"Hahaha you fool! I am the Evil King Piccolo, and you made a mistake sending me to the other world! Evil! Yes, evil! Hahaha!"
My name is Evan, but you can call me Shmevan if you'd like. The whole Dragon Ball series is my favorite animated television show of all time, and just about my favorite show period.
I love just about every character that has been introduced in the series, and my top four favorites (Piccolo, Goku, Vegeta & Gohan) are all pretty much interchangeable. I could honestly make the case that any six of these characters could be my favorite, with Trunks and Goten included; I just positively love these characters. In my opinion, they're all heroes. Every Z-Fighter has risked his or her life in order to ensure the safety of the universe. Well anyway, here are (essentially) my top ten favorite Dragon Ball characters:
1. Piccolo- He was my favorite character when I was a child and I first got into the series. You could say that he was my first favorite character. It was a shame that later in Dragon Ball Z and in all of Dragon Ball GT that Piccolo took a back seat to the rest of the Z-Fighters, in particular the Saiyans, because his power was just no match for the rest. But in the end of Dragon Ball and throughout most of DBZ Piccolo was a key member of the series. In fact, along with Goku, Piccolo might be one of the founding members of the Z Warriors. The first time that the Z Warriors were formed it was simply Piccolo and Goku joining forces. Piccolo's relationship with Gohan was one of the reasons that I truly loved the character. He acted as a father figure of sorts to Gohan, while also being his best friend and teacher. I really like how in most of the DBZ movies, Piccolo's role is very similar: one of the main villains in the film is attacking Gohan, and out of nowhere Piccolo shows up to save the day. He is a wonderful character; he takes part in some of my all time favorite moments of the series. Piccolo rules!
2. Vegeta- Ah, Vegeta. He's the classic Anti-Hero, and one of the most popular characters in the series. In my opinion he is one of the "faces" of Dragon Ball Z and one of the most recognizable. Upon his first introduction, Vegeta was the most fearsome, ruthless and radically powerful villain that the Z Warriors had met to that point. He blew the rest of the previous villains out of the water; and he could have been Goku's archenemy, his ultimate foe. But as we all know, circumstances changed that course. He's possibly the most arrogant character that I've ever seen in any series, period. He's such a radically skillful fighter, my guess is he was born with a knack for fighting. Out of all of the characters his fighting style is definitely my favorite, he's so direct and fires a barrage of attacks until he was defeated his enemy. He was the perfect warrior, and he would tell you himself.
3. Goku- Think about how many times in the series someone said "I wish Goku was here", he's everyone's number one guy. Goku is the main character, and the hero of the entire series. I think that if everyone was honest with themselves, they would come to the conclusion that Goku is their favorite character. He is the main man, he never lost a fight. Well at least not one that really mattered when it came down to it. He is the most powerful fighter in the entire universe, no one is capable of surpassing his strength; his power increases with every battle which must make it a nightmare having to step up to this guy. But it's not just his power that makes him such a great hero, it's his personality and his purity. Goku wouldn't hurt a fly, if he didn't have to (as Captain Ginyu pointed out). He loved to fight, there is no question about that. But I think his main motivation for becoming a great fighter was to protect his friends and family, and he also wanted to become more powerful there's no question about that. Goku is very peaceful and pure of heart, which is evident by his ability to ride on the Nimbus Cloud, and everyone knows about his appetite. He's such an endearing character. While no one would consider him to be "book smart" he definitely knows how to fight and how to create fighting strategies, he is capable of fighting with his head as well as his fists. One of Goku's best attributes is his endurance. He has taken some of the worst beatings in the entire series (if not the worst) and he's able to withstand the pain and push through to victory. The best example of his endurance was when he fought against Frieza, he basically withstood everything that Frieza was able to throw at him and Goku still had plenty of power left at the end while Frieza was losing power fast. Goku is fearless and always wanted to fight new, powerful enemies in order to test his strength. Goku is the leader of the Z-Fighters and is the most powerful as well. Goku is the best, the most powerful being in the universe and no one can defeat him.
4. Gohan- As a child, Gohan exhibited enormous hidden powers that he wasn't quite able to control at first. There was first evidence of this during the very first battle of Dragon Ball Z, when he burst out of Raditz's space pod and charged at him in an attempt to save his father. Anger was the main thing that brought out Gohan's true power when he was young, and his power was so sporadic and wild that in most cases he didn't even know what he had done. He was the first child member of the Z-Fighters, which I think is even more impressive. He was able to challenge and even surpass some of the other members who are far older than he is. Gohan, like his father, took some of the most brutal beatings in the entire series, especially against Vegeta, Nappa, Recoome, Frieza, and Super Buu. Also like his father, Gohan has incredible endurance, he was able to take all of those beatings and most importantly he survived them. When Gohan finally became a Super Saiyan, and subsequently a Super Saiyan 2, and defeated Cell it seemed like he would be taking his father's place as the savior of the universe. He was definitely the most powerful Z Warrior at that time. Gohan was way more powerful when he was a child than Goku was when he was his age. Gohan grew very close to some of his father's friends, specifically Piccolo and Krillin. As I previously stated, Gohan and Piccolo had a great father-son type relationship, as well as a student-teacher relationship. Gohan really changed Piccolo, he brought him over to the "good side" you could say. I also really enjoyed his friendship with Krillin as well (who was Goku's best friend). I think Gohan and Krillin might have spent more time together during DBZ that Krillin and Goku did; Gohan and Krillin really grew to become best friends and a real team. And of course, Gohan and Goku have a special relationship. Gohan is one of the few people that Goku showed a lot of affection to throughout the course of the series, they were best friends. When Gohan was older he slightly weakened, in times of peace; but his training with the Kais gave him the power he needed to once again be one of the most powerful Z Fighters alive. Gohan is just like his dad, in all of the important areas. He is one of the characters who made Dragon Ball Z such a great series.
