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Best of the Best # 2 | DBZ

It's been a while, but the Best of the Best series involves going through the Sagas, Parts, or Arcs of a series and then ranking them! With this particular series, the beginning is always a great place to start, so let's get started! We're gonna be looking at DBZ. We have the Saiyan Saga, the Frieza Saga, the Android Saga, the Cell Saga, and the Buu Saga. Naturally, these Sagas are broken up even further, but we're going to stick to keeping things simple as much as possible!


The Saiyan Saga


So the Saiyan Saga is the very first Saga of the Dragon Ball Z series. It starts off pretty light-hearted. Or as light-hearted as it can be considering what happens. Basically, Goku takes Gohan over to the Kame house to introduce a young Gohan to the others; however, things don't quite go as planned. I mean for one, Gohan ends up getting kidnapped by his own uncle.


Which is pretty messed up if you ask me. Not to mention, it doesn't sound like your typical meet and greet.


Especially when you watch your dad get beaten up by your uncle - his own brother - right before your very eyes.

I can't imagine sending my child off to meet friends of the family and they get kidnapped in plain sight in front of like four adults and not a single adult is able to stop it.


I mean that's a bit wild, but not too crazy considering the one responsible for the kidnapping was a literal Saiyan.


Anyway, Raditz kidnaps Gohan and tells Goku that if he wants his son back that he needs to snuff out 100 humans. Now, we all know that this would have been very easy for Goku to do - at least strength-wise. But of course, Goku wasn't going to do this and doesn't even bat an eye when Raditz, his older Saiyan brother, reveals Goku's true background. After all, even if Goku is a Saiyan from Planet Vegeta, he was raised on Earth. So from Goku's perspective, it really doesn't make any sense to wipe out anyone on his home planet. Raditz seemed baffled at this and is informed that Goku lost his memories as a child, so I guess he figured he'd get Goku to do what he wanted one way or another.


Little did Raditz know, Goku's solution was to temporarily team up with Piccolo in order to take him down - avoiding Raditz's route altogether.


Naturally, they struggled as they were heavily outclassed but they eventually took down Raditz thanks to Gohan's one shot & Goku's sacrifice. Goku literally had to hold him down while Piccolo, who clearly had no issues with attacking both, readied his special beam cannon. It was probably almost like a two-for-one deal for Piccolo at the time. Anyway, this actually cost Goku his life; though, before Goku passes on, they learn from a fatally injured Raditz that there are two more Saiyans - even stronger than Raditz.


So not only did it take two warriors to take down one Saiyan, but they had not one but two more additional Saiyans coming to Earth. Anyway, Goku and Raditz pass on, and then we see Gohan getting kidnapped a second time.


But by Piccolo this time.


And seeing as Chi-Chi wasn't there and Goku definitely wasn't there anymore, there isn't anyone to stop him from taking Gohan. So Piccolo does just that and ends up training Gohan to prepare for the arrival of Vegeta, Bulma's future husband, and Nappa.


So to sum things up, Gohan is supposed to meet Master Roshi, Bulma, and the others but ends up getting kidnapped twice and is then forced to train after losing his dad to his Saiyan uncle. I mean Gohan did display immense power when he attacked Raditz, so I'm not too mad at Piccolo here, but I can definitely see why Gohan was pretty terrified; he went through a lot in one day, after all.


Anyhow, the Z-fighters confront Nappa and Vegeta - which didn't really do them any justice. Yamcha gets folded by a Saibamen. Tien loses an arm. Chiatzou blows himself up. Piccolo passes on due to protecting Gohan; the Z-fighters basically crumbled until hardly anything was left.


Literally.


Crazy thing is, Nappa doesn't pass on by Goku's hand - but by his own comrade's hand instead. As Vegeta ends up snuffing out Nappa after he's defeated by Goku. Afterward, Goku and Vegeta have an intense showdown of their own.


Not gonna lie, Krillin almost ended Bulma's whole love life. She almost ended up stuck with Yamcha. If you remember, Krillin had wanted to end Vegeta for good, but Goku let Vegeta go. I guess Bulma has Goku to thank for not offing the future father of her children.


Personally, this Saga isn't my favorite Saga, but I think it did an overall great job with introducing the Saiyans. It did a good job showing us just how much of a threat the Saiyans really were, especially when Piccolo and Goku both struggled to take ONE down. Like it really captured the gravity of the situation and I'd probably rank this Saga fourth. Not because it's a bad Saga, but because there are other Sagas and aspects I enjoyed way more. I've always been slightly salty because I liked Raditz a lot and I wanted him to be around and have a change of heart. I mean he was still Goku's brother at the end of the day and it would have been nice to see him integrated into the Z-fighter group.


