Dabura, the King of the Demon Realm, was one of Dragon Ball Z’s most interesting villains, but he was unfortunately wasted in the anime.
Dragon Ball Z completely wasted one of its most interesting villains with its Dabura story in the Buu Saga. Dabura was the King of the Demon Realm and the wielder of a powerful sword. A unique ability of his is that he could turn people into stone by spitting on them – but his story could’ve been better in the anime.
In Dragon Ball Z, Dabura was an antagonist who battled the Z-Warriors prior to the awakening of Majin Buu. As indicated by the “Majin” symbol on his forehead, Dabura was under the control of the sorcerer Babidi, whose primary mission was to unleash Buu on the world. Dabura, the strongest of Babidi’s underlings, proved himself to be on the level of Cell and pushed Gohan to his limit. Following an intense standoff between Dabura and Super Saiyan Gohan and the release of Majin Buu, Dabura was forced to fight Buu. Dabura was betrayed by Buu and Babidi and subsequently killed. Dabura was later seen in Otherworld with the other victims of Buu’s rampage.
Dabura made another brief appearance in Dragon Ball Super in a flashback that explored Future Trunks’ handling of Majin Buu in his timeline. It was revealed that in his future, Trunks defeated Dabura and prevented Buu from ever becoming a threat. This was the extent of Dabura’s role in the Dragon Ball franchise, but there was so much more than the anime could have done with the demon lord. Here’s how Dragon Ball Z wasted Dabura, how it could have been better, and how the next anime can fix the problem.
Dragon Ball Z Wasted Dabura (& Could Have Brought Him Back)
Dabura, who effortlessly killed Kibito and disposed of Krillin and Piccolo with his spit, was a formidable and ruthless adversary of the Z-Warriors. But unfortunately, he wasn’t used to his full potential. The entire time Dabura was alive, Dragon Ball Z kept Dabura under Babidi’s control, which is disappointing. The anime established that Dabura was the king of the Demon Realm. A character with this sort of reputation certainly doesn’t sound like a secondary villain, but that’s essentially how he was utilized. Dabura was nothing more than a minion of Babidi. A character who runs his own dimension and likely leads an army of powerful demons could have stood on his own as the main villain in a Dragon Ball saga. Reducing Demon King Dabura to the role of a side villain was a waste of one of the show’s most menacing characters.
Furthermore, Dragon Ball Z deliberately passed on an opportunity to bring back Dabura. When the Dragon Balls were gathered to restore all the people killed by Buu, Vegeta carefully worded his wish in a way that avoided the resurrection of the wicked. Vegeta specifically said he didn’t want Babidi and Dabura to come back. This was Dragon Ball Z’s chance to leave the door open for his return, but the anime didn’t take it. And, presumably, Dabura is still dead.
How Non-Canon Dragon Ball Installments Have Used Dabura Better
The Dragon Ball video games are indicative of how much better the franchise could have handled Dabura. The games took the line about Dabura being the king of the Demon Realm and used it to create a number of stories across several different games. The story of Dragon Ball: Xenoverse and Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2 leaned heavily on this unseen corner of the Dragon Ball universe and introduced Mira and Towa, the latter of which being the sister of Dabura. These two characters became central antagonists in both Xenoverse games. These representatives of the Demon Realm traveled to Earth and began meddling with the timestream. Dabura became involved as well, as he sought revenge on the Z-Warriors once they defeated his sister.
Dabura, who gained a new transformation called the Demon God form, was also an antagonist in the Dragon Ball Heroes games and manga, where the Demon Realm was a key setting. Aside from Mira and Tora, Dabura and the Demon Realm have given rise to a handful of popular non-canon characters, such as Demigra, Mechikabura, and Fu. Some of these characters have been used in the Dragon Ball Heroes webisodes; the Demon Realm has a lot of storytelling potential, and that’s made clear by how much the video games have pulled from it.
How The Next Dragon Ball Anime Can Use Dabura
Is it too late for the franchise to fix its Dabura problem? With the right story, the next anime could still bring him back. In Dragon Ball Super’s Golden Frieza Saga, Frieza was resurrected by loyal members of the Frieza Force. Something similar could always happen with Dabura at some point in the future. The anime filler created a potential problem by having Dabura adopt a peaceful personality in Otherworld once he was free of Babidi’s control, but it could be that once he’s resurrected and sent back to the Demon Realm, his evil side will start to show again. Alternatively, it’s possible that Dabura was brought back when Vegeta made his wish. Vegeta didn’t want Dabura to be restored when he asked for only good people to be resurrected, but he may not have known that at the time, Dabura was not an evil being. A later event could see Dabura go down a darker road.
Dabura was only as strong as Cell in the Buu Saga, but given enough training, his power could get a significant boost if and when he returns. It should also be noted that Dabura was mind-controlled when he fought Gohan. It would certainly be interesting to see what he would offer as a villain if he were the one in charge. That could happen if Dabura is given the opportunity to resume his role as king of the Demon Realm. Venturing into the Demon Realm could be a good direction for the franchise to go. Dragon Ball Supersaw Goku and the Z-Warriors battle a God of Destruction, a Kai, enemies from other universes, and more. Goku has already gone up against the strongest fighters in seven other universes. Goku and Vegeta are running out of powerful opponents to fight in their own dimension, but a proper introduction into the Demon Realm and the return of Dabura could open up a whole new world for the Z-Warriors to explore.