Friday, May 11, 2018
A brand-new Fanholes spin-off show- Justice Not Entirely Dissimilar To Lightning! Listen as Mike, Derek, and Justin go through the entire saga of Marvel's Thunderbolts in chronological order, as well as examining characters' first appearances and other moments of historical importance to the team!
In the second episode- the guys discuss the very first issue of Thunderbolts as well as the first appearance of the team in the pages of Incredible Hulk #449-450!
Council of Geeks - 90s Comics Retrial
Sunday, May 6, 2018
Fanholes Mobile Suit Mondays Episode # 56: Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin Episode VI "Rise of the Red Comet"
Hot off the presses! Join Mike and Derek as they discuss the sixth episode of the recently released Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin Episode VI titled "Rise of the Red Comet", on what is now Fanholes tradition, Mobile Suit Mondays!
Fanholes Mobile Suit Mondays Episode # 56: Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin Episode VI "Rise of the Red Comet" - Download this episode (right click and save)
Podcast Promo: JLMay 2018
Follow the JLMay adventure through the following podcasts:
Justice's First Dawn - Silver Age #1
Relatively Geeky Presents - Challengers of the Unknown
Coffee & Comics - JLA
Super Mates - TeenTitans
Waiting For Doom - Doom Patrol
Idol Head of Diabolu - Dial H for Hero
Longbox Crusade - Flash
LanternCast - Green Lantern
Batgirl to Oracle - Showcase
Comic Reflections - Brave & the Bold
Cosmic Treadmill - 80 Page Giant
Fire & Water - Secret Files
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Mike and Derek discuss the comic adaptation of the non-existent movie that adapts IDW's Transformers VS G.I.Joe comic! Wait, what?
Download this episode!
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
In celebration of the feature film release of Avengers: Infinity War, the Fanholes are looking at the first dozen issues of the ongoing Thanos series from Marvel Comics! Check it out!
Fanholes Comic Books Mutha@#$%! Do You Read 'Em #24: Thanos! - Download this episode (right click and save)
Thursday, April 19, 2018
I’ve been a fan of Dragon Ball in all of its incarnations since first seeing the original Ocean Group dub air on syndicated Saturday morning TV and in that time, many of the myriad of characters in the franchise have left their mark on me. This list will count my top ten personal favorites, taking into account Dragon Ball, Z, Super, the movies and specials, and even GT.
SPOILER ALERT: There are no characters from GT on this list.
Before I get to it, no list of mine would be complete without an honorable mention!
Honorable Mention- Beerus and Whis
Yes, I know this is technically TWO characters, but I feel they’re closely linked enough that they should share this space, even though both of them are well-defined and interesting in their own respective rights. However, it is mostly their duo-act that leads to all their best moments in the series, and Beerus and Whis’ interactions with each other and the cast are always fun to behold.
As for Beerus, he took awhile to grow on me, and honestly I’m still a little uncomfortable being cool with a guy who casually destroys whole planets because he didn’t fancy the local cuisine. However, when he’s not being an asshole, he has some delightful character quirks and serves as a great foil for both Goku and Vegeta. He’s oozing with personality, not just because of his fantastic voice actors (both in Japanese and English), but also owing to his odd "hairless cat" character design and body language. I guess I’ve come to think of Beerus as Galactus from the Marvel universe, if Galactus wasn’t usually so unapproachable on a personal level. As the God of Destruction, Beerus’ role is a necessary one, even if he does come off as a total bastard while performing his duty sometimes.
Whis is subject of one of the best character twists in the franchise. When we’re first introduced to him and Beerus in “Battle of Gods”, we are initially made to assume he is the subservient retainer to the God of Destruction. At the end of the movie, it is revealed that Whis is in fact stronger than Beerus, and their relationship is basically the total opposite of what was presented. Whis is Beerus’ teacher and basically babysitter, and later goes on to provide some training to Goku and Vegeta in “Resurrection: F” and Dragon Ball Super. Much like Beerus, Whis is blessed with some great voice actors on both sides of the ocean, a standout character design, and a presence that commands your attention whenever he is on screen.
