It’s no question that Dragon Ball Z’s most famous villain is none other than the intergalactic tyrant Frieza. This cruel, ever-transforming monstrosity is known to both casual and hardcore fans, and rightfully so.
His iconic looks and abilities, coupled with how integral he is to the plot of the series (and Goku’s growth as a character), have cemented him in the pantheon of ultimate anime villains.
He’s so popular that, aside from making cameos throughout the series and films, Toei went above and beyond to create a brand new film just as an excuse to bring him back to life and, most likely, fill their pockets.
This wouldn’t be the first time Toei tried to cash in on Frieza, though. His brother, Cooler, was the initial attempt and he ended up as an unique and popular character all his own. Aside from a few similarities with his younger brother, he left his own impact on the films and even video games.
Despite this popularity, however, there’s a sizable chunk of facts and details that may have eluded even the hardest core of Cooler fans, so we’ve compiled some true gems with our 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Cooler!
At first glance, Cooler’s insistence on exterminating Goku for killing Frieza appears as a noble gesture, with the younger sibling having been defeated, and the older one intent on beating the bully back. Unfortunately, this was very far from the case.
It turns out that Cooler didn’t care much at all for his little brother. Repeatedly referring to the feared tyrant as “too soft,” Cooler could barely be bothered that Frieza had been killed, only becoming incensed that a dirty, ape-like Saiyan had somehow done the deed.
Before Cooler sets out to clean the dirt from his noble bloodline, he makes one thing abundantly clear: if Goku hadn’t have killed Frieza, Cooler surely would have.
Beyond mere sibling rivalry, jealously, or callousness, Cooler was clearly growing weary of his “soft,” immature sibling, and seemed almost disappointed that he wasn’t the one to deliver the final blow.
While Cooler doesn’t appear in the first Dragon Ball Xenoverse, he plays a fairly significant role in its well-received sequel, Xenoverse 2. Here, he is sent through time by the time-warping villain Mira in order to help his brother Frieza defeat Goku and the player-controlled Future Warrior.
Aside from one other significant appearance at another point in the game, he has an odd role in one of the side quests, where the player infiltrates the Frieza Force in order to glean information regarding the time anomalies.
In Frieza’s spaceship, Cooler is battled multiple times by the player, eventually allowing them to decide whether they’d like to betray Frieza and join him.
Should the player choose to become allies with the powerful warrior, Cooler will grant the Future Warrior control of Frieza’s army, despite the fact their worth is miniscule when compared to the player’s power.
For families with multiple siblings, life can be difficult. Whether it’s sibling rivalry or the ever-present feeling that you might not be Mom and Dad’s favorite child, brothers and sisters can have a depressing chip on their shoulders for the rest of their lives. Things were no different for the cold-themed family that Frieza and Cooler were part of.
Their father, the ruthless King Cold, was seemingly capable of affection, especially when he went out of his way to recover Frieza’s sizzled remains and repair him to the best of his abilities-- but what about Cooler?
In Cooler’s own words, Frieza was the favorite, so it’s likely that, if Cooler suffered a series injury, he wouldn’t expect Daddy to come and rescue him. Whether or not this was all in his head is debatable, but it surely added fuel to the fire for Cooler’s hatred of his brother.
Frieza, King Cold, and Cooler run a large-scale business where they broker planets to the highest bidder. They’ll send out forces to wipe out an indigenous population, clear everything out, and then let those who paid the bill move right on in, becoming part of the ever-growing empire.
While it’s clear that King Cold is the boss, and almost certainly owns an enormous amount of worlds, his sons are given their own armies and jurisdictions, along with worlds they can safely call their own.
Frieza himself claims to have at least 448 worlds, but Cooler isn’t that far beyond, with at least 256 of his own. Exact numbers aren’t known for either, but judging by what we know of Cooler’s personality, he seems more willing to pick and choose what planets he owns, rather than just childishly lashing out at whatever looks shiniest.
Contrary to popular belief, Goku didn’t let Frieza reach his 100% power level because he wanted to test himself or fight the strongest opponent to ever exist. Those were just bonuses. The real reason was because he wanted to crush Frieza at his strongest, irreparably damaging his ego and spirit.
