Dragon Ball Z isn’t as slow paced as its detractors make it out to be, but some fights overstay their welcome in the anime.
In recent years, Dragon Ball Z’s love of long fights has taken on a life of its own. People often think of Dragon Ball as a show where fights last forever and characters keep getting stronger for episodes and episodes. The second one isn’t based in reality, but the first one is, especially as Dragon Ball Z goes on.
By the Namek arc, Dragon Ball Z was obliged to stretch out some of the manga’s best bouts with filler episodes, a problem from which the anime never fully recovered. Dragon Ball Z isn’t as slow-paced as its detractors claim, although some fights in the anime run on too long.
Dragon Ball Z is a legendary shonen anime. Despite being a continuation of Dragon Ball, many fans joined after Dragon Ball Z introduced the Saiyans. Watching Goku, Vegeta, and the Z Warriors tackle threats was a wonderful watch that’s still enjoyable today. Here are some of the series’ longest fights and most memorable scenes.
Goku & Piccolo Vs Raditz (3 Episodes)
- Episodes: 2 to 4
It’s only logical that one of the first bouts in the series that establishes Dragon Ball Z’s identity is also a fairly lengthy fight in its own right.
Watching the grown-up cast of Dragon Ball is a joy, and the way Goku and Piccolo take on the Saiyan Raditz makes it quite evident that the formula of the series would be vastly different from its predecessor.
After choking Raditz for the second time, Goku chose to give his life and die alongside Raditz in order to spare Earth from his overwhelming presence.
Majin Vegeta Vs Majin Buu (3 Episodes)
- Episodes: 220 to 222
Vegeta decided to take matters into his own hands after understanding he was nothing more than a pawn for Babidi and broke through the wizard’s mind control spell.
With the new threat of Majin Buu hanging over the world, the timing couldn’t be better. Vegeta realizes his error and decides to confront the menace before it destroys Earth, eventually sacrificing himself in the process.
This sacrifice, however, was in vain, and Majin Buu escaped to terrify Earth and its inhabitants.
After understanding the error of his ways, Vegeta acknowledges the people he grew to love and respect before sacrificing himself in a powerful attack that was meant to take Majin Buu out for good.
Earthlings Vs Nappa (4 Episodes)
- Episodes: 19 to 22
Dragon Ball Z has several adaptation issues that undersell the manga’s best aspects, but the Saiyan chapter launched the series on a high that it was never able to match. The first few episodes do a fantastic job of honoring the original material while also advancing the plot lines of the manga.
In the anime, the fight against Nappa is significantly more emotional, with each episode emphasizing the increasing stakes. Watching Yamcha, Chaozu, Tenshinhan, and Piccolo die in quick succession provides greater weight than their fast-paced deaths in the manga. The animation and Japanese voice work in this section of Dragon Ball Z are equally amazing.
Tien, Nappa, and Piccolo all died fighting Nappa before Gohan did his hardest to defeat the Saiyan. Before Goku’s son suffered the same fate as his friends, his father arrived to save the day.
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Everyone Vs Vegeta (4 Episodes)
- Episodes: 23 to 26
The ultimate battle versus Vegeta in the Saiyan Saga is almost unbelievable – across all mediums. In the manga, Vegeta’s first bout is a gauntlet that breaks Goku and has the supporting cast desperately trying to wear down Vegeta chapter after chapter.
The fight with Vegeta in the anime borders on cinematic quality, with animation, tempo, and combat choreography that makes it tough to look away. The fact that this level of quality is maintained throughout the fight sets a high bar for Dragon Ball Z’s most epic battles. Not a single episode is wasted, from Goku’s one-on-one battle with Vegeta to Gohan, Krillin, and Yajirobe rescuing the day.
The iconic beam struggle between Goku and Vegeta before the latter turns into a Great Ape is the stuff of legends. The Spirit Bomb fired later on bounced back and forth before hitting Vegeta, with a Great Ape Gohan crushing him near the end served as the icing on the cake of Vegeta’s embarrassment.
Trunks Vs Perfect Cell (4 Episodes)
- Episodes: 147 to 150
After watching his arrogant father get the beatdown of his life at the hands of Perfect Cell, Trunks decides to unveil his power as well. Trunks tried to put the training of the Hyperbolic Time Chamber to good use and end the threat of Cell once and for all.
