Ask any anime fan about the series that kindled their interest in this particular niche, and chances are that Dragon Ball Z will be the name that the majority of these people will cite as the show that broke their cherry and introduced them to the brilliant world of Japanese animation. It's easy to see why this the case — for many people outside Japan, Dragon Ball Z was their first glimpse of the wonders that anime could bring. It's funny how nobody had any idea that the series was actually a sequel to an established show that was quite different in terms of the tonality. Instead of the adventure vibes that Dragon Ball sported, Dragon Ball Z took a completely different route and embraced what shonen was all about.
At this point, talking about the popularity of Dragon Ball Z feels almost redundant — everyone already knows about the blistering rate at which this series picked up steam all over the world. The fanbase of this series has exploded by leaps and bounds to the point where numerous re-releases and a long-awaited sequel have also come out to both critical and commercial success... albeit with a few bumps in the road.
Thus, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that each and every episode of this series has been dissected by fans to the point where every hidden detail has been fleshed out into credible theories that make even the most ardent fans scratch their heads at, as they weigh the options. So, here are 25 of these Dragon Ball Z fan theories that are absolutely impossible... and yet, somewhat believable as well.
24 Chi-Chi Hates Goku Because He’s Romantically Detached
Of all the words that can be used to describe Goku, one adjective that certainly won't be used is "romantic." It's a quality that's sorely missing in Goku, which is quite sad since he's married.
But if you think that this is just sad, then imagine what Chi-Chi might be feeling.
She's signed off the rest of her life to a person who isn't even at home for the most part and doesn't do anything when he is. It sounds incredibly boring, and most probably is.
23 Chi-Chi Might’ve Had Gohan And Goten With Someone Else
This dissonance in Goku and Chi-Chi's relationship certainly isn't great by any means. It contributes to an unhealthy environment that makes people question how they even participated in the "process" — for lack of a better word — of making a baby.
Well, chances are that these kids might not even be Goku's.
After all, it's not like Goku is even at home, to begin with. This, coupled with the dynamics of a dysfunctional relationship, might mean that Chi-Chi sired Gohan and Goten with a third party.
Even thinking about this is just plain disturbing.
22 Gohan Has The Potential To Become The Strongest Saiyan Of All Time
Speaking of Gohan, it's time to talk about the untapped potential that he showed in the Cell Saga, only for it to slowly fade in the Buu Saga before disappearing entirely by the time Dragon Ball Super came out.
Gohan's battle aptitude is second to none.
If inheriting the battle mentality of his father (regardless of who it might be) wasn't enough as is, his intelligence also means that he could integrate a tactical aspect in his fights, making him even more lethal.
21 It Was Gohan’s Destiny To Defeat Cell
We briefly touched upon the Cell Saga in the previous entry — an arc that's considered by many to be the best part of Dragon Ball Z. One of the major reasons why this is the case is Gohan's memorable transformation into an Ascended Super Saiyan, more commonly known as a Super Saiyan 2.
This was bound to happen either way — Gohan had a dream in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber about a Perfect form of Cell way before the organism even achieved this form. Their fight was written in the stars from the get-go.
20 Gohan Was Supposed To Be The Main Character After The Cell Saga
Gohan's buildup in the Cell Saga was nothing short of legendary, and fans would've honestly been fine with the idea of him taking over the reign's after Goku's demise — again. However, while this plan was in the works, it was scrapped later on.
Instead, Goku ended up coming back again, while Gohan slowly faded away over time. It's a sad turn of events, although — as per rumors — it was Toriyama himself who decided against this development.
19 Gohan Was Also Supposed To Fuse With His Own Dad During The Buu Saga
While plans for making Gohan the main character was scrapped, the fact of the matter is that he was still supposed to play a way bigger role in the Buu Saga as well. While he certainly did have substantial screen time, chances were that he could've had a bit more.
This can be seen in the fact that Goku originally intended to use the Potara Earrings with Gohan to fuse. This would've been equal parts interesting and weird, but the plan was ultimately scrapped in favor of a fusion between Goku and Vegeta instead.
18 For Gohan, Piccolo Is His Father Figure
Remember when we talked about how Goku wasn't really a family guy? Well, the ripple effect of this attitude wasn't just experienced by Chi-Chi — Gohan also felt the lack of a father figure in his life. This void was filled by none other than Piccolo himself.
This relationship is certainly mutual — after all, Piccolo himself has shown affection towards Gohan numerous times. Gohan himself named his signature move the Masenko, which translates to Demon Flash and might be a homage to his mentor. His obsession with the color green is also quite palpable in Dragon Ball Super.
