Afterward, joined by Krillin and Gohan, Bulma uses the spaceship to travel to Namek in hopes of retrieving the Namekian Dragon Balls to revive Piccolo (whose restoration would also revive Kami and the Dragon Balls of Earth).
En route to Namek, the group is intercepted by a platoon of orphans certain that Bulma, Krillin and Gohan are henchmen of the space tyrant called Frieza, and tricked into making a crashlanding on a fake Namek, where after a complex plot by the aliens Zaacro and Raiti, the group is almost left stranded. Upon reaching Namek, their troubles only multiply when Bund and Vug, two of Frieza's henchmen, deliberately damage the group's spaceship during an investigation, rendering them unable to leave the planet. Bulma leaves the Dragon Radar in the care of Krillin and Gohan, who begin their search for the Dragon Balls. During the two's departure, Bulma sets up camp in a capsule house, where she gains comfort from the message that Goku will soon be following the group to Namek, as well. Bulma is soon plagued by numerous misdeeds while on Namek, such as being caught in the middle of a devastating confrontation between Vegeta and Zarbon, Frieza's top henchman. She quickly admires Zarbon's appearance prior to the gruesome revelation of his second form. She also witnesses Zarbon's demise as Vegeta obtains the Dragon Ball from them. She is later threatened and kidnapped by two more soldiers of Frieza, Blueberry and Raspberry, having her home destroyed by Vegeta, thus leaving her stranded and exposed to Frieza's minions and the planet's habitat, and briefly having her body snatched by Captain Ginyu, leaving her soul trapped inside the body of the frog Ginyu had mistakenly snatched during his conflict with Vegeta.
After a wish made to Porunga, the Eternal Dragon of Namek, transports to Earth all living beings on Namek except for Goku and Frieza, Bulma allows Vegeta and the Nameks to take shelter at Capsule Corporation for a year, until the Z Fighters could be revived and a new planet, suitable for the Nameks, could be found.
Garlic Jr. Saga
In the filler Garlic Jr. Saga of Dragon Ball Z, Bulma attends Master Roshi's party and quickly develops a grudge for Krillin's beloved but frustrating girlfriend, Maron, as Maron relentlessly advances on Yamcha even in Bulma's presence, and often calls Bulma an old lady. She inhales the coat of Black Water Mist that Garlic Jr. lays across the Earth, which degrades her into one of Garlic Jr.'s thoughtless and violent mindslaves. Like the other possessed residents of Earth, Bulma is eventually reverted to normal when Mr. Popo and Kami spread the Sacred Water through Kami's Lookout's seven air currents of the world.
Bulma survives the onslaught of androids 17 and 18 in a timeline alternate to the mainstream one, where she lives on the location of the former Capsule Corporation and attempts to build a time machine. She is mentioned several times by her son of that timeline, Future Trunks, and is also seen in the special The History of Trunks. She is very protective of her son and hates the idea of him fighting, but nevertheless allows him to use the time machine to travel backward 20 years and make any appropriate changes to the time, to ensure that the androids do not come to decimate the population of Earth.
In this timeline, Bulma appears to have aged very quickly, likely a result of the stress of living in constant fear of the threat the androids pose to the lives of both herself and her only son. Despite this, she retains her intelligence and even grows to be more mature than her somewhat naive counterpart of the mainstream timeline. Most of her later life is spent constructing a time machine that could be used to prevent the devastation wrought by the androids from happening to any planes of existence (as Future Trunks explains that changing the past, or the mainstream timeline, will not affect the world of the future but will at least prevent further timelines from experiencing the events that the future timeline has endured). Once the androids (or more importantly, Super Perfect Cell) have been defeated in the mainstream timeline, Future Trunks returns to his own time and defeats the considerably weaker androids, as well as Imperfect Cell, with ease.
