The Dragon Ball franchise is a Japanese media giant created by Akira Toriyama. Being the media giant that it is, there is a vast history of Dragon Ball. It started with the Dragon Ball manga which made its debut in November of 1984. It ran until May 1995, resulting in 519 epic chapters. Bear in mind, this also includes what is seen in the Dragon Ball Z anime series. Within the first years of the production of the manga, the series became incredibly successful. The results in TOEI Animation pursuing a Dragon Ball anime series, which made its debut in 1986. It ran until 1989, the same year that Dragon Ball Z made its debut. Dragon Ball Z aired until 1996.
With this vast history of Dragon Ball comes a wide array of characters and character development. The Dragon Ball anime introduced a lot of characters and many of them became prominent figures in Dragon Ball Z, such as Krillin. Others took on a more secondary role, such as Master Roshi. There were also countless characters who were completely absent in Dragon Ball Z. If you were to keep track of a list of every primary, secondary, and tertiary characters throughout the franchise, you’d easily reach the hundreds.
With the hundreds of characters found in the Dragon Ball franchise, it might be difficult to keep track of them. There were some characters who showed an impressive amount of strength, and others were laughably disappointing. These are 20 characters who seem strong but are actually totally weak.
20 One Blast Away
If you could not tell from his name, Giran is Giras. In the Dragon Ball universe, Giras are a race of monster beasts that resemble pterodactyls. Giran made it as one of the eight finalists in the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament where all of the world’s best fighters come to fight. In the anime, Giran is kind of a jerk. He almost starts a full-on bar fight after Goku stole his fried chicken. I guess that makes Goku kind of a jerk in this instance too. Goku and Giran are able to finally battle it out in the tournament, and Goku eventually comes out winning pretty unscathed. Later on in the series, Goku actually defeats several Giras in a fight. Giran makes a spall appearance in Dragon Ball Z where he was ended from Super Buu’s Genocide Blast.
19 Try, Try Again
General Blue is a high-ranking officer (if you couldn’t tell from his name) in the Red Ribbon Army and is the leader of the Blue Corps. He is not just any ordinary general; he also has powerful psychic abilities. Blue has the appearance of a tall, blond-haired, blue eyed handsome man. If that wasn’t enough, he also has a pretty muscular build. General Blue is tasked with ending Goku, which we already know he was not very successful at.
In one-on-one fights with Goku, General Blue did not stand a chance.
Goku has even broken out of Blue’s telekinesis at times. In another occasion, General Blue was chasing Goku in his aircraft but managed to crash into a mountain. He has gotten close to finishing off Goku a couple of times, but he never managed to be successful.
18 The Weak Link
Guldo makes an appearance in the Frieza Saga of the Dragon Ball Z anime. He is also present in the Dragon Ball manga. He is a member of the Ginyu Force, the team that was personally hired by Frieza to deal with Vegeta and the others. Guldo is short and a little chubby. He has a few fascinating abilities. Guldo can stop time for as long as he can hold his breath. That would make him a pretty powerful support for the Ginyu Force, but it seemed like Guldo’s abilities were not as much use in their fight against the Z Fighters. Guldo was easily defeated by a blast from Chiaotzu, not before he was humiliated for his bad breath. Unfortunately, Guldo’s seemingly powerful abilities were never put to good use.
17 Just Some Filler
Mr. Lao is a human earthling who appeared in a Dragon Ball Z filler episode. He is an old man who works as a store owner, but he is also something of a martial artist. He runs into Gohan, who ends up chopping some wood for Mr. Lao. Mr Lao’s granddaughter claimed that Cell was near the protective dome in Chazke Village. Mr. Borbonne, the mayor of the city, hid inside the dome and did not let anyone inside.
Mr. Lao defeated some of his men.
He was not a match for Mercenary Tao who was hired to protect the mayor. Gohan comes to save the day, and easily defeats Mercenary Tao. Gohan also destroys the protective dome and explains that Cell could have destroyed it just as easily.
16 Bringing It To A New Level
Ranfan was a competitor in the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament. However, Ranfan proved to be an unconventional fighter. Ranfan is not powerful in the traditional sense, but she was able to cleverly use her sex appeal to her advantage. She was able to use these tactics to get to the quarter finals in the tournament, which is pretty impressive. Ranfan ended up fighting against Nam. She was able to distract Nam and get a few good hits in. She even stripped down to her pink underwear, which proved distracting for Nam. Ranfan took Nam close to the edge of the ring, but Nam was able to jump over her and knock her out. While Ranfan is clever, it did not appear that she was a very powerful opponent.
15 The Friendly Dragon
Icarus is similar to Giran in that Icarus is also a beast-like monster. Icarus happens to be a young purple dragon. One would initially expect a dragon to be relatively powerful or at least a little bit hostile. On the contrary, Icarus is actually one of Gohan’s closest non-human friends.
He’s also harmless.
Icarus might be glossed over by a lot of fans because his first anime appearance was in the Garlic Jr. Saga, which was more or less a filler saga. Even though he shies away from combat, Icarus does his fair share of supporting. He has managed to save both Gohan and Maron. Icarus also made an appearance in the Trunks Saga. Unfortunately, we do not know what happened to Icarus after his appearance in the Trunks Saga.
