If you watched Dragon Ball as it aired when it made its way to the west, then chances are you watched Dragon Ball Z first. Though it picked up somewhere in the middle of the series, Z was good enough to stand on its own.
Over the course of its run, the series made a name for itself with a number of mind blowing plot twists. Most anime fans know what happen=s throughout the series. Even people who aren’t really into anime probably know most of Z’s important spoilers. Here are the most major events in the series, explained.
13 Raditz is Goku’s Brother
The series kicks off with this major revelation, and at the time it really comes out of nowhere. For people who continued the story from where the original series left off, this is a major revelation.
Goku’s real family was never really touched upon up to this point. His mysterious origins seemed like an unimportant footnote, but Raditz’s appearance changed the direction the series would take indefinitely.
12 Goku Is A Saiyan
With the appearance of his brother comes another revelation; that Goku is not human. Goku always seemed a little strange as a kid, and the fact that he had a tail and transformed into a massive ape always raised some questions.
But no one was expecting what Toriyama came up with in regards to Saiyans and the extended galaxy as a whole. Goku might not act like a traditional Saiyan, but knowing what we do about them, plenty of things start to make sense in retrospect.
11 Piccolo Is A Namekian
Soon after the revelation of Goku being Saiyan, some light is shed on Piccolo’s heritage as well. Piccolo’s origins were always a mystery, though fans did know that he wasn’t of Earth.
Namekian’s end up taking center stage during the Frieza Saga, and the whole ordeal gives fans a great opportunity for Piccolo to discover and interact with his people. AT the end of the day though, he’s still Piccolo.
10 Goku Turns Super Saiyan
It’s probably the most well known and iconic moment of the series. Goku’s Super Saiyan transformation ultimately changed Dragon Ball, be it for better or for worse.
The series has come to rely on transformations and power-ups, and the fans’ obsession with them all started with Goku and his iconic fight against Frieza. Not only was the Super Saiyan legend teased quite a bit leading up to the final fight, the execution of it all was perfect.
9 Trunks Is Vegeta & Bulma’s Son From The Future
Soon after Goku defeats Frieza, the tyrannical villain makes a return, this time on Earth. He is quickly defeated by Trunks, a mysterious fighter who also has the abuliyty to turn Super Saiyan.
Trunks is reveled to be Vegeta & Bulma’s son from the future. This is probably one of the most significant revelations in the series. Bulma is one of Dragon Ball’s original protagonists, while Vegeta was still kind of a villain at that point in the story. It was a significant development between what are now two of the series’ most important characters.
8 Gero Is From The Red Ribbon Army
Dr. Gero and Android 19 might’ve not been the most compelling villains in the series, but their presence is notable. Gero being linked to the Red Ribbon Army was a nice callback to the original series.
Goku pretty much dismantled the criminal organization as a child. The events surrounding the Red Ribbon Army Saga even introduced fans to Androids, which would come back much later and much stronger with the emergence of Gero.
7 Cell Is From The Future
As good as the Android and Cell Sagas were, their use of time travel could be somewhat confusing at times. Turns out Trunks isn’t the only time traveler in the series.
It is revealed that Cell too came from an alternate timeline, and did so by taking out that timeline’s Trunks.
6 Cell Absorbs Android 17 & 18
Androids 17 & 18 were set up to be the main antagonists of the Android Saga, and while that did more or less happen, they were overshadowed once Cell came into the picture.
Cell needed to absorb the two Androids in order to reach his complete form. He manages to do so, and in doing so became one of the strongest villains in the series at that point.
5 Gohan Turns Supper Saiyan 2 And Beats Cell
It’s a twist no one saw coming. Goku had long been the face of the franchise, but towards the end of the Cell Saga the attention shifted to Gohan. Gohan had long showed incredible potential, though he lacked the desire to fight hat his father and Vegeta possessed.
Gohan cemented himself as one of the series’ strongest characters with his ascension to Super Saiyan 2. Though he initially failed to beat Cell due to his arrogance, Gohan managed to make things work in what many think should have been the series’ end.
4 Majin Buu is Released
The build-up to Majin Buu really brought home how dangerous of a foe he was. Buu was sealed away for the early stages of the Majin Buu Saga, and his release was the first in a number of setbacks throughout that remaining arcs.
3 Majin Vegeta
Vegeta turning Majin was his greatest step back as a character. Though he still wasn’t the character we know now, Vegeta showed some great promise for growth following the defeat of Cell.
Him willingly letting himself be controlled for the sake of his ego was surprisingly out of character. Though fans did get a good fight out of it and Vegeta’s ensuing sacrifice helped make him the character everyone knows and loves today.
2 Kid Buu Destroys Earth
It’s something that’s threatened pretty often, but Kidd Buu actually went and did it. Fans are so used to seeing the heroes come on top that Kid Buu destroying the Earth came as a genuine shock. Things eventually get resolved sure, but the sequence of events happened so quickly that no one really saw it coming.
1 Goku Defeats Kid Buu With A Spirit Bomb
Though it was close, Goku managed to beat Kid Buu with the help of everyone on Earth. An expected result sure, but the way Goku did it wasn’t as easy to guess. Using the Spirit Bomb was a great throwback, and the time it took to gather the sufficient amount of energy needed to use it was genuinely nerve-racking.
Dragon Ball Z had tons of jaw dropping moments. Here's what they mean.