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This article is about the original character. For the character portrayed in live action by Joon Park, see Yamcha/Dragonball Evolution.

"Let me have a crack at 'em. I think it's time I show these thugs no one comes to Earth and pushes us around."
— "Yamcha's Struggle! The Terrible Saibamen!"

Yamcha (ヤムチャ Yamucha) is a major deuteragonist in the Dragon Ball manga and in the anime Dragon Ball, and later a supporting tritagonist in Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super, with a few appearances in Dragon Ball GT. He is a former boyfriend of Bulma and the lifelong best friend of Puar.

A former desert bandit, Yamcha was once an enemy of Goku, but quickly reformed and became a friend and ally.[14] Brave, boastful and dependable, Yamcha is a very talented martial artist and one of the most powerful humans on Earth, possessing skills and traits that allow him to fight alongside his fellow Z Fighters when major threats loom. Although he retired by the latter half of Dragon Ball Z, due to being largely outclassed by both his allies (namely the Saiyans) and their enemies, he is always present whenever a new threat approaches, and will occasionally lend a helping hand, thus proving himself to be a powerful ally in his own right.[15]


Yamcha Dragon Ball Episode 6

Yamcha and Puar during the beginning of Dragon Ball

Yamcha's appearance changes throughout the series, mainly his clothes and hairstyle.[16][17] Yamcha started out the series with long hair and bangs. After settling down in the city, he cut his hair to fit in. Later on, he would grow his hair out again and eventually cut short to a spikier hairstyle and completely short before growing his hair out once again. Several of Yamcha's hairstyles are also used by Gohan at various points in his life.[18] Another of Yamcha's most significant appearance changes were the mysterious scars he got sometime during his three years training for the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. According to Android 19's scanner, Yamcha is 183 centimeters tall and weighs 68 kilograms during the Androids Saga.[7] The first kanji Yamcha has on his clothes 楽 (raku) stands for "comfort" or "easy"; there is no real meaning behind it other than he just enjoys being comfortable.[19] After training with Master Roshi, he takes the "turtle" or "Kame" kanji "亀" as a sign of respect. Later, after training with King Kai, he wears both "Kame and "Kai" kanji. He wears them the opposite way Goku did ("Kame" on the back and "Kai" on the chest), except in Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might where he wears the "Kai" kanji on the back and "Kame" on the chest.[20]

Kung Fu Yamcha by Dragon Garow LEE October 4th, 2021

Yamcha's white on black martial arts outfit

Yamcha sometimes wears a white martial arts outfit with black trousers that bears a striking resemblance to the outfit worn by Bruce Lee during his fight with O'Hara in the film Enter the Dragon, as shown during one of his brief appearances in the Red Ribbon Army Saga and Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (an outfit similar is also worn by Tsukutsun Tsun in the Dr. Slump remake).

In the Majin Buu Saga, Yamcha wears a yellow suit jacket along with a white long-sleeved shirt and black shoes. At the end of Dragon Ball Z and throughout Dragon Ball GT, Yamcha now has his hair long again and wears it in a ponytail and retains the same outfit that he wore in the Majin Buu Saga as his undershirt are now sleeveless.

In Dragon Ball Super, Yamcha's outfit is a white martial arts outfit with gray trousers (which is exactly the same attire he wore in Battle of Gods). His hair is almost the same style as the one he had during the Saiyan Saga and Frieza Saga, with the long sideburns he had during his introduction in the Emperor Pilaf Saga. During the Galactic Patrol Prisoner Saga, he wears Turtle School Uniform marked with the Galactic Patrol symbol while acting as temporarily deputized member of the Galactic Patrol.

When Akira Toriyama decided to create Dragon Ball, he used Wu Cheng'en's Journey to the West as a prototype for his own series.[21] Yamcha is most likely based on Sha Wujing, also known as Sha Seng and Sha Heshang, from this novel.[22] Both are powerful bandits who are associated with sand, (Yamcha from a sandy desert, Sha from a sand river), who reform and join the heroes on their quest.



Yamcha showing his extreme fear of girls, as Bulma hugs him

Yamcha is originally characterized as a deadly warrior, who fears nothing but talking to women. After befriending Goku and the others, his personality remains mostly the same, but becomes very caring and considerate of the people he protects. He is showcased as a courageous warrior who strives to be the best, but is unable to reach this status, a fact that appears to plague him. He has a great network of information, recognizing Goku's Power Pole as Grandpa Gohan's during their first fight.

Yamcha is a huge fan of the World Martial Arts Tournament and has always wanted to compete and someday win.[23] It is likely this is why he has knowledge of famous fighters like Grandpa Gohan, Monster Carrot, Bacterian and King Chappa. Whenever the tournament date neared, Yamcha would always go through vigorous training and invent a new technique like the Blinding Wolf Fang Fist, Neo Wolf Fang Fist and the Spirit Ball. He is the second fighter to learn the Kamehameha since the beginning of Dragon Ball (after Goku).

