Vegeta (ベジータ Bejīta?) is a fictional character, an anti-hero in the Dragon Ball franchise created by Akira Toriyama. Vegeta first appeared in the manga chapter #204 Sayōnara Son Gokū (さようなら孫悟空 Goodbye Son Goku?) first published in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine on December 19, 1988, and in episode 5 of its anime adaptation Dragon Ball Z. Vegeta was originally a dangerous enemy who sought to use the Dragon Balls to gain immortality, but later became an anti-hero as even greater threats were introduced in the series. In the series, Vegeta is a member of the Royal Saiyan linage, the extraterrestrial race that the series' main character Son Goku is from. Even though Vegeta is viewed as a dangerous rival to Son Goku for most of the series, he later becomes a trusted ally to Son Goku with his assistance in the defeat of the powerful enemy Majin Buu.
Creation and conception
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Following a common name trend that Toriyama developed in Dragon Ball, Vegeta's name is derived from the word for vegetable, being that he is the prince of the Saiyans. In the special Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!, Vegeta's younger brother named Tarble is introduced. When the two names are combined, they create what would roughly be "vegetable" in English, being that vegetables are the naming theme for all pure Saiyans in the series.
Vegeta's initial appearance in the manga is as a short and stocky character, with upright standing hair and a defined widow's peak. When compared to the main character Son Goku, Vegeta is noticeably shorter. As the series continued, Toriyama's artwork evolved and as a result, Vegeta became more lean and average looking. In the anime adaptation's spin off called Dragon Ball GT, Vegeta's appearance goes through a drastic change, more so than any other previous time. Vegeta is seen to completely abandon his Saiyan style attire, and dress in an Earth dress reminiscent of real life Western cultures and he also appears to be more muscular . When he's first introduced in the series, Vegeta has a tail, which he loses in his initial battle on Earth with Goku and his allies. Over the course of the series, he has worn several variations of the Saiyan suit, but began abandoning the armor after the fight against Cell, even though his gloves and boots still reflect his Saiyan roots throughout the end of the written series. However, beginning in the Dragon Ball GT series, he abandons any indication of Saiyan style clothing for a more Earth-based appearance.
When Vegeta is introduced in the series, he is seen to be sadistic, even destroying his long time comrade named Nappa, seeing Nappa's inability to defeat Goku as an unforgivable weakness. During this time, Vegeta is seen to have a fierce desire for immortality and galactic rule, only later to be revealed as a rebellious competition for his long time employer named Frieza. Vegeta's personality changes from a sadistic killer to a vengeful anti-hero, obsessed with becoming stronger than Goku. After a short time, Vegeta falls in love with Goku's close friend named Bulma, after which she bears him a son named Trunks and later on a daughter named Bra (or Bulla depending where you see the name). As a result of his love for Bulma and the birth of his son, Vegeta soon simply becomes a bitter rival of Goku's, and thinks of Earth as a good place to settle down and live. As a result of this change he sees within himself, Vegeta attempts to return to his old sadistic self in order to defeat Goku, but the devotion that he feels towards his family soon overcomes the evil within him, and he becomes Goku's closest ally, and even a good friend.
Vegeta's personality is primarily based on his rivalry with Goku, and how Goku was able to change him over the course of time, despite his obsession with surpassing Goku in power. Later in the series, Vegeta admits that Goku was the better fighter.
Vegeta has the ability to create and enhance attacks with the use of chi. Vegeta has the ability to use buku-jutsu (舞空術 lighter than air?) which enables him to fly. Constant training and his Saiyan heritage have given him vast superhuman strength, speed and reflexes.
