"Fine, Kakarot, you are the mightiest Saiyan, I've admitted that much. At least for now. But don't you dare think that this is over. I won't let you keep me in second place forever, feeding on the scraps of your glory. I will surpass you, and even then I'll keep pushing, I'll surpass every single warrior in the Universe. I won't stop until I'm the ultimate number one!" — Vegeta promising to surpass Goku, Dragon Ball Super
Vegeta is the prince of the fallen Saiyan race. Vegeta started off as a ruthless, cold-blooded killer, but over the course of Dragon Ball Z, after abandoning his role in the Frieza force, he evolved from a villain, to an anti-hero, to a hero and a defender of the Earth, especially in Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super. He is one of the main characters of the series, along with Goku, Gohan, Krillin, and Piccolo.
Why He Rocks
- Arguably has the greatest character development out of all the Dragon Ball characters, and also harbors the greatest rivalry with series protagonist Goku, having fierce competitive disposition towards him with the aim of surpassing his rival.
- Has a multi-layered personality. He is full of pride, and embraces every aspect of it, as a member of the warrior race, the Saiyans. But behind his cold, aloof exterior, lies a complex heart that gradually changes to that of gold the more his slide to heroism shows. Though stalwart about it, he is sometimes forced to swallow his pride to fight for a common cause, such as fusing with his rival.
- His pride not only gives him the drive to battle bigger challenges, but gives him a bulwark of stubbornness as he resists the will of those who try to manipulate him such as Babidi, granted that he never wants to beholden to anyone.
- Is known for some of the best one-liners and speeches in the series, from his dying breath on Namek to his berating Toppo for abandoning his principles to play god.
- Is one of the few non-deity characters to consistently be on par with or just below Goku in terms of power and skill. As a Saiyan, he grows exponentially stronger as he fights even tougher opponents and trains just as hard. Alongside his rival does he finally achieve the level of godhood.
- His unique, tactic-based fighting style, brutal moves, and explosive techniques, such as his planet-shattering Galick Gun, explosive Big Bang Attack, and his iconic Final Flash.
- Unlike Goku, Vegeta rarely shows any mercy in battle, and usually this is a benefit for the Z-Fighters, as Vegeta often eliminates serious threats. However, when he needs to, Vegeta has shown mercy, as was the case when he held back on Frost to avoid killing him and "stooping to his level, even if it was tempting".
- Vegeta has been shown to be willing to put his life on the line for others, even if he has to swallow his pride, such as when he sacrificed himself to kill Majin Buu, and nearly killed himself by eliminating Toppo.
- Vegeta has shown remarkable resilience before, recovering from a huge beatdown by Kid Buu, and turning Super Saiyan 2 right after. Similarly, even after being stabbed and knocked out by Goku Black, Vegeta was able to fire one last attack at Black and Zamasu, as a Super Saiyan Blue, before falling unconscious.
- Occasionally acts out of character for a good enough cause. Two huge examples are when he openly embarrassed himself in Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods to prevent Beerus from destroying the Earth and when, in Dragon Ball Super, he told Trunks a lie that Frieza had a change of heart. All of this shows that he is also capable of putting aside his pride if a threat even makes him realize it.
- He spawned the hilarious "It's Over 9000!!!" meme.
- Between the two Saiyans, Vegeta has often shown himself to be better than Goku in terms of character. He had more development and was fleshed out further on his journey to heroism. He was also much mature and smarter, and cares more about his family than Goku does. He was willing to put aside his pride to defend his wife and son. For a Saiyan, he is shown to have standards when not to go too far as to risk the universes just to look for a fight, as he often chastises Goku on the idea of fighting warriors across the 11 universes. Speaking of which, in many occasions does Vegeta rightfully scorn his rival for his idiocy. This is also ironic, as Vegeta is the most self-centered while Goku was kind-hearted, making him an inverted foil to the main protagonist.
- He shows a massive amount of respect and kinship towards fellow Saiyans, unwilling to let them show weakness and he often lectures them to toughen up, as with his relationship with the Universe 6 Saiyan, Cabba, and his son, Trunks.
- His pride and arrogance is a double-edged sword that often leads him to make horrible mistakes, such as allowing Cell to absorb Android 18 and reach his Perfect form. This usually results in losing horribly in battle. He also let Frieza destroy the planet, because he kept expositioning as he was about to do him in with a final energy blast.
- When he was still evil, he murdered innocent people on Namek in a violent quest to find the Dragon Balls, and much later when Babidi reverted him to his former self, he callously murdered spectators at the World Tournament arena in order to force Goku to fight him, which is cruel and unnecessary. What makes this even more questionable is that later on, he still cares for Trunks.
- He tends to overthink things in battle, and when things don't go his way, he resorts to a brasher, uncoordinated tactic. This also prevents him from achieving Ultra Instinct like Goku does, due to his rival's superior patience and calm demeanor.
- While he is still decent in Dragon Ball GT, he has been turned into a punching bag for villains, easily losing to them. Plus like everyone else, his design in that show is pretty bad.