14 Defeated By A Weakling
Pintar is another fighter that competed at the World Martial Arts Tournament. Pintar first made his debut as a competitor in the 24th World Martial Arts Tournament, where he apparently made it all the way to the semi-finals. Pintar’s appearance is how I would imagine Majin Buu if he was human and Arabic. Pintar is a relatively large Arabic-looking man. At the 25th World Martial Arts Tournament, Pintar battled against Krillin. Pintar was pretty rude to Krillin and made fun of his short stature. Krillin is a relatively skilled fighter, and Pintar’s taunts annoyed Krillin. He was able to end the fight against Pintar fairly quickly. If Krillin was weak enough to make this list, it would only make sense that Pintar is always awarded a spot.
13 It's All In The Family
Raditz is the first main antagonist of the Dragon Ball Z anime. He’s also a Saiyan, and happens to be the biological brother of Goku. He was one of the last known Saiyans alive, including Vegeta, Nappa, and Goku.
Despite being Goku’s brother, he wasn’t a very nice guy
Unlike Goku’s earthling sensibilities, Raditz wanted to destroy a few planets. The power level of Raditz is estimated to be around 1,500. That’s pretty strong, and would be enough to take out Krillin at the very least. However, Goku’s power level is several thousands more. Vegeta’s power level also soars way past that later in the anime. Raditz is essentially a weakling compared to those guys. Goku uses comical strategies to take down Raditz, including grabbing his tail and using a full nelson. To be fair, Goku does end up dying after this fight.
12 Downed In One Fell Swoop
Recoome is one of the stronger members of the Ginyu Force. As explained before, Frieza hired the Ginyu Force after his own henchmen were deemed incompetent. Recoome was perhaps the most flamboyant member of the Ginyu Force and would often strike a humorous pose. Recoome practiced dance as a child, which made him agile despite his large and muscular frame. One of Recoome’s first opponents was Vegeta, and he was able to defeat him without taking too much damage. After taking out Vegeta, Krillin, and Gohan, Goku arrives and defeats him in a single blow. This not only displayed how weak Recoome was in comparison to Goku, it also showed how weak the rest of the crew was in comparison. It might not be fair to compare someone to Goku, but being taken down with a single blow is humiliating.
11 Doesn't Compare
Hercule, or Mr. Satan, can only be described as the epitome of a character who appears to be strong but is actually weak. Don’t get me wrong, Hercule is not as weak as other characters in the series, but he simply does not compare to any of the Z Fighters.
Hercule was the World Martial Arts Champion and one of the strongest humans on Earth.
This title was earned while Goku and other powerful fighters were battling on Namek. When Cell organized the Cell Games to show off his power, Hercule boasted on television about his strength. As one would expect, Hercule was no problem for Cell. Despite his humiliating loss, Hercule insisted that he had slipped and his stomach pains were preventing him from a rematch.
10 There As Support
Even though Yajirobe might have a stout appearance, one cannot help but notice the sword that he keeps at his side. Someone wielding a sword is bound to be at least a little bit powerful. Yajirobe happens to be a samurai and is skilled with his katana. Unfortunately, he is not very strong when compared to some of the other Z Fighters. Yajirobe spends his time with Korin at Korin Tower and has played a significant role at times. When the Z Fighters get seriously injured and needs healing, they typically visit Yajirobe who hooks them up with some Senzu Beans. Senzu Beans possess great rejuvenation properties. He also typically wants to avoid any direct conflict and ends up fitting nicely into his more supportive role. Some might call him a coward, but others might call him careful and intelligent.
9 Not At Full Power
Captain Ginyu was the leader of the Ginyu Force and one of the main antagonists of the Frieza Saga. Captain Ginyu is a pretty strong looking guy. Aside from his giant muscular frame, he has veins at the top of his head and two giant horns. There’s nothing that screams “strong” like two giant horns. The team was personally hired by Frieza, and they actually do well compared to Frieza’s own henchmen.
The Ginyu Force actually end up ending Krillin and Gohan.
To be fair, it’s not as if Krillin is really strong and Gohan was not yet strong either. Once Ginyu reached Goku, he quickly realized that he was no match for him. Goku was not even using his full power for the entire fight, and he only had a small fraction of the strength that he will obtain in the whole series. For this reason, it can be deduced that Captain Ginyu is relatively weak.
8 He's Only Human
Everyone loves Krillin. He has been in the series since nearly the beginning of Dragon Ball, where he became friends with Goku and trained under Master Roshi. He is also known as one of the most powerful human martial artists on Earth, much like Mr. Satan. He also appears pretty strong despite his short stature. Unfortunately, he quickly becomes outclassed in Dragon Ball Z. In fact, Krillin becomes a comic relief character and frequently loses his life or gets seriously hurt. There's Dragon Ball, where Krillin was ended by Tambourine. In Dragon Ball Z, Krillin is first ended by Frieza. Later, Krillin is ended by Super Buu, who turned him into chocolate and ate him. He is also later ended by Android 17. Krillin was even ended in an alternate timeline. He just can’t catch a break.
