Dragon Ball Z first began as a serialized Japanese manga which was later adapted to anime. A manga is a comic book in the Japanese format. They’re most commonly done in black and white, while Western comics are fully colored. Even today, more than a decade after it’s completion, Dragon Ball remains one of the most popular and beloved anime series across the world. Because of it’s length and immense popularity, it would be incredibly difficult to narrow down the 5 greatest scenes in the Dragon Ball Z anime. There are far too many. These 5 however, are some of the most talked about in Dragon Ball Z fan sites
Starting off the list is none other than:
5.) A New Super Saiyan: Trunks’ Arrival:
The arrival of Trunks signaled the beginning of a new era in Dragon Ball Z, and new foe/s for our protagonists to battle. Trunks’ grand entrance was arguably one of the best in the series. Armed with his sword, he quickly did away with the monster that is Frieza and his father, King Cold, with characteristically Saiyan mercilessness. Frieza, prior to Trunks’ appearance, was an evil tyrant bent on dominating the universe before he was defeated by Goku on Planet Namek. However, Frieza survived even after Namek exploded, and traveled to Earth seeking revenge. The same could not be said of Goku, who failed to return to Earth after the battle and was presumed dead.
4.) Tien vs Cell: David & Goliath:
At one point in the Dragon Ball mythos, Tenshinhan, better known to American viewers as Tien, was a powerful adversary of Goku’s. Somewhere along the line, however, after the Saiyans gained prominence, Tien, Yamcha and others were brushed aside and made into throw away characters. So it was a surprising twist to see Tien keep his own against Cell, an enemy who was previously unbeatable even by the strongest Super Saiyans. Tien could not beat him, of course, but he was in possession of a technique so strong that not even the mighty Cell could successfully counter it. Tien’s bravery gave Androids 18 and 16 enough time to escape consumption. Cell regained his composure only after the technique’s after-effects rendered Tien unconscious.
3.) Majin Vegeta: Vegeta Returns To His Evil Roots:
After his defeat at the hands of Goku and the other Z-warriors on Earth, Vegeta returned home defeated and humiliated. Soon after, to aid in the fight against Frieza and his henchmen on Namek, Vegeta reluctantly joined his former Earthling enemies. Proceeding the epic battle with Frieza and the subsequent fight against the Androids, Vegeta settled down on Earth with Bulma, his love interest and Trunks, his son. Although he now lived the life of an Earthling, a deep seeded hatred and jealousy of Goku’s skill (which surpassed his own) still remained within him, and eventually he could bare it no longer. During the first World Tournament after the fight with Cell, Vegeta allowed himself to be entranced by the evil Sorcerer Babidi’s magic. Babidi’s spell brings out the evil malice laying dormant in every person and amplifies it. After falling for this spell, Vegeta exterminated nearly everyone seated at the World Martial Arts Tournament stadium. This allowed Vegeta to once again become the monstrous brute he once was, and thus forced Goku to fight him again.
2.) Goku vs Frieza: The Super Saiyan 1 Transformation:
The fight with Frieza took Goku to the breaking point. At first, Frieza could have defeated Goku with little to no effort at all. That’s how big the power difference was. In true heroic fashion, and despite the overwhelming odds, Goku would not give up. Mid-way through the battle he gathered enough natural power to form a Spirit Bomb so large, that when confronted with it, Frieza could do nothing but try to overpower it, which he could not. The Spirit Bomb was strong enough to take Frieza down. Believing that Frieza’s reign of terror was finally over, Goku and the others celebrated briefly, until the all too real figure of a familiar enemy emerged. Frieza was alive, visibly hurt, and very angry. He wasted no time in delivering punishment, and Piccolo was the first to go down. Next was Krillin, whom Frieza levitated using telekinetic powers. Krillin’s chest expanded, then his body violently exploded. Gohan was the next to go, threatened Frieza. By this point, Goku was in a fury-induced trance unlike any we had ever seen him in before. Even in the presence of death, it was uncharacteristic for Goku to lose his cool. It simply goes to show what a terrifying menace Frieza was. This trance-like state of fury ended when Goku abruptly let his anger explode, transforming himself into the warrior of Saiyan myths, the Super Saiyan.
1.) Gohan vs Cell: The Super Saiyan 2 Transformation:
At the beginning of the series, Gohan was a frail and timid young boy who housed enormous power within his small stature. He was not in control of it however, and it only appeared in short bursts when he was angered. During the battle with Raditz, Goku’s older brother, neither Goku nor Piccolo could harm him. When he saw his father being tormented at the hands of his captor, Gohan blacked out, destroyed his pod of confinement and delivered a devastating attack that slowed Raditz down substantially. Such examples of Gohan’s raw power were frequent throughout the Dragon Ball Z story, but none were as potent as the one which would decide the fate of Planet Earth during the fight against Cell. Goku failed to defeat Cell and forfeited, naming his son, Gohan, as Cell’s next competitor. Gohan kept up with Cell but did not fight back. Fighting was not in his nature, he said to Cell, but he knew why his father wanted him to fight. Goku knew that Gohan’s hidden power would overwhelm Cell if it were to emerge, but Gohan had no interest in it. This gave Cell an idea. He was eager for a challenge, and if he were to entice Gohan’s hidden power out of hiding, Cell could very well get what he desired. He did so first by tormenting Gohan physically, and when that failed, Cell set his eyes on Gohan’s friends. His henchmen, who were all nearly as powerful as he himself was, were sent to battle the Z-warriors. They stood no chance against Cell’s formidable off-spring. Suddenly, the head of the destroyed Android 16 appeared before Gohan and relayed to him some much needed words of encouragement. Cell then destroyed Android 16, and this was Gohan’s breaking point. The transformation to Super Saiyan 2 was quick and intense, while also drastically changing Gohan’s character. Prior to this event he was a pacifist, now he was as ruthless as Frieza and reveled in his opponent’s suffering.