Motherhood and further inventions
After Future Trunks mysteriously arrives and slays Frieza and his father, King Cold, Bulma is at first under the impression that the boy is an employee of Capsule Corporation, due to the logo on his jacket. The only two people who are made aware that he is actually the future son of Bulma and Vegeta are Goku, who is told this by Future Trunks, and Piccolo, whose powerful Namek ears inadvertently hear the confession. Still, Piccolo explains to the Z Fighters and friends the boy's story of the androids and that he is a legitimate visitor of the future. Three years later, at the age of 33, Bulma gives birth to a baby boy named Trunks, and with the return of Future Trunks not long after, the fact that he is the same person as her child slowly becomes clear to everyone including Vegeta, who smugly assumes that this is why Future Trunks could become a Super Saiyan at such a young age. Based on the blueprints for Android 17 confiscated by Future Trunks and Krillin during the Imperfect Cell Saga, Bulma develops a remote device that can be used to deactivate androids 17 and 18, but Krillin chooses to destroy it because he has come to have feelings for 18. Bulma also develops a third-party model of Saiyan Armor that the Z Fighters use to help in their training for the Cell Games. After Android 16 is damaged while trying to prevent Cell from absorbing 18, he is repaired by Bulma and her father. During the repair, the unconfident pair decide to remove 16's bomb, which proves to be a poor move as 16 later attempts to use the bomb against Cell, but does not realize until he is in combat with his opponent that he has no trump card.
Death and revival
Seven years later, in the Great Saiyaman Saga, Bulma designs a disguise Gohan can use while fighting crime as the protector of Satan City, the Great Saiyaman. When it is announced that the deceased Goku will be returning to Earth for a day,she is 40 years old. Bulma attends the 25th World Martial Arts Tournament, although she spends most of the tournament arguing with Chi-Chi over whose husband and son is better. She later takes shelter from Majin Buu on Kami's Lookout with the rest of the group. When Buu escapes from the Hyperbolic Time Chamber during his fight with Gotenks, Bulma, along with the others, is transformed into chocolate and consumed by the monster. In the afterlife, Bulma goes to Heaven where she gossips with Chi-Chi, Videl and Dabura until the battle ends. Afterward, she is revived by the Dragon Balls along with her family and friends, and gives her energy to Goku to create the Spirit Bomb used to eliminate Kid Buu once and for all.
Dragon Ball GT
At the conclusion of Dragon Ball Z, it is revealed that Bulma and Vegeta had a second child, a daughter named Bulla. In Dragon Ball GT, Bulma, like the majority of the Earth's population, becomes possessed by Baby, and organizes most of his operations, such as the mass-migration of Earth's residents to the restored Planet Vegeta (renamed "Tuffle Planet"), and creating the Blutz Wave Generator used to help Super Baby Vegeta transform into a Golden Great Ape. However, the Sacred Water hidden in Dende's Lookout is used to free her and the rest of Earth from Baby's enslavement.
Bulma has a very tomboyish, temperamental personality. She is considerably spoiled and vain, while also known for her extreme intellect. Bulma also tends to have a great deal of concern over her hygiene, frequently complaining when circumstances prevent her from taking a bath or replenishing her beauty supplies. Her persistence rarely leaves room for submission, and she often does whatever it takes to achieve her goals. During their marriage, even the proud Vegeta fails to keep her intimidated.
Although Bulma's physical strength is that of a regular human, she possesses an almost superhuman intellect and uses it to create a bounty of useful inventions in her quest for the Dragon Balls. Though she does not possess the ability to manipulate ki herself, she does (according to an anime filler scene where Captain Ginyu possessed her body) have the power to sense the power levels of other fighters, something even Vegeta couldn't do in the beginning of the series.
Bulma has appeared in all four Dragon Ball film adaptations, eight out of 14 film adaptations of Dragon Ball Z (The World's Strongest, The Tree of Might, Lord Slug, Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan, Bojack Unbound, Fusion Reborn, Wrath of the Dragon and Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!), the television special The History of Trunks and the original video animation Gaiden: Saiyajin Zetsumetsu Keikaku - Chikyū-Hen.
Bulma has been depicted in two of three live-action adaptions of Dragon Ball. In the first, The Magic Begins, she is called Seetoe and her appearance has no relative resemblance to her manga and anime incarnations, but she plays the same role in the story. Her second portrayal is in Dragonball: Evolution, where she is played by Emmy Rossum. Rossum describes her portrayal of Bulma as, "pretty bad-ass, but still quirky and fun, and kind of ridiculous in the way she is in the anime."
