At the start of Dragon Ball Z, it was believed that only four full-blooded Saiyans still existed in the universe: Goku, Nappa, Raditz, and Vegeta. It didn't take long for the movies and TV specials to inflate this number, as they added Saiyans like Broly, Turles, Paragus, and Tarble to the canon. The Dragon Ball Z video games have also added their own Saiyan characters, which include ones that the player can create.
Nappa might be one of the most vicious characters in all of Dragon Ball. His appearance in the narrative heralded a darker era for the story, as many of the older characters died in battle against him. Nappa was so vicious that many of his actions had to be edited out of the original dub. He left a massive impression on the story, even though he wasn't part of it for long.
We are here today to look at the history of the baldest and boldest Saiyan of them all-- from the answer to the age-old question about bald Super Saiyans, to his unofficial live action movie appearance.
Here are the 15 Things You Didn't Know About Nappa From Dragon Ball Z.
15 He Only Killed One Z-Fighter
The arrival of the Saiyans led to some of the most violent and brutal scenes in all of Dragon Ball. The Androids and Cell were also killers, but much of their murder occurred off-screen. Buu wiped out almost all life on Earth, but he did so in one massive attack. Nappa and Vegeta reveled in violence and loved the havoc and fear that they caused during their invasion.
Nappa has earned a deadly reputation among Dragon Ball fans, as he is wrongly accused of killing most of the cast. Nappa is only directly responsible for killing Piccolo (and by extension, Kami, though he isn't aware of this).
Yamcha was killed by one of the Saibamen, Chiaotzu blew himself up, and Tien used all of his life force in a single attack. By contrast, Frieza killed more main characters (Krillin and Vegeta), as did Perfect Cell (Android 16 and Goku), and Majin Buu (everyone except for Goku, Hercule, and Dende). Nappa's reputation as a protagonist killer is overstated, as most of them just broke themselves while trying to take him out in a single move.
14 He Was Way Older Than He Looked
Saiyans are predisposed towards combat. Their genetics also support this, which is why they grow stronger from training and heal faster than the other races we have seen. It is for this reason that most full-blooded Saiyans don't show their age, as the desire to be healthy and strong is ingrained into them.
Nappa is an example of this, as he is in his fifties when he first appears in Dragon Ball Z, even though he could pass for being a lot younger. He eventually lost his hair as time went on, but was otherwise unaffected by the passage of time.
Nappa's age and power level are one of the more confusing aspects of Dragon Ball Z. The human Z-Fighters almost reached a power level of 2000 in only a year of training, yet Nappa only reached a power level of 4000, despite the fact that he was a Saiyan and spent most of his life in combat. The same is also true of Raditz, whose power level was also inexplicably low for his lifestyle.
13 He Was The Most Censored Character In The Original Dub
The arrival of the Saiyans was one of the darkest points in all of Dragon Ball. Raditz threatens to massacre everyone on the planet, which leads to the death of Goku and Piccolo taking Gohan into his custody.
Things get considerably worse when Nappa and Vegeta show up. The two of them proceed to murder numerous innocent civilians before taking on the Z-Fighters. They are responsible for the deaths of several main characters before Goku finally shows up.
The original English dub of Dragon Ball Z starts with the Saiyan Saga, which meant that a lot of censoring had to be done. The vast majority of censorship was related to Nappa's actions.
When Nappa blows up the city, Vegeta claims that it was empty. The journalists that he blows up are actually "cargo robots" and are said to have "parachuted to safety." Chiaotzu's sacrifice was an attempt to send Nappa to "another dimension."
Tien claims he can grow his arm back after Nappa punches it off. We also don't get to see Piccolo's body after Nappa kills him (it just fades away). Nappa's rampage during the three-hour wait also has lines that are used to imply that he wasn't actually harming anyone.
12 He Had A Super Saiyan 3 Form (That Affected His Facial Hair)
Vegeta claims that Saiyans have the same hair throughout their life, which is why Goku never needed his cut at any point in the story. The same isn't true for human/Saiyan hybrids, as Gohan and Trunks both had long hair at different points in the story.
It seems that even the mighty Saiyan race isn't immune to male pattern baldness, as we see from flashbacks that Nappa once had hair, but it fell off at some point. This raises the questions of what would happen to a bald Super Saiyan? Would their hair grow back? Would it just affect their eyebrows?
We finally got the answer in Dragon Ball Heroes, as this was a video game that featured a Super Saiyan 3 form for Nappa. It affected his facial hair and caused it to grow long and spiky. His head remained unaffected, which proves that even a mighty Super Saiyan cannot overcome the power of genetics.
11 The Nappa/Raditz Fusion
The idea of two characters fusing together (either through dancing or through the Potara Earrings) became a common move in the later Sagas/movies of Dragon Ball Z. It led to the creation of fan favorites like Gotenks and Vegito, who were far more powerful than the sum of their parts.
