In 1984 Akira Toriyama published the first ever manga edition of Dragon Ball in Japan. It is the story of a young boy named Goku with extraordinary strength and his adventures with Bulma, a rich city girl, as they search for the dragon balls. They follow rumors, whispering that if all seven dragon balls are collected, a dragon will be summoned to grant one wish.
Eventually, the characters in Dragon Ball grew older and a new series was released, Dragon Ball Z. After that are Dragon Ball GT (not considered canon because it wasn’t written by Akira Toriyama), Dragon Ball Super, and, most recently, Super Dragon Ball Heroes (also not directly written by Akira Toriyama). Throughout these fight-focused anime series, there has been the occasional background romance.
One of the original relationships, and probably the one most people have completely forgotten about, is the one between Bulma and Yamcha. Their romance lasted throughout the majority of Dragon Ball and through a good portion of Dragon Ball Z. There has been a lot of speculation about when exactly their relationship ended, how it ended, why it ended, and how that eventually led to Bulma falling for Vegeta. It was a fairly odd turn for Bulma, considering that Vegeta is the reason for Yamcha’s first death, but it does make sense in a way. Their personalities, social statuses, and interests match up very nicely. Unlike her and Yamcha, who never seemed to quite fit. Always awkward, like two puzzle pieces that had different edges and curves.
The following are 25 Things That Make No Sense About Bulma and Yamcha Relationship!
25 Yamcha Had A Fear of Women
At the beginning of Dragon Ball, when Goku and Bulma first encountered Yamcha, he was afraid of girls to a paralyzing degree. Every time he set eyes on Bulma he would freeze up. He definitely didn't have the ability to even talk to her, much less date her. Regardless of his character arc that has him quickly becoming used to being around Bulma, an extreme phobia like that doesn’t simply go away in a matter of weeks.
The phobia was such a problem to Yamcha that he desired the dragon balls to basically wish the problem away. It would certainly have been a more believable development if the two didn’t just suddenly get together after the dragon balls were scattered.
24 Their Relationship Was Based On Mutual Desires, Not Love
When Bulma and Yamcha were first introduced, Bulma wanted a boyfriend and Yamcha wanted a girlfriend in order to stop being afraid of women. Both of them chased the dragon balls for those romantic ideals but, when Oolong wasted the wish away, they figured they might as well get together since they fit each other’s specifications.
It was, in most meanings of the expression, a relationship of convenience and surface level attraction. Not one of the actual feelings of love. It’s extraordinarily odd that their relationship lasted for so long, based on such a shallow foundation.
23 Bulma Liked Strong Men
Throughout most of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, it’s demonstrated time and time again that Yamcha is not one of the character roster's stronger members. Granted, he may be one of the strongest humans in existence, but when put next to other characters like Goku and Vegeta, Yamcha comes up lacking.
In Dragon Ball, Bulma stated that she wanted the “Greatest” or “Perfect” boyfriend. Considering how often Yamcha died to relatively weaker opponents, there’s no doubt that he stopped fitting those descriptions in Bulma’s eyes relatively quickly. Yamcha just happened to be the strongest boy around her age at that time, other than a young Goku.
22 Bulma Frequently Flirted With Other Men
Bulma seemed to have adopted an "I can look and flirt as long as I don’t touch attitude" in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. Whether it was wondering if Jackie Chun would be good looking (Dragon Ball) or her flirting with Vegeta and Trunks (before she figured out who he was in DBZ), Bulma appeared to always be looking for a better option.
She was most likely never truly satisfied with Yamcha as women in fulfilling relationships don’t generally flirt with other men. It always seemed weird that a woman always flirting with other men and showing them more attention than she did her boyfriend, would continue to stay in that relationship for so long.
21 Yamcha Was Often Away For Training
An average couple, usually, spends time with each other and looks for ways to make more time for their significant other. From the beginning, however, Bulma and Yamcha were often apart. In nearly every arc where a significant threat was warned, Yamcha took off into the wild unknown in order to train. To become stronger.
Always ultimately leaving Bulma to her own devices for large periods of time. Long distance relationships are one thing, but when the entire relationship turns into a silent separation, something is off. Perhaps if Yamcha had spent more time with Bulma and less time away training, they wouldn’t have drifted so far apart.
