King Kai is one of the funniest characters in Dragon Ball Z, a constant source of levity during the Vegeta and Namek saga. He even acts as an announcer for half the Frieza’s fight, letting Tien, Yamcha, Chiaotzu, and Piccolo in on what was happening. His role diminishes a little after that, mostly thanks to Goku getting him killed.
Still, King Kai is a hard character to hate, his jokester personality being perfect for the series. As he’s a side character, there are a lot of people who don’t know much bout him. That’s something that will be remedied here, everyone’s favorite Kai taking center stage.
10 Gregory Was An Anime Creation
Gregory, King Kai cricket companion, was never in the manga, a pure filler addition by the anime. This shouldn’t come as a shock considering how chock full of needless filler the anime was. Rather than have Goku progress straight into training with King Kai, the anime runners decided to let the back talking little cricket, Gregory, provide another humorous interlude. While filler is usually rather boring (half the stuff shoehorned in Frieza’s fight), Gregory fits in quite well with King Kai’s jokester personality and is a fairly welcome addition to his homeworld.
9 Never Mastered Spirit Bomb
It’s rather surprising that the inventor of the attack was never able to master it, but it’s true. He expressed pure astonishment when Goku managed to unleash it for the first time. Frankly, it’s shocking whenever the move is used at all, given that it takes what seems like a decade to charge and another year just to throw. It’s one of the attacks that fall directly into the stereotype that Dragon Ball is more about charging rather than actual fights. Either way, it’s one of the more devastating attacks in the entire series, even if it’s success rating is far lower than it should be.
8 He Imprisoned Bojack
Bojack is an anime-only creation, one who managed to show up in Xenoverse 2, along with just about every character in existence. He was a ruthless pirate who had an insatiable thirst for genocide, wanting to lay waste to the entire galaxy. He came close to it before the four Kais sealed him away inside a star. After King Kai’s death, he was released, allowing him to do battle with the Z warriors in his film.
While he isn’t the most interesting character ever, it’s impressive that the kai’s were able to seal him away, especially when none of them are ever shown to exponentially skilled fighters.
7 He Didn’t Want To Be Revived
When he was killed in Cell’s explosion, he declined being revived in the manga and was an exception in the anime, due to how the wish was phrased. In the manga, he says he wants to remain Goku’s guide in Other World. This makes sense in the context of the anime as they have a small Other World Tournament arc where we get introduced to Pikkon, one of the better filler characters. What’s strange about it is that in Super, he’s upset that he hasn’t been revived yet. It’s a strange inconsistency to have with the character, but one that isn’t that big a deal.
6 He’s Stronger Than The Ginyu Force
Gauging King Kai’s power level is one of the toughest things in the series as it seems to fluctuate all over the place. At first, he’s said to be stronger than King Yenma, but weaker than both Nappa and Vegeta. Then not an arc later, he’s suddenly stronger than the entire Ginyu force, despite the fact Recomme was destroying Vegeta in a fight. It’s unclear if he was merely bluffing to inspire the Z fighters on the planet with him or not. Either way, it’s an abrupt 180 after he called the Ginyu Force the strongest fighters in the whole galaxy. If we are to trust his claim, his power level would be over 43k.
5 His Home Constantly Gets Destroyed
He has the worst luck of getting unruly house guest, some of which aren’t even welcome there. Cell’s exploding body is the most notorious of these situations as it didn’t just take out his house, but the entire planet. This is even played a little for laughs in Super when Goku brings a poacher who threatened to have a self destruct device there.
King Kai even exclaims that his planet isn’t a bomb disposal unit. Beyond just bombs, the Ginyu Force has wrecked his home, and even Goku himself has, one of his Kamehameha’s tearing through his home with ease. It’s a wonder why he even keeps inviting people over.
4 The Only Kai To Die In Dragon Ball Z
The reason for his death has been harped on enough, but it’s worth noting that he’s the only Kai to meet his end. This isn’t much of a surprise, King Kai is the only one who gets genuine screen time, others only showing up in Other World, and during a few of the movies (notably Fusion Reborn). If you include Super, Zamasu would be added to this list, oddly holding the same position King Kai does on Universe 10. It’s always interesting seeing just how different characters are through their respective universes.
3 His Planet Used To Be Bigger
There was a time that King Kai’s planet was more than 100 times larger than what we see now. You could only imagine how much fun he had racing around it in his car, zooming around on his race track. That all changed when Beerus, The God Of Destruction, came over to visit. They played a racing video game, one that Kai naturally won. Beerus being Beerus, wasn’t too happy over this and blew the planet up. Kai took a leftover fragment, whittling it down into a sphere and calling it his new home.
2 Kai’s Refer To Hindu and Buddhist Deities
It may be hard to believe considering the way they act, but the lore of the Kai’s, supreme’s included, is pulled from Hindu and Buddhist religions. In Hindu scripture, they are known as the Guardians of Directions. In Buddhism, they have entities known as the Four Heavenly Kings, beings that are quite similar to the Kai’s. Both deities watching over directional quadrants of the world, much like Kai’s watch over the north, south, east, and west. Add in that they are treated like minor gods in Dragon Ball and you can’t ignore the similarities.
1 He Was Born From A Tree
King Kai, like all Kais, are born from the Kaiju or world tree. They start as fruit until it’s time to be born, leading to them falling to the ground. If the fruit happens to be golden, they are automatically granted the title of Supreme Kai. It’s a strange process to imagine, an entire race of god-like creatures growing from trees like they are mere apples. In a way, that means all of the Kai’s are a family, eternally brothers and sisters without having any actual parents.
King Kai is a pretty important character in the dragon Ball universe, but there's a lot about him that goes unsaid.