Vegeta is known to give names for his various energy attacks. In his early appearance, Vegeta is seen to use attacks similar to several of the protagonists of the series, such as a ki disk (気円斬 kienzan?), a two fingered laser-like blast, and a chi wave similar to Goku's Kamehameha blast. This beam known as the Garlic Gun (ギャリック砲 Gyarikku Hō?, renamed Galic Gun in the English dub) is used by Vegeta during his battle against Goku in an attempt to destroy the Earth. The Garlic Gun is the main attack used by Vegeta in most Dragon Ball Z video games although he uses it only once in the manga. Vegeta later develops the Big Bang Attack (ビッグ・バン・アタック Biggu Ban Atakku?) and the Final Flash (ファイナルフラッシュ Fainaru Furasshu?) attacks, which are much more powerful than his older energy attacks. Vegeta's most commonly used attack in the series is when he bombards an opponent with an array of small chi blasts. Vegeta is not known to have a name for this attack, but it is officially called Renzoku Energy Dan (連続エネルギー弾 Continuous Energy Bullets?). Also in Dragon Ball GT he displays a powerful new attack entitling it the Final Shine Attack (ファイナルシャインアタック Fainaru Shain Atakku?), where Vegeta uses his right hand to fire off a massive beam of green chi that widens with distance. Because of his immense strength and power, Vegeta along with many other characters from the Dragon Ball franchise can destroy entire planets with single attacks if they intend to.
Vegeta also possesses several transformations that greatly enhance his abilities to varying degrees. Early in the series, he has the ability to become an Oozaru, which increases his power tenfold, so long as he still has his tail. He gains the ability to transform into a Super Saiyan and, through training, can further transform into advanced states of Super Saiyan as the series continues, including Super Saiyan 2nd Grade and Super Saiyan 2. While he was not able to achieve Super Saiyan 3, in Dragon Ball GT, he reaches Super Saiyan 4.
Vegeta can also fuse with Goku and create a warrior who has the combined power and skills of both. One method is by using the Potara Earrings presented to Goku by the Elder Kai. This results in a 'perfect fusion' creating Vegito (Vegeta/Goku). The other method is by performing the Metamorese Fusion Dance, which creates Gogeta, or if performed incorrectly, results in the obese Veku.
Vegeta is introduced into the series as the proud prince of the Saiyan race. He travels to Earth with his comrade Nappa in order to use the Dragon Balls to wish for immortality. He and Nappa fight off the Z-Fighters, but then Goku arrives, having finished his training with King Kai. Vegeta kills Nappa for losing so easily to Goku, but soon finds that he himself is unable to prevail. Vegeta is defeated by Goku and his allies, and Vegeta barely escapes with his life. After being restored to health, Vegeta travels to Planet Namek in an attempt to wish for immortality using the Dragon Balls of Namek. Upon arrival, Vegeta manages to kill many of Frieza's henchmen as well as members of the Ginyu Force. Later, he is defeated and subsequently killed by Frieza, but is revived with a wish from the Namekian Dragon Balls. Vegeta then chooses to stay on Earth, and enters into a relationship with Bulma and (eventually) marries her, resulting in the birth of his son, Trunks and his daughter Bra.
Years later, Vegeta finally becomes a Super Saiyan and easily destroys Android #19, sent by the Red Ribbon to kill Goku. However, even as a Super Saiyan, he is defeated by Android #18. Afterwards, Vegeta ascends the Super Saiyan level while training with his son Trunks in the Room of Spirit and Time and pummels the android Cell, who has absorbed Android #17. But his cockiness leads him to allow Cell to absorb Android 18, upon which Cell achieves his perfect form. Vegeta fails to defeat Cell, and he is forced to participate in a martial arts tournament created by Cell, called the Cell Games, in which he aids Gohan (Goku's first son) in order to defeat Cell in his perfect form.
Seven years after the Cell Games, Vegeta allows himself to be consumed by magician Babidi's evil power for his own desire to become powerful enough to fight and defeat Goku. However, when the monster Majin Buu is revived as a result of the energy released from their fight, Vegeta goes to face him alone and sacrifices himself in a vain attempt to defeat Majin Buu. After King Yemma gives Vegeta back his body and sends him down to Earth to help against the threat of Buu, he combines with Goku using the Potara Earrings, creating Vegito, who completely overwhelms Buu with his strength. Eventually, he is absorbed into Buu's body and subsequently, the fusion splits. Goku and Vegeta then recover their allies who have been absorbed by Buu, causing him to undergo a new transformation. On the Supreme Kai's planet, Vegeta and Fat Buu battle Kid Buu again to buy time for Goku to gather energy for the Spirit Bomb, which he uses to defeat Kid Buu once and for all.
