Ah, Dragon Ball. It’s a series that has touched many people’s hearts and convinced a whole generation of kids that they could get stronger by screaming at the top of their lungs, much to many parents’ confusion and frustration.
The Dragon Ball series is home to a huge range of characters that have been a major part of the story of Dragon Ball, many of them fan favorites for a huge range of people. Unfortunately for many of those fans, many of these characters’ days in the spotlight are brief, and only really last a few arcs at most.
Sure, you get characters like Piccolo, Vegeta, and Krillin who have managed to stay a part of the story for years of the original Dragon Ball manga and show.
But then you have other characters like Tien, Roshi and Chiaotzu, and Android 17, who are usually only major characters that contribute to the central story for a few chapters or story arcs at most before they fall to the wayside.
Still, at least they manage to leave their mark on the story in some way, having memorable moments, or influencing and training others that would later become star characters in their own right. This brings us to Dragon Ball’s favorite punching bag, Yamcha.
This character, introduced in the first arc of the entire series, the Emperor Pilaf Saga, has kind of been considered by most of the cast to be something of a joke.
Even in the original Dragon Ball series, when he was a major character, Yamcha only ever won a single battle that he participated in, with the rest being losses for him. And in Dragon Ball Z and beyond, he is pretty much sidelined from the Saiyan Saga onwards.
This is, to no one’s surprise, a let-down to many Yamcha fans (and before the jokes come in, yes, he does have fans) who loved his distinct design when he was first introduced, and unique fighting techniques that were never shown by anyone else in the mainline series.
This has led many fans to ponder the question: What if Yamcha, probably the weakest character of the Z-Fighters, was born as a Saiyan, a member of one of the strongest races in the Dragon Ball universe?
A Little History Of Yamcha
So, to give a little more context as to what our resident wolf-boy can do, we’re going to talk a little more about his history. As we already mentioned, he was introduced in the second half of the first Dragon Ball saga, the Pilaf Saga.
In this early part of the series, he appears as a young bandit that attempts to rob Goku and his friends of their possessions. Although he is almost successful in beating Goku in their first encounter, he eventually retreats when he finds out he’s traveling with Bulma, as Yamcha has a paralyzing fear of women.
This pretty much sets the tone for Yamcha’s role in Early Dragon Ball. As a character who is decently powerful, but is vulnerable to the most important and powerful force in the universe at this point in the series.
The Comedic Writing Style Of Akira Toriyama, The Series Creator
In many of his fights during Dragon Ball, Yamcha tends to put on a decent fight but is outclassed by pretty much every fight he takes part in. Either losing due to a funny joke that he is written into or having to use a comedic solution to a problem he has to face.
This somewhat undercuts a lot of Yamcha’s more serious and powerful showings, especially when compared to other popular characters of original Dragon Ball that do have these serious moments, such as Tien, Goku, and Krillin.
All of which do have many moments of comedy, but are also allowed to demonstrate their skills on many occasions. So, by the time we have already arrived at Dragon Ball Z, we find that Yamcha, who is effectively a joke character, isn’t able to do much against many of the opponents the Z-Fighters face in the series.
The most memorable moments Yamcha has after the end of Dragon Ball are when he is killed by a Saibamen, and when he is brutally injured by the Androids 19 and 20 when they first appear to destroy a city.
It’s important to remember that, in pretty much any other scenario, Yamcha is one of the most powerful humans on Earth, able to do superhuman feats that no one else could. But when compared to the rest of the main cast, he is functionally a joke.
Keep this in mind for the end of this article.
A Brief History Of The Saiyan Race
We’ll try and keep this brief, as Saiyans are probably some of the most discussed and popular elements of the Dragon Ball series. The Saiyan race is a race of humanoids with monkey tails, that has incredible fighting potential, and have a cruel streak that makes them love violence.
Not only are they more powerful than most other races in Dragon Ball, but they have the ability to gain a massive boost in power every time they are seriously injured, or recover from being at death’s door. (You can see why people would think this would make Yamcha Unstoppable)
It was this love for challenge and battle, and their growing power, that made the tyrant of the universe, Lord Frieza, fear the potential threat that these fighters posed to him. Despite them largely being loyal to him, used his overwhelming strength to destroy the homeworld of the Saiyans, whilst they were all on it.
This wiped out almost every single Saiyan in the universe, with only a handful surviving the explosion, and returning to appear (and mostly die) in the series.
Conclusion – What If Yamcha Was A Saiyan?
So, what would happen if the Dragon Ball Universe’s favorite victim was born as a Saiyan?
Well, with all that potential that these powerful warriors have at their finger and tail-tips, it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine a Yamcha that could take advantage of their ability to gain massive amounts of strength from nearly dying.
Given how many times he has lost fights in the Dragon Ball universe, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that he would become one of the most powerful characters amongst the main cast. Certainly more powerful than the other humans, such as Krillin or Tien.
However, there is one thing holding back Yamcha in this situation, and it ties back into his role as a joke fighter. When he is presented with a situation he has to take part in, he will pretty much every time, draw the short end of the stick.
In Dragon Ball, Yamcha is a mouse, and the Universe is a cat (Not to be confused with the God of Destruction cat Beerus). Yes, if Yamcha was born a Saiyan, he would be born with great potential.
But, because he was born Yamcha, he almost certainly, would have been born on Saiyan homeworld planet, and have died in the explosion. Because that’s just how things work for Yamcha.