In early Dragon Ball Z, he shows great pride in defending Earth from the Saiyans, willing to put his life on the line to stop them, which he evidently does. Although he is killed, he dies a hero's death. After returning from the dead, he prepares to battle the Androids. In early Dragon Ball, Yamcha had a fear of women and tended to get terrified at the sight and touch of a woman, although he seemingly got over this after meeting Bulma when they were 16. They have an on-and-off again relationship for several years and despite her supposed mistreatment towards him, he still loved her. However, while the specifics are unknown, Bulma felt Yamcha was interested in other women. During the three years prior to the Androids' arrival, he and Bulma break up for good (though they remain friends) and she ends up with Vegeta, which frustrated him, especially at Vegeta for fathering her son, Trunks. His resentment towards Vegeta is apparent in the Androids and Cell Games Saga, as he speaks bitterly that he is not Trunks' father and mocked Vegeta for being beaten by Cell. However, after seeing Vegeta's emotional reaction to Future Trunks' death, Yamcha forgave him and is later seen being friendly with Vegeta. Yamcha is also on good terms with Trunks and tells Future Trunks that his father really loved him.[24] After being nearly killed by Dr. Gero, he takes more of a comical approach and becomes largely outmatched in battle due to the ever-growing power of the enemies the Z Fighters face. It appears whatever passion and resolve for fighting he had disappeared with the emergence of the Super Saiyans, who severely outclass him in fighting ability, and he eventually comes to accept this. After realizing that his enemies severely overpower him, unlike Tien, who wishes to fight despite the odds, Yamcha accepts that his contribution would be futile, and instead opts to stand aside and keep watch, instead of engaging in combat. Despite this fact, he remains a trusted ally and will fight on occasion when needed. During the latter half of Dragon Ball Z, he retires from fighting, but continues training and goes off on his own.

In Dragon Ball Super, it is revealed Yamcha actually has grown stronger and has been training. However, he uses his strength for baseball rather than fighting at this time. During the Universal Survival Saga, Yamcha overhears Goku and Gohan's conversation, which outright implies that his passion for fighting still lingers (eagerly heading home to wait and be recruited by Goku for the Tournament of Power). In the Galactic Patrol Prisoner Saga, Yamcha returns to the battlefield and is excited to help defend Earth from Moro and his Galactic Brigade. When up against three Moro Corps' members (one of whom labeled him as being weak), he corrects them by saying that he's one of the three strongest Earthlings, showcasing his pride of being a powerful Earthling martial artist. However, he still takes a generally comical role when it comes to important battles, somewhat similar to Krillin, and is rather fearful of some of the villains the Dragon Team has faced in the past. During the Supreme Kai of Time Saga from Super Dragon Ball Heroes, he is horrified at being attacked by Mecha Frieza, and in Dragon Ball FighterZ, he desperately attempts to ease the tension between Goku and Frieza to no avail, leading to Frieza calling him a sensible creature (and, peculiarly, a handsome one). Despite his more comical and cowardly demeanor, Yamcha will still step up to fight for peace when needed such as when Kid Buu attacked Other World and saving Vidro from Hit (in the anime) and Meta-Cooler (in the manga) despite being enemies which earned him the respect and infatuation of Hearts and Vidro respectively.


Yamcha thinking to himself

Yamcha expressed a strong desire to get married, which was the reason why he wanted to cure his gynophobia (fear of women, not to be confused with misogyny, the hatred of women).[25] He also expressed excitement at the thought of starting a family.[26] The Dragon Ball: Adventure Special book, released during the King Piccolo Saga, says he is nervous around women except for Bulma. In a section where Bulma dresses up in different outfits suggested by the main cast, Yamcha's suggestion is a Wedding Dress (at the time he and Bulma were still a couple). In the manga, Future Trunks states during the Trunks Saga, that Yamcha was "too non-committal" which caused Bulma to break up with him in his timeline.

In FighterZ, in a special event with Goku and Krillin, Yamcha admits that he wishes to get married someday and is somewhat envious of his married friends. In another conversation with Krillin, he notes that Android 21 is attractive. He teases Krillin, whom he assumes has a thing for female Androids like 18 and 21. Like Krillin, he is too terrified to turn around when they sense that Android 18 had overheard Yamcha's careless remarks and decide instead to focus on fighting the enemy, hoping 18 will go easy on them after the fight.

Future Trunks states that after Bulma and Yamcha broke up, Yamcha found a new girlfriend. Although she never appeared in any Dragon Ball media, Yamcha's new girlfriend is mentioned at the end of the Cell Games Saga, when Shenron asks for a wish and Yamcha jokingly proposes he wish for a necklace for his girlfriend. Despite originally saying it was his dream to get married and Trunks saying that his future counterpart found love again, Yamcha appears to be single in Dragon Ball Super and Dragon Ball GT.

In Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, it is revealed that, around the time of the Saiyan Saga, Yamcha had been dating several women before his death. During the Sub Story "Yamcha's Alive?!", it is revealed that Yamcha told Krillin to give Puar the names of some girls, orchestrating a scheme wherein Puar dated them, disguised as Yamcha, in the event of his death. This is to keep up the illusion of him being alive until he was revived. Puar is more of a gentleman, causing trouble with some of Yamcha's girlfriends, who preferred Yamcha's personality. During the Intermission that follows the Frieza Saga, Yamcha has returned to dating various women after his revival. He enjoys a date with Sapphire, feeding her insincere declarations of love despite thinking about how good life has been as he's been going out with a different girl, showing the depths of Yamcha's unfaithfulness. Unfortunately for Yamcha, his other girlfriend, Pearl, catches him with Sapphire. He tries to talk his way out of it and save face by defeating the robots sicced on him by the women. It backfires when one of the Skull Robo Type 3s grabs him from behind and Self Destructs, causing a repeat of the Saibaman incident that killed him, which even Gohan admits was lame by comparison. These Sub Stories support Bulma's assertions of Yamcha's unfaithfulness which lead her to ultimately break up with him and move on to Vegeta.

Bitter breakup and her marriage to Vegeta notwithstanding, Yamcha and Bulma still love each other dearly as childhood friends, enough so that the latter unhesitatingly wept in the former's arms as he comforted her at the news of Vegeta's death battling Buu. By the time of Dragon Ball Super, Bulma clearly still considers her ex an important part of her life to invite him to every one of her frequent celebrations, and happily lets him hold baby Bulla (though Vegeta was "less than amused" when the lovable oaf inadvertently made her cry).


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