In Dragon Ball GT, Vegeta is possessed by Baby and battles Goku, but is eventually split from Baby's body before Baby is destroyed. Later, he fights Super Android 17, but again, he is knocked out and nearly killed. When Omega Shenron wreaks havoc, he fuses with Goku as a Super Saiyan 4 to become Gogeta, who defeats the evil Shenron, but his arrogance doesn't allow him to finish the job, and the fusion time runs out, reverting the two back to normal. At the end of Dragon Ball GT, Vegeta says a farewell to Goku, who leaves the duty of protecting Earth in Vegeta's hands before he flies off into the sky on Shenron.
In the original Japanese language by Toei Animation, Vegeta is voiced by Ryo Horikawa. In the first English language dub by the Ocean Group, Vegeta was voiced by Brian Drummond. He would reprise his role during the international Ocean dub of the rest of series. When Funimation took over distribution in the United States, Vegeta would be voiced by Christopher Sabat, who currently voices him in all English adapted Dragon Ball Z video games, with the exception of Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout where he was voiced by Milton James.
Appearances in other media
Vegeta has appeared in many video games related Dragon Ball franchise as both a playable character and boss. Vegeta has also appeared in other non Dragon Ball-related video games, such as Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars. Vegeta is also a playable character in the Dragon Ball Z/One Piece/Naruto crossover game Battle Stadium D.O.N.
Vegeta has made several appearances in other manga. In Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball self parody Neko Majin where he battles the main character "Z". In Cross Epoch Vegeta is reimagined as a captain of a crew of air pirates which include Trunks, Usopp, and Nico Robin. On September 15, 2006, Vegeta, would make a guest appearance in a chapter of the Kochikame manga Super Kochikame entitled Kochira Namek-Sei Dragon Kōen-mae Hashutsujo (こちらナメック星ドラゴン公園前派出所 This is the Dragon Police Station in front of the Park on Planet Namek?) 
Vegeta has also been the victim of parody, in the Shonen Jump Gag Special 2005 issue released on November 12, 2004, featured a Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo one-shot Dragon Ball parody manga. The manga was a humorous retelling of the battle between Goku and Vegeta in the Saiyan Saga. Jelly Jiggler was Goku and Don Patch was Vegeta.
Vegeta has made two contributions to music, in the eighth installment of Hit Song Collection series entitled Character Special 2 Vegeta sings the song "Vegeta-sama no Oryori Jigoku!!". The song focuses of Vegeta cooking a special Okonomiyaki, and in Dragon Ball Kai: Song Collection he sings the song "Saiyan Blood", which he brags about how great he is. Other Dragon Ball-related songs that center around Vegeta are "Koi no NAZONAZO" by Kuko and Tricky Shirai which focuses on his and Bulma's relationship and "Ai wa Ballad no Yō ni~Vegeta no Theme~" by Shin Oya which represents Vegeta reflections on his life and then current family.
The character of Vegeta has received praise and criticism from various reviewers from manga, anime and other media. Todd Douglass Jr. from DVDtalk.com commented on Vegeta's skills and anger, noting them to be a good combination for any fight even though it is a one-sided battle due to how powerful he is. During the appearance of Babidi, his reveal as a villain was considered to be "the real meat" from the story. Theron Martin from Anime News Network noted Vegeta's pride as being partially responsible for the success of the series. His fight against Goku during such time was also commented to be very entertaining despite its length as well as Goku and Vegeta's fighting styles which were considered to be becoming stale. In another review, Theron noted Vegeta's overcoming his pride to help defeat Cell as the best scene from the fight against such antagonist due to how it creates the climax from the scene. Carlos Ross from Them Anime Reviews found Vegeta and Bulma's relationship to have too much comic potential and comments that such characterization was lost. Vegeta's voice actor in the English dub from the series, Christopher Sabat, has referred to Vegeta as his favorite character from the Dragon Ball Z anime. In About.com "Top 8 Anime Love Stories", Vegeta and Bulma's relationship ranked second with Katherine Luther commenting that such relationship was unpredictable by fans. Mania Entertainment writer Briana Lawerence listed Vegeta 9th in the article 10 Male Headaches of Anime, criticizing his personality and his repeated desire to surpass Goku's power.