Dragon Ball Fusions is a video game based entirely around the concept of all of the various fusions that could be possible. There was also a Dragon Ball Fusions manga which was intended to promote the game.
In Dragon Ball Fusions, it is possible for Nappa and Raditz to perform the fusion dance or use the Metamo-Ring. This results in two different forms; Natz and Rappa. The Natz form was the stronger of the two, though it could only be maintained for a thirty-minute time limit.
The Rappa form was weaker but it lacked a time limit, due to the fusion being caused by a ring. Rappa also had a tail, which allowed him to transform into the Great Ape. Natz and Rappa also both had hair, which Nappa probably would have liked.
10 He Is Named After Cabbage
Akira Toriyama loved to name his characters after food. This is the prevailing theme throughout all of his work. Forget things like friendship or conquering evil: Toriyama was only happy if he could name his protagonists after the contents of his fridge.
Dragon Ball wasn't the only work of Toriyama's that suffered from this. Magus' three generals in Chrono Trigger were originally named after condiments (Mayo, Vinegar, and Soy), which was changed into rock star names in the west (Ozzie, Slash, and Flea).
The Saiyan race was no exception to Toriyama's naming convention. All of the Saiyans were named after vegetables of some kind. In Nappa's case, he is named a kind of cabbage. Napa cabbage originally came from China, though it is now grown all over the world. It is also the most popular form of cabbage that is sold and can be found in almost every supermarket chain on the planet.
9 His Abridged Version Became An Option In Xenoverse
Nappa was once only remembered for his participation in the "It's over 9000!" meme. He used to be pretty low down on the totem pole in terms of memorable Saiyans.
Nappa's fortunes changed with the arrival of Dragon Ball Z Abridged in 2008. This is a series that follows the "abridged" format, which involves someone doing a satirical parody dub of a show and making it considerably shorter in length. Dragon Ball Z Abridged featured voice actors from various different abridged series, which helped it find a large audience straight away.
The voice of Nappa was provided by Takahata101. The abridged version of Nappa quickly became the breakout character of the show, due to how childlike and idiotic he was. This version of Nappa was so popular that Takahata101 was asked to provide the Nappa voice as one of the optional voices in Dragon Ball Xenoverse. This means that you can essentially play as the Dragon Ball Z Abridged version of Nappa in the game.
8 He Became The Leader Of The Neo Ginyu Force
The question of Captain Ginyu's fate was one that wasn't answered for many years. The last time we saw him in Dragon Ball Z was in sporadic cameos after he arrived on Earth in the body of a frog. He was killed by Buu and later revived by Porunga.
Captain Ginyu would later make his comeback in Dragon Ball Super when he took over the body of Tagoma. He was later killed by Vegeta and was reunited with his old comrades in the afterlife.
In one of the DLC campaigns of Dragon Ball Xenoverse that is set in the GT era, you can encounter a new iteration of the Ginyu Force. The members of the group escaped from the afterlife along with Nappa.
Together, they formed the Neo Ginyu Force, with Nappa as the team's new leader. Their goal is to get revenge on Vegeta and find their old Captain if possible. It is up to the main character and Trunks to stop the Neo Ginyu Force before they can continue on their mission.
7 He Wanted To Breed With All Of The Women On Earth
The Saiyan race was all but extinct at the start of Dragon Ball Z. Frieza had made sure that they were reduced to a handful of members, none of whom were female. Goku stumbled across the method of repopulating the Saiyan race when he knocked up Chi-Chi, as he was unaware of his alien heritage and any potential birth issues that may stem from it.
Nappa actually suggested the revival of the Saiyan race to Vegeta when they were on their way to Earth. He saw the power of Gohan and speculated that they could recreate the Saiyan race with the women of Earth. Vegeta shot the idea down, as he was worried that they would be overpowered by their hybrid children.
The line where Nappa suggests recreating the Saiyan race was left out of the later English dubs of Dragon Ball Z, which were usually less conservative than the original ones.
6 It Is Possible For Goku To Save The Z-Fighters From Nappa In One Of The Super Nintendo Games
"What If?" scenarios have always been popular among Dragon Ball Z fans. This has extended to the most recent video games, like Dragon Ball Xenoverse, which is just a fan fiction come to life.
The idea of what would happen if Goku had returned to life in time to fight the Saiyans has been explored in several different games/comics. If the rest of the Z-Fighters had survived, would they have traveled to Namek and fought against Frieza?
Dragon Ball Z: Super Saiya Densetsu was an RPG that was released for the Super Famicom in 1992. It's possible in this game for Goku to return in time to fight Nappa. This will save the other Z-Fighters, except for Piccolo (who dies in a cutscene) as his death is needed for the Dragon Balls to disappear and provides everyone with a reason to go to Namek.
