Dear earthling, this is a series called the Dragon Ball ABC. Every week we take a letter of the alphabet and take a look at a character or a thing with the biggest influence on the Dragon Ball universe we all love. So if you’re into Dragon Ball you better buckle up, because we’re bringing you 26 weeks with peeks into the amazing world of Dragon Ball! Since we’re diving into some of the nitty gritty of Dragon Ball, an obvious spoiler warning applies!
I'll start by saying that I cheated just a little bit. We won't just be covering Innocent Buu, instead we'll talk about all Buus. But I couldn't put him under the B as the B already belongs to Broly and there's no way to put Broly under the I. Anyways, there is a lot to cover here so let's Buugin! (sorry).
The main events of the Buu story arc take place during the Majin Buu Saga, Fusion Saga and Kid Buu Saga but we already learn about Majin Buu during the World Tournament Saga when Supreme Kai Shin informs the main cast about Buu. Right before that moment, two minions of the wizard Babidi have stolen Gohan's energy, which is needed to resurrect Majin Buu. We then transition into the Babidi Saga where we learn that Babidi is an evil wizard and a cloned version of a much older and long gone evil wizard called Bibidi. Both Babidi and the former Bibidi seek dominance over the universe by resurrecting and gaining control over the evil Majin Buu. Fun fact: Bibidi, Babidi and Buu were most likely named after the magic words used by the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo". Eventually, Babidi manages to resurrect Majin Buu which signals the start of the Buu saga, but not before he puts Vegeta under his spell. That spell led to Majin Vegeta challenging Goku and giving us perhaps the best Goku versus Vegeta fight of all sagas.
After this long build up Majin Buu finally appears and turns out to be a big, fat, cape wearing pink child in an extremely powerful body. We quickly find out about this power as Buu easily defeats Babidi's strongest minion, Supreme Kai Shin and Gohan. On top of that, Majin Buu is also capable of regenerating his body, meaning that most of the damage done to Buu does not matter. That we, as viewers, aren't supposed to take Buu too serious becomes clear when he turns Babidi's right-hand man Dabura into a cookie and eats him. It makes Buu a fascinating character and essential to the Dragon Ball series, something we'll talk about more in a bit.
The first fights with Buu also lead up to another turning point moment for Vegeta. The Prince of all Saiyans comes to the conclusion that the only way to defeat Majin Buu is by sacrificing himself. While this is a major moment for the character Vegeta, it does not amount to much in the actual fight since Buu survives and is able to regenerate. At this point Goku is introduced to the fight. Goku, however, does not go all out against Buu as he once again plots to burden children with the responsibility to save earth. After making Gohan fight Perfect Cell, Goku now wants Goten and Trunks to become protectors of the earth. So while the main antagonist is basically a child, Goku once again manages to steal the show by doing something even Buu isn't stupid enough for to do.
But I digress. While Goku keeps Buu occupied fighting him as a Super Saiyan 3, Goten and Trunks practice the fusion dance which eventually leads to the introduction of Gotenks. Goku and Buu basically agree to back down for a few days until Goten and Trunks master the fusion dance and Goku, who is still dead after the Cell saga, has to return to the Other World after being on earth for 24 hours. In the mean time, Buu grew bored of Babidi and killed him, getting rid of the evil wizard.
Buu then decides to visit Mr. Satan who supposedly beat Perfect Cell and should thus be a very strong warrior. That leads us to perhaps one of the more curious friendships in the series..
Mr. Satan and his dog, Bee, get shot by a fairly random duo of mad gunmen which leads to Buu becoming extremely angry. He manages to heals Satan and Bee. The anger however, also wakes up a more evil part of Buu and in order to stay in control Buu expels the evil from his body. This leads to the first time we see another form of Buu and the confrontation between Good Buu and Evil Buu. Because Buu is originally an evil spirit, Evil Buu possesses a lot more power than Good Buu and is able to turn Good Buu into chocolate and eat him. That leads to the emergence of Super Buu. This iteration of Buu is the main antagonist in the Fusion Saga and is extremely violent. Super Buu's first kill is one of the two gunmen whom he kills by turning himself into a liquid form, entering the gunman's throat and exploding him from the inside. Buu's complex character shows when he prepares to attack Mr. Satan, but stops as he recognises him, meaning Good/Innocent Buu does have some control.
