On an enormous, somewhat sprawling series like Dragon Ball, there are bound to be some mistakes along the way. These mistakes take tons of different forms. Some of them happen because the creators couldn’t find a place in the story for characters who had once been central to it, and others who were regrettable inclusions in the story to begin with. Like most anime, Dragon Ball Z has its fair share of filler, and a lot of these forgettable characters come from those episodes.
For whatever reason, these characters are ones that Dragon Ball creator should Akira Toriyama wish that fans will quickly forget. Sometimes they did, and other times, fans remembered to the show’s detriment. There are plenty of great characters in the Dragon Ball Z canon. These are stories that have resonated with tons of people, after all.
In spite of the many successes of this saga, it’s certainly a story that made missteps as well. Many of the show’s biggest missteps come with the characters on this list. They’re forgettable, problematic, or both. They highlight the show’s inconsistencies and the times when fans had trouble sticking with it.
Here are 15 Characters Dragon Ball Wants You To Forget.
15 Grand Kai
The Grand Kai was designed to mostly be a filler character that gave the show’s creator time to allow the manga to catch up with the anime. Unfortunately the Grand Kai was made immediately irrelevant by the introduction of the Supreme Kai, who has essentially the same powers and the same job description.
As a result, Grand Kai disappears fairly quickly, and is never heard from again. Of course, the entire idea of these different Kais was a bit ridiculous to begin with, as all of the new characters paled in comparison with King Kai, the first Kai that we met. Still, the Grand Kai is a particularly egregious example of a needless addition to a show that was already suffering from too many characters.
14 King Chappa
King Chappa was supposed to be a major threat. He was one of the strongest humans on the planet, and as such, had once been crowned the victor of the World Martial Arts Tournament. Although he’s one of the world’s best fighters, Goku is able to defeat him pretty quickly in the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament.
Despite his strength, King Chappa rarely appears on the series after Dragon Ball. It’s possible that his role was too similar to Hercule’s, and so he didn’t really have any place to exist in the expanded universe of Dragon Ball Z. Still, it’s a shame to have so much build up around a strong human, and see them be so quickly tossed aside for the sake of the plot.
Fans may remember Raditz, only because he is a harbinger of Vegeta and Nappa, and because Goku dies during his fight with him. After Raditz dies, though, we never really hear from him again. It seems natural perhaps - except for the fact that you would think Goku meeting his long-lost brother and then being forced to kill him would have some sort of impact.
Instead, Raditz is barely mentioned for the remainder of the entire series. What’s more, while we see many other characters in the afterlife, Raditz never shows up there. It’s as if the show wanted to pretend that he’d never existed at all, which is kind of a shame, because the character had enormous potential as one of only a few Saiyans we meet over the course of the show.
12 Android 16
Android 16 made an enormous impact in part because of the contradictions inherent in his character. He was built to kill Goku, but he grows to love Earth and all of the living things that exist on it. He’s eventually killed by Cell, but when the rest of the people and androids who were killed by Cell are brought back to life, Android 16 is simply forgotten.
That’s a shame, in part because of all the good that 16 does, and his attempt to defeat Cell on his own. The most depressing thing about this character is that 16 was actually incredibly interesting. He’s an Android with a beautiful soul, but while Androids 17 and 18 reappear later on in the series, Android 16, who may be the most interesting of the three, is left behind.
Dodoria is one of the strange characters in the Freiza saga. It feels like he should be more important than he ultimately is. He’s one of Freiza’s main henchmen, but he rarely gets a chance to do anything more than chase Gohan and Krillin around Namek. Although Dodoria may seem powerful, he doesn’t prove to be much of a threat when he actually comes up against Vegeta.
Dodoria tries to dispatch with Vegeta quickly, but Vegeta is able to easily avoid his attacks and defeat him. Dodoria may have once seemed like a fierce opponent, but by the time he’s actually forced to fight one of the show’s central characters, he proves to be a pretty minor threat. Frieza may have been powerful, but his henchmen sure weren’t.
Oolong the talking pig plays a fairly prominent role in Dragon Ball, but he unfortunately isn’t given much to do in Dragon Ball Z or GT. In those shows, he’s largely relegated to watching the action on TV from Master Yoshi’s island, which doesn’t sound like a bad life, but also makes him fairly easy to forget about.
Oolong is lucky to have a pretty distinctive personality - he's largely self-serving, but he grows to admire our heroes over the course of the series. Oolong isn’t a regrettable character, per se, but he’s one of the show’s slew of characters that were sidelined by the number of new characters introduced. There simply wasn’t room for everyone, and so some people (and pigs) were pushed to the side.
Dabura was supposed to be an all powerful Demon King. He’s part of Babidi’s entourage of powerful villains; creatures put under the wizard’s spell in order to help him summon Majin Buu. Dabura’s character design is outstanding, and his sword is somewhat iconic. Even so, Dabura’s skillset proves to be something of a letdown.
He is ultimately destroyed by Majin Buu fairly easily, and it’s not hard to wonder what use he was meant to serve in the first place. On the whole, it seems like Dabura's only real purpose was to prove that Majin Buu was a threat that deserved to be taken seriously. Dabura had tons of potential as a character, and most of it is wasted on a much less interesting villain, one who many believe hurt the show permanently.
