A story is only as good as its main villain. Seeing as Dragon Ball Z has endured a plethora of diverse villains, it is safe to say that it has had some amazing stories throughout the years. However, nothing has set the tone better for the TV series and manga than Dragon Ball Z's very first villain, Raditz.
Raditz's backstory and character motivation was simple yet compelling. He finally arrived to the Planet Earth to notify his brother Kakarot (Goku) of his previously unknown Saiyan alien heritage. Upon discovering that Goku had not yet conquered the planet and had no intentions to do so, Raditz kidnapped Goku's son with the condition that Goku must kill 100 Earthlings and bring their bodies to Raditz within 24 hours or else Goku would never see his son again.
This kind of story really helped Raditz make an impact as a villain within a short amount of time. He was such a tough opponent that Goku needed to align himself with his arch nemesis Piccolo in order to stop the Saiyan warrior.
In a small space of time, Raditz became the most intimidating foe that Goku had faced up until that point. Unfortunately, Raditz only spent the first few issues of the manga alive, and even fewer episodes of the anime alive, which is a shame.
Raditz managed to leave such a huge impact right off the bat, but never lasted long enough to give us a chance to get to know his character.
With that said, here are the Things You Never Knew About Dragon Ball Z's Raditz.
15 His Power Level is the Same as Saibamen
In the ever growing mythos of the Dragon Ball Z universe, it has been established that Raditz's power level is around 1200. As a formidable foe who challenged the Z Fighters at a time when none of them were familiar with fighting Saiyans, his power level seemed pretty high. Or at least it was... until the Saibamen were introduced and we found out that their power level was also 1200.
While they struggled to combat Raditz upon his arrival, the Z Fighters disposed of the Saibamen with easy. Sure, Yamcha was killed by a sneak attack from one, but that was Yamcha.
Fans have always expected Yamcha not to put up a fight against certain weaklings. Still, to find out that such a seemingly powerful warrior like Raditz has a power level that isn't much higher than these weak aliens is strange.
14 He Has Fused with Nappa and Turles
Although Raditz was killed off on Dragon Ball Z long before the art of fusion was established within the series, he has been able to fuse with a couple of characters thanks to the Dragon Ball Fusions video game.
First, in the game's story mode, Nappa and Raditz fuse together while partnering up for the Timespace Tournament. After they see how powerful Gotenks is when Goten and Trunks fuse together, Nappa and Raditz vow to try it out themselves and eventually fuse together to become Natz.
In the game itself, Raditz is also able to fuse with Turles. Together, after doing the Fusion Dance, the two become Tutz. There is a pattern here-- Raditz and his fusion partners seem to come up with some dumb fusion names, surely they could have done better than "Natz" and "Tutz."
13 He Has His Own Origin Story
Dragon Ball Zero is a manga written by Toyotarō. Before he became the illustrator of the Dragon Ball Super manga, Toyotarō worked under the name "Toyble" and created an origin story for Raditz, which focused on his years as a teenager.
The story takes place three days before the destruction of Planet Vegeta. Raditz and his friends (including future Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might villain Turles) win a tournament by cheating. For their prize, they are allowed to go on official Saiyan missions.
Since Raditz's team cheated, though, they aren't at all ready for the task at hand and are easily overwhelmed during their first mission. Some members even die, including Turles who appears dead. Raditz runs away until he is saved by a young Nappa and Vegeta. In the wake of their home planet being destroyed, the three Saiyans join forces.
12 He Is one of the Only Saiyans to Skip to Super Saiyan 3
In the manga and anime of Dragon Ball Z, Raditz never had the chance to achieve a Super Saiyan transformation before he was killed in the Saiyan Saga. However, thanks to games like Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 and Super Dragon Ball Heroes, the sight of Raditz can finally become a Super Saiyan.
However, Raditz is a bit more special than other characters-- he is able to skip the first two levels of Super Saiyan and go straight to Super Saiyan 3. Considering the fact that the hair style of a Super Saiyan 3 looks more or less exactly the same as Raditz's own regular hair style, this is may not be mere coincidence.