The Frieza Saga


Alright!


So Frieza overheard the conversation about the dragon balls, and Frieza's next stop happens to be Planet Namek. Weirdly enough, both Vegeta and Freiza want the same thing.

They want immortality.


I can understand why Freiza would want it; he could continue his horrible tyranny and truly be unstoppable. On the other hand, I don't think I ever really understood what Vegeta hoped to accomplish with immortality. Anyway, the Frieza saga is a pretty great saga. We get to see many things, including one of the greatest transformations in DBZ - and arguably one of the greatest transformations in anime history.


Now Vegeta is basically trying to beat Frieza to the Namekian dragon balls, whilst Bulma, Krillin, and Gohan go in hopes of restoring their own dragon balls back. After all, Piccolo saved a terrified Gohan during the Saiyan Saga. And if there's no Piccolo, there's no Kami.


And no Dragon Balls.


So we basically have three different groups pursuing the dragon balls and they're all racing against each other. We have the group from Earth, Frieza's group, and then Vegeta. We find out pretty quickly that this trip isn't going to be as simple for Bulma, Krillin, and Gohan. In fact, they quickly realize that they are going to need backup. Especially with Frieza and Vegeta being involved.


So it becomes a whole shebang. Vegeta crosses paths with Freiza's men, including Dodoria and Zarbon. Krillin, Gohan, and Bulma cross paths with Vegeta. Then of course we can't forget the Ginyu Force and how Vegeta and the Gohan and company group fought together to take them on. Simultaneously, Goku is on his way to Planet Namek training in what I believe to be 100 times the gravity on the way. Then, whenever Goku eventually arrives, he ends up coming to Krillin, Gohan, and Vegeta's rescue, who were fighting the Ginyu Force, and takes out Recoome and fights against Jeice and Burter.


Sometime after this, Goku gets his body stolen by Captain Ginyu. I mean this was pretty violating. I can't imagine having my body taken from me. But this moment has nothing on Dio Brando from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.


Simply because Jonathan never got his body back and well ended up passing on to the after life.


But not by choice.


Goku lucked up, however.


The only downside was that his body wasn't in the best of conditions; however, he was still able to get it back thanks to Vegeta. Meanwhile, also thanks to Vegeta, Ginyu has to live as a frog for the rest of his days. Rumor has it that he's still hopping around 'til this day. Anyhow, Goku ends up in the regeneration tank and Krillin and Gohan end up summoning Shenron behind Vegeta's back.


Piccolo is brought back here in order to aide the others.


Vegeta interrupts and feels betrayed by Krillin and Gohan - and rightfully so.


But the last thing Krillin and Gohan had to worry about was Vegeta because Frieza ended up showing up.


Frieza basically rocks them and they all fight for their lives. Krillin really went through it with Frieza. But I mean it wasn't completely one-sided the whole time because we did have the moment where Nail fused with Piccolo and Piccolo was able to fight against Frieza for a bit. Of course, Frieza just seemingly keeps transforming and crushing their hopes of defeating him every single time. Personally, I found his transformations pretty cool and I guess the final form would be one of my favorites. I know a lot of people confused Frieza for a girl, including my younger brother who was probably like 10 or something at the time. Anyway, Frieza is eventually confronted by Goku.


Where a tearful Vegeta reveals a bit of their background and informs Goku that Frieza actually destroyed their home planet. Even after everything they did for him. Of course, Frieza is completely unbothered by this.


And then he and Goku have a pretty intense fight and it is this fight that leads to Goku transforming for the very first time. And I gotta say, that scene really gave me chills. I honestly didn't think what Vegeta was talking about was real at first, with the Saiyan Legend, but I probably should have known better now that I think about it. This showdown with Goku and Frieza has also got to be the longest anime fight in anime history - or at least close to it because it felt extremely long.


I still get kinda frustrated with Goku at times because Krillin was literally snuffed out right before his eyes, and he still didn't have it in him to snuff out Frieza in return. That's really great restraint and I can't help but wonder if Goku would have been able to hold himself back had it been Gohan that exploded to bits and not Krillin.


That would have been interesting to see.