Goten is Goku’s younger son, so you would think his role in the show would be pivotal, and in a sense, it is. Unfortunately, Goten is given very few discernible character traits. Instead, he’s relegated to playing second fiddle to Trunks, and fusing with him when that becomes necessary for the plot.
Unfortunately, Goten exists as more of an annoying plot device than anything else. Goten is a kid, of course, so it’s hard to blame for wanting to have fun and not much else, but it often meant that fans were frustrated whenever he showed up on the show. Still, Goten’s somewhat grating personality made many fans want to pretend he never existed, and the way he was drawn made it easy to confuse him with a young version of his father.
7 Grandpa Gohan
You would think Grandpa Gohan would be an important figure throughout Dragon Ball and the shows that followed it. After all, Gohan was the man who raised Goku, and instilled many of the lessons about humanity that Goku would ultimately come to embody. Grandpa Gohan made such an enormous impact on Goku that he named his firstborn son after the man.
What’s more, Goku is also responsible for Gohan’s death, as he turned into an ape and killed him during a full moon. Although Goku doesn’t find out about this until adulthood, he doesn’t seem particularly depressed by the news. He gives an apology, but then he quickly moves on. Considering Gohan’s enormous legacy, you would think his presence on the show would be more substantial.
Pan, the daughter of Videl and Gohan, is a central part of Dragon Ball GT. Given her bloodline, one would think that she would be naturally well-equipped to lead a series alongside her grandfather. Unfortunately, fans were unimpressed with Pan almost immediately, and she did very little to redeem herself as the series went on.
While it may have seemed like a smart move to install a woman in a prominent role on the show, fans found Pan fairly whiny and annoying. Although those decisions may have been intentional, it probably wasn’t wise to make the show’s most prominent female character feed into so many negative stereotypes about women. Fans may remember Pan, but both they and the show wish that was not the case.
Yamcha is always trying his best, but he’s a character that the show’s creators clearly didn’t know what to do with. Initially, he and the rest of the Z fighters were meant to be on the same level as Goku. As Dragon Ball Z progresses, though, Goku’s power increases drastically and quickly. As a result, many of the human characters who were once on his level find themselves falling woefully behind.
Yamcha is the prime example of that, and his irrelevance has become something of a joke among fans of the series. In spite of his lack of power, Toriyama continued to include him in the storylines at the center of the series. He may not have forgotten about Yamcha, but many fans did amidst the drama at the show’s center.
Chi-Chi is always around, but the show seems to forget fairly quickly that she was once one of the strongest fighters in the world. By the time Dragon Ball Z rolls around, though, she has relegated herself to an existence as a housewife, and one who wants Goku to stay home and stop fighting the world’s wars.
Dragon Ball Z doesn’t have many female fighters, so it’s a shame that, even though they kept characters like Yamcha and Chiaotzu in the mix, Chi-Chi got to do very little fighting after she settled down with Goku. It’s not necessarily a problem that Chi-Chi wanted to have a family, but that family comes to define Chi-Chi’s once multi-faceted character.
3 Mr. Popo
Mr. Popo is Kami’s right hand man, and as such, he’s around for many of the most important events in the history of the show. Although he is rarely central to the plot, he’s also not exactly an ancillary character. Even if you know who Mr. Popo is, though, Dragon Ball Z’s creators may wish that you didn’t. The character proved to be deeply problematic in part because of the ways he plays into racial stereotypes about black people.
Mr. Popo is a deeply kind and jovial person, but the way he’s drawn, and his low growl of a voice make him a deeply problematic character. Considering the fact that he’s the only representation people of color have on this show, they could have done much more to make sure that his role didn’t play into negative stereotypes.
2 Fortuneteller Baba's Fighters
When Goku is trying to find all the dragon balls in Dragon Ball and comes up one short, he’s forced to go to Fortuneteller Baba to uncover the location of the final ball. In order to receive her help, Goku first has to defeat her five fighters, a task that proves more difficult than it initially sounds.
Although Goku and Krillin are eventually able to defeat all five fighters, it’s strange that none of these characters show up at any point later on in the story. Each of them possessed unique abilities that may have proved useful later on. Just because their power levels were fairly low doesn’t mean they couldn’t have helped Goku defeat Freiza, Cell, or any of the show’s other powerful villains.
On this list, there’s only one character that disappeared from Dragon Ball Z because the show’s creator forgot she existed, and that character’s name is Launch. Launch is a major character in Dragon Ball, and has two different personalities that she switches between.
As Dragon Ball becomes Dragon Ball Z, Launch begins to fade into the background. Despite being involved in almost every major storyline in Dragon Ball, Toriyama had trouble remembering that she existed when it came time to tell the stories at the center of Dragon Ball Z. Launch’s absence from these stories is probably for the best anyway. The show often struggled with utilizing its human characters effectively, so adding another one of these characters into the mix would have only made the show feel cluttered.
Are there other forgotten Dragon Ball characters that we... forgot? Let us know in the comments!