20 Bulma Always Told Yamcha He Wasn’t Good Enough
Unlike an average relationship, Yamcha and Bulma were not exactly supportive of each other. In both Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, during the time when Bulma and Yamcha were in a relationship, whenever something went wrong or a mistake was made, Bulma berated and blamed Yamcha. Even if it wasn't his fault or the entire situation was in her head.
If that wasn't enough to show the oddity of this relationship, Yamcha rarely argued back and usually just took the verbal assault without a word. Although, it is tough to blame Bulma for feeling like Yamcha wasn’t good enough when his character quickly devolved into the butt of most jokes in Dragon Ball Z, dying multiple times during initial contact.
19 They Broke Up Multiple Times
Some on and off again couples can make it through the turbulent times, but, needless to say, it’s not a healthy way to manage a relationship. There are reasons for the break-up and, if it happened once, it can happen again.
Much less if two people break up for the same reason multiple times like Bulma and Yamcha, whom almost always split because of suspected infidelity and mistrust. It makes no sense that such a relationship would last almost sixteen years with only short periods of time in between each break-up.
18 They Are Often Jealous Of The Other
With both Bulma and Yamcha being on the good-looking side, the two often felt uncomfortable when their significant other was met with other potential love interests. For Bulma, it seemed to be just about any girl who spoke to Yamcha. It only got worse when Yamcha became a famous baseball player and a fan club was started for him.
For Yamcha, the jealousy often occurred because of Bulma's flirting. The anime scenes and manga chapters depicting the change in gear from Bulma being with Yamcha to her falling for Vegeta, show Yamcha as being constantly jealous. Increasingly so with the introduction of Trunks in the Dragon Ball Z Android and Cell Sagas. No trust, no relationship.
17 Yamcha Was A Bandit
As one of the first villains Goku encounters in the Dragon Ball universe, Yamcha has no doubt progressed quite a bit in terms of character development. But, when Bulma and Yamcha first started dating, Yamcha was all about stealing the dragon balls away from her and Goku.
Despite the funny interactions ensued by a man afraid of women trying to steal from a woman, it doesn't change the fact that Bulma decided she wanted to date someone trying to rob her simply because of his looks and strength. It was an incredibly odd twist of fate for Bulma to fall for the, albeit handsome, thief who plotted against her multiple times, even being the cause of her losing consciousness.
16 Yamcha Was Originally Their Enemy
It's almost like Stockholm Syndrome the way that Bulma fell for her enemy. Acknowledging the fact that Yamcha did team up with Goku and Bulma against Emperor Pilaf to become a “good” guy, he started off trying to steal for them and probably would have had he not been afraid of women.
It would have made sense, to a degree, if there had been more time in between that demonstrated who Yamcha was beyond someone trying to steal the dragon balls for his own use. The general action to do when you meet someone trying to steal from you, even if they are good looking, is to get away from them. Bulma chose to date him instead.
15 Yamcha's relationships
It was noted many times that Yamcha became somewhat of a womanizer, especially in early Dragon Ball Z. Bulma was frequently shown to be freaking out or be extremely jealous whenever Yamcha was with a girl.
Although there isn't any absolute proof that Yamcha cheated from an in-character standpoint, in Dragon Ball chapter 141 Future Trunks did mention how Yamcha tended to not be the most faithful boyfriend. At first, some people speculated whether that was true or just what Trunks’ mom had told him, but when Akira Toriyama was asked why Yamcha and Bulma didn't end up together, he answered, while laughing, that it was because Yamcha just could not stay faithful.
14 Bulma Didn’t Want to Settle Down
In Dragon Ball, Bulma was always the type of girl who wanted to go on an adventure. Sure, she wanted a boyfriend, but that didn’t mean she wanted to be married and settle down in a house. Yamcha, on the other hand, even from his first few episodes, made it very clear that he wanted to get a girlfriend in order to get married. Regardless of how connected Yamcha was to the conflicts and all the time he spent training, there was always a disconnect in their mentalities.
