Dragon Ball: Piccolo’s Self-Discovery, Explained

Piccolo is one of the most important villains-turned-heroes in Shonen Anime, not only DBZ. Here’s a deeper look at his adventure.

Piccolo is one of the most prominent characters in the Dragon Ball franchise, and his transformation from one of the biggest foes Goku has ever fought to one of Goku’s most essential allies is one of the most notable examples of the franchise’s well-documented heel-face-turn cliché.

But what were the significant events in Piccolo’s life that drove him to make such a drastic change in the first place? Over the span of two incarnations, Piccolo progressed from genuine Demon King to righteous hero.

There are two slugs in everyone.

Before discussing how Piccolo became the best babysitter, it’s vital to learn about his race, the Namekians. Namekians appear in Dragon Ball Super’s Universes 6 and 7, although they’re from another dimension. The Namekians once traded with other planets, but Grand Elder Guru was the only survivor of a “Great Cataclysm.”

Katas dispatched an unidentified Namekian to Earth before Namek’s first extinction. Namekian’s fissure creates Kami, the Guardian of Earth, and Piccolo, the Demon King.

The Cataclysm happened on Namek hundreds of years before Dragon Ball, and the world was very different. The Namekians were once technologically advanced, which allowed them to be spacefarers and helped take the Nameless Namekian off-world before its destruction. Before the Cataclysm, most Namekians belonged to the Dragon Clan, which specializes in mystic powers and created the Dragon Balls.

Grand Elder Guru and the Nameless Namekian are the last surviving Dragon Clan members. After separating his good and evil aspects, the Nameless Namekian forgets his origin, his people, and himself. His father blasted him into space as a child, knowing that Namekian vessels only require fundamental Namekian language skills.

Good and Evil

When the Nameless Namekian split into his good and bad sides, the good side became known as Kami. The Namekian with no name went to the Lookout and became one of the Guardian’s apprentices. Garlic was the other person in line for the job.

Only people with a good heart could be the Guardian of Earth, so the Nameless Namekian got rid of the bad in his own soul by splitting into Kami and the King Piccolo. Garlic wasn’t given the job because the Guardian knew he only wanted it for himself and because Garlic was filled with deep evil (sounds familiar, doesn’t it?).

While Kami is becoming the Guardian of Earth, his evil twin, King Piccolo, is causing trouble on Earth while he and Kami are on the same lifeline. King Piccolo causes trouble until Master Mutaito and his students beat him. Mutaito kills himself by using the Mafuuba Technique (Evil Containment Wave) to defeat King Piccolo. However, since the technique doesn’t kill the target, King Piccolo is released back into the world when Pilaf lets him go at the end of the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament.

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Ancient Ogre

King Piccolo is free for the first time in over 300 years. He quickly goes after all the martial artists in the world to make sure no one is left who could use the Evil Containment Wave. Krillin is the first of many people to die at his hands. King Piccolo goes on a quest to find the Dragon Balls so he can wish for his youth back. Along the way, he kills Master Roshi and Chiaotzu, and when his wish comes true, he kills the eternal dragon so no one else can use the Dragon Balls after him. During a hard fight with Goku, King Piccolo loses so badly that all of his deformed sons die and he gets so hurt that he dies.

Before he dies, King Piccolo spits up a huge egg that contains his last son and reincarnation. He does this so that he can get his revenge in the future. By doing this, King Piccolo keeps the link between Kami and “himself” alive. This means that if he dies, Kami won’t die, which means that the Dragon Balls will still work. This makes it possible to bring back to life the many people who died during the evil Namekian’s rule.

Ma Junior

Piccolo Jr., known simply as “Piccolo,” is not the same person as his father/self, despite being the reincarnation of the villainous King Piccolo. Piccolo, who was introduced as proud, nasty, and even ruthless in fight, showed slight changes from King Piccolo throughout the events of the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament.

Source: Angelos Veloudos

Even though he wanted to rule the world and kill Goku, these were mostly his father’s last wishes and seemed to fade with time. However, losing to Goku in the tournament made him even more angry at him. Piccolo possesses King Piccolo’s intelligence and abilities; however, because he is the son of one half of the Nameless Namekian who was sent to Earth as a child, Piccolo’s understanding of his own heritage, history, and identity is largely reconstructed through his extensive association with Goku and the Dragon Warriors, as well as the passage of time.

Piccolo comes to admire Goku and his allies as he battles alongside them, despite first viewing him as an enemy. Piccolo’s transformation into one of Earth’s most honorable defenders begins when he kidnaps Gohan, as his mentoring of the young boy as part of his desire to defeat Goku takes a new course.

Piccolo intercepts a ki blast from Nappa aimed towards Gohan at the end of this path. He claims that his connection with Gohan taught him about friendship and love, and that it is still the most powerful catalyst of change in Piccolo’s character to this day.

Shin and Nail

Piccolo had no connection to his home planet before the Frieza Saga, thinking he was demonic. Piccolo soon learns of his Namekian roots and joins the fight against Frieza to revenge the slain Namekians, but he also meets Nail on Namek. Piccolo’s fusion with Nail meant he could finally grasp his origins and gain power. Piccolo uses the Namekian ability to merge in the Android Saga to beat Cell. Kami could sense little evil in Piccolo at this point, and as they rejoined, the evil faded.

Piccolo’s demeanor is roughly the same after fusing with Kami, but he shows more regard for living creatures and friends. Since then, he’s fought to avert Earth’s annihilation and the emergence of great evil, infiltrating the newly-revived Red Ribbon Army to obtain intel, reuniting with Gohan, and teaching Pan. Piccolo Jr. has always been his own person despite being born to serve King Piccolo’s nefarious plans. He needed to find himself.

Thank you very much for reading!

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