Buu, looking to fight Gotenks, finds the Z-Warriors but Goten and Trunks are asleep. To kill some time, Super Buu kill almost every human on earth. He also turns Chi-Chi into an egg and subsequently crushes her and he almost kills Videl before learning she's Mr. Satan's daughter. Finally, Buu meets Goten and Trunks and we prepare for perhaps one of the most childish fights in Dragon Ball history. Gotenks messes around a lot, overconfident in his ability to defeat Buu. While he does manage to damage Buu badly, Super Buu can still regenerate. As Gotenks tries to fake defeat, Piccolo decides that he has to blow up the Hyperbolic Time Chamber where the fight takes place. Trapping both Gotenks and Buu inside, Buu breaks through the dimensional barrier seperating the Time Chamber from earth at the thought of never eating candy again. After escaping and leaving Gotenks behind, he promptly turns the remaining Z-Warriors into chocolates and eats them. This is when we see Gotenks turn into Super Saiyan 3 and tearing through the dimensional barrier himself. SSJ3 Gotenks and Super Buu fight, but in classic Dragon Ball style Gotenks cannot defeat Buu. He does get Buu on his knees, but as he moves in for the final blow his Super Saiyan 3 form fades and Super Buu regenerates.
At that point, Gohan returns to the fight after having trained and unlocked his hidden potential. He turns out to be much stronger than Buu, who subsequently blows himself up to scare away Gohan. Of course, Buu regenerates. Super Buu then searches for Gohan, who found Goten, Trunks and Piccolo. Buu asks to fight Gotenks again but just as the two children fuse, Buu absorbs Gotenks and Piccolo. This turns the battle between Gohan and Buu in Buu's favor and leads to Old Kai giving Goku his life energy and thus bringing Goku back to the mortal world.
At this point, things get a little crazy. Right before Goku leaves for earth, he's given the Potara fusion earrings by Old Kai. As he returns to earth, he tells Gohan to fuse with him. Gohan however, drops the earring he's been thrown and has to search for it. Meanwhile, Goku fights Buu as Super Saiyan 3. Gotenks, still inside Buu, splits back into Goten and Trunks thus lowering Buu's power. Buu then absorbs Gohan to become stronger than Goku again. Right as he is about to fuse with Mr. Satan, Goku senses that Vegeta has returned. The latter has conveniently been given a 24 hour pass by King Yemma and fortuneteller Baba. It takes Goku some time to convince the proud Vegeta to fuse with him. But eventually they do and we see the birth of Vegito, the strongest character in the Dragon Ball manga series. In fact, Vegito is so strong that he continues to beat up Majin Buu even after he has been turned into a piece of candy. Did I already tell you the Buu arc is pretty crazy?
Well, it's about to become even crazier. Buu turns Vegito back to normal and just as Vegito wants to kill Buu, the latter absorbs the former. This turns out to be a trick as Vegito manages to surround himself in energy and not be fully absorbed by Buu. While inside Super Buu, Vegito splits into Goku and Vegeta again and the two set off inside Buu's body to look for Gohan, Goten, Piccolo and Trunks. Before they do so, Vegeta crushes the Potara earrings stating that nothing is worth fusing with Goku forever (the Potara fusion was, at that time, supposed to be permanent).
Goku and Vegeta find their way into Buu's brain and find their sons and Piccolo there along with Good Buu. Super Buu notices what's going on and sends a form of himself into his brain to stop the Z-Warriors. Vegeta ends up cutting Good Buu loose, leading to the final saga in the Buu arc..