Like I said before, Beerus and Whis work best when they’re together and thankfully that’s usually always where they are. Their antics are always hilarious to behold and both of them play off the rest of the cast beautifully. I think their only major problem (aside from what I mentioned about Beerus above) is that they are both plot-breakers in multiple ways. Both of them are strong enough to beat any opponents Goku and the rest have faced thus far, and thus their mere presence on the battlefield usually removes a fat chunk of tension. Plus, Whis has the power to REWIND TIME for up to five minutes into the past, which kind of made the climax of “Resurrection: F” into a literal dues-ex-machina.
Still, I do enjoy them both and consider them the worthiest inclusions to the Dragon Ball mythos since the franchise was “revived” so to speak. However, they just barely miss being in the top ten...
10. Artificial Human/Android 18
Technically it should be “Cyborg” 18, as she’s part human, but Android 18 is pretty chill all around. She's a money-maker and an arm-breaker, but thankfully not a life-taker… at least her main timeline’s self isn’t. Her evil future alternate timeline self was just a murderous brat who eventually got what was coming to her, but the main 18 managed to develop into a decent person, probably in no small part thanks to Krillin. That’s a big part of why I like 18- because I like Krillin, and if she likes Krillin, that must mean she’s cool, right??
I don’t want to define her solely by her relationship to Krillin, or even her brother Android 17, but she does tend to work best playing off other characters and those are the two she is closest with. I suppose Akira Toriyama got a little lazy when it came to his female characters, because most of them end up the same way- “stick’em with a baby and dust your hands off.” Still, by the time of Super it’s very evident that 18 is a loving mother to Marron and wife to Krillin and you can’t say anything bad about that. She’s a lot more practical than her husband, and while Krillin will get involved in fights because it is the right thing to do, 18’s response is usually “does it pay?” The two couldn’t be more different personality-wise, and that’s probably why they make such a good couple.
18’s also had great voice-acting throughout her entire animated career, both in Japanese and English, and a striking character design. Those cold blue eyes, brrrrr…
I’d think 18 should be more mad about people referencing anime-only filler episodes than Krillin almost naming their daughter after his ex-girlfriend...
9. Future Trunks
Cool anime hero with a tortured past and a sword! Future Trunks checks a lot of superficial boxes for fans looking for a favorite character, but he’s got some actual substance to him. Toriyama provided a lot of pathos and depth in Trunks’ backstory and tragedy definitely builds character in this instance. It’s no wonder that Future Trunks is as popular as he is on his own, while present day Trunks usually needs his best bud Goten around to bounce off of.
A trope most comic book fans hate is when a completely new character appears and totally owns an established bad guy or upstages established good guys right off the bat. Future Trunks is… almost guilty of that, but honestly I think Akira Toriyama was savvy enough to somewhat subvert that trope when he first introduced him. First off, Trunks was revealed to be the son of Bulma and Vegeta, two well-established main characters of the series. Talking in comic book terms, he’s a legacy hero!
Secondly, his utter dismantling of Freeza was actually fairly appropriate on a few levels and served multiple plot-related purposes. Freeza, as charismatic a villain as he was (in Japan, at least), was well and truly spent as a character by that point. Dying at the hands of Vegeta’s son had a certain amount of poetry to it and Trunks was avenging the Saiyan race as well as his pa’s pride. On the plot side of things, it certainly helped sell the encroaching threat of the Androids if Trunks could dispatch Freeza so easily, yet couldn’t beat them.
So yeah, I give Future Trunks a pass on this trope, especially since the episode he kills Freeza is easily one of the best animated, scored and directed single installments of DBZ. One of the first DVDs I ever purchased was a Dragon Ball Z release featuring that episode, and I must have watched it subbed in Japanese countless times.