Even though Goku ended up getting wounded in the fully-powered battle, it was clear that Frieza was outmatched. While it’s true that Cooler wasn’t a match for a Super Saiyan either, when you consider how strong Goku was after recovering from his injuries, even Cooler’s base form presented a deadly challenge, multiplied further by his ultimate transformation, something Frieza lacked.
Despite the evidence for him outclassing his brother, there’s conflicting information throughout various media, including the opinion of series creator, Akira Toriyama. According to him, while Cooler and King Cold were exceptionally strong, Frieza was beyond both.
It’s been well established that Cooler and Frieza do not see eye-to-eye. Going so far as to consider murdering his brother, belittling him, and displaying no remorse for his death, it’s clear that Cooler thinks almost nothing of his own flesh-and-blood, minus King Cold.
Despite this, he’s proven that he’s not averse to teaming up with his sibling on occasion, such as in the OVA Plan To Eradicate The Saiyans. In the quirky-but-fun 3DS game, Dragon Ball Fusions, Cooler takes things a step further and actually fuses with Frieza, creating Coolieza.
Like all fusions, Coolieza is a combination of the visual elements of both characters, but what gives him the edge is the union of Cooler’s intelligent, calculating mind and Frieza’s raw, impulsive power, creating an incredibly dangerous fighter.
Cooler debuted in the movie Cooler’s Revenge, which the follows Goku on Earth after he defeated Frieza. Cooler gets word that his brother has been killed and decides to go to Earth with his warriors, not for vengeance, but to restore honor to his family.
Cooler demonstrates extreme power, even possessing one more transformation than the fearsome Frieza, but he, too, falls in battle against the golden-haired Super Saiyan Goku. Things were quite different in the NES game, Dragon Ball Z III: Ressen Jinzōningen, however.
While in the film he’s demonstrably stronger than his brother, he’s portrayed as vastly superior in the game. Here, his base form overpowers Super Saiyan Goku, and only after Super Saiyan Vegeta shows up does Cooler transform, still able to fight, which is a major departure from how easily he is handled in the movie.
Frieza was exceptionally resilient. Able to take a beating by some of the universe’s most powerful warriors, he had nary a scratch until Goku arrived.
He eventually lost his tail, cut himself in half due to his own hubris, and then took a face-melting ki blast and a planet exploding at point blank, yet still somehow survived, and was soon rebuilt into a cyborg by his father.
That said, Cooler’s death and eventual resurrection blows Frieza’s out of the water. Yeah, Frieza may have been maimed and had a planet blow up in his face, but Cooler was literally thrown into the sun, with a fully-powered planet busting ki blast crushing him the entire time.
After miraculously surviving, he, too, became mechanical but, unlike Frieza’s slipshod cyborg form, Cooler ended up as an omniscient god of an artificial world called the Big Gete Star. Take that, little brother.
GT, also known as “Grand Tour,” was the first sequel to Dragon Ball Z, years before Super was a glimmer in Akira Toriyama’s eye.
While the series is infamous for its various missteps regarding plot and character choices, it did end up with some interesting concepts for villains and set pieces. Thankfully, Cooler got to have a piece of that pie, no matter how bitter the icing was.
During the Super 17 Saga, Dr. Gero and Dr. Myuu open a portal to Hell in order to complete their nefarious plots involving the fusing of both Android 17s into one nightmarish behemoth.
Because of the portal opening, Cooler, along with countless other villains, was able to make a brief but awesome appearance, despite it being no more than an Easter egg.
Despite Cooler’s less-than-favorable views of his malicious brother and his own plan of murdering him, it appears that Cooler was not beyond seemingly friendly cooperation.
In the OVA Plan To Eradicate The Saiyans, Dr. Lychee, a Tuffle, resurrects Frieza, Cooler, Lord Slug, and Turles as “Ghost Warriors” in order to help him get vengeance against the Saiyans for exterminating his race.
The two brothers were more than happy to unite forces against their murderers. Perhaps the fact that their deaths were at the hands of Saiyans was what allowed them to quickly toss aside their differences and any other pent-up issues they had bubbling inside them in order to effectively fight.
