Dragon Ball Super Confirms Krillin Characteristic With Meta Joke

A hilarious moment in Dragon Ball Super’s Tournament of Power confirms a key aspect of Krillin’s design. The character really doesn’t have a nose!

Dragon Ball Super has humorously confirmed that one of the anime’s most important characters, Krillin, has no nose. Krillin, who has been Goku’s best friend since they were children, has gone through some minor design changes over the years, but though he has evolved, his basic look has remained largely unchanged. Typically, Krillin is shown to be a short, bald man with six dots on his forehead (like a Shaolin monk) and, curiously, has no nose.

The anime has toyed with Krillin’s look in the past. After growing into an adult, it was revealed that though Krillin increased in size, he never reached the height of a normal male his age. In the Buu Saga of Dragon Ball Z, Krillin received a major update when he traded in his orange gi for casual clothing and grew hair. Krillin’s bald head was part of his trademark look; he kept his hair through part of Dragon Ball Super, but after shaving his head for the Tournament of Power, the character was finally restored to the status quo. So while the anime has been willing to make some changes to Krillin’s design, one thing that’s remained constant is the fact that Krillin has always been drawn without a nose.

During Dragon Ball Super’s Tournament of Power, Android 18 is facing off against Universe 2’s team leader, Ribrianne, a character who speaks often about beauty and love. When she looks up into the stands and realizes that one of the defeated fighters on Goku’s team, Krillin, is Android 17’s husband, she expresses disgust, and exclaims that “he isn’t handsome at all! He doesn’t even have a nose!” This moment hilariously confirms that this physical characteristic about Krillin is real, and not just an aspect of his animation style.

This reference is easily one of the franchise’s best fourth-wall-breaking jokes, and though it’s never been mentioned, it has come up before. In the original Dragon Ball, Krillin was up against a caveman-like adversary named Bacterian in the martial arts world tournament. Krillin struggled against Bacterian, due to his opponent’s overwhelming stench. Krillin was losing until Goku reminded him that he didn’t have a nose. Keeping this in mind, Krillin was able to defeat Bacterian. It amounted to a fun moment that acknowledged an abnormality in Krillin’s design.

The scene with Ribrianne in Dragon Ball Super reminds fans that what happened in Dragon Ball was more than just a joke. Krillin’s design is actually canon, which is certainly an interesting detail about one of the Dragon Ball franchise’s most beloved heroes. While some have poked fun at Krillin for his lack of a nose, it’s become an important facet of his design that has grown on fans.

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