The whole reason Frieza was able to injure Piccolo and snuff out Krillin in the first place was that he survived Goku's Spirit Bomb - or was at least in much better condition than everyone thought he would be in. Even still, Goku still overcomes Frieza in the end with his newfound transformation. At one point, I had seriously thought that Goku was going to be a goner because Planet Namek was going to explode.


Luckily for everyone else, a wish had been made to transport everyone to Earth except for Frieza and Goku, so they didn't have to experience the anxiety and fear that Goku did in Namek's last moments.


As far as what I'd rank this saga, I'd probably rank it third. Again, it's not because it's a bad saga, but I have my heart set on my favorite dbz saga. Not going to lie, I didn't want to rank this saga third - especially seeing as we get such an amazing transformation from Goku and we see one of the most iconic fights in Dragon Ball Z.


But hopefully it'll all make sense soon.

The Android Saga & The Cell Saga


So a mysterious Saiyan later revealed to be known as Trunks, appears before the group, claiming to be waiting for Goku. Interestingly enough, Frieza and Cold appear before the group and he wastes no time in taking them out. And I must say, what an entrance. However, there's one problem: how in the world could Trunks be a Saiyan when Goku and Vegeta are the only full Saiyans?


Not to mention, Planet Vegeta had been wiped out and not many escaped its destruction.


It didn't make any sense to Vegeta and to be honest, I didn't understand it at first either. It completely went over my head because I never saw Vegeta having a kid. For some reason, I just thought it'd be impossible.


Obviously, I turned out to be wrong because Trunks is Vegeta's son.


Which explains how he was able to turn Super Saiyan.


So the Android Saga is my favorite Saga and I'd rank this saga first. For starters, I loved the bit with Trunks showing up and explaining what happened to Future Gohan and his timeline. It was darker and for the first time, I felt like Dragon Ball Z had actual consequences and weren't able to rely on their crutch known as the dragon balls. As morbid as it sounds, I enjoyed the Future Z-gang falling victim to the Future Androids and I enjoyed Future Goku passing due to a heart virus.


We see just how much of an impact Goku makes and how essential he is to the group because had Future Goku been alive, I'm sure he would have stood a chance. I mean, he always finds a way. I must say I'm not sure if he would've gone as far as to go into hiding until he's strong enough to face them, but wondering about how Goku would have acted had he still been alive is part of the fun.


But back to the matter at the hand, Goku shows up just as Trunks said he would and Trunks decides to test his powers a bit. Goku didn't seem fazed at all. Afterward, Trunks informs everyone of the threat of the Androids, 17 & 18, and what's to come and so they all train for about two years.


But here's the interesting part.


Even though Trunks had somewhat prepared them for what was to come, it didn't quite pan out that way. For one, instead of coming face to face with 17 and 18, the Z-fighters and Trunks came face to face with android 19 and Dr. Gero, who turned himself into an android (android 20).


And they looked nothing like Androids 17 and 18.


In addition, whenever they did finally encounter Androids 17 and 18, they were a lot stronger than Future Trunks remembered.


There was also the incident with the heart virus. Even though Goku still got the heart virus, he didn't get it when he was originally supposed to. Instead, he contracted it during his fight with Android 19 months later.


I loved these little inconsistencies and really anything to do with time manipulation; I've always been fascinated with it since it was shown here in Z. One other thing that was pretty interesting was Cell. Now what's interesting about Cell is that he comes from a different timeline than Future Trunks. In fact, Cell snuffed out the Trunks in his timeline and stole his timeline machine.


Soon after Bulma and Future Trunks discovered the other capsule corp time machine, Cell starts revealing more of himself. In probably the worse of ways seeing as he literally starts absorbing people. Like seriously, nothing is left behind except the clothes on their backs. It was kinda creepy. Anyhow, their defeat by the Androids 18 and 17 (or a shameful defeat in Vegeta's case), Piccolo, who ends up fusing with Kami, later ends up confronting Cell to get more information and Cell eventually ends up escaping from Piccolo and the others, who later joined him.


Now at this point, I think Piccolo continues to pursue Cell, while Trunks and Krillin smartly go to destroy the Cell in their timeline that was still gestating and developing. Interestingly enough while Trunks and Krillin are there, they find blueprints of Androids 17 and 18 and decide to take them to Bulma. Krillin is tasked with the delivery while Future Trunks go into the time chamber with Vegeta.


They get some slight Father-Son time and I think Future Trunks kinda realizes that Vegeta is slightly...difficult and prideful.