17 Gohan’s Alter Ego – The Great Saiyaman – Is A Way For Him To Cope With His War Stress
Unfortunately, Gohan had gone through his fair share of problems at a pretty early age. From having to fight fully-fledged warriors at just five years old, to witnessing the untimely demise of his father twice — it hasn't been smooth sailing for the half-Saiyan.
By the time he reached his high school years, Gohan had more than enough time to ponder his situation in life. To cope with all this stress he had to go through in his formative years, Gohan decided to become The Great Saiyaman to escape from this reality and become a silly superhero.
Different people have different coping mechanisms — don't judge.
16 Frieza Is Just A Kid
Frieza is one of the most iconic antagonists in anime history. Posing as the first real challenge to the Z Warriors that pushed Goku beyond his limits to achieve the iconic Super Saiyan form, there's no end to the ways in which Frieza has influenced the events of the series.
However, what might surprise a majority of the fanbase is that Frieza isn't exactly an adult. His snobbish attitude is somewhat immature as well, indicating towards the fact that this character is still a child. In fact, he's a spoiled brat — at least in comparison to other members of his race.
15 Active Ki Basically Functions As Armor
There's a moment in Dragon Ball Super that sent most fans into an uproar — namely, the part where he is critically damaged by a freakin' ray gun! To see one of the most powerful warriors fall to such a pedestrian weapon is honestly quite frustrating... but there's actually a valid explanation for this.
The fact of the matter is that most bullets and projectiles don't damage these fighters when their ki is up. This energy helps deflect any bullets and prevents any harm — something that Goku couldn't take advantage of since he let his guard down at that pivotal moment.
14 Dr. Gero Wanted Android 16 To Replace His Son
Losing family is a pain that no person should experience. Unfortunately, this is an ideal situation — such loss is imminent, but Dr. Gero couldn't move on from the fact that his son couldn't live a natural life.
Therefore, in a bid to put his sorrows behind him and start anew, Dr. Gero constructed an Android that resembled what his son would look like if he grew older. This experiment attained a name in the form of Android 16, one of the more likable machinations of Gero's twisted mind.
13 He Hid 16's Details From Cell So That He Didn’t Have To Watch His Son Perish Again
Of course. creating an Android resembling his son that's ultimately made for battle would obviously cause some worries for Dr. Gero. After all, it's not like he could waste resources for sentimental reasons. However, what the scientist could do was negate any possibility of his pet project being sacrificed.
Thus, the algorithm to turn Cell into the perfect organism didn't require the absorption of Android 16. Only the sibling duo of Android 17 and 18 was required for Cell to become Perfect.
12 Perfect Cell Can Reproduce After Absorbing Android 17 And 18
Speaking of Perfect Cell, here's another thing that we need to talk about.
So, after achieving his Perfect form, Cell had the ability to conjure multiple smaller versions of himself, aptly named Cell Jr. While the general consensus is that these clones were formed through cell duplication, there's another plausible — and highly disturbing — reasoning.
Since Cell had absorbed a male Android 17 and a female Android 18, he also attained the ability to procreate within himself.
Yeah... I think that's all we need to say on this topic.
11 A Combination Of The Kaio-Ken And The Regular Super Saiyan Form Would’ve Ended Goku’s Life
This is a fan theory that was technically confirmed in Dragon Ball Super. However, it's still compelling enough to warrant a place on this list.
The Kaio-ken powerup was an excellent addition to Goku's arsenal — that is, until he unlocked the Super Saiyan form and ditched this ability. Thankfully, since Super Saiyan God was more about the controlled distribution of energy, Goku was able to combine this form with the Kaio-ken power boost for devastating results.
10 Krillin Is The Strongest Earthling
Most people might be in splits after reading this heading, but let us make our case.
It's obvious that this point that the Earthlings have become nothing more than spectators, Krillin included. However, that doesn't take away from the fact that these fighters still need to train regardless, and Krillin is easily ahead of the pack.
He's still proactive about becoming more powerful, regardless of his body's limits. He even asked Goku for a sparring session where he showed his competence and absorbed a Super Saiyan Blue Kamehameha, which is more than what can be said for the other Earthling warriors.
9 The Story Was Being Made Up On The Fly
To be honest, this is a problem faced by most long-running series in Japan, but it still sucks that something as legendary as Dragon Ball Z is grouped under the same unflattering category. Unfortunately, there are several moments when this is painfully obvious.
