Ranking Every DBZ Saga From Best to Worst

Goku and his companions in the DBZ series are some of the most recognizable figures in animated television; their story has influenced just about every shonen anime that came after it. While DBZ is unarguably beloved, not every arc – here called a saga – is created equal.

Is it important to prioritize gradually-paced character development, or does bombastic action summarize everything mesmerizing about Dragon Ball Z? Some sagas feature terrifying villains, badass fight scenes, and moving instances of personal growth, but others are a little uninspiring.

  1. Frieza Saga

As the title suggests, the Frieza Saga portrays the battle with one of DBZ’s most notorious villains. One of the things that makes Frieza so memorable is his personal connection to both Goku and Vegeta—he’s the one who blew up their planet, and this saga deals with their response to that destruction. 

2. Cell Games Saga

The Cell Games Saga is where Cell really shows off his powers. He does this by hosting a fighting tournament where he gives participants the opportunity to defeat him.

It all backfires when Gohan actually does successfully take him down—though Mr. Satan ends up taking the credit.

3. Perfect Cell Saga

The Perfect Cell Saga is all about power-ups. Cell attempts to transform into Perfect Cell while the Saiyans undergo intense training to become Super Saiyans. It’s an intense arc with action that will make viewers’ hearts pound in their chests.

4. Saiyan Saga

Vegeta and Nappa arrive on Earth, leading to an epic battle between Goku and Vegeta. During this battle, Vegeta almost gets killed, but Goku decides to spare his life because he’s never fought someone so strong, and he wants to have a lifetime foe.

It’s the start of a beautiful friendship. This saga also introduces Goku’s brother Raditz, although it’s more remembered for the fight with Nappa and Vegeta.

5. Androids Saga

This saga focuses on the threat of Androids who want to destroy the planet.

The arc also sees Future Trunks tell Goku he’s going to die of a heart virus. This introduces a totally new kind of conflict for the DBZ heroes, as they’ve never dealt with a health crisis before.

6. Trunks Saga

Though it’s only eight episodes long, the Trunks Saga contains some very important information about the DBZ plot as a whole.

Future Trunks appears, informs Goku he’s going to die of a heart virus if he doesn’t take action, then kills Frieza – a major villain – and warns the Z-Fighters of an stealthy threat looming on the horizon: the Android Invasion.

7. Kid Buu Saga

The final saga of Dragon Ball Z is one of the series’s most dramatic. Kid Buu is a daunting opponent who is seemingly impossible to defeat, and it takes the combined efforts of everyone on Earth to take him down.

While it’s clear the show won’t end with the Earth destroyed, this saga still creates ruccus because it’s hard to imagine how that tragic fate can be avoided.

8. Namek Saga

The Namek Saga covers the Earthling protagonist’s first foray into outer space, taking viewers to Namek, Piccolo’s home planet.

Not only does it feature an exciting setting change and some insight into Piccolo’s background, but the story arc also shows Vegeta teaming up with his former enemies to take on new opponents like Frieza’s henchmen and the Ginyu Force. 

9. Majin Buu Saga

The Majin Buu Saga introduces the formal villain, a dangerous alien who is motivated by the amusement he derives from destroying things and the fear of being punished by evil wizards Babidi and Bibidi.

This saga also introduces the third form Super Saiyans can take, as well as the concepts of fusion and transformation that are further explored later. 

10. Imperfect Cell Saga

The cell is one of the most grotesque villains in Dragon Ball Z (or any anime for that matter), and the Imperfect Cell Saga is the first to focus on him.

Here, Cell’s trying to absorb the Androids to move closer to his Perfect form, and the Z Fighters are trying to make sure of his failure.

11. World Tournament Saga

The World Tournament Saga is a little more eased than previous sagas. Rather than a life-or-death battle, it features a tournament that characters willingly participate in.

There’s a face-off between Trunks and Goten, who don’t take it as seriously as their fathers probably wish they did. Meanwhile, the seeds for upcoming plotlines are sown. 

12. Fusion Saga

The Fusion Saga further explores the fusion process introduced during the Majin Buu Saga. Fusion involves two people physically merging into one body, resulting in spectacular new powers.

To achieve fusion, synchronized dancing is required. Watching Goku try to persuade Vegeta to do it – while Vegeta protests by saying he’s a warrior, not a ballerina – makes us chuckle and the whole saga worth watching.

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