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- Toriyama, Akira (1990). Dragon Ball 20. Viz Media. ISBN 1-56931-933-2.
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- Toriyama, Akira (2003). "Chapter 52". Dragon Ball Z 5. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-56931-934-5.
- Toriyama, Akira (2003). "Chapter 114". Dragon Ball Z 11. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-56931-939-0.
- Toriyama, Akira (2003). "Chapter 129". Dragon Ball Z 10. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-56931-807-2.
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- Toriyama, Akira (2004). "Chapter 191". Dragon Ball Z 16. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-59116-328-2.
- Toriyama, Akira (2005). "Chapter 222". Dragon Ball Z 19. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-59116-751-8.
- Toriyama, Akira (2005). "Chapter 262". Dragon Ball Z 22. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0051-5.
- Toriyama, Akira (2005). "Chapter 273". Dragon Ball Z 23. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0148-2.
- Toriyama, Akira (2006). "Chapter 306". Dragon Ball Z 25. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0404-9.
- Toriyama, Akira (2006). "Chapter 311". Dragon Ball Z 26. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0636-4.
- Toriyama, Akira (2006). "Chapter 312". Dragon Ball Z 26. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0636-4.
- Toriyama, Akira (2006). "Chapter 322". Dragon Ball Z 26. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0636-4.
- "Ryo Horikawa". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 17, 2009.
- "Brian Drummond". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 17, 2009.
- "Christopher Sabat". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 17, 2009.
- "Milton James". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 17, 2009.
- Akimoto, Osamu (September 15, 2006). "This is the Dragon Police Station in front of the Park on Planet Namek". Super Kochikame. Kochikame (in Japanese). Shueisha. ISBN 4-08-874096-3.
- Sawai, Yoshio (w, p, i). "Dragon Ball" Shonen Jump Gag Special 2005: 2 (November 12, 2004), Japan: Shueisha
- Horikawa, Ryo (1991). "Vegeta-sama no Oryori Jigoku!!" (Album, in Japanese). Release notes for Dragon Ball Z Hit Song Collection 8: Character Special 2 by Various. Japan: Columbia Records (COCC-9067).
- Horikawa, Ryo (2009). "Saiyan Blood" (Album, in Japanese). Release notes for Dragon Ball Kai: Song Collection by Various. Japan: Columbia Records (COCX-35798).
- (1991) "Koi no NAZONAZO" (Album, in Japanese). Release notes for Dragon Ball Z Hit Song Collection 8½ Special by Various. Japan: Columbia Records (COCC-9247).
- Oya, Shin (1995). "Ai wa Ballad no Yō ni~Vegeta no Theme~" (single, in Japanese). Release notes for Saikyō no Fusion by Hironobu Kageyama. Forte Music Entertainment (FMDC-518).
- Douglass Jr., Todd (February 1, 2009). "Dragon Ball Z: Season Eight". DVDtalk.com. Retrieved May 12, 2009.
- Martin, Theron (March 4, 2009). "Dragon Ball Z DVD - Season 8 Uncut". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 12, 2009.
- Martin, Theron (November 25, 2008). "Dragon Ball Z DVD - Season 6 Box Set (uncut)". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 12, 2009.
- Ross, Carlos. "Dragon Ball Z Review". Themanime.org. Retrieved May 17, 2009.
- "DBZ Voice Actor/Director Chris Sabat Interview". Anime News Network. February 8, 2001. Retrieved June 21, 2009.
- Luther, Katherine. "Top 8 Anime Love Stories". About.com. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
- Lawerence, Briana (October 6, 2009). "10 Male Headaches of Anime". Mania Entertainment. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
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