- Akira Toriyama surprisingly admits in an interview that he never liked the character Vegeta, despite his popularity with fans and his important role in the franchise.
- Toriyama’s statement supports a long-standing fan theory that suggests he intentionally humiliates Vegeta in the series and prevents him from surpassing Goku.
- It is important to consider that the interview took place in 1995, before Dragon Ball had become immensely popular, so Toriyama’s opinion of Vegeta may have evolved over time.
Dragon Ball‘s author Akira Toriyama has a surprising opinion on one of the most popular characters of his franchise. It would seem obvious for a creator to like the characters that are the protagonists of their stories – especially the key figures like Goku and Vegeta who power a franchise. However, as Toriyama reveals himself, sometimes creators actually dislike their characters, even those who are incredibly popular with fans.
In a 1995 interview published in the databook Dragon Ball Daizenshuu 2 and archived on the Dragon Ball superfan website Kanzenshuu, Toriyama pulls back the curtain on a wide range of topics regarding the creation of Dragon Ball. In response to a line of questions exploring the transition of the story’s theme away from its Journey to the West beginnings to its iconic battle tournament motif, Toriyama is asked which of his villains he prefers. Without hesitation, Toriyama singles out Demon King Piccolo as his favorite villain. Then, without a prompt, he goes on to say, “With Vegeta, well, I don’t like him all that much, but he was extremely helpful to have around“.
Despite Vegeta’s Starring Role, Toriyama Never Liked Him
The 1995 interview confirms a fan theory about Vegeta’s constant humiliation in the series.
Toriyama’s statement about Vegeta is shocking on a number of levels. While Vegeta started off as a nasty villain, his rehabilitation became an example for countless similar storylines in manga and anime. Vegeta’s status has now grown to the point where he’s part of a wholesome dynamic duo with Goku, so it doesn’t seem like he would be a character that Toriyama would dislike. Toriyama does admit to Vegeta’s usefulness to the story, which is probably a nod to the character’s popularity among fans.
Second, Toriyama’s comments corroborate an age-old fan theory that he never liked Vegeta. This fan theory is based on Toriyama’s treatment of Vegeta throughout the saga. According to the theory, no matter how much fans want to see Vegeta finally surpass Goku, Toriyama will never allow it. Indeed, fans point to the numerous times Vegeta, after showing off his most recent power-up, gets mercilessly beaten up by the villain of the story. This trend has unfortunately continued even in Dragon Ball Super, where Vegeta reached impressive heights of strength, but was still beaten by Moro, Zamasu, and Granolah.
It should be kept in mind, however, that in 1995 (the year the interview was published) the original Dragon Ball manga had just ended, and the franchise was still on its way to becoming one of the most popular in history. It’s possible that, in the decades since, Toriyama had a chance to reevaluate his appreciation for Vegeta, considering just how popular the character is, and how much he contributed to the success of the franchise. Still, Dragon Ball fans who believe that Toriyama’s dislike for Vegeta is the reason for all the humiliations suffered by the Saiyan Prince will be quick to point out this interview as the ultimate proof of their theory.
Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Super are available from Viz Media and Manga Plus.
- From the creative mind of Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball is a mega multimedia franchise that spans back to the 1980s. Dragon Ball expanded quickly, starting as a serialized manga for Weekly Shonen Jump in Japan. It made its way overseas via manga and an anime adaptation that is enjoyed worldwide. Dragon Ball was the initial starting animated series that followed the adventures of the young Son Goku as he sought after the Dragon Balls. These mystical orbs would grant the wish of any who gathered them together. Then, the series would branch off into the immensely popular Dragon Ball Z, which followed Goku as an adult and featured high-intensity battles and Goku’s never-ending search to be the strongest. The series has also enjoyed several popular video game adaptations and continues to release several new animated series and theatrical films up to the recent popular Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.
- Created by:
- Akira Toriyama
- First Film:
- Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies
- Latest Film:
- Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero
- First TV Show:
- Dragon Ball
- Latest TV Show:
- Super Dragon Ball Heroes
- First Episode Air Date:
- Latest Episode:
- Sean Schemmel, Laura Bailey, Brian Drummond, Christopher Sabat, Scott McNeil
- Current Series:
- Dragon Ball Super
- Video Game(s):
- Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Dragon Ball: The Breakers, Super Dragon Ball Heroes: World Mission, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z, Dragon Ball Xenoverse, Dragon Ball Z Kakarot