However, regardless of the reason, Cooler proved that he could work as a team with Frieza, despite his murderous thoughts.
Aside from Frieza and Cooler’s surface level similarities-- like their general aesthetic and transformative nature-- the two also shared the same Japanese voice actor: Tomoharu Takeo.
Takeo is known for roles beyond Dragon Ball Z, such as Ceasar Clown in One Piece and roles in Bleach, among others, but his most famous vocal performance is that of the diminutive Frieza.
Exceptionally talented and capable of delivering delicious maliciousness with each line, Takeo brought Frieza to exceptionally memorable life with his delightfully upbeat approach to the cocksure ruler’s evil deeds.
Cooler, on the other hand, called for a far more reserved performance, which was an exceedingly appropriate fit for the contemplative, cold and calculating elder brother.
Despite voicing both characters, Takeo’s acting choices paid off, and both Cooler and Frieza have distinct and memorable characterizations thanks to his talents.
When Frieza was at his peak, he felt as though nothing could touch him. Regularly insulting his enemies and his own minions, he continually praised his superiority, never letting his vanity be tarnished, even after taking a beating from a child.
When up against Super Saiyan Goku, a force he was incapable of besting, he maintained that air of supremacy up until the moment of his apparent demise, no matter how foolish the effort was.
On the other hand, Cooler, while still enormously cocky, was not afraid to admit when he was wrong and change plans accordingly. Throughout Cooler’s Revenge, he lambasted Frieza for being “too soft,” and efficiently tormented Goku.
However, once the tables turned, he dropped all pretense of his perceived power and stopped at nothing to destroy Goku, finally realizing that, in the end, it was he who was too soft-- something that Frieza would never admit.
Akira Toriyama, the creator of the Dragon Ball franchise, has a love for wordplay and puns. This is apparent through King Kai’s adoration of awful Dad jokes, but it extends to character naming conventions as well.
For example, every Saiyan is named after some kind of plant, like Kakarot being “carrot” and Raditz being “radish.” In addition, Bulma’s entire family is named after undergarments.
Most obviously, though, is the naming convention for Frieza and his clan. Taking inspiration from the cold or cold-themed appliances, we have “freezer” and “cooler” for the siblings.
Strangely enough, though, Cooler’s name also stems from an odd Japanese phrase, “meshi demo kura,” which essentially means “let’s chow down.” Why this pun was made is anyone’s guess, but, then again, there’s a lot of space for food in coolers.
While you can fight Cooler and Frieza on Namek or become allies with him in a sidequest, Xenoverse 2 has one more fantastic spot for the least-loved son of King Cold.
Due to the time manipulation and dimensional distortions, Cooler is revived alongside Frieza by Sorbet’s wish, although this time he is in his metal form. Now enhanced with dark magic, he attempts to interfere with Super Saiyan Blue Goku and Golden Frieza.
Before he can get too far, though, he’s interrupted by Super Saiyan Blue Vegeta, who was tipped off by the ever-watchful Whis. While Vegeta may have been robbed of yet another rightful victory when it came to getting revenge against Frieza, he was at least able to go head-to-head with an evenly matched Meta-Cooler.
After Whis rewinds time due to Frieza destroying the planet, the brothers team up one final time, only to be met with defeat.
At the start of Cooler’s Revenge, we’re shown the familiar scene of Bardock rebelling against Frieza, only to have himself and his planet utterly wiped out by the very tyrant he stood against.
It turns out that Cooler was watching these proceedings from afar, berating his brother for his immaturity. A Saiyan pod escaped Planet Vegeta, and Cooler is asked if it should be shot down.
Cooler refuses, saying that, whatever problem comes from this, it’s on Frieza-- and what a problem it would become, since that pod contained the infant Goku.
When framed in this way, Cooler is responsible for the deaths of his father, brother, and himself, along with the downfall of his entire empire, not to mention the genesis of possibly the universe’s strongest warrior, whose career takes away the thunder of some of the most famous comic superheroes. Turns out it wasn’t Frieza’s problem after all.
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Dragon Ball Z's Cooler? Let us know in the comments!