However, regardless of how hard Trunks tried, he was no match for Perfect Cell’s immense power. Using the power of Super Saiyan Third Grade proved to be the final nail in the coffin — his agility was extremely low, turning him into a plaything for Perfect Cell.
Trunks bulking up to a Super Saiyan Third Grade was great, but this came at the cost of his mobility. This allowed Perfect Cell to easily overpower and beat down Trunks without so much as a second thought.
Goku Vs Majin Vegeta (4 Episodes)
- Episodes: 214 to 217
The rivalry between Goku and Vegeta is arguably one of the most renowned in shonen history, and their bouts have made this list twice.
The fight between Goku and Majin Vegeta is an absolute delight to see, with both Saiyans giving it their best in a duel to satiate both their appetite for war… and their pride. The latter was especially essential for Vegeta, who even subjugated his mind to Babidi in order to obtain more strength and a competitive advantage.
Source : Tobi uchiha
It was entertaining to see Majin Vegeta discuss his growing problems on Earth before giving Goku the beating of his life. Of course, this fight was cut short by the return of Majin Buu, heralding the arrival of the series’ antagonist.
Goku Vs Cell (4 Episodes)
- Episodes: 177 to 180
Goku’s battle with Cell might have been realistically handled in one short episode, while spreading it up into four episodes does it no favors. The fight does not need to go this long, and the anime breaks up the rhythm with antics from Mr. Satan’s peanut gallery.
The emphasis is shifted away from one of Goku’s best battles in Dragon Ball and toward comedy relief that neither works nor fits the tone of the arc.
Goku fired off an Instant Kamehameha against Cell, only for his top half to be completely obliterated. Of course, Cell could regenerate and was back into fighting form once again.
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Everyone Vs Captain Ginyu (5 Episodes)
- Episodes: 54, 55, 57, 59 & 60
While Captain Ginyu made himself appear to be a complete idiot, he was clearly no slouch in battle. However, his power could not compete with Goku’s, prompting the Ginyu Force leader to switch bodies in one of the strangest yet most iconic moments in the entire series.
The events that follow involve Goku attempting to persuade his friends to fight the doppelganger, before eventually using a frog to save Vegeta from the same fate and trap Ginyu in the body of an amphibian.
Ginyu was unable to enter his own body and attempted to take over Vegeta’s body twice, both times failing. He returned to his former body for the first time, with Goku’s stunning frog throw ensuring this captain’s destiny once and for all.
Gotenks Vs Super Buu (5 Episodes)
- Episodes: 242 to 246
Dragon Ball had run its course by the time Akira Toriyama reached the Majin Buu storyline in the manga. Despite being one of the series’ longest arcs, the Majin Buu arc consistently has the shortest bouts, at times not even giving battles a real arc. Gotenks’ clashes against Evil Buu are one of the manga’s only thorough fights.
This is one case where the anime does a good job of fully adapting a fight. Gotenks’ fight with Evil Buu in and around the Room of Spirit and Time takes a respectable 5 episodes to build up to Gotenks becoming Super Saiyan 3 while giving all of the battle’s main beats time to shine.
The thought of Super Buu terrorizing and turning everyone on Kami’s Lookout into candy filled Gotenks and Piccolo with dread. The fused fighter, on the other hand, got his chance to shine after transforming into Super Saiyan 3 and tearing a hole through space and time itself through sheer force of will.
Vegito Vs Super Buu (5 Episodes)
- Episodes: 253 to 257
On the other hand, Vegito’s fight with Buuhan is so brief in the manga that it could have been adapted in a single episode. Instead, Dragon Ball Z devotes as much time to Gotenks and Buu as it does to Vegito and Super Buu. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough content in this fight to fill five episodes.
The end result is a battle that lasts nearly an hour and a half but was completed in minutes in the manga. Worse, Vegito’s raw power means Super Buu has no chance, resulting in a 5 episode straight beatdown of a single character. To be honest, it’s difficult not to feel sorry for Majin Buu.
Source : Whis the Angel
It’s entertaining to watch Vegito flex his muscles and play with Majin Buu. Of course, his arrogance comes back to haunt him later on when Super Buu manages to absorb this fighter while he is distracted.
