The First 10 Characters Vegeta Killed

Dragon Ball doesn’t shy away from death, but the amount of characters Vegeta kills in such a short amount of time is almost staggering.

Raditz’s introduction marks a major turning point for Dragon Ball. Tonally, narratively, & thematically, Raditz brings with him changing winds that fundamentally alter the series for the rest of its run. Through Raditz, Goku is faced with a challenge that he simply cannot overcome through strength along. Only in death can Goku defeat Raditz, but it comes with the revelation that Goku’s dearly departed brother was only one of three Saiyans– and the weakest at that.

Vegeta, who’s later revealed to be the Prince of all Saiyans in the Namek arc, serves as Goku’s greatest challenge yet (while an excellent foil.) Following the Saiyan arc, Vegeta goes on to become a major player on Namek, albeit keeping his villainous edge. Dragon Ball doesn’t shy away from death, but the amount of characters Vegeta kills in such a short amount of time is almost staggering. Vegeta kills ten on-screen before he even leaves Namek.

1. Jeice

Bearing witness to Goku’s unfathomable power, Jeice flees the scene in order to inform Captain Ginyu of what’s transpired. Goku doesn’t fight Jeice, fighting Ginyu instead, but this results in him briefly losing his body to the Captain. During this time, Ginyu-Goku attacks Gohan & Krillin, but quickly discovers he doesn’t know how to use any of Goku’s advanced techniques.

Given a Senzu by Goku, Vegeta’s also gained another power boost, and while it’s not enough for him to contend with Frieza, it is enough for him to go from shaking in fear to killing Jeice with a single blast. It’s amazing what almost dying can do for a Saiyan.

2. Burter

Vegeta never actually gets to fight Burter himself, but he does end up cleaning up Goku’s mess when all is said and done. Upon defeating Burter with next to no effort (courtesy of the Kaioken,) Goku deliberately does not finish the Ginyu Force off. While Goku has no qualms killing, there are two important details to consider: he shows more mercy after training with God and he likes to spare strong foes.

Vegeta killing Burter (and Recoome) not only directly contrasts him with Goku, it plays off the themes of nature vs nurture introduced in the Saiyan arc. Goku– a Saiyan raised on Earth– doesn’t instinctively kill, whereas Vegeta– a Saiyan born and raised on Planet Vegeta– is representative of Saiyan culture as a whole.

3. Recoome

Even though Vegeta is strong enough to kill Gurd, he’s nothing in the face of Recoome. For what it’s worth, Vegeta puts up one hell of a fight– engaging in choreography that sees him flying all around Namek. Unfortunately, Vegeta’s best does nothing but scuff Recoome up, which does the Prince no favors.

Incessed, Recoome essentially does to Vegeta what Vegeta did to him but much, much worse. The fact Vegeta doesn’t die is a miracle in and of itself as both Gohan & Krillin come dangerously close. Once Goku shows up and defeats Recoome, Vegeta wastes no time in obliterating his knocked-out body.

4. Gurd

The Ginyu Special Force end up presenting themselves as comic relief while on Namek, but this doesn’t mean they don’t put up a fight. In fact, it’s the duality between their humor and visceral action that makes this portion of the arc really stand out. Treating combat like a competition, the Ginyu Force play roshambo to decide who fights who.

Gurd ends up fighting Gohan & Krillin, and while they put up a good fight (nearly defeating him in the process,) Gurd’s time stop abilities & telekinesis gives him an advantage that’s difficult to overcome. Gurd nearly kills Gohan & Krillin when Vegeta lops his head off with a clean strike.

5. Zarbon

With Appule dead, Frieza’s Dragon Balls stolen, and power beyond belief, Vegeta’s overwhelming strength allows him to finish off Frieza’s army once and for all. Even with his transformation, Zarbon can’t keep up with Vegeta. Vegeta’s newfound strength and speed make an utter fool out of Zarbon, and it’s not long before Zarbon joins Dodoria in death.

Vegeta’s power boost should stack the cards in his favor, but just as he’s about to confront Gohan & Krillin, the Ginyu Special Force arrive. Keeping in mind that Vegeta’s gotten two major boosts in power since Earth, and the fact he stops himself in fear the moment he feels the Ginyu’s Ki signature makes for a chilling moment.

6. Appule

Vegeta has a good go of things when he arrives on Namek. He even manages to whittle down Frieza’s army to just Appule and Zarbon. Unfortunately, the benefits Vegeta got while on Earth aren’t enough to take on a transformed Zarbon and he’s beaten into submission. Zarbon intelligently leaves Vegeta to die, but Frieza demands Vegeta be brought back.

Frieza should have known healing Vegeta would be a bad idea as the Prince gets enough power boost and ends up killing Appule– a loyal footsoldier– in the process. Appule isn’t much of a character, but his death should never be forgotten.

7. Countless Namekian

The early Namek arc has some fun putting Vegeta in the limelight. He’s significantly stronger than both Gohan & Krillin, allowing him to take on Frieza’s forces comfortably, and his villainy gives Dragon Ball an edge it often lacks. That said, Vegeta spends most of the early Namek arc fighting villains.

As if to convey to the audience that Vegeta has in no way reformed, he ends up slaughtering an entire Namekian village for their Dragon Ball. Interestingly, Dragon Ball Super’s recent Moro arc has taken it upon itself to confront this plot point directly and try to reconcile the atrocities of Vegeta’s past with his now reformed mindset.

8. Dodoria

During the first act of the Namek arc, Frieza is accompanied by Dodoria and Zarbon at essentially all times. They only leave their side when it’s time for them to fly off to their deaths (both against Vegeta, coincidentally.) While Gohan and Krillin initially confront Dodoria, it’s made painfully clear they’re out of their element.

The two are forced to retreat with no means to fight back for the time being. Thankfully, Vegeta’s around to clean Namek up. He may not be working with Gohan and Krillin yet, but Vegeta killing Dodoria as effortlessly as he does ends up taking a crucial pair of eyes off the Earthlings.

9. Cui

Raditz’s introduction brings with it Battle Power– otherwise known as Power Levels– a concept which becomes more important once the main cast blast off into outer space. With Vegeta gaining the point of view, Cui is introduced as a rival of sorts. Both had around the same Battle Power when Vegeta left for Earth and Cui is set up as a foil for Vegeta on Namek.

But that’s just set up. In execution, Cui’s life and death is used as a means to convey how Saiyans get stronger near-death. Vegeta’s beating on Earth was humiliating, but it’s allowed him to surpass Cui completely– killing his former rival as if he were nothing.

10. Nappa

Whether it be careful planning on Toriyama’s part or just dumb luck that worked out in his favor, Vegeta does not personally kill anyone during the Saiyan Invasion. He’s absolutely responsible for everyone’s deaths, but never seeing him kill an established main character on-screen helps in making his “redemption” palatable.

Which isn’t to say Vegeta doesn’t try (Goku, Gohan, Krillin, & Yajirobe were all on his radar) or just kill someone outright. Disappointed in Nappa’s performance against Goku, Vegeta kills his right hand man, believing that a Saiyan who can’t fight is no Saiyan at all. It’s a moment that shows while Goku and Vegeta are both obsessed with strength, only the former has a healthy relationship with it.

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