Still, this makes Raditz and Nappa the only two characters who have ever been able to power directly to Super Saiyan 3.
11 He Met Goku as a Teenager Before DBZ
It has always been widely established that Raditz and Goku never met until Raditz's arrival at the start of the Saiyan Saga. However, according to a special chapter of the Dragon Ball SD manga, the brothers met when they were much younger.
Apparently, as teenagers, Vegeta and Raditz made a trip to Earth so that Vegeta could train Raditz to help him overcome the weakness of his tail. There, they met Goku fresh after the Fortuneteller Baba Saga of Dragon Ball.
Due to Goku's tail being so short, they mistook Goku for a native Earthling and Vegeta decided to help Goku overcome his own tail weakness. After their training session ends, Raditz and Vegeta leave for Planet Frieza, but they crash after Raditz's tail hits some of the buttons on their ship.
As a result, they suffer from minor amnesia and forget that they met Goku.
10 His Fight vs Goku/Piccolo Parallels Dead Zone
No, not that Dead Zone-- not The Dead Zone starring Christopher Walken from 1983, or the TV show from the early 2000s that starred Anthony Michael Hall. Instead, we are talking about the first ever Dragon Ball Z movie.
The movie saw Garlic Jr. use his henchmen to fight Piccolo, hunt down Goku's family, attack them, and kidnap his son Gohan. Goku reluctantly teams up with his rival Piccolo in order to rescue his son.
During the battle, Gohan unlocks his hidden potential and plays a role in vanquishing the villain. If that sounds familiar, it should because the film's story plays out beat by beat exactly how the Saiyan Saga plays out-- just replace Garlic Jr. with Raditz.
The Dragon Ball Z movies usually borrow elements from old storylines from the manga/anime, but this is clearly a case of copying and pasting the exact same formula.
9 Nappa Almost Revived Him
One relationship that often goes overlooked by fans of Dragon Ball Z is the relationship between Nappa and Raditz. Although we never see them together onscreen, it is strongly hinted that they have something of a strong brotherly bond.
We especially get this impression from the fact that Nappa mentions that he wants to use the Dragon Balls to revive Raditz after his death. Vegeta shoots this down in hopes of using the Dragon Balls to become immortal.
However, the fact that Nappa would use his one wish to bring his friend back highlights how deeply their bond is. Though it is not explored in the series, it is likely that Nappa and Raditz grew close at a young age.
8 His Good Guy "What If?" Story
Raditz has made several appearances in Dragon Ball Z video games. Perhaps his most memorable one comes from Budokai Tenkaichi 2, where one "What If?" storyline plays with the idea of Raditz being a good guy.
In the story titled Fateful Brothers, Raditz fights Piccolo upon landing on Earth, but in this timeline, he releases a Saibaman for help. When the Saibaman self destructs on him, Raditz loses his memory. He wanders the Earth long enough to run into Goku at Kame House, who helps to nurse his wounds.
Raditz spends months living with Goku until his memory is triggered when Gohan notices his tail. He then wishes to once again destroy the Earth, but his warm memories with Goku manage to reform Raditz of his evil ways.
As a result, Raditz sacrifices himself by crashing his own ship into Nappa and Vegeta to stop them from trying to conquer Earth.
7 He appears in 4 Episodes... and 40+ Games
Despite only appearing in the first few issues of the manga and the first four episodes of the anime series, Raditz continues to maintain an ongoing legacy among the always expanding Dragon Ball franchise.
This is especially the case in the Dragon Ball Z video games. While he has had minor appearances in spin-off shows, such as Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super, he has also appeared in several spin-off video games.
Some games have gone as far as to place Raditz at the center of full fledged storylines-- mostly "What If?" scenarios-- to compensate for him not actually spending much time in the Dragon Ball Z series itself.
Between game franchises like Budokai Tenkaichi series, the Xenoverse saga, and countless others, Raditz has appeared in over 40 Dragon Ball Z video games. That's a lot for a character who spent such little time on Dragon Ball Z itself.
6 He had a cameo on Jaco the Galactic
Jaco the Galactic Patrolman was a popular comedy adventure manga mini series that had a short run on the stands in 2013. The manga was written by Akira Toriyama, the creator of Dragon Ball Z.
