There is still plenty of debate as to what is and isn’t official Dragon Ball material, but it’s generally accepted that Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball Super represent the series canon. Though creator Akira Toriyama did contribute some editing to Dragon Ball GT, it has since been overwritten by the latest entry in the franchise, while the continuation of the DBZ spin-off movies (save for The History of Trunks) rarely matches up to the events of the series.
We've been introduced to several new characters outside of Toriyama’s canon, and though trying to determine their power levels is mostly guesswork, we have studied various sources to reach something close to an informed ranking. Where a character appears more than once, or transforms through a prolonged appearance, we are considering only their most powerful forms. Lastly, this list is also anime only, and so video game appearances won’t be taken into account.
Here are the 15 Most Powerful Non-Canon Characters in Dragon Ball.
15 Goku Jr. (& Vegeta Jr.)
Dragon Ball GT comes to an end at the World Martial Arts Tournament, where an elderly Pan watches her great-great-grandson (though he is just her grandson in the English dub) square off against his sworn rival. As ever, Goku Jr. and Vegeta Jr. battle it out evenly, and though we don’t see who comes out the winner, both embody the fierce pride of their ancestors.
Another trait they inherit is the ability to turn Super Saiyan, which gives them a huge potential at such a young age. Unfortunately, a basic Super Saiyan 1 transformation, combined with their general inexperience in battle, is not enough for the Saiyan pair to displace some of the Dragon Ball Z movie villains on this list.
We later see Goku Jr.’s origins in the one and only GT movie – A Hero’s Legacy, which actually rounds out a relatively underwhelming series on something of a high note.
The first in a line of movie villains, Cooler makes his debut in the fifth DBZ film – Cooler’s Revenge. It’s no surprise that the major antagonists of the spin-off films tend to become more powerful as the main series develops, and while Cooler beats out Lord Slug and Turles for a place on this list, he is quickly surpassed by the villains of the later movies.
Cooler makes a reappearance in The Return of Cooler, which follows on directly from Cooler’s Revenge. This time, he takes the form of Meta-Cooler, after attaching the remains of his brain to the Big Gete Star and taking over New Namek. This is Cooler at his most powerful, as not only can he take on Goku and Vegeta in their Super Saiyan forms, but he can regenerate from almost any attack.
Ultimately, he is beaten by Goku and Vegeta at full power (which is still only Super Saiyan 1 at this point). They are no match for an army of Meta-Coolers, but we can only take into account the power level of a single Meta-Cooler, which doesn’t even register next to some of the villains Goku has faced in recent canon.
13 Android 13
Super Android 13! follows on directly from The Return of Cooler, as the early movies continue their pattern of having each villain surpass the previous in his power level. Android 13 in base form is a match for Super Saiyan Goku, but with Dragon Ball Z mere weeks away from revealing Cell’s Perfect form, the movie gets there first, and things are turned up to a whole new level when 13 absorbs two further androids.
Super Android 13 is completely unmoved by Goku, Vegeta, and Future Trunks at Super Saiyan, as well as Kami-absorbed Piccolo (the film is set pre-Hyperbolic Time Chamber, meaning that Piccolo should be the most powerful Z Fighter at this point in the story).
The movie comes to a rather abrupt end when Goku absorbs his own Spirit Bomb and defeats the evil android in a single blow. Unfortunately, we don’t know exactly how powerful Goku is in this state. He never absorbs a Spirit Bomb again, which is a surprise, as throwing the things rarely seems to work.
Of the three original video animation specials, Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans is by far the least likely to be official canon. Episode of Bardock’s legitimacy is debatable, though Bardock himself is certainly canon, while Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return does introduce Tarble, whom Bulma claims to know in Battle of Gods.
Hatchiyack makes his only appearance in the franchise as the villain of Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans. Like Broly and Android 13 before him, he spends most of his on-screen time annihilating Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, Trunks, and Piccolo. Goku even suggests that his power level is higher than Broly’s, though this is before the Legendary Super Saiyan’s return in Second Coming.
Set in the days leading up to the Cell Games, King Kai outright states Hatchiyack’s power to be the greatest he has ever sensed, while it takes full-power blasts from the four Saiyans (and Piccolo in the 2010 remake) to finally bring him down.
Skipping ahead a couple of movies now, and we reach Bojack Unbound, the ninth entry in the non-canon film franchise. Supposedly set after the Cell Games (so post-Hatchiyack), Bojack is released from his imprisonment inside the heart of King Kai’s planet following its destruction, and with Goku gone, it is up to Gohan and the remaining Z Fighters to stop the space pirate from conquering the universe once more.
