Let’s talk about Piccolo, the popular green character in anime.
This post is part of Word Prompts, where the prompt for April is the word green. After thinking about it, I immediately thought of Piccolo. Piccolo is a character from the popular Dragon Ball manga, who has been prevalent since his introduction in the twenty third world martial arts tournament, five years before Saiyans arrived on Earth.
So, who exactly is Piccolo?
Piccolo is a tall, green Namekian, who was born after King Piccolo spat out an egg containing him before Goku killed him. At first, he was presented as a reincarnation of King Piccolo, but there are some differences among them. First, King Piccolo wanted to take over the world, but Piccolo JR did not. He just wanted to defeat Goku, and prove his strength. Unlike his father, instead of plotting to take over the world, he mostly spent his time in the wastelands training and improving himself to defeat Goku one day.
Much like everyone from his family (He has brothers named Drum and Piano) he is named after a musical instrument named, you guessed it, Piccolo.
But when Saiyans arrive, he needs to scramble along with the remaining fighters of Earth, since Goku was dead, to save their world. He kidnaps Gohan, son of Goku, and intended to use him as a weapon against his father, but later changed his plans when Saiyans arrived. He slowly formed a bond with the child, and slowly left his animosity against Goku behind by the time Android saga happened, as Goku and Piccolo went to learn how to drive a car.
Now, remember, this isn’t a complete biography of Piccolo. These are my thoughts regarding the character, so we will be skipping a lot of the events of the story, such as how he fused with Kami, losing his remaining rough edges in the process, and how he served as a mentor for Goku’s children because he is never around. (I’m not saying this Team Four-Star did it. I’m just following in their footsteps, to gain some traffic, honest!)
The talk of Piccolo cannot be complete without talking about his father.
King Piccolo was born when the nameless Namekian expelled the evil from himself to become the guardian of Earth. He terrorized Earth 300 years ago, his rampage only stopping because a warrior sacrificed himself to seal him. 300 years later, he got free, and, after restoring his youth, killing the damn dragon, took over the world pretty much, and resumed his reign of terror where he left it last.
However, he does have a caring side somewhat, as he felt bad when his children died at the hands of Goku and Yajarobi. I don’t know about you, but I prefer my villains to be exactly like that. They may not care for the rest of the world, but at least they care for their children. Unlike a sociopath, who can only care for themselves.
Now that you have gotten introduced to the character, here are my thoughts.
Ever since Goku has been revealed as a Saiyan, that race pretty much has kept a monopoly on the Dragon Ball franchise. Anything and everything awesome belongs to Saiyans, and humans and other races are neglected to the side. This is nothing new, if you hang around in the Dragon Ball fandom, you’ll hear these complains sooner or later.
Piccolo of course, gets hit particularly hard with this. He is from the race who created Dragon Balls, the objects after which this entire franchise is named after, and the objects which do end up as the central to the plot. One would think that he would be important, but aside from being reduced to mentoring Goku’s children, he does not do much. He doesn’t get to defeat a villain by himself, (I can’t speak for Super, haven’t watched that one) but it is certainly true for the Dragon Ball Z part.
There’s another thing which bothers me about him. He was just three years older than Gohan when Saiyans arrived on Earth. And yet, during Majin Buu saga, he acts like an old man. What’s up with that? He shouldn’t be any older than his mid-twenties. Namekians have a lifespan of hundreds of years.
Also, among the failed English dubs of Dragon Ball, there’s a dub called big green. It is called that by fans, for Piccolo was literally called “Big Green” in that dub, instead of his name.
Despite the complains I have regarding him, Piccolo is an important character in Dragon Ball franchise, and if you ever made a list of popular characters, after Saiyans, you will certainly find him on that list. And of course, there is a reason for it. He is awesome. He is green. He is Piccolo, who nearly defeated Goku once upon a time, nearly killing him in the process.
I hope you enjoyed my ramblings. You can follow me on Twitter.