The story itself is a stand alone piece, but before the series is over, readers soon discover that elements of the story work as a prequel to Dragon Ball Z. In a special bonus chapter titled Dragon Ball Minus, Raditz and Vegeta appear to have conquered an unnamed planet after battling an unknown race.
They receive word on their scouters that Frieza wants all Saiyans to return to Planet Vegeta. However, Vegeta is so busy eating that he and Raditz to ignore the call and pretend they didn't hear it. Wise choice, as this was the day that Frieza called all the Saiyans to Planet Vegeta in order to destroy them and their planet.
5 His Name is a Vegetable Pun
For some reason, the Dragon Ball franchise is filled with vegetable puns. Kakarot is a pun for carrot, Broly is short for broccoli, and Vegeta is a pun for, well, vegetable.
Then there are the slightly more subtle puns, such as Nappa being a kind of cabbage, Gohan being Japanese for rice, Bardock translating to a root Japanese vegetable called burdock, and Turles being lettuce with the Japanese spelling words rearrange.
Then, of course, there is Raditz, whose name is very obvious-- radish. Akira Toriyama seems to like grouping his character's names with similar themes. For example, all the Saiyans have vegetable names, all of Bulma's family have undergarment names, and every name in the Red Ribbon Army is color coordinated.
4 His Moves Are Named After Days
If we were to further analyze Raditz's fighting style, the first thing that we would notice is his moveset-- more specifically, the names of his moves. Raditz is one of the few-- if not, only-- fighters in the Dragon Ball Z universe to have a theme associated with the name of his moves.
For some reason, Raditz's moves are all named after the days of the week. This is never explained in the series or the manga, nor have any of the creators come forward and explained this.
Raditz just happens to be special enough to have day-specific moves. Some of his most notable moves include Dynamite Monday, Shining Friday, Saturday Crush, Double Sunday, Weekly Special, and Weekend. Maybe it's another pun about how his power level is so "week."
3 He Is Goku's Only Relative NOT Voiced by Masako Nozawa
Masako Nozawa is a legendary Japanese voice actress who has lent her voice to several vital characters in the Dragon Ball Z franchise for the original Japanese production of the anime.
Not only did she voice Goku, but she also lent her voice to almost every one of Goku's biological male relatives. Such relative characters include Goten, Gohan, Future Gohan, Bardock, and Goku Jr.
She also voiced Goku's two evil dopplegangers, Turles and Goku Black, respectively on Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might and Dragon Ball Super.
However, for some reason, the only male relative of Goku's who Masako Nozawa did not voice was Raditz. Raditz was originally voiced by Shigeru Chiba on the Japanese anime production.
2 He Fought King Yemma... and Lost
Just as fast as he was introduced to Dragon Ball Z, Raditz was killed off. As fans can remember, Goku sacrificed himself when he grabbed hold of Raditz, allowing Piccolo to hit Raditz with his Special Beam Cannon, which killed both Raditz and Goku in the process.
When Goku makes his way to the Other World and finds King Yemma, the judge of the dead, a brief mention is made, stating that Raditz made it down to the Other World before Goku.
In fact, outraged about his death, Raditz tried to fight King Yemma. When Yemma told Goku this story, he bragged about how he was able to overpower Raditz easily with his Yemma Lock. After the minor scuffle, Yemma decided to send Raditz to Hell.
1 He Cameoed In Dragon Ball GT
During the Super 17 Saga of Dragon Ball GT, a newly built version of Android 17 and the revived original version come together to cause a rift between Earth and Hell.
When the rift is opened, it allows all of the past and previously killed off villains from Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT to rise from the dead and wreck havoc among the living.
Such villains include General Rildo, the Ginyu Force, Cooler, Android 19, Nappa, General Blue, Captain Yellow, and even Raditz. We only get a small glimpse of Raditz, but we can see him in the background among a sea of revived villains.
Beyond that, he unfortunately doesn't have a major role in the saga. It is presumed that he is killed off yet again off screen.
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Dragon Ball Z's Raditz? Let us know in the comments!