My Top-5 Dragon Ball villains

I’ve been a Dragon Ball fan for a long time but I’ve never really done anything Dragon Ballish on the blog (apart from the rant about We Gotta Power a while back) so I finally decided that just for kicks I’d list my Top-5 favorite villains from the series. And just to note, yes this will include both the original Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, but not GT since I haven’t seen that one.

To avoid confusion I’m also not including any incarnation of Piccolo or Vegeta on the list because some people may not get that these guys eventually became goodguys. At the end I’ll list a few characters that were considered for the list but didn’t make it.

Top-5 Villains

1. Freeza (a.k.a. Frieza)

I’ve always loved Freeza. He’s just so frickin’ creepy. You see him and instantly you get the sense that you’re utterly fucked. The guy had four distinct transformations and has enough power in his pinky to blow up a planet. He’s a galatic conqueror with an interstellar army and several planets already under his rule. As well, he can take credit for nearly obliterating the Sayan race (except for Vegeta, Nappa, Raditz and Goku).

He was just an evil bastard, but the thing I hate is how – after Goku fought a long epic fight with him – every villain since has essentially undermined Freeza without ever being as memorable. People are free to have their own opinion but Freeza is still number one for me.

2. Ginyu Force

A group of interstellar mercenaries, all named after dairy products and striking insane poses at the drop of a hat. Who doesn’t love the Ginyu Force? Recoom was nasty as hell, Burter was a fast fucker, Guldo could stop time, Captain Ginyu was a body switcher and Jeice… well Jeice did dick honestly, but a five-man team is always more impressive than a four man one.

The Ginyu Force weren’t just hilariously over-the-top, they were also a surprisingly huge threat to the main characters. It’s a shame they all got dusted quite quickly when Goku finally showed up on Namek, but at least there was a little bit of ado about Ginyu switching bodies with Goku.

3. Tao Pai Pai

Easily the most memorable of the original Dragon Ball villains. Tao Pai Pai was a bad ass Muthafucka. This guy nearly killed Goku when he was little and pretty much would kill anyone who annoyed him. The fact that he did with such a callous attitude and with such ease made him a seriously threatening character.

And of course Tao had the best form of transportation of any Dragon Ball character, he’d take a huge pole or a tree-trunk, toss it in the air and then hop on for a ride to his destination.

That is just bad ass.

4. Cell

To be honest, I never really liked Cell all that much. For one thing he just looked stupid with his green spotty, lizard like skin. After becoming “Perfect” he had that dumb hat and in his near-to-perfect stage he looked very silly. Also, he’s just a massive copy-cat – using everyone’s powers and not having a lick of originality.

However, I did quite like his first phase look and he did actually give the heroes a week to prepare for the final showdown which was an interesting touch. Also, because he’s quite possibly the second most powerful villain in the Dragon Ball series he deserves to be somewhere on the list.

And let’s not forget that it took the combined strength of Goku and his son to finally oblitirate this guy. He may not be my favorite but the bastard is really resiliant.

5. Mr. Black

Though the guy looks like a bad joke, I always liked Mr. Black. Upon learning what the Red Ribbon army’s true purpose was for collecting the Dragon Balls (making Mr. Red taller so he’d get some chicks), Black shot his boss and decided to kick Goku’s ass.

Unfortunately Mr. Black didn’t survive which is a shame because I would have personally liked to have seen him come back (maybe as a cyborg like Tao Pai Pai did later in the series) to become a recurring villain. I think Mr. Black is one of the most overlooked figures in the Dragon Ball universe so just for that I wanted him to be on the list.

The Non Qualifiers

These are some of the characters I considered for the list but ultimately ended up dropping…

Babidi & Buu

Buu could have potentially been on the list but because of the whole no-bad-guys-who-became-good-guys rule I put into the list, it felt unfair to put him up there. Plus, I didn’t think much of Buu and with the Ginyu Force already on the list there’s technically five goofy villains on the list already.

I did consider putting Babidi in Buu’s place, but the guy is such a horrible failure as a villain, getting wasted within minutes after his plan to resurrect Buu succeeded. Babidi just couldn’t match the combined awesomeness of Tao Pai Pai, Cell and Mr. Black.


Goku’s brother, although an opponent to be reconned with was never one of my favorite characters. Although he forced Goku to basically team-up with his arch-nemesis and even kill himself in order to get rid of Raditz, as a villain Raditz was just really annoying: bolstering and confident that he was going to win at the end.

Now yes, most Dragon Ball villains suffer from having a massive ego but Raditz didn’t even have an interesting personality to go with his. He’s a story-device character and essentially just a light-version of Nappa.

Emperor Pilaf

I’m sure that at this point I’m the only Dragon Ball fan who even remembers who Pilaf is. Essentially he was the first recurring villain of the Dragon Ball series, the first to ever gather all seven Dragon Balls.

However, Pilaf dropped off the list for rather obvious reasons, mainly that he’s a short little wimp who never actually accomplished much (aside collecting all the Dragon Balls). He was entirely reliant on his two sidekicks (the girl and the ninja-dog) and wasn’t much of an opposing figure at all.

The most humorous aspect of him was that he was actually a bit of a prude – as I recall Bulma managed to offend him with her raunchy talk and manner. Pilaf would have been a fun character to throw at the end of the list but I wanted to acknowledge Mr. Black so unfortunately he was dropped.