The reason why Cell even exists is that Toriyama's editor wasn't happy with the look of Android 17 and 18 as the main villains of the arc. Dragon Ball Super in itself seems fairly rushed, which is kinda disappointing.
The fact that the concept of Saiyans itself originated in Dragon Ball Z should indicate just how short-sighted the story of the Dragon Ball series actually is.
8 Zenkai Is Non-Existent Now Because The Power Boosts Are Minimal
There was a point in time when the concept of Zenkai was crucial. Vegeta was able to take care of the Ginyu Force after initially getting his butt whooped because the experience of almost meeting his end provided him with a power boost that was available only to his warrior race.
However, as the series progressed, the concept of Zenkai was dropped entirely. Most people attributed this to simple forgetfulness, but the fact of the matter is that the Zenkai power boosts were simply too minuscule to make a major difference.
7 Saiyans Are Extremely Adept At Learning Techniques
Since we're talking about the inherent abilities of Saiyans, let's talk about another aspect of this warrior race that makes them so fit for fighting. Basically, the inherent nature of battle instilled in Saiyans meant that they could learn and master abilities with ease.
There's a reason why most of Goku's abilities aren't original — his natural aptitude to learn battle moves was so excellent that he never felt the need to devise his own moves. Mastering techniques like the Kamehameha, Instant Transmission, and Kaio-Ken was incredibly easy for him.
6 Saiyans And Humans Are Distant Relatives
Generally, when one talks about an alien race, the mind automatically thinks of humanoid forms with a minor resemblance to humans. However, the Saiyans are almost like carbon copies of Earthlings in terms of appearance, save for their tails.
This might be because of the fact that Earthlings and Saiyans might've shared a common history way back in the past, before splitting up into two distinct races. It might seem like a stretch, but this possibility might actually be a reality.
5 The Saiyans Of Universe 6 Might Be Peaceful Because The Species Mingled With Humans
While Universe 7 has a fairly definite distinction between Earthlings and Saiyans, it's possible that the same might not be true for Universe 6. While it's stated that Earth was a barren planet where the population was wiped out due to a civil war, other possibilities might also exist.
For all we know, Saiyans and Earthlings never really split in the first place — if one takes the theory mentioned above into account. This contributed to a peaceful community among the Saiyans — something that wasn't even thought to be possible in Universe 7.
4 Half-Saiyans Are More Powerful Than Regular Saiyans
Another thing about the Saiyans in Universe 6 is that they are unnaturally powerful, to the point where their normal Super Saiyan form can match the power level of a Super Saiyan God. This might be because of the aforementioned mingling between Earthlings and Saiyans, leading to a breed of half-Saiyans that are stronger than their pure-blooded counterpart.
Even half-Saiyans like Gohan, Goten, and Trunks are also fairly powerful at an early age, indicating towards the fact that perhaps a mix of the Saiyan race with another clan led to more powerful warriors.
3 A Wish By Bulma For The Perfect Boyfriend Triggered The Events Of The Saiyan Saga
Well, time to delve into the realm of the bizarre.
Bulma isn't really known for choosing good boyfriends — she did date Yamcha, after all — so it's understandable that her frustration might've compelled her to summon Shenron and wish for the perfect boyfriend.
The answer? Vegeta.
Basically, it's possible that Bulma's wish for love caused Vegeta and Nappa to land on Planet Earth, leading to the events of the Saiyan Saga.
I guess love is both blind and stupid.
2 The Future Trunks Timeline Is Actually The Original Timeline
The timeline which Future Trunks tries to salvage is pretty screwed, with the Androids wreaking havoc and destroying everything in their path. This universe is referred to as an alternate timeline... but this distinction is wrong.
This is the correct timeline where events played out as they should've.
If anything, Trunks' meddling in the past that saved the heroes from an untimely demise created an alternate timeline, which is the major focus of the Dragon Ball series right now.
1 Dragon Ball Z Is Inspired By Freakin’ Mario
Weird people with mushroom caps. Flying fish. Mushroom forests. What can you glean by looking at these three terms? Let us answer this question for you.
They exist in both the Mario and Dragon Ball universe.
In fact, the initial Dragon Ball series had a young Goku explore a castle to rescue Chi-Chi. Isn't this eerily reminiscent of Mario, where the titular character needs to explore a castle and beat Bowser to rescue Chi-Chi?
It seems that Toriyama's inspirations are pretty out there, and that's putting it mildly.