Anyway, I got to say that Piccolo really takes initiative in this saga and I enjoyed his battle with Android 17. I liked that a lot about this Saga because we got to see the side characters like Piccolo and even Tien play a role here. I also enjoyed how Vegeta was stronger than Goku for like a millisecond, but it was still pretty nice to see Vegeta in front of Goku for a change. I kinda wish Vegeta ended up defeating Cell. Personally, that would have been awesome to see but he had to mess around and get cocky.


And basically allow Cell to absorb 18, who at this point was in his Imperfect form.


After all, he had ended up getting to Android 17 first. I mean it could've been avoided if Krillin destroyed Android 18 with the remote Bulma created but he wasn't able to do that. Krillin could've been the real hero here, but he decided to let the things that were programmed to snuff out Goku live.


If one of my friends juggled around with my life like this, I'd look at him crazy and we definitely wouldn't be friends anymore. I mean the obvious choice should be Goku - seeing as they went through a lot together.


Anyhow, the Cell Games were pretty nice to see as we got to see Gohan kinda step up here.


Obviously not by choice.


Not gonna lie, I thought Goku was a bad father for a second for allowing his teen son to fight a whole adult villain. At some point in their fight, Android 16 is destroyed before Gohan's eyes, Android 18 is coughed up, Future Trunks is injured and Cell threats to blow himself up. Goku takes the hit for this and sacrifices himself, but Cell survives and everyone ends up healing Gohan takes down Cell for good.

The Majin Buu Saga


So seven years have passed since the Android Saga, and things kickstart with the talk of a tournament coming up. We even get to see Gohan as Great Saiyaman, which is absolutely hilarious and a bit sad. I think part of him lost his childhood and took it back to a degree with his ridiculous getup. We also end up meeting Videl, who kinda annoyed me at first if I have to be honest. I didn't like the bit where she blackmailed Gohan. So anyway there's this big deal about this tournament.


And surprise surprise, Goku shows up.


Well, it wasn't really a surprise, but what did get me was the whole bit with Spopovich and Majin Buu. Especially the bit with Spopovich because things quickly went from light-hearted to cringe and brutal. I mean it's been 7 years since Cell and things were going a little too smooth aka suspiciously, so I guess I should've seen something coming. But I don't think anyone saw that coming; it's one of the times Dragon Ball Z caught me off guard.


This Saga really had a lot of great aspects to it. We saw a darker side of Vegeta, after years and years (Majin Vegeta), we learned about the Fusion Dance, the Potarra Earings, and the Super Saiyan 3 transformation. We also got to see Gohan back in action - Mystic Gohan. These aspects are the main reason I rank this saga second. It was definitely a close tie with the Frieza saga, but among other things, Majin Buu is a better villain than Frieza.


He's terrifying.


And unlike Frieza, Majin Buu was snuffing out people that Goku cared about left and right. That definitely hits differently when it's people you know Goku cares about. Not to mention, we saw Fat Buu survive Vegeta's sacrifice and the crazy thing is that that happened to be Buu's weakest form. Not only that, we can't forget about the human extinction attack - where Majin Buu wiped out the existence of humans without moving much basically. Then, if you remember, Majin Buu turned Chi-Chi into an egg and brutally stomped it. Following this, Majin Buu turned Bulma, Android 18, and many others that were on the lookout tower into chocolate and then ate them.


Not to mention, he actually succeeded in destroying the Earth and was the villain, Goku literally had to pull out of all the stops to defeat, like Fusion Dance and the Potarra earrings. Plus, unlike Cell, Buu was able to absorb the Z-warriors like Piccolo, Gotenks, and Gohan and become substantially stronger. Cell had specific victims he could absorb: the Androids.


I also enjoyed the phases Buu went through and his story. Keep in mind that he was so powerful that he had to be sealed. Anyway, Kid Buu is the original Buu, but back in the day, he absorbed one of the Kai's and became Fat Buu. Fat Buu is who we're introduced to in Z and then he becomes Evil Buu after spitting out Fat Buu.


The next Buu we get afterward is Majin Buu; this is the Buu that wreaks havoc on the lookout tower because he's able to sense ki. Then we get Super Buu, who absorbed Piccolo, Gotenks, and Gohan. Then lastly, we get Kid Buu. Overall, it was a journey and I never knew what was coming next. With Buu, it was genuinely like each form was more terrifying than the last. I'm kinda salty Vegeta literally had no moments whatsoever to shine, but whatever, I mean it is what it is at this point. Anyway, there you have it!



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