The History of Trunks special is one of the better movies in the franchise and Future Trunks’ return to the series in Super injected a lot of life and interest into the plot. I know for me personally, Super went from “just watching this out of franchise loyalty” to “MUST-watch” when the Goku Black arc began. Future Trunks is just an electrifying character to have pop-up in any Dragon Ball product, and I’m happy to admit I think he’s super-cool too.
Heehee, remember this seizure-inducing commercial when Funimation was hyping his arrival when they originally started dubbing the Android saga?
I, like probably most American fans, was first introduced to Freeza (or Frieza, as the English material insists on spelling it) in the Ocean Group dub of Dragon Ball Z as it aired in syndication on Saturday mornings. And like most everyone, I thought Freeza was totally a woman. I mean, there was the “lipstick”, the name, and of course- casting a female voice actress as Freeza’s dub voice. It wasn’t until I watched some grainy fansubbed VHS episodes of the original Japanese version that I saw Freeza referred to as male. Hearing his haughty, mocking, and admittedly-effeminate voice as performed by the incomparable Ryūsei Nakao, I finally “got” what they were going for with this character and was able to enjoy him (at least, in Japanese) henceforth.
The English dubs screwed up Freeza’s character for years, until casting Christopher Ayres as his voice in Dragon Ball Kai. With a more accurate translation and Ayres’ fantastic performance, English-speaking audiences finally had a Freeza that was worthy of Toriyama’s original concept of the character. Sadly, Ayres had to retire from voice-acting due to some serious health issues. His understudy and replacement for Freeza’s English voice- Daman Mills, has done a fine job replicating the performance however, and even adding his own unique flair to the character. These fine and worthy dub voice actors have salvaged Freeza’s image in the West nowadays. Add that to the fact that English fans got to experience Ryūsei Nakao’s Freeza in “real time” as it were by watching the official weekly Japanese stream of Dragon Ball Super, and Freeza’s finally regarded with the respect he deserves all over the world.
There is a reason Freeza’s widely considered the best villain in the entire franchise, and when he’s played right, you can see why. He’s the one responsible for blowing up Planet Vegeta and bringing the Saiyan race to near-extinction, so his importance to the series as a whole is without question. Freeza’s personality, his charm and etiquette masking an elitist sadism, is what truly makes him so compelling and fun to watch. I’m glad that once Dragon Ball was “revived” so to speak, they realized that Freeza should have a presence again, and “Resurrection: F” and Super have certainly put him front and center again, making him a “contender” once more.
Indeed, in the most recent video game, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Freeza’s one of the main POV characters in the story mode and he’s an absolute joy to follow around. With his newly-attained Golden form, he no longer has to kowtow to guys like Cell or Buu who used to have vastly-superior power over him.
Isn’t that just delightful? OHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO!!!
7. Artificial Human/Android 16
Unlike Androids 17 and 18, 16 actually CAN claim the “Android” descriptor, being as he is entirely artificial and not half-human. 16 is a character who actually got more fleshed out in supplementary materials than he did during his time on the show. His physical appearance and personality were based on Dr. Gero’s deceased son, who died fighting for the Red Ribbon Army that Goku eventually destroyed. This information, which was never revealed in the manga or anime, adds another dimension of depth to Gero’s motivations and reasons for revenge on Goku and serves to make 16 an even more tragic character than he already was. His “gentle giant” persona and love of nature was contrasted with his cold, unyielding directive to find and kill Goku. Sure, maybe Toriyama was recycling some of Android 8's earlier character beats with 16, but 16 is easily the more memorable guy overall.
Of course, what probably comes to most people’s minds when it comes to Android 16 is his death at the end of the Cell Saga, where he serves as the catalyst to Gohan’s unleashing of his hidden potential. His role in one of the most dramatic and important scenes in all of Dragon Ball is usually overshadowed by the scene itself, but you do have to spare some regard for how well Toriyama defined 16’s character in the brief time he was active. He was pretty much the perfect person to be in that moment and speak those words to Gohan.