In his base form, Bojack makes quick work of Piccolo, Vegeta, and Future Trunks, and overpowers Super Saiyan Gohan, possibly even more so than Cell managed in the accompanying canon. He is dispatched fairly quickly when Gohan powers up to Super Saiyan 2, but with a power level close to that of Cell’s, and with Android 13 portrayed as a precursor to Cell, we can assume that he still outmatches the android.
Interestingly, Bojack Unbound is one of the few movies that works within series canon, while Toriyama himself had some involvement in Bojack’s design. But until we have any sort of confirmation, Bojack still registers as a non-canon character.
While Broly’s debut does precede Bojack’s, the Legendary Super Saiyan returns more powerful than ever in his second movie (the 10th in the series). Broly returns again in the next DBZ movie, Bio-Broly, but given he is essentially a clone of Second Coming Broly, and that there are no movies splitting the two in the film series, they're close enough in power than we can look exclusively at his appearance in Second Coming.
Even in Legendary Super Saiyan, Broly is Bojack-like in his brutal dispatching of Super Saiyans. In the follow-up, as he returns to Earth in search of Goku, only for his son to show up instead, he deals a similar beatdown to Super Saiyan 2 adult Gohan.
Where Bojack is swiftly defeated by a single blast from a Super Saiyan 2, Broly actually laughs off a triple threat Kamehameha from Gohan (at SS2), Goku, and Goten, at least until Trunks deals a distracting blow. Though it has to be said: he is somehow not quite powerful enough to kill Videl.
9 General Rilldo
Dragon Ball GT finally makes a reappearance with General Rilldo, the leader of Dr. Myuu’s Machine Mutant army. Rilldo is hardly a main antagonist of GT, but he is a recurring figure throughout the series, each time presenting a fresh challenge to Goku, Pan, and the rest.
His primary involvement is early on in the Baby Saga, when the Sigma Force is finally successful in capturing Goku and Trunks for him. Goku swiftly defeats the Sigma Force, at which point Rilldo steps up and disposes of Trunks as if he weren’t there (which he may as well not be in GT). He also nearly kills Gohan in the Super 17 arc.
Of the Z Fighters, only Goku and Majuub are able to stand up to him, but Goku does note that Rilldo is at least as strong as Kid Buu. If that’s the case, we’re not quite sure how Goku is able to beat him at regular Super Saiyan, or why Rilldo says that Goku’s Super Saiyan doubles his power (the multiplier should be x50).
All we know is that the GT power scale is all over the place, and Rilldo's ranking is based on process of elimination.
Hirudegarn - the villain of Wrath of the Dragon, the final DBZ film before Battle of Gods rebooted the franchise - pulverizes the Z Fighters for the short time it appears on screen. The difference between Hirudegarn and the movie villains that came before is that Hirudegarn has to face Goku and Gotenks at Super Saiyan 3, as well as Ultimate Gohan.
Hirudegarn is a match for all three even before transforming, but when it reaches its final form, it wreaks havoc and destruction on the team. The former statue flat-out defeats Gohan and Gotenks (despite both being more powerful than Goku at this point in the canon), and easily overpowers Goku (something Rilldo never quite managed). It takes a Super Saiyan 3 Dragon Fist to defeat Hirudegarn, even after Goku had drained its energy by exploiting its weak emotions.
There is a case for Hirudegarn being the single most powerful movie-only character, given that it’s the final villain the Z Fighters must overcome, but we rank it a place behind the antagonist that came before…
Janemba features in the 12th and penultimate DBZ movie, Fusion Reborn. Janemba is created following an overflow of the Soul Cleansing Machine, when its careless attendant is mutated by thousands of years' worth of evil souls.
Though Goku at Super Saiyan 3 has little trouble in dealing with the resulting form, he does claim that Janemba’s power is the strongest he has ever sensed. We’re well into the Buu Saga at this point, which makes first-form Janemba more powerful than Fat Buu at the very least.
However, Janemba’s defeat only triggers a second transformation. Super Janemba does more damage to Super Saiyan 3 Goku than Kid Buu and Hirudegarn combined. Though Goku is able to defeat both aforementioned villains, Janemba, through combined regeneration and inter-dimensional travel, has him lost for ideas. Goku and Vegeta are forced to fuse as a last resort, and not until our first glimpse at Super Gogeta does Janemba finally meet his match.
While Buu is obviously canon, and Uub is rumored to make a return to the franchise in Dragon Ball Super, their fusion is a long way off from appearing in any official series. As Uub is the reincarnation of Kid Buu, his reunification with Good Buu in GT should place him around the same strength as Super Buu, although it can be argued that Uub had become more powerful than Kid Buu through his training with Goku.
