Few characters in Dragon Ball history have been the butt of as many jokes as Yamcha.
Our Desert Bandit friend has served as both a literal and metaphorical punching bag since the dust cleared and we saw his corpse lying in the bottom of a crater. But he’s so much more than just a joke and a meme, so for today’s Hump Day Husbando, we’re going to show a little bit of love to one of Goku’s oldest and most loyal allies.
Who is Yamcha?
Anyone who skipped Dragon Ball and jumped right in with Z, like most of us did back in the day, might be a little confused about why Goku keeps hanging out with Yamcha, but he is actually one of the first allies that the wild child made on his journey. As difficult as it is to believe, the two were once a decent match up when they first fought in the middle of a desert. In fact, Yamcha came out the victor in that first encounter.
Sure, Goku would later claim it was because he was hungry, but that sounds like an excuse, doesn’t it?
Just like almost everyone in Goku’s life, Yamcha would quickly switch from being an adversary to a staunch ally, joining the young fighter in his battles against Emperor Pilaf, King Piccolo, and even the Androids. Both were trained under the esteemed Master Roshi and King Kai and, though there would always be a growing gap in their power, they both knew that they could rely on each other.
Why we love him
Dragon Ball always brushes over what the cast do when the world isn’t in imminent danger of exploding, but we do get to see how Yamcha spends his time and energy. His success at baseball is obvious from the brief glimpse we get of it. The team manager begs him to go in and secure the victory, knowing that Yamcha has the skills to make it happen every time, even going so far as to offer him a bonus for doing it.
What results is more than just a comparison of the Z Fighters to normal people but to elite, professional athletes. Even against people who have spent their entire lives training at baseball, Yamcha is still head and shoulders above them, making a fortune off the game without even breaking a sweat.
It is rare that we see such a clear indication of what people with superpowers could do to make money off of their abilities. Most have a clear code against such things, but Yamcha is a bandit, through and through. He is going to get paid, even if it isn’t the right thing to do.
Why you’ll love him
As unscrupulous as this all seems, Yamcha drops it the moment the world is in danger. He takes off to be trained under Kami along with the other humans who are woefully outmatched. Of course, this is when the crater incident I mentioned earlier comes into play, but that’s part of the danger with saving the world. This doesn’t stop him from taking up the fight later when Frieza comes to Earth or when the Androids wake up.
Though the Android fight doesn’t exactly go well for him either, to be honest.
Yamcha isn’t the strongest fighter on the planet. By the end of Super, he is passed over in favour of Roshi for a spot on the Universe 7 team in the Tournament of Power. Even so, he is a loyal friend and will gladly drop anything to help the team out.
Plus, he dated Bulma for a while so he effectively wins Dragon Ball, right?
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