I always thought 16 looked cool, and he had good voice performances on both sides of the ocean, although his initial Funimation dub performance by Jeremy Inman took the “robot” thing a bit too far. He’s one of my favorite guys to play as in Dragon Ball FighterZ, and his role in that game’s story mode has upped his profile with fans a bit. 16’s self-sacrificing nature is on full display even in gameplay, where he can activate his internal bomb and take out an opponent at the cost of his life (well, 99.9999999999% of his life.)
No lie, Yamcha was actually my first favorite character in the franchise. This was when I first started watching the original Ocean Group dub of the first thirteen episodes of Dragon Ball in syndication. Back then, the character pool was kind of limited, and when me and my cousins wanted to “play” Dragon Ball, I got Yamcha, one of my cousins was Goku, and the youngest cousin got stuck with being Oolong. Yamcha was pretty cool in those days, the roguish desert bandit with a sword who could unleash the speed and fury of a wolf. Plus, he had a relatable weakness- a fear of girls, which was something ten year-old me could probably understand.
Of course, as the years passed and I saw more and more of the series, Yamcha became progressively less impressive and cool as he was surpassed by Goku and virtually everyone else. The ability to punch with the power of a wolf shockingly took a backseat to firing energy blasts that could level mountains... go figure. Yamcha’s string of defeats and humiliations led to the fans themselves treating him as a joke, and nowadays that perception of him is actually made manifest in official media. Still, I’ve always had a soft spot for the poor guy, and I think I’d prefer to laugh with Yamcha, and not at him.
Even though there’s still a lot of fun at his expense in it, I did enjoy his “spotlight” episode of Dragon Ball Super. Much like in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the baseball-focused episode of Super is a total hoot and Yamcha gets to demonstrate his skills in a field that Goku and the rest are utterly clueless in. He does get some moments to shine in it, but of course… his history of failure is never far behind poor Yamcha.
Yamcha was originally voiced by Tōru Furuya, who is also the official voice of Amuro Ray in Japan. Being the big Gundam fan that I am, that obviously adds some cool points to Yamcha. He is one of my mains in Dragon Ball FighterZ and as the Honest Trailer for the game puts it, Yamcha is surprisingly “Not Garbage?” in it. There is quite a lot of satisfaction in overcoming Vegeta’s Final Flash with a precisely-timed Neo Wolf Fang Fist- Yamcha’s level three super move. So I’ll continue to champion Yamcha like that- being good with him in a video game… because he sure ain’t doing anything to improve his image by himself!
The animated special “Bardock: Father of Goku” is probably one of my favorite single things in the Dragon Ball franchise period. It’s just a fantastic production all around and Akira Toriyama liked it so much that he declared it canon to the manga as well. Of course, I mean the original Japanese version… the Funimation English dub was made in a time where more precise translations and keeping the original music and tone of Dragon Ball was less of a priority than it is now. It is this first portrayal of Bardock that makes this list here- a typical, low-class Saiyan gifted almost by happenstance with sporadic glimpses of the future. These visions drive him to attempt and save his race from their impending and tragic fate… which he is ultimately unable to prevent.
As originally portrayed, Bardock had no real heroic leanings, simply seeking revenge and survival. He doesn’t even really seem to give a crap about his newborn son Kakarot- the Saiyan who would grow up to be Son Goku. Even as he meets his fated death at Freeza’s hands, the last future vision he receives is that his son will eventually avenge their race and defeat Freeza… and that’s all that would appear to matter to him. However, as the franchise marched on and Bardock’s character was appreciated by more fans, more fiction featuring him was produced, which all gets a bit away from what made Bardock such a compelling and honest character to begin with.