Either way, Majuub saves Gohan from Rilldo, eventually sending the mechanical villain back to Hell, which proves that he overpowers all previous forms of Buu. In fact, Majuub outranks Super Saiyan 3 GT Goku, who is far more powerful than he was in DBZ (based on the fact that Goku defeats Rilldo at regular Super Saiyan).
If you are attempting to supply any sort of logic to the GT power levels, this would mean that Majuub is far beyond even Super Buu.
Given that the series follows on from the DBZ movies in non-canon chronology, it should be no surprise that characters from Dragon Ball GT take the spotlight as we move into the top five.
Baby is the main villain of his own saga, the second of GT’s four major arcs. A surviving Tuffle parasite, Baby was created for the sole purpose of destroying the Saiyans and avenging his race. First appearing on Earth in his infant form, Baby alone is not all that powerful - just about matching Super Saiyan Goten. But by taking control of others, he finds a means to achieve his lifelong ambition.
After taking over Goten and Gohan’s bodies, Baby eventually finds his home in Vegeta, whose body allows Baby to reach his full potential. Baby Vegeta undergoes several transformations, the most powerful of which being his Golden Great Ape form, which actually overpowers Super Saiyan 4, at least for a brief time…
4 Super Saiyan 4 Goku (& Vegeta)
There currently exist five canon Super Saiyan transformations (discounting the so-called Ultra Super Saiyan power-up and the several Super Saiyan/Kaio-ken combinations), but Super Saiyan 4 is not one of them.
The fourth Super Saiyan form is GT exclusive, and so it’s difficult to determine exactly how powerful Super Saiyan 4 Goku is when compared to his previous forms. It does allow him to develop the 10x Kamehameha, which as the name suggests, multiplies the energy wave by a factor of 10.
Numbers and multipliers aside, Super Saiyan 4 represents the most powerful form that Goku and Vegeta are able to reach on their own in Dragon Ball GT. Even the unstoppable Golden Great Ape form, which directly precedes the transformation, comes up short against Super Saiyan 4, whose full power is enough to defeat Baby Vegeta.
Though Goku does receive energy from Gohan, Goten, Trunks, and Pan to finally beat the evil Tuffle, he becomes more powerful through continued usage of the form, holding his own against far more powerful villains later in the series.
3 Super Android 17
Android 17’s upcoming reappearance in Dragon Ball Super will completely overwrite his GT arc, which sees the unsuspecting cyborg brainwashed into fusing with his Hell Fighter clone by the combined might of Doctors Gero and Myuu.
Super 17 is quick to defeat the likes of Vegeta and Majuub, while Goku is immediately forced into turning Super Saiyan 4 upon his arrival, but 17 is nowhere close to his peak just yet. Myuu claims that Super 17 is only twice as strong as the original 17 at this point, though that doesn’t quite hold up, even by GT logic.
Still, the androids’ inherent ability to absorb energy slowly begins to turn the tide, and Goku is placed firmly on the back foot, to the point that he is ready to sacrifice himself to destroy the android. He is only defeated when Android 17 subconsciously exposes Super 17’s weakness, allowing Goku and 18 to put an end to Gero’s most powerful creation.
2 Omega Shenron
Several of the Shadow Dragons might have made this list in their own right, but why include them separately when they are all technically immersed into one body? Born of the wish to revive those killed by Frieza and his men, Syn Shenron is the most powerful of the Shadow Dragons, even before taking on their individual powers by absorbing the Dragon Balls.
Now Omega Shenron, easily the most powerful non-canon villain Goku and the Z Fighters have ever come up against, he holds over 10x the power of Syn, let alone the rest of the Shadow Dragons. Two Super Saiyan 4s are unable to inflict any sort of damage on Omega, and though he is tested very briefly (by a character who shall remain nameless for the purposes of this list), it takes a Spirit Bomb formed of energy gathered from all corners of the universe to finally bring him to justice.
Despite never appearing in any official series, Gogeta has firmly established himself as a fan favorite, and it’s surely only a matter of time before we see him in some form of canon. While we have seen the result of Goku and Vegeta’s potara fusion, Vegito, show up as recently as the Future Trunks arc, their fusion dance equivalent has so far been restricted to Dragon Ball GT, as well as the Fusion Reborn movie.
Right now, we’re focusing in on GT, which marks the debut of Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta. As the pair face off against Omega Shenron, Goku and Vegeta resort to attempting the fusion dance, which multiplies the power of two separate Super Saiyan 4s a dozen times over (as stated by the GT Perfect Files guidebook).
Gogeta is unable to finish the battle within the allotted time, but he considerably overpowers Omega in their brief match-up. He is not only the most powerful character in all of GT, but there is an argument that he could be the most powerful of all Goku’s transformations (though Blue Vegito probably has that one covered).
Which strong non-canon Dragon Ball characters did we miss? Let us know in the comments!