Akira Toriyama isn’t a fan of one of the most appealing characters in the Dragon Ball franchise. The revelation came in a 1995 interview when Dragon Ball Z had become a nationwide sensation in Japan, an anime that featured Vegeta’s gradual shift to the good side.
Vegeta became the main antagonist in the Saiyan Saga after the death of Raditz at the hands of Piccolo. The Prince of the Saiyans traveled to Earth with Nappa to obtain the Dragon Balls and his journey is depicted briefly in Chapter 204. Upon their arrival, Nappa is defeated by Goku and subsequently killed by Vegeta for bringing disgrace to the name of Saiyans.
Fans were astounded by Vegeta’s impactful introduction. Not only did he defeat Yamcha, Goku, and Piccolo but also showed a level of attitude and cruelty towards both male and female characters that made him truly iconic. Surprisingly, the blue-haired Saiayan wasn’t a favorite of Toriyama.
Akira Toriyama Didn’t Like Vegeta Although The Character Was “Useful To Be Around”
Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama’s initial plans were to eliminate Vegeta following the culmination of the Saiyan saga. The character seemed to be on that route, given that his comrades Raditz and Nappa had terrible fates, and he was humiliated by the Dragon Team upon his arrival on Earth.
The moment Vegeta earned more votes than Goku in the popularity polls, Toriyama realized the perfect secondary, supporting character for his hero. He gave Vegeta a much more prominent role in Dragon Ball by juxtaposing his story arc which was fueled by his ambition of destroying Kakarot to Bulma’s need for a ‘perfect’ boyfriend. War met Love, and the dynamic became a favorite of fans.
In an interview published in Dragon Ball Daizenshuu 2 and transcribed by Kazenshuu, Toriyama spoke on a variety of topics including his inspiration behind the series and Goku’s monkey tail. He also spoke about his least favorite character:
“With Vegeta, I don’t like him all that much, but he was extremely helpful to have around.”
Vegeta became one of the characters from which Toriyama could compare Goku’s power levels. Even though the spotlight had been on Goku most of the time, there have been times when the Prince of Saiyans surpassed Kakarot with his sheer power and physical skills.
Does Akira Toriyama Still Hate Vegeta?
Akira Toriyama’s disdain for Vegeta didn’t last long. Previously, he purposely killed off the character after fans requested him not to and even made Goku overshadow the Prince of Saiyans each time the two characters’ power levels were in question. He was then impressed by how smoothly the character developed and even liked one of his traits.
During an interview with Japanese singer and actress Shoko Nakagawa, Toriyama revealed that Vegeta’s character was “easy to draw” compared to others. The mangaka’s words have been transcribed by Toei Animation.
“At the beginning of the series, I thought that Vegeta would be an unpleasant person, just a villain, but as I was writing about it, I found the distorted straightness of a bad guy to be surprisingly interesting… The character is clearly a bitter person who has strong pride and wants to become stronger, so it was easy to draw him, and it felt like the character was starting to move on his own.”
Although introduced as a villain, Vegeta has become a main character in Dragon Ball Super. He recently teamed with Goku to neutralize the Heeters on planet Cereal, before being confronted by Frieza with an all-new powerful form.