Bulma has a cameo in Cross Epoch, a manga crossover of the Dragon Ball and One Piece series, where she appears as the space pirate partner of One Piece's Nami.
Bulma appears in a number of cinematics in Dragon Ball video games such as Advanced Adventure, Budokai and Budokai 3. In Budokai 2, Bulma appears in the game's Skill Shop mode where she sells various capsules to the player. Her outfit in this mode varies based on how many capsules the player has collected.
In Budokai Tenkaichi, Bulma appears in the Options Mode, explaining how the various game settings function. In Budokai Tenkaichi 2 she appears in the Data Center to explaining custom characters, and in Practice Mode, along with a pink shirt-wearing Vegeta. Once unlocked, she also appears wearing the desert outfit she adorned in the Dragon Ball anime. In Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Bulma again hosts the Data Center.
Bulma is a "Help Koma" in Jump Ultimate Stars, where she in exchange for collected coins, she rewards the Battle Koma she is attached to with additional SP.
There is a rumor surrounding Budokai 3 that Bulma is playable, due to the fact that she is seen in the 11th stage of Training Mode, where she explains how to use capsules during a duel. She hardly moves, but it remains evident that a full 3D model of Bulma exists in the game. Also in the bonus DVD packaged with the special edition of the game, Tiffany Vollmer can be seen recording combat voicework for Bulma. There is some truth to this rumor however, as using cheat methods, Bulma can be played in Budokai 3, but has no techniques, nor can she be designated skills. Nevertheless, Bulma made her first playable appearance in a Dragon Ball video game spin-off in Origins, and will again be playable in Dragonball the Movie.
- Japanese dub: Hiromi Tsuru
- Ocean Group dub: Lalainia Lindbjerg (seasons 1 through 4), Maggie Blue O'Hera (seasons 5 through 9)
- Funimation dub: Leslie Alexander (DB Movie 2), Tiffany Vollmer (everything else)
- Latin American dub: Rocío Garcel (seasons 1 through 6), Mónica Manjarrez (seasons 8 through 9), Isabel Martiñon (Lord Slug)
- Tagalog, Hiligaynon and Cebuano dub: Lyrah Padilla
- Bulma goes through 17 different hairstyles during the Dragon Ball series.
- Bulma is the most recurring female character in the Dragon Ball series.
- Bulma is the source for most of Dragon Ball's examples of fan service, as she can be seen either partially or completely exposed in a sexual manner in numerous situations, most of which take place during Dragon Ball.
- Bulma's brassiere measurement at the beginning of Dragon Ball is 34C.
- In the manga and the 10th anniversary anime movie, Bulma has purple hair. In the anime, it was changed to light blue.
- Bulma looks very similar to Marle from Chrono Trigger in Dragon Ball, and then looks very similar to Lucca of the same game in Dragon Ball Z.
- She loves strawberries.
- Bulma does appear to show some form of romantic affection toward Goku, or possibly just finds him attractive. When Goku re-appears in the Piccolo Jr. saga of Dragon Ball, Bulma states how shocked she is at how Goku could become so "tall and handsome". During Dragon Ball Z she calls him a "stud" numerous times and even has a few awkward deep stares at Goku during the Androids saga. However, during the Majin Buu saga, she appears to have gained a lot more love for Vegeta, most likely because it had been over seven years since they first fell in love. Never the less, it could be assumed Bulma at the least, found him attractive.
- Bulma was a smoker at one point. She is never seen smoking in Dragon Ball, but she can be seen smoking during Dragon Ball Z such as when, during the Great Saiyaman Saga, when Gohan is asking her to make him a suit, she is seen smoking.
- Bulma at the end of the Dragon Ball Z series looked older than the version seen in The History of Trunks. This is odd, because technically the alternate version of Bulma seen in the Trunks special is actually three years older than the mainstream timeline Bulma. However, this could be do to the fact that in the main timeline, Bulma has another child, Bulla, which is most likely why she appears older.