5. Bulma - I always liked the Bulma/Goku dynamic. While Goku could defeat any enemy he came across, he’d have no idea where to go or who to beat up without Bulma. While not a fighter, she makes valuable contributions to the adventure with her immense intellect and supply of capsule devices, and she’s hilarious too with her host of character flaws. It’s hard to imagine Dragon Ball without her.
4. Yamcha - I don’t think I’ve seen a character get dumped on harder than Yamcha. I actually thought his and Bulma’s character arc during the first hunt for the dragon balls was super cute (Bulma wanting to wish for a boyfriend, Yamcha wanting to wish so he wasn’t afraid of girls, they eventually fell for each other) so it was always a bit of a sore point how their relationship ended up in Z. While he gets Worf’d harder than any other character to showcase whatever new villain shows up, he still has funny interactions with the other characters and was a good early foil to Goku. And let’s admit it, it’s always fun to see the underdog like Yamcha succeed (as rare as the occasion might be).
3. Tien Shinhan - Easily one of the most powerful humans on the planet during Dragon Ball, Tien’s fights were always amazing and incredibly brutal. Whether it was breaking Yamcha’s leg or pummeling on Goku, Tien was a villain who meant business and had a lot of tricks and abilities up his sleeve. Eventually, after he joined forces with Goku’s friends and helped fight King Piccolo, he ended up with the blonde bombshell Launch AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER THAT’S TOTES CANON YOU CAN’T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME.
2. Emperor Pilaf, Mai, Shu - These poor would-be villains just manage to bite off more than they can chew when they run into a kid named Goku. Maybe it’s cheating having all three characters at the number two spot, but really this comedy trio shines in Dragon Ball and I can’t imagine not having them on a top 5 list. Their silly schemes and antics always brought a smile to my face.
1. Master Roshi - I can relate to this guy I tell you what. Possibly the funniest take on the “old master” archetype, Master Roshi sure was a good sport for letting everyone hang out at his Kame House. While a pervert, he had this big heart and seemed to care a lot about the people around him, and was willing to put his own life on the line for a noble cause. It was also really cool to see his rivalry with Shen and his history with The Demon King Piccolo. There’s a lot of things to love about this character!
Runner-Up Round Up
Mercenary Tao - How is it there are no gifs of him riding a pillar through the air?
General Blue - Thank god this gif exists though.
Again, sorry for killing your dash with all these gifs.