There are plenty of important anime series that have gone on to practically become emblematic of the medium, with Akira Toriyama’s shonen classic, Dragon Ball, being one of the biggest examples. Dragon Ball excels with its depiction of Goku and his fellow heroes’ efforts to grow stronger and take out new and unbelievable villains.
Good tends to triumph over evil in Dragon Ball, but there are still lots of occasions where the heroes find themselves overwhelmed and needing to turn to unconventional places for help. The antagonists from Dragon Ball are never rushing to help out the heroes, which makes it all the more significant when villains do exhibit empathy and provide support when it’s necessary.
10 Frieza Fights For Universe 7 In The Tournament Of Power
It’s reasonable to be skeptical whenever a villain lends a helping hand, but Frieza is an individual with a particularly twisted track record. He’s proven on repeated occasions that he’s not to be trusted, yet in Dragon Ball Super, he’s turned into a surprising ally when Goku recruits him as a last-minute replacement on Universe 7’s team in the Tournament of Power. Frieza has ulterior motives, but he still gives his all in the fight and proves to be one of Universe 7’s most valuable allies. He even does reconnaissance on Universe 9 when they send assassins after Goku.
9 Mai Enters A Relationship With Trunks In The Future Timeline
Pilaf, Mai, and Shu represent one of the odder groups of antagonistic forces in the Dragon Ball universe. They’re one of the very first villains that Goku brushes up against in the original series, but they’ve oddly shifted into the role of friendly comic relief in Dragon Ball Super. A return to Future Trunks’ desolate timeline also reveals that Future Mai is a pivotal fighter in the resistance against Goku Black, and a tender bond forms between her and Future Trunks. Future Mai is a constant source of positivity.
8 Buu Neutralizes Dabura By Turning Him Into A Cookie
“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is a principle that Dragon Ball isn’t afraid to engage with when the time is right. The awakening of Majin Buu brings with it all sorts of new dangers, and demonic figures like Dabura and Babidi still assert their dominance.
Majin Buu unintentionally helps the heroes out when he eliminates Babidi and turns Dabura into a cookie, which he then consumes. Buu represents pure child-like id and wanton destruction, and so the evil figures that try to control him become easy targets for him.
7 Cell Bides His Time Until The Cell Games
Cell makes for a cocky and proud Dragon Ball villain, especially as he becomes increasingly convinced that he’s achieved perfection and become the ultimate lifeform. Cell reaches a level of strength where he could easily bring the offensive to the heroes, but he instead shows affection for the art of performance and theatrics when he announces the Cell Games. Cell allows the heroes ten days to properly prepare, train, or spend their time however they see fit in the time that leads up to the tournament. The Cell Games could have been an immediate event, but Cell exhibits some compassion.
6 Babidi Gives Vegeta A Valuable Power Boost
One of the more memorable events that takes place during Dragon Ball Z’s Buu Saga is that Vegeta momentarily returns to the dark side when he allows Babidi to turn him into a member of the Majin in exchange for a significant power boost. This is a double-edged sword because Babidi’s gift to Vegeta also allows him to finally awaken Buu, but Vegeta is ultimately able to gain control of himself in this state and still retain the accompanying power boost. It’s different from Baby’s possession of Vegeta, since he actually has agency here.
5 Vegeta Takes Out Nappa As Collateral Damage
Dragon Ball Z introduces Vegeta and Nappa as a formidable Saiyan duo, but one of the earliest signs of Vegeta’s truly evil nature is when he doesn’t hesitate to kill Nappa the moment that he becomes expendable.
Vegeta doesn’t prove himself to be an especially loyal individual at the start of Dragon Ball Z, yet this betrayal still comes as a shock. Goku proves that he’s strong enough to handle Nappa, but it’s Vegeta’s execution of the enemy that officially removes him as a threat. It’s very possible that he could have launched a sneak attack on the supporting heroes.
4 Baby Creates A New Planet Plant
Dragon Ball GT gets more criticism than it deserves, and it contains a lot of creativity and satisfying nostalgia. The parasitic life force, Baby, becomes the series’ first truly exciting villain, and he latches onto Vegeta as his ideal host. Baby’s character drudges up the Saiyans’ combative history with the Tuffle race, and part of Baby’s efforts to rebalance the scales involves him creating a new Planet Plant to serve as their utopia. Baby’s plan doesn’t come to fruition, but the planet gets created, and there’s still plenty of good that could be done with it now that Baby’s eliminated.
3 Majin Buu Produces Good Buu
A running trend in Dragon Ball is the major villains undergoing a series of transformations or different forms until they finally reveal their true and most powerful selves. Majin Buu has some fun with this premise, with there literally being multiple versions of the character that get created, with their absorption resulting in Buu growing closer to perfection. Evil Buu, Super Buu, and Kid Buu are all horrific individuals, but a Good Buu also gets created in the process. As his name suggests, this rotund and friendlier version of the character becomes an important ally.
2 Frieza, Cell, And Other Villains Push The Heroes To Reach New Levels Of Super Saiyan
There are several opportunities where villains consciously decide to exhibit acts of kindness towards the heroes, but it’s also possible to be nice in unintentional ways. For instance, powerful Super Saiyan transformations can sometimes be unlocked through rigorous training, but there are also many breakthrough moments where it’s the malevolent acts of villains that push heroes too far, bringing about their transformations. Frieza’s elimination of Krillin and Cell’s destruction of Android 16 are both instances where violence turns into a helpful gesture in its own way.
1 Vegeta Helps Execute The Ginyu Force
Dragon Ball Z’s first expedition to Planet Namek is such an exciting run of episodes because it sets many different factions loose in this new environment and pits them against each other as they all hunt for the Dragon Balls. Vegeta is still firmly a villain at this point, but the Ginyu Force is such a sizable threat that he enters a temporary alliance with Gohan and Krillin. Goku shows up and handles the members of the group who pose too much of a challenge, but it’s ultimately Vegeta that does the dirty work and kills these fallen fighters.
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