To be fair, when Yamcha passed away in the Dragon Ball Z: Vegeta Saga, Bulma said that she would have married him had he asked. However, later on during the Android Saga, Yamcha suggested getting married but Bulma showed absolutely no interest in it. If she hadn’t gotten pregnant with Trunks, who knows if she would have even bothered to marry Vegeta.
13 Do As I Say, Not As I do
Whenever Bulma saw Yamcha with another girl, she always got really, really mad. In Dragon Ball Z, Krillin’s girlfriend, Maron, flirts with Yamcha and he returns it with a laugh. Bulma became furious at this. Then, two years later, she went ahead and suggested that Vegeta lives with her.
She was always telling Yamcha to not do something, to not flirt or talk to other women, then turning around to do it herself. Often times to an even larger degree. When you tell your significant other not to do something then do it yourself, it’s not surprising that the relationship doesn’t last. In fact, it makes almost no sense for it to last a long time, much less Bulma and Yamcha’s sixteen years.
12 High School Sweethearts
It’s statistically unlikely for two high school sweethearts to get married and spend the rest of their lives together. Though Bulma and Yamcha didn’t go to high school together, they met when they were both in their mid-teens. In fact, they were both each other’s first significant other. It’s no surprise that Bulma showed interest in other guys and Yamcha in other girls: they’d met when really young, before they had garnered any real-world relationship experience.
It actually made more sense for them to be looking at other possibilities than it did for them to have a sixteen-year long relationship. They made good firsts; two people meeting on an adventure and falling in love. But it should have been short and passionate, not long and choppy.
11 Yamcha Was Replaced
Although Yamcha started out as a member of the main character cast, along with Bulma and Goku, he became less and less of a focus. Eventually falling off the grid altogether, only seen again briefly during minor fights that lead up to the larger conflict. Bulma, on the other hand, is a rather persistent member of the main cast.
So when Goku married Chi-Chi and Yamcha became the anime’s joke character, there was no longer any romance among the main DBZ characters that could be teased. But Gohan was already born and Trunks needed a mom. He couldn’t be just the son of Vegeta. Thus, Vegeta replaced Yamcha as Goku’s enemy turned rival turned friend.
10 Distancing Interests
Unlike Vegeta and Goku, Yamcha never used Bulma’s technology to train. Instead, he went out into the wilderness to train himself for upcoming battles. As his power level relative to the enemies waned, so did their mutual interests. Bulma continued to help train the Z Team and stayed in-tune with ongoing events.
Yamcha drifted away from the main team, instead of going off to play professional baseball. Then Bulma became the CEO of Capsule Corp., further distancing their interests. They may have wanted the same thing early on in Dragon Ball, but the further the series went on, the less mutual interests they had.
9 Bulma Wanted the World's “Greatest” Boyfriend
In Volume 2 Chapter 18 of the Dragon Ball manga, Bulma says that she wants to have the “greatest” boyfriend. Only the best of the best can call themselves her equal. In the manga, she appears to be especially picky about her boyfriend being very handsome. Nothing less would do. While Yamcha seemed to fit the handsome part of the checklist at first, he very quickly fell from the title “greatest” with increasing speed every time he was killed.
Yamcha may have been the same realm of powers as Goku in Dragon Ball, but he fell from grace mighty quick when he was the only one to pass from one of Nappa's Saibaimen early on in the Vegeta Saga. It doesn't make much sense for Bulma, considering her personality, to be in a relationship with the team’s weakest fighter.
8 Personalities Don’t Match
If we look at the characteristics of Bulma and Yamcha, what do we see? In Bulma, we see a young woman with a genius-level intellect who wanted to travel the world and go on adventures with a boyfriend. Since she didn’t have the physical strength to fight the villains, she relied on her smarts and technology. In Yamcha, we see a young man who lived his childhood as a bandit and had a crippling fear of women.
His wish was to get a girlfriend and/or wife that he wasn’t nervous around. Using his strength as one of the strongest humans on Earth, he fought against many villains in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. Yamcha is a bandit turned traditional fighter who never relies on Bulma’s inventions and Bulma is a very stubborn scientist. Their personalities and overall characters simply never matched.