The “Episode of Bardock” animated special from 2011 puts forth the notion that Bardock was sent back millions of years into the past at the moment of his death. He wakes up on a primitive planet Vegeta, fights a great ancestor of Freeza, and becomes the first Super Saiyan, thus spawning the legend in the first place. Leaving aside the basically-unexplained time travel plot device, making Bardock a Super Saiyan- the FIRST one to boot, actually kind of makes him LESS unique. Mostly because almost EVERY modern-day Saiyan in Dragon Ball becomes a Super Saiyan at some point, but also because being a legendary super-warrior was never what Bardock’s character and story was originally about.
There’s also “Dragon Ball: Minus”, a prequel manga story written by Toriyama in 2014 that basically retcons the Bardock Special out of existence. In it, Bardock is presented as having a wife, being a loving husband and father, and purposefully sends Kakarot away from Planet Vegeta in a pod to spare him from Freeza. My fellow Fanhole Derek likes to joke that the original Funimation English dub of Dragon Ball Z made it seem like Goku’s dad was very similar to Superman’s dad Jor-El. Whelp, Toriyama seemingly decided to make that even more so in this comic. It’s a weird little story to have been produced, especially considering how Toriyama reportedly loved the Bardock Special so much as to consider it canon to his own manga writing. Most people, myself included, definitely prefer the animated Special version of Bardock’s tale
So yeah, I think Bardock’s a great character… if you basically ignore any fiction featuring him past 1990. I’m glad that his appearance in the Dragon Ball FighterZ game only uses his Super Saiyan transformation during a level 3 super move because ordinary grunt Bardock is BEST Bardock!
Cell has always been my favorite villain in Dragon Ball… mostly because the Cell Saga is my favorite story arc. Time-travel and robots… I guess that’s just the Transformers fan in me. Cell isn’t really a robot though- he’s a “bio-android” to be precise, and I really enjoyed how distinct his three main forms were made in the story. His first Imperfect form was creepy, predatory and cunning… and the introduction to it was accompanied by a suspenseful tone that Dragon Ball seldom strikes. In the anime especially, it came off like a horror movie as the heroes tried to work out who and what Cell was before Piccolo finally came face-to-face with it, er… “him." I felt his insectoid body design and inhuman face lived up to all that build-up and mystique surrounding him.
Cell’s second, or “Semi-Perfect” form became more of a swaggering brute-like character that was honestly a little harder to take seriously thanks to his froggy-face. However, his Perfect form was and is one of my favorite character designs from Toriyama. The wings, the lizard-like patches on his skin, even his “Pope Hat” gave him a very distinct silhouette and presence.
Personality-wise, Cell’s just as theatrical as Freeza is, albeit in a different way. Freeza’s more about being overly polite and composed in his sadism, while Cell favors grand gestures and spectacle. They both share the same “sore loser” streak though and crack up when things aren’t going their way. Cell’s also basically Gohan’s arch-nemesis, and the two actually make convincing foils for each other with their conflicting personalities. Since Gohan’s a little farther up this list (SPOILERS!), it’s only natural I’d like the guy who was involved with Gohan’s most important scene in the entire series (along with Android 16).
Cell’s got a great, booming Japanese voice actor in Norio Wakamoto, but I also really enjoy Dameon Clarke’s English dub voice for his Perfect form as well. Clarke adds another layer of that theatricality I mentioned above to Cell’s character in his performance that makes the bio-android seem a bit more charming in English. As for that business in GT when he absorbed and then had to “crap” out kid Goku… let’s just forget about that, okay? Like… with the rest of GT.