7 A Fall From Grace
In theory, Chiaotzu should be powerful. He’s a psychic martial artist who displays a great deal of bravery at times. However, his appearance is not too impressive. He’s a small nose-less humanoid with plain white skin and cute red cheeks.
In the Dragon Ball anime, Chiaotzu actually was pretty powerful.
He traveled with Tien, his partner, and collected rewards from various villages for fake monster invasions they set up. He was also the student of Master Roshi’s rival, Master Shen. Unfortunately, his experience as a martial artist was not as impressive in Dragon Ball Z, in which everyone seemed much stronger. In the fight against Vegeta and Nappa, Chiaotzu did not stand a chance. He attached himself to Nappa and blew himself up, but it did not affect Nappa in the slightest.
6 He Truly Tried His Best
Nam’s only appearance in Dragon Ball Z is when he has a brief cameo in which he was ended by Majin Buu in a giant explosion. That should give you a little bit of insight into his strength. Nam is a character in the original Dragon Ball series during the Tournament Saga. He was strong enough to be among the finalists in the World Martial Arts Tournament. As you’ve read earlier, he fought against Ranfan and nearly lost. He was able to pull through though and was able to fight Goku. It was an intense fight, but Goku won in the end. It was tragic because Nam was competing in order to purchase water for his people who suffered a draught. Don’t worry: Master Roshi was kind enough to give Nam a capsule to store enough water to transport.
5 Quickly Became Outclassed
Tien is one more powerful earthling from the original Dragon Ball series. He was partnered with Chiaotzu. As you know, Chiaotzu and Tien collected rewards from various villages for fake monster invasions they set up before being stopped by Goku. Tien has a strong muscular build and has unique powers.
Tien’s powers are due to him being a descendent of the Three-Eyed People.
They have the power to grow arms from their back, split into four people, and shoot laser beams from their third eye. Tien trained with Master Shen, where he lost some of his innate abilities, but he also became trained in martial arts. Tien had some good battles with young Goku, but becomes completely outclassed in Dragon Ball Z. At least Tien did not lose his life as much as other characters.
4 At Least He's Fast
Colonel Silver did not actually have a large role in the Dragon Ball manga, but had a significant role in the anime series. Colonel Silver was (as you could guess) a high-ranking official of the Red Ribbon Army. He could sometimes be found without his shirt. Silver was depicted as a strong and well-disciplined fighter. He has easily defeated several professional boxers. He is also very agile. Silver’s skills are why he was tasked with finding a Dragon Ball, which brought him into conflict with Goku. They were both pursing the same Dragon Ball. During his first run-in with Goku, he was defeated easily. Despite being defeated, Silver was able to display some of his redeeming qualities. His superhuman speed caught Goku slightly off guard, but it simply was not enough.
3 Nobody Wants To Be Eaten
Yamcha is one of Goku’s earliest friends. They met in episode 5 of the Dragon Ball anime series, where Yamcha is a teenage bandit. He actually managed to defeat Goku the first time they met, and might have finished him off if it were not for Bulma stepping in. Did I mention Yamcha had a fear of women? To be fair for Goku, he was fighting on an empty stomach. After following Goku and Bulma for a while, Yamcha becomes a friend and love interest for Bulma. In Dragon Ball Z, Yamcha had less luck.
Not only did he lose Bulma to Vegeta, Yamcha was outclassed by the Saiyans and Piccolo.
In the first saga, Yamcha was ended by a weak Saibaman which self-destructed. Yamcha was also eaten by Super Buu after being turned into chocolate.
2 A Fallen Former Master
Master Roshi is a gross old man, but he trained Goku. He was also a fairly impressive character in Dragon Ball. As an example of his capabilities, Master Roshi’s MAX Power Kamehameha was able to destroy the Ox-King’s entire castle by accident. Master Roshi himself had enrolled in a World Martial Arts Tournament and defeated Yamcha, Krillin, and Goku. Before defeating Goku, Master Roshi actually destroyed the moon by throwing a Kamehameha at it so Goku would not turn into a Great Ape. Unfortunately, Master Roshi was not as significant or strong in Dragon Ball Z. He was resigned into a supportive role and became a frequent spectator of the ridiculous predicaments the Z Fighters found themselves in. He has no impulse to fight or leave his island.
1 That's A Nappa That
Nappa was one of the last remaining Saiyans, including Raditz, Goku, and Vegeta. Before the Saiyans were ended, Nappa was a high ranking official and a direct subordinate to Prince Vegeta. As such, Nappa should have been pretty powerful. To be fair, Nappa did display a great deal of power in his brief time in the series. For example, he blew up an entire city with ease.
In his fight with Tien, Nappa was able to break Tien’s arm in one punch.
Nappa forced Chiaotzu to self-destruct himself and Nappa was barely hurt. Despite these shows of strength, Nappa proved himself to be weak compared to the likes of Goku. Nappa was defeated by Goku and executed by Vegeta. Considering that Goku only had a fraction of the strength he had by the end of the series, Nappa must have been pretty weak.