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12 Insane Fan Theories About Dragon Ball Villains

Updated April 4, 2020 20.4k votes 4.6k voters 257.4k views12 items

Dragon Ball and its many sequels are one of the most beloved anime and manga of all time. It first exploded into public consciousness with Akira Toriyama's original Dragon Ball manga in 1984. Today, Dragon Ball Super is continuing to excite fans all over the world. When fans get excited, they start generating fan theories. 

For this article, we're going to focus on fan theories about Dragon Ball villains. Some of them are pretty meta, like the theory about Majin Buu representing Japan's most unflattering views of America during WWII. Others answer open questions, like the one that offers a potentially unsettling reason why Cell can asexually reproduce. 

Which of these Dragon Ball villain fan theories do you think hold up? 

  • 5

    There's A Heartfelt Reason Why Vegeta Fell For Buu's Dumb Joke

    During a scene where Vegeta and Goku are trapped inside of Buu's body, Buu tries to taunt them with a knock-knock joke. At first, they don't respond, but Vegeta eventually replies with 'who's there?' Buu says 'Buu,' Vegeta says 'Buu who?' and Buu says 'don't cry, everybody's got to die sometime!'

    This might be just a throwaway joke, but u/Initial_XD thinks it goes deeper. Vegeta isn't normally the type of person who would be responsive to this kind of joke - but there's an exception to his gruff behavior. That exception is his children.

    Buu has already absorbed Gotenks, which means that he has access to their personalities and memories. He might have taken the joke structure from Trunks, and used it to get a reaction out of Vegeta - who normally only responds to this sort of thing when it's his child.

    A great theory?
  • 6

    Majin Buu Represents Japan's View On The USA During WWII

    Though relations have improved significantly since World War II, Japan and the USA were once on opposite sides of a war. As one might expect, they held some pretty negative views of one another. 

    According to Redditor u/neostorm360, Majin Buu was meant to represent Japan's views of America during this fraught time. As soon as Buu was created, he destroyed his creators - an allegory to the American Revolution. He later split into two sides and fought himself - an allegory to the Civil War. He's fat and greedy and gobbles up everything in sight, an allegory to American greed and imperialism. When Vegeta sacrifices himself to try and defeat Buu, it's a noble sacrifice akin to Japanese kamikaze pilots. When Buu destroys a city, it doesn't explode in a sphere of light, it explodes into a mushroom cloud. 

    Many of the people who disagree with this theory point out that this is an unfair or unrealistic portrayal of America. Fair enough, but the theory is about Buu being based on Japan's most stereotypical images of the USA. Others point out that the USA wasn't synonymous with obesity until long after WWII - that's also true, but it's not a stretch to say that a character created long after WWII could have one or two anachronistic traits. 

    A great theory?
  • 7

    Frieza Might Not Be Fully Grown

    Frieza isn't exactly mature, but he is actually an adult...right?

    Not according to this Redditor he's not. Frieza's father, King Cold, is a whole lot bigger than his son. While this could be a case of natural variation, it could be that Frieza isn't finished growing yet. We don't know how long Frieza's species takes to mature, so how many years he's been around aren't relevant.

    It's unlikely that Frieza is a child - in one semi-canon spin-off manga, he's revealed to be a father. However, he could easily be a teenager. 

    Some might argue that we don't know enough about the biology of Frieza's species to make that assumption. That's fair, but we also don't know enough to say that it's not true. 

    A great theory?
  • 8

    Jiren Is Based On The Buddha

    Whether or not Jiren actually qualifies as a villain is a manner of opinion - some see him as less of a villain and more of an antagonist. However you see him, this fascinating theory by u/Hydrox2016 is worthy of some serious consideration. 

    According to this theory, Jiren is actually Buddha. According to the Buddhist belief system, when a person experiences the highest possible level of spiritual awakening, they enter a state called enlightenment. Jiren appears to have achieved this state. This is demonstrated through his exceptional power. Through Ultra Instinct meditation, Jiren is able to to unlock godlike levels of perception that would be impossible for someone who hadn't achieved enlightenment. 

    Another detail that supports this theory is the fact that Dragon Ball was partially inspired by Journey to the West, a Chinese folktale in which Sun Wukong achieves Buddhahood. This, combined with the prevalence of Buddhism in Japan, make it pretty likely that Toriyama had Buddhism in mind when he created Jiren.

    A great theory?