7 There's Barely Any Shown Interaction
Other than the first couple arcs where the main villains are Yamcha and then Emperor Pilaf, Yamcha and Bulma have barely any on-screen interaction. In fact, their off-screen interactions are implied to be just as low in Dragon Ball as Yamcha took off to go train in the wilderness for the World Martial Arts Tournaments. Even in the scenes with Bulma, Yamcha is rarely there.
In one episode, Krillin talks about all the girls around Yamcha and Bulma gets extremely angry. Not just because of how Yamcha was so popular, but because she didn’t know about it. So it’s not super surprising that two people who spent so little actual time together ran into relationship issues.
6 Vegeta Lives With Bulma While She’s With Yamcha
This is perhaps the most nonsensical part of Bulma and Yamcha’s relationship: she invited Vegeta to live with her while she was still in a relationship with Yamcha! Regardless of the fact that perhaps they weren’t in a happy relationship or were even on the verge of breaking up, it makes no sense that Bulma would invite the man who eliminated her boyfriend to live in her house.
When Bulma offered that to Vegeta, Yamcha (reasonably) showed obvious disgust and absolute surprise. Who can blame him? It’s rather hard to follow Bulma’s reasoning in this case.
5 The Break Up Was Never Shown
There was never an on-screen/depicted break up between the two. Not only that, but there’s not even an episode that shows how Bulma and Vegeta get together. In one episode we assume Bulma and Yamcha are still together, and in the next, she’s with Vegeta.
So we don’t actually know when or if there was a final event that forced the two into breaking up. There’s only speculation and interpretations based on previous interactions. Or the lack thereof. Of the many things that make no sense about their relationship, the fact that its ending was never shown is certainly near the top.
4 It Lasted About 16 Years With No Marriage Or Kids
For a relationship that was filled with breakups and fights, they lasted a very long time. From around 16-32 years old, Bulma and Yamcha were in an off and on again relationship. However, when looking at all of the problems they had, it’s amazing that they lasted that long.
Bulma hadn’t even known Vegeta for a quarter of that time before they had a kid together and eventually got married. It’s obvious if the two relationships are put next to each other that it wasn’t necessarily that Bulma didn’t want kids or to get married, she just didn’t want to do it with Yamcha. Why they were in a dead end relationship for so long remains a mystery.
3 Future Trunks Was Already Introduced
When future Trunks was introduced to the gang, Bulma and Yamcha were still in a relationship, if only sort of. Even as Bulma started to pay more and more attention to Vegeta, Yamcha continued to display fairly heated jealousy.
Perhaps this was just an example of dumb love on his part, but it’s hard to believe that Yamcha wouldn’t see the relationship was destined to end after meeting the future son that Bulma has with another man. The same man whom she had just invited to live in her house, and that had been the cause for his passing. That would’ve spelled a quick and definite end to most relationships.
2 Bulma Falls For Vegeta Over Yamcha
Love is a mysterious emotion. It can be dumb; it can be blind; it can be downright foolish. But the simple fact that Bulma even had the capacity to fall in love with the man who killed her boyfriend at the time, Yamcha, seems to imply she didn’t really love him. Sure Yamcha came back to life, however that doesn’t erase the fact that Vegeta eliminated him.
In most circumstances, the person who would do that to your significant other is generally off limits. At the time of Yamcha’s death, Bulma said that she would have married him if he had asked, so it doesn’t make much sense that she would then leave him for the person that killed him.
1 Bulma Has Much Higher Socio-Economic Status Than Yamcha
In modern times it’s not unheard of for someone very wealthy to start dating someone less wealthy. However, the disparity of their situations made the long-lasting relationship between Bulma and Yamcha hard to believe. Whereas Bulma was basically the young heiress of a massive technology corporation that people all around the world relied on, Yamcha was a poor dessert bandit that robbed passing people.
A passionate relationship during the adrenaline pumping adventures of the youth made their dating at least somewhat plausible, but they would have had such different mannerisms and expectations, not to mention knowledge, that it makes their long-lasting relationship hard to believe. It’s basically the anime version of Jasmine and Aladdin from Disney’s Aladdin. A story meant to be fantasy. Perhaps possible, but generally unrealistic.
Does anything else not make sense about Bulma and Yamcha’s Relationship in Dragon Ball? Let us know in the comments!