Back when I first got to watch some Japanese fansubs of Dragon Ball Z as a lad and decided I was King Shit Otaku for doing so, I remember I used to insist on calling Krillin “Kuririn”, as his name was transliterated in the subs. Of course, I was also somewhat ignorant of the nebulous relationship between the “L” and “R” sounds in the Japanese language, and I usually mispronounced the name as “KUR-RIN”. Oh how I derided the English dub for pronouncing it “Krillin”… but I guess they were about as close to getting it right as I was. I still tried to spell it “Kuririn” whenever I typed it out, even if I always left out the “i” in the middle of his name when saying it aloud. And hey… the Dragon Ball Super manga adaptation actually acknowledged my confusion in a recent chapter!
In whatever case, Kuririn is best bud to Goku, an honorary older brother or uncle to Gohan, and just generally a stalwart companion to whomever was in his presence. He wasn’t ever the strongest, quickest, or even smartest guy… but Kuririn’s bravery, determination, and heart were a key ingredient to many victories throughout the series. While he’s overshadowed greatly in power by most of the others, never underestimate the value of having Kuririn at your side in a fight… even if it’s just to toss you a healing Senzu Bean.
Kuririn’s also aces when it comes to comedy relief, even in the middle of a life-or-death struggle. He added much levity to many serious situations and it’s near-impossible not to root for this guy… or not feel devastated when he is hurt or dies. It’s no coincidence that Goku’s two greatest eruptions of rage in the series occurred right after Kuririn was killed. The little monk just inspires that much loyalty and love from his friends and family.
Kuririn’s English dub voices have been okay for the most part. I think I hold a soft spot in my heart for Terry Klassen’s portrayal and his apparent catchphrase for the character- “This is nuts!” Mayumi Tanaka’s original Japanese performance is pretty distinct however, and she adds a lot of the character’s heart. Speaking of, I’ve really enjoyed the spotlight Kuririn’s received in Dragon Ball Super, and the focus on his family life with Android 18 and Marron. Nice guys might finish last, but I think Kuririn still ends up with a win in the end no matter what happens.
2. Son Gohan
From a pampered little four year-old crybaby to savior of the universe one-and-a-half times running, Gohan had a long journey throughout Dragon Ball Z. That’s probably why he’s fairly popular with most fans, as many got to “grow up” alongside him as the series progressed over the years. Gohan’s simply a more relatable character than his dad is, having more down-to-Earth and “normal” character flaws and foibles. Whether it is overcoming his fears, dealing with an overbearing parent, or simply not wanting to hurt people, Gohan is a lot more human than Goku beyond just the literal sense.
That human side of him is what made it so easy to make a lifelong friend of someone like Piccolo, utterly changing the way the former Demon King lived his life. With his earnest attitude, Gohan makes easy friends of anyone, really… it seems like even Vegeta has high expectations of him on many occasions. His innate likability and pure heart make it that much more rewarding when Gohan succeeds or fulfills these lofty expectations placed on him. Indeed, one of the dramatic high points of the entire franchise is Gohan finally unleashing the hidden potential that has been within him since his debut and saving the planet from Cell at the age of eleven (with an able assist from "Ghost Dad", of course!)
Even when he’s older, Gohan seems to have it more “together” than his father in matters other than fighting. While Goku loves and values his family, they’re also clearly not the primary focus in his life. Gohan, on the other hand, treats his wife Videl and daughter Pan as the center of his universe. Goku stumbled onto his “hero” role almost by accident, but Gohan loves being actively heroic… to the point where he made up his own superhero identity as the Great Saiyaman. Gohan thinks all his theatrics as Saiyaman are completely awesome and cool and staunchly defends this persona to anyone who raises an eyebrow. I mean… wouldn’t you?
After Goku’s death in the Cell saga, Akira Toriyama intended for Gohan to be the main protagonist for the remainder of Dragon Ball, as he didn’t envision it continuing for much longer anyhow. Indeed, the first half of the Buu saga does make it seem like that will be the case, but Toriyama changed his tune towards the end and shifted focus back to Goku. While the story is traditionally that he was receiving a lot of fan mail that had readers wanting Goku front-and-center again, Toriyama has gone on record admitting that he simply wasn’t sure where else to take the character of Son Gohan at that point. The end of the Cell saga did really seem like the culmination of Gohan’s character and a good place to end the series overall, so I guess I can see where he was coming from.
