Like many people, one of my first introductions to anime was the granddaddy of ridiculous transformations and convenient power ups, Dragon Ball. It’s a show that occupies a special place within the anime community, so we’ve discussed it and its merits multiple times. But we’ve never given you the definitive rank list that you’ve all be waiting for.
Let’s talk about the best looks we’ve gotten from our resident genius billionaire fashion icon, Bulma Brief.
Bulma Brand Hat
I have always wondered if this was a way for Akira Toriyama to just remember the name of the character he was drawing. He is notoriously forgetful, after all, but whether it was a conscious decision or simply a trick to help him remember Bulma’s name, I’ve always loved this look.
The jacket and shorts combo with the hat that is branded with her name on it? Adorable and hilarious at the same time. It captures the playful style and youthful energy that early Dragon Ball thrived on.
The Super Mom Look
Bulma continues to be a fashion chameleon throughout Dragon Ball’s original run and straight through to the Super anime. And this look from Super was one of my favourites almost immediately.
The short hair. The fashionable neck scarf. The plain white tee that was both revealing and conservative at the same time. It shows that Bulma doesn’t need to go all out to look iconic, even as she gets older. This is a top tier mom look and I’m here for it.
The Hair Flip
Going back to some of the branded clothing, this Capsule Corporation shirt with the voluminous hair flip is a look and a half. Bulma rocks this outfit during the Saiyan Saga, particularly when the gang is dealing with the fallout from Goku’s death at the hands of his brother Radditz — this show is just a soap opera with laser beams and no one can convince me otherwise.
The namedrop of Capsule Corporation is a casual reminder that even though most of the people she hangs out with live on an island with a turtle and a dirty old man for a friend, she is still one of the richest and most influential people on the planet. Plus, that hair probably took her hours to make it look like it only took her five minutes to sort out, and I admire that dedication.
The Big Hair
Bulma’s hair in this look is so big she must have trouble getting through doors, but that doesn’t stop her from getting out to see Frieza when he lands on Earth looking for Goku.
The mini-waistcoat with the striped dress isn’t the most practical of outfits to wear while facing down an evil space real estate tycoon, but just like everything else on this list, she makes it work for herself.
Honourable Mention: Road Warrior Bulma
I wasn’t quite sure if this qualified for inclusion on this list, to be honest. It doesn’t appear in the manga or the anime at all. Instead it only shows up in the anime’s first ending sequence. Still, despite showing up for less time than Yamcha in the fight against the Saiyans, Road Warrior Bulma has graced figurines, fan art, and countless cosplays throughout the years.
And for good reason, because this outfit has everything. One trouser leg. The side-bunch hairstyle. The goggles casually around her neck. It screams “I know I’m the hottest one in this post-climate-catastrophe apocalypse.”
Does this look count as a canon look for Bulma? I’m still on the fence, but its too good not to include in this list.
So those are my favourite Bulma looks from the long run of Dragon Ball. Do you have a favourite that didn’t make the list? Let us know on the usual social channels!