Vegeta's release of Good Buu causes Buu to transform into what turns out to be his original form. Having the size of a human child, this form is called Kid Buu. This form of Buu has been rid of all good residing in his body because he has not absorbed anyone. Being pure evil and still child like, Kid Buu is unpredictable and extremely violent. His nature is shown as he promptly destroys earth after his transformation. Only Goku, Vegeta, Mr. Satan, Dende and Bee survive as they are saved by Kibito Kai. Kid Buu finds Goku and Vegeta in the Other World and a fight ensues. However, Kid Buu proves to be too strong. Mr. Satan steps in to stretch the fight, causing Kid Buu to spit out Good Buu and the two start fighting.
Meanwhile, Vegeta manages to escape and revive everyone with the Namekian Dragon Balls. Goku then starts to power up a Super Spirit Bomb while Vegeta holds off Kid Buu. Vegeta eventually falls and Kid Buu uses him as a shield against Goku. Good Buu and Mr. Satan manage to save Vegeta and Goku proceeds to destroy Kid Buu with the Super Spirit Bomb. As the saga comes to an end, Goku wishes for Buu to return as a good person someday and we learn that his wish is granted by King Yemma. This leads to the last incarnation of Buu called Uub (yes, really).
In total, Buu and his different forms take up five sagas and cover about 67 episodes (from the original Dragon Ball Z series). Throughout the Buu arc we see a lot of transformations of not only Buu himself, but also of the main Dragon Ball cast. Including Goku going Super Saiyan 3, the infamous Majin Vegeta, Gotenks and Super Saiyan forms, Gohan's transformation into an actual fighter instead of the ridiculous Saiyaman and obviously Vegito, one of the strongest ever warriors in the Dragon Ball franchise. Next to that the Buu series left us with some iconic moments in Dragon Ball history.
Looking at Buu himself, he is both a complicated and yet very simple character. He is simple in the way that he has different forms that are all defined in one way or another. The complications come from the complex character that Buu becomes by absorbing people. It leads to what basically is an internal power struggle between the different personalities. However, as they split, the complexion quickly disappears as the different forms of Buu do not seem to be attached to each other. Once they split, they become characters on their own that do not care for each other.
The character which was developed perhaps the most during the Buu arc appears to be Vegeta. From willingly accepting to become Majin Vegeta to be able to fight Goku to then feeling remorse and sacrificing himself to save his family. Vegeta's character is given a whole new layer of complexity between good and evil intent. Something which can also be seen in the different forms of Buu, albeit less interesting since they are mostly seperate from each other. Last but not least, Vegeta even gave up his pride to fuse with Goku.
That does not mean that Buu and his many iterations didn't impact the Dragon Ball universe as a whole. While it is definitely easy to see why some people don't really like the Buu arc as much, it embodies a lot of the core elements of the Dragon Ball series. There are, of course, the transformations of main characters. There is an enemy that becomes a friend. There is a build up towards the ultimate enemy storywise. That's the staple of Dragon Ball story and character development and can be found in basically all series. Where the Buu arc and Buu as a character differs from most of the other sagas is the less serious tone. A big fat pink enemy that can turn people into candy and fights a fused super warrior turned into candy but somehow still able to fight is pretty much Dragon Ball humor in overdrive. That works for some fans, it doesn't for others. Luckily, the serious and grim undertone, found in many Dragon Ball sagas, remains and the difference between good and evil and serious and ridiculous is actually very contrasting. The entire world is destroyed and many of the main cast die. Though, in true Dragon Ball fashion, everything is restored to how it was with the help of the Dragon Balls.
So while Buu himself might not be all that deep and interesting a character, the things he does and how they affect the rest of the Dragon Ball universe is significantly more important. It would be very interesting if the franchise one day decided to explore more of the Majin race Buu is a member of. It is said that Majin Buu is as old as time and, though not necessarily confirmed as canon, there are stories about other Majins. Funny enough for some reason Beerus does not know about Majin Buu, but we'll chalk that up to Toriyama's scatterbrain. Hopefully, one day we'll learn more about the Majin race, their origins and their purpose in the universe.
Until then, we'll leave you with Super Buu getting beat up by a piece of candy.
What do you think of Buu and the Buu story arc? Leave a comment or check out the other parts of PlanetGoku's Dragon Ball ABC.
We'll see you next week!