Often times in shonen anime, there are certain character archetypes that are commonly featured in different series and franchises. One such character is the arrogant tough guy who starts out as an antagonist before slowly crossing over to the good side. This type of character can be found in both the Yu-Gi-Oh and Dragon Ball franchises where Seto Kaiba and Vegeta exist.
While they have a lot of overlapping similarities between them, the two tough guys are certainly not identical in every way. At the end of the day, their similarities keep them relatable and their differences help them retain their own unique flare.
- Same: One Of The Best At What They Do
As worthy opponents and rivals to their protagonist counterparts, Kaiba and Vegeta thrive at what they do. Kaiba’s intellect allows him to excel as a duelist, while Vegeta’s love and talent for fighting make him one of the strongest warriors of the Dragon Ball franchise.
Yugi and Goku are two of the few people who stand in their way of being the best there is. Vegeta and Kaiba continuously strive to surpass their rivals, even after they begin to share the same goals.
2. Different: Valuing Dignity
While Kaiba and Vegeta are both quite cocky, there’s a stark difference between them when it comes to winning or losing. Kaiba is the type who wants to win at all costs, even if it means bending the rules in one way or another. For example, in one of his duels against Yugi, Kaiba threatened to fall to his death if Yugi did not let him win.
In contrast, Vegeta puts his pride and dignity above everything else. He’d rather lose a fair fight than win by someone pitying him.
3. Same: Soft Spots
Despite being characters who are often shown to be selfish and full of themselves, Kaiba and Vegeta have soft spots deep down for the people they care about.
Growing up as an orphan, Kaiba took his role seriously as Mokuba’s older brother and would protect him at all costs. In Vegeta’s case, the Saiyan was someone who came off as the selfish one. This changed after he met Bulma with whom he started a loving family.
4. Different: Relations To Wealthy Companies
Although Kaiba and Vegeta both have a link to wealthy companies in their respective worlds, the difference is in regards to how they are connected to the companies.
After being adopted into his rich adoptive family, Kaiba took over his adoptive father’s company as the new CEO and transformed it into one that centered around gaming. Vegeta, on the other hand, married Bulma, the daughter of Dr. Brief who created the widely successful Capsule Corporation.
5. Same: Cocky Personality
As with many shonen rivals, Kaiba and Vegeta are both quite arrogant about their talents and abilities. While they enjoy showing off, they actually have the means to back up their claims. Their cocky personalities can be linked to their shared motivation to become the best of the best.
Kaiba and Vegeta do not try to hide the fact they are powerful and that they know that fact, even if their arrogance can occasionally backfire.
6. Different: Smart & Strategic VS Brute Force
As an intelligent businessman and a powerful warrior, Kaiba and Vegeta naturally differ in how they approach dueling and fights. It is a normal consequence of living in universes that prioritize different things.
Because the game of Duel Monsters requires strategy, Kaiba needs to analyze and weigh his options before making a move. Meanwhile, Vegeta is quick to react with his fists and will not hesitate to take down anyone standing in his way with his monstrous strength.
7. Same: Rivals
After taking on their respective villainous roles, both Kaiba and Vegeta turned into life-long rivals for Yugi and Goku. After losing to the protagonists the first time, Kaiba and Vegeta sought to grow stronger and eventually defeat their rivals.
In addition, both Kaiba and Vegeta wish to be the best. Yugi and Goku serve as good motivation for them to work hard and hone their skills. Without their rivals, Kaiba and Vegeta might have never grown to be as strong as they would later become.
8. Different: Businessman VS Warrior
Seeing as though Kaiba and Vegeta come from two very different worlds, it’s only natural that their roles suit their own universe. In the Yu-Gi-Oh world where a simple card game is everything, Kaiba is the CEO of a corporation that specializes in technology for Duel Monsters.
In the Dragon Ball world, aliens, such as Saiyans, exist with superhuman powers and abilities. As a powerful Saiyan, Vegeta has taken on the role of one of the Z-fighters who help protect Earth.
9. Same: Not Quite Evil
Early on in both the Yu-Gi-Oh and Dragon Ball series, Kaiba and Vegeta served as temporary antagonists to Yugi and Goku. Kaiba once kidnapped Yugi’s grandfather and tore up his rare Blue-Eyes White Dragon card, prompting Yugi to duel him out of rage.
Meanwhile, Vegeta initially came to Earth with the intention of collecting the Dragon Balls and wishing for immortality. Both Kaiba and Vegeta were inevitably defeated by the protagonists, which pushed them toward a change of heart.
10. Different: Background
Growing up, Kaiba was an orphan with his little brother, Mokuba. He spent his childhood in an orphanage until he outsmarted a rich man who would eventually adopt him and his brother.
In contrast to Kaiba’s orphan story, Vegeta was born into royalty as the “Prince of all Saiyans.” This royal status is something that Vegeta would occasionally mention and take pride in throughout the series.