It is possible to fight against Frieza at the end of the game with a team made up of Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, Piccolo, Yamcha, Tien, and Chiaotzu.
5 He Was Created To Help Explain Vegeta To The Audience
Akira Toriyama has earned a reputation for having a bad memory and for making up the plot of Dragon Ball Z as he went along. This is why numerous characters were forgotten over time (until Dragon Ball Super gave them a chance to shine again) and why there are some pretty big plot holes in the series.
For all of his faults, Toriyama is still an incredible storyteller. The guy was at the top of his game when he created Dragon Ball, which is why it achieved record numbers of sales and top positions in Weekly Shonen Jump's popularity polls that weren't beaten until the arrival of One Piece.
One example of Toriyama's storytelling in action involves the use of dual characters who could explain their purpose to the story without it seeming contrived. Nappa was one such character, as it was his role in the story to help bring Vegeta into the plot and explain his importance as the former ruler of the Saiyans, as well as his vast power.
Toriyama has confirmed Nappa's purpose in an interview when he was promoting Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods.
4 The Chiaotzu & Nappa Fight Was Parodied In Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo
Dragon Ball was originally published in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. This is a publication that has a target audience of young boys and teenagers, though it is enjoyed by people of all ages and many of its series have large female fan bases.
The kind of comics that run in Weekly Shonen Jump tend to be battle manga with a focus on adventure and camaraderie. Those kinds of series tend to do well in Jump, which is why One Piece, Naruto, and My Hero Academia all became such huge hits.
Weekly Shonen Jump does feature other kinds of comics. It was once home to Death Note, which is about crime and smart people trying to outdo each other. It also has a lot of comedy series, like Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo.
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo was a battle/comedy series that loved to parody other popular manga. It once parodied the battle between Nappa and Chiaotzu from Dragon Ball Z. Don Patch attempts to sacrifice his life like Chiaotzu did but ends up unharmed and with Nappa's facial hair.
3 He Was The Only Honest Part Of The Intro
The theme song for the Ocean dub of Dragon Ball Z is called "Rock the Dragon" by fans. It is often regarded as one of the best cartoon themes of all time, even though it only consists of a couple of different words.
The original intro for Dragon Ball Z is basically false advertising. It shows all of these awesome scenes, like Goku fighting a swordsman, Krillin running away from gunfire, Yamcha fighting a robot, Goku escaping from being frozen, Master Roshi fighting off goons, Vegeta turning Super Saiyan (which was a big spoiler) and Trunks swinging his sword.
All of these scenes came from the Dragon Ball movies and from the intro for the Japanese version of the show. The only footage from the intro which actually comes from Dragon Ball Z are the scenes where Nappa is destroying the planes. All of the other scenes are from The Tree of Might, The World's Strongest, Dead Zone, and the original Japanese intro.
2 He Appeared As A Villain In An Unofficial Live Action Dragon Ball Film
The Dragon Ball franchise was a hit all over the world before it ever received an English language release. The series was huge across Asia, as well as in countries like France before we ever saw the horrible Ocean dub.
It is due to this popularity that unofficial Dragon Ball live action movies were made in countries that don't care as much about licensing and copyright laws.
There was an awesome Dragon Ball movie that was made in Korea, called Dragon Ball Fight Son Goku, Win Son Goku. This is a movie that is true to the source material in some aspects and has some crazy stuff that was made up. This includes a robot that Yamcha has to fight in his flying car.
Dragon Ball Fight Son Goku, Win Son Goku is supposed to be set during the Emperor Pilaf Saga. Despite this, Pilaf has Nappa as one of his servants. A giant Saiyan warrior (with hair) now serves under Emperor Pilaf and chases after Goku & his friends.
While Fight Son Goku, Win Son Goku has its problems, it still looks like Citizen Kane compared to Dragonball Evolution. At least this movie had Nappa in it, instead of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
1 He Originally Had A Different Color Scheme
The Dragon Ball Z anime was being produced while the manga that it was based on was still being created. This is why the filler arcs (like the Garlic Jnr. Saga) were created, as they needed to give Akira Toriyama more time to complete the comic.
It wasn't immediately apparent how important Vegeta was going to be to the overall story. As far as anyone knew (Toriyama included), Vegeta could have been forgotten or left for dead at the end of the Frieza Saga.
This might be the reason why both Vegeta and Nappa had incorrect color schemes during their first appearance. Vegeta originally had dark red hair and wore an outfit with the wrong color scheme. This was also true of Nappa, who wore a black and brown suit of armor, which was later retconned as being indigo and yellow.
One of the changes made to Dragon Ball Kai was the correction of Vegeta's original look so that it matched his later appearance. Nappa's was left unchanged, which might suggest that he owned several sets of armor and wore a different one when he arrived on Earth.
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Dragon Ball Z's Nappa? SOund off in the comment section!