Vegeta Vs Cell (8 Episodes)
- Episodes: 139 to 146
Vegeta’s fight against Cell in the middle of the Android arc features a lot of moving components – the fight itself, Krillin’s encounter with Android 18, Trunks’ presence throughout, and Cell’s attainment of his Perfect form – but not enough to warrant 8 full-length episodes.
Rather than tempo, Vegeta’s battle with Cell is hampered by animation and directorial flaws. What is a furious combat in the manga whose arc clearly builds to Cell one-upping Vegeta drags out in the anime, making it difficult to stay immersed in the storytelling.
Vegeta’s Final Flash against Perfect Cell is one of the best beam attacks in the show, with the attack being powerful enough to destroy Earth if Vegeta had not fired the move tactically.
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Everyone Vs Frieza (8 Episodes)
- Episodes: 64 to 71
The anime’s Frieza combat is well-paced. The first 8 episodes are dedicated to everything before Goku shows up, which has a lot of material to adapt – maybe not 8 episodes’ worth, but it’s not unreasonable given how long the battle with Frieza is.
In perspective, the arc becomes problematic. The climactic battle against Frieza in Dragon Ball Z lasts over 30 episodes. Over half a year for one combat. It’s too much overall.
All of Frieza’s transformations are fantastic to watch, with the Z Fighters having to exponentially increase their power to even stand a chance against this powerful foe.
Everyone Vs Kid Buu (9 Episodes)
- Episodes: 279 to 287
Kid Buu is Dragon Ball Z’s final villain, therefore it makes sense to draw out the ending as much as possible. Even the manga, after spending the entire arc rushing through combat, takes its time detailing the last showdown. Pure Buu is defeated thanks to the efforts of Goku, Vegeta, Majin Buu, and Mr. Satan.
While the anime may spend too much time adapting the fight against Kid Buu, it does it admirably. Goku’s first battle has some of the best filler (and plain old animation) in the anime, and Vegeta and Majin Buu’s turns don’t drag on too long. It’s a long but well-deserved finale to the arc.
Vegeta’s recognition of his adversary while fighting Kid Buu was a watershed moment in Vegeta’s character development. The final Spirit Bomb that Goku launches on Kid Buu is also quite impressive to see.
Gohan Vs Cell (11 Episodes)
- Episodes: 181 to 191
A lot happens after Gohan steps up during the Cell Games, including Gohan declining to fight, Cell producing his Cell Juniors, 16 dying, Gohan morphing, and Goku sacrificing his life. 11 episodes may be a bit much (and there are certainly certain parts of the fight that should be cut), but the sheer emotion at work throughout this part of the franchise is difficult to ignore.
The Cell Games are heavily emphasized in the Dragon Ball Z anime, with Gohan’s transformation into a Super Saiyan 2 being one of the series’s most iconic scenes, maybe more so than Goku’s own change on Namek. It’s an emotional resolution that drives the plot forward in each episode.
Source : Blue Kaioken
Gohan’s transformation into Super Saiyan 2 is the best part of a fight that has many other great moments. Gohan smashing the Cell Jrs. to pieces, Goku giving up his life to save the Earth, Trunks’ death making Vegeta angry, and Gohan giving up his arm to save Vegeta are all important parts of this arc. The last beam fight between Cell and Gohan is also a very well-known scene.
Goku Vs Frieza (19 Episodes)
- Episodes: 87 to 105
Goku vs. Frieza, which is known as the longest fight in the history of shonen anime, was not as well done in Dragon Ball Z as it should have been. Toei was getting dangerously close to catching up with the manga, so the anime had no choice but to drag out the story as much as possible. At the time, the only thing DBZ had to work with was Goku’s fight with Frieza.
The end result is a final battle that moves at a snail’s pace and is very painful to watch. In every chapter of the fight in the manga, there was a big event, so it never went on too long. But in Dragon Ball Z, they have to go over every little detail of the fight. When Goku was a Super Saiyan, the last few episodes moved at a very slow pace.
Source : Tobi uchiha
The transformation of Goku into a Super Saiyan was unquestionably the highlight of his journey. He completely disregarded Frieza and forced him to be separated from his own action, demonstrating how powerful Goku was in comparison to Frieza.
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