5. Trunks- Trunks is such an interesting character, he was introduced before he was even born! There are two Trunks from two different timelines. I love both Trunks, my favorite is probably Future Trunks. Future Trunks has suffered like no other Z-Fighter,he has seen the majority of his friends and family destroyed by two killer androids. His heartache and experiences have made him much more powerful, he definitely is the darker of the two Trunks. Present Trunks grew up in times of peace, so he has lived a far happier life. When he is first introduced he is 8 years old, but is already capable of becoming a Super Saiyan, making him the second youngest Super Saiyan of all time. Future Trunks had one of the most iconic moments in the entire series when he chopped Mecha Frieza to bits with his sword, and then proceeded to blast what remained of the evil tyrant into dust. Trunks is Vegeta's only son, so it's only natural that Trunks was passed down some of Vegeta's special abilities.
6. Goten- I really love Goten, especially when he's a kid. He's just like Goku when he was a boy (not to mention the fact that they look identical). Goten was the youngest Super Saiyan of all time at the age of 7, making him exponentially more powerful than his older brother and even his father were when they were his age. If you hadn't seen Dragon Ball yet, and you watched Dragon Ball Z first, when you first see Goten that is a great indication of what Goku was like when he was a boy. The main difference of course being that Goten was a lot more powerful than Goku. Goten and Trunks' fight in the Junior Division of the World Martial Arts Tournament was one of my favorite fights in DBZ, and definitely my favorite at that particular tournament. Goten was a very skillful fighter just like his brother and father, although he never quite reached their levels of power. Goten was instrumental in the destruction of Majin Buu so even though he was one of the shorter lived characters (one of the latest Z-Fighters that we meet) that doesn't mean that he was insignificant, he made quite an impact while he was there. He is definitely one of my favorites.
7. Bardock- He's possibly the coolest character in the entire series. He's Goku's dad for crying out loud, what more do you need? Well he was also a radically powerful warrior, even though he was a low level warrior like his son. Like all Saiyans his power increased with every battle, and back in his time Saiyans fought day and night; it was their life. You could say that with the amount of noise that Bardock and his crew were making by taking on the hardest assignments and passing them with flying colors it was the final push that Frieza needed to decide to eradicate the whole race; and we can't forget that Bardock was there, the first one in Frieza's way attempting to stop his evil plan. When you see Bardock fight you can definitely see where Goku got his skills; Bardock was awesome. In Episode of Bardock, Bardock battles one of Frieza's ancestors, Chilled. During this fight Bardock transforms into a Super Saiyan and it is some of the coolest action that has taken place in the entire Dragon Ball universe.
8. Krillin- Krillin is probably the main Earthling character (besides Bulma or Master Roshi) in the series. He's Goku & Gohan's best friend, and the main source of comic relief among the Z-Fighters. That being said, he's one of the most powerful Earthlings on the planet. If it weren't for the Saiyans or other supernatural beings showing up on the planet, Krillin might have been the most powerful. While he's not as strong as the other main characters, he still plays a huge role throughout Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. His death was the catalyst for one of Goku's greatest moments, his Super Saiyan transformation. While on the subject of his death, Krillin sure did die a lot throughout the series but they were always able to bring him back. He's the cue-ball that everyone loves.
9. Tien Shinhan- Tien Shinhan was a great warrior; along with Krillin I think that he is the most powerful Earthling. Upon his first introduction in Dragon Ball, Tien Shinhan is the most powerful adversary that Goku had come across to that point. Their battles in the World Martial Arts Tournaments were some of my favorite fights in the whole series, especially their battle in the final of the tournament. Tien wasn't really able to keep up with the rest of the Z Warriors when during Dragon Ball Z, although he did have some stand out moments. Perhaps his greatest moment was when he detained Cell long enough for Androids 16 & 18 to escape. When I say "detained" I really mean "battered", he hit him with Tri-Beam after Tri-Beam (although this variation was known as the Neo Tri-Beam) and Cell really had no answer for it. It was one of the most spectacular displays of power in the entire series, in my opinion. His bravery is one of his best attributes, so is his devotion to Chiaotzu, his best friend. They often train alone, away from civilization, but Tien Shinhan is always able to give a helping hand, or eye, if need be.
10. Yamcha- Yamcha is a great character, a lot of people talk down about him or think he's a weakling. I don't want to presume anything here, but maybe the people who think he is a weakling haven't seen Dragon Ball, because he definitely wasn't a weakling then. I only say this because this is how I used to feel; I watched Dragon Ball Z before I saw Dragon Ball, and let's face it, Yamcha gets outclassed by just about everyone that they encounter, even the Saibamen. The same can be said about all of the Earthlings, once the Saiyans arrived on Earth they were basically no match for them. Even if the Earthlings trained for months and months they still could not reach the level that Saiyans have reached. In Dragon Ball, Yamcha is one of the most skillful fighters around. When he is first introduced he's a thieving, desert bandit who, along with his fateful companion Puar, steals money and capsules from anyone they encounter. Yamcha is the first person who Goku meets who Goku is unable to defeat on their first encounter. I think Yamcha is one of the funniest characters too, he's just an all around great guy.