While his “Mystic” upgrade during the Buu Saga was certainly impressive, Toriyama felt the only place Gohan could go from there was down, and the character’s later years are marked with some disappointing showings. Despite this, Gohan’s popularity hasn’t decreased among the fanbase, and when Dragon Ball Super entered the Tournament of Power story arc, one of the things that was most looked-forward to was Gohan’s return to significance on the battlefield. Even if he never reached the dramatic highs of the Cell Saga again, he remains one of my absolute favorite characters in the franchise.
My favorite Dragon Ball character is Piccolo, or “Piccolo Junior” as he is sometimes referred, being the son/reincarnation of the Great Demon King Piccolo that met his end at Son Goku’s hands. While he started off as a straight-up villain who was intent on avenging his dad and killing Goku, Piccolo has gone through a lot of growth and development as a character since then. I was first introduced to him through the Ocean Group dub of Dragon Ball Z, and even though I hadn’t seen or even been aware of his history in Dragon Ball up until that point, I think it was pretty clear to me what Piccolo was about from the outset.
His team-up with Goku to fight Raditz was one of the first significant times I took note of a fictional trope that I’m quite fond of- what I like to term the “Rival Fusion”. Rival Fusion is when two enemies must put aside their differences and fight side-by-side against a larger threat to them both. After seeing Goku and Piccolo take on Raditz together, I knew that this was a dramatic set-up that I would always find awesome.
As I continued immersing myself in the Dragon Ball franchise, Piccolo rather consistently remained as my favorite character. Obviously, he has a distinct look and presence, some rather unique special techniques, and a chill attitude. He was pretty much Vegeta before Vegeta was Vegeta… although I guess you can say that about Tenshinhan too… and most other Dragon Ball villains. Piccolo eventually softened through his mentoring of Gohan and became a trusted ally and friend to Goku and the rest of the cast. He still maintained a ruthless edge to his tactics and a lack of mercy towards his foes that the others (aside of Vegeta) lacked. In fact, one of the little joys of the Dragon Ball Z movies is seeing Piccolo dispatch many hapless henchmen of the main villains in some pretty brutal ways.
Of course, there’s another side to Piccolo… get him out of his element or put him in everyday situations that he’s completely unfamiliar or uncomfortable with and you usually get some comedy gold. It’s really quite the testament to how much his character has grown over the years when you put the Piccolo who took pleasure in torturing a crippled Goku in the 23th Tenkachi Budokai next to the Piccolo who babysits for Gohan’s daughter Pan. Watching Pan, his brief stewardship of Goten and Trunks during the Buu Saga, and helping Beerus and Vegeta pull the wool over Goku’s eyes in regards to Monaka are all pretty entertaining moments in Piccolo’s history. However, my absolute favorite extended Piccolo comedy bit is the anime-only filler episode of him and Goku being forced to get their driver’s licenses.
Another reason I quickly attached myself to Piccolo from the fore was thanks to Scott McNeil’s distinct and stellar dub performance in the English version. Toshio Furukawa’s original Japanese performance is also solid and memorable, but Scott McNeil just tended to add this demon-y rasp to his take on the character that really made it unique. Chris Sabat’s Piccolo… well, at first I kinda hated his forced-sounding performance, but he slowly adapted it and made it sound more natural by the Buu Saga. Nowadays, I can tolerate his Piccolo, but back in the days when Funimation’s in-house dub had just debuted, Sabat just seemed like such a step down from McNeil. Still, it was useful for generating several amusing Internet memes, chief among them… Motivational Piccolo.
So yeah, Piccolo’s my favorite character and I think I’ve been through the entire cast while constructing this list.
Yes, Piccolo, ALL OF THEM.
Thanks for reading!