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Good and Evil, the Yin and Yang, Light and L. In the world of Anime, we’ve bumped several times on fascinating, epic and memorable rivalries. After all, a good main character needs its counterpart. Now, we’ll take a closer look to the greatest rivalry of them all; one that’s been going for nearly three decades. I’m clearly talking of that of Goku and Vegeta’s.
Time and again they have saved the Earth fighting at each other’s side, yet they remain more rivals than friends. Their competition is the most intense of all, and no other Anime rivalry is nearly as heated or as ancient as theirs. But how did the relationship between these Saiyans escalate to this point?
Here are the 5 reasons why Goku and Vegeta are the greatest rivals ever!
1. They are Overpowered
Let’s be honest, when we talk about the most powerful characters in anime, which are the first names that pop up? Dragon Ball has presented us with a broad set of tremendously powerful characters. Above all of those mighty characters stand Goku and Vegeta, the most powerful of their kind. There is surely no other anime that has ever introduced such powerful rivals (please don’t dare to bring up Saitama).
Even though they have been defeated and overpowered many times, they always manage to get stronger and overcome their enemies. Time and again, these two have broken down the barriers of super saiyan transformations. They are the ones standing as the most powerful warriors in the universe.
2. They are the Last of Their Kind
As good rivals, Goku and Vegeta are two sides of the same coin. They are opposites but share many things in common since they are the last pure Saiyans. There are no other warriors who are as passionate or as proud as these two. They’re permanently immersed in a battle to determine who’s the greatest Saiyan ever.
Even though they have different motivations (Goku fights for justice while Vegeta fights for his pride) they both live to fight and enjoy doing so more than anything else. Theirs is a rivalry between the last two of the fiercest and most proud warrior race in the universe. They were born to fight and they will die fighting (we can count on Shenron to bring them back, though).
3. Saiyan Pride
As we mentioned, Saiyans’ strength is only eclipsed by their pride and competitive nature. As such, both Goku and Vegeta are willing to do the impossible to become more and more powerful. They are permanently striving for power and trying to surpass each other. This is a competition that never ends.
Their pride has brought them numerous frustrations (especially in the case of Vegeta), since they had to endure the most demanding training sessions (in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber and in the Gravity Machine for example) to keep up with each other. Vegeta even went as far as becoming Babidi’s subordinate in order to become more powerful and have the chance to fight Goku.
4. Friends or Foes?
One of the great things about Goku and Vegeta’s rivalry is how it develops throughout the series. They started out as mortal enemies and complete opposites. Vegeta was the fearsome villain attempting to conquer the Earth, while Goku stood bravely against him to protect the planet. After that first (and absolutely epic) battle though, they both developed some kind of admiration for each other.
Eventually they learned to get along and even became something like brothers (brotherhood is more accurate than friendship to describe their relationship). They never stop fighting and competing with each other, but they have developed mutual respect and they fight as one when the world is in danger. I mean literally as one.
We’ve seen them in many (glorious) occasions being fused into either Vegito (by using Potara earrings) or Gogeta (by performing the Fusion Dance). They usually do this only as a last resource in order to defeat the most powerful enemies, such as Majin Buu, Janemba and Omega Shenron. Even though Goku and Vegeta dislike sharing the same body, life has made them allies and they will do whatever it takes to get rid of their enemies.
5. It Never Gets Old
The main reason why Goku and Vegeta’s rivalry is so epic is because it’s timeless. We enjoy now watching them compete against each other in Dragon Ball Super as much as we did in Dragon Ball GT and in Dragon Ball Z when they first met (back in 1989, wow!). So, 27 years later they’re still training their butts off to become the most powerful in the universe. And we absolutely love it!
Let’s be honest, their rivalry never gets old. That is the only reason why we keep getting Dragon Ball movies and series. Even when the majority of the characters have become mostly irrelevant, Goku and Vegeta are still interesting and viable enough to keep us watching.
It’s really no wonder why every big fight involves the two of them. In any memorable battle from DBZ onwards, they either fight together or against each other (with the exceptions of the battles against Frieza, Cell and Super 17). Baby’s appearance in GT was intended to provide us another instance of the never-ending confrontation between the two Saiyans. We just can’t get enough of it.
If you’re a Dragon Ball fan, which is most likely the case, then you probably love these two characters’ relationship as much as I do. The way they influence each other is fascinating; Vegeta inspiring Goku to become a better warrior and Goku making a better, more human person out of Vegeta.
Their long-standing rivalry has become such an eternal conflict that it will never be resolved. None of them is ever going to be declared the victor over the other. Neither of them will be the strongest in the universe, because the strongest warrior of all is the combination of both. They’re the opposite forces that complement each other.
I would like to know what you think of this Saiyan rivalry. Which aspect of their relationship you find the most interesting? Which are their most memorable moments together for you? And most importantly, who’s your favorite?